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Imagine that

It's not a bad idea to keep in mind that the finest examples of woodworking were done in an age when power driven tools were unknown.

The wonderful carvings, the perfect joinery, the elegant raised or linen fold panels, the beautiful cornices and crowns, all done with "hand tools" by artisans who pretty much took it all for granted.

In this age of power driven everything, even down to something as basic and simple as a screwdriver, we tend to think that if we don't have the latest power driven device, we can't do anything. Things went even farther afield with the introduction of computer driven tools.

All of this tends to limit our imagination and, as has been said many times in many different forms, if you can't imagine it, you can't do it.

A long while ago, I worked as a house builder. One of the guys I worked with was a big Swede who had the most creative approach to getting things done I have ever known. His table saw was a hand held Skil Saw screwed to a piece of plywood and turned upside down on a pair of sawhorses. He was the first guy I ever knew to mount a router in a table, also a piece of plywood on sawhorses.

The point is there are many ways to get things done without having to spend a fortune on new equipment. When we have to produce a thousand identical items every day, investing in specialized equipment might make sense. But if we only need one, or a couple, the creative approach might prove more economical in the long run.


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In the normal course of our day work, we often encounter what are known as design opportunities.