While I was just reading a review of a book here I started thinking about the nostalgia and admiration so many of us have for how wood was working in the ”old days.” I’ve seen a lot of comparison and puffed chests amongst the hand tool, power tool, and hybrid tool camps (to which I fall under since I like to use both).
It seems to me that the best practice (can’t get away from IT terminology) is to use whatever type of tool does the job best. Sometimes it’s a bandsaw and sometimes it’s a coping saw.
Do we actually believe that over the 1,000’s of years humans have been shaping wood, we’d always have nostalgia for doing it the old way? A century ago would a woodworker shun say a power lathe for a pole lathe, or prefer a handsaw over a table saw for repetitive cuts or ripping? I doubt it. Now are there times when I’d prefer using a cabinet scraper over sandpaper? Yes of course. Again though it would depend on the application.
Personally I’ve fallen into this too which is what brought me to thinking about it. My newfound passion is turning and while I’d really like to use a treadle or pole lathe, I’d not be trading my Delta variable speed for one any time soon. I still have a preference to carving with chisels and mallet vs power carving. Something about it just seems cheating to me although the outcome is the same, a beautiful piece of work! I doubt any of the carvers in history who worked months on an intricate armoire would pass up the chance to do the same job in weeks with a power carver.
Well, if you’ve read this far I really appreciate it and if not then fair seas to you. It was just something that came to mind and I wanted to get out. It’s probably been argued countless times and seems repetitive to many but to a newer woodworker who’s also pretty interested in thought processes and how people work, it seemed a good topic to explore in a non-combative manner.
Until the next random musing….
-- Chris ~~Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past."