OK, I know that this topic will probably ruffle some feathers, however I truly think that this question is one that WE ALL need to ask ourselves.
In topic after topic I see folks bragging/gloating and full of pride regarding some acquisition or ownership of an Old/Antique power tool or hand tool in their shop. The implication (often semi-verbalized) is often, IMO, that the mere ownership and/or use of said tool in one’s shop makes one a “better” woodworker.
That said, I am NOT talking about “collectors” and “restorers”, as that those are valid hobbies in and of themselves. I am talking about ”users”.
SO, just why is it that you own and use, for example(s):
- Antique bandsaws with exposed blades and wheels?
- Antique tablesaws with exposed belts and no easy ability to add a splitter/riving knife?
- Antique hand planes with the original “Iron” when modern metallurgy advances make such a choice a poor choice?
- Antique power tools for the sole sake that they were “Made In America”, even when better quality can be had, even though it comes from overseas?
- AND DO THESE OLD/ANTIQUE TOOLS MAKE YOU A BETTER WOODWORKER? If so, HOW?
My personal admissions:
- I inherited two old antique hand planes and sharpened one original blade (22” Auburn Jack) that was not replaceable, replaced the iron on another with a modern steel version (and a modern scraper insert).
- I purchased two antique hand planes off of eBay to restore, stripping and Japanning as part of the restoration process.
- I purchased modern versions of a #4 smoother, a low-angle block plane, and a shoulder plane ALL for USE.
- By and large the 22” wooden Jack sits unused, even though it cuts very well. My modern #4 smoother sits unused, not from poor performance but because of an overlap with my #418. I use the others when the need arises but NOT to replace a modern tool. The smaller block and shoulder planes get used regularly for obvious reasons.
- Oh yeah, I also have modern TS, BS, Jointer, Lunchbox Planer, and DP
-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."