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Thread: Hand vs Machine

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Hand vs Machine

    I follow a few woodworking bloggers, and decided that Joel Moskowitz's latest post was worth sharing. He gives a very interesting insight to the different approaches between handwork and machine work.

    Joel's Blog at Tools for Working Wood

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Thanks Bill, that was really relevant. Thought provoking. Boy i now need to wipe up all the drool on my desk. After seeing both those guy work it made my mouth just hang open and drool. I like both the machining and the hand work.

    Hey did you see the old tool chest in one of the pictures. Thats one thats on my list but I want to make it without machines as much as possible. Sort of to see if any of those genes my grandfather had have come down the line.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Delton, Michigan
    well bill, i can relate to both sides some.. on the crest rail i could have had a molder machine do it in one pass, but i did not have one, and i enjoyed making it the old way much more. every shaving felt a little bit better as i got closer to the final shape. and the final piece will always have alittle bit of me in it...but there were still other parts that the new way was much nicer.
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    new york city burbs
    I believe it all comes down to a matter of self satisfaction.
    If you want to use your hands to do every possible aspect of woodworking, one will use their hands and forget about power tools.
    I feel anyone that believes they are building furniture the way their ancestors did, 300 years ago, well, Id have to disagree with them for various reasons.
    First and most important, is that most handworkers, use tools that were forged and manufactured in the best possible places all over the planet.
    Hundred dollar japanese trim saws, chisels forged out of the finest steel ever milled at any time.
    Technology has advanced hand tools to a different level.
    Now if a handworker was forging his own blades, and carving his own wooden handles for his tools, then using those tools, Id say , yep, hes following his ancestors.

    I have bought a smoother plane from Mr. Moskowitz, and in the hands of someone like me, with zero skill, zero experience, a fine tool makes simple work out of a difficult task, even makes it a fun experience.
    Ive planed edges smooth and taken edges down to where I needed to go by hand, and it was a good feeling of self satisfaction.
    But Im using the top hand tool(s) money can buy.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix
    On a recent restoration I had a table top that was in sad shape. Normaly I'll take the table apart and send it out to have it flatbed sanded. This proved to be problimatic due to the way the table was made so I just took my jack plane out and 4 hour later I had a pefectly smooth and flat table. I'm reminded what Sam Maloof said when he was using a rasp to shape a table leg in his workshop. "there is no right or wrong tools just what ever your most confortable using and gets the job done."
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

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