Developing Your Hand Tool Skills
In this day and age, everything is electronically powered, from drills to sanders. However, don’t lose the valuable skill of using hand tools. Sometimes a power tool just isn’t appropriate for the type of task you want to do. Hand tools give your work a personal touch. In woodwork, hand tools such as chisels, handsaws and planes achieve a result which just isn’t possible using power tools, especially if you are doing particularly detailed work or working on a small area.
Chisels are versatile tools as they can be used to carry out detailed carvings or can be used to remove large chunks of wood. They are generally used to cut and fit hand-cut joinery, although they can be used for other tasks too. Chisels are available in different shapes and sizes depending on the job you are doing. They range from the long and thin to the short and stubby. You should choose your chisel carefully before starting your task.
Hand planes are used by joiners and woodworkers to prepare parts for furniture. They are also used for finishing a piece of wood to make it smooth. Again, there are a range of planes available depending on what job you’re doing and what type of surface you are working on. For example, a shoulder plane can be used to cut a rabbet into the edge of a board whereas a compass plane can be used to smooth a curved surface.
Many of the jobs that were traditionally completed using hand tools can now be done quicker and more easily using power tools. However, knowing how to use hand tools is a great skill to have in trades where traditional methods are being pushed aside. Even though power tools are more convenient and quicker, sometimes, using a hand tool can just be that more enjoyable.
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