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Power tools over hand tools

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Forum topic by Jason Lester posted 01-16-2017 05:33 PM 430 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jason Lester

27 posts in 374 days


01-16-2017 05:33 PM

So I think most of us use a combination of both hand tools and power tools. I’m just starting into doing more and more with power as I have done most of my stuff with very basic hand tools. Most of my work was on making bows so draw knives and scrapers mainly.

I’m going to be outfitting my garage as a shop as soon as it gets warm enough for me to do some clean up with the door open (read throw a bunch of junk out) Anyway that gives me time to pick up a few tools and research many others.

So what have I learned… well there is a ton of info out there. Everyone has preferences obviously. I like hand tools especially old useful tools. However, I have been researching newer hand tools. I have come to the realization that power tools are much cheaper….HAHA Dang the good stuff is pricey.

Of course the good power stuff is pricey too….. Ah it is only money right….

-- Jason


8 replies so far

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

6001 posts in 2036 days


#1 posted 01-16-2017 05:55 PM

Of course the good power stuff is pricey too…..

Doesn’t have to be.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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Jason Lester

27 posts in 374 days


#2 posted 01-16-2017 06:13 PM

Doesn t have to be.

Cheers,
Brad

- MrUnix

True not all of it….but my wish list gets kinda pricey haha

-- Jason

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mikeber

22 posts in 697 days


#3 posted 01-16-2017 06:46 PM

In TODAY’s world, power tools are cheaper and versatile. A router or table saw perform thousands of jobs, quicker. As most are made inAsia, their prices are low. For $100 you buy a router. For $500 a table saw.
Hand tools are expensive. Not just those from places like Lie Nielsen.
That being said, once, without power tools, people built wonderful furniture. How could they? The answer is simple: they designed a tool for every job. At the woodworking show I attended, there was a stand with hand tools: hundreds of planes, each designed for a specific job. Same with handsaws or chisels. A good shop had all these diverse tools and that’s how they accomplished Great things without power tools.

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2714 posts in 1318 days


#4 posted 01-16-2017 06:53 PM

No quality tool is cheap unless you find those deals Mr Unix seems to be able to ;-) ;-)

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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Jason Lester

27 posts in 374 days


#5 posted 01-16-2017 07:47 PM

I’m thinking I need to talk to my wife and tell her since power tools are so expensive (her thoughts) I’m just gonna buy hand tools…LOL

Looking at some of the new and old quality tools I have seen I am amazed by the craft in just building a quality tool. It takes real craftsmen (I don’t want to say engineers as I know to many who can’t tighten a bolt in real life) to make a quality tool that is as useful as some of these woodworking tools I marvel at.

-- Jason

View Rick_M's profile

Rick_M

10628 posts in 2217 days


#6 posted 01-16-2017 07:50 PM

Power tools tend to be generalized so you need fewer of them. Hand tools tend to be specialized and you need a lot of them. I think it’s break even. You can save money on both buying used. Cheaply made tools will make Woodworking less fun. You’ll spend more time fiddling, fettling, and fixing than doing your hobby.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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greg757

8 posts in 1099 days


#7 posted 01-16-2017 08:36 PM

IT really comes down to what you want to do in your shop. There are always options when it comes to tools. Each tool has its advantages. Power tools can do a lot of repetitive tasks quickly (think break down a sheet of plywood) so if that’s the kind of work you want to do then a table saw would be in order. let’s say you are more interested in turning. Besides the obvious lathe, a band say could be a nice addition.
For me I do cabinets and furniture so my main work horse is the table saw with supporting tasks handled by my shaper and thickness planner. I have other power tools as minor supporting tools too. I also have hand tools that fill in when I need a little finesse as well.
As far as purchasing tools, most of my tools are second hand. I was fortunate to work in an area that had lots of tools on the market. Craig’s list has been a staple for a lot of my wood working buddy’s too. I would stick with the major brands (Delta or Powermatic) if you can so if you ever need replacement parts(for an older machine) you can find them. You would be surprised at how many web pages or user groups there are for old tools and rehabbing them.
Don’t get me wrong, hand tools are great too, it really comes down to how much you want to put into the project at hand. I have friends that use only hand tools, they say it’s more liberating to feels the wood peeling away as their project unfolds before their eyes.
Are there any continuing education options in your area. A lot of times you can take classes at the local high school. One of the nice parts of that is it’s like an open shop night where you can get some experience’s with some high quality tools from the class fee investment. It’s an easy way to get hands on with some supervision if you need it, plus you will be around like minded people too. Another option is demo days at wood working tool store like Woodcraft stores. All of these options give you some hands on experience without having to buy the tool first.

-- if you're not making mistakes you're not tring hard enough

View Jason Lester's profile

Jason Lester

27 posts in 374 days


#8 posted 01-16-2017 08:59 PM


Are there any continuing education options in your area. A lot of times you can take classes at the local high school. One of the nice parts of that is it s like an open shop night where you can get some experience s with some high quality tools from the class fee investment. It s an easy way to get hands on with some supervision if you need it, plus you will be around like minded people too. Another option is demo days at wood working tool store like Woodcraft stores. All of these options give you some hands on experience without having to buy the tool first.

- greg757

We have a a fairly local place called the Manufactory I think. It is kinda a pay as you go workshop of sorts with classes. I will probably do some there sometime.
I did take shop at my school while in High school but that was many years ago and they have gotten rid of their shop. Much to my disappointment. We had some great quality older equipment at the time…

My time behind a draw knife started well before building a bow. Dad and I built the log home he and my mom live in now. At the time I didn’t want to peal bark off a bunch of logs but dang if that doesn’t strengthen a teenager.

Now an Osage Orange stave is a bit different animal than a big pine tree. You have to be much more careful and that wood can be some hateful stuff. All and all I loved making bows. But life happened and I got out of it. I still have a bunch of staves and plenty of ideas and will probably get back to it. But I also would like to build some more furniture. And learn as I go. I now have a table saw, a jointer, a scroll saw, a router table, and some hand tools. All I bought used or at least not new from the store (router table had never been turned on)
All and all a good start to a shop. I have dreams of being able to cut perfect dovetails by hand. And all sorts of other joinery. But I know me. I will want to learn as I go. A few power tools lets me explore a lot more and learn a lot more. Like everyone said you can do a lot with a few power tools. That is what I meant in my original post. good hand tools are relatively expensive. And you need several tools for all the different things you do. Add them all up and power tools seem a bargain…

Ah my wife doesn’t know what she agreed to when she said I can convert the garage to a wood shop…hahaha

What is the saying…. My biggest fear is if I die my wife will sell my tools for what I told her I paid for them.

-- Jason

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