Embracing Electron Power: My Migration Towards Power Tools

Embracing Electron Power: My Migration Towards Power Tools

I love my hand tools.  They’re soothing and cathartic.  But, the one thing I love more than using hand tools is designing furniture.  Eventually, I want to do this full-time.  If I want to take this passion full-time, I need to embrace electron power.   I need to focus more time on design and less on milling lumber.  My hand tools will always have a place in my work flow.

Minimax FS30

I start this migration with the purchase of a Minimax FS30 Jointer/Planer combo.  My single most tedious task is milling lumber by hand.  Milling by hand teaches you a lot about wood, but it consumes too much time to focus on design.  I purchased a combo machine, due to limited shop space.  This will be a solid investment.  Minimax has a proven track record and their corporate offices are very close to me.  I also considered Hammer, but ultimately decided to go with the FS30.

The new circuit has been run.  All I need to do is get her off of the pallet.  Free beer for any helpers!

Next, I will buy a table saw.  I love flexible European-style, sliding table saws.  However, most are out of my budget.  Sawstop is my second choice.  They build a solid saw with a proven safety record.  Following that, I will likely invest in a hollow-chisel mortiser.  I plan to build a lot of furniture with mortise and tenon joinery, so this will also come in handy.

It won’t all happen right away, but I will embrace the change and move on to bigger things.  Wish me luck!



7 thoughts on “Embracing Electron Power: My Migration Towards Power Tools

  1. I don’t think you will regret moving in this direction. As someone who wants to design, build, and sell furniture you have to consider efficiency and whether doing a task by hand adds perceptible value to the final product. I think both machines and hand tools have a place in a professional work flow — machines to quickly do tasks that otherwise would take much longer by hand, and hand tools to do things that machines cannot, and to leave a human touch on the piece as well. The trick is to find the right balance.

    I recently bought a SawStop and highly recommend it. It’s a wonderful saw, far better than the Bridgewood cabinet saw it replaced. Everything about it is top notch, including fantastic dust collection. Even without the safety features it’s a great saw. I know they sell a sliding table as an attachment, but I don’t have one of those. I can guarantee that you will be very happy if the cartridge ever fires and you walk away with all your fingers and a tiny scratch.

    • Jeff, thanks for your words of wisdom. This is very helpful considering you and Brian do work similar to what I would like to do.

      Do you own the Professional or Industrial Sawstop?

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