I spent several months researching power tools, comparing, shopping around, seeing them in person, and pricing it all out. But I couldn’t shake the nagging feeling that going down this road was going to be a constant treadmill of buying accessories and aftermarket jigs. Expensive jigs. And lots of accessories.
There was another problem coming about on the horizon: my son was born. That by itself isn’t the problem. However, for the first time ever during a purchase decision, I asked myself, “What is going to happen one day when he wants to learn how to use these?” You see, I had always bought tools for myself. But now I realized I was buying for two people. I started having doubts that buying a table saw was a good idea.
And then somehow I discovered a sub-culture within the woodworking community: the hand tool enthusiasts. Hmmm… it seemed like a good idea on the surface but would I regret it later on? I mean, I am a little impatient. It sure fixes the problem of safety around power tools, and it means I could share any skills or knowledge I have much earlier. And I do like hunting for bargains and garage sales, so it could fit?
So what’s a guy to do?
I started over with the research. It began to make sense.
I bought a rusty, crusty plane. A Wards Master #5 jack. It looked like this.
I then bought a lot of sandpaper and steel wool. I also learned about sharpening and bought a low speed grinder and waterstones 220 to 8000 grit.
That plane now looks like this (and actually cuts).
Hmmm… that didn’t go so bad. I kind of like the feel of doing something on my own. I like not having to wear a respirator, ear muffs, and gloves every time I want to do something. I like being able to get work done when the kiddo is sleeping at night.
So I bought something else. A Disston crosscut saw. It looks like this.
It is amazing.
Uh, ok. I think I just started something here…
Did I just trade buying lots of accessories for buying lots of hand tools? Maybe. But one is a lot cheaper and funner than the other. :)