Hello from Iowa


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Hello all new to the hobby, always wanted to get into the hobby and 47 here i am. Lots of good info hopefully find the info i need to get going. Interested in working with hand tools. Have no garage but have a 12X8 shed. Any advice be much appreciated thanks in advance. Mark

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Welcome !

The more detail you include with your questions will help us give you a more complete answer. Your location can affect drying times, storage of liquids and what sort of materials are available locally. Your level of experience will affect the suggested methods to build something. What kind of projects you are interested in and your budget lead to tool suggestions.  There is a wide range of experience and skills here. I mostly use power tools , some use hand & power tools and a few use hand tools whenever possible. 

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Boxes are great projects for any level since they can be pretty basic or incredibly intricate. 

Do you plan to buy a table saw? You mention an interest in hand tools and I get the appeal but using a hand saw and hand plane for dimensioning your stock can be pretty slow. That said there are folks who do just that. 

 What do you currently own by way of tools? 

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Treeslayer i live in Des Moines.

right now just have a circular saw, but i am planning on getting a portable table saw just trying to decide which one. Have some bigger projects down the the saw will come in handy on.

Have a long list of tools to get but just going to pick few things to get me going chisels, a plane or 2 and couple hand saws like to get practicing on cutting dovetails. oh yeah and forgot layout tools need them for sure lol.

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Well to start off with building boxes you can do a lot with a table saw and stock that has been surfaced on 4 sides by a hardwood dealer.

Other then the table saw you will also want some clamps. I like band clamps for 4 sided objects like frames and boxes though other folks will prefer different methods. There are some great videos on the main site making boxes.

If you want to buy new on the table saw the Ridgid saw is reasonably well thought of, if you want to buy used it will mostly depend on what is around your area. I prefer craigslist for used tools. Doing a quick search in your area I found these:




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@IAMark , welcome to the forum!

I would advise you to avoid buying a bench-top table saw, even though the compactness may be attractive for the size of your workspace. The benchtop saws are really meant for rough cuts on a construction site, and generally have terrible fences. I would suggest something like the Rigid R4512 from Home Depot, or the Delta 5000 series from Lowes. Even if you need to remove the extension wings to save space, these saws with cast iron tops and decent (relatively speaking) fences are far better and safer to use than any benchtop I've seen.

Of course, if budget and space allow, skip right up to a good cabinet saw, and you won't be disappointed.

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