Seeing the Art in Hand Planing—Part I

As an enthusiast for hand plane work I do feel something of an exclusivist in that it seems the only alternative for much of the work is to crank up power planers and belt sanders, random orbit sanders and such. This then means chip extraction, dust syphoning to pull away the ever harmful excesses for air cleaning and then wearing protective gear to boot. Now don’t get me wrong, there is a place for all of that in the world of commerce be that for the large and small enterprise. I have used all of the above and might do still for some projects. No matter how you slice it though, the end result is not the same. The issue I see today is that so few people actually master the art ofd planing I speak of and use daily and I am talking about any and all hand planes be they moulding planes, rebate or rabbet planes, all the bench plane range or shoulder planes.  And it’s not a question of there being only one way and it’s mine. Not at all. the truth is that a well-tuned machine does give guaranteed straightness, flatness and squareness with that automatic parallelity you get from a thickness planer. It’s not that. What it is is the hand plane takes things to a new high and people, especially the professional woodworkers, miss the point. and they miss the point because the majority of professional woodworkers locked onto the machine and never had the opportunity to truly understand and seek to master the skills surrounding planing with hand planes. the only way many of the can relate to hand planes is to actually condemn them as being to slow, to inefficient and so on. People often tell me of talking to professional woodworkers who say, “You cannot survive in the real world using only hand tools, planes and such“. Whereas there may be truth in that for them, it’s certainly not true for all because not all want to survive in their version of what the real world is to them. That’s how it has been for me living and not just surviving in the real world but positively thriving. and that is how it is for most of the people I reach out to too.

Planing and fitting, trimming and controlling cuts and reductions is amazingly accurate. I used my bandsaw to reduce larger sections of timber to smaller sizes and then some plywood ripped to width too. I swiped off the bandsaw marks and checked myself for square, width and thickness and found accuracy levels comparable to machine planed stock but with the improved condition of surface perfection requiring no further sanding to take out machine undulation. Of course there are times when the machine deals with criteria the hand plane might struggle with too, but try to remember the majority of woodworkers will never be able to own such equipment nor tie up valuable space to own such either. So when some call me an exclusivist I might admit to that but not because its exclusivism, more because in my life with my outreach and my audience what I offer is far more realistic that the alternative that would make woodworking more impossible for the much larger audience, the massive audience, the amateur woodworker.  I think too that it should be said here that our research polling woodworkers shows the majority of woodworkers work from a small portion of their garage, a small shed or a spare room in the house. Hand planes and other related tools are ideal for those of us with minimal space. There are several other reasons for woodworkers who choose not to own or use machines, noise, danger considerations etc etc.

In my early days of writing for magazines I measured my success by their acceptance of my articles. Unfortunately the magazines used this to promote the sales of machines via advertisements by the ‘big boys’ so I stopped selling myself that way. I actually measure my success by being initially excluded but then being accepted in spite of being uninvited. When I used to travel the show circuit promoting hand tools the show owners would come to me and say, “You must stop saying you don’t need to use this machine or that one. All of the vendors are selling this stuff not hand tools.” I really try not be antagonistic but people get offended no matter how you might try. Standing by your convictions inevitably results in opposition and for whatever the dozen reasons you care to name. Mostly it is far from true but I do believe strongly that machine methods for working wood are merely mechanical alternatives rather than the better way. For me woodworking with hand tools is  the art and craft of engagement in a radically different way.

Holding out to holding you own

I have fought much opposition through the past there decades, primarily because of perceived threats that were unreal and untrue. I just know how fulfilled I felt after planing all of the oak and the pine components for two baby cots recently. About 100 hundred pieces in all. There is no doubt that planing becomes the simplest of tasks once the skill of handling becomes as second nature to you as signing your name. When you once make your mind up to engage with planes, understand their ways, master them through longer term use, you enter spheres you might only have ever dreamed of in the distance of your mind. When it come to hand planing I thought you might like to hear the reality that there are many ways to hold the plane; all are highly effective. But when it comes to an initial introduction, don’t copy the carpenters van sign depicting the man’s handholds in a bulldog grip of flexing arm muscle and high-handed fist grips. Planing is not at all a wrestling event though it is high demand compared to machining. A well set, well sharpened plane will always cut no matter the wood and it will always pull itself to task as you follow through sensitively, micro-adjusting the plane minute by minute to make turns that engage with the fibre’s shift in direction below. It is also a question of adjusting your own attitude too. Remember that!

Plane holding up next!



  1. While new to woodworking in general and hand tool woodworking in specific I can tell you my favorite tool to use is a plane. I’m still figuring it out. I recently got Stanley 4, 5 and a 45 and I love using them. In fact I’m coming up with project to make sure I get to use them. Thanks for all your great videos and blog posts. I’ve learned so much from you.

  2. I really appreciate the balanced perspective you’re bringing to woodworking. Machines have their place, but thanks to you, I have been exposed to hand tools which allow me to practice woodworking in my not that big flat, and sometimes do things that no affordable machine can do as easily (e.g. planning a largish bench top). There is quite a steep learning curve but it is also very rewarding to be able to do things ‘by-hand’ – To me, it is similar to learning to play the violin, rather than getting a computer to play some partition.

  3. I also believe the plane gives you more feedback and better finish , than a machine. The plane allows the wood to talk to you about its structure and texture and when used naturally will equal the precision of a machine. I only use a sander to rough up the surface for paint preparation.
    Well said Paul the tool maketh the man.

  4. I recently made a pair of doors for a neighbor’s shed. The originals had been made with stub tenons, but didn’t last long in the harsh New England weather. He was unable to help me with the installation since he is partially crippled; but he said his sons (both in their early 20’s ) would help….and help they did. The purpose of my reply here is not that but the fact that they were shocked when I showed up for the install with no power tools (except for a cordless drill ) . What really shocked ME however is when the oldest said he knew what most of the tools I was using were , but he didn’t know what the ‘shaver’ I was using was called. It was my Stanley # 4 .

  5. why can’t we all just own a 4×8 CNC machine and a macbook and let the two of them do all the work while we sweep up the dust? (Let them eat cake …)

    1. When you are making one off pieces of fine furniture, you can not achieve the same level of excellence with power tools as you can with hand tools.
      Look at all the furniture manufacturers that have tried to copy the old, historical and fine furniture. They come close, but there is that difference. Their work does not compare.
      Similarly, original oil paintings are of a higher quality and value than a picture of the painting in a magazine.
      With CNC the art is in creating the program.
      Just sayin, JIM

  6. As a former machine user, I can tell you all that machining is not woodworking and I once believed. You are simply an operator and a jig builder. With a machine, you can Mill the wood any way, any how unlike hand tools where you have to consider the grain, the task and the tool. Yes, machining takes skill but the skill is more of how to do the task and still walk away with all of your body parts still attached! I had so many jigs and pushers and guides that I barely had room for stock! Several years ago, I decided that this “crazy”, old world, British man was starting to make sense. Being the same age and similar start (I was a machinist apprentice) I decided to give Paul’s ideas a try. I’ve sold all but 2 of my machines and never looked back.

  7. I truly believe that things reflect the environment in which they are made. For me things made by hand are gentler, maybe more inviting? Looking at things I’ve made, they acquire my state of mind when I made them, so it’s obvious what was made in a hurry, when distracted and best of all when in the groove.

    Thanks Paul! and the rest of the crew:-)

  8. Yes exactly, My point has always been you can use both to achieve a good end result. I too understand how rewarding it is to use hand tools, unfortunately it took a bit longer to realize because of the training I received when starting out. Love my planes but also love my bandsaw. With more time on my hands I can appreciate hand tool use to the fullest. Using less electricity in my shop these days.

  9. I am a retired business guy. My main hobby (until arthritis or something else comes along to put a stop to it) is woodworking. When I started, which is to say when I switched from DYI and general “handymanery” to woodworking, my most dreaded task was planing.
    My basement shop boasts a jointer, thickness planer, band saw, radial arm saw, and a wide variety of power tools left over from my DYI days. Of these, only the bandsaw is in regular use, for ripping and resawing. For the rest it’s hand tools all the way. And of these, the most satisfying by far is the hand plane!
    Once the art of sharpening is mastered, there is nothing so satisfying, and pleasant, as watching the “wood” emerge from the rough board. Whether a scrub, jack, jointer, or smoother, there is no beating the smell, sound, and beauty of a well tuned plane and the work it produces.
    And as for specialty planes like plough, rebate, and router, they are great too. Not only are they easier to set up, generally, than the router, they make neither noise nor dust, do a more satisfying job, and allow you to make your mistakes a very great deal slower! This last is a benefit that cannot be overstated, I find.
    My one regret re hand planes: I have not been able, so far, to justify the purchase of a set of moulding planes. And with every year that goes by, it seems less and less likely. Ah, well, it’s a good thing to want something!
    You know, I even enjoy scooping up the shavings at the end of the day!

  10. “I do believe strongly that machine methods for working wood are merely mechanical alternatives rather than the better way.” Exactly. I started with machines, stayed with machines for years for a variety of reasons, and I don’t believe I could have appreciated what hand tools bring to the job until I had a greater understanding of the job. Now I can appreciate how hand tools involve so much more of me in the task.

  11. I own a 12.5″ electric planer, but until I found a rusty, old Stanley Bailey no. 4, and reconditioned it, and until I “made it my own plane”, through your instruction, I never, ever felt the tool to be an extension of my arm before. The hours spent sanding, and filing, and honing, and the polishing of the bolt heads really connected me with this inanimate object, and opened my eyes to what ELSE I could do with it, other than just simply square my stock. Thanks for always using it on every project Paul! I know I can too.

  12. I recall how you once mentioned that a plane is not a ‘ road-grader’. When I read that I had already learned that through your videos, but the remark immediately made sense to me: it was how I had looked at planes in the past.

    Today, I was finishing yet another shelf/towel-rack for the bathroom and was using a #3 to create a very large chamfer at the ends of the towel-bars as preparation for rounding them entirely. I was surprized by my own use of the #3, using it angled in two different planes, making slicing cuts and using it more as a chisel than a ‘road grader’. I recall being impressed by myself as I was doing it. And it came out perfectly square (the nice thing about plywood is the different layers form excellent guidelines to check your work).

    Not road-grading, not bull-dogging, but more like calligraphy with a plane.

    At the beginning of the year I regularly got out the Makita circle-saw for cutting plywood sheets. I’ve found myself in the course of the year starting to dislike having to get all the equipment out in the garden, connect it up, set up a guide for the saw and then saw. The sawing itself goes extremely quickly but the setting up took so much time. Instead I now simply use a handsaw to follow a pencil line as guide. The sawing itself takes a little longer but overall it takes less time. And the cut is just as straight and square as with the machine, after all that practice. Only when I need to saw more than a few meters of straight cuts will I resort to the circlesaw nowadays.

    One thing I noticed recently when starting to use a different handsaw (which I had restored nicely, including much work on beautifying the handle) was that my sawcuts weren’t as perpendicular anymore. A bit of investigating showed why: in my beginner’s enthusiasm I had overset the teeth of the saw when restoring it at the beginning of the year (my skill level has developed quite a bit over this summer). Had also noticed that it was harder to follow a straight line with that saw. So I’ll give it the ‘hammer treatment’ to reduce the set soon.

    Slowly but surely, more pieces of the hand-woodworking puzzle start to fall in place. It’s nice to see progress in one’s skills.

  13. The first time I got a squared piece from a rough table was a very happy day for me. That piece is the tool tray of my workbench now. There it was, and made by my hands. That workbench has machine-made parts and hand-made parts, but these last ones are the ones I liked more, since they are made by ME.
    For circumstances, my workbench is in an end of my living-room now. I can use handplanes, hand saws and braces there. I seriously doubt I could use machine tools. My power portable electric router and electric plane sleep bored and unused.
    And there is (for me, at least) an special satisfaction on doing things with your own hands. I’ve done things with machines, and I’ve done things with hand tools. Satisfaction is not comparable. And that’s enough for me. Professional possibilities of one or another are not my business.

    1. Sorry, I meant “stock” instead of “table”. My english is rather rough, I’m afraid.

  14. As an older woodworker I find that for lots of jobs I need a machine simply to get the job done, or at least started. However, sawing and planing moderate amounts are really good upper body exercises and also there is not much sitting down woodworking so a bit of exercise there too. Plus planning, designing, measuring etc are good mind exercises.

    Mind you Paul is not a complete purist about hand tools as he seems nearly always to drill holes and drive screws with a handy power drill! Although I keep a hand drill handy and am on the lookout for an elderly carpenters brace in need of a good home. And must get a gimlet to start off the screws.

    1. You should be careful with providing a home for elderly braces – before you know it you end up with a collection of them….

      The braces come up quite often but the drills for them much less, though by now I’m also settled in that area. A brace without the proper bits is of little use (though it’s also useful for driving screws, and hexagonal 1/4″ bits work too in them).

      My favourite drill though is an eggbeater-style handdrill; they get used much more by me than the braces, as I normally need more small holes than large ones, where the brace shines. You have much more control & feel with an eggbeater-style handdrill than with a cordless drill, and I find it much easier to drill exactly perpendicular holes with it – something I find much harder to do with electric drills, both corded and cordless ones.

      The eggbeater drills and Stanley Yankee pump-action screwdrivers are the tools I use (and like) the most in everyday work, much more than the brace(s).

  15. This I like! I’m one of those with a tiny shed that I’m in the process of building a workbench in. Quite apart from the constraints of available space, I find the relative quiet of using hand tools to be worth a lot. That effective hand tools, often bought used, can be much less expensive and a good deal safer than the machines that do similar work is advantageous to me.

    I think that neither all by hand or all by machine are wholly right or wrong, nor any mix of the two. It’s all different, up to the individual’s taste, budget, space and intentions, and whatever the mix is, it may require varying types of skill and knowledge.

    I think safety thinking is extremely important regardless of the type of tool being used. I was a bit careless how I held my hands while slicing bread the other day and managed to slice a little bit of thumb as well. No great damage was done, just a tiny amount of blood was spilt, but it could have been much worse. I’m letting that serve as a good warning to myself as I continue working with hand tools to turn my shed into a workshop.

    Thank you for all your thoughts, Mr. Sellers! Please, never stop sharing them!

  16. Paul thank you for your videos and this post – they are insightful, calming and reminded me of an experience I had some 18 years ago. In 2000 whilst doing extensive renovations to our home in Zimbabwe I employed local freelance craftsmen – a roof framer, thatcher and general woodworker with his apprentice, not a machine tool amongst them and absolutely insulted when I offered my own circular saws, belt sander and power drills. In retrospect, I think they were wary of using something they had no experience with.

    There was much interest in a rather extensive box of old nails, screws, brackets and general fittings. The apprentice was tasked to get cleaning and straightening whilst the others set about preparing gum-pole roof struts and dealing with teak French doors and windows for smoothing and fitting of latches locks and handles, with assorted axes, adzes, Stanley planes and homemade chisels. Not one piece of new hardware I’d purchased was used, until anything spare and old had been refurbished and considered. There was much pride in their craft and skill in using basic well cared for hand-tools. Having a home office, I was privileged to spend over 3 months of lunchtimes with these men discussing the work and learning from their experiences.

    Today when I use my still rather extensive collection of power tools because I’m always in a hurry, or sit at our beautiful – and very smooth teak coffee table, it is always with a twinge of guilt and sadness.

    1. That’s a great story. Thanks for sharing! I love that they insisted on re-using everything they could first. We’re all conditioned to such a disposable way of life. It’s good to remember to use what’s at hand.
      Of course this is only going to make my hoarding of used hardware worse. 🙂

      1. That’s another feature of hand tools, possibly not exclusive to them, but it seems that one can use hand tools to take apart any sort of wooden item and make another out of it, without much of a fuss. With power tools that sort of rebuilding always seems way too complicated and life-threatening, with dust and varnish particles filling the air, fear of hitting metal with a spinning blade, and many hours of assembling complex jigs built to fit the item being modified.

  17. Like several other commenters on here, I started with DIY projects — and I have a miter saw and table saw (as well as drill press and small band saw), but I find I use them less and less — mainly to dimension pieces of wood preparatory to working them by hand. I was also lucky enough to have a really good shop course in school over 50 years ago, which introduced me to a few hand tools and the machines– and has stood me in good stead for many years.
    I started following Paul’s work several years ago, and it has been a mind opener. I have restored a number of Stanleys — from 4 to 7, and now look for Millers Falls planes on ebay. I have also restored a couple of old wooden planes that belonged to my father and grandfather — they haven’t been used in probably 75 years, and I am looking for a project on which to use them.
    I have also acquired a couple of hollow and round planes (#6 s and #10s), and I’m looking forward to using them to make moldings for a cabin I have been finishing for 8 years.
    There really is nothing like the sound and smell of a plane taking a nice shaving off a piece of wood, or a sharp chisel paring a saw cut to dead square on a dovetail. And I have learned to do all of these things through Paul’s excellent tutelage. I have been working on dovetail boxes most recently, and the joints have gotten tighter and the gaps smaller as I have learned through experience to do what Paul is doing in his videos.
    The same experience I have gained in small projects has also had an effect on the interior work I am doing in the cabin. The first door I built 6-7 years ago was shaped with a block plane with the blade as it was when I got it 40 years ago. Amazing what learning to sharpen a blade does for one. While I still cut long lengths of knotty pine for paneling on the table saw, I refine those cuts with a Millers Falls #900 which I keep at the cabin. And all those shavings have another use — they go on the garden around the blueberry bushes to give them acidity that they need.
    I have also taken courses at Wooden Boat School (in Brooklin, ME) where I am getting a reputation for turning to hand tools (although one really does have to use a bandsaw to put a curving bevel on an 18 foot piece of green oak for a seat rail in a dory — but the bevel and curve is refined to perfection with a #4 smoother!). So, thank you, Paul, for this post, as well as all the other work you have shared with us — and now the vlog! Keep up the good work. We all appreciate it so much.

    1. Thanks for the idea of adding shavings to your Blubery Bush. I will definitely save my shavings for this.

  18. This article really resonated with me. I’m 35 and just got into woodworking in the last year or so. My grandfather built beautiful clocks, among other things. in his retirement, but his garage also looked like a Delta/Bosch/Jet catalog and I always assumed woodworking was a hobby for those who could afford $30g+ in power tools.

    After being introduced last fall to Paul Seller’s videos on youtube (and a smattering of other hand-tool-heavy woodworking channels), I went all in. I love hitting swap meets for old tools to restore and that passion found a new outlet in vintage woodworking tools. My first rip saw was an OVB 7 tooth rip I bought for $1. My first plane was a rusty Stanley #4 I paid too much for, but I took it from a rusty hulk to a precision tool that leaves glossy wood behind it’s edge. Since then I’ve collected a variety of chisels, specialty planes, marking gauges, etc, but by no means have a ‘complete’ collection.

    Planing, though, is easily one of my favorite activities. I took a ‘beginner woodworking’ class at one of the local schools and got some hands-on experience with a very nice power planer, but I agree with Paul, it’s infinitely more satisfying to hand plane rough-sawn lumber to a glossy surface than it is to run it through a power tool, guaranteed results and all. I’m glad Paul has the passion to create the videos he does and instill the wonders of skilled tool-handling into the younger generations.

  19. Paul, I really like the drawing you used at the beginning of the article. Are your signed drawings available?
    Please ignore the previous post as I entered an incorrect email address.

  20. I started with hand tools as a child, as that was all we had on the small dairy farm. After I left home, married, and started doing the usual home projects, I began to get and use a few simple power tools. My day job and life didn’t leave much free time. So, always in a hurry. Precision suffered. Now retired and with health issues that make accuracy difficult. I now use a combination of power and hand tools. Adjusting as the situation changes. And I love both. For ME, it is working. It’s not for everyone. And I admire those that can do such beautiful work, with hand tools.
    Keep on! I’m watching.

  21. I liked your drawing very much. It reminds me of Aldren A. Watson’s book “Hand Tools”, though your style is very different.

    I started hand tool woodworking in the mid-90’s, as an antidote to working in a research laboratory. I acquired all my tools and built my bench without any of the wonderful teaching you have published. I quit woodworking in 1998 and just took it up again this year. My circa 1995 self-designed beginner’s workbench has a laminated top, a front vise that stands out from the bench, and an open-ended tool well 🙂 Your workbench series certainly encouraged me to get back in the game.

    Thank you for sharing and persevering.

  22. I recently had to get my groups to face plane some 12 inch by 15 inch laminated hardwood stock for cutting boards for their homes. The thicknesser was out of order, one side was already machined, I introduced them to the hand plane. After much blowing and huffing and after I showed them the how they gained immense enjoyment from the intimate contact they had with the medium, laughter and shavings were all over the workshop.

  23. As with other commentators, this really resonated with me. I built a 10′ x 12′ shed a few years ago to store bikes, garden equipment and tools…and to do woodworking. For the past few years said woodworking meant using the construction tools I accumulated to build decks and other large, rough home projects to make furniture.

    Quite quickly, the limitations of power tool work in a small shed became clear, as did the lack of satisfaction A dado too wide…maybe I’ll set up the saw better next time. A cut a bit off…maybe I’ll set the stop block up better. And the constant, ongoing struggle for both space and against dust, which constantly coats the bikes, shelves, tools, and myself despite both dust extraction and air filters running.

    I had been conditioned over years of watching woodworkers online and reading magazines that I needed an industrial grade shop to build home furniture. After a year of watching Paul, I got my first hand plane a few months ago, and the epiphanies have not stopped since.

    I don’t need a lot of space – half of my “tiny” shed suddenly became plenty for hand work. I don’t need to be combating dust, I just need to sweep up. I don’t need to hope I set the machines up properly, when every mallet blow, plane swipe and adjustment is 100% under my control, and I can learn from my mistakes and build on my skills.

    Perhaps more importantly, it finally clicked home what Paul means when he says “it’s not what you make, but how you make it” that matters. He’s said it often, but until I got hands-on with the wood, and really started working it, that I realized he’s not just talking about the project at hand. It’s a much broader, more meaningful philosophy about how to live your life. I’ve learned to slow down and enjoy the work, and found satisfaction I did not expect when joints come together. And found myself realizing I want that kind of satisfaction in other areas of my life. His recent vlogs are proving to be the spark that is helping me make them.

    I’m quite grateful that he’s persevered all these years in his message.

  24. Paul, thank you for being persistent in your ideas. This has truly helped me understand my own view on everything. A couple of days ago I made my first hand made pizza in Sorrento and was amazed at the simplicity of the wooden structures protecting the animals, fruits and eating areas for the family and guests that the Hostess gave my wife and I a personal tour of the items her husband made at their home. Never in my lifetime I would have imagined that a vacation would turn out to be a learning experience about simplicity in an evolving world. I’ve traveled the world working for my rich uncle(Uncle Sam) and saw Woodworkers, Machinists and other Artisans producing works of art with extremely limited space and tools. Yes I still use and love the new power tools but I also want to slow down and enjoy the moment at home and produce works of Art for My Family. The world has Paul Sellers and in my world I am producing Art with my limited space(Reggie’s Sphere of Influence). Thanks again for Paul and his Family.

  25. I needed a small plane for various tasks and tried out a little 35 mm kanna because I kept finding myself using the wood jack plane I made by pulling it down the side of a piece of stock, or pulling stock across it.

    Turns out the little kanna is perfect for those sort of little jobs once I stopped fighting it, a light stroke will get curls spitting out of it happily, but pressing it too hard makes it grab and sink into the wood aggressively.

  26. Paul, Not sure when ,where or how, My dad showed me how to use hand tools and gave me my own. I even think I got an oil stone. Cannot remember. He instructed me in use of hand tools and gave me a bench in our basement. when I asked if I could use his power tools, he said no. “Why I asked. He said ” With hand tools your mistakes will be smaller.” LOL! I did work with my friends dad rehabbing, painting etc, and later Norm Abrams came on the scene. He was one of the first. No YouTube then. Norm was a lot like yourself. Quiet, comfortable with himself and a good role model. Yep I have power tools, and I have rehabbed a number of older tools. Have to say no to myself at the Habitat for Humanity store when I see another Diston hand saw. LOL! When I need a hand tool how to…I come a runnin! Thanks!

  27. Mr. Sellers, I cannot thank you enough for your inspiration! I recently turned a piece of scrap wood into a box. Not because I needed a box, but because I wanted to practice making half-blind dovetails. You gave me the confidence to try it – you make it look so easy, how could I not try it?!?
    I know the result is not the best but I feel that I am improving after these first four attempts. Here is a link to the result

  28. I have always thought of machine wood working as “wood processing” rather than wood working. Similar I suppose to writing by hand versus a word processor. A word processor doesn’t make you a better writer; thus, a wood “processor” doesn’t make you a better wood worker.

  29. Hand tools aren’t passion!
    I have power tools also but hand tools are my first love, I have been a woodworking enthusiasts for over 50 years. Once I thought I knew all there was to know about wood working but that was all there was in my world at that time. The more I inquired into the world the more I found out I didn’t know anything! So after more than 50 years of woodworking I am still learning and I am very happy with that.

  30. I used machines a bit in my enclosed basement, but the smoke detector needed to be disabled when cutting on the table saw. I invested in a pair of Japanese pull saws, and find much more enjoyment as I can listen to the radio and work at the same time. Besides, it is a hobby not a lifestyle.

  31. Thank you, Paul. It is interesting to hear of the friction between different types of tools, use, and views. It seems that personal pride, the kind that is above the pride we should have, spills over into every activity people do. Money, acceptance, and ego seems to divide us. Glad to have you tell us there is room for all tool users. I love hand tools.

  32. As a woodworker and photographer, I can say that the difference between using machines to do the woodworking and using hand tools compares to using film and digital. I shoot both, but shooting with a manual film camera takes more skill than the modern digital cameras that have turned photographers lazy. When you shoot film, every shot costs money. You have to understand how to take the shot right by thinking. It’s the same with hand planes and other non electric hand tools. I restored a few of my grandpa’s old hand planes and am learning how to properly use them. Watching your videos and reading your blogs has contributed a great deal in that learning process. People today have the mindset of immediate satisfaction, no patience. When you’ve finished a project that you built by hand instead of being processed by machines, there’s a joy and satisfaction that can’t be replaced.

  33. I own a jointer, drill press, redial arm saw, contractor table saw, miter saw, lathe, and I use them to do shelves in the garage and them make short work of dull projects.

    I have graduated to hand tools for fine work and projects are fun again.

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