Tablesaw, Bandsaw or Workbench: Your Spiritual Gift(s)

Bob's New Table Saw

Bob’s New Table Saw (Photo credit: milletre)

In woodworking circles, there is always a debate over which tool should be the centerpiece of your shop: The tablesaw, the bandsaw or for handtool aficianados – the workbench, usually with a 3″ thick hard maple slab top upon a similarly bulky trestle leg setup.

Those in favor of the tablesaw cite its unparalleled ability to make repeatable, accurate rip and cross-grain cuts, not to mention dadoes, rabbits, tenons, etc.  If you want square, you want a tablesaw.

Those in favor of the bandsaw cite its unparalleled versatility from resawing firewood into lumber, lumber into laminates, rounded cuts or even straight cuts (once drift is accounted for).  This is of course not to mention the greater safety of the wood being forced into the table instead of being shot off of it like the tablesaw.  If you want versatility and safety, you want a bandsaw.

Hand tool gurus love their workbenches!  These heavy, flat, square pieces of furniture excel at holding your workpiece for sawing, planing, drilling, routing, assembling and finishing.  If you want to do handtool work, you want a workbench.

In fact, let’s be honest, the real argument isn’t about what should be the centerpiece of your shop, but rather which kind of woodworking you should be doing (which is in fact a ludicrous argument to get into).  If you primarily do cabinetry, for which you need repeatable, straight cuts – a table saw should be the centerpiece.  If you do woodturning, furniture-making or sculpture-based woodworking – a bandsaw should be the centerpiece.  If you do primarily hand tool work, whether cabinetry or sculpture – a workbench should be the centerpiece of your shop.

The question therefore is not which is the best centerpiece tool, but rather what kind of work do you want to do?

This same principle applies to the Church as well.  The Apostle Paul said that there are many gifts but one Spirit, and again that Christ is the one that apportioned the gifts to us based upon His good pleasure, and yet again that those parts which are hidden are worthy of double honor.  If your gift is giving then do so generously, if your gift is preaching then do so in accordance with your faith, if your gift is hospitality, etc.

We have been gifted by Christ, our Savior for that kind of work which he desires for us to do.  There is no best gift, no right gift.  Let Christ, the master craftsman shape how you work by the gift he has given you, and don’t look up to or down upon another based upon the type of ministry they have been called to perform.  After all, who doesn’t want kitchen cabinets, a rocking chair and beautifully handcrafted pieces in their life?

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One comment on “Tablesaw, Bandsaw or Workbench: Your Spiritual Gift(s)

  1. I had no idea that Paul was a woodworker. All this time I’ve been thinking it was Jesus. You aren’t going to find it agreeable cutting dovetails or planing surfaces on the table saw, and the bandsaw table is too high and too small.
    Here’s a suggestion: build a nice sturdy table about 2 feet high, so the kids can work at it; and while you’re down there with them, remember the medieval adage, “Labor is prayer!”

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