Hand Tool Woodworking #1: How I got started

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Blog entry by Rwolinski posted 07-06-2017 07:23 PM 1200 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Hand Tool Woodworking series Part 2: The mainstay of hand tools and woodworking in general Chisels »

Just a note that I’ll add to from time to time.
I started woodworking with power tools and migrated to hand tools. Kinda backwards. but that is how it happened.
Norm Abram was my hero but I found I couldn’t keep up with his tools.
Then I found guys like Frank Klausz, who just by their passion got me started using my hand tools.
Now I do more with them than power tools

to be continued…..

-- What I make is for others....How I make it is for me.

6 comments so far

View Rwolinski's profile


170 posts in 1481 days

#1 posted 07-07-2017 05:26 PM

After getting started down the traditional woodworking path i quickly found out just what I didn’t know about woodworking… or more importantly about wood period.
Power tools are great… I love them don’t get me wrong, but with power tools the fact that it is a power tool kind of overcomes what you have to deal with using hand tools.
Rip Saws Vs cross cut saws for example. In a circular saw 98% of you probably have a combination blade in there that does an “OK” job cross cutting and ripping. I do. And it leaves you with an acceptable cut. with hand saws, you notice the difference right away. In how hard or how easy you have to work and the quality of the cut.
The other thing I had to learn was how to sharpen my tools. chisels, Plane irons, and saws not to mention my drill bits.
I’m planning on another blog on sharpening sometime in the future.

-- What I make is for others....How I make it is for me.

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5253 days

#2 posted 07-07-2017 07:00 PM

I went the same path. :)

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Woodbutchery's profile


434 posts in 4741 days

#3 posted 07-07-2017 10:16 PM

Same here, and I’m finding myself fighting frustration from time to time because the learning just don’t happen as quickly as I want it.

In Houston, there’s a little morning time I can have in the Summer to work in the shop, after that it gets too hot and muggy despite the portable A/C unit in the garage. October through May is workable seasons, but I want to spend more time in the shop, so I sweat in Summer and … play.

-- Making scrap with zen-like precision - Woodbutchery

View handsawgeek's profile


663 posts in 2551 days

#4 posted 07-18-2017 07:59 PM

Hey…Hi… Welcome to LJs. Good to hear from yet another Neanderthal convert!
I, also went down the path of power tools to hand tools. 100% hand tools in fact. I still do own a drill press, lathe, bandsaw, chop saw, and the usual assortment of hand-held power tools, but all of these rarely get used. Maybe once in awhile for a knock-about household handyman project. I use the lathe mostly for my other hobby of model rocketry. I turn all of my own custom nose cones.
But for the woodshop….old school only!
And yes, there is a substantial learning curve with hand tools, but it’s all fun!
anyway, look forward to hearing about more of your projects and adventures.

-- Ed

View Rwolinski's profile


170 posts in 1481 days

#5 posted 09-15-2017 05:48 PM

HI all.
Woodworking especially with hand tools has really over the years turned into my drug of choice …. LOL
It is both relaxing and rewarding, not to mention 90% of what I make is quite useful. Why Not 100% some things are made just to make them, and they may never get used or for that matter have a use at all.
I was working in my garage last week, and my garage faces the street about 40 feet from the sidewalk. It was nice so the door was open for lots of fresh air. A neighbor came by walking his dog, and saw me at my fold down bench planing a drawer to fit. He walks up and says ” what are you making?..” Explaining what I was doing he asked why not just use a belt sander or a random orbit sander to take the sides down. So I explained it s combination of reasons.
1st being control. I can control how much I remove a lot better with my #4 plane than any sander.
2nd I demonstrated the difference in the resulting surface finish of the wood. You can’t duplicate a planed finish with any sander
3rd. I said It’s the most satisfying way to do it for me.
He had a very hard time believing the .002” to .003” shavings I was getting all nicely curled the length of the drawer side. The proof was when I slid the drawer into the table, with no hardware at all and it went in smoothly with no racking even pushing it by a corner. His eyes grew wide when he saw that, and sheepishly asked…”can you show me how to do that?”
Hopefully another convert.

-- What I make is for others....How I make it is for me.

View TheFridge's profile


10863 posts in 2641 days

#6 posted 09-15-2017 07:29 PM

Same here

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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