Ultimate Tool Stand Build dilemma...

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Forum topic by eben posted 01-04-2013 09:52 AM 3883 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View eben's profile


3 posts in 2206 days

01-04-2013 09:52 AM

So I’ve just managed to clean up my garage by building some shelves that probably leaves a lot to desire but they are functional and look ok to the untrained eye. Given the lack of clutter I’ve now actually got space for a workbench (which is much needed regardless of any woodworking being done).

My problem is that I’m fairly inexperienced at wood working, and I’m dead set on building a UTS ( I don’t have a table saw which seems to be the key to getting cuts accurate enough to make the project worth while.

I’ve got the following:

Compound sliding mitre saw
Circular saw
Hand planer
power and electric drills
circular sander

I’m happy to spring for a decent router as I feel it would be useful to have this in the UTS.

I’m not looking to buy a Table Saw in the near future as I’d probably want to go with something like the Saw Stop contractors saw (I’m a software developer and therefor reply on my fingers very much to earn a living).

I don’t think I’d get a lot of use out of a table saw so I’m not ready to commit to it and to give up the space it will occupy.

My question is: Is there any wisdom out there that I might draw on to actually pull this build off successfully with the given set of power tools I have?

11 replies so far

View chrisstef's profile


17799 posts in 3244 days

#1 posted 01-04-2013 01:52 PM

The link unfortunately wont open but using a straight edge and your circular saw you can get some very accurate cuts both ripping and cross cutting. Plenty of ways to skin a cat you just need to figure out what works best for you.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View ToddJB's profile


8318 posts in 2368 days

#2 posted 01-04-2013 02:03 PM

Hey eben,

This set would help if you only are using a circular saw (they also sell them individually). I’m pretty sure that that bench requires some dado cuts though, if I remember correctly, in which case getting a router would also benefit you. But good starter table saws can be had for cheap on Craigslist for around, or less, than a new router kit, plus bits, plus the straight edge guides… ect.

Good luck, and have fun.

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

View Bernie's profile


422 posts in 3074 days

#3 posted 01-04-2013 02:33 PM

Consider those guides ToddJB is pointing out for you Eben. Those are very useful especially if you’re using a circular saw and possibly a router which would be useful if you need to make dado cuts which are channels on the surface of lumber. You will need to practice so get yourself some scraps and take those tools out for a spin.
You’ve got a lot to discover like measuring to compensate the width of your cutting toools etc.

Welcome to LJ.

-- Bernie: It never gets hot or cold in New Hampshire, just seasonal!

View Bigjoemann's profile


27 posts in 2898 days

#4 posted 01-08-2013 11:33 PM

You might consider this new tool from Kreg, it helped me out tremendously when building this project: Other than that, a router is all you need to really make this happen.

Good luck!

View runswithscissors's profile


2927 posts in 2262 days

#5 posted 01-09-2013 06:26 AM

There are several posts which discuss making a circular saw cutting guide. These aren’t just a straight edge, but are 2 layers of ply laminated together. The top layer is set back from the edge of the lower piece the same distance as from the edge of the saw plate to the blade—a little more, since you then trim off the excess with the circular saw. When you go to make a cut, lay the edge precisely on your marks, clamp it in place, and you get a perfect cut. Make it a double wide, and use the other side in the same way for your router (of course, that only works for one size of router bit). You can also find folding tables or benches that mount your circular saw underneath, with the blade sticking up through. They require a fence for ripping. I’m not pretending they are as accurate as a real TS, but they’ll do in a pinch. My point is, you can do a lot of work with very few and simple tools. My first bench top saw was a tiny 7 1/2” Sears that I bought about 40 years ago, and used for at least 5 years. It’s amazing what I was able to do with that tiny, underpowered saw with only one blade, because nobody made a 7 1/2” blade other than the one I had. I’d guess the saw weighed only about 25 lbs.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View IrreverentJack's profile


727 posts in 3080 days

#6 posted 01-09-2013 02:57 PM

Eben, Here is the link to the Ultimate Tool Stand. Consider having the sheet goods ripped to size at your lumber yard. Tell them what your project is and maybe they’ll put a sharp blade in the panel saw. Good luck. -Jack

View Bigjoemann's profile


27 posts in 2898 days

#7 posted 01-09-2013 06:28 PM

Jack makes a very good point. I know our local Lowes gives you two free cuts, then all other cuts are $.50. That’s a great price, considering the accuracy of their repetitive cuts AND you don’t have to clean up that MDF dust!

View eben's profile


3 posts in 2206 days

#8 posted 01-22-2013 09:21 PM

Thanks for all the replies, I’ve been awol for a while but I’m on deck again.

I’ve been doing a fair bit of reading and research (I’m a bit OCD like that). I’m about to raise what I believe to be 2 very controversial topics in one post.

I’m considering a Sawstop contractors saw, which is expensive and will take up a lot of precious floor space (plus I’m not sure how much use I’ll get out of it, I’ve only done about 3 projects around the house its a brand new house and I struggle to see what projects I’ll be doing – make stuff up so I can pitch this to SWMBO). The sawstop will allow me to make all the cuts I need and saw my fingers too, but I’ll have to buy some extras to go with it like a dado stack, break, wheels, CI wings etc…

Then on the other hand I’ve been looking at Festool… These tools are expensive too (They do appeal to my inner geek though), the rail system looks like it will take care of repeatable cuts that I’d need the table saw for. I’ll obviously need to buy their router (but putting that into the router box of the UTS might be a challenge), Buying their Mitre Saw which has a depth limiter will allow me to cut Dado’s.

If I add up all the costs it seems like it’s about the same (except I’ll get a router too) which ever way I’ll go. Given that I’m not that experienced I’m sure there’s a lot that I’ve missed and I’m just oblivious to.

If those of you with more experience care to comment on the pro’s and con’s of going in the different directions it would be much appreciated. From what I can gather I can basically get a near full workshop in very little space without requiring uber skillz to pull precision builds off if I go down the Festool route. Of course the other thing is that this is just me playing around from time to time, I don’t have a lot of projects that I can see that I’ll want to do. I do think this will change once I have the tools and know how to do things, since I’ll look at things differently.

Please don’t hate me for posting this much controversy.

View matthewcressey's profile


76 posts in 2222 days

#9 posted 01-22-2013 09:37 PM

A TS is the way to go they are way more handy than you could know till youve owned one you can do almost everything on a table saw rip,crosscut,dato,bevel.angles,square stock and much more you can do a lot witht the other stuff but its a hassel to set every thing up on a miter saw and a circuler saw isent nearly as acurite even with guides.

View MT_Stringer's profile


3183 posts in 3468 days

#10 posted 01-22-2013 09:55 PM

@eben – I think a good table saw will do wonders for a lot of projects. Mount it in a mobile base so it can be moved out of the way. Mobile carts or stands really help when you need to set up to work on your project. Four locking casters on each cart will help stabilize it when your are operating the tool attached to it.

I am working out of a one car garage and all of my projects were built in it. When I need to cut down plywood, I set up saw horses in my driveway and rip/cross cut to create smaller, easier to manage pieces.

Feel free to check out my projects which include a work bench/assembly/outfeed table and a flip top mobile cart for my planer/oscillating sander. Space saver!

And pay special attention to this project.

Hope this helps.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View waho6o9's profile (online now)


8539 posts in 2814 days

#11 posted 01-22-2013 10:06 PM

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