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Reply by lwllms

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Posted on Hand Planes - Why?

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lwllms

545 posts in 1967 days


#1 posted 03-08-2013 03:19 AM

Hand tools are more accurate and often more efficient than power tools. I remember building jigs and going through tedious setups to do simple things I can quickly do with hand tools. It’s a matter of trusting yourself and learning accurate layout. Of course you need to be able to work to layout lines.

I do some of the work I do on metal type machines where I can dial in settings in thousandths. Still, the most accurate work I do is by hand.

While I make planes, I don’t subscribe to the better finish stuff. I hand sand and sanding is one of the most highly skilled tasks I do. It’s too easy to wipe out crispness or even fine features with sloppy sanding. The stuff I produce is hand sanded unless there’s a reason to avoid sanding.

I can easily produce most any molding I design and can design to fit the scale and proportions of a project. You can’t do that with a shaper or router unless you’re willing to pay high dollar for custom ground cutters/bits and wait for delivery. Machines can’t undercut but I can undercut by hand, this is because of the linear travel of the material over a cutter or bit.

I’ve always gotten by with a 6” or 8” jointer. I can quickly and easily flatten wider stock on the rare occasions I need wider stock without laminating. I can also produce a better butt joint on long glue-ups with a hand plane. You don’t get the inevitable scalloped surface with a hand plane that you get from a jointer or even a planer.


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