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Tools of the Trade

By Larry Beck

The right tool for the job never fails.  It just needs the right hands.

The right tool in the hand of a skilled, practiced woodworker turns a beautiful act of nature into a wondrous work of art and function.  So let me be the first to say I appreciate the skilled and industrious people who make the best tools for those of us who are learning the craft of wood.

One matter of concern, however, there are many great tools and companies to choose between, from cheap and/or expensive, to poor quality, to high quality.  A friend of mine once suggested, depending on what you are doing, start with a cheap tool, see how it works.  And then, if you will be doing the same thing over and over again, buy the more expensive tool later.  If not, a little use justified the cheaper tool.

What I have found — it does not take long to appreciate a high quality tool.  In fact, the first use usually proves its worth.  Such was the case with a new biscuit joiner I purchased not long ago.  It made joining some 2 x 6’s on edge quite simple and quick.  This was a table top for my daughter.  Turned out very nice.

table top

I look forward to every new tool I am able to purchase and use.

And this brings me to this item too.  I have been invited to blog on ToolsToday.  Looking at their tools, especially their woodworking table, saw blades and router bits has lured me in, not really hard though, kind of like a West Texas road runner coming across a rattlesnake!  This is a meal road runners just don’t run from!

I bought a dado stack from a big box company (cheap to say the least, or better “on a low budget” at the time) but now I am purchasing a dado stack from ToolsToday with great anticipation for some serious table saw joinery.  Look for some projects pictures in the near future.  This one just completed (customer wants to do finish work.)

router bit chestAnd as stated above, the right tool never fails, it’s only the skill of the worker that makes the difference.  A dull ax in the hand of a skilled axman can still drop a large tree; it’s what axes do, it’s what skilled people do.

The sum of all this: Learn with every tool at hand; keep looking for better tools to increase your skill and quality of work.

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