Al Capwn

Biggest woodworking quality of life improvement?

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2 hours ago, Al Capwn said:

Is the first one a Green-Koolaid exclusive, or is that part of that Rockler adapter kit thing?

For me, personally, its all Festool. All the tools being interchangeable on the same ceiling mounted plug it cable and all working on the same dust collection hose running to the tool activated CT26 makes life so much easier. The whole system working together is a game changer. 

Im not sure about the Rocker adapter thing ( Don't have Rockler or woodcraft in Canada) but it would still need to be hooked up to an auto on Vac?

2 hours ago, Al Capwn said:

The second...such as acquiring a collection of hand tools for different tasks, or learning how to use hand tools for many different things? Such as the versatility of a chisel?

Acquiring and learning how to use them opens up a whole new world and its just plain ol fun. I was missing a big part of woodworking before I had a bunch of hand tools. When you have a collection of different planes, rasps, scrapers, chisels, you use them more and more because you start seeing all the places where they are the better option. 

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Adding hand tools to the power tool mix and the drum sander.  Why oh why did I wait to by a drum sander.

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12 minutes ago, bleedinblue said:

Probably the biggest game changer here was the joiner/planer combo.  Without them you're at the mercy of the quality/price of pre-milled lumber.

Just to clarify, you don't actually mean a jointer/planer combo, you mean having a jointer and a planer, right?

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3 minutes ago, Chet K said:

Adding hand tools to the power tool mix and the drum sander.  Why oh why did I wait to by a drum sander.

Because it's a $1200 tool?

 

But I'd get one in a heartbeat if I had the money.  And I agree, hand tools are the perfect way to fine-tune after doing the bulk of the rougher work with power tools.  Yay, hybrid woodworking!

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My dedicated mortise machine is probably the most time saving tool that I wished I had bought years earlier. 

Best advise that I could give myself 30+ years ago would be. "Listen to Pop despite his sarcasm" 

 

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1 hour ago, shaneymack said:

Just to clarify, you don't actually mean a jointer/planer combo, you mean having a jointer and a planer, right?

Ahhh, yes.  A jointer, and a few feet away a planer :)  I forgot those combo things were a thing.

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37 minutes ago, gee-dub said:

Quality cutters and quality abrasives.  Some inexpensive products are no bargain at all.

Got any recommendations?  I'm about to need some new sandpaper.

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3 minutes ago, Denette said:

Got any recommendations?  I'm about to need some new sandpaper.

Festool or Abranet is all you need.

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22 minutes ago, Denette said:

Got any recommendations?  I'm about to need some new sandpaper.

Klingspor is quite good.

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1 hour ago, Denette said:

Got any recommendations?  I'm about to need some new sandpaper.

I lean toward Klingspor for abrasives. Whiteside primarily for router bits, Carbide Processors primarily for table saw blades.

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Sounds dumb but vacuuming my shop instead of using a broom! This year I discovered that vacuuming takes about 1/3 of the time as using a broom and does a much better job. Sure wish I discovered this 10 years ago!

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5 minutes ago, estesbubba said:

Sounds dumb but vacuuming my shop instead of using a broom!

This is a hand to forehead moment, especially considering I have all the attachments to my CT do do this.  Doh!

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13 minutes ago, estesbubba said:

Sounds dumb but vacuuming my shop instead of using a broom! This year I discovered that vacuuming takes about 1/3 of the time as using a broom and does a much better job. Sure wish I discovered this 10 years ago!

I just discovered this myself recently. Amazing how much better than sweeping it is.

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I have two things that improved quality of life for me:

1.  Buying a Lie-Nielsen plane based on all the good reviews by members here and FWW magazine.  Explanation: I owned some cheap, awful planes that I had bought at Lowes and had concluded that planes sucked.  Then, I bought a Lie-Nielsen plane, just to find out what the hell you all were talking about.  What a revelation!  I absolutely love using my planes now.  I have gathered a nice collection, that I plan to grow some more.  I use them all.  

2.  A great vacuum (Had a ShopVac that I killed and recently upgraded to the Festool CT26).  It has really change my outlook on sanding, which is a critical part of completing any successful project.

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I think the drum sander was my #1 aah ha time saving moment. prior to that I spent probably 12 hours to adequately flatten 6 butting boards. with the drum sander, I made 30 last xmas.

Also the ability to sneak up on a perfect dimension without snipe on smaller parts was super helpful.

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