First, let me explain a few things:
I don't make furniture or anything really fancy, I only intend to make small
craft like items such as bird houses, cutting boards, garden furniture
things like that. Maybe nice hope chests later on, my question is I have a
Craftsman 10 T/S and am wondering if this is an adequate enough saw for my
purpose? I would also like recommendation on an inexpensive yet capable
jointer/ planer for my purpose. I enjoy making things and would like to hock
my wares at craft shows and such.
Again I apologize for the mundane questions, but I have come to respect your
advice here. I read alot of the posts and am learning more as I go.
A well tuned hand saw will do the job, as will your TS ... particularly if
it is set up and properly maintained. IOW, don't let the tools, or lack
thereof, stand in the way of your projects ... there is always more than one
way to skin the woodworking cat.
As the projects you are contemplating don't usually require expensive
hardwoods, and if you're not going to be building in large quantities, you
may be better off buying dimensioned lumber to start off with and see how
things go, before jumping in on planers and joiners. Cheap woodworking tools
for these tasks are expensive in that they are generally bought more than
once, good ones will cost more but will last a lifetime, so be certain of
what _you_ need before you buy.
... just my .02 ... and may be worth to you what you paid, more or less.
You're good to go with the 10" Craftsman for the work you
describe. Enjoy and be safe.
I have a jointer and portable planer from Grizzly and have been
satisfied with price and performance of both. I'd suggest that
you begin collecting and reading catalogs. Most, of course, are
free for the asking. Everyone wants something a little different
from their tools. As you work your way through your projects,
you'll develop your own criteria based on the work you do.
You'll know if and when you outgrow your saw; and by that time
you should have developed a fairly good notion of the features
you'd like in the next saw.
Your tablesaw will probably work just fine. My best advice would be to
learn how to properly tune it and put a decent combination blade on it. At
that point, it's up to you if the saw performs adequately.
The one thing I like the most about this group is the fact that I get
answers VERY fast.
Thus far I have had the saw for about a week and it seems to be doing a fine
job at things keeping in mind that I have only made a few bird houses so far
with it. These bird house, not needing perfect 90 to look good, I was just
wondering about how true this saw would be. I guess I really need to learn
how to "tune" my saw. Therefore, I guess that would be my next question.
I really hope I don't end up being a pain in the a$$ with all my greenhorn
your questions couldn't be received any worse than my newbie questions!
I've taken to heart a lot of good advice here the past year and a
half. Some of the guys go out of their way to solve a problem or
explain in depth, a procedure for us new guys.
I'll defer to someone else re: the saw tuning.
Rather than read my cliff note's version, search the group's archives at
You will find a wealth of information, tips, advice and probably some
recomendations for some good books dealing with the subject.
I used a 10" Craftsman saw for years, they work good when properly aligned.
1. drive a finishing nail into the end of a piece of scrap so it protrudes
about 1/4 inch.
2. unplug the saw and crank the blade all the way up. with chalk or
crayon, mark one tooth on the blade.
3. rotate the blade until the marked tooth is just above the table and set
that piece of wood in the miter gauge, position it until the nail just
touches the marked tooth and clamp it to the miter gauge.
4. rotate the blade 180 deg. (so the marked tooth is just above the table
again) push the miter gauge forward and see if the nail just touches the
Chances are, it won't be exactly right. If there's a problem, loosen the
trunnion (that big "metal thingy" that holds the blade) and adjust it a bit
until you get the blade straight. Keep working back and forth. This makes
the blade parallel to the miter slot. - - I had to do this 4 or 5 times
until I got it right.
With the blade parallel, move the rip fence closer to the blade slot and do
the same thing again. There are adjusting screws at the ends of the rip
fence to align it.
This is a "cheap and dirty" method, later on, you can get an alignment gauge
for tablesaws or do the same thing with a dial indicator, but that should
get you "close enough" to get started.
Keep safe and have fun.
It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools for bad work. Somebody told me
that many years ago and I never forgot it. I recently got into turning and a
fellow who put on a demonstration once told me that the difference between
what I turn and what those folks who sell big ticket items turn is ME. No
better and no worse. My skills are what "I" put into them.
Take your time, enjoy working with wood in whatever form you choose, but
make sawdust, and do it often! Your skills will develop in time.... and you
will find your niche along the way..
Damned right it will do the job! My first foray into woodworking was with a
low end Craftsman. The blade spun and the wood cut when I pushed it into
the blade. It took a couple of checks to be sure the fence was accurate.
Don't get caught up in th e bnad name type of thing. After a time you may
want to trade up if your interests get into other aspects of woodworking.
That should be determined by your needs, not some form of "tool envy".
As for a jointer, check out the Yorkcraft and Bridgewood models at
No need for apologies. I probably have spent $40K on woodworking tools and
a Craftsman 10" 3hp tablesaw was the fist thing I bought. I've never felt
compelled to replace it, it performs well.
I use Forrest blades and am verry happy.
Sorry, never looked at inexpensive jointers or planers but know a number of
people that use them quite happly.
I have the 6" Grizzly jointer and it works very well (especially for the
price). I would also recommend the older version of the DeWalt planer, I
think these can be had for ~$250. If you like to use your muscles, you
can get by with a hand plane instead of the jointer. I recently had to
use mine on extra wide lumber and was astonished how easy and well they
worked with a sharp plane. I'm not sure I'd want to trade in my jointer
just yet though ;)
And if you haven't gotten one already, get the $15-$30 (depending on
current sale) Harbor Freight 18 guage nail gun. So far this has been my
best buy for the money.
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