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jaxenro
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I see a lot of electric equipment referenced here and elsewhere I almost only use hand tools for my miniatures. Nothing against technology, I mean I am having my hardware 3D printed (sort of they print in wax and then do lost wax castings) but I do this for relaxation and I prefer working with miniature chisels, saws, files, and the rest. 

I lost most of my tool shop in a last few moves I made and as I am restocking I am going with almost all hand tools this time. Is there any reason to go electric except perhaps it is faster? (excepting maybe a lathe I don't know of a hand powered lathe)

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Historically, plenty of foot powered lathes.  Probably could make one from an old treadle sewing machine.  There were, of course,  also hand powered lathes historically, but you would also want an apprentice to provide the power.

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I think the necessity to use power tools is dependent upon what you want to make.  I am sure there are antique foot powered tools... and even lathes that are belt and pedal driven - perhaps rare in current time, but you never know what you are going to find.  I have seen a foot powered scroll saw in Shipshewana Indiana... The owner of the leather shop had one in his shop the last time I was browsing.

For me,  a table saw is more accurate and practical then anything I can cut by hand with my jewelers saw when I'm making a piece of furniture that has square edges.  I'm sure there are people here who can cut very, very accurately with a jeweler's saw. 

My very first class with Geoff Wonnacott at the Chicago International did not have any power tools.  After I got over the shock I learned to use my jewelers saw, and it is now one of my favorite tools.  Works really well, and usually not much danger involved with a jewelers saw, double bonus if any miniaturists are worried about safety issues, as you may nick your finger with a jewelers saw, but you probably won't do any serious damage with a jewelers saw.  You can do serious damage to your fingers and hands even with a micro table saw. 

There are times when I prefer my jewelers saw over my band saw.  I can cut a much smaller irregular cut with a jewelers saw because it has a smaller blade, and it is very easy to change the angle of your cut with a jewelers saw and rest then re-configuring the table on the band saw... although I have done both.

Roy Underhill has his own TV show and has done some really cool projects... with antique non-power tools...so most definitely I am sure you can make miniatures without power tools.

 

 

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On 4/26/2016 at 2:03 PM, jaxenro said:

I see a lot of electric equipment referenced here and elsewhere I almost only use hand tools for my miniatures. Nothing against technology, I mean I am having my hardware 3D printed (sort of they print in wax and then do lost wax castings) but I do this for relaxation and I prefer working with miniature chisels, saws, files, and the rest. 

I lost most of my tool shop in a last few moves I made and as I am restocking I am going with almost all hand tools this time. Is there any reason to go electric except perhaps it is faster? (excepting maybe a lathe I don't know of a hand powered lathe)

You can always choose to only make projects that are suitable for the tools you want to own. That is up to you and having limits on what you can make can make you more creative in your designing. It is funny how that works :).

But you have to remember that in a class just because you did some of the cutting of the parts with a hand saw that does not account for all the background preparation of bringing those pieces of wood to the proper thickness and width to get them ready for cutting with a jewelers saw. Of course you can always hire that part of the job out to another craftsman, one who is willing to make the investment in tooling it takes to do production sawing and thicknessing for other people such as yourself.

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Geoff limits power tools in his Chicago classes because there isn't a tool pool there, and he has to come from England. I appreciated learning from him how to do things without power tools, but I was happy to get home and cut my tapered legs with a table saw. Much quicker, and easier on my arm. ? There's a certain satisfaction in doing it by hand, though. 

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