I like to work with wood. I find it to be calming and therapeutic. Since it’s a hobby I can take my time and enjoy it. Back a number of years ago, I discovered how effective hand planes are. I then found that I could learn the skills that were used by our woodworking ancestors (before power tools). Most of my projects 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 the old tool 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 help with keeping the old skills alive.
I also appreciate the design and workmanship that went into old woodworking tools. I’ve tended to accumulate quite a few of them and have assembled a fairly complete, user-grade set of hand tools. With the help of the “oldtools” list server group and memberships in Rocky Mountain Tool Collectors and Mid-West Tool Collectors, 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 used.
My collection focuses on Stanley, Sandusky, Disston, and miscellaneous plow planes.
A few images from my collection:
Stanley 41 and 43 (Miller’s Patent)
Sliding Dovetails with a Stanley 444