Despite being a die hard hand tool user there’s nothing that irritates me more than hearing people try to class hand tool use as being superior. The reason I bring this up is because whilst taking a jimmy riddle at a recent show I heard “You’re the chap who hates power tools?”.
I’ve been told previously that I’m ‘That hand tool guy’ and I expect that my supposed hatred of power tools has come about in a kind of ‘Chinese Whispers’ fashion; ‘I love hand tools’ turns to ‘I hate power tools’??
I think it’s good to share an understanding of my mindset on this because to be honest I feel that putting power tool use down or creating some kind of elitist attitude towards hand tools can only really have a negative effect overall. Yes, we all have preferences and always will but there’s still a lot we can learn from each other to integrate in to our own work. I feel there’s more to be lost by encouraging a divide.
Hand tools suit me well. I enjoy my woodwork with them and they’re ideal for my approach. I find power tools confusing compared and so I treat them as roughing machines to speed up waste removal – I have a nice assortment of straight cutters for my router but if you gave me a fancy panel cutting set I probably wouldn’t know where to start! There’s definitely a lot of varied skills required to use power tools accurately and safely – no less than working by hand.
I certainly consider myself to be a hand tool man, but I’m very open to any benefits that power tools can bring.
I’m planning a little series on hand tools and the different ways which I feel they’re relevant for us today, so I wanted to make my Non-hatred of power tools nice and clear first! It’s obviously important for me to have my own views and opinions when writing but I find it just as necessary to stay open to learning from other peoples experiences as well. If I had an arrogance towards other methods then I should think you’d have a hard time listening to me; I know I would!
Are you an old dog or are you always looking for new tricks?
I have to admit, I think I’m the old dog stuck in my ways as it takes a lot for me to change to a new technique. Though I’m always interested by the variety of approaches out there.