I have to (sort of) agree. Every time I see these "75 piece" router bit
sets for $150 (or whatever), I can only think that the hobbyists they
are selling to will NEVER use them all - maybe just a few at best. And
of course, they will never get complaints since the bits won't be used.
A nice set sure looks great in the "workshop" tho (I'm talking router
I buy as I go. So far so good, but I still have trouble passing up a
bargain (still talking bits).
My philosophy would be that a novice woodworker should buy a cheap-ish
set to begin with and then, as he gets more familiar with his tool
(I'm talking bits, here) and the demands of his projects, he should
replace the cheap bits he uses most with similar bits of good quality.
Also at that point any additions to the basic set should be of good
Personally, I don't have money to waste to purchase junk and have to
upgrade sooner rather than later. I save and buy the best item I can
I guess I take the same tact as I do with my guitar gear: great sound
inspires great playing, and likewise great tools inspire great
It's a poor craftsman who blames his tools.
"Junk" is a relative term. A set of serviceable bits - not the best - will
make the cuts to produce the hundred feet of picture frames you'll do every
five years just fine. Plus, when you need a 1/4" cove, you won't have to
pay for FedEx overnight.
I have to strongly disagree with this -- with the way you're
using it, that is.
Several points to be made:
- A good craftsman *does have* good tools -- that's partly why
they would never blame their tools.
- A good craftsman would know whether a tool is right for the
job, a good-enough quality to do the job right. If it's not,
then they wouldn't use it -- conclusion: they would never
have the need to blame the tools.
- If for some reason a good craftsman *does use* cheap/bad
tools, the result will be bad (worse than it could/should
be, at least). And it's the tool to be blamed (the guy is
to be blamed only in the sense that if he were good, he
would have known that the tool was bad, and would have
refused to use it in the first place)
So, what I'm saying is that your statement can not be used
as an argument to say that cheap/bad tools is ok as long as
the person using them is good.
Good woodworking requires a logical AND of two conditions:
good tools being used by a good craftsman -- BOTH confitions
If a good craftsman is somehow *forced* to work with bad tools
(or tools in bad shape, such as blunt blades), then of course
the end result will be bad, and OF COURSE the craftsman will
be right to blame the tools (again, if they are somehow
*forced* to use the particular tool -- which is something that
in general doesn't happen; if the tool is not good, a good
craftsman would reject it and not do the particular job until
having the right/good tool for it)
Have Wladimir Horowitz or Maurizio Pollini play with a cheap
electronic piano/synthesizer -- the result will be, of course,
infinitely better than if I play with the best Steinway piano
ever made; but still, their interpretations will sound like
crap, even though they're the most amazingly good pianists.
(of course, coming back to one of my points above -- they
would flat-out refuse to play with a cheap piano!)
Have the absolutely best professional sports photographer and
hand them a cheap point&shoot camera, or a camera with cheap
plastic lenses, or with no shutter speed control... See if
they can take any good shot during some high-profile sports
event (true action sports like Basketball, Soccer, Volleyball....
Not golf or chess ;-))
If you do woodworking long enough, you start to realize that it's not
so much the tools as the patience/time/skill that you are willing to
invest and/or learn.
Even tho I periodically add to my power tool arsenal, once I have the
most coveted latest tool, it ultimately winds up with me in the
workshop asking myself if I want to take time to do it right or take a
shortcut and get it done "good enough".
The longer you are in the shop, the more you want to get it done right
(within your skills) than you are to get it done quickly. It's sort of
a guilt thing with yourself.
I wrestle with this with every project.
Half of the time I win.
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