Thoughts on woodworking

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Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 36 total)
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  • #6832
    Dave
    Participant

    Hey Jeff,  I’ve been trying to find a good wood working magazine for ages. All the magazines I’ve seen are simply an advertising scheme for tools and machine shops.  So now my search for info is going to be books and Pauls info in this course.

    -Canada

    #6849
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Yeah Dave, I’m finding out that it’s difficult to get this info. That’s why I appreciate Paul sharing his wisdom from the old school way. A lot more people would be building things themselves if they knew his techniques and the limited tool set required. The guys here at my office are getting into it as well and pulling out and restoring grandpa’s planes and other tools, and are astounded when they work so well.

    I also appreciate the others in this group because of the help I get. On that note, someone (I think it was George) recommended “The Essential Woodworker” by Robert Wearing. I bot it and it’s a great book if you don’t have it. Paul’s book is great as well.

    Wood for workbench: $50

    A good set of used hand tools: $200

    Paul teaching you how to use basic hand tools to build a workbench &  fine furniture: Priceless.

    P.S. I bot a “mystery” saw on eBay last week. All the seller claimed was that it was a Disston. I got it, cleaned off the crud, resharpened the teeth in a progressive rip pattern and discovered it was a D-8 10 ppi circa 1910. $8. It cuts beautifully.

    #6863
    Scott
    Participant

    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.

    I had a similar experience a few years ago with a beginning woodworking book that I purchased because of some handsome project designs. When I finally looked closely at a dresser project chapter, I discovered that they were using a Festool Domino to do all the M&T joints! I knew they were using power tools, but in my opinion, a Festool Domino is not a piece of equipment they should expect any beginner would have.

    -Scott Los Angeles

    #6864
    ejpotter
    Participant

    Hey, great find on the saw, Jeff.

    The Essential Woodworker is a great book.  Another good book (and pretty cheap) is Hand Tools by Aldren Watson.  He covers traditional techniques for use for dozens of tools, very much in the Paul Sellers mode, and the line drawings are extremely good for showing exactly what’s going on, much better than modern photo-based books.

    Just moved to NE Ohio

    #6867
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Yeah, Scott. The domino tool thing is exactly what I’m talking about. There’s always a catch. When Paul was first showing the clock case and saying he was going to show how to do the beading on it, I was thinking “Here it comes…another tool to buy”. Then later he pops out with a piece of scrap 2×4 and a wood screw to do it. I was laughing while he did it. That’s so (since he’s one of a kind he will take this with the respect intended)…Paul. Need a router? Grab me some scrap wood and a chisel! Amazing. He squeezes every bit of use from every tool he has and even his own hands. Awhile back I showed the office guys a clip of Paul scribing a perfectly straight line down the face of a board using his finger as a guide. The guys were just kind of staring at it in disbelief like it was some sort of trick. I had to replay it for them several times. Finally they just started laughing in amazement. So if Paul says I need a new/old tool, I buy it, no questions asked. I’m still looking for the correct size tomato can to use for oiling saws and planes.

    Thanks for the recommendation on the book Eric, I’ll pick up a copy. We need to start a thread on recommended (or not) books.

    #7039
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    POWER TOOLS VS. HAND TOOLS

    I was reading Paul’s blog this morning (http://paulsellers.com/woodworking-blog/paul-sellers-blog/) about the two sneering hecklers in the audience and their change in attitude as Paul cut a groove using a plow plane or hand router. It made me wonder why there is kind of a divisiveness between some power tool workers and those that work by hand. So here’s my two cents.

    I think that people who were taught using power tools (myself included) tend to believe that power tools MUST be faster and better than hand tools. And I think that maybe they believe that hand tool workers see themselves as “purists”,  and somehow better than them. I think that nothing could be further from the truth.

    My own venture into hand tools began last year when I stumbled across a YouTube video of Paul building a bench with hand tools. My first impression was that he was nuts, some sort of purist. Then I watched as he quickly cut a mortise using a mallet and chisel. My second thought was if I could learn to do that, I won’t have to buy a power mortiser, which I can’t afford anyway and don’t have room in my garage for as well. As I watched further videos, I realized that I now had a path to do what I wanted to do, build furniture, without mortgaging the house. And the reason I thought he was nuts to begin with was my own ignorance. I had no clue you could cut a dado or a mortise by hand. Now the light bulb goes on and I’m thinking that generations of old furniture makers had to have made these 200 year old pieces by hand, and they hand techniques that allowed them to do it efficiently.

    So now begins my attempt to extract every bit of knowledge I can from Paul and therefore the long dead generations of men who shared this knowledge, improved upon it, and ultimately passed down this knowledge to him. And as I learn the new (old) techniques, I get the added benefit of truly working with my hands, no noise, dust masks, fear of losing a finger and lower tool cost.

    Does that mean I won’t use power tools? Certainly not. I use a power drill exclusively, a table saw for long ripping, a power planer when it’s just too much work to do it by hand. Now though, if I need to rip a 24″ long piece, I use a hand saw because its faster.

    #7041
    Florian
    Participant

    This is an interesting thread. I do not use machines at all. The reason is not that I want to be special or better or worse than people using machines. The reason is that I want to learn and hopefully eventually master all essential aspects of handtool woodworking. As soon as I feel confidence I will think about where or when a machine might be useful or not.

    I enjoy working wood in Germany.

    #7045
    Redtail
    Participant

    This is an interesting thread! As far as books are concerned, i really enjoy Eric Sloane’s books on old tools and wood.he also writes about weather and old forecasting technique.

    Paul’s method of teaching reminds me of an old saying. Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. He doesn’t just teach you to make this particular box but a method, complete with a small tool set, that will have you building things for a lifetime. Also, weaved into his working wood techniques are lessons for living life.

    Just my 2 cents.

    West Virginia, USA

    #7048
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Good point Florian. I think maybe what happened in our history was there was a demand during the industrial revolution for machines to do things faster for mass production. Then some of these machines began making their way into the consumer market and we slowly lost the generation of men & women who knew how to do things by hand efficiently. Eventually the perception was that machines are always better due to simple ignorance of the old ways. Please note that I do not equate ignorance with stupidity. Ignorance being simply that one is unaware. So as Paul makes people aware that machines aren’t always better, and of the satisfaction of working wood with your hands that goes along with that, we are losing our ignorance and reversing that trend.

    I think that proof of this slow reversal in trend is illustrated by looking at manufacturers of hollows and rounds. Currently I can only find two manufacturers of hollows and rounds. The first is Old Street Tool (formerly Clark & Williams http://www.planemaker.com/index.html) who are currently taking no plane orders because they have a backlog of orders for TWO YEARS. The second is M.S. Bickford (http://www.msbickford.com/) where you can buy a half set of hollows & rounds for $3,750, a quarter set for $2,100. I’ve read that Clark & Williams is actually encouraging Matt Bickford (their competitor) to produce these planes. Now that shows me there is a HUGE new demand for quality hand tools. I am encouraged by that, and so glad I’m losing my own ignorance of hand tools through Paul’s efforts. 

    If you get a chance watch this video on YouTube showing how complex moldings are made using hollows & rounds. I found it fascinating. 

     

     

    #7049
    Scott
    Participant

    Jeff-

    Phil Edwards is also producing Hollows and Rounds:

    http://www.phillyplanes.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=11&Itemid=22

    -Scott Los Angeles

    #7052
    Scott
    Participant

    Hey Jeff, I’ve been trying to find a good wood working magazine for ages. All the magazines I’ve seen are simply an advertising scheme for tools and machine shops. So now my search for info is going to be books and Pauls info in this course.

    There really is not much meat in some of these magazines these days. I regret that Woodworking folded into Pop Wood, since Woodworking seemed to be the closest thing to advertising free. Oh well.

    The online woodworking community is so strong today that I really do not find that printed periodicals are all that essential. They’re nice to occupy one’s time, until one becomes frustrated with the frequent pandering toward current and prospective advertisers.

    There was recently a lively discussion on one of the popular forums recently on the demise of the WW magazine. Someone mentioned that magazines are useful for the first 3 years of the typical woodworkers’s pursuit, then they start to become irrelevant as the magazines start to renovate old topics. Sure, there may always be some thing to learn in each issue, but is it worth the price of admission?

     

     

    -Scott Los Angeles

    #7053
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Thanks for the link Scott. Apparently Bickford has a two month waiting period. I don’t know if that’s current though. I need to get into that business.

    Kevin: What Sloane book do you recommend? I perused around and he’s written a lot of them. I’m kind of getting a list together.

    #7063
    Florian
    Participant

    Jeff, moulding planes are fascinating and one can easily spent a fortune on them. I got two planes from the grandfather of my girlfriend who got them from his grandfather. They are not in a very good shape. One is a round and one an ogee. I sharpened them as good as possible which was not too easy without the  right slip-stones that I do not own. In the end I took a hacksaw and cut off a small piece of an artificial waterstone that I once used for sharpening before the diamonds.

    They worked pretty well but not perfectly and after two days of daydreaming on clark&williams and others I decided to postpone this adventure into a time in the future when I know better what I need.

    With handtools it is like with photography or with playing golf or tennis or with any kind of instrument.

    I have a friend who spends more time buying new mountainbikes, cleaning them, buying gps devices and so on than actually riding the bikes. The industry is happy but he is seldomly satisfied. He is not saying: I would like to ride through the alps! He says: If I ever wanted to ride through the alps which bike and accessories do I “need”?

    You can buy a Stradivari without hitting a single tone. You can play the best racket and miss.

    I don’t blame my friend but I feel sorry for him.

    Sorry for drifting away 🙂

    I like what Jeff said about Paul squeezing out every drop of every single tool he uses. This is something very worth to achieve and I think it’s more fulfilling to do this than to have all the tools on the market without knowing what they’re good for. Paul has all the tools but he has all the knowledge, too 🙂

    As Ken said, if people love to collect, they should collect 🙂

    Moulding planes are those specialized tools that can create fascinating styles but are probably also on very first place concerning workshop and toolchest decoration 🙂 on principle they are not very smart comparing to a chisel or a spokeshave or others. The top models of woodworking – doing a single thing very well 🙂

     

    I enjoy working wood in Germany.

    #7064
    Florian
    Participant

    Regarding books I like everything from Roy Underhill and the woodwright shop. I found him through Paul because he mentioned his name while chopping a mortise behind glass. I think he is very popular in the US so many of you will know him.

    He is a fantastic woodworker and a very good comedian. He covers every aspect of woodworking and beyond that he provides information of other crafts by visiting wheelwrights, blacksmiths, brickmakers and so on. This is so much fun to watch and packed with interesting information.

     

    I enjoy working wood in Germany.

    #7066
    Steve Follis
    Participant

    There is an old Nordic saying, “Were it not for the seas, we would carry our boats.”

    All for the love of Boat Building, or the love of Working Wood.

    If we are going to be collectors, we will collect.  If we are going to be woodworkers, we will work wood however we can, in whatever form we can.

    Memphis, Tennessee

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