Getting the most out of a small shop


DALSAW

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:unsure: My shop is in a 12'X 16' prefab building. I have been building cabinets as a side job in it for some time now. Currently when I have to cut down sheet goods I have to put my TS right in the middle of the door to cut them down, which is not only frustrating but dangerous when I crawl under the wing of the saw to "catch" the ply comming through the saw. In addition to that I have a Kreg forman machine on the floor a Skil belt and disk sander, Ridgid OSS, and my new Blum minipress M all are sharing a rickedy 2'X6' work table. I have put buying a jointer and a planer on hold because I just don't know where to put them. So does any body have any solutions as how to make the space more efficient. Or am I just outgrowing the space too fast and its just time for a bigger shop. :unsure:
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Honestly a tracksaw is better than sliced bread for tearing down sheet goods. And if you have a bench in your shop with an MDF top, you can get really fast square cuts off the bench. I used to do it often off mine; repeatable too. Dunno, I've only pushed a full sheet through a table saw a couple times and wasn't that thrilled with the idea. I think I've done a demo of the above a bazillion + 1 times over video Skype and when streaming for the night owls. If you are interested in it, we could arrange something. No, i'm not affiliated with any tool companies. Actually, right now I'm not affiliated with any company! :blink:

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I like the track saw idea, I've demoed a festool and the dewalt, and I like them both. At work I use a panel saw, I love the way it works but it won't fit in my shop. I'm thinking that a track saw is the way to go, so it's going to be next on my list of tools to be purchased I just have to figure out which brand.

Thanks for your input. :D

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I like the track saw idea, I've demoed a festool and the dewalt, and I like them both. At work I use a panel saw, I love the way it works but it won't fit in my shop. I'm thinking that a track saw is the way to go, so it's going to be next on my list of tools to be purchased I just have to figure out which brand.

Thanks for your input. :D

Aaron, I’d also consider the Makita track saw. Here’s an Amazon link. You can read the 5 reviews, but especially read the customer that rated it 4 stars instead of 5 (interesting).

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I like the track saw idea, I've demoed a festool and the dewalt, and I like them both. At work I use a panel saw, I love the way it works but it won't fit in my shop. I'm thinking that a track saw is the way to go, so it's going to be next on my list of tools to be purchased I just have to figure out which brand.

Thanks for your input. :D

Aaron -

You can make your own track-saw-like jig for almost nothing. I made a small one for cross-cutting full sheet plywood ... made it out of some scrap melamine. It is about 54"long and my circ saw sits perfectly at its edge. I am sure that you have seen a "how to" on how to make one of these. If you do not know what I am talking about, let me know and I will find something.

If I did a lot of long splits on plywood, I would make an 8-footer also.

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Aaron....organization is key. Staying organized and having a clean shop not only allows you to stuff 5lbs of baloney in a 2lb sack, but it also helps with shop safety. There are tons of ideas on how to organize from slot wall, flip top carts, peg board, everything on casters and mobile stations, multi-functioning and interchangable table tops, etc... The more time you spend in your shop the more creative you'll become in figuring out storage and organization. It is also funny how shop organization evolves....once you think you have everyting set up the way you want, you may end up ripping everything down and starting all over as your investment in tools increases. Good Luck! Just my .02

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That wouldn't be a bad idea if there was a way to secure my circ saw to it so that it would slide along the rail and not wander back and forth as it was cutting.

Good idea, thanks.

Aaron -

There is an easy to do this. Let me know if you want to make one of these. Tommy Silva has demoed it on TOH a number of times.

Chester

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I found in a magazine a plan for a rolling tower. I built iot and it works out great. I don't have much room since I share my space with the van. It has four levels. The center level has my planer on it. When I need to plane something I roll it out, hook up the power and suction hose and away I go. When finished, roll back into place out of the way. The other shelves are used for storing other tools, supplies or whatever.

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See attached file. This crosscut jig works amazingly well. I made mine out of scrap melamine. It lines-up right on the line you want to cut. Let me know if you want more info.

Chester

PS -

When I know it beforehand I always have the homecenter do the long cuts on plywood. Home Depot cuts it for free.

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PS -

When I know it beforehand I always have the homecenter do the long cuts on plywood. Home Depot cuts it for free.

Speaking from experience....make sure you bring a tape measure (or take one from the aisle) and mark the cut yourself if you need it a specific size. I dont trust the "highly qualified" operator or their saw to be calibrated correctly. Also, take into account the tearout from the crappy blade that hasn't been replaced or sharpened....ever.

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Speaking from experience....make sure you bring a tape measure (or take one from the aisle) and mark the cut yourself if you need it a specific size. I dont trust the "highly qualified" operator or their saw to be calibrated correctly. Also, take into account the tearout from the crappy blade that hasn't been replaced or sharpened....ever.

Danny -

Of course, you are right on with these comments ... but I only do this when I need something under 24" in final cut size. I always take the split sheets back to my shop for final cutting. It is, however, so much easier to work with a half-sheet, especially on the TS!

Chester

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