What's Your Definition Of "Traditional Techniques"?


"Markem" wrote in message wrote:

Well were are back to traditional wood working you need to make an atlatl to get that first femur.
********
No sir. No new fangled tools allowed.
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On 07/16/2017 9:43 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

...

"Traditional" comes from about the 18th century or somewhat earlier.
If they would have had access to the tools and power sources we have, you think they wouldn't have jumped to them in a heartbeat?
In that case, we'd then have a wholly different definition of what it means to be traditional.
--


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On Tuesday, July 18, 2017 at 9:20:27 AM UTC-5, dpb wrote:

Absolutely. This is some well chewed sausage among my fellow woodworkers a nd has been for decades. When I started in the trades full time over 40 ye ars ago I had to learn how to drive nails all day long, from 3d when I was installing paneling and trims to 16d duplex for concrete forms. Now I have guys in their 40s that work for me that think it is "old school" to drill a pilot hole for a nail and drive the nail in a small trim job rather than to get the compressor out, hook it up, get out the air hose, oil the gun, t hen make sure they have the right sized brads. Not to mention carrying com pressor, etc., out the job.
We used to drive screws with "Yankee" drivers, too. Then in the mid 70s wh en we started doing metal framing, we used heavy duty variable speed drills . Now the norm for driving screws into wood has taken another step, and ch eap impact drivers are a must.
Same thing with building a "one off" cabinet. I have "professional" woodwo rkers that I would put their end product up against just about anyone that cannot build a cabinet without a table saw of some sort. They think I have some kind of specialized Jedi training to be able to build cabinets with a circular saw, miter saw, and a router. You should see their faces when I t ell them there was such a thing as a non powered miter saw.
Technology will always move the professional woodworking along. The old fo lks like me will piss and moan about the loss of certain skills and how tal entless the help we have to hire is these days. But OTOH, now a helper can screw off a deck surface, a guy with a few hours of experience can nail off house roof decking (it took me more than six months to be able to drive na ils all day)using a few thousand nails a day. So the payoff is faster, mor e affordable work with a less interested or well trained staff.
Take a look at some of the superb work we have seen here. I have had the p leasure of becoming a friend of Leon's, and his work is even more impressiv e in person than it is in pictures. Yet, how much of that incredible joine ry could he do in a timely manner without the machines to do it? What if h e had to stop and correctly sharpen a rabbet plane three or four times duri ng the build process? What if he was trying to mimic the Domino with throu gh mortises by using a hammer/drill/chisel for every single connector? Wha t about the time, effort and expertise needed to make some of the joinery w e see on a raised panel door, and imagine that being done with a SERIES of planes and devices.
The payoff? As a professional, Leon has invested the time, money and dedic ation to learn to use the best technology to its best use. When I was buil ding cabinets (yes, back in the 70s when I was building kitchens full of ca bs I had a table saw) it took us about twice as long to get the job done as it would Leon, and we did have some component failures that required a "re -do" if the end product wasn't up to snuff. It used to take us (my partner of equal skills) about a month to build kitchen/bath/utility cabinets for a house. Now, someone like Leon can turn out a consistently better product >>by himself<< in about half the time.
Technology brings speed, repeatability, and less chance for failure over re lying on hand/eye skills that take years to develop.
Over the last couple of decades or so, I have noticed that the only ones th at miss the "old ways" are the ones that have never relied on their efforts to pay their mortgages, truck payments, medical bills, etc.
With that in mind, I think there are "old ways" of doing things, not necess arily better just because it was the way your great grandfather did it. Th e definition of tradition itself doesn't apply to woodworking since it is a craft that evolves, rather than staying stuck in the mire caused by lack o f innovation.
Robert
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On Tuesday, July 18, 2017 at 11:10:42 AM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

and has been for decades. When I started in the trades full time over 40 years ago I had to learn how to drive nails all day long, from 3d when I wa s installing paneling and trims to 16d duplex for concrete forms. Now I ha ve guys in their 40s that work for me that think it is "old school" to dril l a pilot hole for a nail and drive the nail in a small trim job rather tha n to get the compressor out, hook it up, get out the air hose, oil the gun, then make sure they have the right sized brads. Not to mention carrying c ompressor, etc., out the job.

when we started doing metal framing, we used heavy duty variable speed dril ls. Now the norm for driving screws into wood has taken another step, and cheap impact drivers are a must.

workers that I would put their end product up against just about anyone tha t cannot build a cabinet without a table saw of some sort. They think I hav e some kind of specialized Jedi training to be able to build cabinets with a circular saw, miter saw, and a router. You should see their faces when I tell them there was such a thing as a non powered miter saw.

folks like me will piss and moan about the loss of certain skills and how t alentless the help we have to hire is these days. But OTOH, now a helper ca n screw off a deck surface, a guy with a few hours of experience can nail o ff house roof decking (it took me more than six months to be able to drive nails all day)using a few thousand nails a day. So the payoff is faster, m ore affordable work with a less interested or well trained staff.

pleasure of becoming a friend of Leon's, and his work is even more impress ive in person than it is in pictures. Yet, how much of that incredible joi nery could he do in a timely manner without the machines to do it? What if he had to stop and correctly sharpen a rabbet plane three or four times du ring the build process? What if he was trying to mimic the Domino with thr ough mortises by using a hammer/drill/chisel for every single connector? W hat about the time, effort and expertise needed to make some of the joinery we see on a raised panel door, and imagine that being done with a SERIES o f planes and devices.

ication to learn to use the best technology to its best use. When I was bu ilding cabinets (yes, back in the 70s when I was building kitchens full of cabs I had a table saw) it took us about twice as long to get the job done as it would Leon, and we did have some component failures that required a " re-do" if the end product wasn't up to snuff. It used to take us (my partn er of equal skills) about a month to build kitchen/bath/utility cabinets fo r a house. Now, someone like Leon can turn out a consistently better produ ct >>by himself<< in about half the time.

relying on hand/eye skills that take years to develop.

that miss the "old ways" are the ones that have never relied on their effor ts to pay their mortgages, truck payments, medical bills, etc.

ssarily better just because it was the way your great grandfather did it. The definition of tradition itself doesn't apply to woodworking since it is a craft that evolves, rather than staying stuck in the mire caused by lack of innovation.

Yep and several similar points, made by others, apply, as well. My previou s mention of craftsman was meant to mean hobbyist (as I), more so than prof essional.
I don't do woodwork to pay bills, but I like doing some things by hand and with old hand/manual tools *when convenient and/or *for a particular projec t. It gives me, personally, a sense of "traditional" work. The definiti on seems to be multifaceted, with one being that it is relative to each, ou rselves, and how we, each, perceive to practice "it". ******************************************************************
Traditional Project? I have an old hand made settee to upholster for a friend. It's of neat co nstruction elements, one being a particular joint feature of the 1820s, the re abouts. It is a feature that IDs an original Bergere chair vs a reprod uction. This feature aids in the upholstering, around this particular par t of the seat/arm. There are old cut nails in its construction, as well. *I don't think the nails are of earlier, hand wrought vintage. The face b oards have simple carved designs.
All the joints were loose or had some disjointing issues. I have it almos t completely disassembled. Some parts/joints are already repaired/reatta ched. I've thought to build one for myself, so I've taken lots of pics, e tc.
If any of you would like to see it, possibly to make one for yourself, I'll post pics. I think it would be fairly easy to reproduce, including the s imple carvings, even for a novice/hobbyist. It's a quaint little seat, sm aller than a typical settee and would make a neat gift for a young girl's r oom or the like. Probably the only things you, as a woodworker, may not b e familiar with is obtaining/installing a set of springs and doing a bit of upholstery, but the simplicity of this seat makes for those issues not to be a major problem for just about anyone, especially with a little coaching .
If you're considering a traditional(?) project, this might be a candidate f or you.
*It's made of walnut (exposed woodwork) and she wants to paint it, before I upholster it. Non-exposed wood is poplar.
Sonny
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