The Wood Whisperer: My Favorite Power Tool Accessories


Hand tools complement and complete work begun with power equipment.
By Marc Spagnuolo
Pages: 78-79

From the October 2008 issue #171
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Most folks I talk with in the woodworking hobby seem to follow a similar path. They start out by emulating what they see on television, which is of course, power tools. Eventually, whether through magazines, web sites, forums or local clubs, they hear other woodworkers raving about the virtues of hand tools. Not wanting to miss out on something great, they usually head out to the nearest hardware store and purchase their first plane, typically a bench plane or a small block plane.

Their first attempt at using the tool actually becomes a pivotal point in their development: a three-pronged fork in the beginning craftsman’s path. Depending on their first impressions, the woodworkers are then subdivided into one of three camps.

First we have the power-tool users (affectionately termed “Normites” after one of the most popular power-tool users in existence, Norm Abram). These amperage addicts love their horsepower and scoff at the thought of cutting any type of joinery by hand.

Second, we have the hand-tool users (frequently referred to as “Neanderthals” due to their love of older, simpler tooling – not because they have large foreheads and bad posture). This calmer, gentler variety of woodworker enjoys the quiet and controlled interaction between human and wood.

The third category of woodworker is what I like to refer to as the “Hybrids.” A hybrid woodworker approaches each project with the question, “Which tool will get the job done quickly and accurately?” Whether rated in rpm or the Rockwell scale, a tool is a tool. Power, tech specs and nostalgia take a back seat to the bigger picture: getting the job done. Generally speaking, my hybrid approach involves using a power tool as the primary workhorse and the hand tools for fine tuning. Here are some of my favorites.


From the October 2008 issue #171
Buy this issue now