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Coarse, Medium & Fine

Coarse, Medium & Fine

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Too often we hear that hand tools are slow and power tools are fast. Even people who love hand tools talk about how they enjoy handwork because it forces them to slow their work on a project to ponder the details, to enjoy the smell of the freshly cut wood and to labor in quiet harmony with the wood.

Very bucolic – but very ill-informed.

To my mind, people who think hand tools are slow are either using the wrong tool for a task or they are people who will work slow no matter what tool is in their hand. To become truly skilled and efficient at woodworking is to ignore whether or not the tool in you hand has a power cord or a sharp blade. Instead, you should make sure that you know whether the tool is a coarse tool for hogging off material, a medium tool for refining a job at hand, or a fine tool that will be the last to touch your work.

This classification system – coarse, medium and fine – works for many of the tools of the craft. And putting each tool into its place is the first step toward knowing its true use at the bench.

And once you know what the tool is used for, you’ll also be able to figure out which tools (if any) should be used before it and which tools (if any) should be used after it. And you’ll know – in general terms – how long you should be using that tool before you switch to the finer one. To learn this system, this DVD explores the bench plane system and shows you how to bring these traditional and powerful tools into any workshop.