Ponderings #17: Staying the Course?

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Blog entry by Tomcat1066 posted 02-18-2008 02:39 PM 1007 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 16: The Certain Feeling Part 17 of Ponderings series Part 18: Being to Hasty »

I’m tired. Only two days of working on my bench, and I’m tired. Physically, right now, I’m well rested. There’s a little stiffness in my hand that will get worked out as soon as I get out there and start working, but I’m tired. The thing is, I now have a newfound appreciation for tools like bandsaws and table saws. A bandsaw would have made some of the cuts I needed a lot better than the jig saw. A table saw would finish up those tenons I have on tap today like they were nothing.

I’ve known I wanted a band saw to be added to the arsenal for a while now. Not just any bandsaw, but a big beefy monster that can resaw anything I throw at it. However, the table saw is starting to throw me a bit. I had looked at an inexpensive Jet a while back, and the RIGID contractor saw looked really nice as well. But necessity had me looking at hand tools. Now, I’m having to rethink that.

You see, I found that I made some pretty uneven cuts with the circular saw. Sure, I could have built a fence, but the bench was a “project on a whim” sort of thing. I didn’t want to have to build a ton of jigs just to get to the point I could actually build something. A table saw with a good fence is ready to go for these types of projects. Even a band saw could have done some of what I wanted.

Here’s the plan though. A band saw, first and foremost after I have a place to put it (hoping to have a real shop in the next few months…maybe. After I have that and use it, I can reevaluate whether I need the table saw or not.

On the good side, after shaping the legs, I wasn’t asking myself if I needed a router…I just figured I needed a better spokeshave :D

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

5 comments so far

View Eric's profile


875 posts in 3811 days

#1 posted 02-18-2008 02:42 PM

I hear ya. But I’m going to have to make do with my ryoba and a hopefully nice straight line. Don’t leave me out here alone! :^)

-- Eric at

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3850 days

#2 posted 02-18-2008 03:11 PM

Hi TC,

AT LAST. I am glad you are beginning to see the benefits of power tools.

But I will be honest they tend to make us “lazy”. Sure they make our woodworking lives much easier but I, for instance, have neglected my hand work because I am a power tool guy and have developed a dependence on power tools. The power tools can come later when you have a place for them. Besides it will give you a whole new set of skills to develop. You are making progress and developing a set of skills that, like riding a bicycle, you will never lose. After all this type of work has been done for centuries without the benefit of anything other than hand skills. You are developing a time-honored traditional set of woodworking skills that will ultimately make you a better woodworker.

Keep on making sawdust.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Recycler's profile


40 posts in 3792 days

#3 posted 02-18-2008 04:32 PM

I think you have an excellent plan—if only because it’s so similar to my own. ;) A big [owerful bandsaw makes a lovely apprentice to do all the tedious ripping and resawing.

View gizmodyne's profile


1780 posts in 4118 days

#4 posted 02-18-2008 04:49 PM

There is a also a learning curve. You will get better and your hand will get used to the work it is doing.

You should go ahead and make that circ.saw guide. It will make your life much easier if that is the plan.

Tool upgrades are a slippery slope.

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4127 days

#5 posted 02-18-2008 06:12 PM

I believe that you have to master the power tools just the same as hand tools. Power tools will ruin a project faster than a hand tool.

A power tool does not make a good woodworker.

How a person performs woodworking is as much a part of their expression as the work they produce. I personally lean towards power tools.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

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