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Hi everyone,
I've just joined, and posed a few questions to the experts out there, revolving around some of my thoughts, questions and hurdles to getting started in my woodworking hobby. I have a pretty basic set of tools, and am not going to go out and spend hundreds or thousands until I get started. I also want to make sure I enjoy the time and release of doing the work before my investment gets huge. I've got a few questions regarding some alternatives to some simple tools, just for thoughts, experiences, options, do they even exist, horror stories, etc.

* A guide/straight edge for a circular saw (instead of a tablesaw)

* Is there a jig or something to use as a drill press alternative? (make small straight holes for a peg board, or adjustable shelving).

** does it have a depth stop?

* alternative to a KREG jig for pocket screws? (even a way to make one?)

* dowels vs biscuits, same application? (no need to buy a biscuit jointer?)

I've done a fair amount of reading, and rough building, but looking at affordable ways to grow my hobby, and see if it sticks. I'd love to have a shop full of tools, just not yet!

Thanks for the input! - Jay
 

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* A guide/straight edge for a circular saw (instead of a tablesaw)

* Is there a jig or something to use as a drill press alternative? (make small straight holes for a peg board, or adjustable shelving).
** does it have a depth stop?

* alternative to a KREG jig for pocket screws? (even a way to make one?)

* dowels vs biscuits, same application? (no need to buy a biscuit jointer?)

I've done a fair amount of reading, and rough building, but looking at affordable ways to grow my hobby, and see if it sticks. I'd love to have a shop full of tools, just not yet!

Thanks for the input! - Jay

1. I use a piece of 1" steel angle iron as a straight edge.

2. Many woodworking retailers sell a jig that holds a hand drill. Read reviews before you decide on one - all are not created equal.

3. Alternative to Kreg - use traditional joinery!

I'm sure there are probably some home made jigs out there if you do a little searching and really want to use pocket screws.

4. I've never had a need for biscuits (except with sausage and gravy:laughing:).

On occasion I have used dowels to augment the strength of a joint.

If you are starting out and not wanting to spend a huge amount of money, a biscuit joiner is the last thing I'd buy - even if I had a lot of money I still wouldn't buy one. That's me though and I have no use for one in the types of projects I build.
 

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where's my table saw?
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Aside from the circular saw

I would concentrate on hand tools: several types of planes, chisels, a mallet, brace and bits, Stanley squares, steel measuring rule, dividers, pencil compass, draftsman's triangles, a T square, a sharp marking knife, good pencils, grid paper, or a roll of white butcher paper, or a pad of newsprint.
All can be found at flea markets and garage sales.

A miter or chop saw would be handy.

Learn to accurately measure and layout your projects, draw them to a large scale like 1" equals a foot, or full size and make a mock up of what you want to build.
 

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There are always alternatives for expensive tools, I know, I'm an expert on 'cheap'. A C channel is a great circular saw guide ( the c clamps fit in the channel) I have a biscuit joiner ( piece of crap ) so I use a router and bit in the home made router table instead. Home made Tenon cutter for the TS and a home made jig for every occasion. Many hand tools, but a lot are covered in dust, I rarely use a hand tool when a power tool is available don't let lack of funds or expensive equipment put you off, projects might take more time but I really believe you become a better woodworker by having to manage without all the gear, as you progress you learn what equipment you really need to acquire. By the way I still haven't found a good hand drill holder yet, so I bought a cheap bench drill press for starters ( 40$Cnd)
 

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For a cheap straight edge for your circular saw, make this simple jig. Spring clamps hold it in place when cutting sheet goods, or if there is no place for the clamps. a couple of finishing nails will hold it for you.

Also, for years before all the fancy tools, you can do a lot with just a hammer and finishing nails. The holes are easy to make disappear.
 

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You can make do with very basic tools, I closed down a very well equipped shop many years ago but have continued to build what I need to with minimum tools such as a circular saw, router, sliding miter saw and small jointer.

The board described above for a circular saw will replace a table saw for basic rip cuts, one improvement I would make to it is to glue some sand paper strips to the bottom helps to keep it from slipping.

I have designed a router table and a mount for my small jointer to attach them to a Workmate.

This takes care of most of what comes up, however I also must confess that I am a 30 minute drive from my son's fully equipped shop to do what I can't at home.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
For a cheap straight edge for your circular saw, make this simple jig. Spring clamps hold it in place when cutting sheet goods, or if there is no place for the clamps. a couple of finishing nails will hold it for you.

Also, for years before all the fancy tools, you can do a lot with just a hammer and finishing nails. The holes are easy to make disappear.
It's amazing how such a simple idea is a good idea!
I've used clamps and a straight-edge or a level in the past, but the nuisance was always finding just where to clamp it. With your set up, you just lay it up to the line and clamp. Sure seems like it would save a lot of hassle!

Thanks for the idea!
 

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I'm sort of combining two threads at the minute, this is my home made Router Table and it's made out of pallets.
Forgive me if i'm totally crazy, but I've got a question.
Can you actually build a table to receive your normal hand-held router?

Or if you are interested in building a router table is there a different router powerhouse to get?

Jay
 

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Absolutely, this table was built to accommodate my old Sears router. The original base plate removed and a 9" x 12" lemon plate tooki its place ( which ,of course is countersunk into the table). Recently had to replace the router with a Skil combo and the the fixed router fits on the same lex on base. I'm not an expert but I am presuming that router base plates are designed to be universal
 

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Here is my "router table".

It's a 40+ year old Craftsman with a 1/4" collet. I don't use it for much, but when I have small pieces I'm working with, it is convenient.

The table is a piece of 3/4" plywood with machine bolts recessed and the fence is a cutoff from a counter top or something similar. Add a couple of clamps to hold the fence and you are good to go.

router table.jpg
 

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tonycan said:
Absolutely, this table was built to accommodate my old Sears router. The original base plate removed and a 9" x 12" lemon plate tooki its place ( which ,of course is countersunk into the table). Recently had to replace the router with a Skil combo and the the fixed router fits on the same lex on base. I'm not an expert but I am presuming that router base plates are designed to be universal
Excuse my spell check , should read Lexon plate
 
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