Cabinets with minimal tools - Making do... - Router Forums
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-06-2012, 09:15 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Country: United States
First Name: Charlie
Posts: 355
 
Default Cabinets with minimal tools - Making do...

Ran the heater in the shop yesterday to get a feel for how well equipped I am (or ill equipped, as the case may be) to cut panels out of 3/4" plywood for making cabinets for my kitchen. I learned a lot.

#1 My BTS15 is a "hobby" saw at best. The fence isn't square to the blade, there is no miter slot so I can't really make a sliding panel cutting sled, and the sliding table doesn't have enough "slide" to do panel cutting. And the tearout isn't pretty and there's no way for me to make a practical zero clearance throat plate for the BTS15.

Without money in the budget for a new table saw (although I really like the Rigid R4512) I am looking at making do with what I have.

I made circular saw guide from 1/4" hardboard. It produces a clean cut, but repeatability becomes an issue. If I can't accurately position that guide from one piece of wood to another, I get pieces that aren't EXACTLY the same size. They might be only 1/32 off but if it's 1/32 wider at one end and 1/32 narrower at the other, then it's off by 1/16. There's also a tiny bit of "wander" in the cut. It looks really straight to eyeball it, but it's not laser straight. I may be able to cure some of that by simply being much more careful to be sure the saw is staying flat on the guide and tight to the fence.

So now I'm thinking that my guide needs a "fence" on the bottom. Something with "stops" that will allow me to put the guide on a pice of plywood and push the stops up against a reference edge and the guide will be positioned exactly at a set width.

So, for example, if I have a lot of 11-1/2" wide panels to cut, I have a guide made for those panels.

I fully understand that I'm not going to open a cabinet shop this way. I just need to be as accurate as possible and get these cabinets built for my kitchen. I know 1/32 isn't terrible, but I also know I don't want to compound that in the same way over 4 cabinets in a row. Or.... maybe it's not as bad as all that and I'm being overly cautious. These are "cottage" cabinets (although not at a cottage... they'll be in my kitchen) and they'll be painted, not stained. I was thinking about doing these as frameless but I think they'll be getting face frames instead.

I just can't seem to justify $500 for a new table saw plus whatever it would cost for some zero clearance throat plates and probably a new blade (not sure what the Rigid comes with for a blade). I'd be over $600 real easy. That would be a tough sell for the wife I think.

thoughts? I count on you guys. I don't have anyone around me that does this stuff.
reikimaster is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-06-2012, 09:51 AM
Registered User
 
Cochese's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Country: United States
First Name: C
Posts: 859
 
Default

There should be a way to adjust the fence at the back to get is square to the blade, a screw. That'll be your first step. Pulling forward on the fence when you lock it down should help the back not wander.

The next thing you can do is make a panel with a miter slot in it, as the guy in the link below did, and that will lead you to the ability to make a sled. You'll also see how he made his zero clearance insert. Either way you'll get your zero clearance ability.

The first thing you need to do, though, is get a decent blade on there if you're still using the stock one. A Diablo thin-kerf (40T is a good starter) or an Onsrud blade will help tremendously. Won't break the budget either.

When you're ready to buy a 4512, take a Harbor Freight coupon with you and find a store that will accept it. Instant $100 off. Then you'll have your saw, your good blade and a ZC insert will set you back only $27 or make your own. Or there's plenty of good saws on Craigslist for that unless you live in the boonies.

Shop Improvements #3: Ryobi BTS15 Tablesaw Mods - by wolflrv @ LumberJocks.com ~ woodworking community

The 144 Workshop - Ambitious but rubbish woodworking
Cochese is offline  
post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-06-2012, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Country: United States
First Name: Charlie
Posts: 355
 
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cocheseuga View Post
When you're ready to buy a 4512, take a Harbor Freight coupon with you and find a store that will accept it. Instant $100 off.
A Harbor Freight coupon? Where does one find a $100 off coupon from Harbor Freight that relates to a table saw? Or this particular table saw?

thanks
reikimaster is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-06-2012, 10:11 AM
Registered User
 
Cochese's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Country: United States
First Name: C
Posts: 859
 
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by reikimaster View Post
A Harbor Freight coupon? Where does one find a $100 off coupon from Harbor Freight that relates to a table saw? Or this particular table saw?

thanks
20% off coupons are found in Wood, and other magazines every month. It's up to the manager if they take them or not, but it is a competitor's coupon.

The 144 Workshop - Ambitious but rubbish woodworking
Cochese is offline  
post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-06-2012, 10:31 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Country: United States
First Name: Charlie
Posts: 355
 
Default

Hmmmm... just found one in the local paper that came yesterday. If I wanted to use one of these, do you call ahead or do you go in and say "I'll take it if you honor competitor's coupons." ?
Still not sure I could get this one past the wife, but maybe.....
reikimaster is offline  
post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-06-2012, 10:48 AM
Registered User
 
The Warthog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Country: Canada
First Name: Roger
Posts: 413
 
Default

I've bought a number of pieces of used equipment off used for sale sites that I could not have afforded new, and they work well. Try looking for a used saw, there's likely to be a good one sitting in someone's basement looking for a new owner.

Cheers,
Roger


I'm not slow, I'm pacing myself!

Isaiah 44:13 Another shapes wood, he extends a measuring line, he outlines it with red chalk. He works it with planes and outlines it with a compass...

Usual kit: Table saw, band saw, dual base router and table, lathe, various saws, planer, sanders, and a multitude of hand tools.
The Warthog is offline  
post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-06-2012, 11:33 AM
Registered User
 
paduke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Country: United States
First Name: Bill
Posts: 1,184
 
Default

I've used benchtop TS for years in the field. I own a Bosch. Dewalt makes the most accurate followed by bosch and ridgid. While shop accuracy is not automatic the fences on inexpensive BT TS are adequate for your task. When setting your fence dimension, raise the blade full height, measure from blade to fence front and back. Lock fence. If it seems loose there is usually a mechanism to tighten the fence lock on the outfeed end of the fence.
For cross cuts a 12" aluminum speed square as a guide for a circular saw does well.

Inset doors require more accuracy than overlay doors so you might rethink that part of your project.

Grainger sells 1/8" HDPE which could be a simple way to fabricate your insert.

Learning is an exciting adventure
paduke is offline  
post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-06-2012, 11:57 AM
Registered User
 
OPG3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Country: United States
First Name: Otis
Posts: 1,985
 
Default

Charlie, I am fortunate to have a very nice table saw and plenty of room in my shop to get all around it with no problems, but often if I am in need of super-straight cuts in sheet goods such as plywood or MDF; I use a properly clamped straightedge to guide my circular saw along a carefully located route. I keep sharp blades on my saws and often do the cutting with the sheet being cut atop of foam sheathing - which gives the sheet the effect of a ZC insert and minimizes rough edges. It works for me! OPG3
OPG3 is offline  
post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-06-2012, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Country: United States
First Name: Charlie
Posts: 355
 
Default

I just went out there and tried a couple things.
#1 I tightened up the fence.
I still have to use my steel rule to be sure the leading edge of the blade is exactly the same distance from the fence as the trailing edge, but I can get it so it cuts straight. Just have to take my time setting it. It's a little fiddly.

Once I got that done I still had the issue of tearout to deal with. I have some 1/8 inch hardboard. It's actually like a melamine beadboard on one side, and I discovered even THAT was too thick to make a zero clearance throat plate out of. It was proud of the table. So I cut a piece wide enough to support the width of the piece I was cutting and the depth of my saw table (front to back) and laid it on the table on just one side of the blad, tight to the blade, and I TAPED it to the front edge (so it wouldn't push) and the back edge (so it wouldn't swing side to side). I taped it on with blue painter's tape just to try this. Basically it's zero clearance on the "good" side of the blade.

It WORKED! No tearout at all.

The tape on the front edge of that hardboard doesn't seem to affect anything at all. The tape on the back edge, however..... well it catches the plywood. So while I now know it would WORK, I have to find a way to secure the back without coming up over the top edge of the hardboard. Maybe use WIDE tape and run it front to back. Maybe use a wider piece of hardboard and bring the blade up through it so at the back I can just tape it on the waste side of the blade.

With this setup I was able to make 2 panels, about 20 inches long, the same width exactly. Nice clean cuts. I believe this is as good as I'm going to get from this saw. I need to make a bunch of panels for shallow cabinets (side panels 11-1/2 inches by 31 inches tall) and some the same depth but a bit taller (48 tall). And of course the bottoms. I'm reasonably confident I can do those panels now. I have to make one cabinet 18 inches deep and 80-1/2 inches tall. And a couple of base cabinets standard depth. Might have to get creative on those as my saw won't open that wide. Only 4 standard depth base cabinets.
reikimaster is offline  
post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-06-2012, 01:20 PM
Registered User
 
Cochese's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Country: United States
First Name: C
Posts: 859
 
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by reikimaster View Post

Once I got that done I still had the issue of tearout to deal with. I have some 1/8 inch hardboard. It's actually like a melamine beadboard on one side, and I discovered even THAT was too thick to make a zero clearance throat plate out of. It was proud of the table. So I cut a piece wide enough to support the width of the piece I was cutting and the depth of my saw table (front to back) and laid it on the table on just one side of the blad, tight to the blade, and I TAPED it to the front edge (so it wouldn't push) and the back edge (so it wouldn't swing side to side). I taped it on with blue painter's tape just to try this. Basically it's zero clearance on the "good" side of the blade.

It WORKED! No tearout at all.
When the tape loosens, and the hardboard hits you in the head when it touches 'more' of the blade, you'll understand that this is a horrible idea.

Please, go take it off right now. The only things on the surface of your saw need to be items that are bolted or latched to it, or your workpiece. Nothing else, and certainly not touching the blade.

The 144 Workshop - Ambitious but rubbish woodworking
Cochese is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Router Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in











Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Guitar Making is NICE!!!! robwiacek Tools and Woodworking 13 04-07-2013 10:15 PM
Shelves in Kitchen Cabinets berry Starting Off 5 06-17-2012 07:35 PM
Jet Tool/ ToolSelect Review The Bench Dawg Tools and Woodworking 2 11-06-2011 09:15 AM
is it possible to woodwork without 20k in tools? kleptic Starting Off 14 03-23-2008 03:35 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome