Need some advice - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 12-26-2017, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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Need some advice

Ok I want to get into woodworking, mostly practical fun things as a hobby. Benches, shelves, racks, mallets and other fun large and small projects Iím interested in. I have watched lots of videos and read up on subject. I have no tools. My question is ...... I got a a miter saw and orbital sander for Christmas. Should I keep those or Iím rhinking of returning to Lowes and get Porter Cables 6 tool combo kit. I forgot to mention I do own a 12v cordless drill. The tool kit has, drill, impact drill, 5 1/2 in circular saw, reciprocating saw, multi tool and flashlight . I am also on a tight budget and will get more tools as I get deeper into this hobby.
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post #2 of 9 Old 12-26-2017, 07:04 PM
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an impact drill is not particularly useful for woodworking.
a recip saw is not of much use for fine woodworking.
flashlight? really?
a multi-tool of what?

the miter saw will do for narrow cross cuts; you will need a circular saw and "fence" arrangement for ripping.
plus some stands/sawhorses/clamp-fancy-bench thingie.
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post #3 of 9 Old 12-26-2017, 07:14 PM
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Cordless tools are great for a contractor who uses them regularly. For a woodworker they are more limited. If not used regularly the batteries are dead and will need a good charge before ready. When stored for long lengths of time between projects the batteries seem to lose their ability to take a charge faster than if used regularly. New batteries are expensive.
A good electrical tool might last longer than a bad marriage. Just saying....
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If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #4 of 9 Old 12-26-2017, 07:26 PM
where's my table saw?
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Keep what you got.

Those 6 tool combo kits often throw in things you won't need or use.
Basic woodworking operations are cross cutting and ripping, drilling and attaching, then sanding and finishing. You will need tools that do those operations.

I own 3 brands of cordless tools, Dewalt Rigid and Milwaukee. I've used the heck out of the Dewalts over the years, and migrated to Milwaukee within the last few years. I rarely use the Rigid but for no particular reason except they are in the upstairs shop, and not close at hand. They do have a lifetime battery and tool warranty, which is great.

I do use my small Dewalt trim cordless saw for almost any cutting operations since it's a bit smaller than the other brands and easier to manage, but alas it's been discontinued for the larger versions. You will need about 4 batteries to rotate in and out of service for bigger projects.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #5 of 9 Old 12-26-2017, 11:03 PM
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As everyone else has said, it seem like what you've got would be better. I own an impact and I've never even used it. Circular saws do come in handy, especially if you don't own a table saw but as for cordless tools I don't like them much. I have an old corded drill I use far more often than my cordless, they are quite convenient but if you don't change the battery when they get low it can make your job really slow. Literally, because they move slowly. Miter saws are definitely great to have though, virtually everybody's shop has one or more.
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post #6 of 9 Old 12-27-2017, 09:38 AM Thread Starter
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Great! Thank you for the advice. I will do just that. Keep what I have and slowly add on tools I need. I will get a circular saw and work on getting a band saw
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post #7 of 9 Old 12-27-2017, 01:36 PM
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I have had a Sears Craftsman 19.2v combo kit for around 20 years. It is a part of their "C3" system. It originally came with NiCad batteries, which sucked. It got a new life when Sears released compatible Lithium Ion batteries and a new Lithium Ion charger that work with the C3 tools. I think these 19.2v C3 Sears Craftsman tools must have been very popular, because they still make the batteries and other accessories still available. They still make tools that work with the system.

My old kit comes with a drill driver, circular saw, reciprocating saw, staple/nail gun, and a fluorescent tube "trouble light". The light is far more useful than a simple flashlight because it can light up a large area. I use all of the tools frequently except for the staple/nail gun, which I use on rare occasions. The kit lives in its original, plastic case in the garage, but the batteries live in the house so that they are not exposed to extreme heat in the garage during summer. With all the tools inside the case, it is too heavy to move around comfortably, but it keeps the tools organized. I normally carry the separate tools from the garage to the site as I need them. As the "home repair specialist" for our small family, I really like that Craftsman combo kit. Every tool uses the same battery, and they can handle any job I have thrown at them (so far).

(I keep a separate lightweight cordless Hitachi drill driver inside the house. I use it all the time and highly recommended it, model #DS 10DFL, now DS 10DFL2. It is not nearly as capable as the heavy Craftsman drill, but for light jobs, it is much better. I like that the package comes with a spare battery. My spouse knows not to EVER put anything on top of it in the hall closet, because I use it so often.)

Combo kits like my Craftsman set are definitely NOT woodworking tools. I have used them for small carpentry jobs (room addition, pool shed, etc.) but they are not designed for professional carpentry either. They work best as a "medium/heavy duty" cordless tool set for home repairs and light carpentry work. They cannot compete with "real" corded tools, but they are not slouches, and their simplicity and portability make up for it. I suppose that the circular saw and hand drill can be used for basic woodworking until you are ready for a table saw and drill press.

A cordless combo kit will not get you closer to your woodworking goals, but can be very useful for home repairs. The fact that they share the same batteries and charger is a major bonus, but it is also a "lock in". The alternative may be: Are willing to live with many different brands of batteries and chargers, which can be a big mess?

If I were on a very limited budget, I would temporarily forego my woodworking hobby and buy the home repair tools. I can live without woodworking (I suppose), but I gotta keep the house going.

If you buy cordless tools, remember to budget for blades, bits, and replacement lithium batteries, which can give sticker shock. You will need at least two batteries, so that you can put one in the charger and keep working. I have a thin, lightweight battery that is good for small jobs but does not last very long, and a larger, longer lasting battery. The combination of small and large works okay. Lithium batteries are light anyway, so I might have been better with two large batteries.

Do not buy any tool that runs on NiCad batteries. Be careful to check, because the NiCad tool makers try to hide the fact that they are giving you cheap, useless NiCads instead of more expensive, better, longer lasting lithium ion batteries.
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post #8 of 9 Old 12-27-2017, 08:53 PM
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Clearly, no one knows what you need. So lets say you need it all. Maybe you're going to spend a few hundred on tools this year, maybe a couple thousand. Who knows? I would make up a list of tools that you want right now and prioritize them and tools you eventually want to have and prioritize them. Also, sometimes used tools can be a good choice for tools you will use on a limited basis or tools to use as a place holder or bridge until you can afford to spend the money on new tools.

As far as the cordless kits are concerned, I have all Dewalt stuff. I like them. It is more a battery platform issue than anything else. I have both 18V and 20V tools and use adapters with the 18V stuff. I pretty much have everything.

I am not really a woodworker, just a homeowner who likes DIY. It seems like a table saw, a miter saw, a router and a random orbital sander are important for the woodworking stuff and wouldn't be a bad place to start.

Good luck with your tool selection.
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post #9 of 9 Old 12-27-2017, 09:53 PM
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Yard sales are great places to pick good used and inexpensive tools. I'm always looking for hand planes, chisels, hand saws and any other wood working tool that I can pick up cheap.

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