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Old 06-29-2017, 10:39 PM
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Default Woodworking questions

I'm finally getting semi-serious about starting some woodworking projects and the first thing I'm going to tackle is a legit work bench. I have a couple of questions I thought Hirize would have some advice on but figured I should post here in case others with experience might have something to share (rather than emailing Hirize directly).

I'm constrained by two relatively large challenges. First is that I don't have a huge amount of space both for the projects and for tools. I have a small 2-car garage that we park both cars in most of the time. When working of a project I will move one or both cars out but I don't plan on converting half of the garage into a permanent shop at the moment since this will generally be a weekend hobby. I do have an 8x8 plastic shed in the side yard which is great for storing the yard tools and bulky stuff though I probably wouldn't want to store any expensive power tools in there. I have lots of shelving around the perimeter of the garage. A lot of that shelving is currently in use but plenty of it could be moved into the attic for longer term storage.

The second problem is naturally I don't have $5000 to drop on a full set of tools that I'd like to have. I'm looking at a work bench that will probably cost $200 in materials and could easily cost thousands in tools since I'm starting from almost nothing (I just have basics like a circ saw, cordless drill, hammer, a few chisels, etc.). I do have access to a table saw that my parents own and I will probably take ownership of since they almost never use it.

My first solution to both of these challenges is to buy or acquire as many basic hand tools as possible and start learning the craft with those. They will generally be less expensive and take a lot less space than equivalent power tools and I think there is a great benefit to learning how to do shit right the way carpenters have done for hundreds of years rather than start with power tools and never learn the basics. My plan is to put together the following tools as a start for this work bench build:

No. 4 Smoothing Hand Plane
Combination Square
Large Square (already own)
Basic Hand Saw (capable of both straight cuts and some fine work)
Wood Marking knife
Set of Chisels and mallet (already own)
Clamps (more on this in a minute)

Any other tool suggestions that I should put on my short list? I'm not opposed to getting hand power tools which would probably save me some time. A router is something I don't have and would probably use a lot but I have no experience using one or building jigs for it.

All of the tools on that list that I don't own, I feel like I have found reasonably good quality options that aren't going to cost an arm and a leg with the exception of clamps. Fuck good quality clamps cost a lot! Of course I'd love to buy $1500 worth of JET bar clamps but there's just no way at this point. If I had space for a legit shop I might consider this harder but in my situation I just can't justify the cost. So I started looking at less expensive alternatives and it's extremely frustrating. It seems like anything that's decent quality is upwards of $100 for a pair and the ones that are substantially cheaper are such poor quality that they aren't worth even a penny for rough use. I think I need a minimum of 8 60" bar clamps just to glue up the laminated workbench top. I looked into harbor freight and I just couldn't bring myself to buy that crap. Any suggestions or recommendations of a good quality product that isn't crazy expensive? Should I just sack up and pay for a quality product? Another option is looking on Craigslist but I'm not experienced enough with clamps to really know if it's in good condition or if its a good product. This is one that I was considering checking out nearby. Any thoughts on these? Worth the cost or should I pass?

Pipe Clamps - tools - by owner - sale

In regards to the workbench itself, I've looked into a few options. The Paul Sellers youtube instructional videos are incredible and gave me the confidence to actually undertake this project without a full sized power jointer and thickness planer.

Building a Workbench - with Paul Sellers - YouTube

From a practical use standpoint, I'm thinking the table I actually build will be something more along the lines of this one:


Any other tips or suggestions would be very welcome as I start the slow descent down this epic rabbit hole.
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  #2  
Old 06-30-2017, 05:16 AM
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Default Re: Woodworking questions

Give me some time to answer you. I'll post something this weekend.
Some things on the tool list you really don't need and clamps are expensive but better options are out there.

In your situation you have to make a choice of lot's of tools or how to make things with what you have.
I made my bench with a craftsman table saw vintage 1992 a drill, chop saw and skilsaw. You can actually get away without the chop saw.

Most off you can find a top already glued up like I did, I'll do some hunting and show you what I used.

Cheers, Pete
PS, Should have done this when you were here and I had my shop :-)
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Old 06-30-2017, 07:11 AM
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Default Re: Woodworking questions

What type of projects are you thinking of doing after the workbench?

Like Pete, my bench was made with a skilsaw, chopsaw and a corded drill. Well, the speed square was used with a pencil as well.

Depends on what type of projects you want to do. Oh - check out garage sales.... I found my router for $5 and it has been working for 7 years now (no router table yet as I haven't had the room).
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Old 06-30-2017, 07:59 AM
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Default Re: Woodworking questions

Jay's bench was a fun project to watch unfold. When I have the space that's most likely the one I will copy as well.

On top of checking Craigslist for items for sale post an ad with what you are looking for. Some people have the stuff just laying around and have no idea how to get rid of it. Join a local makers page on Facebook, check the market there, flea markets, yard sales, etc. There are lots of quality tools just sitting in garages collecting dust.

Can't wait to see some builds.
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Old 06-30-2017, 10:30 AM
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Default Re: Woodworking questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hirize View Post
Give me some time to answer you. I'll post something this weekend.
Some things on the tool list you really don't need and clamps are expensive but better options are out there.

In your situation you have to make a choice of lot's of tools or how to make things with what you have.
I made my bench with a craftsman table saw vintage 1992 a drill, chop saw and skilsaw. You can actually get away without the chop saw.

Most off you can find a top already glued up like I did, I'll do some hunting and show you what I used.

Cheers, Pete
PS, Should have done this when you were here and I had my shop :-)
My email has changed!
Part of me wants to force myself to tackle something harder just to force myself to learn more techniques. Hand chopping mortises and tenons for example, or even just hand planing milled boards to make them straight and true so they will glue properly. With that being said I'm very much looking forward to what you have to say.

And it's an enormous regret of mine that I didn't take you up on that offer to join you in your shop. Life gets in the way, blah blah, but that was just stupid.
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Old 06-30-2017, 10:37 AM
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Default Re: Woodworking questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oz View Post
What type of projects are you thinking of doing after the workbench?

Like Pete, my bench was made with a skilsaw, chopsaw and a corded drill. Well, the speed square was used with a pencil as well.

Depends on what type of projects you want to do. Oh - check out garage sales.... I found my router for $5 and it has been working for 7 years now (no router table yet as I haven't had the room).
At some point down the road I'd probably like to make cabinets or custom shelving. The closet in our master bedroom has a lot of poorly used storage space that would be hugely upgraded by custom closet organizers. That's not something I will want to tackle until I have quite a bit more experience.
Other stuff I've thought about includes Adirondack chairs like the ones Richard Cranium made a while back and having a better spot to work on small projects like repairing a wooden toy or a broken drawer.
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Old 07-01-2017, 03:28 PM
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Default Re: Woodworking questions

I made a "work bench" out of 2 saw horses, some scrap 2x4's off a pallet, and a 2'x4' sheet of 1/2" plywood.

Totally portable, decent enough room to make stuff, and when you're done, you can put it away.

Not exactly a pro job, but works for me.

T
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Old 11-24-2017, 11:08 AM
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Default Re: Woodworking questions

I Usually by tools for a project as I need them. Tools are expensive enough to have useless redundant. I heavy flay work/assembly bench (IMO0 is a must, but not everyone agrees.

Spend some time researching table saws and don't get sucked onto the 3500k Sawstop unless you can affording or need it. Make a few things, see how you like the hobby and buy things that work for you, bot necessarily t=hat work for a custom cabin shop

Good luck and send some pics!

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Old 11-25-2017, 12:52 PM
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Default Re: Woodworking questions

Check out the Samurai Carpenter on youtube. He built a bench, and sell plans for it on his website, but just watching his youtube video about the damn thing is very informative.

He also does tool reviews and has a TON of videos about just an average guy (albeit talented) doing stuff to his own house all the time.

Very inspirational.
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Old 11-26-2017, 01:06 PM
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Default Re: Woodworking questions

Workbench is built already. Posted a build thread in the "Other Projects" forum.

Workbench - The Perfect Man Cave

@JustAnotherGuy - Yep I'm subbed to Samurai Carpenter on Youtube already. He puts out extremely high quality content. Also there is no way I could attempt to make his workbench with the limited tools I have. Maybe my next bench in 10+ years will like that one.
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