New User from Western Mass - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 04-28-2010, 11:39 PM Thread Starter
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New User from Western Mass

Greetings!

My name is Alex, and I live in western Massachusetts. I've done quite a lot of rough carpentry (building storage shelves for the basement, tacking together a safety rail to go around a stairway opening in an attic, things like that -- mostly chopping up pieces of 2x4 and screwing them together), and I'm hoping to start doing some finer work soon; built-ins for the library and living room, for instance.

I've got a fairly substantial collection of inherited tools, mostly badly mistreated by a previous owner -- a couple of fairly old planes (one with a chipped blade and some surface rust, one with just the rust), various drills, braces, and attachments, and a formerly horrifying Craftsman radial arm saw. That one was purchased in bad shape by my father, who didn't do it a whole lot of good, though he didn't make things any worse. Since I got hold of it (he moved into an RV, and I acquired all his tools) I've managed to mostly bully it into shape, but it'll probably never be good for more than rough cutting.

I expect I'll be asking a lot of uneducated (rather than stupid) questions over the next year or two, so I hope you'll all bear with me as I try to get things figured out.

-Alex
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post #2 of 10 Old 04-29-2010, 12:21 AM
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Good place to start,just replace them with better ones when ya can.Welcome to our forum.Everyone has started where you are.Itchy
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post #3 of 10 Old 04-29-2010, 05:30 AM
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Welcome to the forum. We're a friendly crew and we all started as beginners.

Paul

You can never have too much pepperoni on your pizza or own too many clamps.
www.hobbithouseinc.com/personal/woodpics/
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post #4 of 10 Old 04-29-2010, 10:57 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the welcome... I'm putting together a list now of what I need. As useful as the RAS has been, I'm replacing it with a compound mitering chop saw and a table saw. I don't have space for all of them, and the RAS is the most replaceable.

I bought a ryobi chop saw (a TS1342L) a few months ago while I was putting up crown molding. I just couldn't get the RAS to do the cuts I needed with any kind of precision, and in a fit of either insanity, brilliance, or desperation (probably a bit of each), I went to Home Depot and bought one. I was done making cuts half an hour after I brought it home. 8-) I haven't turned on the RAS since.

Next up is a table saw... as much as I'd like to buy a good high end saw, I'll probably end up with either the Ryobi BTS21 or the $300 Porter Cable. Either one will do what I mostly need, and probably do it better than the RAS, and both are getting acceptable reviews based on my needs.

I also need to get some bits for my router and see if it works (it was a freebie, and I've never even plugged it in!), and probably buy a bunch of other things. Many of my hand tools are of the "it was on sale!" variety, so probably a couple of good hand saws are in order as well. Ah, the joys of new toys...
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post #5 of 10 Old 04-29-2010, 11:05 PM
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Hi Alex. Glad to have you here. There are no stupid questions so don't hesitate to ask. Nothing wrong with your choice of machines as you put together your shop and develop your skills.
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post #6 of 10 Old 04-30-2010, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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I work in IT support, so I can assure you from personal experience that there ARE stupid questions. ;-)

That said, there aren't many of them... It looks like Woodcraft, which I've seen referenced here on the site, has a storefront near me which offers classes, which will be good. I'll be too busy for the next month or so to take any (pity -- I would have loved to go to the router class, but I expect they'll offer it again), but it's nice to know they're there.
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post #7 of 10 Old 05-02-2010, 10:49 PM
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Hey Alex, Greetings from another Western Massachusetts Woodworker. It's true old tools have their place, but there is nothing like the first cut with a brand new saw. Good Luck
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post #8 of 10 Old 05-02-2010, 10:56 PM
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Hey Alex,

I'm new and am in the same boat. I'm learning about woodworking and feel somewhat intimidated when I read and see some of the projects being done.

Good luck and let me know what you learn as I probably need to learn it as well.

Tim
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post #9 of 10 Old 05-07-2010, 02:10 PM
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Welcome from Texas !!!

Welcome to the forum.

Tools are like guns, You can never have enough.
Where did I put that tape measure???
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post #10 of 10 Old 05-12-2010, 01:02 PM
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Hi Alex. Glad to have you here.
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