>>I'm talking about tools you love to use. Tools that make a
>>used. Just try to plane a piece of curly maple with the $25 Chinese
>>then grab the Lie-Nielson or the Knight smother. The whole point
>>become quite clear.
>When you ask a tool to do a job it wasn't intended to do, guess what,
>it doesn't perform well. If you take a cheap a tool to an expensive
>piece of wood and wreck it you're an idiot, not for buying the tool
>but for having happen exactly what you'd expect to happen and then
>blaming the tool. If you feel like your tools are holding you back
>then by all means get a better tool for the task at hand. But don't
>insinuate that anyone who doesn't spend as much on tools as you
>doesn't care about the quality of their work as much as you do.
When I was a kid my father and one of my uncles as amateur woodworkers
made some of the most beautiful and durable furniture pieces using what
I would consider Harbor Freight quality tools. They did buy what *they*
considered at the time the *Cadillac*
of power tools - Craftsman (table
saw, band saw, drill press, etc.). I still have and use some of those
old tools and they work just fine. In fact, I would pit my Craftsman
tablesaw against most other table saws I've seen until you get up into
spending thousands. It cuts as well with its 3/4 rated horsepower as any
2 to 3 HP saw I've seen, and is just as accurate after I finally got it
all tuned up. The old Craftsman hand plane works well after tuning, and
even the old Stanley Block plane with the big open crack down the side
works really well. And that plane was not one of the better Stanley's.
My father's chisels and plane irons were always sharpened with a file.
So I guess for *most*
hand tools and power tools, if you take care to
tune it and use it properly, it will usually work just fine. Hell, I've
got a toolbox full of metal tools I've made by hand, frequently with a
file and hacksaw that work just fine, so you don't always need high-cost
store bought tools to do high quality work. In fact when I buy tools,
whether hand or power tools, I *expect*
to spend some time to tune it
before use. But then, *many*
expensive tools are not much better, as
evidenced by the responses here.
Just one case in point - When I purchased one of the ubiquitous 14"
Chiwanese bandsaws, I wanted to tune it, so off came the top wheel to
shim it. That's when I noticed 2 things - a. the mounting shaft was a
shouldered shaft (the nut runs up onto the shoulder of the bolt rather
than the bearing), and b. the bearings did not have a compression sleeve
between them. This of course is not good for the bearings, and is a
design flaw. So out comes the bearing and whip up a small metal
compression sleeve, back in goes the bearings and sleeve and bolt
together with the shims. (BTW, if anyone here has shimmed their top
wheel and has not checked this, they may be putting significant side
load on the bearings which may result in premature wearout)
BTW, forty to fifty years after those pieces of furniture were built,
most are still in daily use in the homes of my siblings and cousins (and
some were handed down to their kids) and are as beautiful and as strong
as when they were new.