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Blog entry by rockman posted 03-02-2009 08:33 AM 990 reads 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hey fellers and ladies. I do mostly straight cuts. Nothing fancy like you guys. All my power tools are dewalt. My family found out that I was doin’ this stuff and they went nuts. I have a 12” miter saw. A jig saw. Circular saw. Got my drills. Everything was given in exchange for what I make. I got a little “coin” from the sales of the stuff I make and desire to be a real woodworker like you guys. Is there a project that you guys can recommend to give me a “taste” of woodworking. Nothing crazy. Some kind of beginner project that might require a handtool. One more thing if you please. What do you guys recommend, if you even use miter saws. Should I stick with my 12” non slider. Or should I get a 10” slider? I only inquire about the 10” ‘cause the 12” blades are so expensive.

-- Rocky in San Antone

15 comments so far

View ccpenco's profile


84 posts in 2807 days

#1 posted 03-02-2009 08:52 AM

maybe just a simple side table or something of that sort. nothing fancy, just legs and a top. you could add a drawer or something if you want. either that or a box or some sort

View doyoulikegumwood's profile


384 posts in 3415 days

#2 posted 03-02-2009 09:31 AM

well rock man im not sure precisly what your asking here what kindof projects have you made so far. thier are allot of intresting projects on here for ideas on what to make try making something you need mabey a tool box to store your tools thats a great first project your 12” miter saw will be just fine for now remember youll only have to buy 1 or 2 blades for it ever if you buy good ones try a forrest pricy but well worth the money.

happy sawdust making and welcome to the forum

-- I buy tools so i can make more money,so ican buy more tools so I can work more, to make more money, so I can buy more tool, so I can work more

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 3245 days

#3 posted 03-02-2009 02:14 PM

Rocky, it sounds as if you are already completing some woodworking projects with the benches and seesaws. So you definately are beyond the absolute beginner stage. As far as what to do next that is really dependent upon what you have a personal interest in. Personally I found that building shop cabinetry helped to hone my woodworking skills when I first started. I found that these were “less demanding” than furniture that was to be on display (and under the critical eye of my wife) and they provided me a place to work and store my tools.

But as far as the miter saw is concerned I would keep the one you have. A slider is nice addition. I have one and use it routinely for all my cross cuts that are up to 12” in width but it is not an absolute necessity if you already have a good miter saw.

One suggestion I would have is to consider a table saw, if your space will allow it. This is an essential tool for any woodworker who is going the power tool route. You can get by with a circular saw or even hand saws but if you are into power tools at all then a table saw should be at the top of your tool list.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 3737 days

#4 posted 03-02-2009 04:19 PM


View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 2981 days

#5 posted 03-02-2009 04:30 PM

I agree with everyone here. Start off with a box , a shelf or a small table. But keep that 12” miter saw you have. Get a good blade and it will last a long time.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 3308 days

#6 posted 03-02-2009 04:51 PM

Buy a router and build your own table, that was my 1st project and it helps with the learning curve. Search LJ’s for Router Table.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View rickf16's profile


386 posts in 3004 days

#7 posted 03-02-2009 05:37 PM

Rocky, I’m with Scott on this one. I would get a good table saw. I am on my second saw now and it should have been my first. Then go with Dennis’s suggestion. Get a router. If space is a premium, like in my shop, make a router table to put in your table saw. You can usually remove a wing and fit a router table in its place. I am in the process of doing that now. I’ll post pictures later. Good luck and welcome to LJ’s.

-- Rick

View woodshop13's profile


4 posts in 2805 days

#8 posted 03-02-2009 05:46 PM

Definitely support the idea of a table saw as your next priority addition. As far as cross cuts go you can easlily build a simple “sled accessory” for your talbe saw to hold pieces firmly square as you slide your wood across the saw. You’ll need a fairly fine saw blade for this if you’re going across the wood grain. If you’re cutting plywood across the face-grain you may wish to score the marked cut carefully with a sharp knife to prevent chipping.

View rockman's profile


3 posts in 2796 days

#9 posted 03-02-2009 06:13 PM

There are so many table saws out there. Just to match my other stuff I was going to buy the dewalt table saw, but i realize, this is not a fashion show. Any suggestions on which I should get? Take it easy guys, i’m looking for one under a grand…. if that. By the way, thanks you guys for all the comments. You guys really know what you’re talkin’ about. I got lucky I found this place! Thanks a bunch!!!

-- Rocky in San Antone

View Will Mego's profile

Will Mego

307 posts in 3135 days

#10 posted 03-02-2009 06:42 PM

I’m going to second john gray here, Get a combo square (probably starrett) and some hand chisels, if you must have another power tool, get a router, I picked up the porter-cable 890 series myself…then make a workbench, or if you have one, a better work bench. Study “the workbench book” by Landis and “Workbenches” by Schwarz. They aren’t just about workbenches, they’re about craft. Then the rest will fall into place.

-- "That which has in itself the greatest use, possesses the greatest beauty." -

View Matt 's profile


212 posts in 3172 days

#11 posted 03-02-2009 06:53 PM

I’m just starting wood working also and buying my own tools. A table saw is a must! I got this one as a gift for Christmas this year.
Its an alright saw to get started on but it don’t have a miter track. Which is also a must. :p
Its not to expensive and I love it. The blade that comes with it isn’t to to great but the saw has enough power to rip oak, walnut, maple and other hardwoods with ease.

-- Hold on! Let me get the board stretcher!

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 3245 days

#12 posted 03-02-2009 09:07 PM

With regards to the table saw, and with power tools in general, buy the most tool your budget will allow. When I first started on my tool odyssey a friend of mine advised me to not be afraid of spending money on tools and to follow this advice. At times I have bought tools simply on the basis of “economics” and invariably these are the tools that I either have since replaced or are ones that I have grown to dislike using and they simply sit in a drawer. Grizzley makes a good line of table saws in your price range.

I have always agreed with the concept that “it is better to cry once when you buy a tool rather than the 1000 times that you use it”.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View HallTree's profile


5663 posts in 3190 days

#13 posted 03-03-2009 12:03 AM

Keep the 12” Miter Saw.
Get a good Router
and a Good Table Saw
How about a simple box to put your ‘stuff’ in.
Then make a better box for a friend to put their ‘stuff’ in.
Then post your project, and a photo, and tells us about it.
And work safe. Use jigs. Use pushsticks.

-- "Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life" Solomon

View woodshop13's profile


4 posts in 2805 days

#14 posted 03-03-2009 02:03 AM

I’ll pass on advice on the table saw—except to say spend as much money as you can on the best quality you can. I am now using a 10” Ryobi (about 10 years old—it’s a neat little saw with a lot of features); and, a 10” cast iron top Rigid (it’s about 8 years old)—it’s okay. If I were buying today today I would spend all of a $1,000.00—it’s rough times out there—there should be some good buys coming our way soon! As far as a router goes I have a DeWalt 621 it’s a good machine but my all time favourite bit the dust recently—a professional grade black and decker with a round base (my favourite shape for a router base); it was 32 years old! The closest comparison(if you want a “freehand” router) to my old Band D would be a fixed base Porter Cable—my favourite is the one you see Norm Abrham use with the “D” handle.
Best of Luck.

View rickf16's profile


386 posts in 3004 days

#15 posted 03-03-2009 03:46 PM

I have the Steel City Hybrid saw. Essentially a contractor saw in a cabinet base. It comes with a 1 3/4 horse motor and a good fence. I’m happy with mine. Took out their blade and installed a Forrest Woodworker II. blade. I can cut 2” thick purple heart with no problem. Paid 1100+ for mine, but it was worth it. But like Scott said, get what your budget allows. May want to check on a used saw also. Good luck.

-- Rick

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