Silent Woodworking

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Seems to us at Henry Eckert Hand Tools we are lucky to have the opportunity to work (and play) in a quiet environment while woodworking. Using woodwork hand tools, ‘silent woodworking’ is a far cry from city grind, bad news stories, depressing interest rates, current high cost of living, politicians et al.

We enjoy using our hand planes of course but one of the nicest underrated hand tools is the range of hand scrapers we use. Made in France , they have a small price but a large performance, when they’re sharp!

Here are some quotes, thoughts and opinions from some of our well known woodworkers.

“The hand tool method of woodworking stimulates a level of inventiveness and problem-solving that is unparalleled.” – Chris Schwarz
This quote by Chris Schwarz emphasises the creativity and problem-solving aspect of using hand tools in woodworking, including hand scrapers. We really recommend looking up Chris’ Lost Art Press blog on sharpening hand scrapers, it is simply the best hand scraper sharpening technique, highly recommended.

“Hand tools are quiet, portable, and allow you to work with greater precision.” – Roy Underhill
Roy Underhill’s quote emphasises the advantages of using hand tools, including hand scrapers, in woodworking.

“I believe that the desire to make beautiful things with our hands connects us to a deeper level of humanity.” – Sam Maloof

Sam Maloof was a renowned furniture maker, and this quote encapsulates the profound connection between craftsmanship and the use of hand tools. It suggests that working with hand tools allows woodworkers to tap into their artistic and humanistic nature.

“The hand tool is a powerful antidote to the haste and stress of the machine age.” – James Krenov

James Krenov, (love this guy) a master cabinetmaker and author, believed in the meditative and therapeutic qualities of working with hand tools. This quote highlights the ability of hand tools to offer a more deliberate and calming approach to woodworking, allowing woodworkers to escape the fast-paced world around them.

“In a machine age, handmade is the ultimate luxury.” – Garrett Hack

Garrett Hack, a renowned furniture maker and author, ( and visitor to Adelaide) emphasises the value of handmade craftsmanship in a world dominated by machines. This quote underscores the uniqueness and artistry that hand tools bring to woodworking, making it a coveted and exceptional endeavor.

“The hand tool shapes, joins, and finishes the material, but it also shapes, joins, and finishes the maker.” – Toshio Odate

Toshio Odate, a Japanese woodworking master, highlights the profound relationship between the woodworker and hand tools. This quote suggests that the use of hand tools not only shapes the wood but also has a transformative effect on the woodworker, honing their skills and character.

Paul Sellers is a renowned woodworker and instructor known for his focus on traditional hand tool techniques. He has frequently talked about the use of hand scrapers in achieving a fine finish on wood surfaces. He emphasizes the importance of sharpening and using hand scrapers properly to achieve excellent results.

While not primarily a woodworker, Bob Flexner is a well-known authority on wood finishing. In his book “Understanding Wood Finishing,” he discusses the role of hand scrapers in preparing wood surfaces for finishing. He provides insights into sharpening techniques and their benefits compared to sanding.

We reckon these quotes capture the essence of the value and significance that renowned woodworkers place on using hand tools in their craft. Hand tools not only enable precision and control but also foster a deeper connection to the materials and the woodworking process itself.

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