Messages Archive

Re: Power tools are the Devil's work!

Larry Clinton At Frankfort, (Central) Indiana
I remember back in the late 1940's when a local very proficient carpenter / furniture builder worked on my folks house.

He had just acquired an electric hand saw prior to doing the remodel. I had seen him work on other occasions, as we were in a small town and I was interested at my young age of 8 or 9 at the time. He had excellent hand saws, both rip and crosscut and could rip an 8' oak board perfectly within a few thousands.

Once he purchased the power saw I think the hand saws probably got a little rusty as he rarely used them again!

I really try to keep all my tailed tools in as perfect alignment as possible and do as little hand tool work as is necessary.

I am quite certain most people today can not compare with the hand tool skill level of the carpenters of yore as they spent years in apprenticeship and the only tools available were hand tools.

Yeah, I have a fine dovetail saw and can make one by hand if I have to, but if I have several to do I will set up my Leigh jig.

I also have a set of Lie-Nielsen chisels as well as several others used for rough work. I did not get serious about furniture / cabinet work until I was nearing retirement, prior to that I did quite a bit of carpentry but little precision work. I knew then that I didn't have enough time left on earth to learn all the hand tool skills.

I think each of us has to determine what works for us. Some may be perfectly happy using only hand tools and taking weeks to finish a project. Others may work almost entirely using power tools. Most end up using a combo that suits their skill level and the results that satisfy them.

© 1998 - 2017 by Ellis Walentine. All rights reserved.
No parts of this web site may be reproduced in any form or by
any means without the written permission of the publisher.