Sunday, July 11, 2010

Changing Directions

Over the last couple of years my approach to woodworking has changed a bit. Like many, I grew up on power tools. As a member of I recently posted a forum topic about a injury I sustained using my table saw. The post does has some pics of my injury, so be warned. Some folks dont like blood. One thing that happened to me over this incident was the beginning of interest in hand tools. I had no idea of how truly remarkable a hand tool could be used to elevate ones work so. It took about one month to get over the injury, mentally atleast. The hand surgeon told me to wait 6 months for healing! If woodworking was a hobby, I can see waiting that long, but how was I too feed my kids like that? So I knuckled up, and started working. Recently I made the decision to rid myself of some power tools for several reasons. One I dont enjoy them at all. Im not against them, or a hand tool purist, but for me hand tools have provided a unequaled amount of satisfaction in my work. The tools are beautiful, a joy to use, and yes expensive! I would encourage any woodworker to look closely at hand tools, just to see how very accurate they can be. There is so much information to be found on how to set up, properly care for, and use hand tools. Some great books Ive picked up are, "Choosing and using Hand Tools" written by Andy Rae. I've recently ordered Tom Fidgen's "Made by Hand". All of James Krenov's books are of course a must for your library. Finally anything written by Christopher Schwarz is also a must have. My final comment for now would be to consider hand tools for how clean they are. The dust made by hand saws isnt anything like that from the table saw. Your ears will thank you, but your power company won't!

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