LumberJocks

Tools tools, I love toys, I mean tools #2: Hand tools because it made me feel safer, and my first sharpening/honing attempt...

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by paxorion posted 08-08-2014 03:29 AM 974 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: You can never have enough clamps, especially parallel clamps Part 2 of Tools tools, I love toys, I mean tools series Part 3: Building hand plane tune-up confidence: lapping, lapping, and more lapping »

I’ll admit that I am more a power tool woodworker than a hybrid (and nowhere close to a hand too user). But the more projects I get under my belt, the more I realize that in order to improve as a wood worker, I’m going to have to get more used to hand tools. In some cases, it is probably safer, and not necessarily slower than power tools.

I recently edge glued quite a few short pine scraps, to make them wide enough for a few kids toy projects. After edge jointing the pieces, I glued a good number of them in rapid succession.

The edge joints, while close to flush, weren’t perfect, as I didn’t spend the time to face joint or plane all boards to a consistent thickness because, well the boards were too short (under 12” each). As I thought about how I could skip plane the boards, none of the approaches I know of felt particularly safe (I considered a sled with a hook, or just putting the boards back to back). Ok so maybe safe isn’t the way to call it, but more the amount of work I’d have to keep up could get annoying. So as a result, I kept procrastinating on these projects.

And that’s where hand tools (planes) come in. Now, I’m no stranger to good hand planes. I’ve been fortunate enough to use a few good restored pre-WWII Stanleys and newer Lie Nielsons, but I have never been able to justify the money, or get out of lazy-mode to want to restore a plane. The only planes I own, are cheap Groz planes, and a HF #33. These tools largely remain un-touched by me because I purchased them as throw-away learning tools for setup before I really invested in tools. I had paid for the Woodcraft sharpening service, which gave me a barely usable plane that I knew needed a lot of TLC. The first hurdle I had to cross is honing/sharpening. As a messy proposition (I have a few waterstones), I didn’t really try to get started…until last night. After about 2 hours of experimenting (making the stone convex from trying to flatten the stupid iron, followed by making it concave from my honing guide), I finally settled on “good enough for my first attempt” and finished up with the micro-bevel. I dropped the boards into my modified B&D Workmate imitation (replacing the included boards with thicker boards + the Kreg bench dogs makes it way more usable), and was pleasantly surprised by the the results (and shavings).

All in all, I’d say for a YouTube/self-taught experiment, the outcome was far more successful than I had expected. Looking forward to doing a full work through of my planes, followed by the procurement of their replacement(s)

-- paxorion



3 comments so far

View NormG's profile

NormG

4259 posts in 1691 days


#1 posted 08-08-2014 04:55 AM

There is always a tool for the job at hand, be it hand and/or power. Sometimes it is easier to use a hand tool to get a job done faster also, but there are some who just prefer to use power. I am for safety myself

-- Norman

View stefang's profile

stefang

13274 posts in 2022 days


#2 posted 08-08-2014 04:07 PM

Personally I feel that we shouldn’t differentiate between power tools and hand tools. They both require skills to use. We should just use whatever we want to at the time. My guess is that we will use hand tools when that is the best way and the same for power tools. Both have advantages and disadvantages so it pays to be open minded and just go with whatever our feelings tell us to do. I love using hand tools when it’s practical. Less noise and dust, but it’s great to have the power tools for boring repetitive and/or physically demanding work.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View paxorion's profile

paxorion

725 posts in 733 days


#3 posted 08-08-2014 05:07 PM


Personally I feel that we shouldn t differentiate between power tools and hand tools. They both require skills to use. We should just use whatever we want to at the time. My guess is that we will use hand tools when that is the best way and the same for power tools. Both have advantages and disadvantages so it pays to be open minded and just go with whatever our feelings tell us to do. I love using hand tools when it s practical. Less noise and dust, but it s great to have the power tools for boring repetitive and/or physically demanding work.

- stefang

I agree. Maybe my title was a bit misleading (cause I ran out of space). Hand tools made me feel safer for the specific task – cleaning up the long-grain glue joints on short (~8-16”) boards, and it got the job done much faster than sanding. I have no intention of giving up power tools. I think this experience has brought me one step closer to being more of a hybrid woodworker.

-- paxorion

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase