LumberJocks

All Replies on Power Tools in a Handtool based Shop

  • Advertise with us
View WayneC's profile

Power Tools in a Handtool based Shop

by WayneC
posted 1131 days ago


1 2 next »
90 replies

90 replies so far

View Dan's profile

Dan

3543 posts in 1504 days


#1 posted 1131 days ago

If I could only keep 3 show machines they would be

1. Table Saw
2. Jointer/Planer combo machine
3. Drill Press

I chose the table saw because I cant imagine ripping boards without it. I don’t own a band saw yet and I have been able to get by without one so far on the projects that I have made.

2. I always work with rough sawed lumber and without my jointer/planer combo machine the labor to dimension stock would be intense.

3. When I bought my drill press I figured I would use it every now and then but as it turns out I use it just about every time I am in the shop.

Those would be my main 3. A close contender would also be my Radial Arm Saw. The RAS is extremely versatile and although many people no longer use them I am one of the guys who still has mine set up and use on a regular basis.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View Dan's profile

Dan

3543 posts in 1504 days


#2 posted 1131 days ago

What are your picks Wayne?

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View crank49's profile

crank49

3366 posts in 1595 days


#3 posted 1131 days ago

1. A fully tricked out ShopSmith

2. Thickness Planer

3. Power Mortiser

Custom furniture, custom cabinets, remodeling and turned gift products are the types of work I’m trying to get into. I am just a hobby woodworker with a full time engineering job and I am half owner of a retail jewlry store so time for my hobby is rather limited. The remodeling is my own house and includes removing walls, and the complete replacement of the kitchen, adding a utility room, new hardwood floors, new bathrooms and a basment shop. The gift items will be sold in my jewelry store. And the furniture is what I want to do when I retire from engineering in about 6 or 7 years.

By the way, I don’t have a ShopSmith, but that’s the only way I saw to have a lathe, drill press, table saw, disk sander, and band saw and call it one tool. :-0

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

View Tony's profile

Tony

978 posts in 2654 days


#4 posted 1131 days ago

A very good question – As I only have a limited workshop at the moment, due to moving house, most of my machines are still in Finland. I have made a full staircase only using Bandsaw, jointer, thickness planer, router table and of a course compound mitre saw.

The RAS I have with me was not used at all – the table saw was 2000km away, the rest was with hand tools including jointing some really big (15’ x 15” x 2 1/2”) oak boards).

The project is still not 100% finished, so I have not yet posted it. But it is surprising what you can do with a minimum of machines – you also get to hear yourself think and for me a greater satisfaction in the finished project when using hand tools.

So for me in order of importance:

Band Saw (18”), bigger would be better (larger width for ripping)
Thickness Planer (15”), you can flatten (using a jig) and thickness all boards up to 15” wide and 6” thick
Router Table (only because I do not have the equivalent molding planes), but if i had them, then a festool tracksaw.

-- Tony - All things are possible, just some things are more difficult than others! - SKYPE: Heron2005 (http://www.poydatjatuolit.fi)

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12260 posts in 2721 days


#5 posted 1131 days ago

I have an old Delta 12” bandsaw that really needs to be upgraded. It only has a 1/2 hp motor, 6” of cutting depth and will not take a riser block. I use the damn thing all the time and think I would be hard pressed to live without a bandsaw. I have lathes that I use, those could probably be excluded from the cut list because they are for a different woodworking dicipline. I really like my drill presses (Rigid and an old Rockwell Radial drill press) but probably should cut down to one or the other. I have a Delta Unisaw but have not been doing much work with sheet goods…. I love my router table…. Jointer/Planer are useful, but I have a good selection of quality hand planes…. Also an old dewalt radial arm saw waiting to be restored (probably should just sell it on craigslist to get some space back)

So, If I had to choose….

Bandsaw, Drill press and 3rd tool yet to be determined.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Newage Neanderthal's profile

Newage Neanderthal

190 posts in 1174 days


#6 posted 1131 days ago

I have a tablesaw and jointer that will be sold soon. That will leave me with a bandsaw, planner, and drill press. I don’t really use the drill press for woodworking though, mostly diy stuff. I just like my brace too much.
So for my woodshop my power choices would be:
1.bandsaw
2. planner
3. ummm, AC would be nice.

-- www.newageneanderthal.blogspot.com . @NANeanderthal on twitter

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12260 posts in 2721 days


#7 posted 1131 days ago

I agree on the AC, it gets pretty hot here in the summer…

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Don W's profile

Don W

14821 posts in 1192 days


#8 posted 1131 days ago

I would say first and for most the table saw. It’s the most versatile tool in my shop.
Second would be thickness planer. I do a lot that starts with rough saw lumber. I can’t image my life without one.
third is the band saw (although if it were real I might wind up with the drill press) Either of these can be done by hand, but life is just so much simpler with them.

I could joint with hand planes, i typically finish with them anyhow. Picking three was pretty difficult because my life would be very difficult without a router as well. I know I could learn to do most with some kind of plane, but I’m just not a hand tool purist. I like them, but like power as well.

I really don’t have a “type” of woodworking I do. I build furniture, rustic stuff, tools, jigs, frames, whatever happens along. I have built everything from boxes for baseball cards to condo projects, so I like the mix (no more condo projects for me though).

The interesting thing for me, for as long as I have been doing it, is learning a new or different way to do what I’ve been doing. Maybe I don’t get as good as some, but It keeps me intrigued.

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

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2072 posts in 1264 days


#9 posted 1131 days ago

crank49 is a cheatin’ rascal ;=) lol

1) Router
2) Table Saw
3) Compound Sliding Miter Saw

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12260 posts in 2721 days


#10 posted 1131 days ago

I agree…lol I’ve avoided shopsmiths because the idea of having to convert the machine to perform different tools would seem to be a hassel. I would love to have one as a dedicated drill press to do horizontal boring though.

With me the the Jury is still out on Saws. I really do not have good quality handsaws in operation and I still need to learn fundamental skills including sharpening the saws. I’m hoping to be back fully functional (badly broken leg) by the end this month or perhaps mid August and ordered a set of Gramacy hold downs in anticipation for building a set of saw benches. I should have a better feel for if I could give up my radial saw and my SCMS for hand saws…

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View funchuck's profile

funchuck

119 posts in 1681 days


#11 posted 1131 days ago

drill press
hand held drill (does this count as a shop tool?)
thickness planer

I have learned to live without my tablesaw, bandsaw, and miter saw. This is because I share my workshop with my 2 cars. At the end of the day, both cars must be able to fit inside the garage. That means I have to move all my tools back to storage position. It is easy to do that with handsaws, but a hassle with big tools.

-- Charles from California

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12260 posts in 2721 days


#12 posted 1131 days ago

I would say that hand held drills do not count. (You would have to pry mine from my cold dead fingers).

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1783 days


#13 posted 1131 days ago

1. Table saw – my biggest time saver
2. Router table (with router) – Too many applications, whether profiling, mortising, rabbeting, dadoing, or pattern cutting….I can even edge joint with it.
3. Planer – the ability to use any thickness boards I want simply rocks!

I can actually do without most other tools if I have this combination.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View Gregn's profile

Gregn

1642 posts in 1607 days


#14 posted 1131 days ago

Man that’s a tough one to decide on cause I love my machines. Cutting it down to three is rough. Off hand I could say the three I could give up would be the Table Saw, Jointer and SCMS, but I love my RAS, OSS and router table. Since I could only pick three I would have to go along with the band saw, thickness planer and drill press. As I begin to use hand tools more, this decision may become easier but for now its really a tough call.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View TechRedneck's profile

TechRedneck

738 posts in 1481 days


#15 posted 1131 days ago

Wayne

I have Schwarz’s book as well. Bought it for vacation but am already 20% through it. This forum and the book have me looking more closely at hand tools but boy I do love my power tools. Since I have the drum sander, I use the planers a lot less. The Jet 16-32 puts out a lot of dust so you need a DC system if you don’t want lung problems. (Is it cheating if you include a DC?)

1. Table Saw (I love the SCMS but you can always use miter for crosscuts)
2. Band Saw (re-sawing, curve cutting and straight line sawing rough lumber prior to table saw)
3. Drum Sander (better at smoothing boards, can use 80 grit or lower for rough stuff) handles up to 32” if needed

Guess this would be a good discussion for new woodworkers looking at power tools.

-- Mike.... West Virginia. "Man is a tool using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.". T Carlyle

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12260 posts in 2721 days


#16 posted 1131 days ago

Greg, I agree I need to spend more time with handsaws, drills, etc to get to know them better.

TechRedneck. I wonder it more people started with handtools how it would change their expierence. Would they become better wood workers. I belive there was a point in the book about machines dumbing people down. As people become less knowlegeable about tools and technique, the more tools and stuff they buy. Many times the item they purchase does not work or at least does not work very well.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View jamesicus's profile

jamesicus

132 posts in 1316 days


#17 posted 1131 days ago

All of my woodworking life I have only felt the need for two power tools:

Band saw

Drill press

All other woodworking tools have been hand tools.

James

View Woodwrecker's profile

Woodwrecker

3580 posts in 2200 days


#18 posted 1131 days ago

The three I use the most are
1) Sliding Compound Miter Saw
2) Band Saw
3) Router table

Like some of the other jocks have said, I use all my tools, but these three would be missed the most.

I have also been using hand tools more often as the occasion arises, but power tools still rule my small shop.

Good topic.

-- Having fun...Eric

View Loren's profile

Loren

7387 posts in 2272 days


#19 posted 1131 days ago

Of course a foot-powered walking beam saw can do much of the work
a band saw can.

I’ve cut my share of mortises with just a mortising chisel and mallet –
of course you need to rework the edge of the chisel often, but when
sharp the work proceeds at a fair pace. No match for a mortiser,
but I think you’ll find that cutting and precisely fitting tenons by
hand takes more time than excavating the smallish mortises most
furniture making requires.

I find it hard to believe Tolpin would dump his table saw unless he’s
trying to make a point or has developed some dust allergy. In any
case he’s the founder/owner of a woodworking school with a modern
machine room. He can use good quality machinery any time he likes.

Some types of woodworking can be done entirely by hand and at competitive
speeds with non-cnc machines. Making guitars and violins by hand, for
example, is largely not machine-driven and hand tools are as fast as
machines for most operations with these arts.

Similarly, Windsor chairs and some other traditional styles can be made
entirely with hand tools with some good efficiency – though a foot-powered
lathe can be tedious if it’s your own foot doing the powering.

One thing I will say for sure of doing solid wood cabinetmaking by hand though:
You will lose every ounce of fat and become lean and muscled if shock of the
exertion the work requires doesn’t cripple or kill you first
.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View jamesicus's profile

jamesicus

132 posts in 1316 days


#20 posted 1131 days ago

Loren wrote:

“One thing I will say for sure of doing solid wood cabinetmaking by hand though:
You will lose every ounce of fat and become lean and muscled if shock of the
exertion the work requires doesn’t cripple or kill you first.”

Same for this: Building a Truck body using hand tools

(Actually a lot more work building the cabs)

James

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12260 posts in 2721 days


#21 posted 1130 days ago

Well, I would say that being lean and muscled is a good thing. One of the reasons I work wood is because I spend hours and hours a day on computers and in teleconferences. It is a very dangerous occupation from a long term health perspective. I need all the physical activity I can get.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Don W's profile

Don W

14821 posts in 1192 days


#22 posted 1130 days ago

Ditto on what Wayne said. To add I spend a lot of time traveling so it feels good to grab a tool and make or restore something.

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

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3302 posts in 1279 days


#23 posted 1130 days ago

My picks would have to go

Bandsaw (if you have ever re-sawed by hand for large drawer bottoms you will appreciate this)...by the way…if anyone is selling a band saw, let me know.

Thickness planer, I came to the same conclusion Schwarz did but I will also say that it’s surprising how rarely you actually have to thickness a component for a piece of furniture…one true face and one true edge gets the job done most of the time.

I might keep the drill press too, just because it makes plane making easier, but I think if pressed I could live without it.

As far as hand tool work killing you, yes it’s hard work, but it’s only brutal if you don’t take the right approach to it. Most important rules to keep in mind:

1. You are not going to knock out furniture as fast as a production shop…you don’t have to try either.
2. For the love of god keep your tools sharp and use the right one for the job. Taking a board from rough to flat with a finely set jointer plane will work but it will take all day and dull your edge faster than you need to. Use a jack with a good camber cutting across the grain to get the board close and take a few passes with that finely set jointer to finish flattening. Done and done fast.
3. Use the biggest components you can find. Laminating stock is tedious to do by hand. More importantly, why would you do that when handplanes can surface any size stock?
4. Build differently: don’t build power tool furniture with hand tools. All your surfaces don’t need to be dead flat and square for hand tool work. Don’t try and prep all the components for a project at the same time either, this works at the table saw but is absolute madness at the saw bench. Instead start somewhere logical, like getting the legs of a desk ready and then go back and start working on the strechers, then some joinery, then more stock prep, then joinery (this back and forth eliminates boredome and muscle fatigue)
5. HAVE FUN. Most of us don’t do this for the money, while you should not waste time in your shop (part of the fun for me is that I have seen myself start building things faster) take the time to enjoy what you are doing. Make a Yee-Haw sound when you finish ripping a 2 inch thick piece of hickory with a 4tpi Disston…whatever you have to do, HAVE FUN.

I will climb down from my soap box now.

Wayne, I still need to read Tolphins’ book, but I think Soul of a Tree is going to have to come first.

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

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12260 posts in 2721 days


#24 posted 1129 days ago

I’ve not looked at Soul of a Tree, I will have to check it out.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3302 posts in 1279 days


#25 posted 1129 days ago

And I will admit that I am not going to kick my 18v cordless drill out just yet either. I still have to keep the farm up and running somehow and putting up shelters without it would be a total pain.

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

View Don W's profile

Don W

14821 posts in 1192 days


#26 posted 1129 days ago

I agree RG. This is all fun, but there are times when technology prevails. Sometime I just want to get it done!

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

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12260 posts in 2721 days


#27 posted 1129 days ago

I drilled a bunch of 3/4” holes through some 1 1/2” plywood (3/4 laminated) the other day with my Makita the other day. The drill watered my eyes.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3302 posts in 1279 days


#28 posted 1129 days ago

It’s funny I was doing s shelter today in the north 40, and it’s going up pretty damn fast. Here is the tool kit.

Jackplane and Drawknife (for oopsies on fit)
4 and 1/2 tpi Disston
Sawbench
Hammer
Tape measure
Framing square
Speed square
Hammer
18v cordless drill (the thought of bringing my handcranks for this kind of work did not even CROSS my mind)

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

View Brett's profile

Brett

621 posts in 1307 days


#29 posted 1129 days ago

All you really needs is a little ol’ Swiss Army knife and a whole lotta time.

-- More tools, fewer machines.

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3302 posts in 1279 days


#30 posted 1129 days ago

Leatherman has by and large replaced the swiss army knife.

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

View Don W's profile

Don W

14821 posts in 1192 days


#31 posted 1129 days ago

which makes the swiss army knife “vintage”

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

View saddletramp's profile

saddletramp

994 posts in 1262 days


#32 posted 1129 days ago

At the start of this thread, WayneC wrote: “The question I would pose to you is if you could only 3 shop tools, what would they be, what makes them so valueable to you and what kind of project do you mainly build.”

What I want to know is, just who it is that has the stones to even think that he can take away ANY of MY power tools and LIVE TO TELL THE TALE? BSEG

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

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1739 days


#33 posted 1129 days ago

Don W. does that meen I shuold think of adding some powerdevice to my swissknife ….........

Dennis

View Don W's profile

Don W

14821 posts in 1192 days


#34 posted 1129 days ago

Dennis, that means we should all start bidding on them on ebay, drive the price through the roof, then bitch because we can’t afford them. If your lucky enough to already have a trailer load, you sell them, buy a powered swiss army knife and laugh at the rest of us.

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

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12260 posts in 2721 days


#35 posted 1129 days ago

So all the while your collecting, buying, restoring, and selling vintage swiss army knives are you getting any woodworking done?

Also, I am waiting for Chris’s book on swiss army knives to come out, Rob Cosman’s video and an army of people deomonstrating them at woodworking shows.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2072 posts in 1264 days


#36 posted 1129 days ago

I can’t wait to see the “corkscrew joint”. All you need is a Swiss army knife and some gorilla glue ! ;=)

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12260 posts in 2721 days


#37 posted 1129 days ago

Or the latest sharpening Jigs… lol

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1317 days


#38 posted 1129 days ago

For me, 1) tablesaw, 2) planer and 3) bandsaw. I could probably live without the bandsaw even.

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

View jamesicus's profile

jamesicus

132 posts in 1316 days


#39 posted 1128 days ago

The ultimate solution ? ..........

http://cgi.ebay.com/GMO-antiques-remote-control-wood-plane-signed-/160596698729?pt=Art_Sculpture&hash=item25644f2669

.......... a little pricey, though.

James

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9758 posts in 1242 days


#40 posted 1128 days ago

The power tools I use the most include-

1. Radial Arm Saw
2. Shaper
3. Thickness Planer

If I had a better bandsaw, I’d likely use it more. And I’m thinking the 18v cordless is a gimmee… Good news is, I have all the power tools I could ever want AND have enough room for them based on the way I use them. If I continue down the hand tools path as strong as I’ve started, they’ll each become less relevant over time…

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

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1317 days


#41 posted 1128 days ago

Smitty, I finally tuned up my RAS this weekend. I put a new blade on it and tweaked it dead-on in every direction. I had a cupped 14 foot slab of hickory that I wanted to lop an end off for another wooden vent. I decided it was the RAS’s chance to shine. I drug the board up onto the table, put the clamps and rollers in place, and fired her up. It cut through the 1 1/2 inch hickory like it was invisible, leaving a flawless square cut. I expect to be using my RAS more and more now.

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

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9758 posts in 1242 days


#42 posted 1128 days ago

Al – One caution when it comes to the RAS that I’ll pass along, and it’s from one that has severe heartburn when all of the ‘most dangerous tools in the shop’ sirens come calling: Always ensure the board being cut is secure to the back fence on each side of the blade. I’ve had kickback twice, and both times it was because of this. Never again, let me tell you, because it’s scary. I say again, secure your stuff against the fence on each side of the cut. Especially when the cut-off piece may move after it’s ‘set free.’ Do that, and the saw is golden…

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

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1317 days


#43 posted 1128 days ago

Smit, I’m still very scared of this saw. Mine’s massive, freestanding, loud, and the blade lurches out at me during the cut. I’m thankful that it still scares me. I’ve got two rollerstands for support and I cinch clamp the victim to the table on either side of the blade. I still feel safer using a cross-cut sled but I think in actuality, the RAS may be safer with its limited travel and blade shroud. I’ll continue to use it as a dedicated long-board crosscutter.

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

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1739 days


#44 posted 1128 days ago

James :-) that plane cuold easely be transformed to be moving for real
and take invisble shaves … :-)
he hasn´t thuoght the idea to the end … LOL

Dennis

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1317 days


#45 posted 1128 days ago

^is anyone else offended that he ruined that plane? I’m all for art but that’s a bit rude.

-- 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 1262 days


#46 posted 1128 days ago

Anything to make a dollar I guess, Al, but it’s beyond my ken why anyone would buy such a desecrated monstrosity.

I guess there is just no accounting for the lack of taste.

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

View jamesicus's profile

jamesicus

132 posts in 1316 days


#47 posted 1128 days ago

View Don W's profile

Don W

14821 posts in 1192 days


#48 posted 1128 days ago

Al, I was thinking the same thing.

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

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1739 days


#49 posted 1128 days ago

it cuold have been done with a lot more finess nearly invisible
but with the world today I think he just wanted to make a point with it ….

Dennis

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1739 days


#50 posted 1128 days ago

that has been seen simular on lumberjock James

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

1 2 next »
90 replies


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