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ChaoticSeven
Aug 11, 2005



Sasquatch! posted:

My woodworking experience pretty much begins and ends with my MAME arcade cabinet. Dunno if MDF counts as "woodworking" though. But it's something that I've always wanted to get into, so I'll be following some of the links here.

For something just starting to dabble, where do you think money for someone on a limited budget would be best spent? I have a (non-plunge) router, circular saw, jigsaw, miter saw. I'm guessing a table saw? Or a plunge router? Any recommendations on makes/models (in the vein of "good quality for a home hobbiest")?

Yep, in your position I'd be looking for a tablesaw. If you want new, but still affordable and won't go to poo poo I'd look at Grizzly. I have two of the bandsaws, 6inch jointer and the contractor saw. Haven't had any problems out of any of them.

If you're going with a contractor saw try :

http://www.grizzly.com/products/10-...hase-110V/G0444

If you're looking for a cabinet saw, which actually takes up less room due to the motor not hanging off the back, offers more power and dust collection that doesn't...suck take a look at this :

http://www.grizzly.com/products/10-...ft-Tilt/G1023SL

I wish I'd saved my pennies a little while longer and got the cabinet saw personally. But I didn't have 220 at the time and also didn't know how long I'd stick with it. Also, although I recommended the GO444 contractor saw if you took the next step up to the GO444Z you get cast iron wings, which I'd prefer over the painted steel wings on the GO444. Extra half horse power too.

I think one of the best woodworking investments is a Starrett 12" combination square. Sure, it look expensive compared to the 5 dollar ones at Lowes but it will be absolutely square, stay absolutely square and feels like sex. Plus, you can use the head to set your tablesaw blade to 90 and 45.

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wormil
Sep 12, 2002

Hulk will smoke you!

Sasquatch! posted:

I have a (non-plunge) router, circular saw, jigsaw, miter saw. I'm guessing a table saw? Or a plunge router? Any recommendations on makes/models (in the vein of "good quality for a home hobbiest")?

Table saw. I have a Delta contractor's saw with extension table. Delta and Jet are the top brands in contractor saws. If you want to save money and are willing to compromise on the finish, Grizzly makes dependable tools but their fit and finish can be a little rough. I would also recommend a set of Marples chisels and an inexpensive bench plane (a modern Stanley is sufficient just be prepared to put some elbow grease into tuning it). Learn the Scary Sharp method for sharpening the latter two and flattening the sole of your bench plane.

Sasquatch!
Nov 18, 2000




Cmdr. Chompernuts posted:

I personally could not live without a table saw. If you have access to a truck you can usually get good deals off craigslist. However what you need depends entirely on what you want to do in woodworking. Do you have any thoughts or projects that have caught your eye?
I remember thinking that building something like a tongue drum (there was a good thread about it here actually). Aside from that, I'd love to take a crack at furniture like a simple TV stand...maybe a coffee table? Something along those lines.

ChaoticSeven posted:

Yep, in your position I'd be looking for a tablesaw. If you want new, but still affordable and won't go to poo poo I'd look at Grizzly.
...
http://www.grizzly.com/products/10-...hase-110V/G0444
http://www.grizzly.com/products/10-...ft-Tilt/G1023SL

wormil posted:

Table saw. I have a Delta contractor's saw with extension table.
Cripes, $1000 is way more than I was thinking, but I'll probably at least start looking toward table saws and see what's what. Thanks for the advice!

wormil
Sep 12, 2002

Hulk will smoke you!

Sasquatch! posted:

Cripes, $1000 is way more than I was thinking, but I'll probably at least start looking toward table saws and see what's what. Thanks for the advice!

If you really want to go DIY, one of my woodworking magazines had a story on a man in Mexico who turned out nice furniture using a tablesaw he built from scrap wood and a washing machine motor. I think his furniture was made from scavenged hardwood pallets.

PMan_
Dec 23, 2002


Does anyone know where I might find plans to build a stand for a "portable" table saw? I found a table saw and a band saw in my mother in law's garage that was there when she moved in, and I have commandeered them. This fits perfectly into my plan to not spend very much money while I figure out if this is something I'm going to stick with.

Problem is, I don't really have anything to put the table saw on. I figure that building a stand for it myself will not only yield a stand for the table saw, but also allow me to get some woodworking practice in. I've looked around for some plans on-line but haven't really found anything. Is this the sort of thing that there just aren't any plans around for because it's so basic?

apatite
Dec 2, 2006

Got yer back, Jack



PMan_ posted:

Is this the sort of thing that there just aren't any plans around for because it's so basic?

Unfortunately this is probably the case.

Luckily, you will get much more enjoyment out of it if you design AND build it yourself

First I would take a look at the saw and figure out where the mounting points are for the base. Make a sketch of this with dimensions.

Then maybe get online and look at other table saw bases like this one:



Sure, it wasn't made of brazilian jungle wood by hand in your great grandfather's wood shop, but it _is_ a table saw stand, and that is what you want.

Figure out what materials you want to use to make your stand, and how you will be putting it all together. Use the pictures of others to decide how you will build it.

Then make another sketch of the whole thing, with attachment points for the saw.

Since most people on SA are geeks you might want to use a CAD program or google sketchup or something if you aren't comfortable sketching on paper (although you should be!)

After your sketch of the whole thing is done, go ahead and build the sucker. Remember that stupid old quote though: "measure twice, cut once"

You can see though, a table saw base is a relatively simple beast, and should be no match to build for a being so complex as the human

wormil
Sep 12, 2002

Hulk will smoke you!

PMan_ posted:

Does anyone know where I might find plans to build a stand for a "portable" table saw?

Wood magazine has featured contractor saw stands several times. Here is one:

http://woodstore.net/mosaroce.html

Another:
http://www.shoptours.org/shop_tours...cott-engle.html

The ultimate in portability though might be a Black & Decker Workmate.

Alternately you can pickup one of the cabinet books I mentioned earlier and design your own. Basically you just want a cabinet that will position the saw about waist height and I would build it with lockable wheels.

More for your saw:
http://www.woodmagazine.com/woodwor...l-cutting-sled/
http://www.woodmagazine.com/woodwor...esaw-miter-jig/
http://www.woodmagazine.com/woodwor...p-fence-saddle/
http://www.woodmagazine.com/woodwor...w-tenoning-jig/

PMan_
Dec 23, 2002


Alright, thanks much for your suggestions. I am indeed inspired to get something done on my own here. I came across a design I like (more or less) in the google sketchup model area. Seems like it could work pretty well, but I have a couple of questions. First, here is a picture of it:



Now, I presume that most of this is made with plywood. I don't understand what's going on with the top, though. I don't think I need to do the "raised surface" that's going on there. It also looks like the lighter colored wood surrounding the top is just attached to it somehow, so I imagine that is "normal" wood like 2x4's trimmed down and not plywood.

So, I guess my question is, would just one sheet of plywood along the top of this thing be sturdy enough? Should I glue 2 pieces of plywood together to make the top thicker, if something like that would even work?

Also, what kind of joints would be going on here? Just butt joints with screws or something more complex?

Sorry for the questions, just trying to get a good understanding of what exactly is going on here before I actually attempt to start stuff. And thanks!!

wormil
Sep 12, 2002

Hulk will smoke you!

PMan_ posted:

Now, I presume that most of this is made with plywood. I don't understand what's going on with the top, though. I don't think I need to do the "raised surface" that's going on there. It also looks like the lighter colored wood surrounding the top is just attached to it somehow, so I imagine that is "normal" wood like 2x4's trimmed down and not plywood.

So, I guess my question is, would just one sheet of plywood along the top of this thing be sturdy enough? Should I glue 2 pieces of plywood together to make the top thicker, if something like that would even work?

Also, what kind of joints would be going on here? Just butt joints with screws or something more complex?

Sorry for the questions, just trying to get a good understanding of what exactly is going on here before I actually attempt to start stuff. And thanks!!
Yes, you would build this with 3/4" plywood, preferably a hardwood plywood, second choice would be Melamine sheet stock, third choice would be sanded pine plywood. For joinery, beginning with the simplest, pocket screws or biscuits or dadoes. (this is where a cabinetry book will come in handy)

Two pieces for the top would be sturdier but not necessary if you brace the center, not so much because of the weight but you don't want any flex at all while cutting otherwise you might pinch the blade and see nasty things happen.

The top on your picture looks like it might have holes for dogs (not the barking kind).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bench_dog

wormil fucked around with this message at 20:21 on May 18, 2008

PMan_
Dec 23, 2002


Fantastic, thank you much. Hopefully I can get started on that soon. But first, another question. Any recommendations on "entry level" table saw blades? The one in the table saw I salvaged from my mother in law is pretty rusty, and the teeth appear to be bent in various directions.

wormil
Sep 12, 2002

Hulk will smoke you!

Easy one, the best tablesaw blade is the Forrester II ($100-110), second best and about half the price of the Forrester are Frued blades (~$40). There are cheaper Frued blades but I would stick with the ~$35+ blades. For a really inexpensive blade I recommend Oldham ($15-20), available from Home Depot.

ChaoticSeven
Aug 11, 2005



Yeah, the best combination blade (ripping and crosscutting) I've tried so far is the Forrest Woodworker II 40 Tooth. The kerf width is up to you. Thin kerf .100 blades are supposed to help ease cutting thick material on lower powered tablesaws. Some people say the trade-off to that is the blade can deflect, or bend tiny amounts during the cut causing it to be somewhat rougher that a full kerf blade. I've had the opportunity to see both in action, and to be honest I couldn't tell the difference in cut quality. I use the thin kerf, friend has a cabinet saw and I got him the full kerf. Both are $90ish right now at Amazon, and you can get those particular blades as low as $79 if you keep an eye on them.

I've found the thin kerf drops in price more often.

PMan_
Dec 23, 2002


Excellent, thanks for the suggestions. I'm pretty excited, hit up a "tool blowout" I saw on craigslist last night, came away with a 6" bench grinder, a Stanley bench plane and block plane, a water stone, and a set of 5 Marples chisels for a total of $40.

Now I've just got to whip these planes back into shape (which I think I know how to do thanks to "The Handplane Book"), and get this table saw cleaned up and I should be good to go.

SkunkDuster
Jul 15, 2005






On the topic of books, The Workbench Book by Scott Landis is my favorite.

There are no plans nor measured drawings in that book, so you aren't going to just crack it open and build a bench. What I like about it is that it is just plain interesting to sit down and read (not dry as hell like most WW books) and also makes you really think about the type of workbench that works best for you.

If there was ever a bench that was used to make sawdust, it is analyzed in detail in that book. Everything from the monster Shaker benches to luthier benches to boat building benches to the ultra utilitarian Japanese benches. He spent time working with them and working with the people that use them on a daily basis to be able to write his book from a first hand perspective.

Phummus
Aug 4, 2006

If I get ten spare bucks, it's going for a 30-pack of Schlitz.

I inhereted a shop from my father when he died, and have a ton of tools that I really don't know what to do with.

I would like to pick up and work wood the way he did, just to connect with him in some way. I have most of the basics: table saw (Rigid contractor saw), 13" planer, jointer (also both rigid). There's a drill press and a router table with a router mounted in it, and a pluge/fixed router (rigid again). I have a Rockler dovetail jig that I can't figure out to save my life. The only glaring omission to the arsenal is a band saw.

I also have an assortment of hand tools. Some generic chisels, a block plane, a wide selection of clamps, try-square, etc.

I'm familiar with squaring up rough lumber, and have made some simple boxes out of scraps that he left behind. I even made a wall-mounted jewelery case for my wife. (photos are available if anyone is interested).

I guess my question is where to begin. How do I figure out the dovetail jig? Whats a good method to learn how to build furniture. My father made some gorgeous stuff after he retired, and I would love to be able to match it when I have a few years' experience under my belt.

I am mostly of the Normster mindset. Eventually, I would love to be able to build new kitchen cabinets for the house, and I understand the theory behind making a raised panel door, etc. Is it just a matter of practice?

wormil
Sep 12, 2002

Hulk will smoke you!

MuppetPastor posted:

1. I guess my question is where to begin.

2. How do I figure out the dovetail jig?

3. Whats a good method to learn how to build furniture.

I am mostly of the Normster mindset. Eventually, I would love to be able to build new kitchen cabinets for the house, and I understand the theory behind making a raised panel door, etc. Is it just a matter of practice?
1. I recommend finding a woodworking class taught by a local college. These are often held in local high school wood shops and are great for learning the fundamentals which will make you a more efficient and safer woodworker. There are also many private woodworking classes but these tend to be very expensive.

2. try starting here:
http://images.rockler.com/tech/RTD10311373AC.pdf

3. Tage Frid teaches woodworking, get all three volumes
Also the books I recommended earlier in the thread.

Yeah, raised panel doors can be simple or more complex. They can be done pretty easily with a good router/table or shaper and the appropriate bits.

PMan_
Dec 23, 2002


Alright, first of all, I'd totally like to see that jewelry case for your wife.

Second, yes, surprisingly I have some more questions. My shop, such as it is, is coming together pretty well. I will soon attempt to put together some cutting boards, as shown on one of those wood whisperer videos.

The problem for me comes in with the "handle" area. He uses a router to take a chunk out around the bottom for hand-holds. I don't have a router, and I don't see one too close in my future since the great majority of the budget for this has already been spent elsewhere, and it wasn't that big to begin with. Also, clamps are expensive.

So, I've been trying to come-up with a couple solutions for this. I was thinking I could maybe just cut the straight-line edges of the handholds with the tablesaw, and then chisel the rest of it out. Or, as I saw in that Taunton's Complete Woodworking, perhaps I could use the tablesaw to cut a small cove and chisel-out the curvy parts so it's smooth. Or, it just occurred to me that instead of just making the edges with the tablesaw, maybe I should pretend I have a dado blade and make many thin cuts right next to each other with my normal saw blade?

I dunno, just trying to decide what the best method would be here. Thanks again for any insights.

Phummus
Aug 4, 2006

If I get ten spare bucks, it's going for a 30-pack of Schlitz.

PMan_ posted:

Alright, first of all, I'd totally like to see that jewelry case for your wife.

here you go:



It's really just another box, but mounted to the wall. I used cherry for the sides, cherry plywood for the panels, and walnut for the hook strips inside. Plenty of room for necklaces on the top row, bracelets on the bottom row, and though the photos don't show it, the walnut "shelves" are deep enough to hold rings, earrings, etc.

wormil
Sep 12, 2002

Hulk will smoke you!

PMan_ posted:

The problem for me comes in with the "handle" area.

Yeah, clamps are expensive. Two options: 1. Harbor Freight, and 2. bar clamps, the type that screw onto black iron pipe.

If I understand about the handhold, the tablesaw and dado idea should work. You can either make many small cuts or make a poor man's dado out of a bunch of cheap 7.25 circular saw blades, use washers as spacers. The trouble with using a single blade is that to do this safely you should clamp the board in place then raise the blade, you will probably have to build a jig to keep the board from moving front to back while allow it to slide sideways. I would buy half a dozen cheap blades then smooth it out with a chisel. If you have a drill press it might be easier to use that. Or you can just forget about the handhold and spend the time building your next project (probably what I would really do).

Cmdr. Chompernuts
Jun 6, 2004



PMan_ posted:

handle problem


Are you sure you can't get a router? You could get a cheapo fixed base at lowes for ~$60. and as long as you take your time and make shallow passes that get gradually deeper you should be fine. However I would avoid the round overs. Router bits are god drat expensive (At least for the ones that are worth a drat) so get a good straight bit and call it a day

i81icu812
Dec 5, 2006


Dang, the 'build your own canoe' thread went off into the abyss of the archives. Anyone have the links to the canoe building sites saved?

PMan_
Dec 23, 2002


Cmdr. Chompernuts posted:

Are you sure you can't get a router? You could get a cheapo fixed base at lowes for ~$60.

That is definitely much cheaper than other routers I was looking at, but would that router be decent, or am I better off just socking some money away each month for a more expensive router? I had been previously eyeing up a DeWalt router kit that goes for around $250 on Amazon.


i81icu812 posted:

Dang, the 'build your own canoe' thread went off into the abyss of the archives. Anyone have the links to the canoe building sites saved?

I know he built with plans from Chesapeake Light Craft, http://www.clcboats.com/

That's a pretty good site for some tips on boatbuilding, as well as buying plans and materials.

wormil
Sep 12, 2002

Hulk will smoke you!

i81icu812 posted:

Dang, the 'build your own canoe' thread went off into the abyss of the archives. Anyone have the links to the canoe building sites saved?

I think this link I saved from that thread.

http://personal.eunet.fi/pp/gsahv/index.htm#XX1
and
http://www.duckworksmagazine.com/

Cmdr. Chompernuts
Jun 6, 2004



PMan_ posted:

That is definitely much cheaper than other routers I was looking at, but would that router be decent, or am I better off just socking some money away each month for a more expensive router? I had been previously eyeing up a DeWalt router kit that goes for around $250 on Amazon.


If you can wait for the DeWalt, I say do it. I have nothing but good things to say about DeWalt routers, (in fact I have good things to say about most of their tools)

Gorilla Salsa
Dec 4, 2007

Post Post Post.


I was wondering if someone can give me a quote on this little project I thought up. I would like to build an entertainment center that can accomodate my setup. I'm thinking something like this:




(The ethernet thing I'm talking about is here)

I want the area with the PS3/360/Wii to be entirely covered except for areas that get used (Disk slots/USB ports, etc.)

Any tips/recommendations/discouragements/encouragements would be great.

wormil
Sep 12, 2002

Hulk will smoke you!

Gorilla Salsa posted:

I was wondering if someone can give me a quote on this little project I thought up.

If you're looking for someone to build it for you then you should find woodworkers in your area and ask them for a quote. If you want to know how much it would cost to build from scratch, a few hundred dollars in lumber costs if you used a hardwood plywood. To get a more accurate estimate you need to write down the sizes of all the individual pieces and then either figure manually or use a sheet layout program like this to find out how many sheets of plywood you'll need.

More cutlist programs:
http://www.delphiforfun.org/Programs/CutList.htm
http://cutlistplus.com/

For ideas on how to build it, I suggest the cabinetry books I mentioned earlier in the thread. This project is basic case construction (pocket screws or biscuits or dadoes).
Recommended tools = tablesaw, router and biscuit joiner.
To cover the front, I would recommend tinted Lexan or plexi since you need to cut small holes in it.

mutata
Mar 1, 2003

You walk in with the Turnips, you leave with the Bells.



So I'm gearing up to build a loft bed, and the plans call for mainly 2x4s and 2x6s (ripped by 1/2 an inch). I started by scouting out Lowes and Home Depot to see what they have their lumber prices at.

Home Depot's prices are 2x6x120 for $3.49ea and 2x4x104 for $2.69ea
Lowe's prices are 2x6x120 for $5.25ea and 2x4x120 for $3.49ea

Are their prices really that blatantly different or was I just looking at some cheaper wood in Home Depot? The wood at Lowes was Douglas Fir, or something of that nature, I don't remember what I was looking at at Home Depot, but now I'm doubting myself.

Catenoid
Mar 3, 2008

by Tiny Fistpump


How difficult would it be to construct a desk with curvilinear boundary, and what would be some of the structural concerns?

I am not even considering the more difficult non-Euclidean desk yet.

funny song about politics
Feb 11, 2002


College Slice

mutata posted:

So I'm gearing up to build a loft bed, and the plans call for mainly 2x4s and 2x6s (ripped by 1/2 an inch). I started by scouting out Lowes and Home Depot to see what they have their lumber prices at.

Home Depot's prices are 2x6x120 for $3.49ea and 2x4x104 for $2.69ea
Lowe's prices are 2x6x120 for $5.25ea and 2x4x120 for $3.49ea

Are their prices really that blatantly different or was I just looking at some cheaper wood in Home Depot? The wood at Lowes was Douglas Fir, or something of that nature, I don't remember what I was looking at at Home Depot, but now I'm doubting myself.

It could be that you're looking at different grades of wood. I don't see it as very likely that two nearby, competing stores would vary so much on such a staple item. Home Depot may be selling economy grade studs as a promotional item, while you may be looking at Lowes' better stock. You'll probably want to inspect your stock carefully, because structurally speaking just about any stock will do, but you want wood that is straight, stable and clear (ie free of knots and defects) if it's going to contribute to a piece of furniture.

wormil
Sep 12, 2002

Hulk will smoke you!

Catenoid posted:

How difficult would it be to construct a desk with curvilinear boundary, and what would be some of the structural concerns?

Can you find a picture of a desk similar to what you want?

Catenoid
Mar 3, 2008

by Tiny Fistpump


wormil posted:

Can you find a picture of a desk similar to what you want?

I can't draw anything, but I was thinking a mollified crescent or section of an annulus. Corner desks look ghastly.

Something like this, although this one looks quite amazing.


Incidentally, One with a (flat) surface like the face of a cello would look incredible too.

I'm not too sure if I could make something like that though.

wormil
Sep 12, 2002

Hulk will smoke you!

Catenoid posted:

I can't draw anything, but I was thinking a mollified crescent or section of an annulus. Corner desks look ghastly.

Something like this, although this one looks quite amazing.


Incidentally, One with a (flat) surface like the face of a cello would look incredible too.

I'm not too sure if I could make something like that though.

A desk like this would be a tough project for someone starting out. You will need to learn how to glue up/form bend laminates of wood, veneer, and mortise at an angle; not exactly beginner woodworking.

I suggest searching through some the New Yankee Workshop episodes. I imagine at some point Norm has made some similar projects that might at least give you an idea of what would be involved. I would also suggest some simpler projects first as woodworking is not completely an intellectual exercise, building a piece of quality furniture also involves muscle memory.

Cmdr. Chompernuts
Jun 6, 2004



Catenoid posted:

desk stuff

Making square things looks boring at first, but its crucial to get an understanding of joinery. Joinery is much easier at 90 degrees most of the time. I've been doing this for a couple years and that desk would be a huge stretch for me, I have an idea of how to do most of it but even then I would probably do a lot of mock ups. Even if someone made it in advance and left 100,000 detailed instructions I doubt I could pull it off.

I definitely second the New Yankee workshop idea. I've learned loads by watching a combination of that, the wood whisperer, T-Chisel, and reading a variety of books based on projects I want to do (Taunton press makes some really good ones). However, none of it means anything without practice

Some day I really hope to be able to make furniture like that, but until then I'll let T-Chisel guide me through some more basic things.

PMan_
Dec 23, 2002


Ooh, I had not heard of this T-Chisel. I shall have to check it out. It's been mentioned before, but I would also recommend hitting-up lumberjocks.com for a pretty helpful community (from what I've seen so far). Very welcoming and open to questions. It was odd - but nice - that I started a profile and then within a couple hours had like 20 private messages from people welcoming me to the site.

Anyway, I have begun construction of that table saw stand I was talking about a while back. It has definitely been a learning experience, but so far so good. My first class from the local community college is tomorrow, so that is also fairly exciting.

On a side note, anyone tried one of these GRR-Ripper things? People seem to love them, and they're on sale at Rockler through the 15th, so I was thinking about swinging by and picking one up.

Catenoid
Mar 3, 2008

by Tiny Fistpump


wormil posted:

A desk like this would be a tough project for someone starting out. You will need to learn how to glue up/form bend laminates of wood, veneer, and mortise at an angle; not exactly beginner woodworking.

I suggest searching through some the New Yankee Workshop episodes. I imagine at some point Norm has made some similar projects that might at least give you an idea of what would be involved. I would also suggest some simpler projects first as woodworking is not completely an intellectual exercise, building a piece of quality furniture also involves muscle memory.

How about a small bookshelf? And what would I need?

wormil
Sep 12, 2002

Hulk will smoke you!

Catenoid posted:

How about a small bookshelf? And what would I need?

Bookshelves are great projects. You might want to check out a few basic books like I list here:
http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...8#post342729921

Bookshelves are put together using one or a combination of the following: Traditional dado joints, biscuits or pocket screws.
  • Dadoes require a tablesaw or router or you can hand chop them with a chisel in solid wood.
  • Biscuits require a biscuit joiner
  • Pocket screws are the least expensive and simplest way to butt join wood or they can be used to reinforce rabbits or dadoes. Pocket screws require a Kreg Jig.

Wood magazine has an annual bookshelf issue where they make three styles of bookshelf from the same basic carcass. I can't remember if Fine Woodworking does a bookshelf issue or not. Plus there are tons of bookshelf plans on the web or you can read some books on case construction and design your own bookshelf.

http://www.woodmagazine.com/ideas/mission-bookcase/
http://www.freeww.com/bookcases.html

maplecheese
Oct 31, 2006
Disturbingly delicious.

I'm working on a project with a friend of mine - we're building cat trees. (yes we are PI posters shut up) Unfortunately, I now live far, far away from the table saws of my childhood and have no clue how I'm going to cut all the pieces we need for this thing. The current plan is to get all of the shelf pieces out of a 5/8"x4'x8' mdf board.

My options, as I see them are:

1. Have Home Depot make the cuts, pay whatever their price is per cut, hope they don't gently caress it up.

2. Rent portable table saw for a day, install in driveway, use outdoor power outlet, hope landlord doesn't mind. (How big are these things? I have an old Volvo station wagon, would it fit in there?)

3. Something else?

If it helps, I live in Ottawa, Canada.

wormil
Sep 12, 2002

Hulk will smoke you!

If you're going to cover the cat trees with carpet you might also consider waferboard or particleboard, both are lighter and cheaper than MDF. You can make the cuts with an inexpensive circular saw.

maplecheese
Oct 31, 2006
Disturbingly delicious.

wormil posted:

If you're going to cover the cat trees with carpet you might also consider waferboard or particleboard, both are lighter and cheaper than MDF. You can make the cuts with an inexpensive circular saw.

The board of MDF I was planning on using is $24.97 for 5/8"x4'x8'... 5/8"x4'x4' particleboard was $15.37. We don't really need all 32 square feet, but we definitely need way more than 16, so I don't think it'd save that much money, if any.

Plus I am trying to go for strength here, since my friend has four cats. Her last cat tree (>$200) is quite close to its end after only a year or so of use. I have one very light cat, but I like overbuilding things.

I'm kinda leaning toward just renting the table saw for a day for $38. That would let me buy the MDF on one day, use 1-2 free cuts to take it down to a manageable size, actually mark things out properly on the board, and then get the table saw the next day and cut it.

Anything I should know about MDF? I haven't worked with it before. So far I'm planning to cut outdoors (that was the plan already), wear a mask, and put all my screws and staples an inch from the edge.

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wormil
Sep 12, 2002

Hulk will smoke you!

maplecheese posted:

I'm kinda leaning toward just renting the table saw for a day for $38.
Yeah, if you can rent a tablesaw for $38/day then that's the ticket.

Well MDF wouldn't be my first choice for strength but if you're set on it then I guess you are already aware of the awesome amount of dust that will happen when it's cut. Make sure you use carbide tipped saw blades when cutting and predrill all holes. Also, don't rely on mechanical fasteners for strength. I've only built a few things with MDF, it's a joy to work with... so precise, non of the disadvantages of real wood but I rely on rabbets, dadoes and biscuits for strength and only use mechanical fasteners (screws) to reinforce traditional joinery and glue.

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