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RestorationAD

Upgrading The Shop Tools

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I can understand where RAD is coming from and to the guys suggesting the cheaper options, dont take offense to his blow offs.

I'm in the same boat (but without the budget to upgrade!)

I've got a full workshop minus the CNC but a lot if it was bought on tight budget, for example RAD mentions bandsaw. Mine is a weak point as well. I think it cost me about $700-$800 at the time and it gets the job done, but I need something in the $3000 price range for the amount of work I do since I'm now building guitars about five to six days a week every week.

I need a bigger drum sander, I just cooked the curcuit board on mine. It was repaired under warranty but it shows I need a bigger one.

My drill press sucks. Its big enough but not good enough for hardwood.

I cannot offer advice to RAD as most of all the brands they sell in USA are rebranded as other brands here. For example your grissly is Leda over here, most of my machines are Leda. Sine if your others are rebranded carbatec and so forth. Advice I can offer which is exactly what RAD is doing and what I'll be doing soon is buy right, buy according to the workload so it does the job right without creating work and it lasts.

That makes me feel better. You and I are in the same place. My shop was built on a shoe string budget and my ability to recondition used junk.

As for the CNC it is the Devil and an Angel in the same machine... it is a time sink, pain in the arse, friggin high learning curve, miserable piece of sh#t I am not sure I want to live without anymore. Now that that time is sunk into it I can't imagine not having it.

Funny enough the CNC makes my $500 Router Table obsolete. Think about this I have a $500 router table to route trussrod slots. And I am going to start cutting them on the CNC shortly... what a waste.

(speaking strictly from a luthiers point of view)

For big tools Bandsaw, Drum Sander, Drill Press, Spindle Sander, Jointer, Belt Sander, Radial Arm/Table Saw, Dust Collector, Compressor. That is the order I believe you spend for guitar building.

I am still using the same Scroll saw and Belt Sander/Disk Sander I bought in 1987 for $99 ea at Lowes. They work and they are fine...yes I would like to upgrade them but they still do the job.

Dust collector is a big Harbor Freight unit. As long as you have a bag that is 1 micron it doesn't matter much.

Jointer is a small 6" Delta and it is fine. Planar is a Porter Cable 13" form Lowes again fine... With figured woods knives/planers are just useless... The only things I ever join anymore are body blanks.

However my fail points are the Bandsaw (pulled from the dumpster at my Dad's work), small Delta Drill press, old Performax Drum sander, Rigid spindle sander/belt sander combo thing.... they let me down too often. None of them are accurate enough to not warrant an upgrade.

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A note on bandsaws (copied from an old woodworker)

I use a carbide tipped blade that makes a cut that looks like it went through the drum sander. Hot hide glue and a couple of clamps. Doesn't get much easier than that.

This is what I am talking about. Not spending 2 hours at the drum sander.... And a 1/16" or 3/64" kerf cut with no drift yields way more top than my current setup.

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This is the bobbin/spindle sander I've got.

It's only .25hp, but I've found thats enough to make a mess of something if you're not being careful. I use it for inner horns on superstrats and other tight curves on guitar bodies. Also use it for headstock wings where the headstock joins the neck. I dont thickness headstocks like you mentioned so I cannot comment on that.

http://www.ledamachi...n-sander-detail

I just made a stand for mine a few months ago so its not on a benchtop anymore.

You can see it in here somewhere:

Also take note of the bandsaw as a case of what NOT to buy!!

IMG_3196small.jpg

IMG_3199small.jpg

This drill press too - DO NOT buy anything that looks liek that - its ****ing ****. Aweosme for MDF/pine and other softwoods. Hardwood not so much.

IMG_3197small.jpg

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I guess I don't understand yet. My Craftsman bandsaw is old and massive and seems to work well on everything I put through it. Just for curiousities sake, what does a 3000$ band saw have that a 500$ one doesnt?

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Resawing is when you take a piece of wood(for example 3" thick)and you cut it into several pieces(for example 3/8" thick) without cutting it smaller in the other dimensions.

You can take a piece of flamed maple 6 1-2" by 24" by 3" and get 3 bookmatched tops out of it 3/8" thick or better if you have a bandsaw that has a small kerf and doesn't wander(theoretically).

Or you can take a piece 13" by 24" by 3" and get 6 one piece tops...

But everything has to be perfect.Your guides can't be crappy,your blade can't be cheap,your wheels can't wobble,the table can't move,the fence needs to be true,etc.

It's not about hogging through random pieces of wood,it's about not wasting wood by having crooked cuts that you have to plane out.

$500 ain't even going to get you one of the proper size to resaw 13" of maple

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When I cut fretboards I lose half the wood in crooked cuts because of the horrible guides and general crappy quality of my small bandsaw

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I've got a lot of Grizzly stuff. Some of it is great..other stuff is borderline junk:

Table Saw - G0715P = 4 out of 5 stars. needs a stronger motor

Jointer - G0452Z = 5 out of 5 stars. It came with a faulty motor, which Grizzly replaced. This is the perfect jointer for figured wood!

Band Saw - G0555 = 4 out of 5 stars. I have the riser block, but it's still not great for re-sawing.

Drill Press - G7945 / 46 = 1 out of 5 stars. :angry2: This thing is junk. I would not recommend it at all. It has about 3/32 play in the spindle.

My next Grizzly purchase is this: http://www.grizzly.c...le-Sander/G1071

A friend of mine has one and it is very nice. I almost pulled the trigger on one last month, but funds were low. Right now I'm using a cheap harbor freight model.

Hope it helps!

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I really remember how infuriating sucky tools are when I start prepping figured wood for a body blank.My bandsaw had the blade bind up and pop off three times today cutting one 2" blank in half,and my jointer can't make a straight edge if my life depended on it.

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Yeah, my first jointer made a real mess of things unless you class gappy joints as okay. Totally couldn't adjust it any better than a reasonable hand plane could surpass.

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I guess I don't understand yet. My Craftsman bandsaw is old and massive and seems to work well on everything I put through it. Just for curiousities sake, what does a 3000$ band saw have that a 500$ one doesnt?

3HP-4HP motor.

1" Carbide tip Blade with a 1/16" kerf

Straight and True balanced 17" flywheels that do not vibrate

Zero Flex or Deflection from the Trunion

Micro Adjustable fence.

Look when you can split an 8" wide piece of flamed burl maple and not have to sand it to join it to the body of your body blank you have saved time and money.

When you get 3 tops from a billet vs 2 tops from a billet that is a real money saver.

I hate wasting time and wood. With a nicer bandsaw you waste less of both.

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Ok I went with the Laguna 14 SUV... I really wanted the Hammer N4400 but it is not really a resaw king like the Laguna.

I saved a couple hundred on the Laguna as Rockler has a deal on them. $1500 shipped to the house. Can't beat the price.

Now comes the real pain. Blades...

So I am researching blades and I can tell you this is a hairy subject.

First up are the Carbide Tipped Blades. They are EXPENSIVE. So expensive I am going to go with a 3/4" blade to start with.

For a 125" saw the 3/4" Re-saw King from Laguna is $216.25

The 125" 3/4" Lenox TriMaster is $188.99

The 125" 1" Woodmaster CT from Lenox is $122.67

Apparently the Resaw King is the best for regular woods like Sapele, Mahogany, Maple but it struggles with Coco, Bocote, and other oily exotics...

The TriMaster is not a dedicated resaw blade but a general purpose blade that excels at resawing.

The Woodmaster CT is probably the best for resawing exotics but it is not able to be resharpened as many times as the other 2.

Resharpening is important as a Carbide Blade last 10 times longer than a regular blade. So I can get several years out of one carbide blade. Resharpening fees are between $50 - $100 depending...

I will tell you that a nice Timberwolf $35.00 blade on my old saw would cut 2 or three tops from exotics then it was done... relegated to cutting scraps and general duty stuff.

I will keep you guys up on the decision.

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Update:

Seems Rockler wasn't the best choice (really too late now) but if you are going to buy a Laguna get it direct. Apparently they will match any sales and throw in extras like blades and free shipping... helps to be a member of sawmillcreek.org.

So for the record call Laguna before ordering from someone else.

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Ok I went with the Laguna 14 SUV..

I will keep you guys up on the decision.

Two words for you RAD- you suck

aka- I am so jealous. I have been eyeing Lagunas for a while- and just drooling/dreaming.

Someday- maybe once the youngest (15) leaves the nest- I can quit pouring funds into baseball and braces etc and pay for some fun stuff. .....looking forward to your updates.

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Ok I went with the Laguna 14 SUV..

I will keep you guys up on the decision.

Two words for you RAD- you suck

aka- I am so jealous. I have been eyeing Lagunas for a while- and just drooling/dreaming.

Someday- maybe once the youngest (15) leaves the nest- I can quit pouring funds into baseball and braces etc and pay for some fun stuff. .....looking forward to your updates.

Apparently I am an idiot as well... could have gotten free blades and free shipping had I ordered it from Laguna. And they would ship it sooner as the Rockler purchase ships straight from Laguna.

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cancel the order from rockler?

Do you have a link for those blades... Im interested. Dunno if I can get them in Canada tho..

-edit : Found 'em..

Edited by Ljbarbeau

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Working on what I want for a bench and vise system.

As a luthier I don't need a 96" Euro Cab Maker bench... my current bench is perfect size at 36 x 24". Sadly no one makes one this size... that mean I am probably better off building my own.

List of features I think I need.

Plane Stop

Traditional Tail Vise -- maybe?

Front Vise

Leg Vise -- maybe?

Bench Dogs

Drawers for Tools

Shelf for Scraps

One feature I thought I wanted but everyone seams to hate is a tool tray. Most guys say they just collect sawdust... I was thinking it would keep the tools out of the way but maybe not.

I am planning on doing mine out of the cheapest hard hardwood I can find in 8/4 locally. This will probably be soft maple. I like the idea that the bench would be softer than what I am usually working on.

I still might buy a bench... because by the time I pay for wood, vises, and cabinet hardware the cost is almost the same as a small euro bench.

http://www.woodcraft.com/product/2005401/15505/sjobergs-nordic-plus-1450-workbench.aspx

Also I think it is time for me to add the nice Carving Vise ... http://www.woodcraft.com/product/2003516/25437/woodriver-patternmakers-or-gunstock-carving-vise.aspx

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as for a bench when I put together my shop my dream bench is a simple shelf hanging on the wall with nothing underneath.Tools on the back wall and a vise attached to both ends with a series of holes drilled basically everywhere with custom blocks that I can bolt to any of those holes to secure my workpiece as well as whatever jigs I can dream up for routing,radiusing,etc..

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Ok. I currently have hanging tools on the wall. I have a nice bench against the wall and a workbench in the middle of the room.

Hanging tools suck. They always end up on the bench against the wall (not where I work).

So I like to walk all the way around my workbench. I am going to eliminate the tool catcher against the wall.

I am used to reaching under my workbench for the router, sander, etc... so I plan to store all my hand tools there as well. My hanging tools are out of reach so I usually just drop them on the other bench (within reach). Then I have to clean up every morning before I start working.

I think being able to put the tools up easily will make me clean up while I am working. I always clear the workbench of tools before routing or sanding (to prevent dangerous objects flying around).

I am going to put cabinets up on the wall to store seldom used tools. Every day tools will be under the workbench.

I am spending time this winter planning how I work so I can optimize the work area.

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I plan on a split Roubo style bench with a wagon vice and a leg vice. The lower shelf can be closed off with cupboards if needs be. I will likely use red Beech for the top or perhaps Birch. Befriend somebody with a wide thicknesser!!!

http://benchcrafted.blogspot.fi/2011/09/build-split-top-roubo-with-wood.html?m=1

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I plan on a split Roubo style bench with a wagon vice and a leg vice. The lower shelf can be closed off with cupboards if needs be. I will likely use red Beech for the top or perhaps Birch. Befriend somebody with a wide thicknesser!!!

http://benchcrafted....h-wood.html?m=1

So that is what I am thinking but only about 48 x 24...

What is the advantage of the split top?

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