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  • Question for the wood working pro's

    Ive been wanting to get into some wood working for a while and can finally afford to. I want to start makeing furniture and such at this point. What all would you suggest i get. I cant make up my mind between a radial arm saw and a table saw. What would you all suggest and why? Thanks in advance

  • #2
    Table saw for first stationary tool. Ridgid 3650 if you have a big enough shop or the TS2400 if you are short on space. Next machines would be a jointer and Planer if furniture will be your main projects.
    info for all: http://www.hoistman.com http://www.freeyabb.com/phpbb/index....wwtoolinfoforu --- "I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me."

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    • #3
      Like you, I'm just getting into making furniture. The Delta contractor table saw I had gave me a good start for a few years. The TS3650 is just so much better, yet I haven't even switched out the factory blade yet!

      Seems like the first response you got was one I've heard many times before. First a table saw and then a jointer and planer. Best of luck with it. Post some pics when you make something.

      Skip
      Stay well and play well.
      Skip

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      • #4
        Don't forget clamps, lots of clamps! If you don't intend to upgrade the factory miter guage, you'll also want a good CMS or possibly even a SCMS. Other tools that may not be necessary but are very helpful would be, in no particular order:
        1. Band saw or jigsaw
        2. Random Orbital Sander
        3. Pneumatic brad nailer and small air compressor
        4. Dust collector AND air filtration unit
        5. Drill/Driver
        6. After market saw blades and dado set
        7. Circular saw
        8. Hearing Protection
        9. Router
        10 Drill press

        I'm sure I've left out a bunch of stuff but you get the idea. Probably the most important thing you'll need is a good healthy dose of respect for your tools. If you don't treat any tool with the respect it deserves, it WILL at some point jump out and bite you.
        Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

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        • #5
          All of the above, but pick up a couple of good books on cabinetry and jointery and do some serious reading before you just run out and buy the recommended tools. If you don't want to buy, then visit your local library. With that under your belt, you'll be prepared to ask some more questions and have a fairly good insight on tools you'll need, things you need to be careful with, the room or space that is required, and the skills you will be excited about achieving.

          CWS

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          • #6
            I'm just starting out too. The library has been invaluable to me. Another source I have been using for info is the TV. I've found that The New Yankee Workshop and Ask This Old House have been pretty good resources.

            BadgerDave, what is a CMS? Also, what mitre gauge upgrade do you guys reccomend for the 3650?

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            • #7
              jigsaw,

              CMS = Compound Mitre Saw.

              I have seen many people on this forum upgrading to the Incra Mitre gauge. I looked at one the other day while visiting Woodcraft and was close, but manage to keep the wallet on a leash thus far. But I am fairly new at most of this as well so perhaps when I have a bit more experience under my belt I will better understand why to buy one and see the advantages of spending the money. Until then I have done pretty well with the stock mitre gauge, but am sure when I get into more serious and larger projects I will be upgrading.
              Still enjoying all 10 fingers!

              Comment


              • #8
                The TS is the most important and most often used tool in my shop. Not only does it do a great job with all my cutting needs, the large flat table surface comes in handy for many situations. I don't even own a RAS and have zero plans to get one.

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                • #9
                  And the flip side for me anyway

                  The RAS is the most important and most often used tool in my shop. Not only does it do a great job with all my cutting needs, the large flat table surface comes in handy for many situations. I don't even own a TS but I do plan on getting one some day as they are easier to use than a RAS for certain cuts

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                  • #10
                    Since you have the flip side from Wayne, I'll have to give you the "flop side". I've used Dad's late-60's vintage Craftsman RAS with a good blade for quick cut-offs for years and used a Shopsmith for rips, etc. Since buying the 3650 I'll use it for most cuts but still use the RAS for quick cut-offs. Now that I've bought a CMS I plan to make the RAS a permanant dado saw and assign the other work to the TS and CMS. That's my take, FWIW.
                    Later,
                    Chiz
                    Later,
                    Chiz

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      ironhat, I do the same as you since I have all three tools. I leave a dado setup for 3/4" in the RAS, and use the SCMS for crosscuts, miters, etc. The TS handles the rest and any dados other than 3/4".
                      ---------------
                      Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                      ---------------
                      “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                      ---------
                      "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                      ---------
                      sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Chiz,

                        I inherited a Craftsman RAS from an uncle, but only use it for cutoffs as I have the 3650 and find it more accurate. I do not have lots of experience with the RAS and I guess one could be "fine tuned" and such things as the distance from bottom of blade to top of table could be made more accurate than what mine currently is. Your comment that you planned to set it up for dado cuts is interesting and I wonder how you will overcome controlling the depth.

                        Jerry
                        It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Jerry,

                          Do you know if the guard was replaced on this RAS under the recall?
                          If not go to www.radialarmsawrecall.com , enter the model and serial number, and find out if the saw qualifies. If it does you will get free a new, better guard, a new table top (all three pieces), and a new instruction manual for the RAS. You can also download the manual from the website w/o sending for the updated guard.

                          With the new table top surface and the manual, you can setup the saw to be accurate as possible for a RAS.

                          I did this for my Craftsman RAS that I bought in '84. They sent me the new guard and table within 10 days. I had it changed out and setup in a couple hours. The RAS is like new now and has the new style guard to boot.
                          ---------------
                          Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                          ---------------
                          “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                          ---------
                          "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                          ---------
                          sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'm a big radial arm saw fan. There's not a lot of them in use anymore as compared to shops with table saws. My RAS was made for Sears by Emerson Electric (Ridgid's parent company) and is a 1973/4 vintage cast-iron column, arm, and yoke assembly. It's a great saw and it will always hold the prominent place in the new shop. (I just purchase a second one, of the same model, to use for parts.) But, the new RASs are very expensive IMHO and seem to be made considerably cheaper. The RAS has some advantages, but for the most part the SCMS has overtaken the RAS as a favored tool. Mostly, I would suspect, because it is much easier to set-up and keep in alignment.

                            The table saw, while not as versatile (in my opinion) as a RAS, is far more popular and is the considered choice for most woodworking cuts. Frankly, I've shyed away from the table saw because of an unfortunate experience when I was young. I did however recently purchase my first table saw. You can buy an awful lot of quality in a table saw, for a lot less than even a mediocre RAS and in the process you'll find a much larger supporting audience as well as woodworking books and articles for table saw use.

                            Regarding the recall, unfortunately they didn't make a retrofit lower guard for my particular model. They do offer $$ should I want to turn it in, but the tool is far too valuable to me. I haven't set up my new table saw yet, as it will go into the newly purchased home as soon as I get time to set up the shop. I'm still of the thought that doing cross-cuts and miters on the table saw will be much more difficult and less accurate with the table saw, than it has been on the RAS. In my experience, once the RAS is set up in a permanent shop environment, it would be hard to beat on such cuts, even with a SCMS.

                            Regarding Jerry's concern for controlling the depth of a cut, my RAS is fairly precise with a 1/8-inch distance being covered with each complete revolution of the elevation handle. Still, I do a trial cut on scrap. It is critical that your table is perfectly flat and that the arm is designed to be substantial enough so that there is no drop as the yoke is advanced along the arm. For woodworking, I don't see a few thousands of an inch as being critical; at least across the 15.5 inches of travel that my RAS is limited to.

                            I hope this helps,

                            CWS
                            Last edited by CWSmith; 02-05-2006, 07:05 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Thanks Bob,

                              I will look into it.

                              Jerry
                              It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious.

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