Just built my first large project. Here is my honest first impression of my tool arsenal.

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Forum topic by TDog77 posted 07-17-2012 02:48 AM 1515 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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125 posts in 2349 days

07-17-2012 02:48 AM

So I just posted my first woodworking project on Lumberjocks a couple of minutes ago and thought it might be nice to give my initial impression of the tools that I have acquired over the last year but have not heavily used until now. I spent about 80 hours on this build including sharpening, setting up some of the tools for the first time and the actual build so some of these got pretty heavy use generating about 8 plum full contractor bags full of shavings that I don’t have the heart to throw away yet….(I know Ill find a use somewhere).

If I had to pick my top three in no particular order they would be.
1. Sawstop 3HP cabinet saw= I could not be happier with this beast. Coupled with the Woodworker II blade this saw is clean, flat, accurate, powerful, smooth, quiet and sturdy. I literally could not find anything that I did not like about this saw.

2. Delta DJ-20 older model= There is a caveat to this one because in the beginning I was not to happy with how many times I had to change the blades but when I put a byrd head on the thing OHHHH baby. The DJ has just the right amount of length to handle the longer pieces yet still stay small enough for compact shops and the thing churns out square true stock everytime.

3. Your gonna love this one. Bahco carbide paint scraper from Rockler= I freaking love this thing. You cannot believe how well it takes glue off of joints perfectly flush with the surface even if there is a lot with very little effort.
You can even take small shavings of wood off almost like using a card scraper. The best 10 bucks I spent on the entire project. I actually look forward to using it and I tried multiple other items before getting this one.

The rest

My Shop fox 15 inch spiral planer almost placed top three here but the aforementioned ones were just too strong of competitors. The spiral cutterhead cuts clean on everything that I have put through it including figured wood with little to no tearout. I do get about 2.5 to 3 inches of snipe and was not able to tune it out but I am already use to planning for that and don’t mind too much. It was sure nice to have some heft when dealing with the long and super heavy top slabs of my bench, honestly I would have been pretty worried to feed it through anything less. I do wish some of the machining could have been better and the packing grease was ridiculous on this thing but it has done everything I asked and more. I should also mention that it really moves around my small shop well with the included mobile base.

My Jet 2 micron canister dust collector does ok but I really wish I would have waited for the cyclone model since the filter gets pretty jammed up with dust.

Festool of 1400 router. Honestly my most hated tool of the entire project. I don’t care for the handle configuration but am told it will grow in me. I love the dust collection when I can use it but it is freaking impossible to see around the bit when using it and if you have any clamps in the area for stops it is always in the way. I think the depthstop is cumbersome and I also don’t like the irregular shape of the base. On the flip side I love the edge guide and micro adjust. I hear great things about festool all the time and the build quality seems there so Ill keep working on this one to see if the love grows. Ill be starting another post on this one a different day.

Narex Mortise chisels. I love them then they are sharp but they don’t seem to hold and edge for crap even when compared to my bench chisels. Granted I was working with some pretty hard wood on some really large mortise slots but I will try another brand for additional sizes in the future.

Veritas block plane and medium shoulder plane. I truly love these two as well, easy to sharpen, hold, adjust and use plus they are a little more affordable then my LN planes. I will not hesitate in the future to get some more Veritas items. I am proud to have these in my arsenal.

Wood river jack plane. I am surprised by this one. For the price I am pleased at how it has performed initially, obviously it does not have the fit and finish of either the LN or Veritas but it has worked just fine for me so far. I try to stay away from China Com crap for as much stuff as possible but more times then not money is an issue and I think they are a nice option.

Lee valley bench chisels (yellow plastic handle) I spent a ridiculous amount of time to make the backs actually flat but after that pain in the arse I have really grown to like them. They take and edge really well to shaving sharp levels and seem to old it well. The handles are comfortable to hold and dont roll easily off of the table so I cannot complain at all so far.

Last but not least is my Laguna Band Saw 14 SUV. I will be making a long post about this one because after spending some time on the phone, internet, and in the books plus many hours scratching my head and two 1/2 inch 3tpi blades later it never worked worth a dam with those blades. When I switched to the 1/4 inch 4 tpi blade it ripped, cut and ate the wood just like it should so obviously I am doing something wrong. If you don’t know it the table on this thing sits quite low, for some cuts it is quite nice and others it sucks. The machining seems pretty good, there is good heft to the large wheels an access is good but I am a little torn on the supposed stellar guides. I think they are a little of a pain to adjust and my ceramic guides seem to want to fall out too easy but maybe all of this is better then many of the other options out there. P.S every time I called customer support they were prompt, friendly and helpful so hopefully they have fixed their ways.

After reading this I think it might seem to short and akward to give any decent input on the particulars of the items but since I took the time to type it I guess Ill post it just in case it may help any of you fellow jockers, because I know I have gotten a ton of it. Ask me any details if you would like.

3 replies so far

View tyvekboy's profile


1752 posts in 3010 days

#1 posted 07-17-2012 05:42 PM

RE: Your Jet Dust Collector. If you go to ROCKLER and ask to see inside the cyclone model dust collector, you’ll see that all they added was a cone shaped addition beneath the hole that separates the bottom bag and the top “filter” suspended with a bar across the opening. Others have added this too. Check this link:

I made this modification to my delta 1.5 hp dust collector. I made a metal cone but using a cheap wok cover should work too as pointed out in the above link. It’s also an easier solution.

I also added a cyclone to my system. If you’re interested, you can take a look at my modification at this link. IThis addition also prevents chunks of wood traveling through the impeller of the DC. Very little gets to the bottom bag of my DC.

Hope this helps.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View TDog77's profile


125 posts in 2349 days

#2 posted 07-17-2012 11:17 PM

Looks great to me. Thanks for taking the time to link it!

View ShaneA's profile


6929 posts in 2595 days

#3 posted 07-17-2012 11:23 PM

Sounds like you got some pretty nice tools to work with. The bench you made looks great. Hopefully you enjoy all of them for years to come. Thanks for sharing.

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