Monday, November 28, 2005

Hand Tools


Hmm......Hand tools. I love 'em, buy 'em, hoard 'em. Even use 'em. And the more I work wood the more I use, enjoy and (amazingly) get better with them. Indeed, they are the reason that my woodwork has reached such heady (hah!) heights. If I had to rely on power tools alone my projects would be nowhere near as well made and finished.
Am I giving up power tools? You are joking! Deep sawing, ripping, thicknessing-these are hard, physical tasks that machines make easy. The age of apprentices is over-power tools are the new apprentices! But, (taking this analogy further) the Master craftsman would then take the boards that had been produced via a lot of sweat and would carry out the fine joinery work himself. And this, my friends, is where hand tools come in. They bring precision and finese to the bench. A swipe from a smoothing plane and the wood shines-no belt sander needed here! Joinery planes, chisels and fine saws to cut joints. And as well as performing so exquisitely they feel wonderful in the hand. You can FEEL what is happening, building an intimate relationship with your tools and also your chosen material, wood.
So I reside somewhere between Galootsville and Normtown. The best of both worlds? Maybe...

Tool rant over-the cabinet is so nearly, nearly finished. The cutouts for the wine bottles need to be made and I've started pre-finishing some of the components before glue-up. Don't start me off on glue-ups.......;)

6 comments:

ByronBlack said...

Good work as ever Phil, your stuff always seems very well designed and put together, and I think we share an idealism when it comes to a compromise between hand and power tools.

Recently i've started to use hand-tools over the router, mainly due to the noise and the dust, however, my bandsaw and tablesaw still do tasks that I wouldn't want to tackle by hand.

Keep up the good work!

Philly said...

Cheers BB!
The right tool makes any job a pleasure! (except unblocking toilets.........)

Mike Wenzloff (MikeW) said...

Ok..not quite done there Philly...what did you decide on for opening the doors??? Just catch a fingernail on the stile and give it a shove?

Nah, you've got an idea...and?

Take care, Mike

Philly said...

Damn you and your eagle eyes Mike! ;)
Yeah, the handle thing. Gonna be a routed out finger pull. Had kinda forgoten about that.......;)

Alf said...

Wine bottle holders... Now that's clever. Gotta keep 'em filled or the cabinet'll look odd, dear... ;~) Now which do I tease you about? Handles? Or glue-ups? Well Mike's got the handles covered, so Phil, what about glue-ups, eh? :~)

Chris Knight said...

It's looking great Philly!