|Review by RayW||posted 01-20-2008 04:31 PM||3624 views||0 times favorited||20 comments|
I learned basic woodworking from an uncle many years ago while helping him remodel his him. I was an enjoyable time for me I loved the smell of the wood shop and was constantly learning. My uncle was a cabinet and furniture maker, with a long waiting list, in his spare time so he had all the equipment you can dream of.
Well, it’s 20 years later now and I’m working a desk job in IT and need a hobby that is not at a computer and I remembered the smell of the fresh cut wood. So in preparation for my new hobby I told everyone “for Christmas just get me gift certificates to Home Depot”, still a great store that I use all the time.
I did a little looking around and decided that since what I wanted to get into doing was box making I really didn’t need “big” tools and what seemed to be the king of small tools at the time was Ryobi. I was impressed, I was able set up my shop for under $500. Table Saw, Band Saw, Plunge Router (I still have this one an love it btw) and a few other miscellaneous tools such as sanders and such.
The first thing I set out on was making some jigs, that went fairly well but the I ran into an issue right away on my cut off sled. Ryobi did not use standard miter slot sizes, so I had to hand make the miter runner for my sled and that also meant none of the good after market miters would work with it either.
I mad a few small projects with it, a shadow box and a few boxes, all of which were just not quite right. I chalked it up to re-learning. But my next project was a little different, my wife wanted some picture rails make for a room in the basement. No problem says I, the newly ordained woodworker. I measured, drew out a plan, got approval on the design (a necessary step with this customer), and went to the lumber store.
When I got back I measured everything again and set up my table saw. I set the fence at 2-3/8” for the long cut of the top board, ran the board through and it looked odd … I measured it, 2-3/8” on one end and 2-3/4 on the other … it was only 30” long so it was noticeable. I re-measured the fence, it had moved 3/8” in a 30” cut! Thinking it must be loose some how I set about tightening things up a bit, I set the fence, and ran the board through again, wide side first, now both end are 2-3/8” but the middle is still off …. checked the fence again, it had moved again. I wound up using a board, that I added cleats too, clamped to the of the say as a fence to get past this project. I called my uncle for advice, which I followed and went out and bought a real table saw, a Delta 10” Contractor Table Saw with a BIESEMEYER Fence. I have been happy with that every since.
So the bottom line advice is if you’re just starting, sometimes you get exactly what you pay for, I will never buy another Ryobi tool even though I’m happy with the plunge router.
-- Amateur at best