Thoughts on woodworking

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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 36 total)
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  • #6208
    constable415
    Participant

    At one time, I would tell my friends I wouldn’t have a tool that doesn’t have a motor or a power cord on it. Boy have I eaten my words. I was tired of machining wood. Working wood was the answer.  It also increased my accuracy.  Not to mention no dust cloud in the air. But it has had one draw back, my desire to fill my tool cabinet with a half set of hollows & rounds, hand planes and other hand tools. Thank You Mr. Sellers for making my hobby even more enjoyable.  Now where is that Veritas tool catalog of mine?

    #6215
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi Rodney,

    I agree, I do think I will end spending more  money on hand tools, than I ever did on power tools. You can’t pick up many power tools and hold them in your hands. 🙂

    #6219
    dpaul
    Participant

    Boy is that ever true. Tool lust can be pretty overwhelming, whether it is power by hand or electricity, and that is partly why I find Paul’s approach so refreshing —  freeing really.

    I find myself reluctant to dive in, fearing my lack of skill will butcher the wood.  Then, I see a hand-tool and think…..ahh, this would keep me from making a mistake, or that would guarantee a nice result.  Turns out it never does, and neither do the power-tools.   They all seem to require skill and practice.

    I’ve read and saved articles by Paul over the years,  from Woodwork magazine primarily, and am now thrilled he is offering these classes online.  Watching Paul work so simply, without all the fancy-schmancy stuff I desire has helped immensely to reduce the urge to buy more tools.  I’m getting out to the garage more often, saving money, and increasing productivity.

    Saw a YouTube video not long ago.  A Moroccan man turning a chess piece,  and doing really good work, while sitting on a short stool, using his feet, a skew, a rope and a dowel as his “lathe”.  This was a humbling experience.  I will post it below.  See what you think.  It blew me away.

    Here is the video:

    D. Paul

    #6221
    ejpotter
    Participant

    I have to agree with Mr. Stone.  Finding hand tool woodworking and particularly Paul’s skill-based approach has really diminished (not quite eliminated) my tool lust.  Basically, it made me realize that no amount of specialized hand tools, machines, commercial jigs, shop fixtures or what have you can substitute for developed skill.  Now anytime I think about buying a particular tool, I have to think about the whole logistics train of maintenance, storage, and above all sharpening and training to use.  Then I think, do I really want to deal with all of that burden, or would I be better off developing my basic sawing and planing skills to accomplish the same task.  I think a limited set of hand tools rule, particularly if one is concerned not only with the finished product (which, to be sure, may be made to exacting standards in the $10,000 machine shop), but also with the process, path, involvement of children, and sense of fulfillment and contentment that comes from having really made a thing.

    I find these kinds of videos extremely inspirational.  Thanks for posting.

    Just moved to NE Ohio

    #6229
    constable415
    Participant

    @ Ken,  Ha Ha You know your right you cant pick up your table saw to show it off to someone.:)

    @ D. Paul, Wow That is amazing. Don’t think I’ll be trying that 🙂

    Being a history buff, I love being able to do without electricity to make projects. I am amazed how woodworkers made such stunning piecies in the17th & 18th centuries.  I was watching Frontier House on  DIY channel the other day. Its where several modern families go into the wilderness and try to survive without modern convieniencies. Its nice to know if I were thier I wouldnt be sitting in the floor of the cabin. 🙂

    #6230
    Charles Cleland
    Participant

    That video is incredible, the dexterity he has developed in his feet probably exceeds that of my hands 🙂

    Washington State, USA
    My own humble blog:
    http://toolsofourfathers.wordpress.com/

    #6232
    JONATHAN WARREN
    Participant

    yes, that is pretty amazing!  I have just posted it on My facebook page, thanks 🙂

     

    From Warrington, UK. Making stuff in my front room.

    #6233
    John Poutier
    Participant

    Wow!  My quess is that he did not spend much on sharpening equipment!

    Yorktown, Virginia

    #6234
    dpaul
    Participant

    So glad you all enjoyed it.  Any time I lust after a new shiny tool, I think of this guy.

    More often than not, when I desire a new tool, it is because I am trying to avoid the necessary time and practice it takes to develop a particular skill.  I want perfection and I want it now.   If I could buy that new thingy, I could then perform a task perfectly and immediately, without waiting for the skills to develop.

    Lo and behold, that is exactly the opposite of what I truly desire — to make something beautiful or useful with my own effort and skill.  Paul’s classes remind me I don’t need all that many tools to make delightful and useful objects.

    D. Paul

    #6236
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I agree you don’t need that many tools to make some great projects. But Its each to there own, and if you love tools, and get pleasure from owning them go and buy them.

    I have never thought a new tool would make me a better craftsman, and yes you have to put the time in and practice to develop the skills you need.

    The bottom line is, if nice new tools are part of your passion go get ’em 🙂

    #6242
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I gotta agree with all of you here, if that makes any sense.. The really cool thing here is that you don’t NEED a billion tools. But the other cool thing is buying a used tool that has history, and wondering what furniture or whatever it’s been used to build and who owned it. I like collecting if the price is right. And I recently got an old rip saw that belonged to my grandfather that I didn’t even know existed. Really cool knowing he used it.

    I saw a video tutorial the other day from a very popular magazine where the instructor was building a beautiful cabinet for all of his hand tools. Really nice set too. I stopped watching when he was explaining how he cut dovetails on a table saw using a saw blade that had been specially ground flat at 7.5 degrees so when he tilted the blade at that angle, the tail bottoms were sawn flat. It actually offended me on some level.

    Oh well, to each his own. Paul’s way is just so much more rewarding to me.

    Good thread.

    #6245
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    And that Moroccan dude is amazing. One single tool. Absolutely amazing.

    Plus I bet he’s got the best smelling feet on the continent. I may go stand barefoot in Honduran mahogany shavings in the shop for a while. 😉

    #6792
    Scott
    Participant

    Jeff-

    I saw a video tutorial the other day from a very popular magazine where the instructor was building a beautiful cabinet for all of his hand tools. Really nice set too. I stopped watching when he was explaining how he cut dovetails on a table saw using a saw blade that had been specially ground flat at 7.5 degrees so when he tilted the blade at that angle, the tail bottoms were sawn flat. It actually offended me on some level.

    I watched several of the videos in that series. I was not offended, but was quite deflated to witness the irony of someone making such a handsome hand-tool cabinet (for his many fine hand-tools) almost entirely with machine tools. I wish they would remake that cabinet using a hand-tool approach so the rest of us can also benefit.

    -Scott Los Angeles

    #6801
    Dave
    Participant

    Its funny because a few months ago after discovering Pauls DVDs I started to browse various websites on box making. I come across a video tutorial on making hand made boxes so I watched it. First words out of the guys mouth at the beginning of the video was “I’m a handtool guy” then he proceeded to make the box in his sponsored machine shop. Needless to say it didn’t quite meet my expectations.

    -Canada

    #6822
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Scott- I think what got me about that video in particular was that the guy had ground a saw blade at a 7.5 degree angle to make his dovetails. Does he really expect somebody to have a blade ground to 7.5 degrees? The average woodworker probably cannot afford half of the equipment in the shop he was using, much less have a blade specially ground. When I watch a video, I want to learn something without having to buy something I don’t already have or can’t afford. It’s seems that most of the times I watch one of those videos, the are not teaching me anything, but showing off or trying to sell me their new power tools. It’s an endless cycle of buying new tools or creating endless jigs for those power tools, while I’m staring at his $400 set of bench chisels in the background that have probably been picked up once a month. They are limiting their target audience by doing so, and that’s why I can only find one woodworking show a week out of 600 cable TV channels. I CAN find 20 channels of bow hunting whitetail deer. I have a feeling if Paul had a cable show, the target audience would explode as we are seeing on this site.

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