Beginner's Ignorance About Choosing Tools - Router Forums
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-28-2013, 05:37 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Country: United States
First Name: Jerry
Posts: 2,645
 
Default Beginner's Ignorance About Choosing Tools

There was a thread started yesterday about reviews on tools. It is now gone into the weeds where nobody but the experts can find it again so I can't post to it, but the thread did make me think about how a person with no experience can possibly know how to pick a new toold. When I needed or least wanted a biscuit cutter I bought one Freud, it works fine, but I don't know squat what a good one is and what a bad one is. The same thing with a palm sander, the local hardware store had a Dewalt when I wanted one, I bought it and it works fine for me, maybe this is because I don't know better, for all I know, from a knowledgable and experienced woodworker both the biscuit cutter and the palm saner are junk and would never be seen in their shop.

There is no answer to what I am alluding to really, the thread that I mentioned just caused me to wonder how I would, as an ignorant beginner ever know what to buy. Over time a person probably will learn from experience what tools are right for what he or she is attempting to do. To me, for the time anyway, the biscuit cutter cuts the slots for the biscuits just fine, it's all it can do so what would a better one do that the one I have do that this won't do. Same thing with the pam sander, what can a palm sander do besides sand.

A good example for me about the learning curve as when I first bought a simple square at the local hardward store for about ten dollars. Shortly after that I bought a copy of the Incra V27 miter gauge and found that it did not come calibrated out of the box. When I tried to calibrate it with the ten dollar square it was apparent that a problem existed. After spending $70 for a Guarenteed Square I was able to calibrate the miter gauge. But in my ignorance I bought the cheap square. I didn't know that it was not sqare when I boutht it, it was square and it should be square.

Perhaps it would be fare to say that learning about such thing is just part of the fun that is associated with leanring about woodworking. Anyway, that's the way I am looking at it and reading the threads and posts on this forum sure has been a great help to me.

By the way, does anybody know of any reason that I should SC the Dewalt palm sand and what should I replace it with????? Same thing with the biscuit cutter and what will the replacements that I can't do now that would make be happier.

Jerry
Jerry Bowen is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-28-2013, 06:31 AM
Registered User
 
cagenuts's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Country: South Africa
First Name: Hilton
Posts: 522
 
Send a message via Skype™ to cagenuts
Default

Jerry, I would say that for a beginner to get a handle of what to buy or not to buy would be to buy a couple of magazines like Shop Notes and read the articles.

Then browse a site like Amazon where the reviews are the best I've come across to establish whether the tool in question is any good.

A bit of discernment is needed though as some people are just idiots by design.

The biggest problem I find is that with the hobby of woodworking is that a beginner rarely realises that it is a very expensive passion. So the advice of buy the best you can afford is initially ignored. Why spend $150 on a Veritas block plane when a Stanley costs only $20. Makes no sense to the noob.
cagenuts is offline  
post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-28-2013, 06:37 AM
Registered User
 
boogalee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Country: United States
First Name: Al
Posts: 502
 
Default

Hi Jerry

Here is a link to the post you referenced.

Framing square = good luck on finding one that is truly square. I use engineering squares.

Biscuit jointer = I have a Porter cable and get less than stellar results. I use the router with a slot cutting bit instead.

Palm sander = You are right , they pretty much sand. I have Bosch, Porter Cable, Ridgid and Harbor Freight and they all perform about the same. I think the key is random orbital and a good quality sand paper. My least favorite is Ridgid because of the switch location. I am always turning it off accidently.

There a lot of choices for tools and it is hard to determine what is right for you. This forum has a lot of people with a lot of tools and can (and will) advise what is best for them. If you can find some where they will allow you to use a tool before you make a purchase it will help in your decision making.

Good luck in your hunt.
Al

Last edited by boogalee; 05-28-2013 at 06:48 AM.
boogalee is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-28-2013, 08:56 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Country: United States
First Name: Jerry
Posts: 2,645
 
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by boogalee View Post
Hi Jerry

Here is a link to the post you referenced.

Framing square = good luck on finding one that is truly square. I use engineering squares.

Biscuit jointer = I have a Porter cable and get less than stellar results. I use the router with a slot cutting bit instead.

Palm sander = You are right , they pretty much sand. I have Bosch, Porter Cable, Ridgid and Harbor Freight and they all perform about the same. I think the key is random orbital and a good quality sand paper. My least favorite is Ridgid because of the switch location. I am always turning it off accidently.

There a lot of choices for tools and it is hard to determine what is right for you. This forum has a lot of people with a lot of tools and can (and will) advise what is best for them. If you can find some where they will allow you to use a tool before you make a purchase it will help in your decision making.

Good luck in your hunt.
Al
I probably should have started this thread four years ago when I first started to get interested in woodwowrking. Now that I have spent over $12,000 on tools and material, mostly tools of course, I probably won't be spending much more. A lathe is going to by my next purchase and that won't be right away if ever. It's the the little gadgets that I'm really a sucker for, but can't live without like the Wixly angle tools, both the one for the TS blade and one just for angles, an extra dial caliper just because, self centering bits, etc. etc., you all know what I'm getting at don't you.

Yes, woodworking, like anyother hobby can get expensive, but no more than photography for example, and a lot less that boating or flying. Like anything else, what I have learned in my short time at the hobby is that the more I find out about the less I know, there is, fortunately, no end to it.

Jerry
Jerry Bowen is offline  
post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-28-2013, 09:55 AM
Moderation Team
 
Cherryville Chuck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Country: Canada
First Name: Charles
Posts: 15,899
 
Default

Jerry for machine setup, I recommend these squares Engineer's Squares - Lee Valley Tools from Lee Valley of course. I think that everyone should have one of their catalogs. Even if you don't buy from them, the tool descriptions usually describe what the important features of the tool they are selling are which gives you a better idea of what you should be looking for. That is most ly for the hand tools. Lee Valley just started selling Festool but those are a little pricey for most of us.

Like Hilton said, Amazon has lots of reviews for most tools and is a good place to start. If there are a few commercial shops in the area you might be able to find out what they are using for sanders, routers, drills, chop saws, etc and see how they are working for them. BTW, I have a PC biscuit joiner and I get very good to stellar results with mine. I'm not sure why Al doesn't. I worked in a factory that used DeWalt and they were very good too and seemed a little more powerful.

As for the lathe, I've had one for 15 years approximately. I look at them like I do at dry wallers or floor covering installers. It is something with a learning curve that requires time put in to master. Either that or I am just not getting it when it comes to that machine. If you look at the guys that are good at it, like Bernie, they put a lot of time into it. At least that's my experience and opinion. BTW, I bought a Delta variable speed for about $600 and I would consider it bottom of the line. Heavier and more solid would be better.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
Cherryville Chuck is offline  
post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-28-2013, 10:06 AM
Registered User
 
cagenuts's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Country: South Africa
First Name: Hilton
Posts: 522
 
Send a message via Skype™ to cagenuts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherryville Chuck View Post
Jerry for machine setup, I recommend these squares Engineer's Squares - Lee Valley Tools from Lee Valley of course. I think that everyone should have one of their catalogs.
I ended up buying one of their Veritas Precision Squares.

My $70 (landed cost $100) square from INCRA was off a bit.

That little Veritas may be useless in terms of woodworking but using it to check table saw blades etc is worth the expense.

I've ordered an expensive Starrett 12" combo as well.
cagenuts is offline  
post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-28-2013, 10:49 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Country: United States
First Name: Chris
Posts: 1,298
 
Default

over $12,000?

holy crap ...

i'm at MAYBE $500, and fighting spending any more every step of the way.

... i realize that you get what you pay for, and i know that my tools are neither easy to use nor terribly accurate. but heck fire, back in the day, they didn't have all this high-tech stuff people say they need nowadays, so what i have can't be THAT much worse than the stuff they used back then ...

... then again, they actually knew HOW to get the most out of the tools they had as well ... unlike me ...
Chris Curl is offline  
post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-28-2013, 11:15 AM
Registered User
 
MikeMa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Country: United States
First Name: Mike
Posts: 1,041
 
Default

Also something to consider, is that a lot of beginner woodworkers are those who have a small compliment of tools for home repair. I know when I started buying tools that was my focus, though in the back of my mind I knew I would start woodworking. Budget and space at the time limited me to what I could buy. However, as I have gained skill and experience I have gone through and replaced most of those tools I bought back then. Hind-site being 20/20 I wish I had gotten contractor style table saw and a floor model jointer, rather then the benchtop/jobsite ones I did buy. The cost difference wasn't that extreme. The bandsaw, I started out with a 9", and ended up with two 9" till the Delta broke in a similar manner as another poster described. I don't regret the small band saw. I was very active as a cub scout leader and for our pinewood derby workshops I would transport those around frequently, something I could not have done with my 14" bandsaw.

For the beginner, sometimes they have to make the costly mistakes to learn what it is that they do need. Lets face it, some of us our stubborn and despite what we read or are told, we get what we "know" we need instead. In a woodworking chatroom I participate in, we frequently get people asking us about what table saw to purchase. If there goal is to produce fine furniture, we try to recommend at a minimum a contractor (cast iron top, belt driven motor) but ask that they consider a cabinet saw if budget will allow. Sometimes they go with what we recommend, other times they get a "beginner" saw for $200.

-Mike
Visit my woodworking blog: http://madermadeit.com/
MikeMa is offline  
post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-28-2013, 11:22 AM
Moderation Team
 
Cherryville Chuck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Country: Canada
First Name: Charles
Posts: 15,899
 
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cagenuts View Post
I ended up buying one of their Veritas Precision Squares.

My $70 (landed cost $100) square from INCRA was off a bit.

That little Veritas may be useless in terms of woodworking but using it to check table saw blades etc is worth the expense.

I've ordered an expensive Starrett 12" combo as well.
$70 and it wasn't square? I bought one of the 3" machinist's squares for setting table saw and jointer fence. I don't think I've ever used it for woodworking either. I may get a 4 or 5" for checking chop saws yet. The 3" isn't quite long enough and most others are too long to get below the guard. I like the wide base on them, they will stand by themselves which makes them a little easier to use.

If the Starrett you're getting is the one with the centering head and protractor head I envy you. Beautiful tool but pricey. I have a cheap version and as the saying goes, you get what you pay for.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
Cherryville Chuck is offline  
post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-28-2013, 11:58 AM
Retired Moderator
 
Mike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Country: United States
First Name: Mike
Posts: 11,921
 
Send a message via Skype™ to Mike
Default

Rocklers heavy duty plastic triangles work fine for most set ups. http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?p...1&site=ROCKLER

Mike
"Living in the D" (this means Detroit!)
"It's fine to disagree with other members as long as you respect their opinions"
Mike 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
A suggestion from Maurice harrysin Woodturning and Lathes 48 12-08-2013 09:16 AM
All about Power Tools iconlife Tools and Woodworking 10 08-13-2012 12:09 PM
Newbie needs help choosing tools? bsturpin Tool Reviews 13 07-11-2012 10:00 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