Learning from the Internet
Woodworking in general.
Hello fine friends and viewers!
Welcome, come on in and sit a spell.
I would like to talk about what works and what doesn’t work for me. As a child I learned from my grandfather and father. Many lessons were passed by word of mouth, example and school of hard knocks. Now we go online and try to find the answer. I believe this is truly a wonderful tool.
With that said, everything must be taken with a grain of sand. I have learned so much from the internet in the last few years. It is a wealth of information. When I have a problem I will go to trusted forums and just do general browsing for the answer. I look at all answers from professionals and hobbyist as well. You will get ten different answers. Some work and some do not. Pick what works for you. Always investigate your subject matter. There are some ideas that don’t work. A lot of people post what they have heard or seen and have not tried or tested it. Know your resources.
Now I would like to talk about tools and my beliefs.
Beautiful and wonderful works still exist today that were made centuries ago. There is a reason. These items were built well and constructed in such a way they have lasted through the centuries. I wonder how many Ikea items will be in a museum in a hundred years.
Lets just look at Japanese Shashimoto woodwork for an example. Part of the meaning of the word is with out metal fasteners. There must be a reason for this. There is wisdom in there style. The joinery is so well laid out and well executed that the same joinery has stood in buildings and temples that are, not centuries but millennium. They have with stood countless typhoons and earthquakes. Taking your time, precision and care of construction is the key. Not production rates.
I do use modern methods of joinery. I find I need jigs, toys and kids furniture that doesn’t need to be around very long.
Now I am fixing to get off in an area that makes for a good argument. Keep in mind this is my opinion.
To me the secret to good woodworking is planning, layout, and good sharp tool. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to have the latest and greatest tools and software. Don’t get me wrong I covet that fancy new chisel and .00001 thousands perfect square. I think we would all like to have a shop full of new widgets and gizmos. Man a shop full of Festool Lee valley and saw stop drooooool…
But in a real world we might not all be able to afford it.
I decided in my return to wood working, to refurbish old tools. There is a lot to be said for the old tools that were produced in a time that the workingman could afford and were well made. Consider he had to earn a living from this. These tools were made of good design and good steel. A lot of the time a blacksmith heated and beat the iron and the craftsman finished the body. In the early times small tools sets were all that was used and required to do lasting a beautiful work. Look at hand planes alone. What did they use before sandpaper. An edge.
Through time I have slowly collected a few nice pieces new and old. If you get quality now it is expensive. You can still find these old tools to fit your needs. They were made by the millions.
But the best tool you have in your toolbox is your knowledge and experience. With these you can build anything. If you took and Indian and placed him in the wilderness he would start with a rock and before much time have food, shelter and clothing. All from the simple beginning of a stone. That speaks volumes for knowledge.
If you look back in time at the masters beginning you will find they started with small toolsets. And look at what they have done.
I do love all tools. Both hand and power. I do believe that the setup and use of hand tools is faster and a bit more precise than power tools. The human touch and eye can get much closer that and fine gauge or ruler. If you are in to mass production or making money the power tools make good sense. You set it up once and produce as many as you have the stock to build. I make one piece at a time for my pleasure. I am not into it for profit. To me that takes the fun out of it. I feel the hand tool gives a work piece warmth you can not reproduce with power tools. A simple procedure can be accomplished much faster with a smaller tools set.
With that said all tools have their place.
What is your toolset?
What are you trying to accomplish?
I like to think I am making heirlooms.
In my humble opinion.
Now in the words of Monty Python “Now for something totally different!”
This is a video blog and here is a bit of what I have been doing over the last few weeks.
I was approached with an antique curio secretary that had a bad accident. The top was broken off of it. All of the pieces were brought to me and I repaired it.
Thank you fine people for stopping in and reading my thoughts.Please be careful. Some of the things I do are dangerous. It is not my fault if you get hurt. Use your brain, be safe.