If that's the case, try here:
It's far and above my favourite store,
online or otherwise. You're somewhere
between being a hand tool enthusiast and
a power tool fan. Lee Valley has a ton
of handtools, most of excellent quality.
It doesn't sell power tools (or not very
many) but it has a bunch of things that
accessorize power tools.
First my condolences for your loss.
Next, forget about buying anything for awhile.
Remember the 10 year old kid with a dime allowance?
Clasped that dime firmly in the hand and did a lot of window shopping before
it grudgingly got spent.
Well picture yourself as that 10 year old kid, do a lot of window shopping,
it is a necessary and fun part of the process.
Get a copy of Fred Bingham's book, Practical Yacht Joinery from either the
library or for $20, buy a copy.
It is a little dated, buy any book that has a chapter, "Happiness is a $5
Table Saw" is definitely worth reading, if you want to continue down the
wood butchering road.
The book will give you a new perspective on tools as well as wood working in
Armed with that information, you will be in a much better position to
determine what, if any, tools you might/must acquire.
Grin, thats me and good advice. I currently lack a few tools that would be
awful nice to have but am probably a novice for this level of forum. I've
been lurking the past week and looking stuff up that caught my fancy. I
can't say as I 'need' many more things than we have, but we get them as we
find a 'true need' to finish a job. Mostly, home repair after renters did a
number on us.
That said, there's quite a few spiffy tools I'd 'desire' and use if I had
them! I want a better hand tool for example that scrapes off thin shears of
wood when fine tuning sizes of doors (sorry, forgot the name for the moment
of these. I want to call it a hand lathe but I think thats might not be
right name for it? Flat metal plane with a blade that sticks out a little
and you run it along the wood to shave off small amounts til it fits right).
What I 'need' are some new blades for the one I have. What I 'desire' is
also a smaller lighter unit for smaller jobs.
Others have given some very good counsel for tools and equipment, but I will
go the other way for a moment...
I would start with upgrading your safety equipment before anything else. Get
good glasses that you can wear for several hours at a time. If you can't
wear them all the time, you'll set them down between cuts and lose them. Or
worse...set them down, can't find them and decide that "Oh, it's just a
short cut, I'll go without for now." Next thing is you hoping the medics can
save your eyesight.
Also get a good fullface shield. I wouldn't go with the filtered air type,
just open side if fine for 99% of stuff...unless you take up turning, then
all bets are off on the filtering units and get one of those.
DO NOT use gloves and power tools...I know, but lets hold off on the holy
wars here guys, we're talking about a relative newbie here, so let's just
stick to learning to made sawdust without the blood coloring... I do use
gloves when handling raw stock...I really don't like slivers...but no where
Get a decent first aid kit, because you will get cut and you will have
For the shear joy of making wood chips, you might want to think about a good
hand plane. I use tools with tails, but there are times that I just want to
hear the sweet sound of a well tuned plane slicing through a board and
piling the whisper thin shavings around my feet. I've done that for no other
reason than to hear and smell the wood and planed away several inches of
I, along with just about everyone else here, would like to say that I'm
sorry for your loss and hope that we can help in turning you into a seasoned
Luck to you
I'll second the opinion, and add a recommendation of quality hearing
protection. I got a pair of "dumb" (that is, no electronics) headphones
for around $10 at Menards, and they're a decent starting point. Others
here have some with fancy electronics that automatically turn on and off
when they detect certain noises.
Using most hand tools, the hearing protection will probably unnecessary.
Hammers and powered tools, especially in enclosed spaces, usually require
Marching to the beat of a different drum is great... unless you're in
Absolutely...I just forgot to type about the muffs...I use them with ANY
universa motor tool for every cut and table saw, shaper etc., at least most
of the time, but they don't put out the pitch the I'm overly concerned
Sun, Feb 24, 2008, 8:05am (EST-3) email@example.com (sandy) doth
<snip>, thought I'd ask the experts for their suggestions. <snip>
But you screwed up and came here instead, eh? LOL
Duck decoys. I got a book on making them a few weeks ago. But
don't know where it's at, so can't tell you the title. Got it in a used
bookstore. Start hanging out in a good bookstore. Or, your local
library. Need a bandsaw, good knife, carving chiesls, depending on just
how detailed ou want to get.
Router. Make your own table, cheaper, you'll get what you want,
not what some seller thinks you want, and good learning experience.
You can buy clamps, or make cam clamps for almost nothing, unss you
start using fancy wood in them. I used 1/2" plywood and figure they
were probably 25 cents, or less, each.
If you get a late, i'd say get a big one. I got a 37" HF woodlathe
years ago. Still works like a cham, and loads of fun to use. You can't
make big stuff with a small lathe, but you can make small stuff with a
If you plan on making youself rich woodworking, don't quit your day
10 Out Of 10 Terrorists Prefer Hillary For President - Bumper Sticker
I do not have a problem with a woman president - except for Hillary.
Wow. you've gotten so many replies here.. I did not take the time to read
them all, but here's my 2 cents..
Sure.. plan a project.. that works.. but some of my favorite tools..
If you do any case work.. boxes.. bookshelves, a table saw will be real
handy. A contractors type -- where the motor hangs out the back will be
fine. A used one can be had in the 300-500 range. Get the Biesemeyer style
fence. Get that style fence. All brands come with a version of it.
A fun tool is a scrollsaw. Dewalt makes a nice 20" saw that can be had for
around 300 used. It's just a fun saw to play with. You'll be mostly making
small items, but you can get as crafty as you want. I just got one and it's
a blast. And the kids/grandkids can use it. Very safe tool.
Buy a nice jigsaw for curved cuts.
Buy a dust collector with 1 micron filtration unless you are going to be
blowing the dust outside. See Bill Pentz website. This is important for
all but the scrollsaw. Take this seriously. Breathing all that fine dust
is not good.
Buy a router.. 2 HP or so. Use it handheld, or mount in on the underside of
a table. You can make a table.
Consider a miter box - non slider, 10 or 12 inch. The tablesaw can do all
that , but the miter saw comes in handy and great for rough sizing stock.
Consider a bandsaw - especially if you want to cut down thicker stock into
thinner stock. It's also handy for curved cuts (though a handheld jigsaw
will work also).
Consider a portable planer - useful for making flat stock thinner. Need to
have flat stock, so either buy flat stock, or buy a jointer to make flat
Consider a jointer - to make stock flat. You don't need this if you are
buying flat and square stock. But if you get rough stock or do some
resawing on the bandsaw, you may want to consider it.
Forget the radial arm saw. Just use your tablesaw and make a crosscut box.
Get some good measuring tools -- tape measure, 6" steel rule, engineers
square, combo square.
Some folks are big into hand planing. I haven't been sucked in yet.. but
it's worthwhile to consider.
I'd shop the classifieds, craigslist, etc to get some good used equipment.
You can probably save 50% or better. But you might need to read up a bit on
each tool before shopping. There are a lot of great buys on used tools if
you live near a large metro area.
Enjoy the hobby.. and very sorry to hear about your hubby. Blessings to
Hi Sandy, and welcome.
If you've made it down to this posting then you'll have already read many
other good suggestions. I'll add mine:
Sounds to me like you're well on your way.
A good quality blade on the circular saw should do nicely. You can use it to
cut up large sheet goods into manageable sizes for cutting more accurately on
a table saw. Quality sand paper will improve your tabletop sander's
performance a wee bit until you choose to upgrade the machine.
For the window seats you'll likely use sheet goods (plywood or MDF). Many
people will agree that a table saw is a primary tool in a wood shop for
cutting this kind of stock. I have a large, industrial Delta Unisaw with a
52" rip capacity but it's too large for the shop I'm in at the moment, so
I've placed it in storage. I'd like to suggest that you consider the saw I'm
currently using, a Ridgid TS2400LS. It's a contractor's portable table saw
and can be found at construction sites all over the country. Here's a link to
a short video about this saw, but note that it's displaying an older version
(there have been a few improvements):
It has a built in, direct drive motor, but with soft start technology it
offers all the power you can expect from a standard house circuit. It's well
designed, easy to adjust, very portable and easily stores in a small
footprint if space is a concern. And the arbour shaft was designed to accept
a dado blade, as you'd mentioned you'd like to use. Consider buying a good
quality, 80 tooth blade for smooth cuts in plywood, MDF and melamine and use
the standard blade it comes with for rough cutting. Here's a review that
explains all the features of this tool:
And here's a link to The Home Depot where it's sold:
I don't know what the rest of the group's opinion is of this saw, but I've
used it extensively for the past 3 years and have been very pleased with its
performance. Of course there are other fine products out there... but this is
Radial arms saws have fallen out of fashion, for a number of reasons, safety
issues being most prominent. Try out a sliding compound miter saw and you'll
forget about the radial.
Others have recommended getting books and magazines to help with the learning
curve. I strongly support their views. Your library should be a good starting
point and I'd suggest looking for books that are specific to the tools you'll
be using (how to use and set up a table saw; how to use a router; etc.)
Many of those publications will also explain how to make and use jigs and
fixtures for the specific tools. Like most of us, you'll make jigs and
fixtures to make the processes more efficient and repeatable.
Shop safety has been mentioned before, but it's worth repeating. Safety
glasses and a face shield, hearing protection and an effective dust mask are
a must to protect your health. And keep some bandaids, antiseptic ointment
and tweezers handy in the workshop. You're gonna need 'em! lol
I hope you'll find this information useful and I look forward to seeing some
of your projects posted here in the future.
Message posted via CraftKB.com
First thing, and I'm putting this above everything, if you have long
hair, then figure out how you're going to keep it out of the tools and
do that _religously_. If you don't trust yourself to secure it
_every_ time then get it cut to shoulder length or less. Why? The
first time you see something turning 30,000 RPM climbing your hair
toward your face you'll know. Been there, done that, don't want
_anybody_ (except maybe Osama) to repeat it.
Do a project, buy what you need, but when you do, always consider what
else you could do with it.
Here's another discussion of this topic that I think is pretty good
If you've got room for it get a decent sized air compressor up front.
It will save you money in the long run--I spent more than the price of
the compressor working around its lack before I finally got pushed off
center to get the thing. You mentioned carving--a little 10 buck
"micro die grinder" from Harbor Freight takes Dremel bits, but turns
almost twice as fast, has more torque, never overheats, never fills up
with sawdust, and is about a quarter the size of a Dremel. The air
hose has more flex than a flex shaft too. One of the best bargains
there is in a power-carving tool, but one reason it's so cheap is that
it depends on the compressor for power.
On saws, a _good_ radial arm is a lovely tool to have. But to get a
_good_ one you're pretty much going to be looking for used unless you
can afford to put several thousand dollars into it. The catch with
them is that the lower end models go out of alignment with deplorable
regularity. I _strongly_ recommend that _before_ you buy an RAS you
read both Jon Eakes "Fine Tuning Your Radial Arm Saw" (contained in
PDF form on the DVD "Stationary Saws with Jon Eakes"
http://joneakes.com/dvd ) and the Mr. Sawdust book
http://www.mrsawdust.com /. A good sliding compound miter saw and good
table saw can be had new for less than the price of a _good_ _new_
radial arm saw and between them will do most of what the RAS will do.
If you get a router, you really should get or build a router table (a
good simple project by the way) and some kind of precision positioner
is very convenient--Rockler has the original Incra jig for 100 bucks
or you can get one of the newer ones with more cutting range and finer
adjustement for a lot more.
Clamps--get more than one kind and a variety of sizes.
Regular bar clamps such as the Bessey Tradesman are your real
workhorses IMO. Come in sizes long enough to cover most project
ranges, some have extended reach, can be had inexpensively from a
number of sources.
You'll see recommendations for Bessey K bodies (note that the K is
different from the Tradesman). They are very useful tools, a couple
of long ones and a couple of medium size will do all sorts of things
for you but if they're the only kind of clamp you have you'll run into
situations that they won't handle gracefully. If you get Besseys (any
Bessey), the first thing you want to do is _wax_ them--for some reason
Titebond and other common wood glues stick like crazy to the things,
more to the metal parts than to the plastic but it's not all that easy
to get off the plastic.
Some handscrews will be very useful. Nice thing about them is that
they'll hold odd-shaped stock and clamp at angles.
One thing that gets pooh-poohed by a lot of people is the Irwin
Quik-Grip one handed bar clamps. I find them incredibly handy--they
aren't the tool you grab when you need lots of precisely applied
pressure but they're perfect for holding a stop block in place or
holding an assembly until you can get the big clamps on it or all
sorts of other stuff where you need three or four hands. When you get
those, _clean_ the bars with lacquer thinner--any oil or grease or wax
on them will make them slip, and I've had brand new ones in sealed
packages that were oiled up like crazy--I suspect that their bad
reputation in part comes from that. I'd at least get a couple of the
"minis" (the "micros" are too small for general work of any kind, but
I suspect that they're lovely for model making).
Woodcraft normally has a "15 piece professional clamp set" in stock
for 20 bucks. The quality is distinctly Harbor Freight, but they are
usable--do inspect carefully, file or grind down any big bumps on the
faces, and clean and lubricate the screws. They're never the first
clamps I grab but when I'm out of the "good clamps" I'm damned glad I
spent the 20 bucks.
Something most people don't think about is cordless tool _systems_.
If you're tempted to buy a cordless _anything_ don't just look at the
tool, look at the others that use the same battery. I just happened
by chance to get an 18v deWalt about ten years back, and that proved
to be fortuitous, because not only do the same battery and charger
work with lots of other deWalt tools but now I can go to lithium ion
technology without buying anything new except batteries and charger.
Well Sandy you have a lot of choices here. The goggles are a wise
investment, and anything you do for dust control is well worth
protecting your lungs. A saber saw is great for curves and a good
choice until you can get a bandsaw. Duck decoys will require some
carving tools, possibly an odd clamping device (perhaps you can make
one!), and a Dremmel can be useful. A good table saw is a very
important power tool. Most hand tools will be useful long after you
acquire power tools. Add quality tools as you need them, rather than
what you think you need and you'll save some $$$. Fine Woodworking
magazine has some tool reviews (once a year) that can be helpful.
Sorry to hear about your hubby. HTH
You've already found one of the best resources for woodworking - the
library. If you have a county-wide system you might want to visit the
other libraries it has. Mine has Taunton Press videos and any book I
could want. If they don't have a book I'd like the I just ask and in
a couple of weeks they buy it for me. Saves lots of $$$
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