Setting up a home woodworking workshop

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So this doesn't work like he shows?
Firstly, he is starting with what appears to be two planed boards or plywood which have rough cut edges. In the UK hardwood timber typically is suppled rough sawn, so you have NO reference face or edge to work from. That's why you use a planer to get flat to start with. It can't be done safely with a circular saw

Secondly he is working with what is called a through type rip fence. Technically, saws aren't supposed to be sold with those in the UK - professional saws certainly aren't as they are illegal (because they aren't particularly safe). You don't have any knowledge of safe circular saw usage, so I'd recommend going off and reading the relevant leaflet on the HSE web site about circular saw safety, WIS 16. It's all of 5 pages and is very concise. In the wrong hands saw benches are actually quite dangerous if you don't know what you are doing (like the guy in the vid), so a bit of training never goes amiss. Remember - unlike lizards if we humans cut a finger off it won't grow back, and I know one guy who has a big toe instead of his right thumb because he was always a bit gung-ho with saw benches and his saw "bit" him (and he was an ex-woodwork teacher!)

Your man is also working with a fully exposed blade and no riving knife. See WIS 16, again :rolleyes:

He pushes the work past the exposed blade using a mickey-mouse push block - you really should always keep your hands at least 16in/400mm away from the blade, with a properly designed push stick. one like this (see WIS 16...):
Push Stick.png

There is also a limit to the length of timber that jig will actually accommodate.

But more to the point, discounting the inane stupidity of how he used a table saw (which is typical of many American amateurs, I find), it is just a convoluted way of woking - to a joiner or a wood machinist this is a ridiculous waste of time, effort and materials to joint a piece of timber that is a simple job if you have the right piece of kit in the first place. If you seriously think that you'll be able to plane and joint hundreds of feet of hardwood that way I just feel that you'll end up giving up with frustration. Really, for what you are doing a small sub-£200 planer thicknesser (which is way less than the cost of any shed you'll ever build) will be faster and more accurate than buying a table saw, then building a load of jigs. A friend of mine down the road actually has one of these (he's retired, but he was a wood machinist in a large furniture factory) and he reckons that for the money it's unbeatable. Maybe I'll be able to persuade him to do a video of it in use at some point

I think you are transfixed by all these jigs when what you really need more than anything is a bit of basic understanding about what the various processes are and what tools are required. At which point I'll say no more about the saw bench "wizzard"

I'm not sure of the rules , but you may need to use food safe glues etc - for anything in contact with food
Yes. That's how mine were made

I remember we had to join 3 bits of board together at School carpentry , using hot animal glue ... and used ALL hand tools, planes etc
Crikey! You're showing your age, ther, @ETAF. One of my apprentice jobs was to keep the shop supplied with enough pearl hide glue (and rabbit skin glue if they were doing leather), but by the time I started animal glues were only being used for veneering jobs. Joints were always done with Cascamite
 
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@JobAndKnock thanks. I found a video review of the Titan and see how it works now. Does seem easier than the table saw method. But I would still need a table saw for ripping the planks length ways won't I?

I also saw a video review for an Erbauer model which was slightly bigger but seems they have stopped selling it now.

Anyway, getting ahead of myself, tooling up will be a later topic once I have a workshop built which is months away still.

Any comments on how easy it is to source hardwood planks?
 
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ttps://www.amazon.co.uk/What-Wood-That-Manual-Identification/dp/0854420088@JobAndKnock thanks. I found a video review of the Titan and see how it works now. Does seem easier than the table saw method. But I would still need a table saw for ripping the planks length ways won't I?
Seriously, if you are starting out you could probably get by with a portable (i.e. hand held) power saw, something like a 190mm blade tool, if you already have one. @ETAF 's recommendation of a track saw is also good (as a cheaper way of getting started). The keu is to fit the right blade. Long term, though, if you get into production you will need a table saw

Anyway, getting ahead of myself, tooling up will be a later topic once I have a workshop built which is months away still.
Yes, but you need to know what tools you are going to install in your shed to plan it, surely?

Any comments on how easy it is to source hardwood planks?
It's nowhere near as easy as it is to source softwoods. I'm in the north west, so I know who my local suppliers are. If you are in the NW or NE say so and I'll point you at a few good merchants. In somewhere like London I'm aware of one or two firms like South London Hardwoods, but other than that it's a case of Google and phoning. This is not the sort of stuff you can buy readily on the 'net IMHO. It sounds from the foregoing that you are looking for a percentage of tropical hardwoods for accents, and they have always been a specialist product. If you don't know what you are looking for, maybe you should get hold of a book by Herbert Edlin called "What Wood is That?" (second hand is cheaper, don't spend more than £25). In the front of the book is a set of actual wood veneers, 40 in total, which should give you some idea about the different commercial species look like, colour, texture, etc. Well worth the money and used required reading on some college courses (e.g. furniture manufacture, cabinetmaking, etc)
 
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ttps://www.amazon.co.uk/What-Wood-That-Manual-Identification/dp/0854420088@JobAndKnock thanks. I found a video review of the Titan and see how it works now. Does seem easier than the table saw method. But I would still need a table saw for ripping the planks length ways won't I?
Seriously, if you are starting out you could probably get by with a portable (i.e. hand held) power saw, something like a 190mm blade tool, if you already have one. I'd certainly look at @ETAF 's suggestion, too. The main thing is to team the saw up with the right blade. Eventually you would need to go to a table saw, basically on grounds of speed, but to trial an idea it isn't that essential

Anyway, getting ahead of myself, tooling up will be a later topic once I have a workshop built which is months away still.
Yes, but you need to know what tools you are going to install in your shed to plan it, surely?

Any comments on how easy it is to source hardwood planks?
It's nowhere near as easy as it is to source softwoods. I'm in the north west, so I know who my local suppliers are here and in the north east. In somewhere like London I'm aware of one or two firms like South London Hardwoods. Other than that it's a case of Google and phoning. It sounds from the foregoing that you are looking for a percentage of tropical hardwoods, and they have always been a specialist product so you probably won't get what you want at an economic price, over the 'net. If you don't know what you are looking for, maybe get hold of a book by Herbert Edlin called "What Wood is That?" (second hand is cheaper). In the front of the book is a set of actual wood veneers, 40 in total, which should give you some idea about the different commercial species
 
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I'd see how you get on with building the workshop to start with, best laid plans and all that. The Titan planer is one I've been eyeing up for a year or so, by all accounts/reviews it's a great entry level jobby. It just never seems to shift from it's Screwfix stock price and I've never seen one s/h and I've been looking. I've just picked up a Titan table saw for £40, missing the extension but came with a portable stand but should serve my purposes.
 
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It sounds from the foregoing that you are looking for a percentage of tropical hardwoods for accents
Im think Walnut, Maple predominantly, and then maybe some Cherry and others later once I get more experience. Im in the W.Mids by the way.
 
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Well, not so extreme, so a lot easier to source. Most of the walnut you'll come across is American black walnut. English/European walnut is often hellishly expensive. Maple is also generally American, too, but you may find a merchant also offering English sycamore (or as it is also known "field maple"), a relative of maple with similar grain (but a lower price if you can get it). Often creamy or slightly pinkish when cut it goes to a more yellow colour with age, just like maple. A lot of cherry also comes from the USA, although there was some European stuff on the market last time I was buying stuff - it is produced from the wild cherry tree which is a 60ft tree found interspersed with beech in countries like the Netherlands.

Had a think about firms I dealt with over the years and rang a firmer colleague. He recommended Palmer Timber in Cradley Heath. So maybe worth a punt

BTW be careful with black walnut - the sanding dust easily gets into the pores of adjoining timbers and "contaminates" them, leaving what looks like a dirty mark. You sometimes need to fill the grain with a grain filler before sanding a combination of black walnut and, say, maple.
 
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Secondly he is working with what is called a through type rip fence. Technically, saws aren't supposed to be sold with those in the UK
Ah ok. That makes sense then why all the US videos have these really long solid looking fences on their table saws, but all the ones I was looking at for sale here have quite short flimsy looking fences.

Almost all the US videos I have seen, and they all make really great stuff, are using their table saws for almost everything. Cross cuts - they make a cross cut sled. Edge jointing - they make a jointing sled. For cutting rebates and grooves - they are removing the riving knife and making multiple passes to cut the groove or the rebate out usually with some sort of sled as well. Etc etc.

There's also tonnes of videos which say that a proper jointer or planer/thicknesser is not needed. The ones that do have a planer but not a jointer, make a sled for that too and use shims to get a flat plank. Some use a router against a flat edge template.

Oh also all the US guys seem to use the gripper push blocks on top of the piece, rather than a push stick from the rear.
 
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Ah ok. That makes sense then why all the US videos have these really long solid looking fences on their table saws, but all the ones I was looking at for sale here have quite short flimsy looking fences.
Those long solid looking fences are a major reason why American forums have more than their fair share of stories about kickbacks. Kickbacks are sometimes caused by wood which bends away from the saw blade when it is cut, ending up jammed between the blade and the extra long fence. When that happens the timber can be thrown back at the operator at around 100mph. It's called a kickback - and because walnut is steamed to get that beautiful consistent colour, it is rather prone to this sort of behaviour. European short rip fences (the "short flimsy ones") are actually considerably safer to use because the fence doesn't extend past the blade, so if you are sawing timber which divides this way it can't get itself caught between the fence and the blade because there is no fence to trap it.
Almost all the US videos I have seen, and they all make really great stuff, are using their table saws for almost everything. Cross cuts - they make a cross cut sled. Edge jointing - they make a jointing sled. For cutting rebates and grooves - they are removing the riving knife and making multiple passes to cut the groove or the rebate out usually with some sort of sled as well. Etc etc.
That's because they often don't know about any other machines. Cross cuts are faster and more accurate done on a mitre saw; have you ever thought about how to crosscut a 16ft length of skirting or an 9ft length of rough sawn timber with a sled when you have an 10ft wide shop containing a bench, etc? Edge jointing? Did you know that other than some industrial users American DIYers didn't know what a planer/thicknesser was until maybe 10 years ago (they've been common in shops in Europe since before WWII). Cutting rebates and grooves? Never heard of a router? Believe me when I say that dado heads aren't the wonderous thing they are cracked-up to be, and that part of the reason Yanks use them is because they have access to cheap plywood and so have never bothered to learn how to make furniture other than by making grooves in planks. Take the riving knife and crown guard off and you've increased the risk of a pinch kickback (where the timber contains tensions which causes it to pinch the riving knife as it's cut - no riving knife and it will pinch the back of the blade instead - whilst the crown guard reduces the chances if you have a kickback of having the kicked back piece of timber thrown back into your face (it can still get you in the groin, though, if you are stupid enough to stand directly behind the blade) whilst simultaneously ensuring that you won't plant your hand on a spinning blade if you lose your balance and falling forwards, putting out a hand to stop your face hitting the saw bench (presumably because you were smacked in the face by a kicked-back piece of timber).

I will await some Herbert who tries to pull me up on these comments, but American practices were in many cases outlawed in European trade shops decades ago because they aren't safe and they were responsible for many injuries. Call me a pussy, but I happen to like the fact that I can still count to ten on my fingers, unlike the old wood machinists you used to meet when I was an apprentice who were routinely missing at least one finger (often the ring finger), and sometimes more.

There's also tonnes of videos which say that a proper jointer or planer/thicknesser is not needed. The ones that do have a planer but not a jointer, make a sled for that too and use shims to get a flat plank. Some use a router against a flat edge template.
Only Americans could be so ignorant. The safest, fastest and easiest way to plane something is on... a planer! FFS a basic planer/thicknesser can be had in the UK for under two tons (see above), so why on earth would anyone want to get an only slightly cheaper thicknesser and build jigs for it? Proof that there are some people out there who would invent a square wheel, maybe...

Oh also all the US guys seem to use the gripper push blocks on top of the piece, rather than a push stick from the rear.
Both ignorant and stupid, but at least I can demonstrate that with a video (from the USA, no less!). If you have a kickback as your hand glides past the unguarded, riving-knifeless blade on your saw and you lose your balance, where can your hand end up? In the blade. Who will win that argument? The blade, every time, hands down...

Congratulations. You have now picked up almost every error (well, not really) which would cause you to be red carded in a trade workshop and which would sooner or later result in you having an accident. YouTube is actually a terrible place to learn about safety, but if you want to see a kickback, on a table saw, demonstrated by an American, watch this video:


Note the "really long solid looking fence", the lack of riving knife and crown guard which can contribute to kickback, and how close the guy's hand comes to the saw blade because he is using that stupid, bloody push pad instead of a long British-style push stick.

BTW, UK major accidents on table saws are reckoned to be proportionately under 1/3 of the number in the USA. I believe that's based on hospital records for amputations and stitches and I recall seeing a graph at a RoSPA (or maybe HSE) safety presentation I once attended

It's your choice what you do - but remember that some accidents are very painful and they can't always be undone that easily - like my erstwhile gung-ho colleague and his big toe for a thumb (and if he sucked his thumb do you think he'd end up with athlete's tongue, I wonder?)
 
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Food for thought JK, funnily enough the bloke I bought my table saw off (a 70 something retired joiner apparently) gave me a little demo and ripped about a 2" wide batten down the centre, one push stick to push it along and his left hand pushing it into the fence, I could barely keep looking as his fingers seemed only about an inch from the blade as he pushed it along, the guard had been tightened up so it was up out of the way too. Genuinely thought I was gonna witness some fingers flying through the air. Still, a nice clean cut and it came with an unused spare blade.
 
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... I could barely keep looking as his fingers seemed only about an inch from the blade as he pushed it along, the guard had been tightened up so it was up out of the way too. Genuinely thought I was gonna witness some fingers flying through the air.
Yes, I've seen that too many times over the years. When I've been on jobs with a black hat (i.e. as foreman) one of my many tasks was to stop such behaviour. I do it because I genuinely don't want people to have accidents, and in any case that sort of behaviour is frankly unnecessary. The fact is that if the main contractor's H&S man catches someone doing that there is normally hell to pay, or worse if an HSE inspector catches someone at that it'll be be fines all round (the operative, me as his i/c, potentially my employers and quite possibly the main contractor as well - the HSE is self-financing nowadays, so you can guess where all the money comes from). This is all good motivation to obey the regs - as well as keeping a workforce who can all count to ten on their digits, without the need to remove a boot and a sock...

Like a lot of things, people become blase with familiarity - they get away with dangerous stuff for so long that they no longer think it's dangerous. Then one day, maybe never, it goes wrong, and they end up in A&E, like Mr Big Toe Thumb I mentioned above.
 
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@JobAndKnock appreciate your candid view of these YouTube videos. There's some great ideas on there but it's good to hear the other side of things from someone with knowledge.

What would you say are the tools I would start out with to be able to make, as an example, a good quality hardwood face grain or end grain chopping board?

I think we've established the combi jointer/thicknesser.

And a mitre saw is probably a no brainer for accurate cross cuts.

A sander for finishing.

A router for making nice chamfered edges.

But what about the rip cuts - are you thinking a track saw is better then than a table saw? Even though my rip cuts for a chopping board will only be 1 inch or maybe 1.5 inch wide? Isn't a table saw more accurate for repeat cuts than a track saw?

And I'll need a bunch of clamps.
 
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have a watch here
Peter millard - uses a planer/thickness

the videos are from 2019/20 - so may have changed , screwfix no longer have Erbauer the one Peter showing - but Peter also linked to titan , as mentioned above

He also talks about Tracksaw v Table saw - for narrow rips
and tricky tracksaw cuts
 

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