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What I've Learned About Woodworking - Hand Tools and Machines

Modern technology, with its vast capacity to produce cheaply everything needed by a burgeoning world population, has replaced the hand tools and the hand craftsmen which have attended mankind since its earliest days.

Alex W. Bealer, Old Ways of Working Wood, 1980


Perhaps I could cut out the back of the bubinga/ebony guitar faster with a bandsaw, but the coping saw makes me be aware of the wood and when I am done with this task the coping saw will hang on a peg.

A bandsaw makes noise, requires more space and electricity. I get to burn a few calories using a coping saw.

Now, if I were making doors and sashes for a living I would have shop full of power woodworking machines, I see their value in speed and efficiency for that kind of wood working.

I don't make doors and sashes for a living, I make guitars in a small shop.

Hand tools best suit my work...




...because they allow me to be intimate with the wood.

A guitar is a very intimate instrument, especially for the player.

Yes, I know that these days the sound of a guitar must be able to bounce off the back walls of a 3,000 seat concert venue, that is because the majority of people are use to loud noises and have lost the ability to listen well. I wonder, is that inability to listen well due to the noise of modern technology?

For me, woodworking is about taking my time to understand the tools and how they work with the wood...

...which means I learn how to work with the wood.




Comments

  1. Hello Wilson,

    this is a neverending story. The wood tells us, how we have to work. An amazing exercise.

    sincerly

    Uwe Adler, Germany

    ReplyDelete

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