Advice on equipment

robs291March 11, 2009

I have a beginner to woodworking but would like to start getting in to it more. I have 2 projects to do right now, making 9 radiator covers and also wine racks for my basement. I am limited on space as I will be working out of the basement. I have already purchased a Rigid dual compound miter saw (on sale for $249) and am looking at the Bosch 4100-09 table saw with folding stand (which will help with my limited space). Any thoughts or comments on my equipment? I have no problem spending a little more for quality tools as I plan on using them in the future for other projects. Any and all advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

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The Bosch table saw is a good choice. The major drawback is the lack of useable top area when sawing long or wide stock. Using outfeed support helps---but I don't recommend the roller type stands. Rather than the roller type, the ball bearing type work much better. The roller type can make the stock move at an angle to the saw blade and cause all kinds of problems.

The Rigid miter saw will allow you to cross cut long stock more safely than on the table saw---but you will need support on both sides of it as well. Any adjustable support is fine, as the stock does not need to move to be cut.

Working in a confined area like a basement means the sawdust can be a problem. The least expensive solution is a shop vac---but get a Rigid model with a 2" or 3" hose---not the smaller hose. You can make or buy adapters to hook to the table saws dust collection port.

Dust collection on the miter saw is more difficult. The best method is to make a deflector that fits in the path of the sawdust stream and feeds into a dust collection port.

There are several other woodworking forums on the internet. I favor as it is free and has over 28,000 members from hobby to pro who are happy to help new comers or old hands.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 7:12PM
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I'm pretty much with Handymac on this. As an alternative, you might look at one of the hybrid saws (Jet or DeWalt, for example), on a mobile base. I think the Bosch saw is primarily aimed at the carpenter doing work on-site and portability is a key. I outgrew several saws and always wished I'd started a little higher.

If you need to rip an 8' board on a table saw, mostly you need 18' of clear space, even if it means running out the door or into the next room; the size of the saw cabinet is of lesser importance.

Don't forget hearing protection -- always.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 8:22AM
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Thanks for the advice...keep it coming please! Unfortunately I am really tight on space so that is why I was looking at the contractor saws and the folding base. I won't be leaving it set up all the time so I can fold it up and wheel it into a corner. Will probably do the same with the miter saw by adding folding base on wheels. I also was looking at the Bosch table saw because I did a little research and it seems to get well rated not only for performance but also for safety. Worst case, I can always upgrade to a hybrid or cabinet saw in a few years if necessary.

I have a shopvac to help with the dust collection but I know it is not ideal. Is it worthwhile getting the dust bag for the table saw or is the shopvac just as good? Also, any thoughts on the digital fence for the table saw? I may be able to get it for the same price w/o it, but will have to do some "negotiating" for it (sorry, can't explain until I actually get it, then will be happy to share).

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 8:57AM
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I started out with a Ryobl BT3000 table saw---it had a dust bag. I rigged up a shop vac---that pulled some of the sawdust from the top as well.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 10:10AM
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The big Rigid shop vac is adequate for dust collection in a home work shop. The most irritating dust comes from the orbital sanders because the dust is so fine. Get an orbital sander with holes in the base and a dust collecter. Take off the factory provided dust apparatus and hook up the shop vac to the dust port. The rubber universal vacuum adapter can be modified to fit any size or shape port. Once you can control the dust from your power sanders, working in your wood shop is going to be 10 times more enjoyable.

The Rigid shop vac is also powerful enough to capture dust from your tablesaw. Get a plumbing "mission band" adapter for 4" pipe to 2" pipe. This will hook up to the 4" dust port in your tablesaw and the 2" shop vac hose. The hose clamps provided with the mission band will hold the adapter in place.

Here is a link that might be useful: universal vacuum adapter

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 11:45AM
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Pick up a Kreg pocket cutter and a small thickness planer. Maybe a 12" semi portable one. Great for making the stiles you will need for your projects. The Kreg will make great solid frames for the radiator covers. Have fun!

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 10:10PM
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Purchased the Bosch 4100DG online today, now have to wait for delivery! A friend of mine also swears by the Kreg pocket jig, which sounds like it would be very helpful. I will pick one of those up this weekend or order online. I have a shopvac so that will help with the dust. If it is bad maybe I'll look on Craigslist for a smaller used dust collection system. Do you really think I need a planer? I briefly thought about it but wasn't sure if I really needed it.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 11:45PM
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I say you will always use the planer. When making frames you want S4S material. The small planer is the best way to remove saw marks and square your stiles. If you don't have good square stiles you don't get good frames. Plus it's nice to run all your material through a planer so you are starting with the same thickness. Not all 3/4" stock is 3/4" thick. So starting with the same thickness makes for better frames.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 5:53PM
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For serious woodworking you really need three tools -- a jointer to make one side of the stock flat, a planer to make the second side parallel to the first, and a table saw to dimension stock. Without flat, square stock everything else becomes problematic which eats up time and can be extremely frustrating.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 9:14AM
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I own the Bosch 4100. Great table saw. The rigid shopvac I have isn't strong enough to collect the majority of dust from it. I'm planning on getting a Delta 50-760 dust collector for that. The port on the back of the Bosch 4100 is 2.5". You don't need the digital readout the numbers are pretty big with the magnifier included. I use an ikea rolling cabinet with a self made extended top to use as an extension to the table saw. I put on the side for wide boards and back for long boards. I don't cut 4x8 panels on it. I get those rough cut at Lowes or Home depot then do the finish cut at home. Like you I don't have a lot of room so most of my equipment is on rollers. I'm a beginner and have built some 8' cabinets and a 26' shed cause the larger items are more forgiving if you're a little off. I'm practicing and hope to get better at this and the last thing I want is to make my equipment my excuse.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 10:31PM
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