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Back in the saddle again
 
masraum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Houston, TX
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Woodworking and carpentry thread

I know we've got a bunch of talented wood folks here. I'm a novice at best. Dad didn't much care for wood, more of a car/motor man. My grandpa preferred wood working, but since Dad was in the military and we traveled, I never got the opportunity to learn from Gramps.

We are about to purchase a 100 year old home. I'm sure there will be projects. I'm going to need to rebuild my tool collection. I used to have a Dewalt 12" double bevel compound mitre saw, circular saw, router (really old one that was Gramps), biscuit joiner, jig saw, drill press and a cheap jobsite style table saw. I always hated the table saw. It was OK, but the fence was horrible. I've got a couple/few hand planes and a bunch of chisels that were Gramps. I think the only power tool that I still have is the router. (we downsized 6 years ago, and I got rid of most of my power tools)

I don't see myself getting another biscuit joiner although it was handy.

What tools power or otherwise do you consider indispensable for woodworking? Good table saw? Router? What about a mitre saw? Or circular saw?

Toward the end, I found the router, table saw and mitre saw useful. I had a freud dado stack set for the table saw. I've used that and I've used the router for joinery.

What's better, table saw and router? Mitre saw, circular saw and router? Anything else that you'd consider a necessity?

It seems like a good table saw is a useful tool that does a ton of stuff. I've thought "saw-stop," but wow, they are pricey! You could buy 2 or 3 other saws for the cost of a saw-stop jobsite saw.

Youtube put these in my feed, and I thought they were interesting. They're mostly super basic, but I may as well start back at the beginning.











So, what are your favorite tools, tidbits of info/advice, jigs, etc....

Teach me about working with wood!

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'08 Boxster RS60 Spyder #0099/1960
- never named a car before, but this is Charlotte.
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Last edited by masraum; 11-11-2020 at 08:30 PM..
Old 11-11-2020, 08:08 PM
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I am spoiled from 30 years of working in the shop starting at 18 right out of high school and suffered through college. Friends would save money to buy beer, I saved to buy a router bits, and saw blades. Sucks.

My must have if I were putting together a shop at my house to work on a 100 year old house. (for wood working and not construction.)

Table saw with a good fence. Contractor's, old Sears, or Grizzle will all work, but I buy an after market fence. I have no knowledge if the stock fence is better today then 20 years ago?

Couple routers to make simple moldings for the old house

Sliding compound saw, which you already have.

2 finish nail guns. 15 and 23 gauge are the most common. I like the angle 15 Gfinish gun to get into tight spaces.

Small compressor to run the guns.

Throw away harbor freight spray guns (requires larger capacity compressor)

Track saw if you are planning to cut lots of panels. I love my Festool track saw. A little more money but worth it due to its accuracy compared to other brands we purchased before that, trying to save money. My stupid call.

A Jig saw comes in handy but are rarely used imo. GEt the Bosch, don't mess around with others. Its tracks straight without trying hard. Its that good. We bought a Dewalt once in a pinch at home depot for a couple cuts at the job site instead of driving across town to get the Bosch. The guys wouldn't use it and I used it once to see if they were telling the truth, yep, it went into the bin and never saw daylight again.

Make yourself a router table or mount it to the outfeed table so you are able to use the table fence when necessary.

Those are the basic stuff.

Dust collection if a luxury but in my youth, I breathed in enough sawdust to last me three lift times.

Cordless drills. You need a couple of them. One for predrilling holes, the other to drive screws.
Old 11-11-2020, 08:27 PM
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That was good - thanks.

Umm, I'm guilty of one or two things and a few other things never occurred to me LOL
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Old 11-11-2020, 08:27 PM
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A jointer isn't really necessary but very nice to have. Buy your lumber from a hardwood lumber yard, not the general building yard. They have all grades and the lumbers are normally kept indoors, dry and straight. Buy S2s, straight lined. Surfaced 2 sides, with one edge ripped straight.

Oh, forgot. A 3x24 belt sander, and a palm sander.
Old 11-11-2020, 08:32 PM
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Don't know how much experience you have with a table saw? When I taught high school woodshop, I made sure all the kids used the table at least a few time weekly. I watched like a hawk and make sure they know the danger and the things to watch for, things to never EVER do. One is to never pull the stock through from the other side. Kick back often happen because we have a tendency to pull the stock into the blade. I know a couple people cut themselves that way.
Old 11-11-2020, 08:41 PM
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And tell Santa you want a reciprocating saw (Sawzall). You'll need it on an old house remodel
Old 11-11-2020, 09:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregpark View Post
And tell Santa you want a reciprocating saw (Sawzall). You'll need it on an old house remodel
If you are gong to do that, lets include:

Laser level
Oscillating cutting tool
Old 11-11-2020, 10:09 PM
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I am a hand plane hoarder. True. Damn I love my planes. A great tool

Some chisels

A way to sharpen the above

Used table saw. My cast iron craftsman was $25. The fence is garbage but the saw isn't.

Impact driver and drill set.

Putty knife

Orbital sander

Heat gun

Used good router. I have a 1/2 Bosch this is the bomb. $20 at a pawn shop

Work table

Clamps

Scraper
Most of my stuff came from estate sales and pawn shops. It took time. I built some garage cabinets just tonight to optimize my limited space. It is ever going. Have fun!
Old 11-11-2020, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LWJ View Post
I am a hand plane hoarder. True. Damn I love my planes. A great tool

Some chisels

A way to sharpen the above

Used table saw. My cast iron craftsman was $25. The fence is garbage but the saw isn't.

Impact driver and drill set.

Putty knife

Orbital sander

Heat gun

Used good router. I have a 1/2 Bosch this is the bomb. $20 at a pawn shop

Work table

Clamps

Scraper
Most of my stuff came from estate sales and pawn shops. It took time. I built some garage cabinets just tonight to optimize my limited space. It is ever going. Have fun!
Have you tried those Japanese pull planes? Just their pull saws, very accurate and fine tool. I haven't used one in a long time, but went through that arts, using hand tools only phase.
Old 11-11-2020, 10:20 PM
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How much space do you have? How much budget?

I go bit by bit, but tools as you need them for jobs. A fold up table saw is good if you are limited in space, otherwise get a real full sized tablesaw with a Biesmeyer fence.

Ryobi battery powered tools are good value for home projects, and the Harbor Freight 'Sawzall' for $20 is a bargain.

Find a quiet compressor and buy some decent pneumatic pin nailers. The HF versions work, but they are borderline and tend to jam.

+1 on an all purpose pull saw.
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Old 11-12-2020, 05:18 AM
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I am generally working more with metal fabrication, and have most of the tools/welders for those operations.

I did, however build a really nice 12x20 greenhouse earlier this year while Covid shutdown, and completely gutted/rebuilt my downstairs bathroom. I extensively used my DeWalt 20V cordless tools, but found that a double miter, compound sliding saw was absolutely indispensable for those jobs where straight, and angled cuts were required.
Old 11-12-2020, 05:36 AM
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The bare minimum, in my opinion :

Table saw
Sliding compound miter saw
Nail guns and an air compressor
Sanders
Cordless screw guns
A few hand tools, such as chisels
A Sawzall
Ladders and sawhorses

That will get you through 95% of what you need to do on a house remodel.

I seldom cut anything with a circular saw. I haven’t fired up a jointer in 20 years. Never made my own trim, I was always able to buy that from companies that do that for a living. Hundreds of patterns available, and a variety of different woods. A router with a table got used once in a blue moon.

Last edited by javadog; 11-12-2020 at 05:59 AM..
Old 11-12-2020, 05:56 AM
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I would love to have a tablesaw, but for the few times I would use it, I really don’t have space for it. Are any of the compact contractor tablesaws any good?
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Old 11-12-2020, 06:16 AM
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They are better than nothing, but I wouldn’t have one.

Make friends with somebody that owns a cabinet shop and whenever you need something, just go buy it from them.
Old 11-12-2020, 06:33 AM
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Buy a 12" sliding compound miter saw. Don't save money on it.
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Old 11-12-2020, 06:34 AM
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Thanks everyone, I've got lots of GREAT info to use and sift through.

Good call on the sawzall. I had one before and will get another for sure.

On budget, I want good stuff, but I'm also not going to go out and spend $5k or $10k on tools a week after closing. I want good (safe, reliable, quality) tools and the missus is behind me on that, but I'm going to stay reasonable on spending. I'll be buying things as I need them, or if I stumble across a great deal on something that I know I'll need, then I'll make that purchase.

I have decent space but not tons of space. There is a 460sqft detached garage. I'll probably keep some space clear for the boxster to be able to park in it.

In the old home, I had a small cheap compressor that I inherited from my dad. I had a finishing nailer that i used with it that was great for installing moulding/baseboards.

When we downsized, I sold almost everything for pennies on the dollar, mostly to friends as I wanted to give them the shot at the good deals, then whatever was left at a garage sale. I knew this day was going to come, but I do love buying new tools.

I'm seriously considering one of the sawstop saws. They are a huge premium over a regular table saw, but I really like my fingers the way they are. I guess you'd have to be very careful of wood with staples or apparently, glue that wasn't completely cured/dried.
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Old 11-12-2020, 06:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1990C4S View Post
Buy a 12" sliding compound miter saw. Don't save money on it.
The last one that I bought I did a bunch of research and got what I think is generally considered a great 12" Dewalt. It wasn't sliding, but I have to say, if/when I get another, I've been planning to get a sliding. Having to flip a board over to get all of the way through is a pain in the rear. The extra few inches of cut is a huge improvement.
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'08 Boxster RS60 Spyder #0099/1960
- never named a car before, but this is Charlotte.
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Old 11-12-2020, 07:00 AM
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Buy a used table saw. I sold my vintage Powermatic shop saw for under a grand when I moved. Those deals are out there. Buy a saw and sell it when you're done. Same with a miter saw.

Pick up a cheap compressor and a few trim nailguns from Harbor freight. They'll do what you need to do.

Etc.
Old 11-12-2020, 07:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot 911 View Post
I would love to have a tablesaw, but for the few times I would use it, I really don’t have space for it. Are any of the compact contractor tablesaws any good?
If I just have a cut or 2 at the jobsite, I'll use some clamps and a long straightedge with a circular saw or router before dragging out the table saw.

Actually, these guide/clamps at HF are not bad. https://www.harborfreight.com/50-inch-clamp-and-cut-edge-guide-66581.html
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Old 11-12-2020, 07:02 AM
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My brother was a trim carpenter for many years. Cutting very expensive crown molding to fit the corners is tricky, yet he zipped through it in short order. Most things get easier after a decade of doing it. It is almost embarrassing to go into a house or building and all he is looking at is the quality of the woodwork, especially the trim work. He did some house that the woodwork was featured in Architectural Digest.

I am just a wood abuser, and have no real talent at it.

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Last edited by GH85Carrera; 11-12-2020 at 07:13 AM..
Old 11-12-2020, 07:10 AM
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