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Wood cutting tools (Read 3609 times)
Donnie
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Wood cutting tools
12/06/17 at 23:14:17
 
I'd like some help in buying some wood cutting tools and thought that I'd ask around here.
It seems like I have a good time building speakers and I'd like to up my game a little.
Does anyone know about table saws and things like that? Maybe a router for cutting nice holes?
What is a good brand that cuts well and holds close tolerances?
I've spent the last 40 years cutting metal and I'd like to bring that kind of precision into my woodwork.
What does a guy need to make straight cuts in MDF?
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Archie
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Re: Wood cutting tools
Reply #1 - 12/07/17 at 01:19:34
 
PM me if you want to take this off-line by email.  You've got to have a good table saw with no appreciable runout and a good fence to start.  I like Freud full kerf blades.  In 10 inch diameters I use their 24 tooth rip blades, 80 tooth single side laminate triple tooth chip blades and their 80 tooth Ultimate Cutoff blades.  I use the same in 12 inch but the tooth count is higher.  I have Hitachi and Porter Cable routers and they both seem to have decent runout tolerances.  Used on a router table, I get nice finish on my cuts.

My Delta Contractor's saw with a Biessmier (god knows how this is spelled!) fence gives me great results for my small shop.  I've never found the need for a "shop" saw given that I don't have a production shop.  Even my Dewalt portable saw gives great cuts with good blades.

Just stay away form thin kerf blades.  They wander when cutting since they are thin.
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neac1976
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Re: Wood cutting tools
Reply #2 - 12/07/17 at 02:10:38
 
Donnie,
Delta Tools are often times, used to outfit a professional woodworker's shop, at least in New England anyway, where I have built houses for the last, thirty, odd years.
Their products are well built, sturdy and are available with many options and in many configurations.
Cutting all of the 4 by 8 material that you will most likely need will require a rather large table saw, but specifically a large table and support system for said table.  The entire setup must be well anchored so as not to move as you are making your extremely, precise cuts with that difficult to maneuver 3/4" or even larger stock.
Are you going to need a dust management system? Delta makes them.
I believe that one of the most important tools that you will also need will be a powerful router. Makita makes plunge routers that allow you to literally plunge them into the material (supported by the router's own table).  They are incredibly well built and maintain their accuracy. Be careful during startup, as it is like holding a very powerful gyroscope that can dismember you.
You will probably need a hand planer at the least, or perhaps a table planer at the most to reduce stock to the appropriate dimensions.
One compressor with the appropriate nail guns...look at Porter Cable Products for your guns.
Open up a commercial account at your local Lumber Company as opposed to one the
the Big Box Stores...the benefits are too numerous to mention.
Yes of course you can find all of the above used, just inspect the motors on the larger pieces of machinery.
Purchase the best blades that you can afford, as all circular blades can be re-sharpened up to a point.  Look for blades with cuts (kerfs) in the blade sides to dissipate the heat of cutting that God forsaken MDF!
Do you have a nice space in which to locate all of this lovely stuff, as you will not want to be setting up and tearing down when the fancy strikes you?
This was just a quick outline, if I can be of any other help just PM or call me.
Mark
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4krow
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Re: Wood cutting tools
Reply #3 - 12/07/17 at 06:05:59
 
No doubt, it has been a long time since i made furniture. When I did do such work, it was always a pleasure to have the right tool for the job. First in line is a table saw that can be trusted for accuracy, power and capacity. I don't know what your budget is, but please don't skimp on a table saw. Even at the $1,000 level you have to careful. For more money, it is probably worth every dollar spent to get a 3 HP cabinet saw. A 50" capacity or more, and as stated before, a good fence to go with it. A saw is not worth the effort without a blade that is true. There are a good deal of blades to choose from, so research what you might need for the job intended. All dust is bad for you, and getting it sucked into a filter can't be understated. Please wear a mask when needed, or you will end up like me. All the filtration in the world isn't enough when working with MDF, let alone other materials.
 Routers are great tools. Again, find one that has the power to spare, such as Porter cable (the larger 1 1/2 HP or even more), and Bosch, Freud, etc. Once again the cutting tool is just as important, so don't waste your time on cheap bits. BTW, MDF is Hell on router bits. Buy more than just one for the job. It sounds like I am talking as if money weren't a concern. Not so, cheap tools are going to be your biggest waste of money. Hopefully, you live in an area that has a good wood shop store so you can see what your getting.
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deucekazoo
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Re: Wood cutting tools
Reply #4 - 12/07/17 at 15:50:49
 
Donnie,
There are a lot of good tools out there but they are not cheap and don't go cheap on them. If you stick with the name brands you will be fine.
One main thing you have to think about is how much room you have. It would be great to get a full size table saw to cut sheets of plywood but if you can fit it. I could not, I have a small garage plus it is a pain to try to cut a full size sheet by yourself. I have two tools to help me with this. I bought a Sawstop table saw that lets me cut up to 30" I think using the fence. I love this saw, very well made, accurate and has the safety not to cut your fingers off. I highly recommend this saw. They have 3 levels of saws you can get. The second tool is the Festool track saw. This is a circular saw that uses an extruded aluminum fence to cut straight lines. I have a 4' rail and a 9' rail. I have used this saw for many more things than just cutting plywood. What is nice, you are not fighting the plywood to get a straight cut. Not cheap but very good saw and has paid itself off many times. For routers I like Bosch and I use Freud for my saw blades and router bits.
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Kingrex
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Re: Wood cutting tools
Reply #5 - 04/22/18 at 16:02:09
 
I break down 4x8 sheets with a skill saw then finish them on my Jet.  A festool track saw will make amazing cuts without having a table saw, but, you want a good stable work bench to support your projects.
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Kingrex
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Re: Wood cutting tools
Reply #6 - 04/22/18 at 16:04:38
 
owe yea, tuning your tools is probably more important than the brand.  For instance, I use link belts in my table saw.  It runs so much more smooth.  I spent hours drilling and taping the head of my drill press to insert nylon screws to take all the wobble out of the quill.  Get a very precise small square and ensure you blades are 90* to the table.
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4krow
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Re: Wood cutting tools
Reply #7 - 04/22/18 at 17:48:57
 
Kingrex,

  I like your thinking, and agree with the concept of fine tuning. At one point i used a blade stiffener with set screws placed around it's perimeter. This would put pressure at exact points to help true the blade. Using a runout dial indicator in the crosscut slot, beside the blade allowed truing to get as accurate as you had patience for. Yes, I am assuming that ALL of the truing of the table, fence, motor, etc, have been done FIRST before truing a blade. When it is all said and done, you have a different animal for exacting cuts. Of course, making these cuts with the proper fence or miter gauge in the first will ensure the accuracy possible with your given set up.
 I am thinking that no matter the runout of a router, the circle guide used is just as important. Lee Valley has some good suggestions for woodworking tools, as well as Wood Craft. I just say it, stay away from Craftsman, Skill, B&D, and the like, but you already have caught onto that.
.......... In my experience Dewalt is more questionable than in the past, which surprised me. I bought a bunch of their stuff, and won't bother again. Milwalkie remains true, as does JET, and maybe Powermatic. There are more of course, and the trouble seems to be that brands can differ over time.
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Archie
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Re: Wood cutting tools
Reply #8 - 04/22/18 at 18:33:28
 
Quote:
I break down 4x8 sheets with a skill saw then finish them on my Jet.


That's what I do, usually with my Stabila levels as straight edges and quick clamps.  I'm lucky in that my 25 year old Delta Contractor saw with a Biesemeyer fence is pretty spot on with essentially zero runout.  I exclusively run full kerf Freud blades.  The heavy plates don't wander in the cuts and Freuds are a consistently high quality blade with superior damping.  Of course, I have a 12 inch Northfield jointer (look it up and drool   Wink ) to clean up the cuts.  Also key is having blades for each speciality.  I use rip blades for rip cuts, high tooth count, triple chip grind blades, for plywood and ultra fine cutoff blades for important crosscuts.  I have a small Dewalt bench saw as my portable job saw and with the same high quality blades, it gives great results -- but it's really too small for shop work.

I firmly believe in getting precision tools right off the batt.  If they need all kinds of fine tuning then they likely aren't worth the effort in the first place.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Wood cutting tools
Reply #9 - 04/26/18 at 21:33:35
 
I know Bob (Zygi or however he spells it) likes the SawStop table saws. The safety on them is amazing, but they are expensive.

I couldn't afford one so i went with a 3HP Grizzly cabinet saw with a roller base. It was...I believe $1179 delivered to my driveway on a sale that I waited for.

I also picked up an Incra router table (used) and router lift (closeout), and a Triton (budget but strong) router.

A good circular saw with guide to break down larger panels as the guys above suggested. Plus a Kreg Pocket Hole Jig setup, and your typical battery operated drills (in my case Bosche). Plus a Glue Bot (glue bottle - I have no idea how I lived without this)

https://www.amazon.com/FastCap-Glu-Bot-Glue-Bottle-Ounces/dp/B0006IUW8G/ref=sr_1...

I can do most anything I need with those power tools. Everything else just makes things easier and/or more accurate or safer. I'd put the most money into the table saw and router as they are the ones you're going to be using the most.
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Archie
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Re: Wood cutting tools
Reply #10 - 04/27/18 at 00:22:50
 
I would add, to what Raven said, that I find a table saw and a jointer as an indispensable pairing.  Being able to straighten a board and clean up a saw cut is impossible for me to live without anymore.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Wood cutting tools
Reply #11 - 04/27/18 at 19:11:26
 
Archie, I agree with that. I don't have the room/funds so I've been working around not having a jointer in two ways.

#1 I have something like a cross-cut sled on my table saw that I can use to produce a very impressive straight edge (basically clamp the wood down to the sled and push it through the blade)

#2 I have an Incra fence on my router table that I can basically adjust like jointer (imagine a jointer on it's side and you adjust one half of the fence for how much you're going to hog off). I can easily "joint" to just over an inch thick stock with my spiral router bit. If I'm not worried about deflection, I could probably go up to 2" with a different spiral bit I have, but I've never needed to.

Anything bigger than what the table saw jig or router bit can handle and I'm wanting for a proper jointer. But that's only come up once or twice for me in the past 10 years. LOL
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Archie
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Re: Wood cutting tools
Reply #12 - 04/27/18 at 19:56:01
 
I used to work with a cabinet shop that didn't join boards but they must have had amazing blades since their cuts were so clean.  He also had a huge sliding table like you describe.  Lots of ways to skin a cat.  I have a 6 inch Grizzly jointer that is pretty accurate and portable.  I rarely use that one anymore unless I bring it on a job.  I have these types of tools on wheels so I can move them out of the way.  Stereos, guns and tools!   Cheesy
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4krow
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Re: Wood cutting tools
Reply #13 - 04/28/18 at 05:28:25
 
I just wish that I had my old shop back. Now days, I work out of a one-holer garage. It seems to double for everything else as well. My tools often end up in the way, regardless of the wheeled bench's etc. But back to accurate cuts. There are times to bring out the Forrest blade and do what it's made for. Most of the time though, I won't use it anything but 'serious' material. I mean wood is fine but MDF and the like, no way.
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Archie
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Re: Wood cutting tools
Reply #14 - 04/28/18 at 18:04:26
 
Quote:
I mean wood is fine but MDF and the like, no way.


IMHO, MDF is the BANE of woodworking!   Angry
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Wood cutting tools
Reply #15 - 05/01/18 at 16:51:27
 
Quote:
Stereos, guns and tools!   Cheesy


And that's why we get along so well. Smiley
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ZYGI
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Re: Wood cutting tools
Reply #16 - 05/02/18 at 15:24:44
 
I just saw this....I hope Donnie has already building more speakers with his tools, what say you Donnie?

I wasn't aware we had so many woodworkers on this forum.....Good to see actually. It seems to be a dying art.

I see a lot of YouTube videos on woodworking, that are just plain laughable. Some have no idea of what they are doing, but make a living publishing videos of which they know nothing about. Sad to think all the people that are watching said videos and and are learning things that they just shouldn't be learning.  But if it gets more people interested in woodworking, all the better.

There are a few good guys out there, and while in it for profit, really do know what they are doing, and show it well.

I don't agree with some of what I've read in this thread, but I am very opinionated with what I do. That said, like someone did mention, there is more than one way to skin a cat, and trust me there is. About every machine is replaceable with another way of doing the same thing. However, for the most part not as good, and definitely not as fast.

I once was very fast at figuring out how to do something with what machinery/tools I had at hand. I don't know if my thinker is slowing, or my jigs are becoming more sophisticated, but I don't have ideas come to mind as I once did. getting old I guess, has a lot to do with it.

If I were to start over again, my first and best purchase would be a good table saw. Hands down the most versatile tool in the shop. A good set of saw blades for the saw. Good starting point would be Forest blades, which I no longer use.

Second a router and a router table, even if the is shop built. But it must be flat.  The Triton router with its built in lift mechanism is a fine router. I have dewalts and Porter Cable routers but right now the Triton is my favorite.

I guess I could go on forever, but I'll stop here....

Zygi
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Archie
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Re: Wood cutting tools
Reply #17 - 05/02/18 at 16:01:48
 
It is interesting to see what tools someone finds indispensable.  It says a lot about what kind of work they do.  Cabinet shops I used to work with always had a table saw, jointer, planer and a shaper.  Then they got into "timesavers" when they got really serious.  For our scale a router table is great but mine sits idle about ten to one compared with my saw, jointer and planer.  But I work mostly on houses!  You generally get what you pay for when it comes to advice.   Wink
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deucekazoo
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Re: Wood cutting tools
Reply #18 - 05/02/18 at 19:56:13
 
"I guess I could go on forever, but I'll stop here...."

Don't stop, I think most of us would love to learn from your experience.

I agree with all you guys. Each tool is specific to the job that needs to be done and should be the best tool you could afford. My parents always had a saying, "we are not rich enough to buy cheap stuff".
For me the 3 main tools I use are the table saw, the router and the planer. I just put on a new head on the planer. I got one of those Shelix heads, a bunch of smaller carbide bits in a spiral configuration. This thing is awesome. A lot quieter and the cut it leaves behind is good enough you don't need to sand the wood. A planer should come with this head as a standard. The down side is that this head was almost as much as the planer itself, but its worth it.  
I think if you have a good table saw, a router and a planner you can get 95% of your basic projects done with great results.
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Donnie
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Re: Wood cutting tools
Reply #19 - 05/02/18 at 22:53:12
 
For me it is Motorcycles, stereos and guns in that order, with small side trips to tools and watches. Tools are how I make a living.
ZYGI,
I haven't built any speakers for a couple of months, lots of travel for work, and a cold February and March spent polishing a aluminum flat head Ford intake to a mirror polish. I love the Zen of taking something from a rough sand casting and making it shiny.
The only tools that I have bought is a Kreg Accucut thingy that helps me make straight cuts and a jig saw.
I'm kind in a transition mode right now, the big bosses want me to move to the E. Peoria area and travel as a corporate trouble shooter. It makes it hard to plan for a new shop here if they force me to move.
Just more upper middle class first world problems.
I am planning on building a Wicked One sub for my Nephew's Pacifica. Nothing like overkill!
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ZYGI
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Re: Wood cutting tools
Reply #20 - 05/03/18 at 22:51:00
 
Donnie...I hope it all works out. Who knows maybe they will dig deep into their pockets and double your salary.

You  might be able to spend more time at Decfest if you do move. We all enjoy your company.

John...First off, how are those speakers coming you are building? Are they done yet Wink

I do have a lot of tricks, so to speak, but they have come from the necessity of what I was doing at the time. Right now I'm finishing up all that is needed to produce the DNA-2's. Spent all day yesterday tuning, cleaning and lubing everything up.

Zygi

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deucekazoo
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Re: Wood cutting tools
Reply #21 - 05/04/18 at 14:07:27
 
No not done yet! Cry
There is always something that gets in the way, but I will get them done! Truthfully I have too many hobbies and there is not enough time in the day. I think I need a 36 hour day to get all my stuff done or win the Lotto.

Right now what got in the way is my kid's car. It decided to start making a knocking noise. He bought he car used so no idea how the previous person took car of it. So pulled the engine and cradle. Bought a used engine and need to replace the oil pump, water pump and the intake gaskets. Pretty much all things that leak or fail with this engine and its easier to do when the engine is out of the car. So still need to do all that, put it back in the car and see if it will actually start and run.
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4krow
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Re: Wood cutting tools
Reply #22 - 05/04/18 at 18:14:59
 
Duece,

  I have found a way to make more time in a day. I use the metric system. It's really easy too. EACH day has 100 hours, period. Placement of the sun and all the other annoying things can now be put aside. You would be surprised how much you can actually get done by noon! It goes without saying that you will be plenty hungry at lunch time too, seeing how it's been about 50 hours since breakfast.
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deucekazoo
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Re: Wood cutting tools
Reply #23 - 05/04/18 at 19:57:15
 
4krow,
I do like the metric system but your hour metric system might be a little hard to get used to. I will try it, lol.
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Grem
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Re: Wood cutting tools
Reply #24 - 08/27/18 at 09:55:36
 
Thread hijacking Smiley

For OB speakers what timber is recommended? Mdf?

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Donnie
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Re: Wood cutting tools
Reply #25 - 08/27/18 at 22:37:54
 
Grem,
I made my OB's from MDF, some make them from plywood. I'm actually thinking about making some from hardwood slabs, I'm thinking that they would be cool. Just make um from what you have available.
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