Hand Tools

Subject:
Not unreasonable...
Response To:
Re: formula... ()

David Weaver
..it's not at all unreasonable to look for conversions and to be able to make changes to items. I majored in an area of applied mathematics and started the hobby looking at specs and wanting to be able to parameterize things, but realized over time that observation of historical items is a lot easier.

Many of the things that I was concerned about strength or spec-wise never came to be, and I"ve realized through experience (not reading) that a lot of what brings success is trying a few different things that you can observe historically (by this, I mean there's a point where stanley planes were pretty much all that you find of quality, and before that by 100 years, you generally see wooden jack and try planes).

The first hunch is that stanley planes are better because they must've been an improvement (and that's the case for smoothing, but not generally for jack and mid-process work - stanley planes are far more tiring and less productive than wood planes). The missing link is the explanation of why the preference for stanley as time went on, and I think it's probably as simple as industrial thicknessing of wood becoming common. Same effect as you'll see on handsaws - handsaws were extremely high quality until a steep decline after the 1930s..

.....when the circular saw became popular. The circular saw would've been economically superior on a job site and the market for good handsaws had the bottom drop out of it.

(and apparently, stanley planes were less trouble for site work because you could neglect them and they wouldn't change shape or dry out, etc).

At any rate, just making sure it doesn't seem like I thought the question was unreasonable - it's just a leap to go from wanting to check and confirm that something old wasn't just "in the weeds" or in need of improvement to realizing that anything that couldn't compete economically was eliminated. If something was common in proportion and seen undamaged now, it was probably pretty good.

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