A Beginner's Thoughts #2: Leaning back...

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Blog entry by MikeInPenetanguishene posted 09-25-2010 04:59 AM 1136 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Moving to the Dark Side... Part 2 of A Beginner's Thoughts series no next part

it’s been a while since I’ve been here but a lot has happened. After all my thought process and decisions to go ‘power’, I’m now leaning back towards just hand tools. I got the 15” planer I was looking into and have used it a few times, along with the 6” Jointer and TS. Man those things create a lot of wood chips and dust! Which is one of the reasons I’m leaning back. I don’t have a dust collection system and don’t really want one either. They’re darn noisy too, and with the shop in my basement, my wife thinks the TV volume should be used to drown out the power tools! I moved to the country for quiet!

Anyway, I purchased a LV Bevel-Up Low-Angle Jack Plane a while ago and absolutely love using it. It’s quiet, tactile and hearing the ‘swoosh’ as it crisply shaves of beautiful curls of shavings is what drew me to woodworking in the first place. I’m currently building a small side table for the patio and have been using only hand-tools. It’s challenging, which I also like, and very satisfying when a joint actually fits together! Yah it’s taking me longer, but I’m not in a hurry anymore. I’m not building for a client and high volume production isn’t a factor either.

So my next step is to purchase some hand-saws to replace my table-saw. I’ve been reading plenty and starting to untangle the confusion of saw terms, tpi, ppi, rake, etc. Since I have a Lee Valley an hour away, I’ve pretty much decided on a Wenzloff Large Tenon Saw (rip) as my first purchase, followed shortly, I hope, by the Small Tenon Saw (crosscut).

There’s so many good saws to choose from, but the close proximity of the store and reports I’ve read on the Wenzloffs seem to make it a good choice.

After that, it’s practice practice practice!

-- Mike Guilbault, Penetanguishene, Ontario

3 comments so far

View twokidsnosleep's profile


1106 posts in 3002 days

#1 posted 09-25-2010 06:29 AM

Mike, I totally agree with your posting. At my beginner stage, I make boxes and small stuff so it is easy to practice hand tool skills; it is great practice at joint accuracy. Loving my sharpened LV #4 smoother and L-N block plane..nothing like the sound, feel and smooth result of a well made, sharp and balanced plane. I have a small garage and am re-thinking my dream of a fully equipped workshop for similar dusty and noisy reasons you mention.

Jorge, the Jointmaker is really cool, thanks for the link. I watched the little video of that baby in action…. very sweet cuts. I too suck at power tools, they just let me make faster mistakes. My skills are weak with hand tools so I think getting a grip on them first is the way to go for me. Started studying sharpening also, so finding better results with sharp planes and chisels.

Cheers, Scott

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 2916 days

#2 posted 09-25-2010 09:17 AM

You guys missed the most important point about using habd tools. POWER FAILURES. With hand tools, when the electricity goes out you just light an oil lamp and keep working. With power tools, you have to close the shop and go watch TV. ;)

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View MikeInPenetanguishene's profile


57 posts in 3088 days

#3 posted 10-01-2010 05:16 AM

Jorge… I can really relate to your last post and I don’t even have a dado set for my TS!

I’ll have to take a look at that ‘gizmo’ again. Not exactly sure what it does yet but sounds intriguing.

I have to say too… I suck at power tools as well, but that’s not my main reasoning. I’m sure with some practice and jigs I can do quite well. But with some practice with the hand tools, I think I can be a better woodworking, and understand and appreciate the the work much more as well.

Like it’s been said before, “it’s the journey not the destination that’s important”.

-- Mike Guilbault, Penetanguishene, Ontario

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