Hand Tools Archive

The Hand Tool Mentality Spread Outside of WW-ing?

david weaver
Curiosity for folks - we all got here a different way.
* I got to woodworking with hand tools because I am a poor organizer and found working with power tools to be very unfulfilling. i like to do things, and not organize them or set them up.
* Somewhere along the way, I got this idea in my head that people 125 years ago were not less content than we are, despite a lot of their routines being more involved. This sent me to straight razor shaving, which turns out to be almost no more effort than anything else - especially for someone like me with skin that goes on red alert if there is any harshness (electric shavers and clogging multiblade razors are out).

So last year I was in the dumps a little bit (I understand some folks never have that happen, but for those of us where it does sometimes, you start to think about things that most people don't). I wanted to turn some of the things I have to do into things that i like to do.

So, I set my power mower aside and bought a scotts classic reel mower. Like most things, it benefited from some additional work as the reel and edge and setup were all a bit coarse from the factory.

And then, this year, I bought a long-handled grass hook off of amazon. It's quite enjoyable to use, and last year, I mowed my yard the entire year without going back to the rotary mower (until leaves needed to be mulched). Since I set up the edge on the grass hook (which is like a small scythe for those who haven't seen one), I haven't used the string trimmer, either (and I have a nice one).

Hand tooling and the mentality of being more involved in what you're doing (more present for those of us who have ever gotten in the dumps) has led to:
* straight razor shaving
* mowing my suburban yard without any assist from dinosaurs or electrons
* and it also nudged me into making more of my own food from scratch (pizza, bread, etc).

I'm open to other potential things - anyone got other ideas? At some point in the future, I'd like to make shoes, and perhaps a pocket watch from scratch - but those will have to be after the kids grow up.

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