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section1
28th Jan 2016, 01:56 PM
This is one issue I'm frankly sick of and the other is the constant wining and bagging
of our tool makers so I have decided to do a blog which addresses both issues and starts a campaign
of awareness that will eventually put a stop to this ludicrous unethical behaviour.

https://journeymansjournel.wordpress.com/2016/01/27/what-constitutes-handmade/ (https://journeymansjournel.wordpress.com/2016/01/27/what-constitutes-handmade/)

Yanis
28th Jan 2016, 02:22 PM
Interesting perspective and well written. The comparison of the quality hand tool price is also a valid one. I have gathered some very nice hand tools some if which are quality tools and are pure joy to use. I also have many older tools, mainly inherited from members of my family no longer with us. All of them are still perfectly serviceable in are being restored to their former glory. Paul Sellers is an interesting example and he is certainly an inspiration to me.

Looking forward to your further thoughts.

John

section1
28th Jan 2016, 02:52 PM
Thanks John this was a long time coming I hope it inspires other people to make similar posts and put an end to this charade.

Simplicity
28th Jan 2016, 08:48 PM
May we have a link please

Big Shed
28th Jan 2016, 08:49 PM
May we have a link please


See post #1

Simplicity
28th Jan 2016, 09:24 PM
[emoji106]

Kuffy
28th Jan 2016, 10:14 PM
Machine made to me is anything with a fully automatic process. such as a CNC router, a 4 sided moulder, a thicknesser, dovetailer, round end tenoner, wide belt sander etc. The only thing a man has to do is pick up, put down on machine, wait, pick up, put down on pallet. gee, that doesn't say much about my trade...ah well :)

handmade is anything which includes anything up to semi-automatic processes. semi-automatic can include tablesaws/panel saws, spindle moulder (with or without the use of a power feed), jointer, drill press, edge sanders, bandsaws, scroll saws etc etc. basically anything where you need to actually hold the timber and move the timber into the cutter using your own power.

setting a sliding panelsaw's crosscut fence to be exactly 90 degrees to the blade, setting a length stop on that fence at the right spot and then moving the timber into the spinning blade to create a nice clean cut end at the right length and angle is no different to squaring the end of a board using a precision instrument such as a hand plane with a shooting board.

section1
28th Jan 2016, 11:39 PM
This is where I will have to disagree with you Kuffy, you cannot include a tablesaw, jointer or spindle moulder into the equation of handmade because it is isn't. Rip or crosscutting by hand is a lot different than just placing it on the table and feeding it through, same applies to other three. The bandsaw if used for rip and crosscuts then I wouldn't say that piece is entirely handmade but for shaping purposes yes I would same applies to the scrollsaw. The point being here is that your relying on your hands, your skill to do the work accurately without resorting to machinery to rip a board or joint an edge or face. What prompted me to write this blog was the ridiculous views these purists have and the pressure they put hand tool woodworkers under to adhere to the work guidelines they have set.

derekcohen
29th Jan 2016, 12:38 AM
so I have decided to do a blog which addresses both issues and starts a campaign
of awareness that will eventually put a stop to this ludicrous unethical behaviour.

I think this rant is missing the point ... well, at least the point how I see it ... or perhaps I have a different perspective on what to rant about :)

I do not have a problem with "hand made" and power tools together. Power tools are not evil. They are just tools.

I use a lot of handtools - hell, I have a website that is pretty much dedicated to handtools - still, I use a lot of power tools as well. They are used for taking the raw timber and turning it into boards that are close to size. Hand tools then take over for joinery, shaping and detail work.

So at point could I say my work is "hand made"? Is that a lie?

I think the distinction between machine and hand tools reflects a lack of understanding about what constitutes craftsmanship. Perhaps one should substitute "craftsman made" for "hand made". The latter is meaningless to me. It says nothing of the craft that went into a piece of work. There are hand tool made pieces that are complete [email protected], as much as there are machine made pieces that are a dogs breakfast.

What constitutes "craftsman made" for me is that a piece is correctly made: appropriate joinery (regardless of whether made by machine or hand), thoughtful use of grain-matching, balanced composition in thicknesses of parts, a design that is interesting and demonstrates an understanding of aesthetics and market demand ...

I do prefer handcut dovetails to machine cut dovetails because they look better, and I do prefer a true mortice-and-tenon joint to a biscuit/dowel/domino joint because I am a traditionalist. What I rail at is the indiscriminate use of automation to make joinery because the Maker lacks the skills for anything else. Being a "craftsman" implies a mastery of tools (and design). Nevertheless, I am happy to use a tablesaw, even a power router if it is the tool of choice for a specific task. I love my combination jointer-thicknesser with the helix head. Still, I go out of my way to use a handtool where another will use a power router, such as shaping beads or other mouldings, because I love handtools, and not because they carry a superior label in that particular context.

Perhaps explaining craftsmen and craftsmanship to others should be the goal here.

Regards from Perth

Derek

section1
29th Jan 2016, 01:07 AM
Thanks Derek for your input I always appreciate your thoughts and I do agree with you in much of what you have said and I think explaining the differences between the two as you mentioned would be a great blog for next time round. In the end what tools and means people use it's up to them, as along as they are enjoying their craft nothing else or anyone's idea of what 'real woodworking' is matters. As for me my hand tools are my preference it's what I enjoy to use, it's about the journey and not the end even though we all aspire to make a masterpiece. I have tried the whole tablesaw and jointer ordeal and I loathed it a short lived legacy of machine work but none the less I would never criticise anyone for using machinery just like I wouldn't appreciate someone criticising me for using hand tools.

ian
29th Jan 2016, 01:50 AM
section1's opening quote
As it relates to woodworking, Id say a purist is defined as a person who disapproves of any methods other than his own.

reminds me of another related quote
An environmentalist already has a house in the woods.

ian
29th Jan 2016, 02:08 AM
I think the distinction between machine and hand tools reflects a lack of understanding about what constitutes craftsmanship. Perhaps one should substitute "craftsman made" for "hand made". The latter is meaningless to me. It says nothing of the craft that went into a piece of work. There are hand tool made pieces that are complete [email protected], as much as there are machine made pieces that are a dogs breakfast.

What constitutes "craftsman made" for me is that a piece is correctly made: appropriate joinery (regardless of whether made by machine or hand), thoughtful use of grain-matching, balanced composition in thicknesses of parts, a design that is interesting and demonstrates an understanding of aesthetics and market demand ...

Perhaps explaining craftsmen and craftsmanship to others should be the goal here.
I'm tending to agree with Derek on this.

a construction in solid wood that mimics the flat pack design popularized by Ikea can not be classified as "hand made" no matter how many hours went into dimensioning the material by hand and flattening the final construction. Flat pack design with its knock down fittings does just not cut it as craftsman made.

However, using the appropriate machine fitting (eg Lamello Clamex fittings) to solve an otherwise "impossible" design objective doesn't relegate the finished project to "machine made"

likewise, it would be beyond grossly insulting to relegate Sebastian ErraZuriz's wave cabinet

http://static1.squarespace.com/static/54c296e8e4b0a736d2aa14cd/t/54de3039e4b05ae6225aeb51/1423847508720/?format=1000w

to the status of "machine made" and therefore somewhat inferior

Yanis
29th Jan 2016, 08:57 AM
We may be talking about different things here. I am not sure that we really are on different tracks just expressing a desire to do different things. I think we all love to watch people doing things "hand made" in the sense that they are using pre-industrial techniques and skills. See those videos of Japanese craftsmen who construct a house full of furniture using just a whittling knife (OK so I exaggerate slightly but you know what I mean) or that Moroccan guy who makes turned ornaments using a foot lathe, I am sure at some point we have all said "I wish I could do that" then realise that some of these people have honed their skills for many years as an apprentice to a master carpenter.

I suppose my point is that some people love the process of using only non-powered tools to produce furniture and works of art from wood. The process is as important as the end product. For others using power tool short cuts to get to a certain point is perfectly fine, such as using a jointer and thicknesser to surface a board is fine. Then there are others who power all the way and rarely pick up a hand tool. No one is better or worse IMHO but simply different, depending on what you enjoy.

To be honest I am a hybrid woodworker only because I lack the skill to s4s a board by hand. But I could never give up my chisels and planes, that is the enjoyment of crafting something with intimate contact with the wood from which I am constructing a piece. I think I gain the most enjoyment when I take a log cut from a tree and using as little power as possible craft something from it. Or take an unsightly piece of old roughed up timber and then make something beautiful.

It seems to me that the actual tools and techniques are as much to do with personality as with philosophy. All hail all woodworking I say. Hand crafted, hand made, hybrid, power tool, more power to the maker whatever his or her predilection.

John

Yanis
29th Jan 2016, 09:16 AM
Oh, and as a post script, my first ever major woodworking project was when I was first married and I constructed a two seat and two by one seat lounge suite using pine from my local hardware with only hand tools. I used Stanley chisels, Irwin tennon saw, a wood rasp, sand paper and Stanley #4 hand plane. I did have some of my dad's old tools as well. I used mortise and tenon joinery. We had precious little money so I made do with what I had and it was fantastic fun to construct this furniture from design through to realisation using only hand tools.

It was solid square and functional and lasted for many years and when we replaced it with a factory made leather suite was as solid as the day it was made. Looking back, despite the lack of skill and the flaws (that only I knew about) it is the piece of which I am most proud.

John

Robson Valley
15th Nov 2016, 02:51 PM
Purists often have their optic nerves connected to their distal orifices which gives them a really shirty outlook on life.
One off is hand made and I refuse to admire you for wasting your time, hand-tooling the rough-out.
You make a dozen, +/- 0.05mm and I'll walk on.

I use power tools to chop down a piece of log for wood carving. Both gas and electric chain saws.
Other power tools to rough out the basic shape. Skilsaws, Dremel SawMax/Rotozip, you name it.
Gouges and mallet, maybe an elbow adze, maybe a coping saw.

Then comes the pleasure of the finesse to make the wood show me the form.

Ironwood
15th Nov 2016, 03:47 PM
So I take it these so-called "purists" who shun power tools of any kind, also shun any timber that is cut by any powered saw. I hope they are taking their horse and buggy out into the bush, and using an axe and handsaws to recover their timber.

Don't get me wrong, I grew up in a house built by my Grandfather, full of beautiful furniture also made by him, I imagine most, or all of the timber he used was cut by hand, and he didn't have any power tools either. So I do appreciate "handmade/crafted".
But times are a changing, whether we like it or not.

section1
15th Nov 2016, 04:56 PM
What you consider time wasting I would consider it pure joy and skill building. We all work wood, how we choose to work it is our own affair.

section1
15th Nov 2016, 04:59 PM
Ironwood my response was to robson valley

Luke Maddux
15th Nov 2016, 06:33 PM
I guess I don't know what's being referred to when you talk about people bagging out tool makers. I'm not really aware of anyone making undeniably better tools than Lie Nielsen or Lee Valley, Terry Gordon is about the most respectable dude ever, and all I ever hear about Vesper is how they're the greatest ever in the universe rah rah fireworks. So who are the people actively discouraging the use of these tools? I'm genuinely curious, and I think some perspective would help me appreciate the article.

Colin62
15th Nov 2016, 11:08 PM
At what point does something become a machine?

Using a Yankee screwdriver is making use of mechanical advantage. Using a cordless screwdriver is taking advantage of chemical storage of electrical potential. Most of us would draw the line somewhere between those two, but at the end of the day, where you draw the line is pretty arbitrary. It's never truly a black-and-white kind of thing, it's a continuum, and each will label things along the continuum slightly differently.

I'm pretty sure most purists will allow that a Yankee screwdriver is a handtool, and following from that, that a foot powered table saw should count as "by hand". Would that still count if you had a helper doing the pedaling? Probably. And if foot power from a helper is "accepted", then what about a draught animal, perhaps a horse or a donkey? What about a water powered mill? If you still accept that, then how different is, for argument, solar powered electricity? It's just a means of turning a shaft to drive a blade, what difference does it make it it's muscle (yours or someone else's), water or electrons?

If you get that far, then all that's left to argue about is how the electricity is generated. :)

Luke Maddux
17th Nov 2016, 06:47 AM
I guess I don't know what's being referred to when you talk about people bagging out tool makers. I'm not really aware of anyone making undeniably better tools than Lie Nielsen or Lee Valley, Terry Gordon is about the most respectable dude ever, and all I ever hear about Vesper is how they're the greatest ever in the universe rah rah fireworks. So who are the people actively discouraging the use of these tools? I'm genuinely curious, and I think some perspective would help me appreciate the article.

Section 1, any plans to comment on this? I don't think you get to have a rant that's quite this inflammatory and then just disappear from the thread...

ian
17th Nov 2016, 07:31 AM
I wonder what prompted Robson Valley to resurrect this thread?

my own take, is that hand made encompasses any object where the limitations of the available machinery have not been used to justify the design (and in this context, design includes the choice of joint.)

and conversely, machine made is any piece where the design is tied to the dictates of a particular machine cut joint.

Luke Maddux
17th Nov 2016, 07:45 AM
Ah, I didn't realize it was a resurrected thread. I guess it came up when I was just returning from the US last holiday season and I missed it. My bad on that.

I'm still interested in hearing what specifics prompted such a rant. I get the impression that the OP was attempting to relate to some kind of trend in the woodworking mindset of which I'm completely unaware. If anything, I feel like toolmakers are put on a very high pedestal. If Lie Nielsen released a video of Deneb whateverhisnameis making walking sticks with broken glass then I would have every expectation that my Instagram feed would be flooded with hickory branches and vintage coke bottles within the week. I've actually cancelled an order with a toolmaker in the past because I really just could not handle him repeatedly telling me his tools were "the best in the world". I feel like, if anything, the toolmakers actually have the ability to direct the market for their goods, and certainly are seeing little if any detriment based on negative reviews of their products by outspoken curmudgeons.

So I kinda felt left out in the rain here... What gives?

section1
17th Nov 2016, 11:00 AM
This post is 12 months old, I've learned a lot since this post in the value of keeping my opinions to myself. So to answer you respectively Luke - I would rather not.

section1
17th Nov 2016, 01:13 PM
Luke my post was in response to a problem that was getting out of hand or atleast was at it's peak 1 year ago and now I believe that it's toned down a bit and levelled itself out. Only with new people getting into woodworking do you still see it ongoing and it's no fault of their own and I would love to say who is biggest culprit in bagging tool makers just so they continue to have a strong hold on the market but I can't. I fear the loyalists backlash who are completely new to the woodworking arena and are clueless who mindlessly fight endlessly for these certain individual/s and therefore I choose to refrain from mentioning any one particular group or individual. Having said that the one I'm referring too is clear as day and a few on this forum has had running's with them, clear valid points has been offered with zero rebuttal because the points, this or these offenders make are baseless.

The corporate world is a ruthless destructive world and this is the approach that's being taken against tool makers in general which also played a part in the rapid price rising of antique and vintage tools. Many of these tools once upon a time could of been bought at a fraction of the price and one could of under $2000 purchased all the tools to start their careers or hobbies and now you would need double that amount. Simple H&R's only 2 or 3 years ago a set of 18 were selling for US$350 now they're double the amount. A Stanley antique rabbet plane is selling for approx. US$500 Lie Nielson is selling a brand new reproduction for US$375 so in my opinion tool makers are a vital part of our industry and quality makers like HNT, Vesper, LN and many out there deserve the respect that is being ripped from under them by these strategist who want to corner the market for themselves. If they left the scene, put out of business then we will fall at the mercy of antique dealers and there is no mercy there.

Then there are those purists who'll convince new comers to convert a motorised lathe into a foot pedestal one thinking that they're now using a truly handmade approach, they fail to see that it makes no difference whether that lathe has a motor or piece of rope attached to it that it's still handmade, obviously. Woodworking is logical and one needs to take a logical approach to it, if you don't have a lathe and cannot afford to buy a good quality one then make one but to convert a motorised lathe into a foot pedestal in order to appease the purists and avoid the backlash and fear of it not being branded as handmade is just ludicrous. Then on the other hand you have the machinists who like to make a mockery of those who prefer to work by hand only, this too is ludicrous. We're woodworkers and for most of us this is just a hobby and I want to enjoy this hobby of working wood the way I choose to work it without some clut laughing at me because I choose to rip a board by hand or even thickness one by hand. I choose to work the way I do because it suits me, I enjoy it and sure machinery would speed up the process but as one supplier asked me once when I was in business, what's the rush. Whether it takes you 1 week or 1 year to finish a project is never the point it's about enjoying the process. It's always about the journey and never about end.

I hope I have answered your question without naming names.