Fair Woodworking

March 30, 2014

Hand tool work is slow…

Filed under: Fair Woodworking & Hand Tool Blog,Skill development — fairwoodworking @ 5:35 pm

That’s right. I said it, and in many cases, I believe it.

There are many situations where hand tools are faster, and where they are slower, but in my shop?

Projects take as long as they are going to take.

I don’t own a bandsaw, a thickness planer, a Jointer, drill press, shaper, or any of that stuff. Really, my miter saw and table saw can only be relied on for a very small percent of any project.

No for me, it’s just a lot of hard work that takes a long, long time to finish, but don’t feel sorry for me. I like it. I wish it was faster, and I do find that just getting all my material down to rough dimension, and properly flattened can bog down my shop for ages. And you can only blog about dimensioning wood so many times…

But no really. I do like the process of dimensioning wood. I like the process of taking warped, twisted, or simply rough wood, and commanding it to take the shape that I, and only I so choose. I like the process of mating each piece to the pieces around it. I like the process of demanding excellence from my two hands, and the tools they wield. I like the process of learning new skills, and adapting old skills in new applications.  I like the process of becoming better today than I was yesterday. But you can only blog about dovetails so many times…

I like the process of working with wood.

I like working with familiar tools. I like knowing their quirks, and their strengths. I don’t really like sharpening them, but I do it anyways, and enjoy them all the more when they are sharp. I have a weakness for new and expensive tools, but I also love old ones, and I revel in them when they work just as well as their new compeditors. I hate refurbishing them, but I do it anyways.

I don’t like working with power tools, but I do sometimes. I don’t like ear protection, safety glasses, and dust masks. I like listening to music, or sports on TV while I work. I like not being covered in dust when I’m done, and I don’t like sweeping up, but I’ve learned that shavings can be slippery on a painted concrete floor.

I like sharing my love of woodworking with others, but I realize that most people don’t get it, so I try not to bore them. I’d like to give more of what I make to others, but I realize that most of them don’t get it, so I try not to burden them. At least my mom likes what I make.

Thankfully. I like the process of working with wood.

Because hand tool work is slow…


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