Favorite tool/gadget for increased productivity? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 04-02-2018, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
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Favorite tool/gadget for increased productivity?

New to this forum but I've been doing residential remodeling and trim carpentry for the last 20 years working in a family business. I'm curious to know what tool/gadget others have bought to increase their productivity on the jobsite and why?

For me, it's been a makita tracksaw that I bought 8 years ago. Perfectly straight cuts, no guesswork, easy depth and bevel adjustment, effective dust collection(I cut indoors a lot) and noticeably quieter than my PC circular saw. I vividly remember my dad's facial expression when I told him I dropped $500 on what he called "a glorified circular saw". A mix of shock and disgust that clearly said "you threw your money away and your an idiot". Within a few weeks, he was singing a different tune and trying to steal it from me at every opportunity. Now I look at anyone breaking down sheets of plywood or OSB with a circular saw and wondering how I worked that way for such a long time.
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post #2 of 20 Old 04-03-2018, 12:21 AM
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I think what has helped me the most is to equip a van with shelving to carry tools and supplies. Often a client will ask me to do something other than what was discussed and most of the time I have the tools and supplies to do it.
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post #3 of 20 Old 04-03-2018, 03:23 AM
where's my table saw?
 
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My work is almost exclusively in the shop these days

My favorite tool is my Sawzilla, made from 3 table saws and a router table, bolted and leveled into a single wide unit. I can cut a 48" wide panel across it's width, a rarity for sure. I don't have to change saw blades, a task I hate. My dado set is installed for instant rabbets. Over arm dust collection keeps some of the dust out of the air. The router table is is set up ready to go. The fence is a Delta Unifence, with a 2 position fence bar, also adjustable fore and aft. The tall position keeps work vertical. The low position allows clearance for push blocks and hands. The paddle switch are a great convenience and safety feature. A leg bump shuts down the saws when both hands need to hold the work. There is dust collection under all 3 saws to a Jet 1100 unit with a short flex hose. This unit has evolved over a period of about 20 years and it's pretty much all sorted out. The gap between the assembly table and the rear of the saws is now closed with an 18" wide outfeed support.







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post #4 of 20 Old 04-03-2018, 06:03 AM
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If I did not have my table saw it would take a lot longer to accomplish most projects.

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post #5 of 20 Old 04-03-2018, 09:47 AM
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Extending my internet service to the shop. Allows for access without the need to go into the house, to do research, view videos, order supplies, listen to music etc. Also, because my shop is metal it hinders cell phone signals, I set my cell phone to receive and make calls over the internet. No need to go outside for the phone to work.
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post #6 of 20 Old 04-03-2018, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
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I love the sawzilla idea...sadly my workshop requires my tools to be mobile because of space limitations. The only thing that is fixed in place is my dust collector and cyclone separator.

I have thought about a work van for a few years now but I live in michigan and it seems impractical in the wintertime to depend on 2wd work vehicle. I can definitely see the value of it as organizing tools and materials is a huge burden when you accumulate so much over your career but I can also see myself sliding into a ditch or getting stuck at the bottom of a hill when the snow flies.
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post #7 of 20 Old 04-03-2018, 10:04 AM
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Welcome to the forum! When you get a minute go ahead and complete your profile with first name and location. You can add your first name to your signature line and it will show in each post.

I guess there have been several for me - the Laguna 14SUV allows me to resaw the wood I need for guitar backs and sides and that is a big deal. Then getting the SuperMax 19-38 allows me to accurately thickness those resawn pieces. I guess next would be building the CNC about 18 months ago.

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post #8 of 20 Old 04-03-2018, 10:38 AM
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My "jobsite" is my home. My woodworking is for home repairs and improvement, plus "hobby" projects, mainly gifts for family members. I worry more about quality than productivity. Most of my projects are money losers, in the sense than they take far more in time, materials, and effort than the actual finished project would be worth on the open market. If you figure in the cost of power tools: Eeek! Still, there is a special value that comes from doing it yourself, and the appreciation from the recipient. Over the years, the tools will pay for themselves. They almost always do.

For most of the past year, I would have said the Bosch REAXX jobsite table saw is my favorite tool. I wish it had the power, table size, and precision of a true cabinet saw, but it does very well for me. I love the "gravity rise stand" that lets me store it in the garage; whenever I need it I roll it out under the back patio and set it up quickly.

Lately I have been enjoying a new-to-me Delta 890 bandsaw, which was solidly built in 1953. It is a joy to use. I bought it a few months ago.

The one thing I don't like about either saw is the time it takes to change blades. I assume it isn't any better or worse than on other brands and types of saws. I wish I could spend more time "doing woodworking" (whatever that means) and less time reconfiguring either saw with different blades. That's the way of the woodworking world, I suppose.
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post #9 of 20 Old 04-03-2018, 12:13 PM
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For a job site tool, Iíd have to say itís a folding/wheeled stand for a miter saw. It has built in supports for long lumber. Saves a lot of bending over, or rigging up supports.
I also have found laser levels quite useful over large distances.


In woodworking there is always more then one way to accomplish something.
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post #10 of 20 Old 04-03-2018, 01:05 PM
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My modest little Miterset has been very handy over time. It's turned my crappy old crapsman miter gauge into a decent accurate gauge even though the bar has a bit of slop, but a little tape has pretty much solved the problem..
Trimming the little bit of the 90.***į off the end of boards is kind of nice ..
Worth the 65 smackaroonies..

I figured it's time to change my signature so hold your breath. This is it.
Impressive, huh?
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post #11 of 20 Old 04-03-2018, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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@Tool Agnostic...I use a ridgid table saw on the Jobsite and can get incredibly good cuts by doing 2 simple things. Calibrate the saw and use a quality blade...I use my table saws daily(my other is a powermatic) and I have a hard time justifying the use of a cabinet saw unless I'm cutting hardwood stock over 1 1/2". A jobsite or contractor table saw can deliver excellent results if it's properly maintained. My only gripe about the ridgid is that it wants to tip over if I'm trying to cut a 4x8 sheet without a couple rollers for infeed and outfeed support and it's limited fence width. The best part is the dust gets blown away or fertilizes the lawn with the ridgid saw.
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post #12 of 20 Old 04-03-2018, 02:29 PM
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The CNC is my friend. It does just about anything faster and more accurate than I can do by hand, and it does many things I wouldn't even attempt by hand.
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post #13 of 20 Old 04-03-2018, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by pro70z28 View Post
The CNC is my friend. It does just about anything faster and more accurate than I can do by hand, and it does many things I wouldn't even attempt by hand.
...Should i say that I hate you or is it envy? I'm not sure but I want one.
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post #14 of 20 Old 04-03-2018, 08:31 PM
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I have got to say, in all honesty, the one tool that increases my productivity more than any other single tool, is my coffee pot. And that's a fact.
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post #15 of 20 Old 04-03-2018, 08:47 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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My favorite jig is ....

I made a straight line rip jig off some ideas on You Tube and came up with this variant. It will straighten an edge 10 X faster than a jointer and almost perfect, ready for glue ups. The straight edges are on the left side of the boards, and not visible in these photos ...trust me on this.

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post #16 of 20 Old 04-04-2018, 09:45 PM
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For trim the top 3 are the Copemaster, the Jambmaster, and a big box of Clam Clamps.
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post #17 of 20 Old 04-05-2018, 10:56 AM
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This will sound crazy to most of you but the original question regards aids for job-site productivity.
A few years ago I was in a Home Depot and saw this heavy canvas bag that fits into a five gallon bucket.
This bag has many pockets to hold an assortment of hand tools.
After setting up this bucket with most of the things needed, it has been extremely useful. Just grab the 5 gallon bucket and youíve got most everything you need. Saves the back and forth trips to your truck or van to retrieve tools later. Tools are better organized and more easily found than if they were just in a tool box or the bucket without the canvas insert. I recommend it for anyone working on-site.
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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 #18 of 20 Old 04-06-2018, 07:37 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toolman50 View Post
This will sound crazy to most of you but the original question regards aids for job-site productivity.
A few years ago I was in a Home Depot and saw this heavy canvas bag that fits into a five gallon bucket.
This bag has many pockets to hold an assortment of hand tools.
After setting up this bucket with most of the things needed, it has been extremely useful. Just grab the 5 gallon bucket and youíve got most everything you need. Saves the back and forth trips to your truck or van to retrieve tools later. Tools are better organized and more easily found than if they were just in a tool box or the bucket without the canvas insert. I recommend it for anyone working on-site.
I tried this awhile ago but found the bucket too top-heavy for me...I switched to a 3 compartment tool bag that holds just about every hand tool I could need on an install. Such a huge timesaver to have everything within close reach and organized. I never thought about how much I rely on it until you mentioned it.
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post #19 of 20 Old 04-06-2018, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Echo415 View Post
I tried this awhile ago but found the bucket too top-heavy for me...I switched to a 3 compartment tool bag that holds just about every hand tool I could need on an install. Such a huge timesaver to have everything within close reach and organized. I never thought about how much I rely on it until you mentioned it.
My bucket has never been top heavy because of the weight I have at the bottom of it.
I also have a tool belt but I like to keep the bucket close. Both are just for an on-site job which I now do very few.

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 #20 of 20 Old 04-06-2018, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
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...Should i say that I hate you or is it envy? I'm not sure but I want one.
I operate a sign shop so I have an excuse.
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