Hand Tools Archive

Re: The Hand Tool Mentality Spread Outside of WW-i

Fly Tying, rod making, bamboo rod making. Make some of the tools for these

Boat building, and design

Archery and all the paraphernalia related to that, most of it I buy, but I have made all of it one time or another. I am working on an anew design for a bowhunting string, it is a string, but somewhat different in most aspects than the ones that are sold. Have two quivers and those weird things that were in the thread on getting JPGs sized, on the drawing board, plus a kid wants a longbow, that will mean arrows, and so forth.

I like to make new knots, and invented a new fly fishing leader knot this spring, which is probably not useful but it was an interesting process, and now I can have a leader that uses the same knot for the loop, tie in, and joints.

Made my own climbing gear back in the 70s

Make some knives and tools, made my gas forge, solid fuel isn't practical for me. Current project is to make a 6" hand plane in the Japanese style, but not forged and all that. I don't have the scale for that.

Currently rebooting the camping gear, with two new tents, and a sleeping bag/quilt.

I have a few minor clothing projects. While struggling to get a particular sewing machine working, I made a bunch of easy projects for my daughter, in the stuffed animal vein.

Working on sails for the trimaran and a sail skiff I half designed.

Working on finishing a flats skiff I have kinda lost momentum on, and have two others in the line-up. They are wood, so related to hand tool woodworking, and that is actually the thing that got me into woodworking back in the 70s. I am working on an epoxy pump.

Did a lot of roofing this year, and figured out a shingle lift that uses climbing gear. Really kinda obvious, but someone has to be first or on their own about it. I enjoy hand nailing, though wide open running involves a gun. I like nail boxes, and have a few designs in mind for cedar shingling, I bought the one I use on the roof. They need better harnesses.

Sewed a slew of windows and screens for the porch.

Shave with a straight razor because it works better and is a lot faster if you have a beard.

Don't do much gardening, but a lot of maintenance, I use power tools since there are 150 acres and three houses in my life, but I also use scythes as they are a lot better for some things. We are prone to certain plants that will tangle up a cutter bar on a tractor, or a weed eater, and are too tall for a hand mower unless it is just a small section, a scythe goes though them and just falls over no tangles. The tractor also is beyond repair in the circumstance I have it in.

There are some things I do that fold into woodwork, but I stated them before the hand tool thing. Leatherwork is basically some of the same tools: planes, shaves, knives, awls, hammers. As well as some machines hand and power that don't work on wood, though I can sew plywood with my big sewing machine.

Metal work came out of hand tools, but for the most part to make tools, not to make them the same way.

The common thread that runs through all this stuff is sharpening. So when I started to do clothing, I bought up some super cool tailors shears patterned after, or possibly from the 19th century. From fly tying I know how to adjust scissors, and from woodworking how to sharpen pretty much anything. After a certain point taking up a new skill is easy because of the woodworking foundation and the other things. But there are also surprises. I made some gear back in the 70s sewing, but when I got back into that heavily in the last 10 years, I had a terrible time mastering the keeping them all going side of the sewing machines. And self teaching welding was also a trial. That is one activity that is very specific to the given task, and the tools you have to do it, and it is super easy if you have someone who will hold your hand, though when you get home what you learned may not apply to the machine you have. So ups and downs.

I got into this because I thought hand tools were better than power for certain things, the reverse also being true. I'm not in therapy; a Luddite; a historical reenactor. I think I like a challenge, though sometimes it ends up overwhelming. But in any case, the other things like hand tool woodworking are connected because they are a challenge, interesting; and because I have needs that the marketplace doesn't meet, so I have to make them. I could use only what is out there, and that probably would have worked out better for me. Too late now.

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