|Forum topic by NoSpace||posted 01-02-2015 08:03 PM||3377 views||0 times favorited||24 replies|
01-02-2015 08:03 PM
I am an beginning woodworker with a bit of home DIY experience. So far, everything I’ve built falls under the categories of “shelf” or “cabinet” and is square or with straight angles. I’ve only cut curves in simple aprons for bookshelves. With pine, that’s worked out well using my blue Ryobi jigsaw, but I up’d my game with my latest bookshelf and used 3/4 inch (Home Depot) maple and the blade nearly melted after an eighth of an inch of cutting. I bought some new blades and eventually got through it alright with no burning, but the deflection was terrible and it took an hour or so of grinding with a dremel to make the pieces look good (enough).
In addition to the need of cutting some curves in plancks, I would like to try cutting cabriole legs for a small table—since I haven’t made a table yet, and in general I want to get away from the pure box look. As I understand it, to make a proper leg requires square stock “3”-”4” thick and I’m scratching my head at how to accomplish all this as efficiently as possible. For me, unfortunately, efficiency includes the phsyical footprint of the tool itself. I live in a small SoCal track home, and I have only a small portion of my garage and a tiny space at the side of my house to work with.
Acquiring a floor-standing bandsaw is a remote possibility, if I can put it on wheels, and store it in the one place I can, and build a cabinet around it. Then I would need to wheel it a few feet to the edge of the garage to use it and I would sacrifice space for other tools and it would be a bit of work, and it would also be some conflict wth the Mrs. to pull it off. But do I have an alternative? A coping saw or bow saw I guess are on the table, but as for power tools, I can only think of a jigsaw. The way I imagine it, if a jigsaw upgrade could get me to a place where I could cut my aprons in hardwood and at least 3” stock for legs (with some imaginative clamping) with roughly the same accuracy that I cut 3/4 inch pine with my Ryobi, then the problem may be solved that way. The biggest loss may be the inability to resaw, which I’d like to be able to do in a limited fashion for now (basically cut the 3/4” x 1 1/2” Home Depot hardwood strips in half). But are the main curve-cutting tasks I want to do even feasible with a jigsaw?
I realize blade deflection is the primary concern here, and I believe there may be only two jigsaws on the market that are even in the running for this task, the Festool Carvex or the Mafell p1cc. The Carvex has an updated guide system and the Mafell has some kind of rocket science that gets around guides altogether, and the reviews I’ve read lead me to believe either could handle aprons in 3/4” hardwood without delfecting but not so sure about the leg stock, as it’s not a common jigsaw task for a youtube video. And would simple resawing be possible?
Another possibility is a smaller band saw, say, the Craftsman 21400. I could get that on wheels and hide it easier than a floor-standing model, and that’s an inexpensive option. But then, will any bench-mount band saw have enough power to cut leg stock or to realistically resaw? If so, then for the price, this might be the best option. Often times, true capabilities are tough for me to glean from the reviews I’ve read or watched.
thanks for any input.