The heat is killing me. Temperatures outdoor during the day over 35 °C, overnight never lower than 18 °C. Temperatures indoor 28 °C throughout the day and there is nothing I can do about it – if I open the windows wide, the house will be swarmed by mosquitoes in minutes. I have nets, in some windows, and in normal weather those suffice for ventilation. Not in this weather though.
So works on the dagger progresses at a snail’s pace. Not that it matters much, because snail’s pace is also the speed at which linseed oil hardens. But it means it is unlikely I will have anything to post about it anytime soon. However, that does not stop me thinking about stuff and one of the things I am thinking about – will it be fair to say, that the dagger is handmade?
In the past, when I have made a knife, it was truly and undoubtedly handmade. The only electrical tool I had was a drill that I used to make holes for pins. Everything else I had to do manually, with hand-held and hand powered tools, whereas today I have a table top belt grinder, handheld belt grinder, an angle grinder, a lathe, a bandsaw, a circular saw and a jigsaw. And in due course I intend to build a power hammer and a polishing drum.
And I do not spare any of those electrical tools. If I can save time or my muscles by using electricity, I do it without hesitation. But there are some purists, who would argue that therefore things I do are not handmade.
I disagree with that.
The way I see it, these electrical tools are nothing but providers of raw power. They do not provide or increase any skill – all that still has to come from my hands, because ultimately they guide either the tool or the workpiece during work and therefore determine its quality. In fact, some of the tools – especially the belt grinder – require a slightly different set of skills to do the work properly, than doing the same work with bastard file and a set of polishing stones would.
So I think the dagger is handmade. And purists can go and purify themselves.