Hand Tools Archive

Are we at the peak?

david weaver
Extracted from Tom's comment below that he's heard a few folks say things are on the decline (or will be soon?).

For each of us (who come to this with a pocket full of money and a desire for a hobby that sticks for a while and leaves something in its wake other than just spent money), there's a flurry of buying that happens early, we tune in to what can be bought or learned, and then we find something we like to do and tune out a little.

It seemed to me that when I got into this hobby about 10 years ago, everything hand tools was on the upswing. LN was getting bigger and having trouble keeping up with orders, LV was introducing stuff in the core of woodworking tools at a high rate of speed.

Larry has stopped taking orders for bench planes (and bill williams, who i understand was making a lot of the bench planes moved on), and there are a couple of other people making them now (but I don't know about the volume), but I don't see the kind of fanatical buy buy buy attitude that was prevalent a couple of years ago.

Is it decline, or is it personal (certainly, my purchasing of the core stuff has declined and tended toward the bizarre).

My only regret about my timing of this hobby is that the day of the local lumber supplier is over. That's probably something that never existed in a lot of places, but where I grew up (gettysburg), there were folks cutting and selling hardwoods. it was common back then if you wanted a shed, you went to the hardwood dealer and got materials to make a shed. My dad built a shed in 1980, we moved away from that house, but it is still standing and clear and in use in the back yard of that house. Probably the cost was similar to what it would cost to buy an OSB shed without a quality floor.

That leaves a void here in regularly available good hardwoods. Coupled with my favorite supplier retiring, it makes it seem like the stock that's left is either a little harder to get to (there are a couple of other affordable one-man operations around here), or lower quality (the stuff that comes through the local lumber supplier at market price is pretty uninspiring).

But the hobby itself, any thoughts?

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