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Old 01-30-2021, 09:18 AM
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Mark Hatcher Mark Hatcher is online now
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Peterborough, New Hampshire
Posts: 3,816

Originally Posted by BEJ View Post
Mark, as always another interesting thread, I like how you stated you are not on some crusade of hand tools vs power tools, just looking at another way to make a better product.

For me it's always been a combination of hand and power depending on the task at hand. I think my Jet drum sander might be the 2nd or 3rd coolest thing I've bought in the past few years or so, my digital camera being #1(one of the greatest things ever) and maybe #2 MB 560 SEC.

As a finish carpenter I was always surprised on how many guys didn't have a block plane, didn't see how anyone could do quality work without one no matter what power tools you had use of.

As great as hand tools are for somethings I have yet to see one of the most useful power tools non power equivalent a vacuum cleaner. A vac not for dust control but for just general clean up. Some may not think of it as a tool but spend a day on just about any type of job without one and see how it goes.

Will look forward to more posts on this journey.

Thanks for following along and for your comments. I agree with about the general clean up importance. A messy disorganized shop to me is depressing, unhealthy, and just a time and energy suck.

One thing I do that works well for me is to eliminate anything in the shop that is not directly involved or directly supportive of me making guitars. So my specialty bicycle tools are back at the house in the garage etc.

I agree with the digital camera as being an important tool. In fact it is the one tool in my shop that keeps all the other tools busy! Now if I were to go power free on that tool I guess a pencil and a piece of paper could replace the camera but, I'd still need to use a camera to get it up on the internet where my sales are made.

Originally Posted by cigarfan View Post
Thanks Mark. Your posts and pics are so informative. Love the top comparison of sanded to planed. Phenomenal difference! Sure love watching this thread.
Thanks cigarfan!

Originally Posted by jayhawk View Post

Couple of questions about your tooling...

I agree with you about the smoothing plane. I have several so I can keep them set to take different cuts. My favorite is a brass #3 Lie-Nielsen. The sound of it being sharp and slicing the thinnest layer is just magic.

I haven’t heard you talk about card scrappers and I am learning about using them. Do you use scrappers? How do you use them? While I don’t build guitars I am trying to get to the point where I don’t use sandpaper when I do my woodworking.

Thanks for all your insights.

Jack I do use scrapers. Like the planes they fall into different families. I use scraper planes, card scrapers and specialty scrapers. Scrapers go way back and are the original sandpaper. In the grand scheme of things in guitar making I think the best finish for prepping wood is a planed surface, a close second is scraped and sanded as a last resort.

In this thread I am trying to highlight contemporary hand tools so this is a good time to mention a card scraper developed by Alan Carruth and sold by Stewmac. It is 1/8" thick and is shaped on a grinding wheel. It works a dream! It gets into places none of my planes do and is very controllable. I'll try to capture it in action somewhere during this thread.

Originally Posted by SJ VanSandt View Post
I am so happy that you are doing this, Mark. As a rabid environmentalist, I've always found the power tool aspect of "hand-built" guitars to be unfortunate, but didn't see any way around it. This gives me hope. And, I must say, it makes me even prouder to be the owner of a Hatcher guitar!

All the best,

Thanks Stan, I can't say I don't have a power meter on my shop (not yet) but I will say it came as a revelation to me when I figured out that hand tools didn't stop evolving when electricity came out!
Mark Hatcher

“We learn who we are in practice, not theory”
David Epstein
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