…and No Other?
“Dear Mr. Sellers,
Let me ask a disruptive question. You say “The bandsaw features highly in resizing my stock. It speeds up the process”.
I have been reading your blog for a few months and I’m really surprised regarding the consistency between you general argumentation against machines and your use of the bandsaw, that is also a noisy dusty dangerous power tool. Why do you make an exception for the bandsaw and not the power plane or router? Doesn’t thsi defeat your argumentation against power tools? If we start using power tools, where to stop?”
Hello, Actually, I don’t argue with those who counter my preference for hand tools by telling me what I should do or asking why I don’t use this or that machine. I mostly dismiss them because I am likely to have used the machine methods they use a hundred or a thousand times more and I am also skilled with hand tools too. As a result of this, I can decide for myself and have no need to explain myself to anyone. You see I made a choice based on my experience. They can’t make the same choice because, for the main part at least, they choose methods that require little if any skill. I mean they can dial in the distance, lift the wood to the table and the fence, switch on and push. They are not addressing an audience every month with an alternative offering. Of the hundreds of thousands I reach this way I would be surprised if the vast majority of them do or even can own the machinery it would take to make even one of the beautiful pieces we make with hand tools in our videos. Then too, what of the costs? 8,000 (You name the currency) to set up a workshop for making a few pieces of furniture. And then what of the dedicated workspace? Again, they must have a whole garage at least to house this machinery and support equipment like a dust extractor, outfeed tables and so on. Were I to do this, the message I would send would have to be entirely different. My message thus far, without telling anyone never to use a machine in my life, Is an amazing success story. I haven’t needed a tablesaw in years, I have a power router somewhere and that is the same. I don’t particularly need a power joiner or thickness planer but as I get older perhaps I might need one. Right now I don’t. If I do need wood dimensioning in quantity I will buy it that way. Look how much space and money I am saving already.
You say that the bandsaw is, “a noisy dusty dangerous power tool.” I say no it’s not. Not when it us set up properly and used carefully. In my view the bandsaw is one of the safest machines to use provided you have the right training and safety equipment and practices. For instance, I own a meter that measures the dust in the atmosphere that cost £2,000. I did this because my film staff need to be protected as well if not more than me. Periodic testing and measuring always results in the same outcome and that is barely enough air contamination to register and certainly no danger. Why? Use a well set up extractor unit about an eighth the size of a cubic meter. The bandsaw itself occupies a footprint of foursquare feet. That’s not invasive in my garage space.
Twice you say, “I’m really surprised regarding the consistency between your general argumentation against machines”. I would ask you to cite where you saw, read, heard or watched me argue with anyone about the use of machines? I do have a stance, part of which I just outlined, ut `i am not unsympathetic toward people who have never learned to use hand tools or don’t believe tat they work as well as they do. My quest is to persuade others to understand that they can embrace hand tools as well as other methods, that they could actually give up harmful habits including smoking and choking their workshop and spending a fortune when all they wanted was a coffee table and to learn some real woodworking instead of just machining. You know, adopt an enhanced lifestyle.
For dimensioning would in a limited garage space the bandsaw knows no equal. Why? Well have you ver tried ripping a 2 x 10 inch board four feet long into four half inch thick boards on a tablesaw? I just did it in a few minutes yesterday. I find it hard to tell someone with emphysema to do such a thing. I am currently making a rocking chair with 30 parts of various sizes and some of which are curved bent or whatever. The bandsaw is just perfect and planing each piece takes but a few minutes.
I think that your question was legitimate and good. And I hoe that this helps.