Solar Powered

A big innovation in hand tools came along the line of cordless drills and screw guns. It expanded to circular saws, jig saws, saws alls and many other tools. Cordless meant you used a battery to power the electric tool rather than plugging it into an outlet. It made for mobility that was unheard of just a few decades ago but was common a hundred years ago. The shelf life of a human is very short. This is a tremendous disadvantage when it comes to history.

There was a day when a craftsman had a tool chest he could carry with him that had everything he needed in it to do whatever he had the skills to do. Everything. The tool chests themselves were often works of art and some are in museums around the world. They were often show pieces to the skill of the craftsman, like advertising.

All the tools in the tool chest were solar powered (first heard from Roy Underhill on The Woodwright’s Shop). The sun provided the energy for the plants to photosynthesize. Men and animals ate the plants, which gave them the energy to build and use the tools, which gave them the opportunity to make useful things for themselves and others. This is why it’s called traditional woodworking. It’s solar powered, basic, traditional and slow. Before men harnessed electricity to take some of the time and work out of what they did it was all they had. They built solar powered machines before they made solar panels. There were hand operated drill presses, foot operated sewing machines and lathes. If it could be powered by man it was solar powered because man was, and is still, powered by the sun.

Why do it the old way? Good question. If you have to ask it you probably shouldn’t do it the traditional way. If you want to try traditional methods you have probably thought about it and need no explanation. Does this mean the old way is better? No. It means now that I have time to think about it, and no way of doing it either way, I can choose what I want to do when I am able to do again. Now I can study, learn and try a little thing here and there.


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