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A Touch of Philosophy

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Philly

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Pete.
Cheers for the link, it made for interesting reading.
Personally, I find if you have one cut to make hand tools are quicker than machines, (by the time you set them up, make a jig, set up dust extraction, etc.) Although if you have 40 identical cut then its power tool/jig time!
regards,
Philly :D
 
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Anonymous

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Very interesting Pete.

The point that the author makes about training is key, I think and one that concerns me greatly.
How many woodworkers' only 'training' was watching 'Norm' and 'Boyz (sic) from the wood' as there are few courses and fewer apprenticeships around now?

When I was a very young lad of maybe 4 or 5 years, I used to watch my dad make furniture and pass him tools when he was fixing the car (again!!). Later, when about 9-10 years old I used to go out with him during school holidays and 'help' to install doors, windows, gates, fences... as by this point he had decided there was more money in general carpentry than hand made furniture. He bought me a small hammer, a block plane and a very small saw :)

I still remember the smell of the sandwiches toasting on the end of a stick by a small fire in the garden of some run-down house he was renovating :)

Later still I became an apprentice engineer and was taught the correct ways to file, draw-file, saw, mill, turn, drill and use various other bits of industrial machinery.

It seems to me that these days there are few if any apprenticeships out there and a host of electronic gadgets to distract. I guess most kids of 9-16 spend a lot of time playing computer games, on the WWW or pursuing other passive activities rather than helping dad plane a piece of wood or fix the car.

On that rather depressing note I end

Tony
 

Pete W

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Philly - glad you liked it. And Tony: sorry to have plunged you into depression!

Anyway, there's always hope. I'd never touched a plane or chisel in my life until last year at age 47. Although Norm was a big influence, the more I read around the subject, the more I became convinced that handtools were going to be a major interest.

I found a local adult college course - one morning a week, 12 weeks, about 40 hours in total - and we never touched a power tool once. We learned sawing technique, cutting to a line, how to chisel out a half-lap, followed by a big chunky dovetail. We also spent a lot of time on safety, and sharpening.

Of course, that was followed by half an hour here in the virtual presence of Alf, and next thing I'm buying old Stanleys off eBay :).

I agree, the decline of the apprenticeship is a shameful thing, but there are ways for those that care to find them. I can't believe my course is unique for us older types, and my tutor also taught a daytime course for teenagers (mostly trying to stop them putting a back bevel on chisels, by all accounts).

Pete wanders off... mumbling... youth... wasted
 

Alf

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Pete,

Thanks for that link; interesting site. I can do no more than agree with him. It does seem more and more that people come to hand tools after the power stuff, and there's nothing wrong with that. We all seem to end up in the same place in the end. See Bob Key's Fred and Barney example about halfway down this page. Sounds like you were very lucky with that course, btw.

Cheers, Alf
 

Midnight

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See Bob Key's Fred and Barney example about halfway down this page.
Damn it Alf... where were ya with advise like this when I was starting out..?? :lol:

Excellent articles btw.. I couldn't agree more. One aspect that my tiny shop highlights; power tools give capability that ya gotta walk around constantly; hand tools give similar capability that can be stored out of the way alongside other similar tools when not in use.
 
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Anonymous

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Very interesting article Pete.

It rings true with me.

cheers

billzee
 
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