Overuse of machine tools?

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Hello. I've watched this ng for quite some while and enjoy it immensely. Some of the US stuff is not too relevant to UK, but I get the drift. I'm, I suppose, a recreational woodworker. Have been so for 45 years. Decent workshop equipped with all the tools I need. I do it for pleasure, knowledge and recreation. Not, or very rarely, for monetary gain. In short I enjoy what I do and I enjoy doing it. In essence my time is not money, it's enjoyment. I was taught how to work wood using hand tools. Reading posts on this ng, you guys have power tools for just about anything and everything. I'm not in the slightest envious because I enjoy what I do. And I'm getting too damned old. Do you ever use hand tools?
A few things I really like about this ng: 1) few bad tempered rants. 2) Rob H's 'what is it'. 3) Good and well informed folk. 4) Very useful tips and hints. 5) General bonhomie.
I'll go and look for my old tin hat and hide beneath the parapet.
Good luck to all, Nick.
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*snip*

*snip*
Hand tools? You mean those things without cords? Sure, do that all the time, but it's tough keeping the batteries charged! Always seems like it goes dead halfway through a cut.
I do use human-powered hand tools occasionally. Depends on the project... I've built things using only electric powered tools, but when it comes to dovetails or joinery, hand tools are usually the preferred way to go. I'd really miss my block planes if they were gone.
Puckdropper
--
Make it to fit, don't make it fit.

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On 4/28/2013 7:26 PM, Nick wrote:

Nick, I have a full shop of power tools. But the more I have, the more I appreciate my hand tools. I built a workbench with a solid maple top, beech legs and stretchers/rails.. I wanted to build a euro bench, but settled on a more english style bench (a compromise), I really didn't need the euro style, I had just wanted it.
I cut dovetails by hands, I power joint, and plane to rough size, I hand plane to finish, it removes the scallops. I prefer planing to sanding. If it's bigger than my jointer handles I will joint the whole thing by hand.
I have a good set of hand planes, a router plane, some moulding planes. I have some really nice quality hand saws. Some more than 100 years old, some brand new but extremely high quality saws.
The more I use my hand tools, the more gratification I get. But don't get me wrong. There are times it's all power for speed and utility.
My biggest frustration is on wood that likes to tearout. Both power and hand.. I just bought a load of tiger maple, and even though it's my biggest frustration (tearout), its the journey and the beauty of the wood. So I continue to try and master the skills that will allow me to work this difficult to tame wood.

--
Jeff

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On Mon, 29 Apr 2013 00:26:52 +0100, "Nick"

Sometimes, but Binford doesn't make any that are powerful enough.Different strokes.

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On 4/28/2013 5:26 PM, Nick wrote:

I like the *speed* of power tools unless I'm working on a small project. I've built enough cabinets, bookcases, etc. that the *finished* product is more important than the work on it. On the other hand if I build a jewelry box or tool chest, the fascination of putting one together is more important than the finished product. I guess the only tool I don't own is a parapet; does Lee Valley carry them? ;-)
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"Nick" wrote:

------------------------------------- Not if I can help it.
The only exception being some sanding and/or scraping.
Welcome aboard.
Lew
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Nick wrote: .

Sure. I often use a hammer, bought it new in 1943. . Ditto a brace, same vintage (I mostly use it as a cordless screw driver but occasionally make holes).
Ditto a jack plane, same vintage. Block and smooth planes too but newer,
Scrapers
Chisels
Saws but only dozukis. Well, sometimes a ryoba.
--

dadiOH
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I have a pretty well equipped shop with lots of stuff that can take a finge r faster than you can say duke of Windsor. OTOH, I have a good assortment of chisels, a nifty marples trim saw and a couple of planes that refuse to be friends with me. I've been after my local Woodcraft dealer to have a co uple of classes in neanderthal woodworking. My grandfather was a finish ca rpenter during the depression and I have his workbox and a few of his tools -- brace, bits, handsaw and a few odds and ends. I have profound respect for all who can turn a tree into something beautiful without electricity. I'm never going to get there, but I'm hoping to take a few steps down that path.
Larry
On Sunday, April 28, 2013 6:26:52 PM UTC-5, Nick wrote:

ent

dge


ng

ng

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Nick, good food for thought on your post.
In my opinion (hey... remember is worth what you paid for it!) there are a lot of folks that are serious about woodworking, but don't have the time to develop the skills needed to be "a neander" and go without power.
I can't imagine spending a weekend face planing down a piece of 5 quarter rough sawn 1X8 on both faces to get it to the proper thickness, then lining it and shooting it with the proper plane. In building a coffee table or dining room table or any other larger piece of furniture as a "weekend and a few nights only a week guy", it would take a couple of months just to prep the wood!
Also, many here are professionals in the trades, or semi professionals, and that means speed, accuracy and repeatability are the key components when executing a project. For me, there is no joy is boring a hole with a bit and brace. There isn't any satisfaction from using a homemade miter box with a back saw. I don't use a screwdriver to put on kitchen hardware, but use a small drill.
Also, tools and their designs are made to follow the current trends of building and the available materials. With our super thin, chippy, splintery veneered products, our poorly prepared solid wood choices, and newer growth lumber that might be better suited as pallet wood, power tools help make up for the deficiencies of the material.
Probably the biggest example of this trend in my mind is the development of brad/trim guns. As a young hand 40 years ago, I was taught to use a hammer and nails, and using a nail gun was frowned on as a distinct lack of skill. You learned to drive nails without hitting the wood and if the wood was hard and expensive you drilled pilot holes for the nails.
Now, even the base boards, door trims, crown moldings, chair rail, etc. are hard, brittle materials that crack easily. Some kind of South American fast growing finger jointed hardwood is what you get in paint grade and it splits like the dickens with a regular hammer and nails as attachment devices. Most stain grade trims I see are no more than the clear section of yellow pine which is also hard, brittle, and sometimes painful to use. With a brad/trim gun, once you learn proper placement you can nail away with little fear of breaking the trims. For a contractor, using a nail gun anymore is almost self defense because of the available materials we use.
Then add to the fact we are on about the second generation of tradesmen on carpentry that simply can't drive a nail...
Robert
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On Mon, 29 Apr 2013 07:30:09 -0700 (PDT), "Gramp's shop"

You need to think about your woodworking a little differently. A hundred years from now, your relatives will be speaking to a computer telling it what they want built. They will wonder how *you* built stuff using sharp blades attached to electrically driven machines.
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snipped-for-privacy@none.com wrote:

Or they may be huddling in a cave hacking out furniture with an axe.
--
 GW Ross 

 An unemployed court jester is no 
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On 4/30/2013 5:07 AM, G. Ross wrote:

That's not far off from what I've been doing.
I've carved four half-hull models this year.
It has been interesting figuring out how, but I'm happy with the results now.
Plane cedar boards to the desired thickness (machine).
Saw out the "lifts", waterline shapes (band saw).
Glue and clamp the lifts to make a plug. (hand)
Carve out the hull (18 inch hand saw as a whittling knife and block planes)
Sand, epoxy, prime, sand, sand, sand, sand, paint, paint, sand, sand, sand, paint, sand, paint, sand.... repeat until finished.
I'll get some pictures up somewhere one of these days.
Richard
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snipped-for-privacy@none.com wrote:

It's worth mentioning how machines, in all of their speed, omitted much ofthe "style"that had been a part of furniture.
Bill
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Bill wrote:

That's very true. And not only in furniture.
--

dadiOH
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dadiOH wrote:

I have no doubt that you are correct; what were you thinking of (besides furniture)?
Computers? : )

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Bill wrote:

Oh, many things. Consider the architecture of the early 1900s. Lots of details inside and out that would be exorbitantly expensive now. Not even many who would know how to do them.
Shows too. Used to be you could get shoes in many widths (C, D, E, etc) as well as lengths. Now medium and wide is about it.
Meat. Butchers used to get half beeves and cut what you wanted. Now it all comes in cryopaks and the meat counter attendants - they aren't butchers - couldn't cut bone in meat even if they had it. Seen a USDA stamp on a piece of meat recently? Try asking for a flat bone sirloin.
Much of this has nothing to do machines, it has with lowering knowledge, skill and craftmanship to a lower common denominator in the interest of expediency and greater profits.
Generally, there has been a decrease of elegance, an increase in crassness.
--

dadiOH
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dadiOH wrote:

-------------------------------------------------- Here in L/A, go into any of the major supermarket chains, pick up a roast of choice and ask them to grind it.
Never going to happen.
BTW, they do have meat saws where they do specific tasks, nothing special.
I know of ONE butcher shop in Orange county that will cut what you want.
Just to put that into perspective, there are over 17,000,000 people in Southern California.
Orange county has maybe 3-4,000,000.
Call that slim pickins IMHO.
Lew
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wrote:

Agreed. Most of it boils down to the cost of manual labour. I remember reading a SciFi novel once where the hero complained about society at the middle level building stuff by squeezing goop into a machine. It's only the early or very advance societies that build stuff by hand.
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My grocery has a butcher shop, and will make custom cuts on request.
I get USDA Prime beef at Costco.
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Scott Lurndal wrote:

Count your blessings.
--

dadiOH
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