Tool type to choose

I have recently taken up basic wookworking here in the UK. Ive managed to make some wooden toys that have gone down very well with my children....especially the tractor and trailers.
Now I want to move onto slighhtly bigger things, some dolls houses and the like for my neices.
Resources are limited, wood i am lucky enough to get passed on from my brother in law and I can get most guages of MDF. (I'd prefer 'real' wood, but beggars cant be choosers)
Any way, in order to cut nice super straight lines my scroll saw isnt ideal and my handheld circular saw is like cracking a nut with a sledgehammer.
Would I be sensible to get a bandsaw or a tablesaw ?
Any help really aprpeciated.
Thanks
Hope you had a Merry Christmas (Happy Holiday) and have a Happy New Year.
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Fred Bassett wrote:

and found a table that had a plate to hold the circular saw underneath so that the blade comes through like a table saw. It was fine for occasional use. There are also available table-top saws which are great for small projects. This would be appropriate for a novice getting started. A bandsaw is nice for curves but not for straight lines.
--
Gerald Ross
Cochran, GA
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A table saw would be your best choice. If that is out of your price range and you wanted primarily to make lengthy cuts of 24" or more, you might consider a clamping straight edge and a circular saw. Here is a website that shows a picture of one:
http://www.rockler.com/ecom7/product_details.cfm?&offerings_id $46&objectgroup_id30&catidi&filter=clamping%20straightedge
They are using a router in this picture but a circular saw works well too.

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: A table saw would be your best choice. If that is out of your price range : and you wanted primarily to make lengthy cuts of 24" or more, you might : consider a clamping straight edge and a circular saw. Here is a website that : shows a picture of one: : : http://www.rockler.com/ecom7/product_details.cfm?&offerings_id $46&objectgroup_id30&catidi&filter=clamping%20straightedge : : They are using a router in this picture but a circular saw works well too. : : [snip]
I hated to put a lot of time into a Barbie doll house and put together one from a bunch of 3/8" plywood. Made it three Barbie stories tall and got a pair of plywood doors to open almost full width across the back. Just a straight edge, clamps and a circular saw. The child has already passed through the "Barbie" stage and is already using it as a bookcase with doors.
I was short of time for a second "Barbie" house and found an old secretary type cabinet with three floors of shelves already in place. Made the back of the cabinet the front of the house and the child plays with the house via original doors in what is now the back of the house.
The great thing I learned from these first two houses is that doll houses should always go on wheels - nice swivel ones. Both houses have been moved from bedrooms, to play rooms, to hallways, to back decks and yards, and back to bedrooms again.
Josie
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Very good tips there!
On Mon, 27 Dec 2004 10:03:25 -0500, "firstjois"

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If you have infinite time, space and money, then get both. Otherwise think about which you can afford, both now and in the future. For either of them you may find that the space issue is as big a problem as the cost.
A useful bandsaw begins with the 14" wheel diameter machines. The little 8" / 9" jobs from Kinzo, Lucky Golden Hedgehog etc. are an infamous source of grief. There's also the problem that small bandsaws have small throats, which is a distinct disadvantage for making dolls houses from sheet goods.
The only small (10" wheel) bandsaw I've seen that looks remotely viable (and is certainly cheap) is the small Axminster. http://www.axminster.co.uk/product.asp?pf_id !384&recno=1
Useful table saws begin at 200 (Axminster or B&Q). 100 gets you a smaller table and a poorer fence. None are especially handy for starting with large sheets
A tool that might actually suit you better is a _good_ jigsaw, like the Bosch GST2000 (about 100). This is incomparably better than a cheap jigsaw - a better balanced mechanism means you have smooth controllable cuts. With a straight edge guide clamped down you can make acceptable straight edge cuts in sheeet goods or inch-thick softwood. It also cuts curves, cuts any size of sheet, enclosed internal cuts and offers cheap blade swapping for different materials. You can even pack it away neatly afterwards.
It's worth the effort to make some good trestles before doing much other work. These make the use of portable saws much more pleasurable. Make at lest three for sheetgoods, and make sure they stack. They only need to be roughly made, usually thick softwood with ply boxing to stiffen the corners. The top should be solid "disposable" softwood, deep enough to allow the circular saw blade to pass through it without either chopping it in half, or hitting a metal fastener.
--
Smert' spamionam

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Thanks to all of you - space IS a premium and I really appreciate your advice. Best bet seems to be to look at mounting my circular saw, and maybe upgrading my jig saw. Last time I tried a 3 foot straight edge with a baton guide the blade managed to bend itsleft to about 17 degrees...so much for THAT straight edge, and it was only 9mm MDF too!!
On Mon, 27 Dec 2004 13:04:42 +0000, Andy Dingley

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saw (and if the saw was an inexpensive one), it's probably junk. Perhaps your best solution is a new carbide tipped blade for your circular saw.
I've cut hundreds of feet of wood with a circular saw and straightedge and the only time I had problems similar to what you described was when the blade was dull.
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I figured it was probably that - i know MDF really takes its toll on tools, dulling them a lot quicker than 'real' wood.
The fact is also it is a simple black and decker saw, so it is cheap... but the blade was new, and i have invested in some top quality blades for it that have made some diffference.
thanks though - confirmed what I thought.....
On Mon, 27 Dec 2004 15:29:28 GMT, "Chuck Hoffman"

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There (is)(was) an Australian firm...Triton...that makes tables for circular saws. They have an office in Caerphilly, South Wales, UK. The 'net address is http://www.triton.net.au/front.shtml . Look near the bottom of the page for a link to their office locations.

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Mon, Dec 27, 2004, 10:42am (EST+5) snipped-for-privacy@home.net (FredBassett) claims: I have recently taken up basic wookworking <snip Now I want to move onto slighhtly bigger things, <snip> Resources are limited, <snip> Would I be sensible to get a bandsaw or a tablesaw ? <snip>
Operational phrase, "resources are limited". Which to me means, mostly, money. So, I would say, circular saw, with decent blade, and straight edge, and forget about splurging on a bandsaw or tablesaw.
OR, a decent handsaw. Mostly Normite thinking here, so I'm not totally surprised no one mentioned that option.
JOAT Diplomacy is the act of saying, "Nice Doggie" till you can find a big rock to bash in his skull. - Unknown
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Yup - a decent saw - the problem is being MDF the 'decent' hand saw does not last as long as I would like. I will have to wait on some different wood before I risk anotehr saw.
I didnt really want another tool, i would prefer to use the ones i have, so working out how to mount the circular saw upside sown so i can push the wood to it is a viable option i think.
Is there a FAQ reagrding what different power tools should be used for ? Also what the various Acronymns are, such as RA anmd RAS that i have seen in this group ?
TIA F.B.
On Mon, 27 Dec 2004 12:02:32 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote:

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says...

If you need straight-line ripping ability, the tablesaw is the way to go.
Otherwise, have you considered a sliding mitre saw? Sort of a baby radial arm saw without the ripping capability.
--
Homo sapiens is a goal, not a description

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A home made guide for your circular saw can be made from a 1/4" plywood, as long as a factory edge is still there. Cut off, (as long as needed + a few inches) a strip 3" wide. Rotate the cut piece onto the remainder. Factory edge in. Glue & clamp the two. After dry, Use step as a guide for the shoe on your circular saw, cut. You now have a guide that needs no measuring, just place the guide on your mark, clamp, cut.
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Others here have made more cogent comments about bandsaws and tablesaws but I might be able to help with the scroll saw.
Depth of the scroll saw throat limits the length of straight cuts but for short ones I have found that if you close one eye and sight down the layout line - so that line, blade and kerf are all in line you can get a perfectly straight scrollsaw cut. If you are doing it right the kerf is hidden behind the blade. I takes a little care but scrolling anything elaborate requires attention anyway.
Happy New Years
Patty

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...

I'd recommend a bandsaw, particularly (if as you mention) your primary use is in making toys.
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Nate Perkins wrote:

one. Cheap ones do the job, but no sooner than you've used it a couple of times you will wishing that it had a wider throat, could take wider blades, would track better etc. etc.. By making an extension table and using a fence you can rip reasonably straight and long lengths. John
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Contrary to most views, I'd get a BS, but it's got to be a reasonable one. I would consider nothing less than a 14" (I have a JET 18" which is really only a souped-up 14") I had a TS, but space was a bit limited and I hardly used it, so sold it. I don't really miss it.
In the meantime, and if cash is limited, a circular saw (but buy a decent blade for it, instead of the POS they come with!) and a guide will handle cutting up sheets better than a TS does anyway.
A decent jigsaw (Bosch) will generally do a reasonable impression of a BS, at least for thin sheets of ply and MDF.
Try buying second-hand, that can save some $$. Or, do you have a high school or technical college nearby, that runs external night classes for WW? These facilities are much overlooked, and very useful.
Barry Lennox
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