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Forum topic by Chuck posted 01-25-2015 05:51 AM 1026 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Chuck

18 posts in 1994 days


01-25-2015 05:51 AM

In short, the reason things today are lighter or thinner or plastic or otherwise not overbuilt is because they don’t need to be. 50 years ago when folks were buying table saws and drills and other tools they were buying enormous hunks of steel and cast iron that were engineered according to old technology; guys sitting at drafting tables, engineers using slide rules and inferior alloys – obviously they weren’t using alloys that didn’t exist then. Yeah, I know there are still those around that can calculate to a tiny fraction of a decimal pretty much as quickly and accurately or more so than I can with a calculator, but they cannot compete with the computer I’m typing this on. They couldn’t model tools and machines with the same timeliness, technical accuracy and with far less financial investment as is done today. So why would I want a 500 pound tool made 30 or 40 years ago that only weighs 300 pounds as manufactured today because of aluminum and titanium and stronger alloys and ballistic plastics? So, heavy and thick and bulky, you know got a strong, durable tool? How about the crash test pitting a late 50’s auto against what looks like a doomed 2010 model? Testing proved though the late model vehicle was lighter with more plastic and therefore presumably an inferior product the driver of the 50’s model would’ve succumbed to a number of fatal injuries while the driver of the late model vehicle would have walked away with hardly a scratch. It’s a startling but striking credit to modern engineering and manufacturing. Granted, cast iron has it’s purpose in tools. Just don’t try and persuade me a tool has to be a hunk of iron or for that matter engineered and manufactured somewhere in Europe to be a good tool.

-- "And then there was a pile of wood for which I forgot him, and let his little fear, Carry him off the way I might have gone..." -- from The Wood-Pile by Robert Frost


20 replies so far

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DIYaholic

19180 posts in 2143 days


#1 posted 01-25-2015 05:59 AM



Just don t try and persuade me a tool has to be a hunk of iron or for that matter engineered and manufactured somewhere in Europe to be a good tool.

- Chuck Jones

Ok….

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

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Rick

8287 posts in 2501 days


#2 posted 01-25-2015 07:14 AM


Just don t try and persuade me a tool has to be a hunk of iron or for that matter engineered and manufactured somewhere in Europe to be a good tool.

- Chuck Jones

Ok….

- DIYaholic

That’s fine by me also.

-- Hope Everyone Is Doing Well! .... Best Regards: Rick

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Gene Howe

8264 posts in 2896 days


#3 posted 01-25-2015 11:59 AM


Just don t try and persuade me a tool has to be a hunk of iron or for that matter engineered and manufactured somewhere in Europe to be a good tool.

- Chuck Jones

Ok….

- DIYaholic

That s fine by me also.

- Rick

I concur.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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ButchCassidy

25 posts in 727 days


#4 posted 01-25-2015 12:13 PM

To each his own ! Do what you choose.

-- " If you want your PRAYERS to be answered" get off your knees and go to work

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Tony_S

608 posts in 2551 days


#5 posted 01-25-2015 12:18 PM

“They don’t make ‘em like they used to”.

Ok, I said it….what do I win?

-- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

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Picklehead

1019 posts in 1397 days


#6 posted 01-25-2015 01:14 PM


Just don t try and persuade me a tool has to be a hunk of iron or for that matter engineered and manufactured somewhere in Europe to be a good tool.

- Chuck Jones

Ok….

- DIYaholic

That s fine by me also.

- Rick

I concur.

- Gene Howe

Agreed.

-- You've got to be smarter than the tree.

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TravisH

452 posts in 1403 days


#7 posted 01-25-2015 01:20 PM

While I can agree in aspects I have to disagree on others.

Yes superior technology, materials, science, engineering, etc… all exist and could be used to build better equipment but all this gets trumped. You can’t take out consumers demand cheap replaceable objects and companies need continual profits. Take in the added manufacturing competition (world wide) that never really existed in the “like it use to days” and you get another force driving companies to make goods just good enough.

If company EZ Table Saw makes the best table saw ever that will last through your great grandchild how much would they need to sell it for in order to stay a viable company for long haul. Yes other breakthroughs will exist but will it much improve that awesome saw you bought from them prior. So it is 20 lbs lighter, more efficient etc, will it get us to part ways with some cash to get it?

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waho6o9

7180 posts in 2045 days


#8 posted 01-25-2015 02:15 PM

So why would I want a 500 pound tool made 30 or 40 years ago that only weighs 300 pounds as manufactured today because of aluminum and titanium and stronger alloys and ballistic plastics?

Because the classic look will stay that way through out time.

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DIYaholic

19180 posts in 2143 days


#9 posted 01-25-2015 02:22 PM

waho6o9,
That is a really purdy machine!!!
I do like the look of an “old arn” machine.

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

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waho6o9

7180 posts in 2045 days


#10 posted 01-25-2015 02:27 PM

She sure is a beaut Randy and would look great

in the living room as well.

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Buckethead

3140 posts in 1337 days


#11 posted 01-25-2015 02:33 PM

Okay… Thanks waho. Now I gotta start saving up for that saw. Twenty seconds ago, I didn’t know it existed. I blame the OP.

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

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5183 posts in 2662 days


#12 posted 01-25-2015 02:33 PM

Looks like you see things one way, and I see them another…..That’s called difference of opinoins….

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

1965 posts in 1457 days


#13 posted 01-25-2015 02:37 PM

There is a lot going for old iron and the look is great. A lot of them are solid and heavy and dampen out vibrations.

But…....there are things missing. One is the lack of a riving knife. I think this is quite important especially for new woodworking and really for everyone. Another is dust collection which lacks on old machines. And lastly, very few have blade guards. Yes, I know, the majority of people take the blade guards off their saws

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jmartel

6579 posts in 1618 days


#14 posted 01-25-2015 05:37 PM

The problem is that there is relatively few new pieces of equipment that are actually quality. And the ones that are, are typically pricey. You have a lot of crap you have to sort through. But, of that quality equipment that is new, I’d wager to say that it is better than the iron of old.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View Joseph Jossem's profile

Joseph Jossem

492 posts in 1736 days


#15 posted 01-25-2015 06:48 PM

Yeah they don’t make them any where close to how they used to. Quality isn’t there with new stuff even most of the highend tools. I follow most of the Italian and European tools a lot and they are just getting cheaper and less quality over the years.

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