Here’s a particularly stupid one for you, from before I started woodworking and gained an appreciation for sharp tools. Changing the blade on one of those Stanley knives in two cast parts held together with a screw, I couldn’t find a screwdriver to put it back together, but my cordless drill with the right bit already in it was right there. So I span it up, and when the screw tightened the whole knife span around and slashed the bottom of my thumb rather deeply.
Not sure if that counts as a hand- or power-tool injury, not that the tools can really be blamed.
George, I think your observations on machines vs hand tools are spot on. Your comment “time-consuming but possible with hand tools” brings to mind stopped grooves/housings; a simple and well-used joinery method which is a real faff with hand tools, but almost trivial with an electric router.
Funnily enough though I tend to re-saw big and hard boards by hand; my bandsaw’s not up to it and I find I waste less material that way. The bandsaw’s an Axminster Hobby model which is great for resawing anything up to about 4in, but it struggles in larger dimensions of hardwood. Sometimes I wish I’d saved up and bought a bigger better bandsaw later once I could afford it, but my eyes are bigger than my workshop so that idea quickly gets a reality check.
Matthew I think your story stands as a reminder that the most dangerous thing in any workshop is usually standing behind the tools 😛
I have to disagree with George on the thicknessing argument. Thicknessers aren’t SUPER fast. They’re generally faster than a person, but they require multiple passes, AND you still have to clean up the surfaces. They do save labour, especially expert labour, but I don’t know if they save TIME. Generally you can get your timber quite close to dimension right off the saw, and then you just have to clean it up.
It’s also worth mentioning that some machine woodworkers spend a LOT of time fine tuning their machines. This is something that takes considerable time and has to be constantly maintained. Your average industrial machine doesn’t come close to the tolerances we expect with hand tools. Snipe is a particularly big problem in my experience, so generally in industry the boards are worked long, and the bad bits are just chopped off. All well and good when working in plantation timbers, but I’m not sure I’d be willing to freely discard 6-12″ of good hardwood.
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