Matt (in GIAve.2431$Uc2.625@trnddc03) said:
| Patriarch wrote:
||| What about say, one of the kinda crappy cheap Craftsman saws if I
||| could get it for <$75? The reviews are not good, but I'm a
||| beginner and couldn't make precise cuts even if my saw could.
||| Seems like a quick way to get an essential piece of equipment in
||| place and start learning, but them's famous last words, aren't
|| The less experience you have, the more you need a saw that will
|| keep its settings, and reliably do what you ask of it. That
|| doesn't mean automatically spending $500+, but it does mean that
|| junk is a waste of money and material and time.
|| When your tools screw up your project, you tend to stop making
|| projects. If YOU screw up your projects, then it's a learning
| excellent point; what's hilarious is that i have bought my share of
| crappy (hand) tools and still not learned this lesson. i think i'll
| hunt down the ryobi bt3100 -- mad at myself for missing an
| opportunity to get one of those last week.
FWIW, I started out buying inexpensive power tools and had a lot of
trouble getting projects to come out right - no matter /how/ carefully
I worked. I backed up and worked with hand tools almost exclusively.
Then a situation arose in which I needed to sand all four walls of a
room floor to ceiling. I visited my local tool emporium (a Hardware
Hank in Rochester, MN) and asked for advice. The sales guy was a
woodworker and told me that I could either by several of the cheap
sanders (I'd already used up a number of those on earlier projects) or
spend the almost $70 for a SpeedBloc. I bought the good sander
(feeling a little guilty) and a pile of their best sandpaper, took 'em
home, and finish sanded the whole room, floor to ceiling, in less than
three hours. I was totally amazed at the difference in performance
between that tool and all the sanders I'd ever used before.
I was so amazed that I went back to the store to thank the salesman
and we spent about an hour talking about tools and the differences
between "homeowner", "contractor" and "commercial" tools - and that
conversation radically changed woodworking for me forever.
I bought that sander in 1974. Last year I finally took it in for a
tune-up and re-cording (the original cord had petrified). It's not the
only finish sander in my shop - but it still does the best job
It was about a year later, in 1975, that I finally bought a table saw.
I looked at all the table saws in all the nearby stores and agonized
over the cost; then got on the phone and ordered my 10" Unisauer with
two wings, long rails, the Uniguard, and a monsterous tenoning jig.
Last winter I replaced the original cord (which had also petrified -
photo in the abpw archive) on the Unisaur. Bought new in 1975, it's
still rock solid, vibration free, and wonderfully exact. I've long
since gotten over my guilt over spending almost $1200 for the tool and
original accessories (that works out to about $40/year) and I suspect
that it'll outlast me by at least a half-century.
When I was shopping for the table saw, one of the guys where I worked
suggested I try thumping candidate saws with my fist and "listening to
what they had to say". I did that and found the exercise instructive.
I'll pass that suggestion along to you - it's not the definitive test,
but it sure narrows the field quickly :-)
DeSoto, Iowa USA