360w360 E.100 – Hand Tools vs. Power Tools

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IMG_0067In this episode of 360 with 360WoodWorking, the 360 guys discuss the age-old debate, hand tools versus power tools.

Join the guys twice each week for six lively minutes of discussion on everything from tools to techniques to wood selection (and more). Chuck & Glen, and sometimes a surprise guest, all have their own opinions. Sometimes they agree and sometimes they don’t, but the conversation is always information packed and lots of fun.

If you have topics you’d like to hear covered in future episodes, click here to send an email to the guys.

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4 thoughts on “360w360 E.100 – Hand Tools vs. Power Tools

  1. Knowing how to do the 4-square by hand (fyi, 4-square isn’t entirely necessary IF working entirely by hand, but that’s a different issue) means that if you have a piece TOO LARGE for the machines you have or TOO SMALL to be done safely means you still have a way to get the job completed.

    Otherwise, do what makes you happy or at feeds your family (hobby vs. production).

    1. Rob,

      You are correct, sir. In addition to being able to handle the situations you mentioned, developing good planing skills help you make adjustments to ill-fitting pieces and generally provides greater options when you just can’t figure out how to make something fit/work. One might say those skills are just another tool in your arsenal, but that would be comparing a skill to a plane, chisel, jointer or table saw and that would just be silly.

      And 4-squaring a board is a relative thing (to address the different issue). Even at the height of hand tool use, craftsmen attempted to get things relatively square and parallel. The upside of hand tool use is, when you don’t get a board perfect in all dimensions, it’s easy to compensate by working from the reference surfaces. Funny thing is, I’ve always worked that way regardless of whether I was using hand or power tools. Power tools are nothing more than motorized versions of their hand tool counterparts. And because I work from that premise, I don’t change my methods to suit the tools.

      1. Chuck –

        Yep. Best example I can think of where 4-squaring is NOT necessary, just need a reference edge and a reference face, would be table aprons.

        Gang the pieces and mark tenon shoulders using a knife and square and you don’t even need the ends to be squared (6-square, but we never say that). All the excess thickness or lack thereof is thrown to the inside of the table. The two long edges do need to be reasonably parallel but no need for BS 939.

        And no, BS 939 isn’t a graduate course at MASW.

  2. First of all, congratulations on your 100th podcast !
    You guys have really helped a lot of woodworkers by sharing your combined vast trove of knowledge..honest.

    I am a power tool woodworker and use hand tools in areas where they seem to make more sense.
    But like your analogy of the farmer getting to the end result by however works best for him, if you have the ability of doing processes both ways, it’s just a matter of doing whatever you want to do. It’s your project.

    Here’s to the next 100 podcasts.
    And thanks again.

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