I use my Systems Engineering skills to pay for the use of my woodworking skills. I've worked in the information technology field about 20 years. My career transition was from being self employed as a general contractor where I did a lot of custom woodworking, cabinet making and furniture building, along with typical carpentry and building activities. Basically my hobby became my job and my job became my hobby.

At 54 years old I finally built myself a decent shop and began working more with hand tools and less with power equipment. I’m by no means a purest and still love my shaper, but sometime the quietness of a hand plane is soothing enough to not want to turn the planer on. I like the Quiet and Solitude that comes with working with the handtools.

That said I've also always like to restore things. Almost anything from old Victorian homes to screwdrivers. My shop is full of tools I have restored. My grizzly cabinet saw was $200 and a few days of sweat Equity. I recently restored a Walker Turner 16" bandsaw I bought for $100. I have restored well over 300 handplanes of all types. My planer is a restored Craftsman (Belsaw) planer.

The list goes on and on, but I couldn't have afforded the quality and quantity of tools buying new. I understand restoration isn't for everyone, but it sure is a fun way to get what you want if you enjoy it like I do.

I'll still never part with my table saw or bandsaws. I don't turn my jointer on a lot (restored delta), and i could probably be convinced to live without my planer, but I also have a sawmill, so I use rough sawn almost exclusively. I like the mix and every hour in my shop is a decision, hand or power.

-- -- There is nothing like the sound of a well tuned hand plane. - http://timetestedtools.com (timetestedtools at hotmail dot c0m)

Old Sargent Planes #3: No its not a Sargent 5409, but the other one?

Don — More pictures on my blog I’ve got a very strict rule about computers. After the 2nd cocktail, I don’t return work emails and I don’t buy on ebay. But, who follows rules after the 2nd cocktail? Apparently not me. The work rule is easy. Who...

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Old Sargent Planes #2: A Sargent #5418 ready for Service.

Don — In between getting a bunch of new old planes ready for resale I decided to resurrect this Sargent #5418. This was one of those impulse buys. It was just a base and frog that had already been refinished. Anything in the #5400 series is fairly...

Around the shop #2: My Infill build on wkfinetools.com

Don — Making an infill plane has been on my list for quite some time now. Making tools to me is more of a hobby than the actual woodworking. If you are looking to build an infill, you’re welcome to follow me along. I’ll try to keep the blog up to...

The joys of rust hunting #2: Show off your latest find(s)

Don — Here is a spot to show off your latest acquisitions. Whether its a flea market , garage sale or yard sale or craig list find, show it off. Mine from yesterday. A 12 1/2 base with a Sargent #42 like new cutter A type 2 Sargent 307 ...

Around the shop #1: New web site

Don — I decided to start a new website for the Hand Plane information I’ve gathered over the years. Comments and suggestions welcome. I’m not much of a web site designer/programmer, so any help is appreciated. timetestedtools.com. thanks

Old Sargent Planes #1: A type 1 #414 restored.

Don — This is an ebay find. I took a chance thinking it might be a type 1. This time it paid off. The before: And the now: It’s complete and all look parts are period correct.

The joys of rust hunting #1: Its Spring. First 2014 Antique show

Don — finally proof that the long winter is over. Our first local flea market of 2014. Maybe not one of my best days, but definitely not my worst either. We had some fun, some sun, some rain, and just good old spring weather. My first find is my...

Plane restores #1: G Davies Infill Plane

Don — See the complete story here Some time ago I got and infill from an LJ friend Jamie asking me if I wanted an infill plane that needed some love. Of course I couldn’t resist and a short time later I received the package in the mail.