1. Hand Tool Woodworking for the Quality
A growing number of people have become dissatisfied with the modern throw-away lifestyle. Inexpensive, and cheaply made furniture and products have flooded into our homes, and they typically find their way out our doors, and to the landfills not long afterward. Most modern furniture is meant to last one or two moves. It’s a cycle of consumption that was unknown to our ancestors, who lived in a time when furniture and other goods were built to last a life time…usually multiple lifetimes.
Here at WoodAndShop and at our traditional woodworking school, we don’t dictate a certain style of furniture, but we do insist that furniture be built well; really well, with traditional wood joinery techniques, which include dovetail joints, mortise & tenon joints, tongue & groove joints, dado joints, and more.
While I certainly use power tools for many tasks in my workshop (see how I square boards with power tools), I find that I have become a better furniture maker by incorporating the use of woodworking hand tools. I understand furniture construction in a much better way because I carefully shape each piece of wood with my woodworking hand tools.
And believe it or not, using hand tools can often be faster than using power tools. If I’ve got one or two mortise & tenon joints to cut, it’s faster to make with woodworking hand tools than by setting up all the power tools to make the same joint. I’ve seen woodworkers spend all day building a jig so they could make a wood joint, when I could have made the same joint in a few minutes with woodworking hand tools.