Random Comments #1: What sets you off?

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Docwks posted 02-19-2009 10:08 PM 1252 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Random Comments series no next part

You know it is interesting what sets us off. I am a lover of woodworking tools old, new, power or not; I love them all. I was reading a blog from a famous very tall non-power woodworker about the evils of power tools and how they have created places like IKEA and such for buying furniture. This guy is a really nice guy, he dresses funny, so why should I care what he thinks about power tools? I’m not sure, but it may have to do with feeling guilty about my carbon foot print when I use my Powermatic lathe. Naw… I left a nice but pointed reminder that tools are not evil only the users. Ciao

-- Bill

13 comments so far

View JuniorJoiner's profile


486 posts in 3436 days

#1 posted 02-19-2009 10:32 PM

I also regard adam highly, but disagree with his position on this. sure some forms of the craft are alot rarer now, but new forms have emerged. and things like a bombe form are not totally lost , but are in the realm of master woodworkers just as they were before.
Ikea just happens to be the reason i started making furniture, i wanted an alternative to it made from real wood, and realized i would have to make it myself.

-- Junior -Quality is never an accident-it is the reward for the effort involved.

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3724 days

#2 posted 02-19-2009 10:55 PM

I’m with you juniorjoiner. Granted, making the items myself doesn’t always give me the quality I strive for, but in time it will.

View mtnwild's profile


3474 posts in 3523 days

#3 posted 02-20-2009 01:06 AM

Whatever gets the job done! Hand tools , power tools, no matter, end results baby!

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View TraumaJacques's profile


433 posts in 3496 days

#4 posted 02-20-2009 01:10 AM

He is really tall… but I wonder when was the last time he cooked his food over an open fire pit. We have evolved into a world were both methods can be used. Just my two cents worth.

-- All bleeding will eventually stop.

View jcees's profile


1058 posts in 3795 days

#5 posted 02-20-2009 01:59 AM

I regard this kind of issue as a NON-issue. I am neither a luddite nor a power tool maven. I am a wood-WORKER. Which means to me; by any means at hand. The only advantage to using hand tools is that you actually get to feel the material beneath your tools. With power tools there is noise, dust, chips and flotsam flying everywhere. Therefor, I use power for roughing out the material for my projects and hand tools for fitting and finishing.

When I hear some talking head decry or acclaim one tool over another, I just consider the source and the context with which the opinion is delivered and defer to my own experience.


-- When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -- John Muir

View kiwi1969's profile


608 posts in 3437 days

#6 posted 02-20-2009 03:08 AM

I just read the blog in question and he has a point. Mass production is all about doing it fast, simple and efficient and the furniture he refers to cant,t be done in a modern factory with machines , but it can be done if the labour rates are so cheap that you can have row after row of woodcarvers all churning things out piecework style, like i,ve seen here in asia. Personally I agree with jcees, it really is a non issue, especially for the guy with the home shop and the guy working on his own trying to make a living. You do it the way that is the most efficient and suits you best and no one can deny that power tools have taken the donkey work out of many processes. I do regard mass production as inherently evil and a waste of the worlds resources and I think i am becoming something of a luddite, but where do you draw the line, should I learn to knap flint, should I hunt with a pointed stick instead of going to the supermarket? Feel free to plug in your routers and tablesaws, they,re no longer for me but i,m not about to start storming the factories. At least not yet!

-- if the hand is not working it is not a pure hand

View manilaboy's profile


177 posts in 3931 days

#7 posted 02-20-2009 03:20 AM

Ahhh the old question.

I am with jcees line of thinking. Source and context will give away the reason behind.

I wonder how faithful to “no power tool” this claim to “no-power tool” woodworking is. Does this mean cutting the tree in the forest with an ax. Haul it down the mountain by himself. Not fair to use a horse or cattle because draft animals add power…. I am getting sarcastic of course, :-)

-- "Real jocks do it on a bench"

View closetguy's profile


744 posts in 3888 days

#8 posted 02-20-2009 04:21 AM

I believe you can never have too many electrical outlets. I don’t own a plane or a chisel. If it doesn’t move on it’s own, it has no use in my shop.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

View kolwdwrkr's profile


2821 posts in 3586 days

#9 posted 02-20-2009 05:27 AM

I think the perspective is different between a hobbiest and a professional. As a hobbiest I don’t have enough hand tools. I love taking the time to make a project with as few machines as possible. Hand cutting dovetails, chiseling out a mortise, etc. It’s fun and relaxing work to me and the end result is the pay off for my labor. However I cannot feasibly make a living making furniture or projects in this manner. So out comes the leigh jig, and most recently a grizzly dovetail machine. A mortising machine makes short work of that aspect. In the end I have the exact same piece of furniture, except my leigh jig makes tighter dovetails then I can by hand for a lot of reasons. I can cut a mortise as good as a mortiser can but not as fast. So since the client is not going to pay me well enough to do the work by hand I need to speed the process up to make a buck. So if you don’t want to use power tools in your wood shop that’s your perogative, however I won’t expect you to sprout into a successfull business.

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View pitchnsplinters's profile


262 posts in 3433 days

#10 posted 02-20-2009 05:30 AM

I too live by the closetguy credo.

-- Just 'cause a cat has kittens in the oven, it don't make 'em biscuits.

View Lenny101's profile


22 posts in 3434 days

#11 posted 02-20-2009 06:50 AM

interesting we just completed a large kitchen with hand carved moldings , carved arched crown, turned legs dovetail drawer boxes, plywood boxes, state of the art drawer glides, screw guns , table saws ,routers etc etc…. this question or statement is something that sets me off every time it is discussed i think in modern day carpentry these things should go hand in hand; Hand crafted/hand tooled as anyone out there knows a sharp plane ,well there is nothing better but a sharp saw blade even better i guess what I’m saying is that “if you know how use the tool being used than it should be considered hand made”, how many of us had to learn to use a router,table saw jointer a frickin sander for that matter. Sorry I’m rambling i do think if you are a woodworker regardless of the cord all tools take time to master if you can set a machine up to run a mile of baseboard/crown thats a great if you can install it too now thats a craftsman.. good post kolwdwrkr i agree.

-- cut it twice and its still too short

View closetguy's profile


744 posts in 3888 days

#12 posted 02-20-2009 07:20 PM

I would like to have one of those pedal powered tablesaws like woodmosaic uses. I could stand to lose about 20 pounds.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 3919 days

#13 posted 02-20-2009 08:38 PM

All I know is I cant stop collecting tools. Any type of tools I never work with PVC but saw a tool that removes a broken pipe from a union or elbow, you just put it in the drill and clean out the old broken part and cement the new part in. I bought this thing about 5 years ago an have not used it since.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics