I have been amazed at all the heat that Christopher Schwarz gets on the web. One of the major complaints seems to be that he has an opinion. Yes he does, but almost always, he says feel free to do it another way if it works for you. I am a hand tool woodworker and Chris, in his own way has picked up the hand tool banner and run with it. He s not a purist, as is Underhill and a few others, but he really enjoys the hand tools, and like Paul Sellers, is preaching the gospel that you really do not have to use power tools to make beautiful things. Is this what people find offensive?
And speaking of Paul Sellers, a well known blogger teed off on him today, accusing him of being anti power tool. That is totally false. He uses them, and says he does. What Paul is trying to do is to let folks know that the have very real options. You really can make beautiful furniture using only hand tools. If you are very careful, you can take $250 bucks and get all the tools that you have to have to make a beautiful piece of furniture for your home. Another 65 gets you a bench. Now… There is some work involved to build the bench, and get the tools usable, but anything valuable requires some effort. The blogger then points out that Mr. sellers teaches techniques that a lot of folks don’t agree with. Now there is a real crime.
Paul also allows that some tool shaped objects are not worth bringing home and will actually discourage the aspiring craftsperson. He also is dismayed that the majority of the woodworking press, because of advertising revenue, strongly implies that you must use power tools to work wood. C’mon people, compare the ads and the articles. Not as bad as the personal finance mags, but close.
Paul Sellers is a fantastic teacher. I am taking his on line class as a refresher after a ten year hiatus from woodworking. I have tried five or six honing methods. They all work. Yes, all of them. For me, his is by far the fastest way to put a razor edge on a tool and get back to work.. His teaching of using the knife wall for all crosscuts has seriously improved the accuracy of my work.
I don’t get it
-- Ron in Kokomo