Depends on what you want to do. I use my router a couple, three times a
year. I use my table saw almost daily.
You don't *need* a dado blade to do dadoes (or grooves, or certain types of
rabbets). I don't have one. I make multiple passes, and clean up the cuts
with a chisel. Now, I'll grant you, I'm looking forward to getting one
some day. I'd even like to have a shop some day with *two* saws, so I can
leave one set up with a dado. But until then, I get by just fine.
As for a good blade, I presume you're thinking something like a WWII? I
don't have one of those yet either. Buying a decent Freud blade for $35
made a world of difference on my saw. Yeah, $35 isn't free, and there are
weeks when I couldn't come up with that kind of cash myself, but you're
more likely to scrounge $35 than $100 for a WWII.
Also, dollar for dollar, routers are useless without bits, and decent router
bits are *not* cheap. I expect you'll get a hell of a lot more mileage out
of a $35 saw blade than a $35 in router bits.
Anyway, sounds like you need to pick up a good table saw book and see the
myriad things you can do with that critter. Seems to me you don't realize
what you have there. Especially if you're lucky enough to be starting with
a gloatable one. Mine is a complete POS.
Pat yourself on the back for doing the right thing, and enjoy!
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < email@example.com>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
I use my router every day because I don't have a table saw. In fact I use
it the same way most people use a table saw. I have it set up right now
with a 2.5" long Amana straight bit, for ripping. Sure the kerf is 3/4"
wasting a bit more material than a table saw, but it does the job. Normally
I do use a clamped 2x4 as a fence to keep the rip going straight. Otherwise
it just wouldn't be safe, I realize that after trying to make free hand
One bad thing is the router bit gums up occasionally. I know its time to
clean it when the bit spins up and sap spatters on my helmet - visor.
I wear a helmet now because I've had some bad kickbacks on the
router ripper (what I affectionately call my "router saw"). One time I
was ripping a huge sheet of heavy plywood on the wrong side of the
bit, and it pulled it (and me) through, and I came to rest with my forearms
on either side of the spinning bit. Luckily I landed the way I did or I'd be
looking at getting some new bone and muscle grafts, I hear the router
don't leave much when you get intimate with it.
The software said it ran under Windows 98/NT/2000, or better.
So I installed it on Linux...
Thanks to all! I appreciate all of your advice and opinions. I am now sure
that I made a good choice. I was looking for comments to let me know that I
did the right thing and you folks have given me plenty.
I will check out the book that was suggested and probably skim a little cash
off of my paycheck for a cheap carbide blade (just don't tell SWMBO).
This is the best community I have seen (and I spend about 60 hours a week
online in my day job).
I didn't really have buyer's remorse per se, but was afraid that I may have
followed the wrong path to jumpstarting myself into woodworking. I am very
excited and can't wait to dive into my first project.
I know that I have a lot of skill-building to do before I can tackle
something like a bedroom set, so I made a list of projects to take be from
newbie to, well, not-so-newbie (I'll layout my skill-building plan in a new
thread for opinions).
Thanks again everyone,
I feel compelled to relate a story from the holidays.
I went to visit my brother-in-law. I offered to put up some moulding
for him. I figured I'd just borrow my other brother-in-law's compound
miter saw. Oops! He said it got stolen. Bummer. Okay, I'll go rent
one. The blade on the one at the local shop looked terrible. Too
expensive to buy a blade. My brother-in-law offered a yellow PLASTIC
miter box that comes with a saw made by BUCK BROS. I figure that will
never work, so I go search the wreck. "You need a compound miter
saw." "You need a Lion Miter Trimmer." "At the very least, you need
a Nobex miter saw." "The Craftsman hand miter box isn't too bad."
All of these options are expensive enough that I can't imagine buying
the tool just for 8 cuts.
Okay, so I ask my BIL if we can paint the moulding. That way, if
there are gaps in the corners, I can fill them with caulk. Nope. He
wants to stain it. This is going to be a disaster.
It gets down to the wire and I try the yellow plastic miter box. I
cut and measured carefully, doing the best I could. I hammered
carefully to not dent the moulding. (No pnuematic nailer, of course.)
In the end, it all turned out great. The joints were tight and
everybody said it looked great.
The moral to the story: Take the wreck with a grain of salt. All
this talk of "only cry once" and "crapsman" makes it sound like you
can't do ANYTHING without the most expensive tools. Just work
carefully and be innovative. If you can't easily cut dados, then
don't use dados. Maybe you can use splines instead.
(Now if I could just pay attention to this story myself...)
firstname.lastname@example.org (Mark Wells) wrote in
Did a few door mouldings with it. It probably isn't
too bad if you accept +- 1-2 degree accuracy. But
by the time we were done, we had yellow dust all over
the bottom of it, so you have to wonder how long it's
supposed to last :-)
How many cuts did you survive with it?
You did just fine. Go make a few things and then add to the collection of
toys as your budget allows. Some of the finest pieces have been made with
the simplest of tools and devices. Tools are extras. It's imagination
I agree. Also IMHO the router is highly over-rated. It is pressed into
use for many things but does all of them badly. It is quite possible
to manage without one.
Wobble saw is highly under-rated. A good quality modern unit (NOT an
ordinary saw blade with added wobble washers) used for cutting slots
along the grain e.g. in frames for holding panels, is fast, clean,
accurate, quiet, highly adjustable and vastly more effective than
slotting with a router.
I agree. I think all the stuff at www.patwarner.com is retouched photos and
animation from Dreamworks. Routers should be banned, or at least taxed like
tobacco and alcohol to keep them out of the hands of children.
Well yes have done thousands of rails and stiles without a router -
planer/thicknesser to size, rebate with rebate head on spindle
moulder, mouldings with spindlemoulder, slots with wobble saw,
mortices with morticer, tenons with band saw or table saw.
All much faster, more accurate, less noisy, less dusty, than a router.
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