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What machine tool to help me best?

Discussion in 'Wood / Woodwork / Carpentry' started by GrinAndBearIt, 24 Jun 2014.

  1. GrinAndBearIt

    GrinAndBearIt

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    Hi all

    Reaching the end of a major refurb project, and ending up with no money for a lot of interior joinery ... e.g. making up dressing room cupboards, library shelves, childrens bunk beds, loads of shelving etc. A lot of it is no more than Ikea type complexity, but just has to be made to a bespoke size (and not be faced in white melamine!).

    So it looks like I'm going to be forced to do it myself on weekends. I'm strictly an amateur when it comes to woodwork ... although I have built two (fairly dodgy) kitchens from scratch, and feel fairly practical as a whole.

    Question is - what machine could I buy which is going to help me the most? What machine would a professional joiner approaching this kind of job be likely to use the most? I'm imagining some sort of table saw that can mitre joints and make loads of good clean cuts to help me on my way. At the moment my armoury consists of the bare minimum (eg. hand drills, jigsaw, workbench, hand saws etc.!)

    Don't really want to spend more than £500 tooling up for these projects ... although I guess that could go quite far if I went the ebay route etc.

    Anyone care to give some advice? Would be VERY grateful - thanks!
     
  2. foxhole

    foxhole

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    Sliding chop saw, table saw and router.Power plane and belt sander.Cordless drill/driver.
    Count your fingers before and after work. ;)
     
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  3. GrinAndBearIt

    GrinAndBearIt

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    Thanks Foxhole ... two very quick q's if you're still about ...

    1. Chop saws (and table saws) seem to range from £100 to £1,000+ ... is there anything I'm going to really miss out on do you think for this kind of work if I buy in the £200/£250 range?

    2. Power planers ... ok to buy a handheld? The table versions look very pricey ...

    Ta!
     
  4. gregers

    gregers

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    if your budget does not stretch to decent branded stuff,then buy with something like a 3 year guarantee,that way when it blows up you get a replacement F.O.C.

    sliding chop saw,go for the biggest blade,that way it will do the all the jobs you throw at it.

    again if your budget doesnt stretch then rather a table saw get a good circular saw with a rail system.

    power planer,i think FOX meant a hand held jobbie rather then a bench jointer.
     
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  5. tomfe

    tomfe

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    It all depends on what stock you are using and your finish, painted or bare wood.

    If you are using sheet material you need to be able to break this down quickly and accurately so either a plunge saw and rail or a circular saw and home made rail.

    Cheaper to make moldings so a table router would be good, you can also make rebates, rabbits, tennons etc. You can also do raised panels as well.

    Get a pocket screw jig as it's fast and easy to join material at 90 degs for frames or bases, you can even make drawers with them. Use dry wall screws as these are a lot cheaper than the propitiatory ones.

    If you buy your stock the same size as you need it you don't need a table saw, they require a lot of room and the fences on cheaper one are rubbish.

    Don't bother with a cheap chop saw, most have no adjustment to square and level the deck, get your self a decent hand saw and try square :D

    Hand plane and shooting board to square your cuts for making frames etc.

    If you want to beadle to cut stock down have a think about a band saw, they don't take up as much room and you usually get a better machine for the money.

    You might want a brad gun so a compressor and fixing gun.
     
  6. ringi

    ringi

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    We are talking about a basic set of 1 off diy project!

    Given the most diy shops and timber outlets will cut sheets to size for little or no costs, I don’t see the point of a table saw, plunge saw and rail etc.

    A folding bench, e.g. “Workmate” and a selection of clamps are well worth having.

    I would then add a cordless dill/screw driver with 2 set of batteries, so you don’t have to stop working for charging. As an inexperienced DIYer you will work slow enough that most of the time even the cheapest batteries will lasts you longer then they take to charge.

    Painted MDF with timber edging glued and pinned give a reasonable finish, e.g. wicks sells 6mmx18mm D shaped hardwood moulding that will fit a 18mm sheet of mdf. (Filler will cover lots of small errors in the MDF.)

    To cut the moulding get a nice Precision Mitre Saw with a block that includes good clamping. A nail gun will free up a hand while putting the pins in.
     
  7. GrinAndBearIt

    GrinAndBearIt

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    Hey - thanks tomfe & ringi - much appreciate your feedback and help. Very kind.

    Haven't pulled the trigger yet (still working on the design of all the various cupboards), but must admit agree with ringi that since I should be able to get sheet materials cut to size very easily (I have a mate who runs a cabinet making business and has offered all the 18mm I want) it will mean that actually I probably don't need all the more complicated kit.

    But when I watched my Polish crew at work on the main site, the guys made a LOT of use of their mitre 'chop' saw ... so I am tempted to get one in addition to the Precision Mitre Saw.

    Great call on the pocket jig which I have now looked at tomfe ... any preferred device? Thinking of not cutting corners and going straight for the Kreg which seems the premium choice, but gets great feedback.

    And yes ringi - I really like the effect of facing off the edges of 18mm sheet material with hardwood strips ... I shall be doing that for sure!

    Thanks again ... very helpful.
     
  8. GrinAndBearIt

    GrinAndBearIt

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    Should explain that I'm rather nervous of asking my cabinet maker friend for any help on tool selection ... he is far too high end I think and I'd be broke after the first purchase ...
     
  9. Norcon

    Norcon

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    Couldn't you get your polish crew to do the job for you?

    Or borrow their kit?
     
  10. GrinAndBearIt

    GrinAndBearIt

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    Um ... they've long gone Norcon ... and funds are low, hence gotta go it alone!

    Well, anyway, have ordered the UJK pocket hole kit from Axminster - seems to have got very good feedback. Still undecided on the mitre saw - just so much choice in that area ....
     
  11. EightyTwo

    EightyTwo

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    I love my Triton Workstation. It makes a great table saw and you can flip it over and use it like a radial arm saw too... (although I have now bought a sliding chop saw as well).

    Whilst it may be outside your budget, the router table could be useful and the big sliding extension table means that you can cut up 8'x4' sheets on your own, on the drive, with an accuracy of 1mm down a sheet!
     
  12. GrinAndBearIt

    GrinAndBearIt

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    Thanks EightyTwo ... to be able to cut up 8' x 4' sheets would be brilliant ... but realistically what do I need to be able to do this with (relative) ease? Do you buy one work table (£400 odd) and then buy all the relevant power tools to add to it?

    A reminder of the work I need to complete ... a high bunk bed for my daughter, a raised platform for TV room, big 3 metre high / 2 metre wide x 600mm deep cabinets in a living room ... a gazillion shelves ...
     
  13. EightyTwo

    EightyTwo

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    I bought the maxi sliding extension table ETA 300 and used a cheap Black and Decker saw. The wife caught the offcuts. Later, I bought the Triton saw for the fine adjustment features and bigger blade and a couple of cheap roller stands to take the place of the wife (who was now looking after small children). The roller stands are really useful when handling long bits of wood on your own. I use them when ripping on the table saw and when cross-cutting on the chop saw - it means that you don't need three hands and wrists like Arnie!

    Buying posh saw blades with lots of teeth makes cutting a bit slower but the finish was often so good that I didn't need a planer. I sometines used a belt sander as I found it easier to control (or a hand plane).

    I used the sliding table for cutting housing joints (multiple passes) too but, later, just used cam locks and pins like all the flatpack furniture. My cheap 1/4" router works well on veneered or foiled mdf for rebates, ploughs/housings and edge moulding/rounding.

    I made bunk beds, built-in cabinets, a desk/computer station, wendy house with mezzanine floor and a big climbing frame and swing set with these tools. I've probably saved ten times the cost of the equipment and had loads of fun doing it. Triton table saw, screwfix Erbauer sliding chop saw and screwfix Ferm router.
     
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  14. GrinAndBearIt

    GrinAndBearIt

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    Thanks ... excellent ... you seem to have had a very similar set of projects to complete, so I'm very encouraged.

    A few other things seem to have appeared on the shopping list now I'm getting a little deeper into this ... things like a nail gun and sash clamps spring to mind. A lot of the Y-Tube videos (mostly ancient US ones admittedly) seem to feature guns linked to compressor equipment ... hoping that there are now more portable alternatives!
     
  15. EightyTwo

    EightyTwo

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    I bought some big F-clamps which seem to do most jobs. I still lust after sash cramps but could never justify the cost. I thought about just getting the ends that fit on a batten...

    A friend of mine bought a Paslode gas nail gun for doing his bungalow loft conversion. I've never done big carpentry and would probably use screws if I did. However, I did buy a little electric nail/pin/tacker - I haven't used it much so I wouldn't suggest it as a "first buy". I know that Norm Abraham uses his a lot in the New Yankee Workshop but I don't tend to put little pieces of edging or moulding on things.

    If your looking for more things, and you're going for the Triton Workcentre, buy the dust bag (DCA250)and extractor bin (DCA300). Get a Henry to go with it. Actually, get a Henry anyway - he'll suck up sawdust, brick dust, shavings, rubble and clean the decking before you paint preservative on it! :)
     
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