WHY OLD TOOLS
I enjoy working with wood. I find it to be relaxing and therapeutic. It's just a hobby so I can take my time and enjoy it. Back a number of years, I discovered how effective hand planes can be. I found that I could learn the skills that were used by our woodworking ancestors (before power tools). Most of my efforts now entail the use of traditional woodworking tools. They are less noisy, put less dust in the air, and teach me to work with the wood rather than just working wood. Since starting down that path, I find myself using "tailed apprentices" less and less. While I'm not a purest, I favor using hand tools. It's also nice to try to keep the old skills alive.
I also appreciate the design and workmanship that went into old woodworking tools. Although I don't consider myself a true collector, I do tend to accumulate quite a few of them. I am slowly assembling a fairly complete, user-grade set of hand tools. With the help of the "oldtools" list server group, Rocky Mountain Tool Collectors, Midwest Tool Collectors and various great books on the subject, I am learning to put them to good use. Based on the high quality items that that were fabricated before "tailed apprentices" became available, it's not surprising to learn how well traditional woodworking tools work when they are properly sharpened and tuned up.