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What are your go tools for accurately building boxes?

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  • #16
    Thank you guys. There are some real gems here and I will reread them all.

    Blenton, I was looking at dial indicators that are have a miter bar integral. This could be used as you describe for miter to blade and miter slot to fence.

    Johollander, YES a metric tape measure

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    • #17
      On another note yesterday I checked my combination square for well, squareness and OMG. It is a wonder I have been able to make anything at all.

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      • #18
        You asked for a recommendation for a square, here's the last one i bought: https://www.harryepstein.com/12-2-pc...re-4r-usa.html It's cheap because it's "blemished". It's every bit as good as my 50-70 year old Starret. I like to have more than one square, set to different sizes for doing layouts, and cheap aluminum ones just aren't as good.

        Check the squareness of your circular saw. I was getting awkward cuts from a cordless saw and put a square on the base...it was way off, very twisted. Have to shim it with a piece of wood

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        • #19
          I went through my “squares.” I filed my large and small carpenter squares along with my stanley combination square in the round file. None were remotely square.

          My speed square is servicable and I picked up a 12” combo square at HD and it is not too bad at all. Good enough for sure. It is at most a fraction of a sharp pencil line. I can barely see that well

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          • #20
            Originally posted by bungelow_ed View Post
            Since you have taken the time to setup your saw carefully and accurately and Don has given you good recommendations on additional tools. Consider the quality of your saw blades. While they cost significantly more than Big Box Store blades, Forrest, among others, makes blades that will help you achieve the most accurate and cleanest cuts. In many cases, zero clearance inserts are superficialis when using a high quality and sharp blade. Forrest blades are also worth the time and trouble to have sharpened when they do get dull.
            Thanks for this. I am looking at a forrest blade for both my miter saw and my new table saw. I emailed them to make sure my specific choices are the best for cutting baltic birch plywood to reduce splintering.
            The chopmaster 90t and the woodworker II 48t are what I am looking at. They are expensive but I do think in the long run they will be great. As you stated, they actually discourage a zero clearance insert so I save $50 or so on that. For sure they are an investment but I like their sharpening (straightening, fixing teeth etc) services. If i take care of them I will have them a very long time.

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            • #21
              Glad to hear you are going with Forrest. Over the last 20'ish years I've tried all the commonly available blades. Many of them are sharp for awhile but the Forrest blades are a "cut' above.
              If life were fair, Elvis would still be alive today and all the impersonators would be dead.
              ~ Johnny Carson

              Bungelow Ed's Photo Album http://techtalk.parts-express.com/album.php?u=8594

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              • #22
                I'll recommend either Woodpecker's for measuring and layout tools, or Starrett. Both brands are extremely accurate no matter which tool you get. Woodpecker's has a dial gauge that I think you would like too. Not cheap, but high quality. Another brand for quality is Infinity tools.

                Steve

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                • #23
                  If you are like me, you will find that no matter how accurate your tools are, you can still mess up!

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                  • #24
                    Right or wrong, something I have yet to hear anyone mention in this thread is a biscuit joiner. This is probably the most valuable tool in our arsenal when it comes to building any type of speaker enclosure. They are extremely accurate, easy to use, and stronger than the wood itself when the bond is complete. It's easier to watch a video on YouTube of how the process works rather than me explaining it. It nearly eliminates the need for fasteners on the enclosure. If you're thinking they look like weak-sauce then hear me out. We joined two pieces of solid oak together with Lamello brand beachwood biscuits and Titebond 1 glue. Within 30 minutes we tried to separate them with no success. I remember we made a jig using some I-beam clamps in reverse to separate the two pieces. What ended up happening was the biscuit joint remained intact while the oak tore apart. Take it with a grain of salt. All I will say is that I would put one of my baltic birch cabinets with biscuits and TB #1 up against anyone's box using solely TB #2. I'm not trying to start a war, but rather make a statement about how strong this method is. You also don't have to worry about fasteners resonating loose or making noise.

                    In the end it all comes down to preference, but then again that's what this thread was about. I personally believe this method saves time and almost eliminates Dato joint requirements all together. Check it out. You'll need a glue-bot (You should have one of these regardless of what you do) as well as a glue roller for the side with no biscuits in it.

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                    "I don't know everything and do not claim to. I continue to learn and that is what makes me human."

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                    • #25
                      +1 for the biscuit joiner. They rock for making face frames and internal bracing. Instead of a lot of waste from cutting windowpane bracing out of large sheets, cut straight sticks and glue them into what you need, reinforcing the corners with biscuits. To make best use of sheet goods I do my cut list and input it into max-cut. It's really slick software that minimizes waste, number of cuts, allows you specify panel size, blade kerf, waste optimization, grain direction, initial cut direction and a bunch of other stuff. It's saved me a lot of money over the couple of years I've used it.
                      Last edited by devnull; 02-04-2020, 10:26 AM. Reason: Because I can't type worth a damn.

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                      • #26
                        For speaker boxes, you could give me a biscuit joiner and $100 and I still wouldn't use it. I don't do enough cross grain hardwood gluing to justify one. Only other tool I'd to add to this list is a block plane. If you are careful not to chip out an edge, imo it's easier than a router plus sand paper. I use my hand planes on MDF often.
                        John H

                        Synergy Horn, SLS-85, BMR-3L, Mini-TL, BR-2, Titan OB, B452, Udique, Vultus, Latus1, Seriatim, Aperivox,Pencil Tower

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                        • #27
                          Biscuits allow you to glue the whole thing in one session. I've only broken 4 out of 12 HF clamps, $1 each on sale. Click image for larger version

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                          • STIchris722
                            STIchris722 commented
                            Editing a comment
                            exactly. No juggling, balancing, etc. The biscuits line everything up and provide a stronger joint than glue can alone. I would even put biscuits up against glue and drywall screws.

                        • #28
                          Originally posted by jhollander View Post
                          For speaker boxes, you could give me a biscuit joiner and $100 and I still wouldn't use it. I don't do enough cross grain hardwood gluing to justify one. Only other tool I'd to add to this list is a block plane. If you are careful not to chip out an edge, imo it's easier than a router plus sand paper. I use my hand planes on MDF often.
                          To each his own. I respect that. What materials do you make your boxes out of and what is your method for joining?
                          "I don't know everything and do not claim to. I continue to learn and that is what makes me human."

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                          • #29
                            Originally posted by STIchris722 View Post

                            To each his own. I respect that. What materials do you make your boxes out of and what is your method for joining?
                            Most of my boxes are MDF and veneer or MDF with a hardwood baffle. A lot of boxes are 45s tape and folded, some boxes are but joints with yellow glue. I'll use but joints if I have time to let the boxes/ joints dry out before painting or veneering.
                            John H

                            Synergy Horn, SLS-85, BMR-3L, Mini-TL, BR-2, Titan OB, B452, Udique, Vultus, Latus1, Seriatim, Aperivox,Pencil Tower

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                            • #30
                              My favorite tool would be your brain. Well actually I like my brain, but your brain should be your favorite tool. If you use it you can do some remarkable things.
                              craigk

                              " Voicing is often the term used for band aids to cover for initial design/planning errors " - Pallas

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                              • stephenmarklay
                                stephenmarklay commented
                                Editing a comment
                                My tools have pretty much sucked so my brain had to work overtime
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