Hand Tools Archive

Subject:
What makes the "handtool" look?

Kees
As the caption sais, it interests me to know how to enhance the design of a piece so it is obviously made with hand tools. What makes it look like it didn't roll out of a machine shop?

For example, in blacksmiths work it is pretty obvious. A forged piece looks quite different from a milled piece or a piece welded up from standard metal ware. For example, it is difficult on the anvil to create truelly parallel surfaces, but making them tapered is easy. So you often find tapers everywhere. (To be sure I can't really see if it was made under a triphammer or under the hammer). On a mill each taper asks for special rigging and lots of milling time so stuff tends to be more parallel.

But how do you recognise hand tools in woodwork? Let me give two examples.

My dining room table. Made with handtools only. Lots of work. I like it, but to be honest it does show a machinists mind. You could make this on machines and it would look completely the same. Only the life edge asks for some spokeshaves probably. This life edge BTW started my interest in more freehand shaping.

Here is a small cabinet I made. Mostly handtools, I did use the planer from time to time. This kind of work reminds much more of handtools. Of course the carving is obviously handtool work. The dovetails were far from regular, but they are mostly out of sight. The drawers inside are very primitive. The door panel is pretty roughly beveled on the inside.

Is it just the antique look of the cabinet versus the modern look of the table that makes most of the difference. One associates antique with handtools and modern with machines? Or is there a lot more?

I am looking forward to a discussion.

Messages In This Thread

What makes the "handtool" look?
David Pye's thoughts
ICBM gyros
Confusion
Re: Confusion
Pye
Re: David Pye's thoughts - Just not true though
Visual vs. measurement
Re: David Pye's thoughts
Further thoughts
Re: Further thoughts
What doesn't result in a hand tool look *PIC*
Re: What doesn't result in a hand tool look
Re: What doesn't result in a hand tool look
Sorry, didn't read your post very well
You said it well *NM*
Affectation Vs. Artifact
Re: Affectation Vs. Artifact
Virtue?
Re: Virtue?
Re: Virtue?
Re: Virtue?
Re: Virtue?
Re: Virtue?
Re: What doesn't result in a hand tool look
Thanks gentleman
Where was "why bother"?
Caring WRT Handwork
Re: Caring WRT Handwork
Re: Caring WRT Handwork
Re: What makes the "handtool" look?
Re: What makes the "handtool" look? Mistakes?
Easy... the eye of the beholder
You guys are way too negative
Perhaps...
Re: Perhaps...
Re: What makes the "handtool" look?
Re: What makes the "handtool" look?
Re: What makes the "handtool" look?
Amish
Saw handles
Re: Saw handles
Easy question
A Riff on Derek's ideas
Thanks Todd. *NM*
Re: we do it for ourselves
Re: we do it for ourselves - Nietzsche nailed it
Wrong question
Re: Wrong question
Re: Wrong question
Re: What makes the "handtool" look?
Re: What makes the "handtool" look?
Re: Tempted
Re: Tempted
Re: What makes the "handtool" look?
Re: What makes the "handtool" look?
comment
Re: comment
Re: comment *PIC*
Re: comment (touchy feely alert)
ditto for turning
Re: comment
Re: comment
Re: comment
Re: comment on comment *PIC*
Re: comment on comment *PIC*
Not what I see *PIC*
Re: comment
I'm back to what is the objective
Re: I'm back to what is the objective
Re: I'm back to what is the objective
Re: I'm wondering ...
Re: I'm back to what is the objective
Re: I'm back to what is the objective
Re: comment
Re: comment
Re: comment
printing..
Re: comment
Disagree
This is a line of thought often
Where is Adam Cherubini ?
Re: Where is Adam Cherubini ?
Re: Where is Adam Cherubini ?
Adam's goal, as expressed to me
Chamfers on rails and styles
Edit: incomplete thought.
What is the objective
Re: I don't really know
If you can't design then copy
Re: If you can't design then copy
Re: That is a line...
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