Thanks for the advice. I am reading a book called Table Saw Magic by Jim
Tolpins. He has a section on Table Saw Maintenance. I am very concerned
with safety. He has general safety guides, but not a lot of specifics. Any
If you have a specific project in mind you want to build, that
should guide you in which tools you might need to get next. You
could describe the project here, and people could advise you on
tools required (probably suggesting 3 different ways to do it
which require 3 totally different sets of tools).
If you don't have a project in mind, a workbench wouldn't be a bad
idea...you'd need something to flatten the top (bench plane or
a belt sander) but otherwise you've probably got the needed tools.
You could also consider making a router table; many tasks using
the router are more easily done when it's fixed in a cabinet.
Try to build things you're interested in. ;-) If you need tools, get 'em.
If you're not sure of each & every step, ask for help and/or take a class.
If you need ideas, I built a bunch of small boxes from 1/4" hardboard. They
hold my glue bottles, small tools, etc. It was a good learning experience
to make them come out square. ;-)
For some of the projects you mentioned,(Chair,Crown etc) you will not
need an abundance of tools to start with. You miter saw will be fine with a
good finish blade. Pick up some safety equipment, a good level and a
chalkline. I prefer to cope my joints, others just miter inside corners.
Don't be afraid to cope a joint, and it's getting to be a lost art and I
think it is really the best way. Pick up a coping saw, some spare blades
and a file to clean up a cut when needed. I prefer a "4 way" file that is
flat on one side and rounded on the other having a single cut on one end and
rasp cut on the opposite end. If you do not have a trim gun/air compressor,
now's a good time to invest in one. If not, get a hammer you'll be happy
with and a nailset or two. If you decide to tackle crown in the bedroom or
chair rail/wainscoting in the dining room (or whatever) learn what you can
through a book or classes and ask questions here. You'll get answers from
people who do this kind of stuff on a regular basis to fill in where the
books leave off. Welcome to the group --dave
A lot of folks have suggested the voc. school courses, and they are
good, and usually not too expensive- but you can also get a few free 1
hour classes at Home Depot. They're unlikely to go into the finer
points of chair making, but it's a good bet they'll have something
related to crown moulding and other trim work.
Aut inveniam viam aut faciam
If you have a saw mill anywhere near you a jointer and planer can pay for
themselves pretty quickly as rough sawn wood is much cheaper.
I use a scraper (~$5) almost daily for everything from scraping off glue
to a sandpaper substitute.
A block plane, jack plane, and chisel set well sharpened are cheap and
extremely useful. The key is well sharpened. Once you actually use a
sharp tool for the first time you will no longer be amazed at what they
could build back in the old days (just how good of shape they had to be
in to use them for a living).
A random orbit sander (makita, dewalt, bosch...not a black and decker).
I am amazed at how often I use my pull saw ($20). Great for jobs where a
power saw is too much but you want a decent cut.
And finally everything in the Lee Valley catalog (I'm currently drooling
over the shoulder and low angle planes).
As for classes I think that depends to some degree on your natural
abilities. I peronally found that starting by building shop fixtures
(bench, router table, etc) as close to furniture grade/fit as possible
helped me understand what tools I needed and what tools needed to be
upgraded. It also helped develop my skills to the point where I could do
an adequate job on my next projects. I find I learn something new on
every project and continue to get better. I'm sure this is slower than
classes would be, but I enjoy the learning process. To date I've
improved most at how to fix my mistakes ;)
Even if there is no mill close by, a jointer flattens and straightens
wood. A planer makes ANY thickness of stock easily available. Hand
planes can also do this, with a much steeper learning curve.
Flat, straight stock of varying thicknesses is handy in a wood shop.
I save $0.05 bd/ft from my hardwood dealer buying it rough. However,
I get to choose which side to keep, and I mill it when I need it. S4S
dosen't always stay straight, and boards can get scraped, dinged, and
nicked in transport and storage.
On Thu, 18 Nov 2004 09:41:56 -0500, "Scott Willett"
Excellent for your trim work and general framing- this, along with a
Skil saw is probably the best thing you can have for trim carpentry.
A Woodworking class would be my suggestion. Short of that, a book
about using the table saw wouldn't be a bad idea before upgrading.
Sounds like you're on your way anyhow. Your next tool purchases
should depend on just what it is you're going to be doing- if you're
going to continue doing trim carpentry, a brad nailer is not a bad
idea (though not necessary) but if you're looking at something else, a
bandsaw is always useful as well- but I'd advise staying away from the
really cheap ones, since they're a real PITA to set up.
Aut inveniam viam aut faciam
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