For peer review, new FAQ section: Power Tools. Draft 2

wrote:

I think you'll find that overall this provides a balanced view to the notion that DIY is a thing of limited scale to be done on the cheap.
I am sure that some people do see it that way, and I have no issue with that notion.
I do have an issue with the assumption that everybody should have a limited view.
It isn't a matter of which has prominence, since both are valid and indeed there is a whole spectrum in between.
Have you been visiting the zoo?
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wrote:

born
bit
whole
The word "prominence". Look it up.
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wrote:

With your regular butchery of the English language, I wouldn't suggest the use of a dictionary to others if I were you....
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On 9 Mar 2005 17:17:25 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@meeow.co.uk wrote:

I never buy on price, so that may well be a reason that I wouldn't want to go into such a place.
The Burberry hats and dripping gold don't encourage me to want to go there either.
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On Mon, 07 Mar 2005 12:37:21 +0000, in uk.d-i-y John Rumm

Bear in mind that the DIY FAQ is a stand-alone website and some visitors (probably a majority) have never visited uk.d-i-y. I know this because they email snipped-for-privacy@diyfaq.org.uk directly for assistance. Therefore I think an introduction discussing uk.d-i-y is not appropriate; the main FAQ has an intro covering that. Keep it to power tools.
I also support bigcat/NT's point about waffle, though that word is a bit strong, and his severe snipping perhaps overstates it in relentlessly hammering the point home. I would say the content is as John has it is generally fine, but it needs precis-ing to make it more readable. It reads like a bit like a learned paper; I previously called it 'too formal'. Andy says it is a matter of style, which I don't argue with, and I'll be happy to receive whatever style John as author finishes up using. Comments are for him to act on as he sees fit.

The main purpose of a FAQ is to impart the information directly. Pointers about where to get more info (e.g. uk.d-i-y) should come nearer the end.

A reader first coming to a FAQ wants to know if it is relevant to him (or her). He does not want to read 1/2 of it in order to find it is not. So, is this FAQ going to be help a newbie to know in what areas he can benefit from some power? Does it have some nitty-gritty advice for a seasoned diy-er who knows he wants a certain tool and is it looking for advice on what features to look for? Does it contain a run-down on available makes and point out the good, bad and ugly? Of these, which section carries the main emphasis?
All this should be answered in the first few paragraphs, otherwise many will not progress further.

The reader knows what DIY is! He is reading this FAQ because he wants to know about Power Tools, and is keen enough to have already found the DIY FAQ, or perhaps googled on 'power tools'.
That reminds me, how about adding a keyword section to help google to classify it properly?

Isn't this £5-£500 an exaggeration for 'similar looking' tools? I can believe the range (I think) but I would expect them to look a lot different, one end from the other. A £20 B&Q router looks a lot different to a £300 one, and that's only 15:1.

The reader know that - that is why he is here.

Almost everything down to this point is for the newbie. Our more experienced readers will be giving up. They need a heading they can jump to from the top (it will become a jump link in the html).

Useful checklist for experienced diy-ers. Mostly over the head of newbies.

This mainly for newbies, in the following. Pros might pick up some hints too.

Quite a few pros will find the section below interesting and probably useful too. But it might fit better under "All about Different Tools".

“givens”, yeuch!! jargon.

If there is a link to this point (and there will be) it is where I reckon most will jump first. Is there any way it can be brought nearer the top of the document, rather than the in last 1/4?
I am coming to the view that we really have two FAQs here, or at least 2 major sections. The first section is all about the market and (with the exception of cordless) does not address any specific tool. It explains what power-tools are in general and how they are graded across the market.
The second section (below here) is where someone would head if they actually want to buy a tool to get some specific job done, or to find out if a tool exists which would make their life easier. I appreciate that many blanks are yet to be filled in!
If the FAQ is divided into two sections like that, most of the comments above would evaporate, because the reader would clearly see the distinction and go to the part that addresses their immediate concern.

Links to manufacturers etc would be useful.

Can you explain the body colour significance? Do they promote the colour as a distinguishing mechanism, or is it just today's fashion colour?

It would be helpful to explain what this extra "range of things you might do" is.

This doesn't seem to offer an extra "range of things you might do", just more accuracy.

I suggest "Blades can be changed without the need for Allen keys", as

What is it about the high-end jigsaw that overcomes the deficiencies listed for the low end one.

Tables for mounting saw, router.
Work Centres
We are presumably not trying to cover fixed workshop tools like thicknessers, spindle cutters?
Phil The uk.d-i-y FAQ is at http://www.diyfaq.org.uk / The Google uk.d-i-y archive is at http://tinyurl.com/65kwq Remove NOSPAM from address to email me
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Phil Addison wrote:

Yup fair point, I was not considering the folks who arrive at the FAQ directly.

I will rewrite some sections and see where I can go with them... I don't fancy cutting it down to NT's suggested level of terseness since I don't think that will serve the newbie that well

Yup, I think I need to start working on the structure and organisation, plus add an "executive summary" to direct readers to the relevant (to them) sections.

agreed
Does he know what DIY "is" though? He may need some info to put his own vision of DIY into a larger perspective.

yup can do...

Depends on the tool I guess.... for a SDS drill then probably, for a sliding mitre saw then no (not that you will get one for a fiver yet).

Depends on what you know about routers I suppose.

Yup, was not too sure as to the best place for that bit... there is also lots more detail on batteries that could go in, (cell matching and implications of etc) but I don't think it adds to the message

;-) yup might lose that...

In a web format, yup easy - the class titles can be hot linked to the descriptions etc, the brand groups could be boxed out from the main text which flows round it etc.
The next draft I may do on the web anyway so as to play with some of these dears

Yes good idea.

yup
I was thinking of the way that Bosch for example have DIY tools that are green (and of variable quality), and a pro range which is blue and on the whole pretty good, etc. Wicks do grey bodied stuff which tends to be decent brands badged for them, while the other colours (black mostly) can be any old tat.

I did hint at that (i.e. cut smooth and fast and in straight line... I was kind of leaving the factoring the imprecations of that new found ability to the reader)

You more examples would be good. The basic answer is stuff you would not do with a low end jigsaw because the quality of finish matters, you need a straight cut, it would take too long etc.

or screw driver

Rigidity of design, accuracy of alignment of parts, accurate blade support, decent effort made with the counter balancing of the mechanism to reduce vibration, attention to detail like blowers etc, soft start, feedback speed control, soft shoe covers, rip fence or beam trammel attachment bush, motor rated for endurance and continuous use, better dust extraction capabilities (i.e. some!), balance

Not yet - another FAQ or section perhaps.... it is also not so much of a newbie area.
--
Cheers,

John.

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On Thu, 10 Mar 2005 00:08:14 +0000, in uk.d-i-y John Rumm
8< snippity snip >8

I don't think he meant it as verbatim copy ;-)
8< snippity snip >8

I quite like Word's outline mode for that. Quite easy to drag whole sections around, promote, demote etc. It does have a use!
8< snippity snip >8

Agreed. It is quite a difficult job to interweave these threads from differing perspectives. Hot-links should help, as you say (later).
8< snippity snip >8

Not a lot - that's why he's here ;-)

8< snippity snip >8

OK. (dears/ideas??)
8< snippity snip >8

It's just that you put the colour in brackets. I (the reader) am not sure if they just happen to be that colour, or if Bosch etc really call them their Green Pro Range, or whatever. I don't want to march up to a trade counter boldly saying "I want an xyz from their green pro range" only to be told they are yellow this year. Its a trivial point - forget it.

I was looking for 'how the better performance is achieved', so that if you say it is by e.g. having a sturdy sole plate, I can make a point of checking the sturdiness of one I am buying. This is so I can pick up a tool in a shop and check if it seems to have the pro features without actually having to use it to see if it can cut straight and true. Mind you, a dealer that would lend you one to try out as well would be nice - some hopes!

This may be getting too detailed, but are there specific examples of what tasks can be done ok with a cheap one and a good one. I have a cheapo jigsaw and its OK for hacking out cutouts for pipes under my sink. Using it to cut some chipboard flooring to fit round a projection produced some wavy cuts though - not that it mattered much, the skirting covered it.

Not possessing a pro jigsaw, just how is a tool-less blade fixed in?
8< snippity snip >8

Great, that's the sort of thing.

Doesn't have to be; the pros can hot-link straight to it. Who knows, someone with experience of these supertoys might feel like penning something.
Phil The uk.d-i-y FAQ is at http://www.diyfaq.org.uk / The Google uk.d-i-y archive is at http://tinyurl.com/65kwq Remove NOSPAM from address to email me
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Phil Addison wrote:

Yup got a bit click happy in the spell checker there.... (did I accidentally click on dears there? Oh well CBA to go back and look!)

I would guess if you went into a tool shop and asked for a blue Bosch they would know what you were on about, if you asked the same question in Homebase however they may look at you funny (since it should be obvious that they are all green!) ;-)
Bosch themselves do distinguish quite clearly between the ranges, for an example see:
http://ukptocs.bosch-pt.com/boptocs-uk/Category.jsp?ccat_id 80 http://www.bosch-pt.com/uk/en/start/Professional_tools/Overview.htm

That is the killer test really. With the jigsaw you can perhaps see the sole plate and if it has a non scratching clip over cover etc. But all the other factors only become apparent when you use it.

Oh, thought of a good one... making patterns that you will use to guide a router.
Another example:
I wanted a radiator shelf in my dining room that would match the general shaping of the table etc. This oval ish, but with the occasional little flourish or pointy bit. I had a nice bit of hardwood ready, and carefully marked out all the curves such that it would have a bow front, plus some corner details. At the time the only jigsaw I has was a 30 quid B&D "nothing special" one. It was just about possible to cut out the shape I had marked, but the finish left much to be desired. since I was going to be using the edge I had just cut with a bearing guided cutter on a router it was important to get the quality of the finish as high as possible since every tiny mark or undulation in the cut surface would be picked up by the router and copied into the final profile. Hence many hours of careful sanding were needed to get a surface good enough to use. Had I have had my Makita jigsaw then it would have been a very much more straight froward job: cut, quick sand, route.

Wavy cuts are a good example - it is hard to do a long cut that is not with that type of tool. Part of this is that the lack of blade guide accuracy means it wanders off line and you need to keep dialling in adjustments to get back on track. With the better tool, it is that much better at going where you want it to in the first place. I guess it is a case with a jigsaw that even small errors in accuracy get multiplied quite fast by the nature of the thing.

You see the little lugs at the top of the blade:
http://www.axminster.co.uk//images/products/T101D_xl.jpg
The jaw mechanism grabs onto those and pulls them into the blade holder. The jaws are opened by giving a quarter turn to the blade guard, you pop the blade in the hole, and then release the guard which locks the blade in under spring tension.
--
Cheers,

John.

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John Rumm wrote:

an
perhaps a link to include at the end for the unclued, with a sentence saying what it is.

if
point of

up a

without
Mind
nice -

the
all
maybe you can describe 2 typical sole plates, 1 pressed steel 2mm thick, one cast ali x mm thick. Without this, newbies buying really havent got any clue how to interpret what constitutes a sufficiently solid sole plate and what doesnt.
NT
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snipped-for-privacy@meeow.co.uk wrote:

Being on the web and all, we could even include a photo! (or is that going against the spirit of the FAQ?)
--
Cheers,

John.

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On Thu, 10 Mar 2005 19:31:07 +0000, in uk.d-i-y John Rumm

No reason why not if appropriate.
Phil The uk.d-i-y FAQ is at http://www.diyfaq.org.uk / The Google uk.d-i-y archive is at http://tinyurl.com/65kwq Remove NOSPAM from address to email me
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On Thu, 10 Mar 2005 03:12:55 +0000, in uk.d-i-y John Rumm

Ah yes, that's clear enough.

I wonder if we should distinguish between the DIYer who would be quite happy using your jig-sawed template for a functional shelf, vs the hobbyist wood-worker who might regard the shelf as a piece of beautiful furniture to be carefully crafted. Hobbyists fall between DIY and PRO. They understand and want pro equipment. Included in this group are hobby diyers, who do diy for the satisfaction of knowing they can, and don't want the risk of a getting in a contractor who may cut corners and not do it quite as he would.
Another class of diyer is one who is pushed into it to save cash or because he can't find a contractor to do the job, or perhaps does not know how to specify the job to a pro, or is out at work all week and doesn't want to leave a contractor alone in his house. He could be the sort of guy who's wife asks him to put up a curtain rail (say), and thinks "ok, I should be able to that" rather than grabbing yellow pages to get a man in.

Thanks. I now have Makita (or Bosh) on my wants list :-)

Got it.
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Phil Addison wrote:

Yup, I think that is good enough to nick for the FAQ, Ta! ;-)
I get the feeling it is probably this catagory of buyer that many people find hardest to "get".
--
Cheers,

John.

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On Sat, 12 Mar 2005 02:29:05 +0000, in uk.d-i-y John Rumm

YVW
A discerning lot.
Phil The uk.d-i-y FAQ is at http://www.diyfaq.org.uk / The Google uk.d-i-y archive is at http://tinyurl.com/65kwq Remove NOSPAM from address to email me
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