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post #61 of 105 Old 12-04-2013, 11:24 PM
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Originally Posted by jousley
I was using a speed square - tossed it in the garbage. This morning I purchased a combination square - as well as a square that measures angles (not sure of the name). I also got a digital caliper which is awesome. I am glad that my original post/experience occurred, as I have learned so much about measuring tools that I took for granted before - and I think i'm on my way to more accurate work. I have noticed in a lot of videos that people mark their wood with something that is round and has a point on it. anyone have info on that? if it's useful? or if there is a better method?

thanks as always
J
You can tune up that speed square without too much trouble. Just stick some sandpaper to something flat and true it up.

Al

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post #62 of 105 Old 12-05-2013, 02:13 AM
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I did a lot of reading here but also some skimming so I might have missed it if anyone said it. Get yourself an extra combination square just for the steel ruler on it only. The Swanson at Lowe's with the plastic slide piece for $10 is fine. Take the slide part off of it and keep the metal ruler itself handy. I use this to set my table saw fence square to the blade. I use it for laying out dead accurate lines on work pieces, both as a straight edge and also to make marks a set distance apart from each other. You'll find it's weight to be handy as it resists easily being bumped and therefore moving when you don't want it to. You can hold it down with 4 fingers spread across it and mark along side it with a pencil or carefully score with a marking knife also (can't do that with a tape). Beats a tape measure any day for laying out marks and setting my saw fence, but the widest cut I can make on the saw using the ruler to set it is just 12 inches. Mostly I work with solid wood instead of plywood so it's fine for me. I actually made a rip and cross cut jig from MDF for cutting plywood so I use a circular saw there and never the table saw. I figure anything over 18 inches will be too hard to run on my small saw so I just make all plywood cuts with the circular instead. Therefore a 12 inch steel ruler works for my saw and no more is ever needed. But they do have a 16 inch model also if a few extra inches would help.

In my shop I'm constantly reaching for the 12 inch steel ruler. I can't even think of all the uses I've found for it right now but there are many ways to use it. Anywhere where dead nuts accuracy is needed I will use the steel ruler if I can. Mine is marked with 1/16 and 1/32 marks on one side, and 1/16 and metric millimeters on the reverse side. It is imperative that any steel ruler you get for this begins the measurements at the very end of the ruler, not inwards from the end, or it won't work for just butting the ruler up next to anything (table saw fence?) and measuring outwards from there. That's one tip.

My other tip is, Craftsman tools are not junk. Not everything they make is good though. If it feels cheaply made or less than solid then I pass. But I have a lot of Craftsman that is very well made. It's an affordable alternative to higher priced tools. Their routers are solid pieces of equipment. I have several. If anyone says otherwise they're talking out the wrong end. Value is an understatement. When I was looking for a solid router and considering all the options, I chose a Craftsman not because of price but because of how much more tool I seemed to be getting for the same money as others. Mine has both 1/4 and 1/2 inch collets, built in work lights (I'll never own a router again that doesn't have this), edge guide tool, two bases, one plunge, one fixed, and was just very solidly made. Their cordless drills are good also, get the higher voltage ones with lithium batteries, you'll never regret it. Tons of power, light weight, battery life lasts and lasts, and one handed chuck tightening and release. Their circular saws are solid also, get one that draws at least 12 amps or more though, and put a thin kerf blade on it, like a $12 Freud Diablo. I put a 24 tooth Freud Diablo ripping blade on mine and that thing will crosscut smoother than a 40 tooth full kerf miter saw blade. It's a super cheap upgrade to an already powerful circular saw. Mine draws 13 amps but that blade makes it cut like it's pulling twice that. With a smooth, powerful, sharp blade, cutting nice straight cuts with a freehand saw against a ripping jig is easily achieved, even long cuts full length of a sheet of plywood. I also have a bench top Craftsman drill press. Very nice machine. Easy to use. I bought it because I got a 6 amp motor with it where other similar machines have 3 amp motors. Strong motors make smoother cuts since they don't bog down in hard wood. Still takes sharp bits and blades though.

Basically, Craftsman tools deliver a lot of bang for the buck. Watch the Christmas and Father's Day sales and you can get some awesome deals. Even sales through the year, like Craftsman Club sales. I normally never pay more than $70 to $100 for the portable power tools I've bought. My drill press was $130. Another brand to watch is Kobalt from Lowe's. They're starting to produce some very nice tools for a budget minded person wanting accuracy. I will say I paid a LOT for my Kobalt miter saw and stand. I bought the 12" model and paid full price when it first came out (the 10" and 7 1/4" models leave a lot to desire). Now it's about $100 cheaper for the saw only, and unless you need it mobile you don't have to get the matching stand (ooh, but it's so niiiiice). In all I paid about $550 at the time for the saw and stand. Now the same setup is about $450 roughly, but I don't regret it. It was the largest purchase I've made to date. This saw cuts every way imaginable for a miter saw to do. Deadly accurate also. Repeatable cuts, and smoooooth. I will say it is in every way equal to the $600 DeWalt at much less cost. Sorry, I'm rambling. A $300 saw is a lot compared to $100 portable tools. I decided to splurge on that one since it would do soooo much stuff that I use several other tools to do the same thing, like stopped depth dado cuts for example. Made life simple, and also I'm a contractor so I use it on jobs also, hence the mobile stand. Even though I paid more for it than it can be bought for now, and even though it's still $300, I still consider this saw budget priced since I do feel it directly compares to the big yellow $600 saw at much less money.

Another tip. Go to an art supply store like Hobby Lobby and get some 6H lead pencils. The harder the lead, the finer the lines they will draw. You want hair thin lines for cutting on. Standard No. 2 pencils just don't work well. 6H pencils make drawn lines that look more like a razor score in the wood. When you follow a tiny line like this, your accuracy increases a lot just due to not having fat lines to aim at. This can add back as much as 1/16 inch width that would normally be lost when marking fat lines and then cutting them.

One more tip. Don't try to depend on lasers on tools for accuracy. Align blade to pencil marks for dead accurate cuts. Tried and true methods, they still work today. Make a habit of it and it won't feel like extra work. I fiddled with lasers long enough to realize even when they're aligned they don't stay aligned. If I'm going to the trouble to mark the wood where I want it cut then I'm going to make sure the blade hits the mark.

Last edited by Duane Bledsoe; 12-05-2013 at 02:26 AM.
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post #63 of 105 Old 12-05-2013, 06:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jousley View Post
I was using a speed square - tossed it in the garbage. This morning I purchased a combination square - as well as a square that measures angles (not sure of the name). I also got a digital caliper which is awesome. I am glad that my original post/experience occurred, as I have learned so much about measuring tools that I took for granted before - and I think i'm on my way to more accurate work. I have noticed in a lot of videos that people mark their wood with something that is round and has a point on it. anyone have info on that? if it's useful? or if there is a better method?

thanks as always
J
The round pointy thing you asked about could be a scribe(r). Used by machinists, millwrights, pipefitters, etc. Could have a tungsten carbide tip, used for making precise marks on metal, usually after coating the metal with blue layout ink. Very accurate on metal but can be hard to see on wood.

Jimmy


frustrated... budget, tools, quality of jigs.. advice?-dscn0444-600-x-450-.jpg

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....get blood on it.

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post #64 of 105 Old 12-05-2013, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by jousley View Post
Hey all, just need a moment to vent. I can't buy top of the line stuff, so I have the HF sliding chop saw, a wannabe TB fence, etc etc. and I get so frustrated when I try to build something that nothing is exactly straight. ie.. I built a nice big cross cut table saw sled this weekend, all lined up using a square. did the 5 cut method, and off by 1/16 (which is a lot in my opinion). Then built a table top for my bandsaw to include a cross cut sled - measured multiple times. used poplar for the miter slot runners, perfect fit. attach to sled table, a bit of drag, but I fixed it. cut the initial cut... off by 1/8... It just seems lately that when I build stuff w/ my tools - it is always off a bit, and it drives me nuts.

so I shut it down, and had a few beers. I have so many ideas, but I'm unsure my tools will handle my ideas. So maybe the question is... with the right (low cost) tools, and jigs to support - can you make quality stuff... (read straight and perfect)? Is this part of the learning curve? ie. I need to F#@$ stuff up to learn how to do it right? Or do you just have to have the nice stuff to make something exactly how you planned?

Also, Please tell me what are the HAVE TO HAVES when it comes to marking and measuring tools and what have you learned when it comes to "what tools/measuring tools that makes sense to spend the money on." And I know that the higher quality tools will provide a better quality experience..etc... but that's not an option for me right now.. What do you do when you are frustrated with a project and want to toss it in the trash...

OK... rant done..

thanks
J
There could be a difference in an inexpensive square and a high dollar one. What only matters is if it's square, and it's used properly. Your "off" amount might have been your own doing. The square could have slipped slightly. Your method of striking a line may have moved the blade.

Many of my tools were flea market/garage sale bought. I check them out before using them. If they are usable, then the rest is up to me. As long as a tool can do what it's supposed to do, I find no need to upgrade, unless of course, it's in your budget to spend like that.






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post #65 of 105 Old 12-05-2013, 10:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duane Bledsoe
I did a lot of reading here but also some skimming so I might have missed it if anyone said it. Get yourself an extra combination square just for the steel ruler on it only. The Swanson at Lowe's with the plastic slide piece for $10 is fine. Take the slide part off of it and keep the metal ruler itself handy. I use this to set my table saw fence square to the blade. I use it for laying out dead accurate lines on work pieces, both as a straight edge and also to make marks a set distance apart from each other. You'll find it's weight to be handy as it resists easily being bumped and therefore moving when you don't want it to. You can hold it down with 4 fingers spread across it and mark along side it with a pencil or carefully score with a marking knife also (can't do that with a tape). Beats a tape measure any day for laying out marks and setting my saw fence, but the widest cut I can make on the saw using the ruler to set it is just 12 inches. Mostly I work with solid wood instead of plywood so it's fine for me. I actually made a rip and cross cut jig from MDF for cutting plywood so I use a circular saw there and never the table saw. I figure anything over 18 inches will be too hard to run on my small saw so I just make all plywood cuts with the circular instead. Therefore a 12 inch steel ruler works for my saw and no more is ever needed. But they do have a 16 inch model also if a few extra inches would help.

In my shop I'm constantly reaching for the 12 inch steel ruler. I can't even think of all the uses I've found for it right now but there are many ways to use it. Anywhere where dead nuts accuracy is needed I will use the steel ruler if I can. Mine is marked with 1/16 and 1/32 marks on one side, and 1/16 and metric millimeters on the reverse side. It is imperative that any steel ruler you get for this begins the measurements at the very end of the ruler, not inwards from the end, or it won't work for just butting the ruler up next to anything (table saw fence?) and measuring outwards from there. That's one tip.

My other tip is, Craftsman tools are not junk. Not everything they make is good though. If it feels cheaply made or less than solid then I pass. But I have a lot of Craftsman that is very well made. It's an affordable alternative to higher priced tools. Their routers are solid pieces of equipment. I have several. If anyone says otherwise they're talking out the wrong end. Value is an understatement. When I was looking for a solid router and considering all the options, I chose a Craftsman not because of price but because of how much more tool I seemed to be getting for the same money as others. Mine has both 1/4 and 1/2 inch collets, built in work lights (I'll never own a router again that doesn't have this), edge guide tool, two bases, one plunge, one fixed, and was just very solidly made. Their cordless drills are good also, get the higher voltage ones with lithium batteries, you'll never regret it. Tons of power, light weight, battery life lasts and lasts, and one handed chuck tightening and release. Their circular saws are solid also, get one that draws at least 12 amps or more though, and put a thin kerf blade on it, like a $12 Freud Diablo. I put a 24 tooth Freud Diablo ripping blade on mine and that thing will crosscut smoother than a 40 tooth full kerf miter saw blade. It's a super cheap upgrade to an already powerful circular saw. Mine draws 13 amps but that blade makes it cut like it's pulling twice that. With a smooth, powerful, sharp blade, cutting nice straight cuts with a freehand saw against a ripping jig is easily achieved, even long cuts full length of a sheet of plywood. I also have a bench top Craftsman drill press. Very nice machine. Easy to use. I bought it because I got a 6 amp motor with it where other similar machines have 3 amp motors. Strong motors make smoother cuts since they don't bog down in hard wood. Still takes sharp bits and blades though.

Basically, Craftsman tools deliver a lot of bang for the buck. Watch the Christmas and Father's Day sales and you can get some awesome deals. Even sales through the year, like Craftsman Club sales. I normally never pay more than $70 to $100 for the portable power tools I've bought. My drill press was $130. Another brand to watch is Kobalt from Lowe's. They're starting to produce some very nice tools for a budget minded person wanting accuracy. I will say I paid a LOT for my Kobalt miter saw and stand. I bought the 12" model and paid full price when it first came out (the 10" and 7 1/4" models leave a lot to desire). Now it's about $100 cheaper for the saw only, and unless you need it mobile you don't have to get the matching stand (ooh, but it's so niiiiice). In all I paid about $550 at the time for the saw and stand. Now the same setup is about $450 roughly, but I don't regret it. It was the largest purchase I've made to date. This saw cuts every way imaginable for a miter saw to do. Deadly accurate also. Repeatable cuts, and smoooooth. I will say it is in every way equal to the $600 DeWalt at much less cost. Sorry, I'm rambling. A $300 saw is a lot compared to $100 portable tools. I decided to splurge on that one since it would do soooo much stuff that I use several other tools to do the same thing, like stopped depth dado cuts for example. Made life simple, and also I'm a contractor so I use it on jobs also, hence the mobile stand. Even though I paid more for it than it can be bought for now, and even though it's still $300, I still consider this saw budget priced since I do feel it directly compares to the big yellow $600 saw at much less money.

Another tip. Go to an art supply store like Hobby Lobby and get some 6H lead pencils. The harder the lead, the finer the lines they will draw. You want hair thin lines for cutting on. Standard No. 2 pencils just don't work well. 6H pencils make drawn lines that look more like a razor score in the wood. When you follow a tiny line like this, your accuracy increases a lot just due to not having fat lines to aim at. This can add back as much as 1/16 inch width that would normally be lost when marking fat lines and then cutting them.

One more tip. Don't try to depend on lasers on tools for accuracy. Align blade to pencil marks for dead accurate cuts. Tried and true methods, they still work today. Make a habit of it and it won't feel like extra work. I fiddled with lasers long enough to realize even when they're aligned they don't stay aligned. If I'm going to the trouble to mark the wood where I want it cut then I'm going to make sure the blade hits the mark.
Friends don't let friends use pressed metal tools sold in clothing stores.

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post #66 of 105 Old 12-05-2013, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Al B Thayer View Post
Friends don't let friends use pressed metal tools sold in clothing stores.

Al

Nails only hold themselves.

Dude......no offense....but get off your pedestal. Not everyone can or will buy tools that are high end. It doesn't mean they can't produce fine wood working....
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post #67 of 105 Old 12-05-2013, 11:02 PM
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Dude......no offense....but get off your pedestal. Not everyone can or will buy tools that are high end. It doesn't mean they can't produce fine wood working....
Um, yes they can. Good tools are not expensive. Most only have to be bought once.
Nothing wrong with buying cheap tools. Just call them cheap tools and stop the BS about how great they are. Probably the biggest frustration in the woodworking world, cheap tools. The most problems and the reason some never get the satisfaction they are looking for, cheap tools. "Whats wrong with my cheap tool?"

At least my pedestal isn't made from wobbly pressed metal stand found next to the teens and tots section. :)

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Last edited by Al B Thayer; 12-05-2013 at 11:06 PM.
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post #68 of 105 Old 12-05-2013, 11:10 PM
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Nevermind....you don't get it.....
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post #69 of 105 Old 12-05-2013, 11:55 PM
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Good tools make a difference.

I'm not taking sides on this issue. I just want to give me own perspective. I've been a hobbyist woodworker for 25 years. I started with complete junk tools. I had very limited skills and worked and learned. I spent a good deal of money on tools that I have eventually replaced. I kick myself that I spent $100 on a router that I eventually replaced with a "better" lifetime tool. It cost $300, but it will be my last. I bought a lot of junk clamps that didn't work, and didn't clamp my glue-ups properly. Again, why did I waste money on stuff that didn't work.

I totally get the budget, and the realities of a hobby. Here is my suggestion. Don't buy junk! you don't need industrial grade tools, but try to buy a tool once, not twice. In the long run, it will save you money. Figure out what tool you need.... Read, Read, Read, and buy the right tool the first time. If you can't afford it, keep saving and wait till you can. Don't waste money on a junk router that won't do the job properly. I absolutely hate FIGHTING my tools to get them to do what they are supposed to do.

I've read several comments about being able to get great results with poor tools. I shake my hear a little there... Getting quality results with poor quality tools is hard. Having limited skills will impact results. Having the "wrong" tool for the job shouldn't add to the negative results.

Again I get limited funds. I would council you to wait longer between purchased till you can afford to buy a tool that will be the last hammer, jig, router, table saw etc... you have to buy. Buying twice is the least frugal thing you can do...
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post #70 of 105 Old 12-05-2013, 11:58 PM
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Nevermind....you don't get it.....
I get it but refuse to agree. How long have you been doing this? Bet you could have the tools you want if you step back and take some advice from many here that have dared to believe they are worth it. On any budget. It has nothing to do with how experienced you are or how much money you make. I just don't think its a good idea to bang the drum hailing the undo merits of cheap tools. Advising someone to live on the poverty side of woodworking is only good for the box store and the clothing store.

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post #71 of 105 Old 12-06-2013, 12:06 AM
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Friends don't let friends use pressed metal tools sold in clothing stores.

Al
Nah, they come over to their house and show them how first, then sit around looking at their Craftsman Club sale papers and planning their next affordable purchase.
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post #72 of 105 Old 12-06-2013, 12:13 AM
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I get it but refuse to agree. How long have you been doing this? Bet you could have the tools you want if you step back and take some advice from many here that have dared to believe they are worth it. On any budget. It has nothing to do with how experienced you are or how much money you make. I just don't think its a good idea to bang the drum hailing the undo merits of cheap tools. Advising someone to live on the poverty side of woodworking is only good for the box store and the clothing store.

Al

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What do you mean undue merit? I either get good results from my on sale Craftsman router every single time I use it or I don't. I know you don't think I'm lying about it. I said my low cost tools are good, well worth the price paid, and my experience with them is well worth the money saved not buying higher dollar stuff, and I stand by every word. I'm beating the drum loudly.
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post #73 of 105 Old 12-06-2013, 12:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Al B Thayer
I get it but refuse to agree. How long have you been doing this? Bet you could have the tools you want if you step back and take some advice from many here that have dared to believe they are worth it. On any budget. It has nothing to do with how experienced you are or how much money you make. I just don't think its a good idea to bang the drum hailing the undo merits of cheap tools. Advising someone to live on the poverty side of woodworking is only good for the box store and the clothing store. Al Nails only hold themselves.
I've been doing this about ten years....

Who's saying to buy cheap tools? I haven't. But you seem to think anything without a premium brand is junk.

My 150 dollar craftsman router had not once made me wish I had spent more. My craftsman pro 22116 table saw had been everything I could ask for of a 1000 dollar table saw......not a single complaint on it. Now I've spent more on a planer as I didn't feel the craftsman one would do what I wanted it to do....I've got dewalt 18v stuff as I felt it was better quality.

My point is....saying one particular brand or store only sells junk that can't do quality work is either ignorant or purposely belligerent. Have you used a current model craftsman pro router?

The tools don't make the craftsman....
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post #74 of 105 Old 12-06-2013, 12:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Duane Bledsoe

What do you mean undue merit? I either get good results from my on sale Craftsman router every single time I use it or I don't. I know you don't think I'm lying about it. I said my low cost tools are good, well worth the price paid, and my experience with them is well worth the money saved not buying higher dollar stuff, and I stand by every word. I'm beating the drum loudly.
Well you will be a great help in all these threads concerning Crapsman tools that don't work so well.

Al

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post #75 of 105 Old 12-06-2013, 12:54 AM
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Well you will be a great help in all these threads concerning Crapsman tools that don't work so well.

Al

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Ah, see, there's the problem. The tool has to say "Craftsman" in order to be good, much like the tools you're suggesting have to have certain names on them. After reading all those other posts you made I would have thought you'd have known that. Glad I cleared that up for you. You're right though, I'm already being a great help in a thread concerning Crapsman tools. Buy better stuff and that won't happen to you anymore.
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post #76 of 105 Old 12-06-2013, 01:03 AM
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Originally Posted by ryan50hrl

I've been doing this about ten years....

Who's saying to buy cheap tools? I haven't. But you seem to think anything without a premium brand is junk.

My 150 dollar craftsman router had not once made me wish I had spent more. My craftsman pro 22116 table saw had been everything I could ask for of a 1000 dollar table saw......not a single complaint on it. Now I've spent more on a planer as I didn't feel the craftsman one would do what I wanted it to do....I've got dewalt 18v stuff as I felt it was better quality.

My point is....saying one particular brand or store only sells junk that can't do quality work is either ignorant or purposely belligerent. Have you used a current model craftsman pro router?
I just have three 690s and an old 3 hp Hitachi. Just picked up the mid sized PC 450 with two bases. I have one throw away tiny Ridgid router because I liked the neat features and needed a router for very small round overs. I don't use the big 3 hp much because I have two shapers. One big 3 hp I built and a small but still quite stout Delta. Bought my first PC 690 when my Crapsman fell apart after about a year. Over 25 years ago.

I'm sure Crapsman has found someone to build a good router now and they make a pretty good garage door opener. But their table saws have always been underpowered, really bad fences and not very sturdy. The manhole cover side extensions were the pits. Worse throat plate setting in a warped casting. I straightened mine with a Biesemyer fence and a prying device. Sold it and picked up the Unisaw. So I've owned two saws in the last 35 years.

Al

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post #77 of 105 Old 12-06-2013, 01:07 AM
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Anything without a premium brand is just not a premium brand and will have many limitations and require much more repair.

I just have three 690s and an old 3 hp Hitachi. Just picked up the mid sized PC 450 with two bases. I have one throw away tiny Ridgid router because I liked the neat features and needed a router for very small round overs. I don't use the big 3 hp much because I have two shapers. One big 3 hp I built and a small but still quite stout Delta. Bought my first PC 690 when my Crapsman fell apart after about a year. Over 25 years ago.

I'm sure Crapsman has found someone to build a good router now and they make a pretty good garage door opener. But their table saws have always been underpowered, really bad fences and not very sturdy. The manhole cover side extensions were the pits. Worse throat plate setting in a warped casting. I straightened mine with a Biesemyer fence and a prying device. Sold it and picked up the Unisaw. So I've owned two saws in the last 35 years.

Al

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Nails only hold themselves.


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Well everyone, thanks for your solid advice and direction, I appreciate all comments - and yes, this thread has modified a bit to "are craftsman/your general affordable tools a good investment." I can see both sides. If you are able to spend the money, even financing something, it makes perfect sense to purchase an awesome tool that you will never have to replace, just maintain. And if you are not willing to do that, you can still buy something that you can gain experience with, and enjoy, though it will not last as long, and you will have to ensure accuracy over time. Seems to be two camps. And Al you said, "Probably the biggest frustration in the woodworking world, cheap tools." I would disagree with that and say it would be something more like "lack of experience or knowledge, impatience, lack of creativity or drive." But if someone wants to make something awesome with what they have, it may take more time or effort, but can still be awesome.

Just my .02. However, I am thinking about the "change your thinking" motto that has been echoed throughout the posts. And it does have merit. For me, and for now, I will buy what I can afford, and spend my top dollar on the things I think need to be top dollar. Ie. my next purchase will be a planer - and it will be a top tier one. Because I need it to be dead on - and last a lifetime. But when I go to purchase my reciprocating saw, I think I have some wiggle room there. I think everyone can decide which tools are most important based on what they want to use them for - and how long they want to have them, and which ones they can fudge on (I got an angle grinder from HF 3 years ago - and it is still awesome.) I know it's not for accuracy - but it works great.

Anyway, in summary, thanks for all your posts - and I appreciate all opinions. In the end - were all having fun doing what we're doing.
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post #79 of 105 Old 12-06-2013, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al B Thayer
I just have three 690s and an old 3 hp Hitachi. Just picked up the mid sized PC 450 with two bases. I have one throw away tiny Ridgid router because I liked the neat features and needed a router for very small round overs. I don't use the big 3 hp much because I have two shapers. One big 3 hp I built and a small but still quite stout Delta. Bought my first PC 690 when my Crapsman fell apart after about a year. Over 25 years ago. I'm sure Crapsman has found someone to build a good router now and they make a pretty good garage door opener. But their table saws have always been underpowered, really bad fences and not very sturdy. The manhole cover side extensions were the pits. Worse throat plate setting in a warped casting. I straightened mine with a Biesemyer fence and a prying device. Sold it and picked up the Unisaw. So I've owned two saws in the last 35 years. Al Nails only hold themselves.
So your basing your thought on things you haven't experienced in 25 years? My craftsman table saw has a true 1.75 hp 15 amp motor.....not under powered at all for what it is. And it has a solid granite top.....and a bisermeyer clone fence. Throat plate sits in a machined granite surface....guessing that's not warping.

If you want to talk about old underpowered saws, everyone's made them....including some old unisaws.

The tools don't make the craftsman....
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post #80 of 105 Old 12-06-2013, 09:30 AM
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There are cheap tools that are good. My $15 Shark brand Ryoba has lasted around four years so far, I think, and while it's starting to give indications of dulling, I've probably used it to rip hundreds of feet of pine and I don't even KNOW how much crosscutting I've done with it. I've done precision cross-cuts, dovetails, notches in the edges of boards in all sorts of orientations, and all sorts of things. It won't be possible to resharpen, but I'd call that $15 well spent. I have a $12 dovetail saw that needed some adjustment -- there was way too much set on the teeth -- but it now works quite nicely. I've had it for two years, and it needs sharpening, but I fully expect it will keep working for years if I treat it well. In a "cuts per dollar" sense, I suspect my Ryobi battery powered circular saw (not the battery, just the saw) will outperform the Ridgid I almost bought.

There are also cheap tools that are junk. I've held (but not purchased) inexpensive hand planes that would clearly never be able to cut well, no matter how much time was spent on them. I've tried to work with cheap jigs that fell apart no matter how carefully I glued, screwed, and duct-taped them together. I've used screwdrivers that mangled every screw they were used on because they'd been machined to the wrong size.

There are expensive tools that are amazing. I love my Veritas Carcasse saw, and I don't regret having spent $80 on it. (Although when the competition runs $150-500, maybe it should be listed as a cheap tool...) I bought a $250 dollar router which I almost never use, but I can rely on it to give results as good as I'm capable of asking for. My circular saw I bought used, but it's an old high-end Skil branded saw: I don't expect ever to need to buy a new one, unless I want some fancy feature that it doesn't have.

There are expensive tools that are junk. I once paid $50 for a heavy-duty drill bit that broke the first time I tried to drill with it; the $10 one I replaced it with did the entire job with no problems. I should have bought the $10 one first; I could have broken four and still come out ahead! I ran across a brace that was selling, new, for around $100. It was junk. The jaws didn't close properly, the pad on top didn't rotate, and the ratchet mechanism slipped constantly. Glad I didn't buy that.

The point here is that it's kind of meaningless to talk about "cheap tools" and "expensive tools". It's more useful to talk about "good tools" and "bad tools." Some good tools are expensive, some aren't. Some bad tools are cheap, some aren't. Look for details on the specific thing you want, not an overall guideline.
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