If your business works with construction, you deal with a lot of heavy equipment. If you want advice on how to save money on your equipment, you should check out my posts. I plan to write about everything from hiring versus buying, to troubleshooting to reduce repairs, to handling repairs yourself. I also plan to write about other aspects of heavy machinery use such as safety. I ultimately hope that my ideas guide you toward creating a leaner, more productive, more efficient, less expensive, and more profitable business. My ideas are geared toward everyone from newbies to experts in the field of construction.
The Amish and the Mennonites are well-known for their custom woodworking and incredible craftsmanship. If you want construction equipment that adheres to the level of old-time building and buildings, skip the heavy trucks and heavy machinery. Use either Amish construction equipment or the Mennonite ways. Here is what you need, and how to use it.
Manual Hand Drill
Your grandfather may have used a drill like this. A round pommel on one end helps you steady the drill, while the D-shaped handle rests in your opposite hand and turns the drill in a complete circle. Several different drill bits fit into the bottom end, which are held in place with a tightening screw. ALL of the holes you need to create and bore for screws and bolts are created using this drill.
If you are going full Amish construction style, you will not use any metal fasteners at all (with the exception of flat-head nails). The Amish typically bore holes into two adjoining pieces of wood, and then use wooden dowel pieces and glue to secure them together. You may also hew out of the wood interlocking dove joints, which are also common in Amish and Mennonite construction.
Chisels and Wooden Mallets
Chisels are some of the few modern metal tools that Amish will use. (Mennonites are not against consuming electricity and using power tools, so they utilize more than just chisels and saws.) Completely wooden mallets/hammers are quite common in their toolboxes too. While the Amish will use chisels and wooden mallets or traditional metal saws to hew chunks out of planks to create dovetail joints, the Mennonites may just as well use a hand saw or a power saw and router. Depending which group's work you wish to reproduce, you can purchase these tools for your construction projects.
Saws among both the Amish and Mennonite communities are, thankfully, the same as they are in the "English" communities. ("English" is the word they use to describe non-Amish and non-Mennonite people.) Hand saws used by both the Amish and Mennonites are the same ones you have probably used most of your life. Power saws are only used in Mennonite communities, but are used as infrequently as possible so that superior construction by hand is still possible. Ergo, whatever saws and construction equipment you currently have in your toolbox you can keep, and you do not have to discard your power saws unless you are attempting a strictly Amish construction project.Share