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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Sorry I didn't introduce myself prior to posting in another area.
I'm Rob, my wife Christine. We hope to make some new internet friends along this woodworking journey
Been involved in plastic extrusion, co-extrusion for many of my working years.
I don't have much experience with power tools other than a skill saw, but excited to get into the woodworking hobby and learn as I go.
Our interest began when looking at signs and country style corner shelves etc.
This is what lead me here to the router forum.
I'n our spare time we have been watching many youtube video's which has been really helpful in making this decision.
My plan is to purchase everything I think will be of use prior to dedicating a space of unknown size initially.
I do have some fear of power tools, therefore, need to make good decisions on good tools along with safe operation with any tool I purchase.
I will post the things I purchase along the way and hope to have something going this summer.
The plan was to have some space in the basement but plans have changed since my daughter will be staying for another year or so with the 2 kiddies.
My plan is to have a shed built until I get my basement back. Not really sure of a size just yet. More than likely just a wood build and possibly 8x10 if I can just stick to bench type tools.
If I ask any stupid questions, please let me know. I will try to do my research properly prior to asking.

Looking forward to interacting with many of you here.
Thank you for having us,
Robert and Christine
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Welcome to the forum. Would like to see this plastic stuff you do , sounds interesting
Since retiring I threw most of the samples and few spools of trim away that I should have hung onto. Started out producing OEM body side moldings for the big 3 automakers here in Canada throughout the 70's into the early 90's. After body side moldings were pretty much gone, the only lines running were aftermarket stuff, like door edge, wheel well trim etc.
Also ran some PVC furniture trim lines, T-edge extrusion with the chrome/brass/gold mylar edge with woodgrain down the center. Some folks may recall older furniture with this type of edging around coffee tables, kitchen tables etc.

We also did ABS extrusion for the appliance industry, Camco here in Canada at the time. Trim around the refrigerator and freezer doors, early microwaves for the Hot point plants and several others.

Prior to retiring, was in an injection mold shop, set-up- running injection mold machines, OEM plastic door panels, consoles, front and rear fascia molds and what not, then went to paint.
If I do find a couple pieces laying around I will post them.

Rob
 

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Hi, and glad you two are joining in the fun. I've done DIY all my life and helped my dad keep an old farmhouse standing when I was a kid. I am afraid of power tools too, which is why I am extremely careful to think through how I'm going to use it. I also use push blocks and featherboards, never wear long sleeves around saws, and remove my wedding ring. There are lots of safety methods and devices, and one I recommend is called a Grripper.
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You can get it at just about any woodworking store.

At the end I've attached a pdf of the 18 or so things I've learned that accellerated my learning curve for woodworking. It includes pictures and hopefully it will save you some expensive lessons. I bought my tools over a few years when I was at the peak of my earnings. I overdid it.

First of all, There are several essential tools that I don't think you should scrimp on.is a table saw. I finally gave up on an "adequate" table saw and got a Laguna 10inch "fusion" saw. 1.75 hp at 110 volts, convertable to 220. Got mine for $10% off and I truly love using that saw. Laguna is located in Texas so you'll be able to get it serviced if ever necessary.

Next tools I use a lot is a WEN model bench style drill press. I ordered mine online and picked it up at Home Depot. Great return if there's a problem and it gets better handling and arrives intact.

It is tempting to buy a chop saw or sliding miter saw, but I think it's not really necessary if you have a decent circular saw and use a "speed square" to cut to length. Cut a bit long and clean it up on the table saw. I have settled in on a Freud 10 inch, full kerf (1/8 th thick) Glue Line blade. This thing is the best general purpose blade I've used. Baby butt smooth cuts.

Router. Impossible to beat the Bosch 1617 EVSPK router kit. It comes with both bases you need, and the best customer service in the business. They also have an inexpensive under table mount for it. I suggest as a first project, I suggest you look up a youtube video on making your own router table top. It's not very complicated. You will need a router mounting plate (aluminum is best). I suggest making it in two layers, 3/4 on the bottom, 1/2 on the top. Cut the opening for the plate in the top, and a smaller opening on the bottom layer. Leave about a half inch lip. You level the plate with screws coming up from underneath, or with levelers you can get from Kreg.

I have a big 14 inch Laguna band saw, but really don't use it all that often, but my little WEN with a 72 inch blade is my go to for lots of little jobs. It comes as a table top or with legs. It is identical to the more expensive Rikon. Same with their drill press

The 18 things pdf goes into a lot more detail, but among your very first purchases should be a sawdust collection unit. Sawdust, especially the ultra fine particles, once they get in your lungs, stay there. I have settled in on the units made by Harbor Freight, which are often on sale pretty darn cheap. But to make it work properly, you need a Super Dust Deputy, which is a "cyclone" that spins the sawdust around so it falls into a bucket. You'll need hoses to make it work, and the cloth filter is useless. If you use the cloth filter, roll the unit outside. The cyclone is called a chip collector, but it catches almost all the sawdust so the filter doesn't fill up fast. Here's a picture of my setup with a 1 micron filter on top of the DC unit. I put it in a small separate area so the noise is less. Very easy to run a pipe through the wall, with a power plug, and with an on/off switch outside. Here's a picture of a simple version. and of my setup.
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One other thing you should consider getting right away is a good quality block plane. This is a small hand plane that is wonderful for fixing little problems, "breaking" sharp edges, cleaning up a cut. and uses you'll discover. Another item that is important in woodworking is a top quality set of chisels, and the stuff to sharpen them, which can be half a dozen grits of wet/dry sandpaper and a flat plate glass block. Dull chisels ruin projects and are dangerous. Sharp chisels are a wonderful thing to use.

There is a lot more in the pdf.

I'm now 79 and have health issues, and I've been slowly coming around to selling my gear to someone who will use it. I live in California and you'd need a good size truck with a lift gate and lots of tie downs, but it sounds like you two might just be someone who will put it all to very good use. It's a treasure trove. We used to have a couple who worked together. She made signs and stuff she sold, he did more conventional woodworking. Miss them.
 

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Hi Rob, I spent a few years working for a plastic extrusion company a few years back.
They started of making various extrusion for their caravan (trailer - USA) production line..
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Hi Tom,

Sometimes their just isn't enough words to show how much we truly appreciate you taking the time to post and share your valuable experiences with us.
My wife and I read through this together, the added PDF is extremely helpful as well, very informative and straight forward.
We now have a much better understanding of the different types of machines and tools that will certainly help when making decisions on future purchases.

Its funny, about a year or so prior to retiring, my wife and I were just looking at routers, bits, along with the accessories.
I also knew I would like a couple saws, yet always had the fear factor holding me back. I'm finally getting past the heavy fear that I once had ( lack of self confidence played a role in that as well ) in order to get us to the point we are today.
We are constantly looking at power tools, wood burning/carving etc, just to find what we would truly love to do together.

I suppose it has been close to a couple years ago now that we began getting interested in the hobby while I was coming up on retirement. We set aside a budget and saved a little at time each month. Our budget was set to $1500. at that time, we continuing to save where we could as we knew many little items start adding up. Just a good set of chisels and clamps seem more expensive now.

Now I soon realized, the hand tools and power tools are so much more expensive now and our $1500 budget was soon to run out . Although we did purchase the cordless dewalt router, plunge tool, brass bushings, a larger battery a couple sets of bits, along with some forstner drill bits.
Needless to say we now have to come up with a new budget.

Your post along with the excellent PDF attachment has really helped us out tremendously for putting together a new budget for tools. Again, we truly appreciate the time you spent with posting this.
I'm sure once we get going, my wife Christine will certainly come on board here and will be joining in the fun as well.

We have a busy weekend ahead of us, at some point next week, my wife and I are going to come up with a new budget and prepare a list of tools we would like to purchase from the information you provided to us.

We truly appreciate your time and input Tom!
Rob and Christine
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi Rob, I spent a few years working for a plastic extrusion company a few years back.
They started of making various extrusion for their caravan (trailer - USA) production line..
Hi James,
We are happy to connect with you. I really enjoyed my working years around plastics. The summers in the plant were stifling hot on some days, but certainly nice a warm in the winter months.
 

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Hi Tom,
Your list of 18 items was most interesting. I have been doing some woodworking for a few years now, and found very good and useful information in your suggestions. Thanks for the time and effort.

I have continued to have some of my most difficult time trying to break down large sheets of MDF or plywood. I have done it on my table saw, but that is extremely difficult for me. The wood is just too heavy and getting a square cut is a chore.

Do you happen to have an opinion about using a factory produced straight edge and a circular saw or a plunge saw for breaking down large sheets of plywood? I tried a couple of times to use a home-made straight edge and circular saw or a straight metal bar and circular saw, but often did not acquire a square cut. Assuring the straight edge was located the same distance from the edge of the board, despite what I thought was careful measuring with a tape measure, was nonetheless inaccurate.

Thanks for your viewpoint.

Marvin Felli, north Texas
 

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Hi Marvin, Maybe I can help here. First, I don't use much mdf. I like my lungs, MDF hates them. But large sheet goods are interesting to break down.

A skill saw with a straight edge is good, but instead of buying a commercial straight edge, you can use the outer edge of a sheet, which is very straight unless it's warped, which is pretty rare. If I buy sheet goods from Home Depot or its equivalent in Canada, I always pull my sheet from a couple of layers down. I also go for as many layers as I can find.

To cut large sheets, I generally lay it down on a 2 inch thick piece of insulating foam. Don't set the blade too deep or it will chop up and make the surface unusable. You can put something like aluminum duct tape across cuts to hold the sheet together. Or you can use a straight edge guide to cut the edge off about six inches wide.
Office supplies Writing implement Tool Font Stationery


Get the one made for your circular saw brand. It will cut a reasonably straight second edge. But what you're going to do for really straight cuts is to take that factory edge on a 4 inch wide strip you just cut, and lay it on a second, fairly straight piece as shown in this illustration. Attach it with screws and glue if you want. Leave a wide ledge wider than the width of the saw's base from the outside, to at least half an inch past the distance to the blade. Place the saw against the known, factory straight edge and run the saw carefully, making sure it stays on the factory edge the whole way. It will look like this when complete:
Slope Wood Rectangle Font Parallel


The blade, tracking the straight edge, will cut a nice straight edge that will be as good as any commercial setup. Drill a big hole in the end to hang it straight. You can use half inch ply if you wish, 3/4 gets heavy. And if you want it really nice, use quarter inch high density fiberboard (Masonite) for the base. So long as the straight edge is there, your cuts will always be straight.

Getting the cuts square is sometimes a challenge. If you have a factory edge, you can measure and mark the cut line. Then lay the jig right on those marks and you're going to get a pretty square cut. You could also use a bit T square, such as what you use to trim sheetrock. But not all of them are perfectly square, and they need to line up on a factory edge. But they're pretty cheap and if you take a GOOD, ACCURATE engineer's square with you when you select it, you can pick the very best one. I am very fussy about such things and an engineer's square on Amazon is pretty cheap and you'll find other uses for them. You line the cutting edge of the jig to the edge of the Square. Here's the sheetrock square.
Rectangle Parallel Circle Font Pattern

You can find these in 54 inch length, or 48 inch. I'd get the longer one

One more thing. You can cut square as you might, but if your saw blade isn't eactly 90 degrees to the base of your saw, you will play heck getting anything assembled. So it's critical that you take the time before breaking sheets down, to make sure the blade is exactly 90 as measured across the surface of the blade. Make sure you sweep away the sawdust, it can get under the saw's base or between the saw and the straight guide and throw you off. BTW, the jig edge you cut will also reduce tearout., but you might want to work from the back side of your sheet so the blade is cutting up, into it. You can also lay down and press down a strip of green painter's tape and cut through that, which will help reduce chipping on the upper surface.

There are saw blades with many teeth for cutting plywood. Get full kerf blades. They're more rigid and don't deflect.

Last thing, I'd also make a 60 inch version of this jig for cutting across the shorter dimension. Very much easier than using the long one for shorter cuts.

And, drill holes in the end of your jigs so you can hang them up against a flat wall, which will help keep them straight. Don't use MDF for this jig, if it gets wet, it's no longer straight.

BTW, my mom was born in Canada in 1906 and grew up in Montreal and Quebec. Interesting to watch the goings on there.
 

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Tom,
Thanks for the suggestions. I will attempt to build the guides as you have suggested. I don't have an engineers square, but will get one. I will attempt to find a drywall square as in your picture. I have been using one for awhile, but it is not quite square. Using the suggested engineer square with the next one I buy will certainly help.

I have pasted your instructions into a word document and stored them in my computer.

Thanks for your time and suggestions.

Marvin Felli, north Texas
 

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Tom, I will try to get the 1/4 inch fiberboard. Do you glue and screw the rough side of the fiberboard or the smooth side of the fiberboard to the factory straight edged 4" board?
And how long is the long one? 96"?

Thanks for your help.

Marvin Felli, north Texas
 
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