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A Few Words About Tools

Updated: Oct 15, 2021

Machines or hand tools? Whatever gets the job done!

I enjoy the process and the challenges that arise when working with wood and while I value hand skills and the use of hand tools, I am not a purist and practicality takes center stage in my shop.

Machines make life easier and increase productivity but are limited in what they can do. Developing hand skills enlarges the repertoire of what you can do in “tandem” with machines and moves your craft to the next level.

Also, the human touch gives an object a quality machines cannot, that indelible infusion of life, a tactile imprint of the maker that says, “I labored”, “I cared”.

I have most of the machines one would expect to find in a small shop, in fact I have some that are in duplicate, like two scroll saws and two lathes. And there’s also an array of power tools, like routers, sanders and drills, and quite a few hand tools, many of which I made myself.

Sometimes I find old tools at fleamarkets that just need a little tender care, like scrubbing off some surface rust, or a new handle and a fresh sharp edge, the case with the chisel set below.

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1 comentario

21 ene 2022

Your thoughts on hand and power tools reminds me of how Sam Maloof approached woodworking. If he needed a router or bandsaw, he'd use it. If a chisel was required he'd use that. It seems to me that this approach keeps the focus on the project and crafting it as well as possible with the best tool for the job.

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