Hand Tools

Subject:
David Pye's thoughts

Bill Houghton, Sebastopol, CA
David Pye (1914-1993), an English professor of design, argued that irregularities were inevitable when doing work guided by hand*, and that these irregularities were what made work attractive and human. He was writing in the late 60s, and was NOT a fan of extravagantly and deliberately irregular work - I believe his phrase was "lumpy pots and hairy shirts." In effect, he was arguing for doing work as well as possible while realizing that irregularities would be present.

I think adopting the practices of folks back when hand tools were how work got done is likely to be the best approach. Instead of cutting everything to a measure then putting it together, cutting everything to fit the next part over, for instance.

Myself, I like to see work with subtle signs that a hand, not a machine, made the piece, rather than something that screams, "Hand tool work!"
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*You may be familiar with his distinction between "workmanship of risk," work guided by the craftsman's hand and skill; and "workmanship of certainty," work guided by jigs and fences that allow for no deviations.

Messages In This Thread

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