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:
- Entryway bench and cubbies with hooks
- Closet organizers (shelves on top, drawers on bottom)
- A couple twin sized basic bed frames
- 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.
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!