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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-06-2012, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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Default Hi I'm Steve

I'm a 48 y/o single male who is going through my mid life crisis. Instead of cars though I have this burning desire to create things with wood.

I took three years of wood shop and two years of metal shop in Junior High School. I never really did much with that knowledge until the last year. I started by building my own workbench which is ok. It's functional and solid.

I realized that it was missing something however. It was missing style. I realized that anyone can slap together something like this but it takes a craftsman to build a real work of art.

I'm not sure I'll ever attain that lofty title of craftsman since this is a part time passion for me so far. I have just about every hand tool made and a few power tools including a drill, 7 1/4" circular saw, portable jig saw, and a hammer drill.

My next purchase is going to be a miter saw and a router which is what led me here.

I've been studying routers for almost 2 months now and feel like I've gotten to the point where I might be able to frame an intelligent question. Almost.

I've chosen a DEWALT DW618PK 12 AMP 2-1/4 HP Plunge- and Fixed-Base Variable-Speed Router Kit with 1/4-Inch and 1/2-Inch Collets. I plan on having my first set of bits be 1/2" because of the power and durability. This is the set I've chosen: Eagle America P19-7002 70pc Price Cutter Router Bit Set 1/2-Inch Shank -

Along with a Porter-Cable 4216 Super Jig - Dovetail jig (4215 With Mini Template Kit) - Porter-Cable and a Bench Dog 40-001 ProTop Contractor Benchtop Router Table - Bench Dog with a set of Whiteside rabbet bits.

I plan on making dressers, chests, and cabinets. I know that's awfully ambitious but it's what I am super interested in. I know there will be a lot of trial and error with safety being my number one concern.

I'd also like to be able to make my trims for areas around the house and to be able decorate what I make. I'd like to get into making some custom furniture for myself too such as a nice oversize couch. I'm a big guy and they just don't make things solid enough for me.

Which leads into another reason why I'm choosing this path. For health reasons I need to get away from my computer and get busy doing stuff. I've already started on this path and done quite a few minor projects around my house and am losing weight and getting stronger. So basically running my small wood shop would be a great extension to keep me busy and active when I'm not at work.

So lastly, and if you've read this far, Thanks! I want to ask what kind of bits I might be missing that I need to get going that may not be included in the set above.

In the meantime I'm going to get back to reading the wealth of information that's already here and many thanks for having this place here.

Best Regards,


Steve
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-06-2012, 07:21 PM
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A table saw would make your woodworking a lot better. You can do a lot with a table saw, especially one that has a good straight fence. I junked my old Craftsman fence and installed a Vega Pro fence and it made my circa 1977 table saw operate like a new one.

Good luck.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-06-2012, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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Default I had a feeling

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Originally Posted by MT Stringer View Post
A table saw would make your woodworking a lot better. You can do a lot with a table saw, especially one that has a good straight fence. I junked my old Craftsman fence and installed a Vega Pro fence and it made my circa 1977 table saw operate like a new one.

Good luck.

That the piece of the puzzle I was missing would be a table saw. I'm going to get both. I'll be adding a miter saw as well. I'm lucky enough to have the space for all of it on my enclosed back patio. Thank you for the reply and the reminder
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-06-2012, 11:09 PM
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Gotta echo Mike on the table saw. I went the circular saw route for a long time and the difference is remarkable. If space is an issue there are a few job site saws that can do a reasonable job but the larger surface of a more permanent cabinet style would serve you better in cabinet making. I'm just about ready to embark on my first big project on a job site grade saw and I'll tell you, I'm already seeing how the smaller surface may be an obstacle. Not that I don't think it can't be done, it's done all the time, it's just that you have to think about how to handle the bigger sheet goods on the smaller top or find an alternate method.

GCG
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-07-2012, 02:55 PM
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For your miter saw you might consider a sliding compound miter saw. These come in various sizes, brand names and price ranges. As this type of saw was one of my earlier purchases, I was unaware of how handy this type of saw would be.

I normally avoid Chinese products but in this case I let cost consideration effect my choice. I bought a 'Chicago' brand (made in China) from Harbor Freight. Discount coupons can be found in most woodworking magazines.

As is my normal practice, I replaced the factory supplied blade with a quality blade. I then added an laser cut line device.

I have no complaints with this saw. It performs well and the laser is a great help.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-07-2012, 04:59 PM
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Yep, tablesaw first. Staying busy in the shop, I lost 10 pounds too.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-08-2012, 01:33 AM
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Hey, Steve; welcome!
On the Tablesaw subject, a mobile base makes the equipment a lot more versatile in that you can push it out of the way when you don't need it, and out into a large open space for breaking down the long and/or wide material.
If you can manage it, a 220V motor is well worth the extra trouble of bringing out a new cct. to the work area. Better for your compressor as well.
Cheers,
-Dan
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-10-2012, 03:56 PM
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@Ben in Cypress - I have the same saw - 12 incher. I do check to make sure it is cutting 90 deg. Sometimes it gets off just a tad and that is probably my fault when moving it around.

I have it mounted on a mobile cart and right now it is out in the driveway along with a temporary table which I just cut some maple plywood on with a circular saw to get it down to a decent working size for the table saw.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-30-2012, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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Default Shop Update

Hey all and thanks again for the advice. I took it to heart and have added the following to my little shop; A Dewalt table saw, compound miter saw, and of course, my router. I picked up a set of Eagle America router bits after much shopping and study I found a set of 70 of them on Amazon for a great price. I also got a Whiteside rabbet side and wow is that a hefty bit.

I started with a set of 1/2" bits since I've read they are more sturdy and easier to learn with. I'm so excited to get started. I did my first cuts today with the miter and all I can say is wow.

I had done some 2x4 cutting with my circular saw and there is no comparison to the miter saw.

I added 4 books to study and reference.

I plan on learning and building cabinets, bookcases, dressers, boxes, and furniture. I look forward to sharing and learning.

Have a great day all
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-01-2012, 06:32 AM
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Steve, I encourage new members to build some boxes to practice and improve their skills without spending a ton of cash. Learning how finish reacts on different woods with small projects isn't the heartbreaker it can be on big projects. Good luck!

Mike
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