Working on a clock today, I was happily sanding away making the side of the base perfectly smooth and 90 to the top surface when a thought popped into my mind. I thought to myself, how on earth did I do this before my amazing oscillating spindle sander came into my life, and then it hit me! How many other tools have I bought over the years and completely taken for granted without a thought to the ease and time savings it’s brought to my life? Before, I would have used numerous shop made blocks with sand paper spray adhesived on and countless hours sanding back and forth till I got an even and smooth surface. I imagined what my arms and back might think of my spindle sander and if they gave off a giant sigh of relief in seeing the box from Ridgid arrive UPS. I then thought about other tools I have and what benefits they’ve brought me like speed, accuracy, convenience. I work in a tiny (I really do mean tiny) shop off the dining room of my house and with so many tools, I am forced to sideline some I won’t be using in order to access those I will be on a certain project. My table saw for instance, is disassembled and pushed to the corner with my spindle sander taking up residence on the table top. The other day, I needed to make a cut on a piece of wood, so I grabbed one of my trusty cross cut saws and proceeded to saw the board by hand. ten minutes later, I had the piece I needed, and although the edge was not all that important on it, I couldn’t help but notice how ugly the cut edge was and how beautiful it could have been had I used my table saw to cut it. With my next purchase already set for somewhere on the horizon, I can’t help but think how that drum sander will change the way I work wood, and will I take it too for granted, or will I appreciate every smooth surface with the thought of what it would have taken to accomplish with out it? I then have to wonder, at what point do we no longer become woodworkers and then become machinists of sort? I’d be interested in hearing others who have thought as I have here.
Now back to my clock and sanding the hundreds of teeth I have yet to find a machine for. ;o)
-- Are you going to use that piece of scrap?