Traditional Tools

So often we are drawn towards using new tools, often electrical tools which are labour saving (apparently) and quick.  Trouble is that they can also be rather vicious as well. You may find that you have removed far more stock than you intended and it is far easier to remove than to replace.  In the worst case you may need to find another piece of wood and start again.

Have you considered using hand tools still? They are occasionally slower in progress, but so often you end up with more measured progress and a better job. For example, a few years ago I visited an antique sale and managed to purchase a vintage jointer plane for the princely sum of £9. When I got it home, I took it apart, discovered that the irons were well preserved and set about sharpening, honing and stropping the cutting iron and setting the cap iron accurately.  Having done that I glued some 120 grit sandpaper to a sheet of plate glass and carefully re-faced the sole of the plane.  It took time but I now have an accurately flat sole.

Then it was re-assemble the plane and set it accurately with a Japanese Genno hammer and I was soon taking shavings across the width of the sole of the plane that I could read print through. Yes it was worth it,  the plane works well and does a better job than my electric one, better than the planer thicknesser and better than the Stanley jointer I have had for years.

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