Tool Recommendations/Shop thoughts

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Gabriel
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Tool Recommendations/Shop thoughts

Post by Gabriel » Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:39 pm

So, as many of you know, I've been tasked with bringing the woodworking vocational class back to life out here at the Ranch. I've spent the last several weeks cleaning up the shop itself - organizing, cleaning, taking inventory, throwing out old crap, etc. I'm nearing the end and finally have a pretty decent handle on what I have and what I don't have.

One thing I don't have is a quality router table. I have several routers that seem to have accumulated over the years, and a sears/craftsman router table, but I'm not really happy with it. It's flimsy and the fence hard to use and not sturdy. I, myself, have rarely used a router for anything, so I'm not exactly sure what to look for. This is one (of many) skills I'll need to be teaching myself before I get the students too involved.
Recommendation for a quality router table? Must-have router jigs or accessories or skills?

Table saw - Does anyone here have any experience with Saw-Stop brand table saws? I'm looking at them and they're pricey, but with a lot of different people coming through the shop, the added safety might be worth it.

I pretty much have a free hand here, so I'd be interested in any shop set up conversations or storage/organization conversations as well.
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Re: Tool Recommendations/Shop thoughts

Post by JimVH » Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:12 pm

Gabriel wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:39 pm


Table saw - Does anyone here have any experience with Saw-Stop brand table saws? I'm looking at them and they're pricey, but with a lot of different people coming through the shop, the added safety might be worth it.

I don't know about its quality as a saw, but I've seen live demos of its safety features and left impressed. My grandson is in college working with the theater tech group and has a couple of favorable stories to tell about there's, too. I have no doubt that it saves injury, and by my estimation, is well worth the added cost.
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Re: Tool Recommendations/Shop thoughts

Post by FredS » Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:34 pm

I also have a crappy old Craftsman router table with a 2-piece fence that's all but worthless. In fact, my newish Ryobi table saw has a place where I can attach a router and I'll use that next time I need a router table. The Kreg router table looks like a nice unit. I've never used one, but the Kreg tools I do have are thoughtfully designed and well made.

I've drooled over the Sawstop saws every time I see them in the tool shop. I'd buy their $3000 cabinet saw in a heartbeat if I were you. The table saw, band saw, and drill press are the most used (and abused) stationary power tools in the shop and they need to be up to the task.
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Re: Tool Recommendations/Shop thoughts

Post by JimVH » Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:53 pm

I don't have the space for this to ever come true, but I've always wanted a cabinet saw with the router table extension for the extra surface area.

A guy can dream:
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Re: Tool Recommendations/Shop thoughts

Post by Gabriel » Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:10 pm

FredS wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:34 pm
I also have a crappy old Craftsman router table with a 2-piece fence that's all but worthless. In fact, my newish Ryobi table saw has a place where I can attach a router and I'll use that next time I need a router table. The Kreg router table looks like a nice unit. I've never used one, but the Kreg tools I do have are thoughtfully designed and well made.

I've drooled over the Sawstop saws every time I see them in the tool shop. I'd buy their $3000 cabinet saw in a heartbeat if I were you. The table saw, band saw, and drill press are the most used (and abused) stationary power tools in the shop and they need to be up to the task.
I was just looking online at that Kreg table today. It's pricey, but looks nice. Have either of you used a router table extension for a table saw? Sawstop sells the whole package... of course they're not inexpensive.

I have a few donors that ask for some big ticket wish list items every year. Sometimes they can help and sometimes they can't, but I'm hoping to have a few of these items either donated, or being talked about.
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Re: Tool Recommendations/Shop thoughts

Post by Gabriel » Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:11 pm

JimVH wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:53 pm
I don't have the space for this to ever come true, but I've always wanted a cabinet saw with the router table extension for the extra surface area.

A guy can dream:
Image
Nice....
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Re: Tool Recommendations/Shop thoughts

Post by FredS » Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:59 pm

I have a Ryobi BT3100 table saw I bought used. It came with a bunch of accessories I haven't used yet and one of them is router kit. It has fence plates, router mounting plates, guards, and a t-slot section that can be put in to extend the table. It's a slick set up but I haven't used it yet. I don't use a router much but next time I need it I'm going to mount it on the table saw extension and probably leave it hanging on it.

Here's some pics I snipped from the net.
Image
Image
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Re: Tool Recommendations/Shop thoughts

Post by JMG » Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:28 pm

If you wanted to go the homemade router, a fairly nice router table isn't terribly hard to build and will save some change. The use of something like Kreg's T-tracks and miter guides on a homemade build can produce a really nice router table for much less money.

Nice video that uses the Kreg t-tracks to keep the fence square:

Here are some links to the materials she uses in the video...

T-track:

This router lift is a nice upgrade but pricey, but also it's not a necessity:


A DIY table like this, I think, will provide you with way more bang for your buck than you can get buying a turn-key kit.
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Re: Tool Recommendations/Shop thoughts

Post by AnungUnRama » Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:48 pm

I have a Crap Ton (TM) of Ryobi tools. They seem to be a pretty cool value. However the table saw stand is a bit flimsy. I need to mount it to some 2x4s or something.

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Re: Tool Recommendations/Shop thoughts

Post by FredS » Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:56 pm

JMG wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:28 pm
If you wanted to go the homemade router, a fairly nice router table isn't terribly hard to build and will save some change. The use of something like Kreg's T-tracks and miter guides on a homemade build can produce a really nice router table for much less money. . .
That cabinet saw Jim posted above uses Kreg T track and router plate insert.

AnungUnRama wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:48 pm
I have a Crap Ton (TM) of Ryobi tools. They seem to be a pretty cool value. However the table saw stand is a bit flimsy. I need to mount it to some 2x4s or something.
I've also come to own a lot of Ryobi tools lately. I like them a lot but would not recommend them for institutional or industrial use.
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Re: Tool Recommendations/Shop thoughts

Post by Gabriel » Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:32 am

Hm. I could work on making my own. Honestly though, at this point in the game I might be better off if there is an investor that is excited about providing some of these tools. My time will need to be spent turning out some pieces for our auction this spring, if possible.

I do like the few Kreg tools we do have, they seem well made and useful. I have some of their pocket hole jigs and really like them. The full set up for a router table looks fantastic, though a bit pricey. Like Fred, I don't use a router very much at this point, but once I do, I'd like to have a set up that I can just use without fussing with it too much.

I've run the "build your saw" tool on the Saw Stop website too many times now. :D A cabinet saw looks awesome. Pretty steep though, I'll see about it.

I have a Ryobi table saw at home, it's a foldable jobsite saw and it's been a work horse for me around the house, but I agree, I wouldn't put it in to an environment where precision and daily hard use are part of the job description. I've replaced the switch on it once.

Maybe today I'll get out there and take some pics of the set up for various tools that I have now, just for fun. Let you all pick it apart and/or make useful suggestions.
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Re: Tool Recommendations/Shop thoughts

Post by FredS » Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:54 am

Gabriel wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:39 pm
I pretty much have a free hand here, so I'd be interested in any shop set up conversations or storage/organization conversations as well.
How 'bout clamps? We all know you can never have too many, but we also know they're a PITA to store. I'd be interested in how yours are organized and stored. Your system needs to be fool proof and bomb proof so they get put back in an orderly manner after every use.
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Re: Tool Recommendations/Shop thoughts

Post by Gabriel » Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:55 pm

FredS wrote:
Gabriel wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:39 pm
I pretty much have a free hand here, so I'd be interested in any shop set up conversations or storage/organization conversations as well.
How 'bout clamps? We all know you can never have too many, but we also know they're a PITA to store. I'd be interested in how yours are organized and stored. Your system needs to be fool proof and bomb proof so they get put back in an orderly manner after every use.
Foolproof really isn’t possible given the amount of fools that come through this shop ;).

Until recently they were simply clamped to boards nailed between studs like someone might do in their garage. One of our volunteers recently took this old cart and put all the clamps (or most of them anyway) on it.

Image

It’s a good idea, but you can see it’s already getting a little haphazard.
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Re: Tool Recommendations/Shop thoughts

Post by FredS » Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:02 pm

Do you have any teachers aides? Maybe you could task one of the boys with straightening up the clamp cart every Friday afternoon.

I like that cart idea. It's given me the seed of an idea I think I can build on.
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Re: Tool Recommendations/Shop thoughts

Post by Gabriel » Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:05 pm

Just for kicks, here’s a few shots around the shop for discussion sake. I am in the process of cleaning/sorting/organizing, so there is random crap where it won’t be eventually...

Table saw set up. That table is normally lined up as an out feed table, I moved it to get at the motor, there’s also scraps on it from my test cuts:
Image

Image

Sanding, planes, and lathes:
Image

Image

Image

Image

Man, all these pics make this place look depressing. It really isn’t that bad...

Image

Image

Image

Image

Ok, that’ll do, this is taking too long...
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Re: Tool Recommendations/Shop thoughts

Post by Gabriel » Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:25 pm

FredS wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:02 pm
Do you have any teachers aides? Maybe you could task one of the boys with straightening up the clamp cart every Friday afternoon.

I like that cart idea. It's given me the seed of an idea I think I can build on.
Yeah, that's a very doable idea. I'll have at least one volunteer coming once a week. Possibly a lathe guy starting in the spring.

I like the cart idea a lot. This one is just a little overloaded.
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Re: Tool Recommendations/Shop thoughts

Post by Gabriel » Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:33 pm

Haven’t started formal classes yet, but had a student for a few hours today. He wanted to test out some of the antique stuff I have waiting to be cleaned up.

Image

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Re: Tool Recommendations/Shop thoughts

Post by Gabriel » Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:42 pm

Drill bits... how do you store all the random bits that seem to spontaneously generate? I’d like to keep them separated by size since I’m teaching, but I don’t want to take up a lot of space either. Ideas?
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Re: Tool Recommendations/Shop thoughts

Post by Gabriel » Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:44 pm

Also, as long as I’m asking questions, I can probably spring for a magazine or two. What are your favorite wood working magazines? Blogs?

I should change the title of this thread to something about Gabe Asks Questions and takes Pictures...
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Re: Tool Recommendations/Shop thoughts

Post by FredS » Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:13 pm

Gabriel wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:42 pm
Drill bits... how do you store all the random bits that seem to spontaneously generate? I’d like to keep them separated by size since I’m teaching, but I don’t want to take up a lot of space either. Ideas?
I use a drill index like this one. It has number, letter, and fraction sizes, and yes I have every hole filled (stop snickering Jocose), but that's a holdover from my career as a tool maker. You can get by with an index with only fractions sizes.
Image

For spade bits, I'd task a couple students to make some racks like this. Put one near each drill press and on the inside doors of your other tool storage cabinets. Spade bits are cheap so having 4 or 5 sets located near their points of use won't cost much.
Image
"If we ever get to heaven boys, it aint because we aint done nothin' wrong" - Kris Kristofferson

"One of the things I love about CPS is the frank and enthusiastic dysfunction here. God help me, I do love it so." – OldWorldSwine

"I'd like to put a hook in that puppet and swing it through a bunch of salmon!" - durangopipe

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