First non-intro post : my newbie goal - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 03-21-2017, 03:29 PM Thread Starter
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First non-intro post : my newbie goal

Gents, time is precious and we all wish we had more time, so I will be brief in my post and elaborate as needed.

I am looking to build some simple items in our new home for our very large family (7 plus a mother-in-law soon!). Here are the items I want to build:
  1. Entryway bench and cubbies with hooks
  2. Closet organizers (shelves on top, drawers on bottom)
  3. A couple twin sized basic bed frames
  4. some additional shelving in garage (done some, but could be better)

Tools I own:
  • Rigid router
  • Circular saw
  • Ryobi miter saw (it is very basic, used it for framing.. pretty much all I use it for)
  • a good makita orbital sander
  • several clamps some large, some medium, some small
  • a jigsaw
  • a few homemade cutting guides

So - the question. What else might I need to complete these basic projects. Initial results were not good.. hard to cut accurate and identical pieces.. so shelving not fun to cut.
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post #2 of 19 Old 03-21-2017, 04:05 PM
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If you're really good, you can perfect your circular saw skills and get consistent cuts. But a table saw is a basic tool, as far as I am concerned.
You can spend a healthy portion of a third world Country's wealth on one, or (like me) you can get one from Harbor Freight, etc., which will do fine for general household projects.

You should also have a combination square.
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post #3 of 19 Old 03-21-2017, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDude View Post
Gents, time is precious and we all wish we had more time, so I will be brief in my post and elaborate as needed.

I am looking to build some simple items in our new home for our very large family (7 plus a mother-in-law soon!). Here are the items I want to build:
  1. Entryway bench and cubbies with hooks
  2. Closet organizers (shelves on top, drawers on bottom)
  3. A couple twin sized basic bed frames
  4. some additional shelving in garage (done some, but could be better)

Tools I own:
  • Rigid router
  • Circular saw
  • Ryobi miter saw (it is very basic, used it for framing.. pretty much all I use it for)
  • a good makita orbital sander
  • several clamps some large, some medium, some small
  • a jigsaw
  • a few homemade cutting guides

So - the question. What else might I need to complete these basic projects. Initial results were not good.. hard to cut accurate and identical pieces.. so shelving not fun to cut.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikechell View Post
If you're really good, you can perfect your circular saw skills and get consistent cuts. But a table saw is a basic tool, as far as I am concerned.
You can spend a healthy portion of a third world Country's wealth on one, or (like me) you can get one from Harbor Freight, etc., which will do fine for general household projects.

You should also have a combination square.
A good table saw is nice, but I disagree that it requires "really good" to get consistent cuts with a circular saw. My evidence is the fact that I can manage it, and I'm not very good at all. Seriously: if you can afford it, get a good table saw. A cheap one will make you wish you were using circular saw. If you can't, buy a good piece of extruded aluminum as a guide, and learn to set it up accurately.

I would suggest a good electric drill (corded or cordless doesn't make all that much difference these days), and if you have the space and funding a drill press. That will make mortises a lot easier, and also be useful for a lot of other things.

I'd pause there for a while, until you see what you really need.

As to the trouble you're having with accuracy and repeatability: Some of that is just practice. Learn how your tools work, what their quirks are, and what they can and can't do.

Some of it, though, may be process. For instance: I had a lot of trouble with my miter saw. It was inaccurate, never seemed to cut square, and was generally just a pain. Then I built a stand for it with fold out "wings" to support long lumber, and it was suddenly able to cut accurately. The ability to clamp a stop block in place meant a high level of repeatability, which is at least as important. Using a circular saw, having a good guide system makes all the difference, taking it from a really imprecise tool to something you can rely on. In both cases, the blade may also be some of the issue. I've had good luck with the Diablo line.

The most important thing is keeping at it, though... you will get better over time!
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post #4 of 19 Old 03-21-2017, 05:06 PM
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I would agree with a table saw and a drill. With that said I would get the drill first. You can make some impressive things with a circular saw and a few simple to make jigs to help with straight lines. If you don't want to make them you can buy at least the aluminum self-clamping bar at Harbor Freight and rock on from there.

Remember people made (and continue to make) amazing furniture and other items with limited to no tools at all. Practice and a willingness to learn will take you far. I am very much learning (and relearning in some cases), but this principle holds true to all portions of life.
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post #5 of 19 Old 03-21-2017, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry I forgot to mention.. I do own a drill - dewalt 20v impact and regular drill. Also I own other basics like hammers, measuring tapes, square, speed square, etc.

I was thinking I would be smart to invest in:

1. Table Saw
2. Router table

My thoughts were to be able to make decent drawers without using a Kreg jig or something

As to the comment on the circular saw.. I am OK with it and my little jigs help a lot.. but getting multiple pieces of wood to be 'exact' duplicates isn't easy for me. For instance: I bought a bunch of white wood panels (18" by 72") to make a closet organizer stack out of because they were on sale. They 'looked' really square and they were 'close' but they were off towards each end. For instance one was 17 7/8 at the bottom but 17 3/4 at the top. So I had to try and trim off at least one side to get a good reference line to square from which meant basically trimming each side. That works.. for one.. but trying to get the other to be 'exactly' the same was difficult and they ended up being a little off here and a little there.. and when one is building a nice supposedly square shelf.. it got ugly. The overall build is functional, but it is not very true from edge to edge. Some of this may also be assembly - I used Kreg jib to attach the support panels instead of routing in dadoes. This is some of the stuff I hope to learn.. :)
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post #6 of 19 Old 03-21-2017, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
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I will also add.. I have been browsing the classifieds here in Minnesota and haven't seen much for what may suit my needs. I didn't want to spend more than 500-600 on a table saw if I could help it. Just not seeing quality stuff on the list and new in stores I keep coming across stuff like the Rigid 4512 (and the Lowe's rebrand) and Masterforce 10" Contractor saw (Menards house brand - it's a primarily midwest thing I believe. However those saws seem to get really mixed reviews and I cannot determine if the gripes are being made by people that do 'really fine' woodworking and it matters 'more' to them or if their gripes would truly be an issue that would impact my proposed projects...

menards saw for those who have never seen: http://www.menards.com/main/search.h...rtby=priceDesc
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post #7 of 19 Old 03-21-2017, 06:25 PM
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You mention wanting to do finer work than sticking things together with a Kreg jig. Looking at what you are planning to put together, some of it looks like stuff that is perfect for quick kreg jig work.

For finer pieces, get a table saw. While you can do it with a circular saw and a guide, it is annoying and takes forever. With what you are doing you should be fine with a $200 used table saw, you don't need anything fancy. You are looking for consistency and repeat ability, which any saw should do fine.

Once you get a table saw, make a crosscut jig.

With this and what you have already, you should be able to do pretty much anything that doesn't require milling.

A router table is nice, and I use mine a ton, but almost everything I do on it could be done on a table saw with simple jigs.
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post #8 of 19 Old 03-21-2017, 06:44 PM
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Many of us have the R4512 and like it. However, don't think you need one to get started. I made nice things without a table saw. It just requires consistent measuring and marking. Here's one sitting in our office.

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f13/v...c-stand-25195/

Last edited by sanchez; 03-21-2017 at 06:58 PM.
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post #9 of 19 Old 03-21-2017, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanchez View Post
Many of us have the R4512 and like it. However, don't think you need one to get started. I made nice things without a table saw. It just requires consistent measuring and marking. Here's one sitting in our office.

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f13/v...c-stand-25195/

Wow man, that is VERY nice. I think I might be lower on time and talent than you.. certainly more on the talent spectrum.. perhaps the table saw would help more than I previously thought. :)
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post #10 of 19 Old 03-21-2017, 07:33 PM
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The R4512 from my perspective is a pretty good saw for the money if you are willing to do the tinkering to tune it. It did take a considerable amount of tinkering to get to where I was happy with it, probably a solid 7-8 hours total. After assembly I ended up taking the trunnion out cleaning up some poorly drilled/cast mounting points and lining everything up. There was some trial and error and it's probably still not perfect but it is within a few thousandths. I don't understand all the complaints about the fence. Sure a bessey would be better but it works fine for me.
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post #11 of 19 Old 03-21-2017, 08:14 PM
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Without being there and seeing details of the projects you want to make it's difficult to say what you might need. A table saw would be nice but a lot of times we can improvise when we need to.
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post #12 of 19 Old 03-21-2017, 08:23 PM
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A table saw would be worth considering. No matter which you get you will need to go over it and tweak all the settings. You can make accurate cuts with a circular saw by making a guide attached to a fence. To make consistent cuts just clamp a stop block to the fence. You will need to cut bottom side up on that arrangement. Learning to use hand woodworking tools can go a long way toward making nice furniture.
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post #13 of 19 Old 03-21-2017, 10:25 PM
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Layout & measurement tools influence accuracy & consistency, too. Check your squares to be sure they're square. Use the same tape measure, ruler, yardstick, etc. for the project for repeatability.
Use stop blocks where possible, use jigs when feasible, and be sure to cut on the waste side of your mark.


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post #14 of 19 Old 03-21-2017, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WesTex View Post
Layout & measurement tools influence accuracy & consistency, too. Check your squares to be sure they're square. Use the same tape measure, ruler, yardstick, etc. for the project for repeatability.
Use stop blocks where possible, use jigs when feasible, and be sure to cut on the waste side of your mark.


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I have never checked the squareness of my speed square or square before. How would I even do that? Buy a special tool?
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post #15 of 19 Old 03-21-2017, 11:53 PM
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Steel framing squares are rarely "square", but they can be calibrated. Not to say they are very off, but if you put two of them together off the shelf, to check each other, you would be hard pressed to find two of them that agree with each other.

Aluminum squares off the shelf, IMHO (in my humble opinion) are more accurate. Speed squares, steel or aluminum, seem to be very close to perfect. I would never trust a plastic square.

Tri-squares that do not include plastic parts are good also.

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post #16 of 19 Old 03-22-2017, 12:41 AM
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My son in law bought a new Ridgid R4512 last week and I got to break it in. Nice saw. I had no problem using it. Even got the built in measuring stick pretty accurate when adjusting the fence for cuts. I always set up my cuts with my Lufkin folding ruler I have used since the 80's.

I think you would like it. And a lot of your frustration would be eliminated.
BTW, I have two saws, the small contractor saw and a Grizzly 1023.

There is a big difference in size. The 4512 falls into place nicely.

Make a crosscut sled for your table saw once you get it.

Also, your projects can be easily made using the TS, router, pocket hole jig, glue and brad nails. Just remember to put the pocket holes where they won't be seen.

I have included a picture of a bench I made last weekend for my daughter's birthday (41) to sit in her guest bathroom. It is simple rips, crosscuts, pocket hole joints for the face frames, glue and brad nails during assembly.

Good luck.

Mike
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post #17 of 19 Old 03-22-2017, 07:25 AM
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A table saw is the heart of a woodworking shop check Craigslist
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post #18 of 19 Old 03-22-2017, 10:08 AM
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To check a square, place one leg against a known straight edge such as a workbench or table, and draw a line using the other leg. Now flip it over, place it very close to the first line, and draw another line. If the lines are not parallel, the tool is not square.


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post #19 of 19 Old 03-22-2017, 12:27 PM
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You own the tools to complete the projects you now want to build.
I suggest you make a jig for your circular saw so you can make straight cross cuts.
Naturally, a table saw would be very beneficial.

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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