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Forum topic by SeaBob posted 12-16-2012 06:37 PM 1561 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View SeaBob's profile


3 posts in 2476 days

12-16-2012 06:37 PM

Topic tags/keywords: resource

I am just curious as to how people here like working with hand tools, opposed to power tools. For those that like
using hand tools or feel they might if they could get some help I would like to suggest Lost Art Press I hope you enjoy it as much as I do

21 replies so far

View WillAdams's profile


86 posts in 2474 days

#1 posted 12-16-2012 07:04 PM

I prefer hand tools—- I do wood-working to relax and don’t find the need to don hearing protection relaxing (spent too many hours wearing headphones in a previous job).

They’re also smaller, more portable and more readily stored (my workbench is located at one end of the laundry) and don’t make dust like power tools do (much easier to sweep up plane shavings and power tool dust).

I’ve been looking at the Lost Art Press books and a lot of them look quite interesting. Other books along similar lines: really enjoyed Andy Rae’s Choosing & Using Hand Tools (and looking forward to my daughter’s boyfriend returning it).

View paratrooper34's profile


915 posts in 3430 days

#2 posted 12-16-2012 09:02 PM

SeaBob, I have a small bandsaw and drill press as the only power tools in my shop. About five years ago, when I started getting into woodworking seriously, I used the woodworking shop on post and did everything by power. I started shifting to handtools hoping to improve accuracy and results. It worked; my projects are better quality now. My shop is relatively small, but it is definitely large enough for handtool work.

I also don’t like the noise or the need to wear hearing protection while working. My hearing is already severely damaged and I don’t wish for more. I also like that handtool work is safer and cleaner. I don’t have to worry about dust collection and the mess that comes with power tools.

There is a trade off of course. My projects take longer to accomplish. But I am ok with that. For me, this is a hobby, not a career. I also think, all things considered, money spent on a handtool shop can be drastically reduced if someone is motivated to be frugal. I am sure some power tool guys can chime in on that, but my feeling is it costs less if you purchase bargains and the bare minimum to accomplish your projects..

And on a day like today, football Sunday, I can play the game in the background and listen to it without noise interference. Go Pats!!!

Good Luck!

-- Mike

View Dave's profile


11432 posts in 3319 days

#3 posted 12-17-2012 01:06 AM

Lost art is a great blog. And many more out there as well. I love my hand tools and the character they give my projects.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 2654 days

#4 posted 12-17-2012 02:01 PM

Thanks for the link. I enjoyed reading through it.

View SeaBob's profile


3 posts in 2476 days

#5 posted 12-18-2012 05:09 AM

Thanks fot the input. i find myself somewhere in the middle between hand tools. I use power tools to save time in rough situations and hand tools for precision work. Lately, I am doing more with hand tools and less with power tools

If anybody knows where I could pick up (on line) some drill bits for a 2 jaw hand bracce I would be forever grateful

View WillAdams's profile


86 posts in 2474 days

#6 posted 12-18-2012 11:49 AM

Lee Valley sells adapters:,180,42337

Spoon bits:,180,42337&ap=1

the spade like bits, show up on the auction sites pretty regularly possibly Craigslist, depending on your area.

View 12strings's profile


434 posts in 2863 days

#7 posted 12-18-2012 12:00 PM

I like working with hand tools much better, as it’s what I’ve always done…however I recently took some lumber over to a friend’s house to run through his powered planer, and while it is loud & messy, it saved me many hours of work…I could get spoiled by that thing.

I would like to build a workbench, and the thought of all the hand-planing to make a glued-up top out of 12-15 boards makes me most likely to solicit some jointer and planer help from that friend again.

-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


16180 posts in 3097 days

#8 posted 12-18-2012 12:39 PM

Lots of good info from LAP (Schwarz) over the years. Love my hand tools, wouldn’t work without them. I’d say mine is a hybrid shop: electric tools for course work, hand for medium and fine, generally.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View Don W's profile

Don W

19314 posts in 3046 days

#9 posted 12-18-2012 12:51 PM

love the hand tools. Quiet and soothing.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Tedstor's profile


1678 posts in 3111 days

#10 posted 12-18-2012 01:06 PM

LAP is definitely a good blog. And I do enjoy the opportunity to use a plane or chisel. However, I also love firing-up the machinery too.

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3637 days

#11 posted 12-18-2012 01:54 PM

The further I get into a project, the less power tools I actually use.

-- jay,

View WillAdams's profile


86 posts in 2474 days

#12 posted 12-18-2012 06:52 PM

and auger bits are available from Traditional Woodworker:


View walden's profile


1552 posts in 2501 days

#13 posted 01-15-2013 11:46 PM

I use all hand tools. I find I need a lot less space and it’s much more relaxing.

-- "I am hiring a realtor if and when the day comes a lion is on my roof."

View cowboyj's profile


10 posts in 3394 days

#14 posted 01-16-2013 03:50 AM

For most of the years of my woodworking career, the only hand tools I used were a sanding block, and maybe an old chisel for removing glue. Over a long period of time, I began to appreciate the usefulness of chisels to make “adjustments” to the fit of various joints. This led me to start exploring how to sharpen things. Somehwere I learned the usefulness of card scrapers (quicker than sanding and no dust), again if you keep them sharp. Looking at the internet resources on woodworking made me think planes could also be useful. At this time I frequently use a block plane and a shoulder plane for several functions. I like the idea of using bench planes, particularly I would like to use them for removing the milling marks in commercial lumber. But, I have never been able to use a bench plane without adding more problems (from tear-out) than I remove. I am impressed with the videos I see of people using handsaws to cut dovetails and tenons, but my attempts never follow my layouts.

I don’t have a philosophical preference for hand tools, or a “need for speed” preference for power tools. I think I am using the combination that gives me the best result for my current skills. I would like to become more adept with handsaws, and I believe that with the confidence that comes with practice I can get better. I like the idea of making practice dovetail joints every day – I need to start!

-- Jerry

View mandatory66's profile


202 posts in 2609 days

#15 posted 01-16-2013 05:19 AM

I have most of the power tools but i find myself slowly gravitating to hand tools. I Prefer the control you have wether it be a saw, brace & bit or a hand plane. It is also nice to work in a quiet shop with more control of where the shavings & dust go. I get more satisfaction making a nice straight cut with a hand saw,being able to shave a .002 of an inch off a drawer when fitting it. I find that sharpening hand tools be it saws or planes to be the big stumbling block to using hand tools. When this is overcome with success there is no turning back. I will still use power tools but only to ease a burden like ripping 20 ft of 4/4 lumber. I have recently purchased a Stanley 150 miter box with an Atkins saw and used it on a recent project with great results and great satisfaction. I am turning to hand tools more & more.

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