Do we really need power tools? - Page 2 - Router Forums
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-17-2016, 11:59 PM
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I've been watching some pretty interesting stuff on YouTube lately and it's got me wondering about the real necessity of power tools. Yes, I know they make woodworking easier but are they faster?

I watched British master craftsman Paul Sellers bang out a mortise in less time than it would take me to set up my router table to do one. Assuming there are eight mortises needed for the legs of a table to attach the aprons, I'd have to change the setup once and I wonder if I could finish all eight faster than Sellers could.

Similar thing with a groove in a drawer side. I watched Roy Underhill dado a drawer side with a plow plane in a couple minutes and I wondered if I could do it any faster with a router table or a stacked dado cutter, assuming there would some setup time required.

I suppose in a production environment the power tools would have a distinct advantage but what about for the hobbyist?

Your thoughts?
Sometimes if you only do one of something a hand tool is faster but power tools are made for production work and for the repeatability of the quality of the work.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-18-2016, 04:23 AM
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Chuck, I read your comparison observations and please let me philosophize a bit :

Once we are born, there is only one thing really necessary: to die at some moment. All other things to do are optional. So, if you want to give it a try without power tools, lock away for 365 days your power tool (e.g. disc saw) and then tell me how many things you made of mdf etc. Also, you are comparing your singing to the Pavarotti of carpentry. What do you want to hear? How good he is or how far behind him you are? I heard many sculptors say that Michaelangelo, after his famous "Pieta" put the tombstone on sculpture, because no human can ever make better sculpture. BUT, the joy of creating is not about comparing our work to what can be achieved, but about appreciating what emotions our wooden "creature" (a product of creation) brings out. Thus, if you go back to my posts, look at the cutting boards: is there any comparison between my single board "things" and Herb's puzzling masterpieces?
http://www.routerforums.com/attachme...d20_5382rf.jpg
http://www.routerforums.com/attachme...d20_5392rf.jpg

http://www.routerforums.com/show-n-t...ess-board.html

No way, yet when I see my own boards on a table I am very happy (And to be sincere, I am VERY happy to cut cheese with my knife on a simple board, while I think it is barbaric sacrilege to do this on a masterpiece by Herb. (And a side question: How much saw dust does an intricate job produce vs the very simple bandsaw cut of the single-piece cutting board?). Still there is no comparison : Herb's boards are superb to hang on the wall (and keep hearing all others ask how it's done) while mine are at home when they are near the sink.

Obviously, what we do in carpentry (as in many other activities) is a choreography, a "dance" of thoughts and moves that results in what we can make. Our education, experience, needs, wishes, expertise, weaknesses, stubbornness and dares will make us produce whatever it is. It is the amateur's virtue to "lick" a piece of wood indefinitely, until he is satisfied, while the pro has to get on with it finish it faster, easier, perfect, and give it to the customer to take the money and rush away to cover expenses.

So, after much thinking and dreadful trials at dovetailing, I stopped the idea. Through my needs, strengths and weaknesses I resolved to the use of dowel joints, found them 100% accurate easily, and they haven't failed me up to now. I stopped envying others quite a long time ago, and I am happy at what I can achieve. And many times it is unique from what I see on people's remarks here, e.g.

http://www.routerforums.com/project-...-design-5.html

Best wishes
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-18-2016, 06:44 AM
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Not everyone can use hand tools due to physical limitations. Power tools open up the hobby to those of us that have.arthritis and other limitations. Use what you feel best, it is a personal choice. If you make it and it looks good who cares what tools you use.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-18-2016, 08:49 AM Thread Starter
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A lively discussion with many different perspectives. Thanks all for chiming in.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-18-2016, 12:17 PM
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I am a hobby woodworker, and I use both extensively. For stock prep, you will see me using my jointer, planer, and table saw almost exclusively. However, if I am working on a 12" wide board, my jointer is only 6". You will see me grabbing my #62 and #7 hand planes to flatten one of the faces, and then proceed to watch me send that board through the planer.

For mortise and tenons, I don't have a tenon jig, nor a mortising machine. I have made a few different tenon jigs, but I have never had them perform real well. To cut my tenons, I will establish the shoulders at the table saw , and depending on the size of the tenon cut the shoulders at either the router table or band saw. The router I can get typically get the tenon sized to what I need. The band saw they need to be slightly over sized. I will use my rabbet block plane to get that fit perfected. After going through this process a few times, it is actually a pretty quick process to get the tenons fit to the mortises. For the mortises, I will machine them out with either the drill press or router table, and both I will clean up with chisels.

This is why I enjoy woodworking. So many different ways to accomplish tasks.
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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-18-2016, 01:40 PM
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This is about as primitive as woodworking gets. Happens every day for this guy.


The more I do, the less I accomplish.
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-19-2016, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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For the mortises, I will machine them out with either the drill press or router table, and both I will clean up with chisels.
Has anyone ever tried boring contiguous holes with an upcut router bit in the drill press and then gently routing out the remainder of the waste with the bit still in the drill press?

For full disclosure, the spindle bearing of my drill press is the same part number as the arbor bearing of my table saw.

Last edited by 163481; 07-19-2016 at 03:17 PM.
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-19-2016, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by sfchuck View Post
Has anyone ever tried boring contiguous holes with an upcut router bit in the drill press and then gently routing out the remainder of the waste with the bit still in the drill press?

For full disclosure, the spindle bearing of my drill press is the same part number as the arbor bearing of my table saw.
not w/ a router bit...
a fostner bit works as good or better than anything out there...

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

Stick....
Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-20-2016, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfchuck View Post
Has anyone ever tried boring contiguous holes with an upcut router bit in the drill press and then gently routing out the remainder of the waste with the bit still in the drill press?

For full disclosure, the spindle bearing of my drill press is the same part number as the arbor bearing of my table saw.
If I use the router table, I will cut the full length and depth of the mortise (multiple passes as needed). I will typically square up the corners with chisels. (Yes, I realize this may be a touch OCD, but I prefer my mortises to have squared corners)

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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-20-2016, 01:22 PM
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I've been drawn to 'sailor's art' for a long time. The items that these guys made in their months at sea with little raw materials and limited tools have always impressed me. I especially liked the cribbage boards, because of my fondness for the traditional game of seafarers. The example picture below is an example of these simple, but impressive projects. I have seen some at Maritime Museums with drawers for the pegs, folding boards, and other impressive features, all worked by hands on long voyages.

Having made a few cribbage boards in my time, I understand now why all of the handmade ones have as few peg holes as possible. Drilling 250 holes with a drill press is work enough, I can't imagine the patience to drill them all by hand!

I can't find a credit (or age) for the one below, but it is beautiful.
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