Help at upgrading my shop


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Hi Guys, In a couple weeks I'll be buying some new tools to make things easier in the shop and I would like some advice and opinions.

Of course money is a big issue with the tools I buy, So basically I'm looking for the best bang for the buck.

I have a Delta 6" bench-top Jointer that has served me well, But the bed is short and the blades are dull nicked up. Instead of replacing the blades/sharpening them..

I was considering a Ridged 6" Jointer to replace the old Delta, I like the 45" bed length and the $430 price tag.

http://www.ridgid.com/Tools/JP0610-Jointer/

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Right now I usually sand edges by hand and I use my drill press with a spindle sanding attachment for sanding inside curves.

I think the Ridged oscillating edge sander / spindle sander ($200) will be a good addition to my shop for obvious reasons.

http://www.ridgid.com/Tools/Oscillating-Edge-Belt--Spindle-Sander/EN/index.htm

Ridgid-2-in-1-Oscillating-Edge-Belt-and-Spindle-Sander.jpg

I have a Ridged table saw, and my miter gauge is not exactly accurate, so I use it as least as possible, lol.. I definitely want to get something better.

I was considering Incra's Miter 1000SE ($130)

http://www.incra.com/product_miter1000se.htm

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My router table fence is one of those build it yourself kits, it's been good, But it's time to upgrade to something more speedy and accurate.

I would like to buy the Incra LS Super System, I'm not sure whether to get the 17" ($362) or the 25" ($400)

http://www.incra.com/product_rtf_lssuper.htm

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I would like to get a router lift, but I have a older Roybi 2HP router that probably won't fit a lift..

At a minimum I will buy a new router base plate, I like the Incra Solid Aluminum MagnaLOCK ($80) But I'm not really sure if that's the one to get..

http://www.incra.com/product_rta_mlp.htm

RTI-INC_big.jpg

So anyway I'm not set on buying any of these particular tools and I'm not partial to any brand over another.

Please give me some advise and or alternatives for around the same prices or better yet cheaper..

Thanks!

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Hey there RP, you have some good choices there. I know lots of folks that have that Ridgid jointer and are pretty happy with it. One thing that you might want to do is ask the folks at HD when it is going to goo on sale again. I know that plenty of people have bought that same one for a lot cheaper. I think it goes on sale a few times a year. Another place that you might look for a good deal is, and you may not be interested, is craigslist.org. There are plenty of good deals if you are willing to put the time into looking and waiting.There are also some good search tools for it like www.Searchtempest.com and crazedlist.org. To use crazedlist you need to use FIrefox and make some changes to its configuration, but it gives you directions on how to do it. Both are good tools to search more than your local area on criagslist.

I think that you are spot on with the miter gauge. I have a Kreg, and I do wish that I would have gotten the Incra. Sometimes that goes on sale for about $99. I am waiting for a good deal and I may end up switching.

I think that you also have picked the right tool when it comes to OSS. For benchtop models anyway. I have that same sander and love it. There are also several other folks around here that have the same one and love it. For the price and function, there just isn't a better deal. Dust Collection is said to be pretty good on it when using the spindles, and just so so when using the belt, but I am fine with that. That little belt comes in handy sometimes

As for the router fence, I also have the Kreg for that too. It is a nice fence, but if I were to do it all over again, I would go with the Woodpeckers Super Fence. I have seen this fence at a few woodworking shows, and I just think that it is a better setuo than the Kreg. Not sure what you have for space in your shop, but that fence is pretty big. I am sure that it is a nice fence, I cannot say for sure because I have never used it or seen it. Here is a review of the Super Fence from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pu4uzwXVUMc.

As for the router plate, make sure that you check the compatability list to make sure that you can mount you router to the plate. If it uses a standard Porter Cable screw pattern, you should be fine. But you want to make sure that it will fit, before you but it and have to send it back. And make sure that you check the size of the plate as well to make sure that it will fit in you current table. There are two different sizes out there.

Good luck with all your purchases and make sure you let us know what you decide to do. And we like pics too..

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I have the Ridgid jointer and it works great. Although I don't have one, I have also heard a lot of good things about the Ridgid OSS.

As for the miter gauge, would you use it often for angled cuts, or would it be set at 90 degrees 99.99% of the time? If the latter, I would just build a sled and spend the $130 on a Starrett square or a Bridge City kerfmaker or something.

-- Russ

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I too will say you can't beat the Ridgid OSS. I love mine. Once and a while they go on sale for $150.

I also have the ridgid jointer, and it has been pretty good to me. (Aside from taking a dime size piece of flesh from the middle finger of my right hand. - Long story, but suffices to say haste makes waste... or take your time and be safe or you'll be sorry.) My issue with the Ridgid is that it is really top heavy, and the base isn't really wide and robust. Let me say that it's not likely to fall over in the wind or anything like that, but I would also be really hesitant to put it on a mobile base. The dust collection works well, and if you keep the blades sharp, she'll definitely do the job. You may also want to look at Grizzly G0604X. My neighbor has theirs and it was ony about 100 bucks more. He likes it a lot and to be truthful the base does feel more solid. It also seems to be more snipe-free. If I had to do it again, I'd probably get that one. 100 bucks over the lifetime of the tool isn't that much in my mind. Incidently, my neighbor's Grizzly G0604X did get top tool in Wood magazine's March 2009 issue, but my Ridgid got Top value... so there you go.

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I’ve had many of the same struggles as you after the holidays with extra gift cards and cash lying around, HA HA. I have recently started to move into the Ridged brand tools mainly because of the price but have really liked the tools. The one thing I see with the jointer is it doesn’t have wheels, this may be a fixed tool in your shop but in mine (basement shop) I have to wheel the jointer in and out.

I have the Ridged spindle sander but don’t use it all the much. The “edge sanding” belt is limited and I haven’t found or had a really good use for it. It feels as if it was just kind of add on to be different from the other spindle sanders. O well, better to have it than to not. It’s a dust collector in my shop… but got a refurbished one at a wood show for a song ($130.00 and I think it has the life time warranty).

I think the sled is the way to go to upgrade your miter (I have the Dubby Sled). I know its list price is more but there is added advantage to the sled over the miter. Once it is set up and cut to your table saw it acts as a zero clearance and shows you exactly where the blade is going to cut before its cut. Set up is easy and repeating cuts is a breeze, which is something I utilize on every project.

http://www.in-lineindustries.com/single_dubby.html

Have you considered or have the Kreg pocket hole jig? I know that is the hot “new” thing (and your traditionalist will poo, poo you), but simply said that took me from Stone Age to working like a professional.

Along with the pocket hole jig I recently built an assemble / pocket hole / clamping station. I have caster on all four corners which gives me 360 degrees, I added Kregs T-track and Kreg clamps on two of the four sides, a mini shop vac inside, 37” x 31” X 1.5” thick table top, large and deep drawer, raised panel doors for fun (and practice) built to the same height as the existing benches… if the table saw is the Grandfather of the shop then the clamping table is that cute secretary you "can't" live without… just some other ideas, didn’t intened to go on about my stuff just some more ideas.

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Thanks for all the replies fellas!

It Looks like the Ridged Jointer and OSS is the way to go for my budget, So I will cross those off the worry list!

To answer some questions and comments..

Every project I do is different, from small boxes to large entertainment centers.

I use all different lumber, But I really enjoy using wood that I recycle from discarded old furniture, old drawers, ripped up wood flooring, etc..

There's something almost magical(to me) with taking old crap headed for the dumpster or fire pit and turning it into or a part of a beautiful piece of furniture.

I have a large shop so there's plenty of room for whatever I buy no need for wheels.

That Woodpeckers Super Fence looks very nice, But I am definitely impressed with the Incra fence system because of the added dovetailing(is that a word?) it will add to my shop. At this point I'm still undecided because it is pricey..

I do have a old craftsman cast iron I beam radial arm saw that I use for cross cutting and squaring up boards, But It only has a 18" cutting length. Right now if the board is longer than 18" I just flip the board over and cut it from the other side. This is not exactly speedy work and sometime a real pain in the butt..

I also have a Ridged 12" miter saw that I use for angle cuts, but it can only cut about 12" straight across and less for angle cuts. Also it can only cut about a 7"-8" tall board (rough guess)

So basically anything larger than those dimensions I would need to use a miter gauge/sled on my table saw for faster more accurate work.

Solid Oak, I do have the complete kreig pocket hole jig system, It's the first model they made, no dust collector and some other short commings compaird to the new model, but it gets the job done.

I would really like to see Your pocket hole / clamping station, Got pics?

I'm considering getting a router lift and new router to fit it, but I would have to buy miter gauge further down the road. Any suggestions on a good bang for the buck setup?

I will definitely try to wait for sales on these tools.

Thanks again everyone for the advice and suggestions!!

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I would really like to see Your pocket hole / clamping station, Got pics?

I'm considering getting a router lift and new router to fit it, but I would have to buy miter gauge further down the road. Any suggestions on a good bang for the buck setup?

I too would like to see some pics of that station. As for the bang for your buck router lift, you should checkout the Rockler lift. My father-in-law has it and seems to be very satisfied with it. A lift is also on my list of upgrades. I think that I will be getting the Woodpeckers PRLV2. I know that it is a higher cost, but it really is a nice lift. They really make a nice product.

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The Rigid jointer is great, I've had one for three years now. BUT, I'm really wanting something bigger - 8 inch at least. I somewhat regret buying the Rigid new as there are an absolute TON of used 6 inch jointers on CL all the time for a couple hundred bucks. At some point I'll sell off mine for a couple hundred towards the bigger machine. There are hardly ever any 8" + machines used except for the occassional 2 ton aircraft carrier built it 1890 <g>.

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I too would like to see some pics of that station. As for the bang for your buck router lift, you should checkout the Rockler lift. My father-in-law has it and seems to be very satisfied with it. A lift is also on my list of upgrades. I think that I will be getting the Woodpeckers PRLV2. I know that it is a higher cost, but it really is a nice lift. They really make a nice product.

Thanks Sac, wow woodpecker's router lift is very nice and the fact you can instantly raise the router above the table to change bits would definitely speed up things in my shop, I might just have to bite the bullet and buy that one..

The Rigid jointer is great, I've had one for three years now. BUT, I'm really wanting something bigger - 8 inch at least. I somewhat regret buying the Rigid new as there are an absolute TON of used 6 inch jointers on CL all the time for a couple hundred bucks. At some point I'll sell off mine for a couple hundred towards the bigger machine. There are hardly ever any 8" + machines used except for the occassional 2 ton aircraft carrier built it 1890 <g>.

I never really liked the idea of buying used lower/mid grade power tools because even if they look nice, you never know if the motors were abused, but that's just me..

Thanks again fellas!

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I agree with thejointer, I have the older style and have had no problems at all. The one thing I will say is seriously think 8" first, when I bought mine 8" jointers weren't all that common but I sure wish I had one.

I have the incra router fence and love it for the jobs where many dovetails are required otherwise I do them by hand, but no matter what I love the fence.

The router plate looks nice and convenient with the magnet! I have a router lift and love it but I did just fine without it for 14yrs, you have to decide were the money is best spent. The only thing I will suggest is staying away from inserts that screw in, they are ok but after getting away from them now I would never go back.

Nate

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I agree with thejointer, I have the older style and have had no problems at all. The one thing I will say is seriously think 8" first, when I bought mine 8" jointers weren't all that common but I sure wish I had one.

I have the incra router fence and love it for the jobs where many dovetails are required otherwise I do them by hand, but no matter what I love the fence.

The router plate looks nice and convenient with the magnet! I have a router lift and love it but I did just fine without it for 14yrs, you have to decide were the money is best spent. The only thing I will suggest is staying away from inserts that screw in, they are ok but after getting away from them now I would never go back.

Nate

Thanks for your comments Nate,

Believe me I have thought about the 8" jointer plenty, but It's just to much money considering everything else I want to buy.. lol

At first my plan was to buy a table top 8" but the long bed of the 6" Ridged will be a better choice for me

Did you go with the 17" or 25" Incra fence?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry it took so long to respond, I wanted to be able to put up more pictures but don’t have a way to make them smaller. Anyway, my clamping table is nothing more than a rip-off of the Kreg’s clamping table mounted on a cabinet. The nice thing is it’s the same height as my work bench and it goes away when I don’t need it, I made rails for it to slide up off the wheels to give it a solid feel. With the wheels it can then be pulled out and work on projects 360 degrees. There are some knock off, cheaper t-tracks you can get, but I don’t think they allow the Kreg squaring blocks to fit and slide on the tracks, not a big deal, the clamps typically still fit and work. I think I spent $100 to about $150 just on the rails and clamps. These pictures are hard to show how much this table has helped. For my shop just being able to move the working around and not be confined by the surrounding walls is so nice. I also use it as a second table by my table saw to set work parts to the side and then wheel them back to the working area.

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Thanks for your comments Nate,

Believe me I have thought about the 8" jointer plenty, but It's just to much money considering everything else I want to buy.. lol

At first my plan was to buy a table top 8" but the long bed of the 6" Ridged will be a better choice for me

Did you go with the 17" or 25" Incra fence?

I went with the 25", at the show I was at the price really wasn't much of a difference at all. When I bought it I went the 25" because of blanket chests and dressers but honestly I have gotten quite good at dovetails and unless it is a quanity job I prefer to do them by hand, but that is just me. When there is multiple drawers to do you just can't beat a jig and I really do love this one and it replaced my P.C. that I happily sold a couple years after getting this. The other great thing is even when I am not doing jointery with the Incra it is an awesome precision fence for the router table making it one of my most used tools in the shop. The only downside about the 25" is the amount of space it takes up, I will gladly measure my router table if you want, it is big.

Nate

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Solid Oak, That's a slick clamping table you made, Thanks for posting the pics!

Nate, I was considering the 25" range for the same reasons you mentioned.. You could give me a rough estimate of your router table size, if you don't mind.

I'm giving my shop a overhaul, moving my big tools around to be more productive and I'm going to build all new torsion style tables so they stay flat this time...

I'm having a hard time deciding weather I should build my router table top or just buy one. What do you guys think? and does anyone know a cheap source for laminate?

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I ran out and measured mine, the center of my router bit is 12" from the front of the table (router lift and t-track dictate that) making the depth of my table top 46" and 42" wide. My cabinet is narrower than the top allowing my CT dust extractor to nicely park under the top behind the cabinet.

As for laminate, I just picked up a 30" x96" peice at Menards for about $27, get some MDF and contact cement and your home free. If you know any ccontractors you can always check with them for offcuts or stuff they remove from job sites. I know a guy that is in good with a big cabinet shop and he gets a bunch of reminants from them for free-just a thought. Hope this helps.

Nate

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The only thing I will suggest is staying away from inserts that screw in, they are ok but after getting away from them now I would never go back.

Nate

I am 100% in agreement with Nate. I have the Woodpeckers AI7518 that has the twist out inserts and am soooo glad. Unscrewing the insert every time will be a total pain.

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I ran out and measured mine, the center of my router bit is 12" from the front of the table (router lift and t-track dictate that) making the depth of my table top 46" and 42" wide. My cabinet is narrower than the top allowing my CT dust extractor to nicely park under the top behind the cabinet.

As for laminate, I just picked up a 30" x96" peice at Menards for about $27, get some MDF and contact cement and your home free. If you know any ccontractors you can always check with them for offcuts or stuff they remove from job sites. I know a guy that is in good with a big cabinet shop and he gets a bunch of reminants from them for free-just a thought. Hope this helps.

Nate

Thanks Nate, I have decided to build the router table top with MDF and laminate, as a matter of fact my plan is to rebuild all the work surfaces in my shop with torsion box construction so they will stay flat this time..

I am 100% in agreement with Nate. I have the Woodpeckers AI7518 that has the twist out inserts and am soooo glad. Unscrewing the insert every time will be a total pain.

I'm still juggling around my budget, but either way I will buy a router plate or lift from incra because they have magnet inserts, I just hope they will work as claimed..

It looks Incra teamed up with woodpecker to have their magnet inserts in that woodpecker lift that Sac gave a link to.

rta_prlv2_main_zoom.jpg

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Another benefit of the Incra version of the PRLv2 lift Woodpeckers created is that the inserts are metal. I was lucky enough to get the aluminum inserts for my Woodpeckers insert, but they have since discontinued them in favor of Phenolic versions. I think I like the aluminum ones better because they exactly mate to the insert and won't bend, although Phenolic is more forgiving of a mis-centered bit hitting it...

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