Monday, November 28, 2016

Sometimes Hand Tools Are Faster

People are constantly giving me grief about my preference for using hand tools instead of machines for most of the work I do. They are always telling me how much "faster" it is. In most cases they are right, but for me I don't  usually care, and speed is not really my primary goal anyway. I use hand tools because I like using hand tools.

Once in a while, however, I find that hand tools really are faster, as was the case this past week. I was building a new banister for a client but re-using the old moulding from the edge of the stair, under the bull-nosing. Somehow in the removal and clean up process one piece went missing. I spent more than an hour searching for it, but realised the best thing I could do was to just make a new one.

Were I a machine only guy, I would have been completely screwed as no one sells a router bit that has this profile. but because I have and know how to use moulding planes, this was not a problem. I wound up using my modern planes though, because none of my wooden ones had the correct profiles either. The end results were that in 15 minutes I had a replacement moulding of the one which disappeared.

Stanley no 55; sometimes it is a pain to use and I much prefer wooden ones,
but this guy has gotten me out of many jams when I did not have the
correct wooden plane!
Starting with a Record no 778 to plow a rebate

I did not have a cutter to make a single bead but that was not a problem
I just cut off the second one. The hollowing blades are tricky to use on
outside edges.

Finished strip of moulding beside a section of the original

To be fair, just as I made this with three different blades, someone could have also done it with various router bits, but I am sure that process would have taken more time, and certainly would have made a lot more noise and mess! For me there is a joy in using hand tools.

No comments:

Post a Comment