I have been on this website for about a year and a half now and posted many projects and forum topics, but I’ve yet to write a single blog post. So here it goes. :-)
Over the past year or so I’ve been incorporating more and more hand tools into my arsenal. Lumberjocks is likely at fault, at least in part! I’m by no means a purist or one that despises power tools, but I’ve found a certain enjoyment from the traditional methods. My own renaissance seems to coincide with a broader trend in woodworking that is returning to the technology of yesteryear. Let’s admit it, there’s a certain fulfillment one gets from surfacing a board with their hand planes. Granted, I still use my Dewalt planer if I have a lot of stock to plane, but it’s certainly much louder and less fun (though quicker and less of a workout). I have yet to drink all of the Chris Schwarz Koolaid—I still see my table saw as central to my workshop and the router table isn’t going anywhere—but when I daydream about tools, I’m thinking of Lie-Nielsen, not Powermatic. When I think about which tools will be passed down to future generations, it’s the Stanley planes or chisels, and not the Delta oscillating spindle sander. ;-)
For me, restoring and using old tools is very fulfilling and almost as much fun as building things out of wood. I know a number of people on this site would agree with me—just see the “Handplanes of your Dreams” thread that’s 5500 posts long. I’ve titled this post “The Slippery Slope” since this phrase is oft used with respect to purchasing/using hand tools. Once you get a nice shaving out of your newly cleaned-up Bailey plane or cut your first dovetail by hand, you’ve set yourself on a new trajectory from which it is difficult to stray. I figure this will be a good place for posts about my experiences with some of the hand tools I’ve cleaned up and have been using, starting with my Keen Kutter plane.
-- "hold fast to that which is good"