Going Galoot #1: First machinery-free shop day

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Blog entry by JayT posted 01-12-2014 02:40 AM 1806 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Going Galoot series Part 2: One finished, next project up »

Shop’s Log: January 11, 2014

Today was a good day in the shop. Spent most of the day on two projects and didn’t turn on one piece of machinery. The only things that plug into the wall that were switched on were the lights, heater and radio.

Time for a new project. Wife would like a place to hang coats inside the back door of the house, and I made a decision to attempt to do this with all hand tools. Chose a piece of barnwood, broke it down into rough lengths and started by cutting & chopping some dovetails using the Moxon benchtop bench.

The plane hammer sent by Hammerthumb as part of the plane swap does great double duty as a chisel hammer.
Added a little work with the #78 to have clean glue surfaces.

By the time that project was in glue and clamps, here is what the bench looked like.

Hand tools galore, but never was there a feeling I was being limited in creativity or execution. Much the opposite, using hand tools gave an immense feeling of satisfaction with the job.
Well, since that project went rather quick, maybe we can get some work done on the plane till that was started before the arctic cold. Need to do a 3/4in dado, so skip the router and go right to the #45. So pleasant to be able to listen to the radio while working.

Random thought: How did I ever get by without a decent workbench and holdfasts? I find myself using them on a wide variety of projects and tasks. These are Gramercy’s from Tools for Working Wood and are a real bargain, considering the quality you get for the price. Two holdfasts and the planing stops held the large panel perfectly stable.

After finishing the dado, I needed to put a long taper on the top of the same panel. Hmm, marking gauge to scratch off the dimensions and go to town with the 604-1/2.

Ended up with quite a pile of shavings, though it was dwarfed by the size of the smile on my face.

The day wasn’t completely power tool free, as I used the cordless circular saw to make a couple long cuts on the panel, but this is the first time I can remember spending that many hours in the shop and never turning on the table saw or drill press. . . . . . . . . . . it won’t be the last.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

11 comments so far

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

2850 posts in 1499 days

#1 posted 01-12-2014 03:14 AM

Nice write up, JayT! I can see how you’d have a big “I’m satisfied” smile on your face!

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View theoldfart's profile


7346 posts in 1699 days

#2 posted 01-12-2014 03:18 AM

Jay, nice bench shot w/toys er tools. And I know the smile Dude! Carry on.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View shipwright's profile (online now)


6726 posts in 2046 days

#3 posted 01-12-2014 03:22 AM

I feel your lack of pain. Isn’t it amazing how many hand tools you get to use instead of a couple of table saw cuts?
I love it. Pretty shavings too. :-)

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglas boats he would have given us fibrerglas trees.

View BigRedKnothead's profile


7717 posts in 1230 days

#4 posted 01-12-2014 04:17 AM

I’ve had a couple “smoothing” days like that of late. I used to despise that stage of a project (ROS). Now, I don’t mind it a bit. Good stuff brother.

-- "At the end of the day, try and make it beautiful....because the world is full of ugly." Konrad Sauer

View Mauricio's profile


7103 posts in 2399 days

#5 posted 01-12-2014 06:53 AM

And you got some exercise! Its a beautiful thing.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View stefang's profile


15294 posts in 2582 days

#6 posted 01-12-2014 11:30 AM

It’s good to see that folks are discovering the joy of working with hand tools Jay. Some think it is a snob thing, but it’s actually about enjoying the work rather than just the results. The power tools are still wonderful to get through the heavy stuff though. They say the #45 plane is difficult to use, but you seem to have tamed it very well. I wish I had one.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View mafe's profile


10835 posts in 2337 days

#7 posted 01-12-2014 02:16 PM

Looks like a wonderful day.
A day of shaves and the smell of fresh wood.
Blended with the sound of a sharp blade cutting it.
This is not just wood working, to me it’s life quality.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View JeremyPringle's profile


321 posts in 1722 days

#8 posted 01-12-2014 10:02 PM

Galoots hurrah!!

View JayT's profile


4288 posts in 1459 days

#9 posted 01-12-2014 10:47 PM

Nice to “talk” to folks that understand. :-)

it’s actually about enjoying the work rather than just the results

That sums it up very well, Mike. Some people get their enjoyment out of the final product, but I use shop time as much to relax as to produce so the process is more important for me. That has been a change from years ago, but has led to much more satisfaction out of the chosen hobby.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

View theoldfart's profile


7346 posts in 1699 days

#10 posted 01-12-2014 11:10 PM

Jay and Mike, your right on the mark. Getting there is as much an accomplishment, for me any ways, as the final product.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View TerryDowning's profile


1049 posts in 1365 days

#11 posted 01-13-2014 04:51 PM

Nice work Jay. I may not be able to put out as much product as a machine guy but I’m not into wood working for that.

Listen to music, enjoy the feel of the wood and the progress you make.

Cleaning up shavings is much easier than dealing with all of the airborne dust as well.

-- - Terry

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