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I hope I'm posting I the right forum. I'm new to wood working and am seeking advice as to what tools ( hand or electric ) you all would recommend. I currently have an old craftsman 8" table saw that was my grandfathers. The fence is a POS and I am looking into making a replacement. A new one is not out of the question but I would like to wait till I have a real need for an upgrade. I also have a 12" compound miter saw, a 2-1/2 hp router with fixed and plunge base. A pocket hole jig, a few clamps and misc other tools such as screw drivers, cordless/corded drills. Basically the typical stuff you would find in a DIY type guys garage.

Now on to what I want to do. I would like to start with basic projects, cutting boards, jewelry boxes, etc. At this point I'm not looking to make any furniture. Aside from what I already own what do you recommend I get to help me make these items?

Sorry for the long post.
 

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Hi bsmoov, you have found exactly the right forum. There are many truly talented individuals here along with new guys like yourself (and myself). Making a cutting board could be as easy as using your router to put a decorative edge on an old board you have laying around. When I started out, and others may also recommend the same, I read a few books and watched many youtube videos on the subject. This not only gave me ideas of things I could make but also better informed me as to how to make them. One youtube woodworker I would recommend is Steve Ramsey with his program "Woodworking for Mere Mortals". He tends to use a minimal of tools and has easy projects for beginners.

As far as purchasing new tools and machines...I tend to wait until I need something or have outgrown what I currently have. By then I have a pretty good idea of what I need/want and have researched what is available in order to make the best decision within my budget.

There may be ways to work around the fence problems on your 8" table saw, like careful measurements and using clamps but you may want to upgrade to a 10" model eventually. The good thing is there are many out there on craigslist for around $100 or so.

I never hesitate to ask any questions on this forum. I always get polite responses from a variety of viewpoints.
 

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I depends on how you want to work. Thinking about in terms of operations, you need:

1) A way to cut long things (ripping). A hand rip saw, a circular saw and a good guide, a table saw, or a band saw are good ways to do that.

2) A way to cut short things (crosscutting). A hand crosscut saw, a circular saw with a good guide, or a table saw are good ways to do that.

3) A way to make things thinner. Hand planes, an electric planer, or (in some cases) a band saw will do that.

4) A way to cut curves. This isn't critical for everyone, but it's nice to have. A coping saw, turning saw, or band saw are the easiest ways to do this. A router can help clean up the curve after you've cut it, but isn't great for making the initial cut.

5) A way to straighten edges. Hand planes, a jointer, or some sort of jig for a router or table saw are probably the best ways to do this.


So: do you want to most of your work by hand power or electric power? For the size project you're talking about, I suspect there won't be a huge time difference between the two unless you're making a lot of something. For instance, a table saw will make a rip cut in a foot long board very quickly, but it will take some time to set up; a handsaw will take longer to make the cut (a minute or less in a non-exotic hardwood), but setup time consists of drawing a line and getting the saw off the rack.

Assuming you want to go power tools, I'd recommend either buying a new fence or a new table saw, and then getting a bandsaw (14" minimum). The hand tool route is less definite, but I'd probably recommend buying a band saw anyway. Ripping and resawing isn't much fun with hand tools, and you can do a lot of work with the power tools you have while you're accumulating hand tools. Probably I'd recommend starting with that and a couple of hand planes: probably a Stanley #5 or equivalent and a #3 or #4. For small projects those can be pressed to do just about everything you need, although a try plane (#7 or #8, something around 2 feet long) would make life a lot easier.

Beyond those... figure out what you need on a project-by-project basis.
 

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Measuring accurately is a huge part of woodworking. I would invest in some good quality measuring tools (squares, compass, t-square, height gauge, dial caliper etc.) to ensure accuracy. You get what you pay for and one thing I have learned is not every tape measure, square, etc. is the same as others! Invest some cash in your measurement tools if you can. One of the biggest frustrations is putting hours and hours into a project and finding it's not square or things don't "line up." After many tough lessons, I have come to use a lot of Incra and Starrett measuring devices. Rockler has a nice selection at relatively decent prices. Good luck!
 

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This question comes up a good bit. I'm with the folks who wait until they need a tool. That said, measuring tools will certainly be needed. Plenty of light.
 

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Which old table saw do you have with a POS fence? A picture may help. There are knowledgeable people here that can sometimes help. I have two old Craftsman saws made sometime in the 40's and neither fences are a POS.
 

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This question comes up a good bit. I'm with the folks who wait until they need a tool. That said, measuring tools will certainly be needed. Plenty of light.
Add one more to the "wait until you have a need" column. Clamps, a good square, reliable tape measure, and a good back saw would be some of the first things I bought if I were starting out all over today.

Small pieces often need thin materials. So consider either hand planes or a motorized table top thickness planer. Stay away from those plug in hand held planers. They are not really useful for getting thin stock from thick stock.
 

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Seems to me that your very first job should be cleaning the top of that saw before you get hurt trying to shove wood across that surface. :no:

I used an angle grinder with a wire brush cup and mineral oil to get mine clean as it looked alot like yours when I bought it. Then kept it clean with WD 40 and a kitchen Scotch Brite pad and rags. Finally used a product called Top Coat to keep the rust off.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I intend to give it a good cleaning. It's been out of use for quite a while. Thanks for the cleaning tips.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Any idea on how to get replacement blades for the jointer? It seems they are not available anymore.
 

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You are correct, that isn't the best TS rip fence, but after moving it, push the head to the rear while watching the far end. I would be surprised if it didn't move in an attempt to align. If it does and still isn't parallel to the miter gauge slots it's a matter of needing a slight adjustment at the head.
 

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Any idea on how to get replacement blades for the jointer? It seems they are not available anymore.
Measure the width of the head and the placement of the blade mounting screws, then use any of the replacement blades that will fit. It looks to be either a 4" or 6" machine which are pretty easy to get. Just make sure the mounting screws fit.

If you have one of the original blades, use that as a model to find a replacement.
 

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Your tool set is pretty good, you can let your projects dictate what to get next after you get those cleaned up. I suspect you'll want more clamps, some chisels, and maybe a jack plane and block plane at some point. A combination square and speed square are the layout tools I use most often.
 
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