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My fatherinlaw and wifes grandfather were both pattern makers and the later owned his own small foundry.
Only knew the grandfather for a short time before he passed and I wasn't woodworking then.
Sure would have been interesting to go back in time and see them work.

I always worked for a living with metal. I know manual and CNC equally well .
There are times when manual is more efficient as in one off parts or machine repair
but I wouldn't want to go back strictly to the old ways.

Ha and yes it is the journey.
Last Saturday us guys drove 5hrs away to get a trailer full of mahogany hydrotek and okoume.
Somehow heh heh it turned into a 15 hr day
Here is something to ponder:
Would the forefathers of woodworking laugh at us for trying to emulate them by trying to step back in time and copy their stuff while they were continually striving for a newer, easier and faster way to do things?
When I was an engineer we would always say "if the old ways are better, we would still be doing it that way." The word "we" meaning the bulk of the tradesmen, not any one individual.
I can understand the lure of the past, but I'm more about getting it done. I really enjoy my woodworking but I still want completion.
This sounds strange coming from me, the old sailboat guy that lived by the motto "It's not the destination, it's the journey"
What say you?
I think we are fooling our selves the days of our craftsmanship have gone. So what if we built a stagecoach 30 yrs ago or a replica of the grand stair case in titanic all the knowledge that we learned from so called the old timers who we are now nobody wants to work as hard as we did to make a name for themselves. There was a time when people with our experience were pursued and rewarded for our experience now they all want to work at burger king

we all started at the bottom today nobody wants to start at the bottom. We know things that will die when we do. Today nobody wants handmade furniture. They want what will last them for a few yrs at best. We can rebuild old antique’s and make them look like they had never been damaged. We can make beautiful things from a log. But we can’t make people want our experience.
So many of us have made some of the most beautiful things only to have them destroyed for newer not better but newer. I’m afraid and I’m sure those of you who have spent a lifetime in this field will attest when we die it’s all over. While I’m sure all of us my age admired bob villa and those old belt drivin mills we will be seen the same way. As people who risked out fingers to table saws routers and nail guns as a waste.
 

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I’m a hybrid woodworker. I use my power tools for bulk operations and then my hand tools for tuning and finishing work. Hand planing and scraping for finish beat the heck out of using my RO sander. I find that a lot of one-off operations are more efficient with hand tools simply because the execution is so direct. I don’t set many measurements, mainly the overalls so they act as controls for everything else, and then I do direct takeoffs; this really speeds things up and reduces errors for me.

When time isn’ta consideration and there’s not too much repetition, then I’ll do more hand work. One not so common consideration I take is that hand tools are healthier to use: More effort, more CV effect, and no worries about harm from noise and dust. Those are called noxious hazards for a reason. Back to the thrust of the OP, most humans are kinesthetic and experiential learners. Most of us respond positively to touch and feel, so I believe there is a natural inclination to handwork, it is wonderfully tactile and satisfying to the senses.
 

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I am 44, and I manage 25 engineers that are younger than me. They are all highly skilled software developers, and almost all of them have different motivations. None of them would stay working for me if they weren't getting meaningful assignments. They care quite a bit and are generally mindful about making the world a better place. I try not to hire anyone just looking for a paycheck or anyone that wants to put in their 8 hours. I see passions alive and well in 20-30 year Olds everyday. There is more value to creation, mastery, and experiences than there is on physical possessions and money. There is also a lot more physical movement, and this generation isn't afraid to leave everything behind to move to another state.
 
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I am 44, and I manage 25 engineers that are younger than me. They are all highly skilled software developers, and almost all of them have different motivations. None of them would stay working for me if they weren't getting meaningful assignments. They care quite a bit and are generally mindful about making the world a better place. I try not to hire anyone just looking for a paycheck or anyone that wants to put in their 8 hours. I see passions alive and well in 20-30 year Olds everyday. There is more value to creation, mastery, and experiences than there is on physical possessions and money. There is also a lot more physical movement, and this generation isn't afraid to leave everything behind to move to another state.
When I first was entering the work force as a computer programmer in 1982 it was around the same time that computers were starting to make their way into grade schools. My first computer class was as a senior in HS. I figured then that I had better be in management or end up in the ash heap, because I figured the skills of the kids 15 years later with their advantageous start would outclass mine. It did not happen. Logic, I have found, does not go out of style. Similarly, I work amongst 100s of electrical engineers and computer scientists and I personally have not seen an increase in average ability or passion. In my particular workplace, the best people are not being lost to other states but to retirement.
 

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Look up Titan Gilroy on You Tube and catch his enthusiasm. Of course as hobby wood workers we don't have the financial resources Titan does but his enthusiasm for making things is awesome.

I'm a retired manufacturing engineer. I started as a machinist running NC (pre CNC) punch tape mills in the mid 1970s. I cut my teeth on the Old School ways of doing everything and was never satisfied with that status quo. After working my way up the ranks into engineering I learned Lean Sigma and fostered a culture of BFC (Better, Faster, Cheaper) so that we could stay ahead of Chinese competition. Keeping manufacturing here in the US is a matter of survival. Learn the fundamentals then build on those those old skills with ever improving technologies and systems.
 

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I worked on restoring a house for the National Historical Society, built in 1691. No engineered wood, no code book, no gusset plates or trusses. wonder how many houses built today will last 331 years
 

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You know talking about the old ways triggered an old memory.
Back in 72 us industrial arts students went to visit Caterpillar in Peoria,Il.
Our teacher was a draftsman there before he got into teaching.
( Boy was he ruthless on teaching us the right way in Drafting BTW)
We got the full tour even watching molten metal pouring from a massive crucible way up in the air operated by a type of crane.

Anyways we passed the pattern makers shop there and they said that the pattern makers only used hand tools to shape the wood as power tools could stress it.
I often wondered is there any validity in that way of thinking?
 

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You know talking about the old ways triggered an old memory.
Back in 72 us industrial arts students went to visit Caterpillar in Peoria,Il.
Our teacher was a draftsman there before he got into teaching.
( Boy was he ruthless on teaching us the right way in Drafting BTW)
We got the full tour even watching molten metal pouring from a massive crucible way up in the air operated by a type of crane.

Anyways we passed the pattern makers shop there and they said that the pattern makers only used hand tools to shape the wood as power tools could stress it.
I often wondered is there any validity in that way of thinking?
Pattern Making was our 1st shop course at Brooklyn Technical HS in 1969. The only power tool I recall was the bench grinder we used to sharpen the chisels. Anyone else remember those days?
 

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You know talking about the old ways triggered an old memory.
Back in 72 us industrial arts students went to visit Caterpillar in Peoria,Il.
Our teacher was a draftsman there before he got into teaching.
( Boy was he ruthless on teaching us the right way in Drafting BTW)
We got the full tour even watching molten metal pouring from a massive crucible way up in the air operated by a type of crane.

Anyways we passed the pattern makers shop there and they said that the pattern makers only used hand tools to shape the wood as power tools could stress it.
I often wondered is there any validity in that way of thinking?
I went to school with a guy that was going to be a pattern maker. He had a folding rule that was slightly longer than a regular one, They have to allow for shrinkage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 · (Edited)
@Rev.A
Pattern Making was also my 1st shop course at Brooklyn Tech HS in 1960
Then we took our pattern (A Step V Block) to foundry class and made the sand mold.
Were you living in Brooklyn at the time?
 

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I went to school with a guy that was going to be a pattern maker. He had a folding rule that was slightly longer than a regular one, They have to allow for shrinkage.
Yeah you do have to design for shrinkage.
I worked with Die Cast molds and repair for a time . I seem to remember 7% shinkage on Die Cast alloys.
 

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Pattern Making was our 1st shop course at Brooklyn Technical HS in 1969. The only power tool I recall was the bench grinder we used to sharpen the chisels. Anyone else remember those days?
Oops, 1965 not ‘69 when we graduated.
Most of the operations are doing the same thing, for example if you run a hand plane along the edge of a board or run the edge of the board through a jointer you end up with a board with a straight edge. If you rip a board with a hand saw or run it through your table saw you have a board ripped in two. Power tools are used because they give quick consistent results with a very short learning curve.
That being said there are many times when I will grab a hand saw because it is still the best and safest tool for the job at hand.
I'm finding that many times the set-up time on a power tool is much longer than just using a hand tool. If making just 1 or 2 parts for something it's much quicker to do it by hand.
 

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I read a story once about an incident that is supposed to be true. A ships propeller was cast some where up near the great lakes and shipped by rail to a ship yard on the gulf coast. Unfortunately, the propeller shaft was too big or the hole in the prop was too small. After hours of calls between architects, engineers and machine shops, it looked like the prop would have to be shipped to the east coast to a machine shop having the sufficiently large machinery to bore the hole larger and ream it smooth. The delay would take a few weeks, with the ship being near completion, it meant letting that part of the yard sit idle for almost a week. An old rail road engineer with some black smith experience convinced the shipyard owner to let him fix it there at the ship yard. He cut a part of a log and turned it to fit the existing prop hole, hand forged a tool holder which he inlayed in the chuck of wood and then hand forged a cutter and attached it to the holder. Cross pieces were attached and two donkeys were harnessed to the ends of the cross bars. A young boy sat on top the chuck of wood with a paint brush and a bucket of oil. his task was painting the wood with oil and scooping the metal shavings away. It took less than 36 hours to bore the prop to size "old school" While the boring operation proceeded, the old guy turned a similar chunk of wood and added a blade to make a giant reamer which worked to smooth the hole to final size.

The story was a chapter in a book I had which detailed how people could do seemingly monumental tasks by know how. There was one about a train that ran off tracks in the 1880's in a desert a hundred miles from help. The engineer, fireman and one other guy were able to get the locomotive back on the tracks in a couple days without fancy cranes and hydraulics.. They used ties from the tracks to prop up the engine, then dug the sand out from underneath and laid track under the engine. dug the sand out from under the props and the engine was lowered onto the temporary track as the sand receded. They fired up the engine and drove the engine out for help to retrieve the other cars and fix the track.

The new stuff, tech and fancy machinery is great, but sometimes knowing how to do "old school" comes in handy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
When short on space, tools or both, I do a lot of Jury Rigging. Some Jury Rigged stuff will perform well no doubt, but it is not my first choice of ways to do things. I'm more about completion - just a personality characteristic - neither good nor bad. In woodworking, we make a lot of jigs, no doubt that jigs are Jury Rigs by nature. Just that we got so used to jigs we dont think of them as Jury Rigs.
 
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