Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Saws, shops and such

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Saws, shops and such

    I want to ramp up my skill this year and purchase enough basic tools to build speaker cabinets more precisely and with less waste than I have in the past. I have been using a compound miter and a free hand router.

    I am getting a table saw first. This was sometime that Tom was kind enough to point out as a good first upgrade.

    I have looked at each of the portable saw options and while there are some very nice contractor saws in the $500 range I am concerned that I will ever get the precision that makes the purchase more than a frustration.

    I read a very in depth review of he options and one thing I noticed is that these saws typically have some flaws that would potentially make is more difficult. Mainly tables that are not flat, miters that do not have great accuracy, blade runout etc.

    So I have thought I might be better served to create a space in my garage to get some more permanent tools. I would like to know if it is possible to get a very accurate stationary saw without breaking the bank. used is fine but I would be concerned about buying a problem that I would end up spending more money on to make right.

    The other hurdle is that if I do create a space in the garage it would have to be really good dust collection system which does add to the cost. Plus I do not know if I can get a relatively dust free system. We also have gym in the garage and I don’t want saw dust all over that.

    Any thoughts on contractor saw accuracy and my alternatives are greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    My Dad was a skilled wood worker .
    He always said a radial arm saw was
    the way to go . I remember from my own
    use that the radial saw was much more
    comfortable than the table saw .

    Comment


    • #3
      Any comment you receive here is going to be very subjective. So I would gather everyone's thoughts and formulate your own opinion and decision from that. This is my preface!

      My father is a retired custom cabinet maker of 40+ years. I'm 31 and have been working with him in the shop since I was old enough to talk and speak. With that said I will shed some light on what I think is the best option and also the SAFEST option (something that was left out of the OP). I'll get to this later.

      If you are looking for a quick and dirty answer, I would veto the contractor portable table saw immediately. Now with that said you have to ask yourself how serious you are about the hobby, how much you will be building annually, and then what precision you need. Those contractor saws work for what they need to, but they are far from a precision instrument. We use a PowerMatic table saw with a cast table with a single phase 230VAC drop. This is something else to consider is what your electrical situation is in your garage. You mentioned dust collection; well I can tell you that almost all decent size dust collectors run on single phase 230VAC due to the HP requirements of the motor. That's not to say they don't make smaller one's; I just don't have any experience with them. Keep in mind when cutting/ripping you will create more dust on the top side of the board than the bottom. The base of the table will fill with dust, but the operator is going to be eating more of that dust. Therefore dust collection from my experience doesn't work well with table saws. Someone may disagree.

      Radial arm saws work great with clamps and assuming everything is totally squared up. As an engineer I can tell you that anything on multiple moving axis has the potential for margin of error or tolerances. I personally don't care to use these saws for the sole reason of danger potential. I don't know if they still make them or if they have changed how they work, but they have a tendency of shooting the motor handle and blade out towards the operator if anything binds up. Something to consider.

      On a table saw I 100 percent recommend getting 'Board Buddies'. See picture below. This prevents kickback better than any device I have ever seen or used.

      I use a panel saw for my rough cuts, and then final cuts squared up on the table saw. This gets me within the tolerance of where I need to be. That is my method (Safe and accurate).

      Hopefully this helps. If you object to any of this please don't rag on me for it. Everyone has their own methods; I simply try to steer people in the safest direction possible with the highest precision results achievable. I worked 7+ years as a corporate manufacturing safety engineer so I may be more on the cautious side than most.


      Click image for larger version

Name:	8fc50dd3-1b9d-4548-8f58-f9ade86bf23a.jpg
Views:	404
Size:	364.8 KB
ID:	1429956 Click image for larger version

Name:	A8358.jpg
Views:	391
Size:	544.7 KB
ID:	1429957
      "I don't know everything and do not claim to. I continue to learn and that is what makes me human."

      Comment


      • #4
        Thank you very much STIChris722. That is all very useful. Most certainly I want to retain all my fingers, teeth etc so I appreciate the safety aspect.

        My garage is wired with two 220 outlets as the previous owner had a welder but I would need to look at dust collection systems to see what would be needed.

        It is unfortunate that I would still be left with dust however. I could cut in a window or two in the garage that I could set up further ventilation. I guess I could use the area for finish work and that ventilation would have a further use. I will look into it.

        Are there acceptable saws that are not super expensive that would allow greater accuracy? I have seen the ridged cast iron based saw but I don’t have a lot of info on that.

        Comment


        • #5
          My saw is a $100 Delta, outfitted with a $250 Mule fence. I put wings to either side for a total width of five feet, with a router table built into the larger right side wing. The result looks like this:

          Mine has two major exceptions. I put a swivel between the saw base and the legs, which are bolted to the floor. This allows me to rotate the entire rig to any position I need. I also have electrical outlets mounted below the wings, so when I use other plug in tools I never have to use an extension cord to a wall outlet. That's usually a sliding compound miter saw, placed on the table when I need to use it. You can find plans on line for rigs of this sort.

          As for dust. I have a leaf blower mounted atop a tripod. It's placed to the right of the table. The doors to the shop are to the left of the table. When I'm sawing or routing it blows the sawdust out the door, where it becomes mulch on my lawn.
          www.billfitzmaurice.com
          www.billfitzmaurice.info/forum

          Comment


          • #6
            You don't need to spend $$$ to get a leap in accuracy. My table saw is a 12 year old Ridgid TS2400 and after spending a little time (4-5 hours) it cuts true and accurate. Should be able to find one second hand in decent shape for cheap.
            The biggest leap was in building a simple sled for it. My sled will cut 90 deg angles with 0.00011 deg accuracy and only a small tick mark on the work piece is needed for alignment. Watch some videos on table saw tuning/jig making and your building ability will increase 10x.

            Steve
            Click image for larger version

Name:	Table_saw_sled.jpg
Views:	353
Size:	522.2 KB
ID:	1429981

            Comment


            • STIchris722
              STIchris722 commented
              Editing a comment
              I like the jig you made here. Out of curiosity, how do you hold a run-out measurement of 0.00011 degrees?

          • #7
            Originally posted by STIchris722 View Post
            .... Radial arm saws work great with clamps and assuming everything is totally squared up. As an engineer I can tell you that anything on multiple moving axis has the potential for margin of error or tolerances.
            I'm not an expert woodworker but I did have access to a true cabinet makers saw. What a joy to use. But for most home DIY'ers, it's a huge investment in dollars and space..

            Tom Zarbo (IIRC) rough cuts his panels slightly over sized. Then uses a router to true up all the edges. You can do that with a $100 table saw and the proper router. bit. And he has produced some beautiful speakers.

            Comment


            • #8
              I rough cut my panels oversize with a circular saw, and square them up on the table saw using a sled similar to the picture above. The advantage to that is when you put the board against the rear rail you know the cut will be at 90 degrees. Rotate and cut two more times and you've got a panel that's as true as can be had.
              www.billfitzmaurice.com
              www.billfitzmaurice.info/forum

              Comment


              • #9
                Craigslist. Used. My local CL always has numerous ads for all sorts of used saws. Cheap. My miter and table saws were both CL purchases. Less the $200 total. The table saw is a bit sketchy, but very nostalgic. The miter is a solid Porter Cable.

                Comment


                • #10
                  Originally posted by Millstonemike View Post

                  I'm not an expert woodworker but I did have access to a true cabinet makers saw. What a joy to use. But for most home DIY'ers, it's a huge investment in dollars and space..

                  Tom Zarbo (IIRC) rough cuts his panels slightly over sized. Then uses a router to true up all the edges. You can do that with a $100 table saw and the proper router. bit. And he has produced some beautiful speakers.
                  Having the right equipment definitely makes a difference as you have witnessed first hand. I don't disagree about the investment comment by any means. I do suppose though that I don't skimp on any hobby I do; it is a blessing and a curse. My philosophy is such that if I am going to take something seriously I buy the equipment that will get me there safely and accurately. I'm not saying anyone's methods on here are anything short of this, I just prefer my method as I prefaced in my first post.

                  I don't care for contractor table saws because I watched a piece of ripped oak (1"x1") shoot from a table saw through my dad's right forearm. He was extremely lucky as they were able to rejoin his tendons and muscle back together. This happened because his helper (not me) on the outfeed side of the saw cocked the piece between the fence and the blade into the back of the blade causing precise kick-back. While this sounds like an idiot thing to do (not paying attention), this is actually really easy to do even if you do know what you are doing. Those saws don't have out-feed tables mounted on them out of the box and therefore you end up in a juggling act on the front, side, and back of the saw trying to feed and catch at the same time. Below is how you fix that and I highly recommend outfeed tables on every table saw. They don't have to be a nice fabricated roller bed like the one I have; you can simply mount a flat surface with preferably laminate on top for everything to glide out on to. This keeps the operator stationary at the front of the saw and safer while operating the equipment
                  Click image for larger version

Name:	148581.2.jpg
Views:	317
Size:	99.6 KB
ID:	1430017 .

                  The method that Bill is describing is exactly what I do. A panel saw is nothing more than a circular saw mounted to a table, with Thompson Rod bearings on a vertical guide. You could realistically build straight from the panel saw, but I have found the cuts to be ever so slightly angled. The table saw fixes this with ease.
                  "I don't know everything and do not claim to. I continue to learn and that is what makes me human."

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Riving knife - Wikipedia

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      I would recommend you spend a bit more than $30.

                      $30.00 Craigslist - Techtalk Speaker Building, Audio, Video Discussion Forum

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Originally posted by sskloss1 View Post
                        You don't need to spend $$$ to get a leap in accuracy. My table saw is a 12 year old Ridgid TS2400 and after spending a little time (4-5 hours) it cuts true and accurate. Should be able to find one second hand in decent shape for cheap.
                        The biggest leap was in building a simple sled for it. My sled will cut 90 deg angles with 0.00011 deg accuracy and only a small tick mark on the work piece is needed for alignment. Watch some videos on table saw tuning/jig making and your building ability will increase 10x.

                        Steve
                        Click image for larger version

Name:	Table_saw_sled.jpg
Views:	353
Size:	522.2 KB
ID:	1429981
                        Cool Steve. Can you point me to a description of that sled?

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Originally posted by billfitzmaurice View Post
                          My saw is a $100 Delta, outfitted with a $250 Mule fence. I put wings to either side for a total width of five feet, with a router table built into the larger right side wing. The result looks like this:

                          Mine has two major exceptions. I put a swivel between the saw base and the legs, which are bolted to the floor. This allows me to rotate the entire rig to any position I need. I also have electrical outlets mounted below the wings, so when I use other plug in tools I never have to use an extension cord to a wall outlet. That's usually a sliding compound miter saw, placed on the table when I need to use it. You can find plans on line for rigs of this sort.

                          As for dust. I have a leaf blower mounted atop a tripod. It's placed to the right of the table. The doors to the shop are to the left of the table. When I'm sawing or routing it blows the sawdust out the door, where it becomes mulch on my lawn.
                          Very nice setup Bill.

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            Looks familiar... ;)
                            "I just use off the shelf textbook filters designed for a resistor of 8 ohms with
                            exactly a Fc 3K for both drivers, anybody can do it." -Xmax

                            Comment

                            Working...
                            X