LumberJocks

Presenting: The Galoot Index (GI)!

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Blog entry by Smitty_Cabinetshop posted 11-28-2011 07:28 AM 2224 reads 7 times favorited 92 comments Add to Favorites Watch

SPECS
Timeframe: Nov 2011
Wood Used: None. This is a concept.
Galoot Index (GI): That’s the point of this post, namely, identifying a consistent set of indicators that reflect degree of handtool use in a project on LJs.
Cost: $0

NARRATIVE
I’ve done a number of project postings on LJs and included a fictional, totally subjective numeric index meant to reflect my use of handtools vs. stationary routers, tablesaw jigs, etc. With the posting of my Six Board Chest (27 Nov 2011) came a few requests for an actual Official Galoot Index Manifesto. FOR ENTERTAINMENT ONLY. :-)

PREFACE / EXCEPTIONS
None of the concepts that follow pretend to be totally unique in nature. It is worth noting, however, that a Google Search of “Galoot Index” found no specific use of the phrase as of 27 Nov 2011 except for Smitty_Cabinetshop’s application of phrase within Lumberjocks. That said, the Index is hereby delivered for free and open use by all buddies on Lumberjocks with the hope that it openly encourages widespread hand tool use on wood projects.

INDEX
Projects typically include the following core activities that can completed with either tailed apprentices or hand tools :

1. Rough dimensioning of material, to include sawing (rip and cross cuts), thicknessing, jointing and edging
2. Panels / Subassemblies
3. Joinery
4. Final Surfacing(smoothing)
5. Mouldings and Accents

A simple Galoot Index, then, would assign a two point value to each of these core activities (CAs). Points would be credited if the CA was completed using hand tools. Subjectivity remains, of course. For example, if rough dimensioning included the cross-cutting of a half dozen boards BUT those two of the four boards were ripped via table saw, the value could logically be greater than one but less than two.

Further exploring this basic approach, if CA1 was done entirely by machine and each of the remaining CAs were done entirely by hand, an 8 on the 10 point scale would be possible. If the identical project was worked entirely with hand tools EXCEPT for the addition of store-bought mouldings, an 8 of 10 GI is reasonable.

PRECURSORS
Assigning weights to each of the individual CAs above might be tempting. After all, prepping large panels by hand, from rough to finish, is exhausting and can’t really be equal in value to 4’ of handmade mouldings, for example. Well, a simple index overall carries the day for this author, warts and all. With that being said, however, let’s discuss critical requirements for GI applicability; the Galootness Litmus Test, if you will:

a) For purposes of the GI, hand tools are made of cast iron, wood (rosewood, hornbeam, apple, ash, cherry, etc.), brass, bronze and steel. Not plastic, aluminum or poly-anything. If you’re using a cast aluminum ‘tool’ and think it’s galoot, think again. Yes, that rules out the new SW Stanley planes because of their level caps, and Narex chisels because of their composite handles. And probably some other decent tools. Oh well. Galoots are stubborn by nature.
b) For a project to include a GI, hand planes must be used somewhere. Anywhere. No hand planes, no index. That’s the way it goes. Remember that hand planes can be used in each of the five CAs, so this shouldn’t be a huge hurdle. C’mon, get a plane and use it!
c) Use of a table saw, jointer or other non-hand tools can be offset on the index if the project uses tools of particular note. Like using a carpenter’s hatchet, drawknives or scrub plane. Galoots like to see obscure hand tools in use, with old and obscure being bonus point material. But quality new is good too, especially with tools that deliver unique capability.
d) Extensive use of a router on a GI project is suspect, especially if it involves a dovetail jig. It’s not an outright disqualifier, but the GI project better deliver some other kind of make-up galootness. It’s a Galoot Index, after all…
e) For joinery, varied methods are not only tolerated but encouraged. Backsaws, mortising chisels, shoulder planes, etc. are all welcome.
f) Moulding planes are cool. This includes Hollows and Rounds, chamfer planes (ie: Stanley #72) and beading tools. Use them and you get bonus points that cover the use of power tools in other areas. That is, as long as there are process pics. Oh, and extensive (documented) use of a #55 puts the project in rarified air…

USE OF THE GALOOT INDEX
There is no review board, so complete your project and include a line towards the front end of the writeup in bold letters (Galoot Index) should you be so moved, that reflects the project’s GI using the concepts presented here. It will likely attract curiosity, and ultimately (hopefully) encourage interest in hand tools. Don’t like the index? Ignore it or create an index of your own. But above all, keep working wood and enjoy!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive



92 comments so far

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

5302 posts in 1253 days


#1 posted 11-28-2011 08:27 AM

Hopefully it catches on ; )

View exelectrician's profile

exelectrician

1562 posts in 1081 days


#2 posted 11-28-2011 10:12 AM

Okay – now where did I store my riving wedges.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View Dave's profile

Dave

11168 posts in 1494 days


#3 posted 11-28-2011 02:58 PM

I am ready. Got one I am working on now.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are." http://chiselandforge.com

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1347 days


#4 posted 11-28-2011 03:02 PM

Hooray! I’m calculating mine right now.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View saddletramp's profile

saddletramp

994 posts in 1293 days


#5 posted 11-28-2011 03:31 PM

You are all NUTS!! Not saying that’s a bad thing. After all, I’ve always been crazy but it’s kept me from going insane!

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

View saddletramp's profile

saddletramp

994 posts in 1293 days


#6 posted 11-28-2011 03:34 PM

BTW, I just canned a bunch of venison. Where does that rate on your galoot scale?

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3302 posts in 1309 days


#7 posted 11-28-2011 03:41 PM

Holy crap. Ask and receive apparently.

A and C are my favorites. Thanks for getting my Monday to a much better start.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9912 posts in 1273 days


#8 posted 11-28-2011 04:34 PM

Ex – Riving wedges?? You ‘da Man!

Canning venison is a very good Galoot activity, and qualifies IF you put the product on a handmade shelf. This is a woodworking site after all… mostly… ;-)

Go, Al! Let’s see some Butchers in action!

RG, I’ve added drawknives in C above…

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View lysdexic's profile

lysdexic

4823 posts in 1277 days


#9 posted 11-28-2011 04:40 PM

The galoot index reads like the instructions for my Liegh Dovetail Jig. Just kidding!

-- It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe. - Muhammad Ali

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9912 posts in 1273 days


#10 posted 11-28-2011 04:44 PM

Hah!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View Don W's profile

Don W

15029 posts in 1222 days


#11 posted 11-28-2011 04:52 PM

canned venison, 10 on the galoot scale.

You are all NUTS!! Like we didn’t already know that.

What’s your “overall” galoot scale. I put mine about 5. I still like my power tools. I NEED to upgrade my planer!!!!

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9912 posts in 1273 days


#12 posted 11-28-2011 04:55 PM

Overall? I’d have to say my stuff leans more towards hand tools vs. power tools. CAs 2, 3 and 4 are almost exclusively done by hand at this point, which leaves 1 and 5. So, a 6?

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

5302 posts in 1253 days


#13 posted 11-28-2011 05:51 PM

Smitty, will there be some sort of curve or score asjustments for power tool people? Right about now a 3 for me would be my equal to a 10 pt homerun for a seasoned galoot.

View Jon Spelbring's profile

Jon Spelbring

199 posts in 2908 days


#14 posted 11-28-2011 06:20 PM

I like it! I’d add a zero item though – along with exelectrician’s riving wedges: Felling/riving – that is, starting the project with a log or tree.

-- To do is to be

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9912 posts in 1273 days


#15 posted 11-28-2011 06:31 PM

Jon – I agree that working with green wood from the start of a project is huge, right out of the blocks. Hard to not score stuff like that less than an 8, no matter what tools end up in the final mix… That kind of galootish work takes the GI to new heights.

Shane – Everyone is on different paths. The GI is, at best, a searchable phrase within LJs to use when we just want to see hand tools in use. Sometimes the best projects for time and space allowed are power tool projects. Sometimes we just may want to explore the craft at a different level. Hence the GI. It’s all about the journey. I, for one, would love to see you write up a project post and rate it a GI-3 because we’d all get to see why you decided that through the pics of tools in the writeup. I may try do a project sometime without using handplanes, just for the heck of it. :-)

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

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