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The Best Tool for the Job

I cut one of these feet by hand while working at The Steppingstone Museum using a turning saw. I cut the other 3 by band saw using a 1/4″ skip tooth blade. One took 4 hours with visitor interruptions and burned a lot of calories in 95 degree heat. The other 3 took 15 minutes and came with musical accompaniment by The Grateful Dead in a cool shop with a Golden Retriever coaching me

Ball & Claw Feet

Feet rough cut and ready to carve

A case could be made for each as to which is the best tool for the job. Without a deadline and a yearning to understand how it used to be done you could say the turning saw is the best tool for the job. If you are on the clock then the band saw method is definitely the best tool. Ultimately I think you need to figure out what you personally enjoy about your woodworking and decide from there. I enjoy working with old tools to see how they work but I’m not a big fan of drudgery. Cutting one of these feet was enough for me to get my fix and continuing to do so with the turning saw would have become tedious. What I am really looking forward to is the carving aspect of these feet and I am anxious to get there quickly so in this case I think the band saw was really the best tool for the job.

What’s my point? Woodworking is subjective and we each derive our joy from it in different ways. The best tool for the job is the tool that makes you smile the most. ’nuff said!

Now who can guess which foot was cut by hand?

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