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Power tools Y'all!

ClambakeSkate

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Anyone here do a lot of woodworking?

I'll be moving out of my apt soon, hopefully to place that's a bit bigger and would like to start buying some powertools.

I already have a drill, and plenty of hand tools, but what would you suggest for a beginner as a good starting point for other stuff?

The only thing I'm definitely going to get for sure is a Mitre Saw. I've used one extensively in the the past and it's the quickest easiest way to cut 2x4s to size for framing.


Here's a list of "either/or" I've made for my self to start:

- circular saw vs table saw? I know portability is the benefit of the circular saw, but table saw is more precise in my experience.
- jig-saw vs sawzall? Probably go jig-saw here, is there a benefit to a sawzall that I'm missing completely?

Things that I probably don't need, but want regardless:

- router. Probably a hand held model to start, but one that can eventually be mounted in a table set-up.
- power sander. What's the best way to go here if you can only get one?
- nail gun. just seems fun, but completely unnecessary for my purposes.

I'm mostly planning on making little projects/furniture/etc. but eventually would like to build things like decks/sheds/doghouse/chicken coop/etc.

Anyone have any suggestion of stuff that they use that they like? Or just general discussion re: power tools and woodworking?

p.s. Norm from 'The New Yankee Workshop' is my idol.
 

Logan

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A mitre saw is good for cutting studs yourself when you are working on your own home, but when you are framing for a living you use a circular saw to cut them to length, much quicker.

If you plan on cutting anything straight, buy a table saw. A circular saw is good for rough cuts, but its hard to keep straight over longer cuts. The table saw will also make cutting dado and rabbit joints much easier.

A sawzall is good for more rough cuts compared to a jig saw. You don't use a jig saw to cut old pipes out of your wall, cut the old wall apart, or cut through an old floor. You don't use a sawzall for cutting round corners on a piece of wood. The jig saw is used for more precise work.

If you buy a router, chances are it will be able to be mounted to a table. I have a Porter Cable that I love, it has a nice handle and can be table mounted. If you have a router you will use it a lot more than you think.

As far as a hand held sander, pretty much a mandatory tool if you plan on building anything. Sanding sucks and that takes a little pain out of it. I have had a Makita and a DeWalt, the Makita was a square pad which was good because I could just fold and rip sheets of sandpaper into 1/4's and go nuts. The DeWalt required me to buy the circular pads.

What kind of nail gun to you want? Something for framing or finishing? I doubt you will use the framing nail gun very often so thats something to save until you start building sheds or something of the like. The finishing gun can be really useful if you ever to trim work, but unless you buy the battery/fuel cell operated one, you are gonna need a small compressor too.

A good set of chisels is always nice to have. A speed square comes in handy too, same goes for a combination square


As you begin to build things you will gradually build your tool collection, just don't buy cheap shit because it will always come back to bite you in the ass, especially with a table saw.
 

Thomas

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If I had to do it over again, I would have bought a band saw instead of a table saw. If you're planning on doing a lot with sheet goods, then by all means go with the table saw, but I've really found myself wishing I had picked the band saw instead. A band saw, router table, and clamping straightedge/circ saw pretty well do anything a table saw can do, plus the band saw adds resaw capabilities and considerably easier/cleaner tenon cuts. And bandsaws take up less room and don't kick up nearly as much dust as a tablesaw.

And if you've not considered dust collection/management, I'd recommend you think about it now.
 

Logan

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Originally Posted by Thomas
And if you've not considered dust collection/management, I'd recommend you think about it now.

Ya, bandsaw is a great idea. My dad had bought a kit from Sears years ago that was plastic pipes you ran around the outside of the room and had connectors by all the saws. You hooked up a shop-vac and then opened up the valve (the actual word slips my mind at the moment)

here is a pic of the same type of system we have
 

ClambakeSkate

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Hmm, interesting... Hadn't even considered a band-saw. Great, now I have another option to confuse myself with.

Sawzall AND jigsaw, I guess that's not really an either/or.

So, mitre-saw is amateur hour? Should I not even bother? I thought it was great when I was using one. The last time I put one to good use I was helping my friend build a miniramp and we cut about a thousand 3' length of 2x4 in record time.

As far as the nail-gun goes, I know that it's not something I will really need, but definitely considering it for finishing purposes. I actually have a small compressor already that I've been using with a paintgun so I was hoping I could use the same one. However, nail-gun is not even close to the top of the list of priorities.

Yes, I definitely am considering a dust management system, that's a given.

Are there any brands to look for or avoid? I don't need to buy the absolute best professional equipment, but I want it to last a long time, so I don't want to buy cheap underpowered crap either.
 

Logan

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A mitre saw is a must. They are good for cutting studs yes. But when you are framing houses from foundation up, you use the circular saw. A mitre saw has a million and one uses, if you ever plan on doing trim work you'll need one.

I don't know where you buy your tools. Say you shop at home depot, they will have lots to choose from. DeWalt makes good drill/drivers, I have used their portable table saw and liked it. I have also used a Bosch table saw and liked it more. It all depends on what you want to spend and what you need it for. Good warranties are also something to look at. Avoid JobMate tools if you can. Never had a good experience with them. Makita, Porter Cable, Craftsman, and Delta are all brands I have with no complaints. I'm not sure where you're from, if you're Canadian and have a Canadian Tire near you, they have some tools that are decent, plus the great warranty is a plus. I have a Mastercraft bandsaw and have no complains.

Another tool too look at is a scroll saw, great for detail work. Was my favorite tool when I first started in the shop.
 

ClambakeSkate

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Originally Posted by Logan
A mitre saw is a must. They are good for cutting studs yes. But when you are framing houses from foundation up, you use the circular saw. A mitre saw has a million and one uses, if you ever plan on doing trim work you'll need one.

Noted. It seemed like you down-played it in your previous post. Thanks.

Why circular saw for framing a house? Because the length/thickness of the lumber is too much for a mitre saw?
 

whiteslashasian

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I agree with Thomas' poast. A lot of good info in here about too so I won't carry on with that.

Some auxiliary items to keep in mind, in no particular order:

Make sure to get organization chests, drawers, shelves, peg board etc to keep your stuff easily accessible and organized.

Good quality, heavy duty extension cords are a good idea too.

A quality straight edge, square, speed clamps as well as bar clamps are handy.

A lot of those chunky heavy-duty pencils or markers for making notes or markings and a good utility knife with a bunch of extra blades.

Shop-Vac is a must.

Don't go too cheap on the router bits.

Get some leather work gloves if you have pansy hands that must avoid splinters etc.

Good lighting is helpful. Get a couple that can hang and some on stands.

Sawhorses and a good workbench or two.
 

whiteslashasian

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Originally Posted by ClambakeSkate
Noted. It seemed like you down-played it in your previous post. Thanks.

Why circular saw for framing a house? Because the length/thickness of the lumber is too much for a mitre saw?


You can bring the circular to the wood more easily, more portable. Mitre can be more of a hassle for those situations.
 

SkinnyGoomba

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If you plan to work on your own house than I would suggest:

Portal air compressor for cruising around the house (odd jobs), which will often be more useful than a shop compressor if you are the home improvement type.

Rentals for odd jobs. You can often rent tools that would be a waste of money to own. Such as an Air nailer for installing hardwood flooring.

Planer and an edge planer. These could easily be the most important tools in cabinet making, since you need to start with a nice surface. A good planer is a life saver and gives a good base for hand sanding.

If you plan to do alot of joinery on small furniture and boxes I would consider a table top milling machine, call me crazy but I use a Bridgeport for woodworking more often than metal working and I've had my sliding dovetails come out perfect nearly 100% of the time.
 

gdl203

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Sorry for spamming this thread with a hardware/fastener related question but I want to go online and buy some steel angle bracket thingies that go inside the corner of a piece of furniture to hold the two panels together. I have no idea how it's called and would rather buy online than wait for the weekend to go to Home Depot. It's a 3 or 4" long steel angle thing that is usually perforated with two or three holes and that's used to re-inforce corners... I need to buy a bunch to strengthen some poorly made toddler beds.

Anyone knows what I mean, how it's called and where I could find these?
 

whiteslashasian

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Originally Posted by gdl203
Sorry for spamming this thread with a hardware/fastener related question but I want to go online and buy some steel angle bracket thingies that go inside the corner of a piece of furniture to hold the two panels together. I have no idea how it's called and would rather buy online than wait for the weekend to go to Home Depot. It's a 3 or 4" long steel angle thing that is usually perforated with two or three holes and that's used to re-inforce corners... I need to buy a bunch to strengthen some poorly made toddler beds.

Anyone knows what I mean, how it's called and where I could find these?


I think you may be looking for something like these:

http://www.amazon.com/Stanley-Hardwa...611439&sr=8-14


Heavier Duty:
http://www.amazon.com/Stanley-Hardwa...6611559&sr=8-6


Both amazon prime eligible too.

Another example of a steel corner brace you can get a Home Depot (assuming the Manhattan one has it in stock) and cut to size:
 

Artisan Fan

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Originally Posted by whiteslashasian
I agree with Thomas' poast. A lot of good info in here about too so I won't carry on with that. Some auxiliary items to keep in mind, in no particular order: Make sure to get organization chests, drawers, shelves, peg board etc to keep your stuff easily accessible and organized. Good quality, heavy duty extension cords are a good idea too. A quality straight edge, square, speed clamps as well as bar clamps are handy. A lot of those chunky heavy-duty pencils or markers for making notes or markings and a good utility knife with a bunch of extra blades. Shop-Vac is a must. Don't go too cheap on the router bits. Get some leather work gloves if you have pansy hands that must avoid splinters etc. Good lighting is helpful. Get a couple that can hang and some on stands. Sawhorses and a good workbench or two.
Good advice here, especially the bolded. Power tools work better with the thicker gauge cords in my experience. I see this on my various power tools and orbital and rotary polishers.
 

gdl203

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Originally Posted by whiteslashasian
I think you may be looking for something like these
Perfect. Thanks a ton
 

ClambakeSkate

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Originally Posted by gdl203
Sorry for spamming this thread with a hardware/fastener related question...

all hardware related questions are welcome.
 

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