Musings of a Normie

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My local PBS station has recently begun to air The Woodwright's Shop. As I sit there watching good ol' Roy hack away with his saws and chisels and 20 different kinds of planes, I wonder how many people actually continue this woodworking process. Traditional? Hmmm. Geeze. Roy even dresses like a turn-of-the-last-century pushcart vendor in New York City. Hey - I truly admire his skill and ambition, but I don't think a lot of people have the time to create objects like his these days. If you're retired, you're probably not going to be physically able to push planes and chisels for very long before Mr. Arthritis or Tendonitis makes everything hurt. After watching his show, I feel tired, but also a little ashamed that I've got routers, a planer, and a shaper and other toys with plugs attached. But Norm is on right afterwards, and I feel a lot better! :)
Tom Flyer
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Feel ashamed??? Feel lucky. It still takes skill and forethought to use the next generation of tools, just different ones.
--==-- wrote:

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Roy is fun to watch, and even more fun to listen too. Lot of showmanship, and, I might add, one hell of a great book on same _Khruschev's Shoe_ shows his scholarship as well.
You're probably fairly new to the hobby? Hand tools allow your family/friends to gift you with useful items for years, and the more you have, the more you'll find yourself using them. This is a "good enough" hobby, in spite of micrometers and machine setup anxiety often discussed here.

I wonder how many people actually continue this

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Don't feel ashamed, but don't ignore the hand tools, either. They were the foundation of the hobby, and are still used by many today, both master craftmen (e.g. Ian Kirby) and amateur journeymen. If the power ever gets too expensive to buy, we'll have to fall back on such, and so it's best to become familiar with hand tools and use them occasionally. I suspect pulling a smoothing or jack plane down a board to help it to square can be more satisfying, if more work, than just slapping it on a jointer and pushing (grin).
Incidentally, read Norm's *Measure Twice, Cut Once* to find out what he really thinks about hand tools. You might be surprised at what the Master Router has to say about things as simple as a block plane and a plumb bob.
--
Bruce -- Harper Blue
Wielder of the Hole-y Serving Spoon of Antioch
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More than once I've wanted to take young Roy out behind the woodshed. I know it would help my testosterone flow and that would elevate my arthritis. = A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.
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I love your signature line, how true.. how true...
Len wrote:

--

Bob Kuphal -- Wisconsin





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If you stay at it and become an accomplished woodworker give us a post in a couple of years relating to how you feel about hand tools then.
--
Mike G.
snipped-for-privacy@heirloom-woods.net
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--==-- wrote:

More than you might guess. There are a lot of woodworkers in the world who simply can't afford to buy power tools; and a fair number of woodworkers where there isn't any electric power.
Of the woodworkers I've known, the best seem to be comfortable with both neandertools and normitools. My own feeling (and BTW, I'm /not/ anywhere near being one of the best) is that learning to use a neandertool well implies learning about how different kinds of wood behave when a cutting or smoothing tool is applied. That information seems most easily acquired when the tool is applied at human speed rather than at speeds where the woodworker can't see anything except the aftermath.
Much that is learned at low speed has relevence to planning and executing at high speed. Have difficulty understanding why you're having tearout? Try that same operation using a chisel or a routing plane - it's an enriching experience.

So? If he's comfortable and safe, what matter? As the saying goes: "Everybody's a bit strange except, of course, you and I - and I'm not altogether sure about /you/." (-:

Issues worth bringing up. Just how much time do we have - and how shall we use it? Shall we use it to create? If so, what shall we create? Should we create to honor the past - or to improve the future? Can we do both at once? Sometimes it helps to slow down (to slower than 3600 RPM) to consider this kind of question.
My very favorite helpers are Mr. Aleve and Mr. Laziness. Aleve keeps the aches under control and laziness leads me to create tools, fixtures, etc that require less physical strength and exertion.
There are worse things than physical pain (try "worthless" on for size and I think you'll agree). When I can't push a plane any longer, I think I'll be ready to push daisies.

I don't think it's the tool that's important - I think it's what the woodworker makes with the tool that'll matter most.
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto, Iowa USA
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I enjoy using my power tools. Amazing what they can do. What give me the most satisfaction? Using a plane or chisel to tweak the wood get a perfect fit on mating parts.
I'm not about to rip 12/4 maple by hand, but neander tools have a definite place in the shop. Ed snipped-for-privacy@snet.net http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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My feelings exactly. And while I'm not as old as some of you wreckers, I'm nearing a half-century, so I'm no kid. And frankly, since moving to the Roy clan, my hands, wrists, forearms, etc. are all in better shape than they've been since I was in my twenties.
If it gets to the point where I can't push a smoothing plane or saw, then I'll probably just devote my time to carving, or just sit on the porch and become an old grouch before I wither away. ;-)
Chuck Vance
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I doubt it.

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"Conan The Librarian" wrote in message...

Strange, you used future tense for the 'old grouch' bit.
:-)
Since I've got your attention Chuck, what is your experience with wooden palm planes, I am having a little trouble getting mine just right. There's a woodshow here soon and I can get Terry Gordon to walk me through it but I thought I'd ask.
cheers,
Greg
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Greg Millen wrote:

Bite me, Greg. :-)

I don't specifically have any experience with "palm" planes, but I have a few wooden smoothers and others. I usually just set the plane on a flat surface, and place the iron in so it sits straight, push the wedge in and give it a light tap to lock it. Then with my fingers underneath the mouth I lift the plane and feel for lateral adjustment (carefully) with the pads of my fingers. If it feels good I give the wedge a firmer tap and try it on a baord.
If not, I tap either side for lateral adjustment and/or tap the heel to retract the iron slightly or the iron to increase the cut. After any adjustments, I always fisnih with a couple of firm taps on the wedge.
(In practice, the adjustment takes less time than it does to write about it.)
Chuck Vance
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thanks Chuck. I'll give it a go using the same technique. There's a pic of the plane at ftp://woodworking.homeip.net/Planes/ tulipwood palm plane.jpg
The shoulder plane works like a dream.
--

Greg


"Conan the Librarian" < snipped-for-privacy@txstate.edu> wrote in message
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The thing I find amusing about Roy boy is looking at his hands. They are always bruised and cut. Based on that, gimme my power tools. :-)
Wayne

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On Sun, 23 May 2004 17:48:05 GMT, "NoOne N Particular"

Anyone who works with their hands gets cuts, scrapes, and/or bruises on them all the time if they're working honestly. It's the nature of the beast.
========================================================= I drank WHAT? + http://www.diversify.com --Socrates + Web Application Programming
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"Larry Jaques" wrote in message

Bingo! I worked my way through college, and for a while when I got out of the service, shoeing horses and doing general blacksmith work, besides playing music ... always a resigned guess as to which finger/hand/foot/toe was not going to be readily available the next week due to a cut/burn/stomp/rip.
Woodworking is wuss's work by comparison, to the point that I rarely notice the splinters and minor cuts ... unless blood stains a good piece of qswo.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 5/15/04
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My hands are always bruised and cut. I'm a professional machinist.

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If you do slip up with a powah tool, it will likely be a lot worse than a bruise or a little cut.
Chuck (Tenfingers) Vance
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On 25 May 2004 07:21:18 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@txstate.edu (Conan The Librarian) brought forth from the murky depths:

I've been making it a point to dust in front of the bench and tools before starting work. The blowgun is a constant fixture in the air hose nowadays and a 3-second burst cleans the tool and area. I'd simply -hate- to fall into a TS or BS blade, or slip with a plane and find my work stuck through my esophagus, KWIM,V?
I'm heading down to Medford tomorrow to pick up a gallon of ammonia. Pacific Survey Supply carries the 29.7% strength for $7.50/gallon. Now if the DHS doesn't pick me up for buying it, I may have a fumed oak dictionary stand shortly. (I decided that I'd wait for white oak for that ent. center which I'd look at every day in case the red turns too green. ;)

Larry (10-finger) Jaques
-- Life's a Frisbee: When you die, your soul goes up on the roof. ---- http://diversify.com Comprehensive Website Development
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