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Thread: Justifying tool purchases for Hobby Work

  1. #76
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Los Angeles, California
    I'm going the other direction. I'm scheduled to take a full week course on hand tool joinery in a couple weeks, covering the tools (saws, chisels, planes), sharpening them, and making joints with them. While I use and enjoy power tools, having the option to use hand tools will be a skillset that I will appreciate. By the way, you don't need dust collection, ear protection, push sticks, splitters, or eye protection when using hand tools, so it is not only cheaper than power tools, but much safer. And I get to spend more money on booze, weed, and coke.

    Just kidding on the last sentence.


  2. #77
    I am sorta awaiting a parody video with a guy strapping a 6" dust port to his 1/8" chisel.

  3. #78
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Toronto Ontario
    I agree Thomas, except for the eye protection part.

    I hope you have fun on your course, it sounds great.......Regards, Rod

  4. #79
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas McCurnin View Post
    By the way, you don't need ... eye protection when using hand tools,
    That part I disagree with...

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  5. #80
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Dickinson, Texas
    Blog Entries
    I agree with Jim.

  6. #81
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    That part I disagree with...
    It's not always cheaper either

    scope creep

  7. #82
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    E TN, near Knoxville
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas McCurnin View Post
    By the way, you don't need ... eye protection when using hand tools,
    That part I disagree with...
    I remember a moment many years ago: a hammer, a chisel, a wood chip, a sting, and a drop of blood on my forehead.

    My mantra: Protect only those eyes (ears, fingers, etc) you want to keep.


  8. #83
    Quote Originally Posted by mike stenson View Post
    It's not always cheaper either
    Very true. Maybe the rock-bottom price to get into woodworking would be less for a hand-tool only shop, assuming either poor quality tools or if you can find good older tools and restore them, but it could also easily cost much more if buying new, premium tools and wanting to have a lot of bases covered.

    Also, hand tool woodworking is by no means dust free either.

    Cheers, Dom

  9. #84
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Wayland, MA
    A bit of tool porn for those who think hand tool woodworking needs to be cheap. (listed at $4200)


  10. #85
    Well, you're right. If you want all boutique planes and saws, a brace of of grizzly machines could certainly be cheaper. I just think we scare people off sometimes. Even with new tools, this doesnt have to be a cost-prohibitive hobby, does it?

    I think I could outfit a functional hand tool shop in new Lee Valley gear without breaking the bank. I mean, how much do you really have to have to get going? A rip and crosscut saw, a #4 handplane, a couple reliable squares, a couple good rules, a dozen pipe clamps? Buy S4S lumber for a while and get to building stuff. Over time, buy molding planes, and all the other nice-to-have items. But Dom's right - dust is dust, whether cut with a tablesaw or a Badaxe handsaw.

    Have a good day everyone!
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  11. #86
    Lost my reply.. but basically, it's never a good idea to share 50/50 ownership in a tool. It will cause bad feelings when a minor damage is done to the tool .. like what if one person accidently damages the track? It's still usable, but it will annoy the other person whenever they see it.. Maybe if one of you bought the domino and the other bought the track saw, it might work out.. but there's still potential to strain the friendship.. What happens when you plan on using the domino on Sat, tell the guy, come over and he is in the middle of busting out a bunch of dominos because he knows you are borrowing it and he might not see it for another month? So you wait around hours for him to finish, etc, etc.. Be careful, never a good idea to mix money and friendship..

  12. #87
    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Irish View Post
    How do you rationalize a tool purchase?
    I'll bet less than one in ten of us makes a living with woodworking. So can you afford it? Do you want it? smarty pants answer is below

    Don't ask these guys that question unless you want someone to tell you to buy. Like asking the drunk on the bar stool next to you if it would be alright to have another beer.

  13. #88
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Central New Jersey
    Justification for buying tools for woodworking hobby is really no different than any other hobby. It all depends on your budget and how much enjoyment you get from the hobby. There are other justifications that can be used besides financial when it comes to a hobby. It is supposed to be fun, relaxing, bring enjoyment and in the case of woodworking, help give you some bit of exercise (could vary depending on the specific type or woodworking), help reduce stress (or give you some), and these are very much gains when it comes to health. When it comes to family, you can have your family members help and get involved. My son, now 13 helps often and I got him started with just hand sanding when he was maybe 6 or so. Now he's using hand power tools, the drill press, miter saw, band saw etc. No table saw till we get a Saw Stop and honestly safety requires zero financial justification. This mean no 'cheap' tools, a lesson I learned buying my first table saw which was used twice, but happened to be the perfect hight for my lunchbox planer. Cheap tools can be dangerous, dull blades are even more dangerous, working without a dust collector and air filter is just down right asking for respiratory issues. So, again, no justification when it comes to safety.

    So - while it's hard to justify cost sometimes, it all comes down to what you can budget for your hobby and your safety. Some people buy some simple hand tools from the local hardware store and other's put up heated and air conditioned buildings with top-tier machines. Other hobbies are the same. Some people buy a Walmart fishing pole and drop a line in the local pond for a catfish, others buy 3 million dollar offshore fishing yachts to catch a Marlin.

    Use your budget wisely, invest in good quality tools that you know you will use for years, not put on craigslist after 3 months to upgrade to a better quality or larger tool and most important, make saw dust safely.

  14. #89
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Lexington, KY
    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    Adequate tools can do excellent work. Excellent tools make doing excellent work a little more elegant or consistent or faster or maybe even easier. I see a lot of nice pick up trucks at the lumberyard. My Tacoma still hauls lumber just fine. Spend your money on what’s important to you.
    I am with you Glenn on the nice pickups (and I love pickups). I could easily afford a new pickup but I am happy with my 20 year old Tundra. I could buy a Festool track saw with a single monthly payment on a new nicely trimmed out pickup. Tools are far better investments of course than vehicles. Every tool I have ever sold was sold for not that far off from what I paid for it originally. If you bought a Domino 10 years ago or a Lie Nielsen smooth plane and wanted to sell it, you would do very well. People think nothing of spending thousands on a cruise (I have never been on one) and that money is just gone. When my wife told me last year to buy a 3HP PCS Sawstop (she accompanied me to Highland Woodworking in Atlanta) I didn't second guess her and I didn't feel guilty! I had used a Ryobi BT 3000 for almost 30 years and used it a lot. I didn't really have to have the Sawstop but boy have I enjoyed it! Frankly I enjoy it even when it's turned off. I bought my first Lie Nielsen smooth plane recently. I didn't really need it (I have a lot of handplanes) but I love using it, but also just looking at it, holding it, oiling it, honing the blade. It's a piece of art in my opinion. A painting on the wall can just be admired but a beautiful tool can not only be admired but it can help you make something beautiful for people you love.

  15. #90
    I have used the high priced vehicle excuse several times, and I continue to get by with as low priced trucks as possible. Have an 04 Chevy 2500HD for trailer pulling, and drive a 14 Tacoma base truck for transportation. The Chevy is horrible on gas short trips, the Taco much better, but no good for trailering a skidsteer. Have no plans to get any new vehicles except for moving the wife up to a newer Corolla.

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