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Thread: What tool/jig DON'T you need?

  1. #1

    What tool/jig DON'T you need?

    I was wondering about this, thinking about a what I will do when (if) I buy a bigger saw to replace my bench-top dewalt.

    I've got a sliding compound miter saw, and a MFT so do I really need to build a cross cut sled? Do I need to upgrade the miter fence on the saw? Do I need to get long rails if I can break down wood accurately with my Festool rails?

    That got me thinking about what else I don't need/can avoid buying.

    Or what I should be buying to enjoy my hobby more?

    I have become more and more aware of the impact that repetitive motion is having on my body, so I'm looking to avoid/reduce repetitive hand tasks. So, for example, I'm not sharpening by hand if I can avoid it, and I'll use my planer before I grab a plane.

    I don't think I'll cut tenons by hand, so that means I should get a tenon jig for the new saw (I guess) or learn to use loose tenons. Don't think I can justify a Domino given the amount of stuff I do, and the fact that I own a biscuit jointer?

    Maybe my tool buying days are coming to an end

    And given that we like to share our thoughts here, what are yours?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Placitas, NM in the foothills of the Sandia Mt
    Gosh Jay, did you get up on the wrong side of the bed this morning?

    I think that for most of us, buying new tools is half the fun of the hobby/occupation. I'll bet there's something out there you just gotta have - don't give up.

    As to the question of why don't I need, I try to answer that empirically, by rephrasing the question as "what is taking up space but not being used?" Every Jan 1, I put stickers on my tools and take them off when I use them. At the end of the year, anything that still has a sticker is a good candidate for craigslist. This year's candidates are biscuit jointer, buffer, and chain saw attachment for angle grinder (scary thing to scoop out seat bottoms with).

    By the way, if repetitive motion bothers you, I would avoid a tenoning jig. Once you get it set up, its very repetitive.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    Well since I've taught myself how to do them hand cut dovetails, I'd say my dovetail jig is not of much use
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    The Heart of Dixie
    Glad to see someone that thinks like me Jay. I pretty much just buy what I find I need. I don't buy much on impulse. I would rather have the money liquid than tied up in some useless tool.

    If I don't have something I try to find another way to do it. Like the tenon jig. I just cut tenons with a dado blade on the table saw. Then I may decide that I do need a tenon jig (I didn't) and go buy one.

    I have a bunch of drawers to make and the thought of hand cutting all those dovetails made me thing about a jig. Then I realized I could do box joints, they look nice. Or I could do a locking rabbit drawer joint or several other options. I didn't need to go buy another jig.

    At the moment the only things that are big on my list are tools that I really will use. Like a hose reel to get that stinking air hose out of my way. Some shaper bits now that I have the shaper going. I am looking for a good set of augers bits for my brace. And thats about it.

    Now I will admit to having a weakness for old machines. But right now I am just looking for good deals I can make some money on.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.

    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
    Jay, for my list, see the thread:

    Some of the items in the list are those I am doing without for now, but most of them are tools that I do not need. Heck, a couple of them are now tools that I have (e.g. moisture meter).
    Cheers, Frank

  6. #6
    Ah heck Frank, I didn't realize that I started a post that you had started as well.

    Didn't mean to steal your thunder.

    Maybe the moderators can merge the two so we can get a mega thread going!


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Qualicum Beach, Vancouver Island
    Sounds to me that you might benfit from something like a MM CU300 or similar. I find it rather good for cross-cutting so you can dump the SCMS, unless you do a lot of cutting of very long pieces perhaps. There's no way I can imagine needing to upgrade the mitre fence either :-)

    You get a rather good mortiser, so you can most likely save the cost of a Domino. The shaper will do jolly good tenons if you prefer solid tenons to loose for some particular application.

    And a 12" jointer is pretty useful, as is a really solid planer.

    Just planting a seed :-)
    So do I type something witty here?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Punta Gorda, Florida

    I use every tool in my shop. I could do with less but would be more difficult and take more time for some operations so why limit myself as long as the funds hold out. Besides, good tools last for years and years and they are going to be even more expensive soon as I see that aluminum cost are up again so that means all metals will cost more so buy what you need now

    OK, here are some ideas. How many routers do you have? That's not enough. Buy a couple of more. It is hard to stop for some reason. This is to hold you over until you decide to replace your benchtop saw with a cabinet saw. I know that you have the FMT which is great but goes much better with the addition of a cabinet saw. The cabinet saw is the most used tool in my shop by far. That would almost complete your shop except for--------. I will just wait a while for more recomendations until you recover. I will add more later.

    Happy shopping!!!!


    PS By the way, we did good with the GO490. Have you seen the new price?
    Last edited by Allen Bookout; 01-11-2007 at 05:29 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Carlyle IL
    Even though I do not use my tenoning jig often, it does get used and not necessarily for tenons.

    I have used this jig to hold small pieces of wood when sawing or dadoing on my table saw.... so I view that jig as a pretty important safety device.

    I figure a bit of cast iron between my hands and a spinning saw blade is a good thing!


  10. #10
    This is sort of a reverse thread for me anyway in that it is just about the opposite from the way I think. I am not into impulse buying or having the most lavish tools (the average age of my power tools are 52 years old), but as I get older and deeper into woodworking, I find myself gravitating more and more towards handtools.

    Its interesting because since I am not relying on "to the ants buttocks" machine set ups, I can make a quick cut, clean it up to the line with a hand plane, and move on to the next stage a lot faster. Somewhere along the way it also became more satisfying to do stuff by hand like dovetails, mortises and tennons and even sliding dovetails and that sort of thing.

    If repetitive motion injuries are stopping you from doing that, I understand, but I really can't relate. For me anyway, I don't need more jigs and power tools, I need more hand tools.

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