Rockwell Bladerunner X2
Okay, I don't want to be excommunicated from the Router Forums, but...
I have been searching for tools that I can get the most out of for my small budget and that I can easily use, living in a small flat.
I have been wanting a portable table saw so bad, I could taste the sawdust!
I also wanted to buy my own jigsaw instead of always borrowing my dad's or friend's when I needed one.
I have a scroll saw, a corded and cordless drill, a scroll saw, a bench top drill press, a circular saw, a plunge router/table and just really wanting more.
Well, while searching all over the net, I accidentally ran into the Bladerunner X2 and was like, "WOW! A small table saw and jigsaw all rolled up into one?!"
I read Amazon's reviews, checked Rockwell's site, watched YouTube...came here and read bad reviews-but I can't get the equipment you guys have, or I would.
My first concern was the stupid Stanley miter box I bought, had so much slop in it, and if you aren't careful, things can go awry with a jigsaw.
I went to Lowe's to check it out and I knew way more about the machine than the workers! They didn't know how to change the blade, what blades it used, that it had a dust collector...you name it, they didn't know. I started educating them on it!
But, I told them about my recent experience and my concerns about this unit. They said I could take it home for a test drive and if it didn't meet my expectations, bring it back, no questions asked. I just had to try and find out for myself at that point!
I brought it home (on my bicycle-rear rack-had to buy my first 2 bungee cords lol) and took 2 days to unpack it, just knowing I would be sorry. I have a kitchen island I salvaged and decided to put this thing on there.
I got a piece of particle board, also that MDF board I talked about in another thread, and some 1/2" x 1/2" molding. I decided to have at it and see what happens.
I pulled out the little table clamp, and it "just" fit on my island top. I pulled out my vacuum and the hose actually fit the adapter. I checked the miter gauge and like most table saws, it had some slop in it. I played with it and decided all I have to do is push it toward the inside track wall, while holding the wood.
Whoever said the blade is hard to change must not have understood how to do it. You push the button, pull to the side, put in, release mechanism. To take it out, push button, pull to the side and it pops out on it's own like a bad toaster shooting your toast out. VERY simple.
I set and tightened the 3 parts of the arm mechanisms and turned the vac and the machine on.
I made my first cuts.
The only problem is that for a fine cut blade-it was a little rough. I need to find better blades. A tiny bit of sanding and the burr things came right off.
But anyone who says that thing vibrates too much, NOPE! It stood fast! It even has 2 holes to screw it down if you have a place to do it.
The vac sucked up the dust on the top side. I pulled the clamp off the island top to look under the unit, and there was the pile of sawdust from underneath and I went and sucked all that up, as well. Done.
To check my mitered cuts, I used my combination square and my speed square to test the cut and you can't get any closer to a perfect 45-degree cut than I did! Nice straight and snug. I just held the wood firmly in place and let the saw tell me the speed to go.
I have truly fallen in love with this thing! I all ready cut out my mitered picture frame-by the way, the MDF cut very easily. Only thing I didn't like about the MDF is that the shavings are like that one snowy soap you used to see. But, I have cut my shelves for my bedroom and kitchen all ready.
I have shown this thing off to my dad and friend (owners of the borrowed jig saws) and they were fascinated with the performance, ease of cleanup, portability and so on, of this little thing and the fact it is perfect for me and my flat. They also liked how versatile it is, to allow me to do all kinds of projects. I even ripped 2' boards on it.
If I had a tripod, I would make a video to show you!
It's still sitting on my kitchen island as I write this-I literally had to make my meals AROUND it. LOL That's because I am going to make some wooden shelf brackets, in the next few days, for the 6" x 18" x 1/2" shelves I made out of salvaged/damaged shelves that are fine now that they are cut down. These will fit between a closet door and window without impedance.
As I told my dad, I wish I had a ton of wood to play with now! Send me your scraps, Boys! :grin: LOL
Whatever works. Small spaces really limit your choices. I have read that you want a thick blade. As to the miter gauge fit, some have a threaded insert you can tighten with, or I have used aluminum duct tape to take up the slack. If you're going to cut in your apartment, at least get a decent dust mask, especially with MDF. Thanks for the review.
Blade runner saw
DerSchuhmacher, I have one of these same saws, first edition. They are great for what they are made for. If you do not overload them or ty to cut to fast they do very well. If you trying to cut large material. you will over work the machine. they are more of a hobby saw. If needed to be used on a job for certain items. they are very easy to move and attach to a wall or shelf. As for vibration, I have never had an issue with vibration. My biggest complaint is, I have to remove my hold down arm to cut a larger piece. The 2nd edition has the arm place differently and works much nicer
Good choice. I think it is better to make something with what you can afford than to buy nothing and make nothing. It's the making a creating that keeps me going, not the urge to own the biggest and best.
Congrats . Nothing better than buying new tools , especially if your happy with it ;)
Looking forward to seeing your future projects. I was wondering if you had a first name and could add it to your profile for us :)
Thanks! Yeah, I do have a first name-my mom was finicky about do that! hahaha
I will put it in my profile; I am Cindy. :-)
Thanks! I tell you what, this thing is really good as long as you practice and like you guys are always saying on the forums, learn to master it.
I saw the first edition on line, but I don't like it as well. The arm that is off-set, is there. So you cannot have anything over that far. The arm on this one is skinny enough that it's as wide as the blade. So when I ripped, it literally "veed" the bracket ,or whatever it's called.
My dad also threw $20 my way when we were in Lowe's the other day so I also now own a Swanson 100" track to use with my circular saw.
See, I have always been interested in DIY and had to learn most of it on my own, although, I did get some good pointers here and there over the years. But now that I am in this new flat, I actually feel like it's "home" and so I want to make it "home" and on my budget, it requires me to get creative.
Just for an example, I was measuring and looking for a cabinet for my bathroom. I wanted it 16" to 18" wide, 13"- 15" deep and about 6' or 7' tall-for storage reasons and it would fit perfect in this one spot. Well, to get anything close to it, even the cheap particle board and such is running $269...and UP for real wood. So, I did research here, and decided I can get some decent plywood, do some dado cuts and make my own for well under $100. Perfect!
As for the mask...I thought I should, but I didn't. Then, reading your comment above, I was remembering that one guy talking about getting so ill from the foreign wood...and MDF is definitely got the chemicals in it. I also have had a history of bronchitis and such, so I am definitely going to wear a mask from now on. Thanks for reminding me on this safety issue; wouldn't be cool to add to my health issues.
I was so worried you guys would stone me for making this decision. HAHAHA But, yeah, I can see that as long as I take care of it, and pending that the machine was manufactured with long-lasting parts, I am going to get a lot of fun and satisfaction out of this thing.
Ah man...I dunno, pictures? I am NOT by any means very good at anything...yet! lol
Cindy I have to give you top marks for enthusiasm ,wow! I think it might be old age , as I love this hobby and all , but I don't get very excited about anything anymore lol .
Regarding a mask , I would say it's a must . Do yourself a favour and get a decent one .
That MDF dust is the damnedest thing . If I'm cutting MDF , I'll take my mask off 10 minutes later , and start coughing for the next three days :(
Seems like it lingers in the air forever.
As for pics we'd love to see them . We all had to start somewhere , and although my accomplishments are nothing special , I post them anyways .
Unless you are a professional, the whole point of woodworking is to have fun and get the satisfaction of "I made that"
Please do your entire cardiopulmonary system a real favor, and by that I mean reduce the risk for COPD, heart attack, stroke, etc. and get some N95 face masks. -Dr. Thomas Alton, Ph.D. (not M.D, D.O., etc)
You're starting the way many of us did, with DIY projects. As to MDF, I'd just not use it. You'll never get rid of the dust it kicks out. Stick with plywood with as many layers as possible. The best choice is to use what's called Baltic Birch ply. I know many of the woodworking supply stores, like Rockler in my case, sell it in 30x60 inch sizes. The full size sheets of real Baltic birch are 5 ft square, weigh a lot, have a lot of layers, comes in half and 3/4 inch thickness (well, just undersize cause they're metric). We call that sheet BB, and what makes it really cool is that it doesn't have internal voids that mess up your edges. Cheap plywood has far fewer layers, but those voids are really annoying and force you to cover the edges with frames.
You might enjoy taking some classes at local community colleges. You can make friends there, use the machines, learn where to get material. And as you can tell, woodworkers are a pretty friendly bunch as long as you don't ask to borrow tools. Many will be happy to let you use certain tools in their shops, however. There was a discussion here last year about how frustrated many of us are about not having someone to pass skills along to. Us old guys feel an urge to mentor younger people.
Keeping the air clear of sawdust particles. it's the smallest particles that are the most dangerous. One thing you can do is take a GOOD 20 inc box fan, tape a furnace filter on the intake side and let it run for a couple of hours after each project. Set it near a wall so it creates a circular circulation in the room. This is not a perfect solution, but a mask and this filter will help a lot. Get a filter that takes out small particles.
Making long cuts in ply can also be done with a circular saw and a straight edge. But this takes a little room and throws off a LOT of sawdust. Make the cut with the good face down since the blade rotates up through the ply. Not something I'd do in an apartment, but isn't that what Dad's garage is for? I,d give an eye tooth for my daughter to get interested in DIY and woodwork. Oh well.
I personally have never worked mdf or other composites. I work with soft whit woods and plywood, including baltic birch. Any cutting of any wood by any tool generates dust, the visible sawdust and the the much smaller invisible partible that are particularly dangerous to the cardiopulmonary system as I outlined above. Boing a wheelchair bound paraplegic it is difficult for me to get a good cardiopulmonary workout, so I have top be particularly careful about what I breathe when I generate sawdust or routerdust.
I fully agree that it would be best to stay away from mdf, especially with your history of asthma, something I also have.
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