Please ! show less use of machines beyond the means of most woodworking hobbyists.

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Forum topic by Shahidan posted 04-20-2014 11:03 PM 1301 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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28 posts in 1757 days

04-20-2014 11:03 PM

I am just doing woodwork as a hobby. I like using machines to carry out woodworking projects published in magazines and on the web.The problem is I don’t have all those machines.

Most of the designs were good but the designers seem to think that everyone has all sorts of expensive machines like table saws, band saws, planers, jointers and lathes in their workshops. As a hobbyist you will have to do a lot of thinking to circumvent the use of machines they do not have. Why can’t the authors of projects suggest alternative ways to the unfortunate hobbyists.


10 replies so far

View Picklehead's profile


1053 posts in 2166 days

#1 posted 04-21-2014 03:56 AM

Probably because the advertisers that bankroll their business are manufacturers of those machines and all the accessories you need to use them. Stand by for the galloping galoots!

-- Quote from ebay tool listing: " Has nicks and dings wear and tear dust and dirt rust and pitting but in good working condition"

View Buckethead's profile


3194 posts in 2105 days

#2 posted 04-21-2014 04:25 AM

I’m learning that quality hand tools are nearly as expensive as machines.

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

View Paul Maurer's profile

Paul Maurer

162 posts in 1791 days

#3 posted 04-21-2014 05:10 AM

Why do I have the urge to chime in? A chisel and patience can accomplish a lot. Perhaps check out Steve Ramsey of Wood working (for) Mere Mortals on utube, not just his minimal tools required projects or suggestion of craigslist tool purchasing, but how he came to own a Porter Cable table saw and how far creativity and a positive attitude can take you.

View Hybridwoodworker's profile


28 posts in 2369 days

#4 posted 04-21-2014 12:16 PM

Pickle head is correct, magazines are for selling stuff. Buy some books instead. You like birdhouses, buy a birdhouse book. You like building blanket chests, buy a book on blanket chests. They will not try and sell you tools, they will just give you plans and general instructions. As another poster suggested, watch YouTube videos, there are several channels that do projects with simpler tools and have the plans on their websites. There are also a group of woodworkers that build their own tools. You may find a way to get a power tool that could fit into your budget that way. Lots of options out there. As well as all the hand tool videos, sites and tutorials.


-- Life is hard, it is harder if you are stupid.

View poopiekat's profile


4405 posts in 3971 days

#5 posted 04-21-2014 12:36 PM

A thoughtful approach to a trending dilemma!

Imagine the day when people present their projects gloating that their widget was “untouched by human hands”...ewwww!

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View Picklehead's profile


1053 posts in 2166 days

#6 posted 04-21-2014 02:01 PM

Poops, brilliant. I’m off to the pond to retrieve my next project. How could I miss the top three with a piece titled Beaverwood?

-- Quote from ebay tool listing: " Has nicks and dings wear and tear dust and dirt rust and pitting but in good working condition"

View waho6o9's profile


8539 posts in 2813 days

#7 posted 04-21-2014 02:42 PM

Can’t miss a top three honor with a Beaverwood 2×4


View DrDirt's profile


4526 posts in 3979 days

#8 posted 04-21-2014 06:10 PM

I think a lot of the issue is just timing of the skill set of the author.

By that I mean that the people that have moved from honing their skills, and building up their shops, that are now “accomplished” and putting out plans and getting published – are going to show you how they did it. With the tools in their shops that they have accumulated over the past 15-20 years or more.

The reason there are few magazine articles on how to make fine furniture with a file and a hacksaw, is because the authors are not beginners.

I do second the recomendation for Woodowrking for Mere Mortals. Steve has a lot of projects that focus on “normal” tools, that are affordable to many.
Here a benchtop tablesaw will sell new, for less than 1 week pay at minimum wage. Used-you can find benchtop saws here for less than 100 US dollars.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View derosa's profile


1590 posts in 3072 days

#9 posted 04-22-2014 04:13 AM

I think a part of it is that there are just tools you need unless you get really creative and craigslist can help you over the hump. I watched a lot of videos of guys churning out bracelets and rings on YouTube before figuring g out how to do it on the drill press, thanks to craigslist I got a 60 year old rebuilt lathe and can do them way easier and faster. Some tools are also just worth getting even if used, although you could build cabinets with a skill saw it is just better to spend 300 on a used higher end contractors saw and several hours getting it perfectly adjusted.
All they’re doing is showing you the easiest way, any other way you have to figure out for yourself.

-- A posse ad esse

View oldnovice's profile


7380 posts in 3604 days

#10 posted 04-22-2014 04:51 AM

I don’t know about all of the other jocks but I started with hand tools only. For many years the the only power tools I had were a corded, single speed B&D 1/4” hand drill (cost $12.00 back in 1962) and a Craftsman saber saw. I made many projects with just these tools that did take quite a lot longer to make than I could do them today.

It wasn’t until I was in my late 30’s that I bought my first stationary power tool, a Craftsman 10” table saw only because it was on sale and I could afford it.

The tools I have now were purchased over 45+ years of collecting them as I needed and could afford them. And, based on my small stable of power tools I have only a few compared to other hobby woodworkers and obviously the professionals on this site.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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