kpfirrm

Equipping a New Shop

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  At the risk of angering the lovers of all things green, couldn't you just clamp a straight piece of angle iron to the ply (for example) and get the same results with a circular saw sporting a really good blade? (Sorry, the elephant was just too large)

 

Absolutely! A good blade and a piece of Masonite for zero clearance will net as good of cut as any track saw .

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==> At the risk of angering the lovers of all things green, couldn't you just clamp a straight piece of angle iron to the ply (for example) and get the same results with a circular saw sporting a really good blade? (Sorry, the elephant was just too large)

 

 

There is long thread both here on WTO and on FOG as to specifics,but the short answer is no -- it's not the same.  Cut is cleaner and workflow more efficient -- full stop.   You get close, but it's not quite the same.  Is it $500 better -- now that is the question.

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There is long thread both here on WTO and on FOG as to specifics,but the short answer is no -- it's not the same.  Cut is cleaner and workflow more efficient -- full stop.   You get close, but it's not quite the same.  Is it $500 better -- now that is the question.

 

Yeah, I'm sure that it has been debated an great lengths, and probably passionately!  :)  And I think you nailed it when you said, is it worth the extra dollars.  For me, it is.  I've done it both ways, and I hope I never have to go back to the old way.  I'm a little more skilled now, I'm pretty sure I could get better results than when I first started, but I still don't want to go back.

 

And if you look at the original post, I still stand by my response.  He has gotten a Kapex and a Festool router table.  It's already well down the Festool path.  And he has a table saw.  Before, *I* would *upgrade* my table saw, I would get a TS55 and a MFT/3. If I had it to over again, that is what I would have done.

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==> is it worth the extra dollars.  For me, it is. 

 

In most cases, FT/Felder/Mirka/Griggio/LN/Auriou/Snap-on/etc is like that.

 

With the TS-55, part of it is the quality of the cut, part of is is the efficiency of positioning the track (or w/ MFT)...

 

I used the straight-edge, circular saw, high-quality blade method for two decades (the first part as my father's helper) prior having an experienced pro do a large built-in renovation my house.  When I observed his workflow, I realized how much more efficiently you could break-down sheet goods with a track saw.  He worked through about 20 sheets sheets of 4x8 cherry ply with a TS-55 in far less time then my method.

 

The quality of cut is a bit less of a sell -- after all, how often to you leave exposed sheet edges... With a good blade, you can get a decent cut with a circular saw and it may be quite good enough for the project.

 

When you add the riving knife, splinter guard, and DC, plug-it (how many will admit to sawing through the cord) etc you get a much more enjoyable experience --- but is it worth $500?   

 

At the end of the day, FT tons of the things because of the totality of the package...  And most of those are to contractors where time is $$.  So if it didn't offer something, it wouldn't sell to that crowd.  Contractors tend not to buy-into gimmicky.

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At the end of the day, FT tons of the things because of the totality of the package...  And most of those are to contractors where time is $$.  So if it didn't offer something, it wouldn't sell to that crowd.  Contractors tend not to buy-into gimmicky.

 

Great point.  Let me just add this one more thought.  I didn't really grow up around people with tools (or at least people with tools that would be interested in having me help).  So, I didn't know ANYTHING.  I was 30 years old before I owned a saw (of any kind), and the only reason I bought one was because I bought an 100 year old house in Arkansas for $39,000 that needed a lot of work.  This was when Amazon still sold books; Google was in its infancy and Youtube hadn't even been dreamed of yet.  Only access to tools I really had was Lowes and Walmart.  Sure, people sold tools online, but there really weren't a lot of reviews and I just didn't now what I was buying.  I pretty much bought Skil and Black and Decker (I don't even remember Dewalt).  I started off trying to cut plywood by snapping a line and trying to keep the mark on it why I cut it free hand on a couple of saw horses.  Then I had what I thought was a really brilliant idea of using a "straight" 2x4 and a couple of clamps (I remember being very proud of myself).  I would occasionally catch "Norm" on PBS and his "Yankee" workshop, and I dreamed of a shop like he had (guess I still am).  But, I didn't even have an idea of were you could buy tools like he had.

 

Why do I write this?  I had pretty crappy tools and techniques and for me, it was a BAD experience.  So, bad that I pretty much lost the dream of ever really having a workshop or doing woodworking for almost a decade. 

 

Now, times are different.  I have a little discretionary income, and I choose to use that money on tools and building a workshop (not on fancy cars or vactions - but that's my choice) and there is an INCREDIBLE amount of information and DIY type of sites on the internet (btw, can you imagine what Thomas Jefferson or Ben Franklin could accomplish if they lived in a time with these resources?).  Good tools are readily available for those with the money.  Festool are really professional-grade tools.  They help professionals do great work and I've read contractors say that they pay for themselves with time savings (I'm sure some would disagree).  I don't buy them for that.  I buy them because they give me great results, and it makes my time in the shop more enjoyable for me.

 

There are a lot of people that grew up doing construction or woodworking with their dad or uncles, etc.  They learned to do things the "right" way.  And learned tips of the trade.  I truly envy these people. I probably will never have this level of knowledge.  They can take lesser quality tools and do better work than I can with my TS55.  But, I try to tell everyone that starts out, buy the best you can afford, watch a lot of videos and then get in the shop and make saw dust.  IMHO, good tools help make things less frustrating when you start.  A track saw almost feels like cheating to me sometimes.  I just sorta giggle at how easy it is to get nice, clean and dead straight cuts with no tear out.

 

If I would have had these tools when I first started, I'm pretty sure I would have enjoyed it a lot more, and I might not have gone almost 10 years before trying "woodworking" again.

 

That's *my* story, and I'm sticking to it!  :)

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==> can you imagine what Thomas Jefferson or Ben Franklin could accomplish if they lived in a time with these resources?

 

Ben would sure have appreciated match.com :)

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==> I suspect that ole Ben would have been more of a Craiglist kinda guy!  haha

 

I almost went back and changed my post to craigslist (or a few others I could think of) but decided to keep it slightly more 'above board'...  I had one or two choices for Tom, but decided not to go there...

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"I wonder where hobbyist woodworking would be if YouTube, DVDs and the internet hadn't been invented -- I bet far fewer hobbyists..."

I read books - remember them?

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"I wonder where hobbyist woodworking would be if YouTube, DVDs and the internet hadn't been invented -- I bet far fewer hobbyists..."

I read books - remember them?

 

Books... hmmm... those are those things people download to their Kindle and then never read, but instead brag about how big their collect is?

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I love hard copies. Only problem is figuring out where to put them all when your collection starts to build up

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==> "I wonder where hobbyist woodworking would be if YouTube, DVDs and the internet hadn't been invented -- I bet far fewer hobbyists..."

 

is that my quote?

 

While I know folks still read books - I've got several shelves of woodworking books myself -- for any hobby to attract the new generation, there must be some sort of electronic info delivery...  Just the way it is....  

 

As an aside, if I had YouTube, The WWGuild, Charles Neil, etc when I started, I can't imaging how much faster I would have climbed the learning curve and how much better my first projects would have turned-out...  Every time CN published a new video on finishing, I learning something.  It's amazing...

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A picture is worth a thousand words...

If true- a movie is worth a million and a talkie worth even more.

I love my books and I see your point. I would encourage anyone to read but I also think that peer sharing via video sweetens the pot and shortens the process for a lot of people.

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As useful as the videos and tv programs are, I sometimes feel that they make me more of a watcher than a doer. Sometimes watching gives me my fix instead of actually going out to the shop and doing it and that bothers me. Some folks also do this with their shops. I have spent more time thinking and planning my shop than actually working in it these last few years :blink::(  And some folks do this with their purchases.

Karl, buy what you need and just start working with what you have. As your projects evolve and your needs change, buy what you need then. Can't plan for everything ;)

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As useful as the videos and tv programs are, I sometimes feel that they make me more of a watcher than a doer. Sometimes watching gives me my fix instead of actually going out to the shop and doing it and that bothers me. Some folks also do this with their shops. I have spent more time thinking and planning my shop than actually working in it these last few years :blink::(  And some folks do this with their purchases.

Karl, buy what you need and just start working with what you have. As your projects evolve and your needs change, buy what you need then. Can't plan for everything ;)

Wow....have you been looking over my shoulder? I tape PBS every Saturday and usually it's Tommy Mac and Woodsmith - or sometimes Roy and the Woodwright's shop. If I watch that hour's worth, I'm good....no shop...yikes..........'watcher'  :huh::blink:

He's right Karl....LAUNCH!!! and you'll figure out what you need. 

As far as tools though....the little girl on the commercial describes me, "We want more, we want more!!"

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As useful as the videos and tv programs are, I sometimes feel that they make me more of a watcher than a doer. Sometimes watching gives me my fix instead of actually going out to the shop and doing it and that bothers me. Some folks also do this with their shops. I have spent more time thinking and planning my shop than actually working in it these last few years :blink::(  And some folks do this with their purchases.

Karl, buy what you need and just start working with what you have. As your projects evolve and your needs change, buy what you need then. Can't plan for everything ;)

 

It's like you know me........

 

So true...  so very true.

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