Do you like working with hand tools? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

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post #1 of 45 Old 05-16-2016, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
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Do you like working with hand tools?

How many of you like working with hand tools (as I do)?


I think one learns to 'respect' wood more when working with hand tools, given the energy it takes to work every inch of it. In contrast, one can run through yards of boards on power tools without thinking too much. I would like to hear your thoughts. Thanks!
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post #2 of 45 Old 05-16-2016, 10:44 PM
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Philosophically, I believe in the adage "mechanize if possible." Sometimes that machine is a hand tool, more often than not it is a power tool.
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post #3 of 45 Old 05-16-2016, 10:45 PM
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I don't know about respect, but I use the tool that will get me the results I want with the least effort. Sometimes that's handtools, sometimes it's power tools.

"When I have your wounded." -- Major Charles L. Kelley, callsign "Dustoff", refusing to recognize that an LZ was too hot, moments before before being killed by a single shot, July 1, 1964.
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post #4 of 45 Old 05-16-2016, 11:14 PM
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When I was a kid, I actually enjoyed splitting firewood with an axe, maul and wedges. For some reason I found that satisfying and was always eager to do that chore. It was especially gratifying when you could split a log with just a single chop.

In a similar way, I find planing a board satisfying. The sound, the feel and the smooth results make me happy.

However, I am not yet very good at planing. More often than not, the edge has a tilt to it. Then I try to correct it by planing towards the high edge. Then I end up with a hill in the middle. I guess I just need more practice.
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post #5 of 45 Old 05-16-2016, 11:29 PM
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Let me know whenever you're in town.

We have a fireplace, I can make you a happy man.

"When I have your wounded." -- Major Charles L. Kelley, callsign "Dustoff", refusing to recognize that an LZ was too hot, moments before before being killed by a single shot, July 1, 1964.
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post #6 of 45 Old 05-16-2016, 11:55 PM
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I'm new to woodworking, but it only took me a few classes to realize I do not enjoy working with power tools. too much noise, too much dust, and the suckers are flat out dangerous. Yeah, yeah, I know. Respect the tools and all that. Still, I don't like donning protective gear just to cut a board, and I already have tinnitus so don't need power tools damaging my hearing further. I also studied environmental science in college and know about the health hazards of breathing all that dust. Philosophically, I enjoy taking my time and using human-powered tools to work wood.

Having said that, my wife and I plan to build our retirement home in a few years. We'll build a shop first so our son and I can do most of the finish out work (cabinets, flooring, etc.). Having no desire to do that much work by hand I'll get some power tools to speed some of the processes. Don't even want to think about cutting flooring by hand. My son likes working with power tools, but he's going to have to wait because our present shop is a 12x13 room in our house. I doubt the dogs would appreciate me firing up a powered planer inside. They howl at the vacuum cleaner.
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post #7 of 45 Old 05-17-2016, 12:03 AM Thread Starter
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Great replies! Thanks.

The reason I asked this question is because for me woodworking is a hobby (like mountaineering), and the best fun is the process of cutting, shaving, and chiselling wood by hand. I don't know many mountaineers who instead of climbing by self would like to be dropped to the top of the mountain by a chopper! It is the journey that counts, not the end result. :)
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post #8 of 45 Old 05-17-2016, 12:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jig_saw View Post
I don't know many mountaineers who instead of climbing by self would like to be dropped to the top of the mountain by a chopper!
{Jammer waves his hand.}

Me!

"When I have your wounded." -- Major Charles L. Kelley, callsign "Dustoff", refusing to recognize that an LZ was too hot, moments before before being killed by a single shot, July 1, 1964.
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post #9 of 45 Old 05-17-2016, 12:28 AM
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Well, I wouldn't hike to the store to pick up groceries because the food would taste better.
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post #10 of 45 Old 05-17-2016, 05:25 AM Thread Starter
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I hope woodworking is more fun than just picking up groceries from the store. Those who are woodworking for business may treat it that way, but certainly not me.
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post #11 of 45 Old 05-17-2016, 09:03 AM
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Woodworking is my profession. So to get the production volume and price points I use machines.
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post #12 of 45 Old 05-17-2016, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jig_saw View Post
Great replies! Thanks.

The reason I asked this question is because for me woodworking is a hobby (like mountaineering), and the best fun is the process of cutting, shaving, and chiselling wood by hand. I don't know many mountaineers who instead of climbing by self would like to be dropped to the top of the mountain by a chopper! It is the journey that counts, not the end result. :)
Well, if the days goal is rappelling down the mountain, a bunch of "chopper" rides to the top would be fine and dandy!
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post #13 of 45 Old 05-17-2016, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by UnisawGuy View Post
Woodworking is my profession. So to get the production volume and price points I use machines.
This was me when I was in business, I didn't have time to learn how to use the hand tools or the time to use them. Now I do and love it.
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post #14 of 45 Old 05-17-2016, 11:54 AM
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I don't know how to work with most hand tools - wish I did.
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They said I could be anything... So I became Sarcastic!
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post #15 of 45 Old 05-17-2016, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnisawGuy View Post
Woodworking is my profession. So to get the production volume and price points I use machines.
That makes sense. I have nothing against other people using machines, they're just not for me. If I were making a bunch of the same things to sell I'd set up a show with machines too.
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post #16 of 45 Old 05-17-2016, 03:22 PM
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I find that using hand tools enable me to better control the rate at which I make mistakes.

That said, I find that I'm lousy with them. Maybe it's my poor sharpening skills, but if I need to make a hinge mortise, I'll have much better success making a jig and using a router then I would using a chisel. I have some really good planes and even when I think I've got everything sharp and properly adjusted, I'll get frustrated as I see the thing chatter across a board. When that happens, I'm most likely to head off to the power planer or jointer to fill my need.

So, in summary, I want to use hand tools, but apparently lack the talent.
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post #17 of 45 Old 05-17-2016, 04:32 PM
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As someone who has hand scraped a turbine steam chest over several weeks, you won't find me glamorizing hand tools
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post #18 of 45 Old 05-17-2016, 08:45 PM
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Before I dismantled my shop for the move, I used hand tools more because it was easier to use hand tools than to get out and set up any of my power tools. When I have my new shop set up, I may still use hand tools because I like using them.

Tact is for people not witty enough to be sarcastic.
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post #19 of 45 Old 05-17-2016, 09:00 PM
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I love my hand tools and soon hope to do a small project start to finish with hand tools only.While I enjoy using my power tools and right now use them for the heavy lifting I take every opportunity to use my hand tools to hone my skills.Although I have various bench planes I lack a scrub plane and recently scored a couple of old Craftsman bench planes that I plan to recondition and convert.
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post #20 of 45 Old 05-17-2016, 09:34 PM
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A scrub plane! I should have thought of that!

All you hand tool users, go build a seven foot dining room table with a scrub plane!

That will determine where you want to live on this issue more than anything on the internet!
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"When I have your wounded." -- Major Charles L. Kelley, callsign "Dustoff", refusing to recognize that an LZ was too hot, moments before before being killed by a single shot, July 1, 1964.
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