View Full Version : va neanders?

scott pollack
09-28-2003, 1:23 PM
just out of curiosity , how many virginia neanderthals are here? and as a second question, how / why did you get started with hand tools? i started out when i was in middle school. hand tools were what i could afford. i got good at them and never wanted to try power tools. even in school shop, i always strayed towards doing things by hand and i was much prouder of my work when it was done by hand. now its really cool to say" i did that all by myself , just with my 2 hands." i think my proudest moment was when my step son ( who is a very quiet guy) looked at the captains bed i built and said to me " wow scott , that looks like something you would buy in a store" . after he went outside and i wiped the tear away , i was pretty proud to have done it all by hand. thats what its about. thanks guys. im looking foward to hearing some of your stories.


Philip Duffy
09-28-2003, 3:17 PM
Hey, Scott, I am over in James City Co.(or at least, what is left of it after the hurricane) and do some flat work but mostly turnings. Got started "back on the farm" as a kid who could not cut a 2x4 in half, and some would say, 'still can't'. But, I went off and did the Navy thing for 31 years and not much wood at sea these days.
Hope you had a better time of the hurricane than this part of the state. Philip

Richard Gillespie
09-28-2003, 4:18 PM
I'm in Dumfries, VA. That's about 26 miles south DC on I-95. I started down the slippery slope with hand tools 16 years ago when I need a tool to strip the bark off of a 10" Diameter white oak log. I used that as a center post for a spiral stair case I was building in our then, new house. My father lent me his grandfather's draw knife to use. As I understand it, my great grandfather was a cabinet maker in a Ohio furniture factory until the great depression closed it and he had to become a school janitor.

I've since inherited Dad's tools. After retiring in 1995 from 30+ years of being bored, I've worked off and on as a handyman and 4+ years as a cabinet/furniture maker for a local company. I took the job in the cabinet shop to learn how the professionals handled production work. That, believe it or not, had an adverse effect on my love of woodworking. I have since left that position.

Over the years, I've picked up various antique tools to add to my collection of mostly planes and chisels. I've also been bottom feeding on ebay. I've been closely watching the articles on this and other forums to pickup any hints I can on the use of and tuning planes, especially cast iron ones. I want to take a moment to say thanks to every contributor in every forum.

I want to convert to hand tools as much as possible. I expect that I will continue to use my power tools, especially when pressed for time. Yet, I reach for a hand tool whenever I can. Today, rather than sand a piece of fir plywood I used a #4 Stanley smoother. Needing to clip a corner off I used an old back saw. Preparation of the edges for edge gluing is being done with hand planes and chisels.