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In being self-employed, one day will greatly vary from the next, but generally, I start in the morning by dealing with in-town errands or head right to the shop if there are none. Once at the shop, there’s an e-mail check, then a brief glance at various websites to look for new developments related to our market and clientele. Then the real workday starts. I’ve got a bunch of notes regarding current projects taped next to my computer and will make a list for the day’s tasks by picking the highest priority items from the notes. The goal is to get that stuff accomplished by the end of the day. There are two of us in the shop, but we usually work on separate projects, so that’s why I have my own to-do list. Some days are spent on the computer designing or creating programs for the laser or CNC. Other times we’re doing runs of sunglasses or guitar parts which we sell wholesale to other businesses. In which case, I may be operating the laser or CNC. Despite the high-tech tooling, there’s still a lot of bench work to do, and that can involve cutting and fitting joints with chisels and hand planes. Besides that, there’s always plenty of rough lumber to mill since no project can begin until boards are flattened, surfaced and cut to dimension.
I regularly use four handsaws in my shop, not because I’m a hand-tool nut but because a handsaw is often the smartest, most efficient choice for the job at hand. Take the job of crosscutting or mitering delicate moldings and miter keys. you could do those tasks at the tablesaw or miter saw, but you’d need to devise a jig to hold the workpiece during the cut, and there’s no guarantee that the spinning blade won’t chew up the workpiece. It’s much quicker, safer, and cleaner to make the cut with a backsaw.
Making the flowers grow in the planters allow them to carry these plants, herbs, and flowers to anywhere in the home or patio. You will find this project one of the profitable and inexpensive. And the good thing is that you don’t need to be proficient in woodworking to build this one, just by having/knowing the basics of woodworking will be enough to build this one. Place your planter anywhere in the house or garden.
Along with stone, clay and animal parts, wood was one of the first materials worked by early humans. Microwear analysis of the Mousterian stone tools used by the Neanderthals show that many were used to work wood. The development of civilization was closely tied to the development of increasingly greater degrees of skill in working these materials.
There are many factors to consider when deciding what type of wood to use for a project. One of the most important is the workability of the wood: the way in which it responds when worked by hand or tools, the quality of the grain, and how it responds to adhesives and finishes. When the workability of wood is high, it offers a lower resistance when cutting and has a diminished blunting effect on tools. Highly workable wood is easier to manipulate into desired forms. If the wood grain is straight and even, it will be much easier to create strong and durable glued joints. Additionally, it will help protect the wood from splitting when nailed or screwed. Coarse grains require a lengthy process of filing and rubbing down the grain to produce a smooth result.
So just make the decision: either spend $125 (pretty affordable) for a sharp and sexy new dovetail saw or spend $50-$200 on a vintage dovetail saw that will require sharpening and likely rust removal. I typically advocate buying antique woodworking hand tools, but in the case of back saws I prefer new Lie-Nielsen saws. I don’t currently see the progressive pitch saws on Lie-Nielsen’s website, but you can always call them and ask them to file one like that for you. But the normal dovetail saw will work great.
For an artisanal look, you can use woodworking hand tools. These are easy to use, lightweight and require no batteries or power cords to operate. Many hand tools are covered by multi-year or even lifetime warranties for extra protection and value. Set up your pieces with the most expertly crafted woodworking hardware, such as hinges, pulls and knobs to create a final product that you can give as a gift, sell or just display proudly.
If you can only afford one initial hand saw, then get a rip saw. A rip saw can indeed make cross cuts (cutting the board to length) though it will require more cleaning up than if you use a cross cut hand saw (read more below). But it is much more difficult to rip a long board with a cross-cut saw. Rip saws are simple to sharpen and refurbish. I have a good number of rip hand saws from different saw makers, but mostly Disston saws. If you find multiple old hand saws for a good price, you can certainly sharpen and set them in different ways to make certain jobs easier. Some of the desirable models of Disston saws are the Disston #16 hand saw, Disston #D-8 hand saw (with thumb holes is desireable), Disston #12 hand saw, among others.
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