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Too_Many_Tools
11-18-2009, 02:29 PM
In the few last years I have visited a number of regional library book sales (large ones, +100,000 books) while in the area on business and it is always the same...there are many woodworking books to buy compared to the almost no metalworking books.

The last sale...just one metalworking book..a textbook.

So why are there so few metalworking books out there.

I will say that I am also amazed as to how many romance paperbacks are available and the incredible demand for them.

If I were looking to heat my home with a wood stove, I would make sure it could burn romance novels...you would always have a steady supply available.

TMT

Alistair Hosie
11-18-2009, 02:51 PM
wow try finding good dvd's on machining. I have a mass of books and quite a pile of dvd's on woodworking,however I can't fathom it .Maybe it's because the woodturning ,cabinet making ,joinery, stuff has been more accessible to the homeowners maybe than machining has even in a small way ,and it's making what sells at the end of the day.Things hopefully will catch up we'll see.Alistair

Chester
11-18-2009, 02:54 PM
You just have to look at the numbers, One metal guy to 100,000 wood guys. Just look at the magazine subscription numbers. FWW Vs HSM for an example.

In a list of favorite hobbies gardening and woodworking are right up there, metalworking is no where to be found.

A look at on line used book sellers will show that too.

lane
11-18-2009, 02:55 PM
Did you ever stop to think Their is more people doing wood work than metal work in home shops.

Evan
11-18-2009, 02:55 PM
That kind of reminds me of the question "Why do white sheep eat more than black sheep?"

tryp
11-18-2009, 03:03 PM
'chuckle'

We are all black sheep.....

38_Cal
11-18-2009, 03:13 PM
From a historical point of view, woodworking has been regarded as a "gentlemen's" hobby, where metalworking has mostly been regarded as a "trade", something that the unwashed might do.

Evan
11-18-2009, 03:23 PM
Probably something to do with the fact that you have to keep your hands clean doing wood work.

Carld
11-18-2009, 03:50 PM
Could have a lot to do with the cost of the tools and machines and the experience required, ya think :rolleyes: .

ptjw7uk
11-18-2009, 03:53 PM
Probably something to do with the amount of tools needed.
For woodwork you could get away with a few hand tools and a bench in the old days bodgers only needed a few handtools as they made the rest in the forest.
But metalwork, the amount you think you need is ever expanding as Frankl Ford says in another thread 'I make tools to make tools for other tools etc.'
I think machinists and metalworkers are a breed apart.

peter

Evan
11-18-2009, 04:12 PM
I dislike wood working although I can do an acceptable job. My hands are never clean and at least swarf doesn't hang in the air.

Tools are just as expensive and there are just as many to collect in the wood working hobby. Just like metal working there is always something else you "need".

aboard_epsilon
11-18-2009, 04:25 PM
well as far as metal working lathes and mills go ...you make things to fix other things...or just fix other things.

or generally just make stuff out of metal to assist you making more things out of metal

well you can make traction engines steam engine etc ..but there ain't many doing that.

were as in woodwork you create things...furniture .bird feeders...rabbit hutches.....whatever..and very quickly and cheaply....and fix things up in your house....so appeals more ..

now i cant think of anything produced by me on the metal working lathe or mill........that hasn't been to help me further with metalworking ..or simply fixing something mechanical thats bust or worn out

its very awkward when you meet people ..when they ask what have you made .......its like ummmm...urrrr....mmmmmm...when you try impossibly to remember something that would appeal to them..and not describe how you made a boring bar etc.

cnc .though opens a lot more doors .

all the best.markj

topct
11-18-2009, 04:29 PM
I like working with wood.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v78/topct/P1010001-1.jpg

I do not have the means or the ability to have made this totally out of metal.

aboard_epsilon
11-18-2009, 04:38 PM
I like working with wood.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v78/topct/P1010001-1.jpg

I do not have the means or the ability to have made this totally out of metal.

so what is it ..a dummy tank ?

topct
11-18-2009, 05:07 PM
so what is it ..a dummy tank ?

"Dummy"? Maybe sorta. It's function is that of a real gas tank, it holds gas and does not leak.

It has a liner. Inside is a plastic bladder tank out of a Honda Trail 70.

I would have liked to build a metal one but wood let me make this.

There are a few woodworking shows on public tv. I watch them and I always seem to pick up something that can pertain to metal work.

I do wish they had some metalworking programs, but as stated there are more people interested in wood.

Too_Many_Tools
11-18-2009, 05:13 PM
I would LOVE to see a metalworking show on tv, cable, released to DVD.

TMT

Doc Nickel
11-18-2009, 05:26 PM
Basically, generally speaking, machining hasn't been a hobby of any particularly large scale until relatively recently.

Two reasons for that: One, it's been classically seen as a highly-skilled "apprentice" type job, and two, the cost of the machines. In my opinion, it's probably been more the latter.

Yes, Southbend sold many thousands of SB9 lathes to "home shop" users, as did Sears and Montgomery-Wards (Craftsman, Powermatic, Atlas, etc.) But I seem to recall that the SB was something like $400- at a time when a car cost $700. Think of how accessible the hobby would be today if the cheapest machine we could buy cost $12,000.

On the other hand, woodworkers could do a great deal with inexpensive hand tools- hand saws, chisels, rasps, hand planes- and entry-level power tools, like a small benchtop tablesaw or little planer/jointer, were relatively inexpensive.

Wood was also cheaper as a material, and more people found the end product useful- shelves, jewelry boxes, small cabinets, drawers, etc. rather than turned chessmen and fancy nutcrackers. (Yes, I know- very generally speaking.)

Add to that the fact that "woodworking" is a far older pastime than what we'd consider "machine work". Stradivarius was using hand planes and chisels a hundred years before somebody invented the first of what we'd call a 'modern' machine tool.

Machinework in general, as a hobby, really only started taking off when the machines themselves started becoming more widely affordable. Manuals being cast off from rapidly-automating factories, and then later, machines being cast off from rapidly-closing factories.

About that time we started seeing more and more Asian imports as well, and the formation of dealers like Jet to market the new wave of "home shop" machines.

So in essence, the woodworkers have had more of a "jump start" on us machinists, and up until only very recently, the cost of entry was far lower into woodworking than machining. (Starting from scratch today: $150 Ryobi tablesaw, or $750 9x20 lathe, for example.)

Which means more woodworkers, which means more magazines, TV shows and other resources.

Doc.

HSS
11-18-2009, 05:35 PM
Thanks to sears and rearback, woodworking tools are very abundant. I used to go to there just to go thru the tool section while SWMBO shopped for her stuff. They have very, very few things for machining and then mostly in measurement and the cheap stuff at that.

Patrick

whitis
11-18-2009, 06:08 PM
Check out my library (http://www.freelabs.com/~whitis/ebooks/index.xhtml) of technical ebooks. Far more books on metalworking than wood working and free to download and you don't need to remember to take them back. Even cheaper than the book sale. Most of it is old (pre 1923) so you need to consider what still applies and what doesn't but a lot of it still does. The more recent stuff is mostly produced by the government.

There seem to be very few copies of many of the old metalworking and manufacturing books still in libraries around the world. At least the libraries that were smart enough to hold on to the few remaining copies realize they are worth scanning and preserving.

Librarians tend to think that anything technical that is a few years out of date is obsolete. Unless it is so old to be of historic value. But since it gets pruned long before it becomes historic, the book doesn't stay around enough to qualify for that exemption.

Tony Ennis
11-18-2009, 06:17 PM
As a poser at both disciplines, I think the reason is that woodworking is more useful for HSMers.

A woodworker can makes things around the house, such as furniture, boxes, cutting boards (ugh), or use pretty much the same tools and skillset to build a deck.

A metalworker... does what around the house, exactly? Fix a broken mower on occasion? That squeaky dryer bearing?

Too_Many_Tools
11-18-2009, 06:32 PM
Basically, generally speaking, machining hasn't been a hobby of any particularly large scale until relatively recently.

Two reasons for that: One, it's been classically seen as a highly-skilled "apprentice" type job, and two, the cost of the machines. In my opinion, it's probably been more the latter.

Yes, Southbend sold many thousands of SB9 lathes to "home shop" users, as did Sears and Montgomery-Wards (Craftsman, Powermatic, Atlas, etc.) But I seem to recall that the SB was something like $400- at a time when a car cost $700. Think of how accessible the hobby would be today if the cheapest machine we could buy cost $12,000.

On the other hand, woodworkers could do a great deal with inexpensive hand tools- hand saws, chisels, rasps, hand planes- and entry-level power tools, like a small benchtop tablesaw or little planer/jointer, were relatively inexpensive.

Wood was also cheaper as a material, and more people found the end product useful- shelves, jewelry boxes, small cabinets, drawers, etc. rather than turned chessmen and fancy nutcrackers. (Yes, I know- very generally speaking.)

Add to that the fact that "woodworking" is a far older pastime than what we'd consider "machine work". Stradivarius was using hand planes and chisels a hundred years before somebody invented the first of what we'd call a 'modern' machine tool.

Machinework in general, as a hobby, really only started taking off when the machines themselves started becoming more widely affordable. Manuals being cast off from rapidly-automating factories, and then later, machines being cast off from rapidly-closing factories.

About that time we started seeing more and more Asian imports as well, and the formation of dealers like Jet to market the new wave of "home shop" machines.

So in essence, the woodworkers have had more of a "jump start" on us machinists, and up until only very recently, the cost of entry was far lower into woodworking than machining. (Starting from scratch today: $150 Ryobi tablesaw, or $750 9x20 lathe, for example.)

Which means more woodworkers, which means more magazines, TV shows and other resources.

Doc.

Good point about the machinery cost.

It would also apply to welding products.

TMT

Tony Ennis
11-18-2009, 06:35 PM
Tools are just as expensive and there are just as many to collect in the wood working hobby.

Not really. Woodworking doesn't have 'tooling' as such, with the possible exception of router bits which you buy once every X years. I think metal workers have an extra layer of expenses in 'tooling.'

Of course you can go nuts with any hobby, but you don't have to.

Not to mention woodworking equipment is less expensive than machine equipment. $5,000 equips a shop with some nice new stationary tools such as a Unisaw w fence, bandsaw, planer, chopsaw, and a router with plenty left over for benches and stands. How far does $5,000 get in a metal shop? Cheesy Chicom lathe and mill is $2,500 sans tooling. Hmmm maybe it's a closer race than I think...

chrisfournier
11-18-2009, 06:50 PM
I was a full time woodworker who has become a HSM. I agree with many of the points made previously. I have a few of my own to add. I will keep it hobby to hobby which is only fair.


Metal working equipment is far more expensive than woodworking equipment -tape measure and ruler vs. calipers/TDI dial indicators etc.
Metal working machinery is HEAVY, even the hobby stuff. Not too many "Gentlemen" will contemplate getting a 1500 lb lathe and small mill into their garage let alone basement.
Metal work is dirtier than woodwork - yuch who likes greasy hands and black fingernails?
Why wood even smells good; cutting oil and hot mill scale?
No ones wife is impressed when she finds out that her husband just saved "X" by machining a discontinued part on their snowblower/car/lawnmower.
Everyones wife is impressed with that lovely jewellery box - "How thoughtful!" No ones wife is dying for a little steam engine of her own...
Wood working can be ill concieved, poorly made and sloppy to the point of non-functional - I mean "rustic".
If metal working is any of the above well you're likely a "welder" not a "machinist". By "welder" I mean the guy with the hand me down 225 and the 30 year old rods.

Finally, if you bought woodworking magazines and books in the early to mid eighties say for a 5 year stretch you pretty much have everything in print that pertains to woodworking already. For the last 20 plus years your humble collection has been regurgitated in some "new and improved" form or other ever since. Most woodworking magazines can barely wait one calander year before they pull out the old "handplanes for beginners", "sharpening cabinet scrapers", "finishing with oil" or "buying lumber" and put the article in rotation yet again.

On the other hand, while there are fewer metalworking books relative to woodworking I find them to be much less fluff and much more substance. I'll take the quality over quantity any day. If this isn't enough for you, check out several woodworking forums and compare them to the metalworking forums that you frequent.

Evan
11-18-2009, 07:38 PM
I don't think comparing the home shop machinst hobby to the ordinary home wood work shop is a fair comparison. The guy woodworking with a table saw and maybe a drill press plus a few hand tools is in the same category as I was before I got my lathe. I had those same tools and did what little metal work I could, much of it done the very hard way. Cut with a hack saw and holes filed very carefully to shape to make things like instrument panels or electronics project boxes or fix a rusted mower deck.

If you want to compare, and this is what I was thinking of, you should compare to the home shop cabinet maker. A very good friend of mine is a retired high school wood shop teacher and he has as many or more tools than I do. The comment about tooling is way off the mark, there are just as many bits, knives, saw blades, cutters, sanding belts, grinding wheels and related consumables as there is tooling in metal working.

I can't begin to produce the work he does and he can't imagine doing what I do.

Doc Nickel
11-18-2009, 09:07 PM
I don't think comparing the home shop machinst hobby to the ordinary home wood work shop is a fair comparison.

-Modern comparisons really weren't the question.

TMT asked why there's more magazines (and related resources) for woodworkers than for machinists- the answer to that is, of course, that there's more woodworkers, and likely by a pretty fair margin.

That then raises the question why that's the case. Which is where my- and other's- answers come in. Simply put, there's more "home shop" woodworkers because the entry level to woodworking is slight and relatively inexpensive.

And alternatively, the entry level to machining is comparatively steep. A woodworker, after all, can work wood without any power tools. A machinist, however, is pretty much by definition a person who runs a machine. The machine being sort of a requirement. :D

That is, of course, all quite general. Certainly there are exceptions and anecdotes, but the premise is still sound: "home shop" woodworking tooling has been widely available and relatively inexpensive for quite literally centuries. On the other hand, affordable home shop sized machinery only just started to become available in the fifties and sixties, and it wasn't until the early eighties or so that the Asian stuff began to be widely available.

So there's more woodworkers because A) They got a "head start" on us, B) it's cheaper to get into woodworking at an entry level, and C) a "woodworker" can include people that use no power tools or very few power tools, while a machinist pretty much by definition has to have a machine tool.

More woodworkers equals more interest which means more media and other resources.

Yes, there's plenty of counterexamples- I know at least three woodworkers that have two or three times the dollar value in machinery, and I'm sure there's plenty of accomplished machinists that have little more than a run-down lathe that cost them $200, a garage-sale drill-press, and a drawerful of files and cold chisels. That doesn't disprove the concept, though.

Now, what can be argued is if we widen "machinist" into "metalworker". We may indeed be arguing apples and oranges here. "Woodworker" tends to imply a person who works with wood, whether he's turning an ornamental pen or making a full set of oak cabinets.

Should we consider "machinist" as a subset of 'metalworker', along with 'knifemaker', 'blacksmith' and 'sheetmetal worker'? A machinist is "one who works with metal using machine tools", would the analogy be "one who works with wood only using powered rotary cutting tools"?

Might be worth it's own thread. :)

Doc.

andy_b
11-18-2009, 09:11 PM
Finally, if you bought woodworking magazines and books in the early to mid eighties say for a 5 year stretch you pretty much have everything in print that pertains to woodworking already. For the last 20 plus years your humble collection has been regurgitated in some "new and improved" form or other ever since. Most woodworking magazines can barely wait one calander year before they pull out the old "handplanes for beginners", "sharpening cabinet scrapers", "finishing with oil" or "buying lumber" and put the article in rotation yet again.


It is funny you mention that. I used to buy/subscribe to various woodworking mags and stopped years ago. Last year I got a free subscription to Woodworker's Journal. I have yet to read a single issue because after looking at the index every article was a re-hash of one I had read years earlier, or it was a review of the latest whiz-bang tool (or SawStop safety saw). Needless to say, I didn't renew my subscription. I have subscribed to Machinsts Workshop for five years or so (maybe longer) and I always enjoy reading every issue. So far I have been finding something new to learn in each one.




If you want to compare, and this is what I was thinking of, you should compare to the home shop cabinet maker. A very good friend of mine is a retired high school wood shop teacher and he has as many or more tools than I do. The comment about tooling is way off the mark, there are just as many bits, knives, saw blades, cutters, sanding belts, grinding wheels and related consumables as there is tooling in metal working.

I can't begin to produce the work he does and he can't imagine doing what I do.

One thing I would add is that a LOT of people envision themselves as cabinet makers. A table saw, bandsaw, and a router and a few bits and you think "I can build any of that stuff, it's just wood". Building quality wood projects takes as much skill as building quality metal projects and once guys find that out it is why you see almost new ShopSmiths and table saws sold that are 20 years old and unused. You can push it into the corner of the garage and forget about it until you get sick of your wife complaining.

With the table saw it is easy to stick the blade in and comprehend how it works and cut a sheet of plywood in half within 1 minute of setting the saw up. I doubt a lot of guys were making candlesticks or threading shafts within 1 minute of getting their metalworking lathe unloaded. :) How often on the woodworking forums do you see the advice, "Just take a few woodworking classes at the local community college"? It isn't like someone asks where the next bandsaw class is, or what the textbook is for the table saw course. In metalworking you could take lathe and mill (and welding and grinding and CNC and...) classes for years. Most guys realize this and don't just go out and buy a milling machine and expect to build motorcycle transmissions that evening. :)

andy b.

Too_Many_Tools
11-18-2009, 09:13 PM
In the few last years I have visited a number of regional library book sales (large ones, +100,000 books) while in the area on business and it is always the same...there are many woodworking books to buy compared to the almost no metalworking books.

The last sale...just one metalworking book..a textbook.

So why are there so few metalworking books out there.

I will say that I am also amazed as to how many romance paperbacks are available and the incredible demand for them.

If I were looking to heat my home with a wood stove, I would make sure it could burn romance novels...you would always have a steady supply available.

TMT

My original comments were in regard to book sales that libraries host to raise funds.

I too have noted that lack of metalworking books in libraries.

My small part to help change that is to buy several metalworking books a year and donate them to the local libraries.

I suggest that you do the same.

Over the years, it does make a difference...I see that "my books" are almost constantly checked out.

TMT

whitis
11-18-2009, 09:47 PM
My small part to help change that is to buy several metalworking books a year and donate them to the local libraries.

I suggest that you do the same.


Good idea, but before you do that check to make sure it will actually go into the collection and not into the book sale pile. So ask before you buy the book and when you actually donate it. It takes work to create the catalog entries for books not already in the catalog and busy librarians often just put it in the book sale cart. They also have limited shelf space and may not appreciate the value of the book unless you explain it. And make sure they understand you bought it new for that purpose.

Evan
11-18-2009, 09:47 PM
You are missing the point Doc. The entry level wood worker with a few basic tools isn't equivalent to even the entry level home shop machinist with a lathe or mill and isn't a woodworker either. He is hacking at chunks of wood with primitive tools and in a few cases may even turn out reasonably good results. A home fabricator with a chop saw and a welder is much the same and there are many more articles in car magazines and similar that deal with that level of metal work.

If you want to compare apples to apples then there are far fewer publications that cater to the cabinet maker level of Home Shop Woodworker. Even then most that buy such magazines are buying them to look at the pretty pictures.

chrisfournier
11-18-2009, 09:55 PM
Evan you wouldn't agree that you were chocking with the guy that had his hands around your throat. It would seem however that you would spend your last breath trying to convince him that this was the case. Don't go changing!

Tony Ennis
11-18-2009, 10:16 PM
Evan, I have a barn full of woodworking tools. I have been looking into metal work tools. I can tell you from first-hand experience what's required to have a functional home wood shop. Metal working has more stuff. Really. I can assure you your ex-shop-teacher pal isn't typical.

Feel free to argue, but you'll be wrong. I'm not responding to this particular topic any more.

-=-=-

A previous poster had a good point about handtools and woodworking. You can work wood with hand tools. $1,000 worth of hand tools would allow you to duplicate probably any furniture ever made. With metal... man. You're using a file. That would be like building a table with a rasp.

-=-=-

Also, you can have a functioning wood shop with very few power tools and turn out some dynamite stuff. Quantity of gear does not imply quality of output. Check out lumberjocks.com and check out the projects there. Some of those guys are quite good.

-=-=-

I personally think metalworking is far more difficult than woodworking. Wood is compressible and that makes the difference. Now it may be that it takes a master to function at the highest levels at either craft. But until then you metal guys have the tougher row to hoe.

dp
11-18-2009, 10:58 PM
If you want to compare, and this is what I was thinking of, you should compare to the home shop cabinet maker.

A good woodworking shop probably has a bigger investment in clamps alone than I have in all my metal working equipment. Hand planes of good quality are not cheap. And at today's prices for wood you'd think you were buying gold bars.

I have a 10" cabinet table saw, a cutoff saw, a band saw, two jointers, 3 disk sanders, a wood lathe, a dust collection system, 4 routers, 2 radial arm saws, 3 skilsaws, a drill press, and bunches of hand tools, scrapers, and such. I'm far better equipped to make sawdust than swarf.

Tony Ennis
11-18-2009, 11:17 PM
I don't think I have ever seen a 12" table saw. I have a Unisaw, a 14" bandsaw, a radial arm saw, a drill press, and a portable planer. I have a router that's barely worth mentioning. Too loud.

I have probably 6 planes I use. I bought mine from tool dealers. I don't know what they cost new. If cost is a factor, most planes can be made in the shop for very little in a few hours due to the marvel that is modern glue.

Clamps will indeed hurt your wallet. I have 6 Pony clamps and a few bar clamps. Some woodworking sub-genres use *zillions* of clamps.

dp
11-18-2009, 11:43 PM
I don't think I have ever seen a 12" table saw.

They're out there, but not here. That was a brain phart. It's a 10" Jet.

BWS
11-19-2009, 06:07 AM
Do ya'll know what ranks 3rd on the list of most sold/traded/invested in,illegal goods is?Behind Arms and Drugs?It's antiquity's..........."Now,wheres that 18th century Chippendale claw foot I had"...."It's around here somewhere".

We have both,a well equiped cabmet shop and a pretty dang nice machine shop......I buy books on historic houses and furniture.You can get an over the top,colour plate,coffee table book on furniture or art.....used......cheaper than a "Hot Rod" magazine.For the price of a "Fine Wood Working" you can get a 2-book set.

Your Old Dog
11-19-2009, 08:20 AM
Did you ever stop to think Their is more people doing wood work than metal work in home shops.

Hrumph! Some of got interested in metal working while trying to make new tooling for our woodworking interest!

If I added a shaper, my woodworking shop would have everything a guy could want to build damn near anything out of wood. My interest has gravited more to metal working. All of my woodworking equipment was purchased with money made from making entertainment centers and utility cases for the TV news business. Future plans are toheat the rest of the barn so I can start doing wood projects in the future.

Evan
11-19-2009, 08:31 AM
I will restate my point since some seem to misunderstand it.

How many magazines are there for the tooled up cabinetmaker?

garagemark
11-19-2009, 09:33 AM
Iíve been a woodworker for thirty odd years and an aspiring machinist for about a one year. I am very good at crafting wooden objects and furniture. I am in the process of building an entire bedroom suit of cherry for the wife; platform bed with drawers underneath, two night stands, a dresser, an armoire, and a floor standing jewelry box. I have almost every tool known to the woodworking man. OK, that isnít true, but I have an extensive shop that was handed down to me by my grandfather, bought by him in the early 50s. All my equipment is cast iron; the wood lathe is heavier than my 9Ē South Bend by a good margin.

As I see it, the comparison of the two crafts is almost apples to oranges. About the only thing in common is that both either employ rotating tool bits/blades or rotating material. Woodworking rarely requires measurements in the thousandths. A pencil mark is usually sufficient. You donít need to dial in your table saw blade to half a thou runout. If your bandsaw blade is a little bit worn, you just push the wood a little harder through the blade. Wood, by itís very nature, is easy to manipulate. Steel is not. Aluminum comes close to some hardwoods, but it is still tougher to form.

Machine work on the other hand is all about tolerances. Your tools must be quite accurate, they must be sharp, and the machine must run true. If any of the three are missing, the results will be intolerable. The person must also posses a new type of skill set. Material (wood) that was hand fed through a saw blade or planer now is fixed in a jig, and the machine must be manipulated to alter the material. Again, aluminum is a possible exception, depending on alloy type. But most other material is not.

One positive side is that the woodworker usually, if he/she is competent and capable in the wood shop, in a good position to learn the skills well enough to be a competent hobbyist machinist. Most of us (I) will never achieve space shuttle quality parts in the home shop without some mentoring or studying, but they (I, we) will be able to fix the lawnmower bearing housing, or the four wheeler wheel bushing, or make a nice candlestick set for the little woman.

This opinion in no way reflects the entire story, it only state my position and outlook on this newfound hobby. I will, and have, made acceptable parts for broken things in my world. I made a nice little safety device that prevents my autistic grandson from being able to push the button and get out of his seatbelt (an almost disaster when it happened). Iím proud of that little device.

I will tonight plane more rough cut cherry for the bedroom suit. I do most woodworking when itís cold. If it warms up, I will turn a little part I need for the boat. It will work when it is finished. I can now build or repair almost anything in my (our) possession.

Both are wonderful hobbies, and both are very different in skill, knowledge, and tools. Little comparison for me.

lazlo
11-19-2009, 09:51 AM
So why are there so few metalworking books out there.

Because people that do metalworking as a hobby are weirdos. :p

Seriously, what expression do you get from friends, family, and co-workers when you tell them you do metalworking?

Even pro machinists think it's strange to do metalworking for a hobby. When I stop by a machine shop they typically ask who you work for. "I don't, this is a hobby".

What?! Really? Why?

I bought my Brown & Sharpe T&C Grinder from Rayone Grinding -- a high-end grind shop in Providence, Rhode Island. When I picked it up, the guy asked who I worked for. I told him this was for a hobby shop. The owner got a big kick out of that: "Hey Bob, come over here -- this guy does machining for a hobby."

Tony Ennis
11-19-2009, 10:04 AM
How many magazines are there for the tooled up cabinetmaker?

All of them?

Except for some local "how to do woodworking with flint and bones" magazines, the magazines assume the reader has a very competent shop.

If you mean the absolute number, there are probably 6 major ones, 6 minor ones, and then special editions of same on occasion.

MickeyD
11-19-2009, 10:41 AM
I think that most woodworkers, and especially the new ones, are on a quest to learn the secret of not cutting a finger off. Go to a woodworkers show (or even the local woodcraft store on a Saturday morning) and half the people there are either missing a finger or two (old injuries) or has one pointing at an odd angle because they cut it off and had it sewn back on recently. We get lots of nicks and slivers stuck in our hands, but not anything like the injuries the wood guys do.

Evan
11-19-2009, 11:22 AM
I think that is because a machine than can chew metal is inherently a lot scarier. Not that it should be but the little safety guy in you head thinks so, most of the time. When my horizontal mill is growling away taking a 1/4" cut it never even occurs to me to reach in and brush away some chips with my hand.

dp
11-19-2009, 11:28 AM
I think that is because a machine than can chew metal is inherently a lot scarier. Not that it should be but the little safety guy in you head thinks so, most of the time. When my horizontal mill is growling away taking a 1/4" cut it never even occurs to me to reach in and brush away some chips with my hand.

None of my woodworking machines can pick me off the floor by my Oshkosh suspenders and wrap me around the chuck :) and in my case none of my metal working machines can, either, but there's a lot of 5hp iron in home shops that would have no trouble winding you in and running for days until somebody notices you've been late for dinner a number of times. So yeah, my inner frightened child is more cautious around big machines. That's where shapers can fool you. They're large bovine like things that can crush your extremities and pin you to your work.

andy_b
11-19-2009, 11:42 AM
I don't think I have ever seen a 12" table saw.

Clamps will indeed hurt your wallet. I have 6 Pony clamps and a few bar clamps. Some woodworking sub-genres use *zillions* of clamps.

I own an 18" table saw. Of course it IS at least 100 years old. :)
And I agree on the clamps. So far I only have about 15 good ones (Ponies, Bessies, etc.), but I must have another 20-25 C-clamps. I made two toboggans for my kids (cut the tree down, cut and planed the wood planks, steamed and bent the planks, you get the picture). I think I used 20 clamps just holding groups of planks to the forms after bending.

I do agree with what at least one person said that many of the woodworking mags are really just eye candy. Just like Harley mags or four-wheeler mags and such. Maybe HSM and MW need to start putting more eye candy and bikini-clad ladies in the mags? ;)

andy b.

chrisfournier
11-19-2009, 11:58 AM
I believe that the reason woodworkers tend to donate fingers to their "less scarey" equipment is largely due to the fact that the conventional woodworker is the power feeder in most cases!

The first thing that struck me about metal machining was how comforting it was to be behind the "wheels" as it were. Unless you're using a bandsaw freehand, the machinist for the most part is removed from the immediate material/cutter intersection as he controls the feed rate and toolpath from behind the controls.

Metal set-ups tend to be more controlled with lots of clamping to or holding by the machine in question. Metalworking seems to involve "crashes" where the machine takes it in the shins. Woodworkers have "accidents" usually kickbacks or climb feeding that sends the work, with the attached fingers flying - usually into the driver - the cutter.

I have had a power feeder on my woodworking shaper for the past several years and it feels alot like my machine shop; I feel isolated from the cut and very safe.

As Evan points out it can be pretty hard to avoid brushing that chip away. They all seem to call like Sirens. Submit to their cry and you're into the woodworker's realm.

Jpfalt
11-19-2009, 01:21 PM
Nuf sed.

A wood AND metalworker.

Tony Ennis
11-19-2009, 01:33 PM
I think that is because a machine than can chew metal is inherently a lot scarier.

Woodworking machinery is all about exposed blades. And someone had a good point about the power feeder being... the woodworker. That's a bad combination.

Every machine in a woodshop can pull parts off of you. This drill press is the worst for causing injuries, the radial arm saw the worst for causing *really bad* injuries.

Woodworking machines also tend to have higher rpms.

Randolph
11-19-2009, 02:53 PM
An interesting thread and many true observations. As a writer of metal working books I can attest to the fact that wood working literature is much more plentiful. More's the pity!

I have been a metal worker all of my life, having started learning to weld from my father before I was 10 years old. I am now 70. And I have only begun to learn my trade. One thing I have learned. Just because wood doesn't "fight back" like metal does don't think working wood is any easier. I have tried it and my hat is off to some of the wood working experts I have seen.

But here is the crux of the issue to me. Craftsmanship doesn't know the difference. The true craftsman will master the medium whatever it is.

kf2qd
11-19-2009, 05:41 PM
I have a $70 table saw, a $140 rebuilt Dewalt plunge router, a $200 planer, a circular saw, Mkita cordless drill and several corded drils. A small selection of chisles and several old planes that were given to me. I can do cabinet work with those tools. (2 kitchens so far) Using some of those same tools I have remodeled 2 houses.

For aboout the same investment I have a Mini Lathe and a Mini Mill. I got my prescision tools back when I was working as a Machinist (were given to me by the widow of the former owner) My metal working tools cost more than my woodworking tools and I am severely limited on what I can make with them.

Metal working costs more but I really like working in metal. I don't do more of it because I don't have a good way of working around the limitations of the tools.