6 Reasons Why You Should Try Traditional Woodworking
If you consider yourself as among the generation who prefer the modern methods of woodworking, you may think that trying the traditional way of doing things is so outdated. In fact, some woodworkers reason that it is a waste of time, considering that power tools are now available for easier use. However, as a traditional woodworker myself, I can say that there’s something about traditional woodworking that makes it special. Here are 6 reasons why you should try traditional woodworking.
1. Woodworking also Encourages Exercise
Compared to using modern power tools, the use of hand tools require effort on your part. This can translate to some form of exercise as you work. The type of exercise that you can enjoy as you use these hand tools can turn out to be beneficial for you and your health. This is particularly true if you are so into your craft that you may no longer have enough time for yourself to enjoy a good workout session. Rather than deprive yourself of this very important health-related activity, why not incorporate it in your hobby? For example, ripping on a log will help you burn the same amount, or even more, of calories as with going to a gym.
2. The natural noise produced in the process
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One of the selling points of most electrically powered tools is silent operation. Well, this may come in handy if you live in an area where disturbing other people is a no-no. However, as a woodworker, you generally have a space to call your own – your work shop, where you can do things the way you want it to be. Sadly, not all power tools offer completely silent operation. In fact, the noise they produce can be really annoying, which means that you also have to wear gear to protect your ears.
With this in mind, you might want to try traditional woodworking and experience the actual noise produced by using hand tools. The good thing about these noises is that they are usually rhythmic and natural, just like the noise created as you use a hand saw. This will allow you to have concentration on your task, which is very important when working on a project.
3. Traditional is More Affordable!
Generally speaking, traditional woodworking costs less compared to using modern tools and processes. In fact, it is relatively more affordable to purchase hand tools compared to power tools. For example, you can actually get a $10 coping saw, instead of paying more than $500 for a band saw. Both of these saws can do the same job, with a huge price difference. This also goes the same for other tools such as planer, table saw, or drill press. If you need to have a lot of equipment in your arsenal, just imagine the total amount of money that you could otherwise save by purchasing hand tools, instead of more expensive power tools.
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4. Hand Tools Last Longer
By design, hand tools last longer. In fact, they can last a lifetime, and even more, as long as you take good care of them. In fact, some woodworkers inherit their tools from their grandparents. Who knows? You can even pass on your tools to younger generations in your family? As such, these tools become heritage tools which prove to be more valuable, in the literal sense of the word, compared to an electric machine that is only designed to last for 10 years or even less. As a bonus, imagine the skills that you will learn as you use hand tools, not depending on the seemingly automatic processes offered by modern tools.
5. Less Power, Less Injury
We often hear of incidents wherein woodworkers end up hurting themselves while using power tools. This is usually because there is little control that you can have when using these tools. They are automatic, so you hardly have enough time to stop them when needed. However, with manual tools, less power means less injury. As such, you may not want to put yourself in a risky situation and learn at the same time. Indeed, while power tools were designed to complete tasks fast, being prone to injury is one of the downsides that you have to face while working on a project.
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6. Hand Projects are More Satisfying
Have you ever tried completing a project which is mostly from scratch? The feeling is different, compared to finishing a project with the aid of power tools. You can proudly tell your friends that you have finished a project by yourself, using the skills that you have learned along the way. Listening to their admiration and compliments will boost up your confidence even further, thus allowing you to enhance your skills even better. Of course, you may have to anticipate that using hand tools may take more time compared to using power tools, but the satisfaction that you feel after working on a project is definitely better.
The list mentioned above are based from my personal experience, and I believe that they also resound the feeling of other traditional woodworkers out there.
Did you like the list presented above? If you have thoughts to share, comments and feedbacks, don’t hesitate to leave them below. You may also share your experiences when it comes to woodworking. Feel free to share this article if you liked it too!