I know this is going to sound like a complete “Duh!” moment, but I personally find it so interesting how there are so many different ways to get a job done for certain people. I guess the interesting part for me is how I find people use the tools they have. For example, for someone, an oscillating spindle sander might be their most used tool, but if I had one, it might get used once in a decade. Depending on the type of work you do, how often you do it, etc can dictate your shop setup, the tools you use, etc. The other fascinating thing is how many ways there are to do the same job. One guy will cut his tenons by hand, on a table saw, or band saw or perhaps even chop them with a chisel. All doing the same thing, requiring different tools and set ups. I know this might seem obvious to everyone else, but it’s just something that intrigues me in regards to the craft.
I know personally, I find myself more and more seeing how much I can do with less. When I first started, being the tool nut that I am, I started collecting power tools, hand tools, gizmos, gadgets, etc. If it was related to woodworking, I probably bought it and owned it. Now I’m sure there’s a major tool cleanout coming on the classifieds (stay posted, it’ll happen soon.) because now the stuff just takes up space and not worth having sitting on the shelf or in a cabinet not getting used. I also am finding myself slowly converting to all hand tools for my work. Every project, I do more and more by hand including dimensioning my stock even though I have a great Delta DJ-20 jointer with spiral cutter head, a nice contractors table saw, a lunchbox planer. But I’m just finding it almost superfluous most of the time. I keep them around for now for those “quick, need in a hurry” jobs, but I personally hate having to hook up the dust collector, put on my eye protection and hearing protection to spend 30-40 minutes dimensioning all my stock feeling completely disconnected from the work and the wood and totally worried more about the safety of using these tools, than actually enjoying working in my shop. I’m sure there will be a day that I may join the complete neander crowd. I haven’t committed 100% yet, but I have a feeling it’s coming. But I digress, I still find it fascinating how some people can’t live without certain tools. Are there any tools that you couldn’t live without??
-- Greg, Owner, Quality Carpet One, www.qualitycarpetonecrofton.com