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The two types of woodworking?

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johnelliott

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Seems to me that woodworking, especially at the hobby end, divides into two main types. The first type would be typified by everything being done in hardwood, with dovetails and other traditonal joints, much use of handtools including planes. Seems to me that this type of woodworking produces excellent, often quite small, pieces, and great personal satisfaction for the WW. Perhaps we could call this Type A?
The second type (Type B?) is where the emphasis is on the use of sheet materials, power tools and modern joints such as biscuits and pocket screws. Likely products include larger pieces, especially storage furniture. This kind of woodworking is far more likely to be done by those seeking to make a profit from their WW activities. (eg me :) )
Bound to be a number of us that fall into both categories (not me though, I don't even own a plane, although I do have 3 1/4" routers and 5 1/2" routers)
I'd be interested to hear the other forum users' comments on this. I'm not seeking to make any particular point here, just making an observation
John
 

Philly

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Hey John,
Yes, if you need to make a profit time is of the essence. Sheet materials, biscuit joints and other industrial helpers are part of the time saving things pro's need. There are a small amount of pro woodworkers who make a living from the "A" type of WW, but you really do need great customers who will pay through the nose for that type of labour intensive work. They are out there though.
Personally, I make furniture as a hobby. Friends say to me "why don't you do it for a living?". (most of them are not joking when they say it :lol: ) I would love to but don't honestly think I could keep the roof over my families head making the items I make now. Kudos to those that can though!
best regards
Philly :D
 

Adam

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johnelliott":ono7qqk2 said:
Seems to me that woodworking, especially at the hobby end, divides into two main types. The first type would be typified by everything being done in hardwood, with dovetails and other traditonal joints, much use of handtools including planes. Seems to me that this type of woodworking produces excellent, often quite small, pieces, and great personal satisfaction for the WW. Perhaps we could call this Type A?
As my skills have improved, I'm moved to working almost solely in hardwood, making ever greater use of handplanes, nearly everything is "traditionally" jointed, and I do find it very satisfying. WHen producing things in "hobby" mode, I would consider myself type A.

johnelliott":ono7qqk2 said:
The second type (Type B?) is where the emphasis is on the use of sheet materials, power tools and modern joints such as biscuits and pocket screws. Likely products include larger pieces, especially storage furniture. This kind of woodworking is far more likely to be done by those seeking to make a profit from their WW activities. (eg me :) )
Bound to be a number of us that fall into both categories (not me though, I don't even own a plane, although I do have 3 1/4" routers and 5 1/2" routers)
I'd be interested to hear the other forum users' comments on this. I'm not seeking to make any particular point here, just making an observation
John
When SWMBO has been getting agitated at me failing to get around to a project for ages, I often revert to "Type B" buying ready to go materials, and "just getting the job finished" - less satisfying, but just as functional and to most other people looking just as good. I recently made some shelves from some of this "pine board" with a big chucky 3x2 biscuit jointed on the front to make it lok thicker - I'd have preferred to use thick hardwood, but the price, and the fact I'd rather not spend loads of money on a place I won't be in for ever, and for speed means this was the much preferred option. This type of project was done entirely without hand tools, just a biscuit jointer, router for some profile to make it look nicer and a quick sand between coats.

I'd say your observations were true, but based on the types of projects I do, I can switch between both types.

Adam
 

Alf

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asleitch":1s5vpulm said:
All sorts of stuff snipped for bevity
Wot he said. Although increasingly I find I'm unable to make anything without using at least one plane on it. :roll:

Cheers, Alf
 

CYC

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Put me down for Type B john.

I'd love to make a living from it but as philly said I am not sure I could sustain the same living standard!
 
A

Anonymous

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Seems a reasonable generalisation to me john although I had a transition from B to A through Pine furniture using powertools and handtools, the twilight zone? :lol:

Don't forget the turners too (C)
 

Waka

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John

Have to admit I fall into type A, and that includes big things like cabinets, book cases and the one and only kitchen (so far).

Until recently I have been favouring power tools and have slowly been turning to hand tools for the final finish (still a lot of practice required).

I admire anyone who can do this for a living and would really like to try myself, but as Philly says, not sure I could it would sustain my way of living, also I.m too close to retirement to change directions now. Having said that if I gave it a trial I still think I would stick with type A and before anyone mentions it, I know I wouldn't make much, if any money.

Waka
 
A

Anonymous

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hmm, well, I'd say I'm primarily a type A, but I have no problem with using softwoods, including banana pine from the borgs. Generally, I'll use hand planes, chisels and hand saws where ever possible, but I also recognize the benefit of the router, the band saw and the RAS (don't own a table saw). I would class myself as someone who started in type B, and very quickly moved to type A, but kept the good things from type B
 
A

Anonymous

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I would stick to room A and unfortunately agree with those who wouldn't survive if they should switch professional WWs.

However... I do not think I would LIKE to transform my hobby into a profession: what would I do in my free time: the CLERK :twisted: !!!!!!

Cheers
Alberto
 

ike

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Probably more B than A with the occasional drop of O negative.
 

Charley

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Although it’s only a hobby, I come under both A & B.

A) When making bits for myself or family when I take time in the design stage and when making them. I find my self using hardwood 9 times out of 10 now and I love to use traditional joints when ever I can but I'm afraid to say that they are produced with jigs/power tools and only the odd occasion with hand tools.

B) When my mum (or friend of) says "I would like a wardrobe building out of MDF ASAP". When the joints are rebates, grooves, screwed or nailed.
 

Midnight

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hmmmmmmmmm....

well if you exclude the profit bit (man...how I wish) I guess I'd be A,B(normal??)

I started out working with sheet goods as the projects at the time demanded the most cost efficient means to an end, but even then, they'd hardwood edging,(I've never gone for that glue / iron on strip edging). My most hardwod intensive project to date would be the storage (franken) table; ply core with hardwood cladding in the form of raised panels, drawer fronts and top. Although the intension is to make the transition to work almost exclusivly with domestic hardwoods, I've still about a dozen large(ish) hybrid projects on the tuit list.

I'm struggling to think of anything I've built that you could call small...

yupp... definately abnormal.....
 

sawdustalley

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I have thought exactly this many time's myself...


When I first started woodworking I was more of a screw and glue merchant, but now I find I try and use proper joinery much much more.

However, I still like to use modern methods like biscuits and pocket screws. They dont make bad furniture if you know when and how to use them, and know how to hide them ;)
 

Aragorn

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I'm type A and B, both professionally and projects for myself/my pleasure. I favour hardwoods and traditional joints, but use mainly powertools/jigs to achieve them.
I rarely use biscuit joints, but commonly use sheet materials although usually edged with hardwood were appropriate.
For pieces that are to be painted I use ply and pine, but favour housings rather than biscuits.

So... bit of a mixture. I guess I mainly want to be Type A, but use Type B methods because of time, efficiency and earning a living!
 

Bean

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I think I fall into type a, and as most of you do type b now and again. I don't really like screws and only use small pins and nails sparingly as I prefer traditional joints with handmade dowels for extra strength if i was tempted to use a screw.

Bean
 

Dewy

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There should be many more groups ABCDE etc and even then many would fall into multiple categories AB, AD, BE, BCE etc
Why should only sheet materials be used with machines?
I gave up sheet materials years ago (apart from drawers) but use power tools for most things.
This was after more years than I care to remember with only a drill with power.
Never made a pocket hole joint but biscuits are a godsend for jointing table tops etc.
I work to the principle I taught all my kids:- Don't use a calculator unless you can do the arithmetic without & then use one for speed.
The same with tools:- Don't use power tools unless you know how to do the work with hand tools.
You can use hand tools with softwood so there is another category.

Long live power tools.
They enable me to do things my body gets worn out doing by hand. :wink:
 

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