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hittitewarrior

Power Tools - Bandsaw and Planer questions in particular

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I have a friend with a nicely outfitted woodworking shop, which is what has allowed me to start into this hobby.  I purchased a table saw last year and it had a router accompany it, and am considering purchasing the rest (below) as funds allow... hopefully allowing me to progress with builds at my pace, and not feel like I have to burden him.  They are in order of priority (which I'd love people's feedback on).

1) Bandsaw: I am curious if 14" is large enough in most people's minds.... I think it is reasonable, but I could see some scenarios where larger would be beneficial... they go up pretty drastically in cost, so I'm particularly interested if people with a 14" really wish they had the 16-17" models for more than a passing second

2) Drill Press

3) Planer

4) Jointer

 

Thoughts?

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curtisa    467
  1. A good quality, well tuned 14" bandsaw will do you better than a crap quality 17". I can just bookmatch a 150mm wide guitar top on my 1HP 14", although there's no doubt that a decent 17" would do better (ceiling height in the workshop is the only thing stopping me moving to the next size bandsaw). Resawing tops for bookmatching would be the only reason I'd personally go bigger than 14". If I were doing acoustics, where the resawing capacity needs to be just that little bit bigger, 17" or larger is a no-brainer. For everything else solid body guitar-wise, 14" does me more than adequately.
  2. I use a 1HP bench mount drill press. I could've gone with the floor mount tall pedestal version, but there are very few occasions I actually need the extra vertical capacity. Most drilling I do on the press is for tuners, pots, neck mounting screws, hogging out prior to routing etc. You don't need mountains of vertical height for any of that, but you will need a bit of clearance between the drill bit and the mounting post. so that you can reach everything.
  3. I don't use the planer that often. If I need to thin down some timber more than about 3mm I'll just take it off on the bandsaw and then clean it up by hand. If it's critical that it needs to be flat (say a neck blank) I'll joint it, roughly take off any excess by whatever means available and then send it through the drum sander instead. For figured wood you'll struggle to get a good result on the planer anyway.
  4. I can't personally see a reason to go larger than a 8" jointer for guitar building. A neck needs to be straight and true, but for anything wider (a body blank for example) I'd use other methods to get it flat - hand planes, sandpaper on flat a surface.

Just my take on it, of course.

 

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Norris    209

As a complete novice I've found the most useful bit of kit that you've mentioned to be the drill press. I have bought a bandsaw because a friend was selling it at a decent price, but haven't had the occasion to use it yet.

I must mention though that I attend guitar building evening classes and have access to the school workshop equipment. However apart from roughing out the body & neck I've not had the use their bandsaw much either. I could have probably made do with a jigsaw.

The most useful power tools have been the drill & router. The rest so far has been covered by the old school stuff - a decent hand plane, rasp, cabinet scrapers and a sanding table. Then you get into the specialist tools such as radius jigs, fret saws, nut files, etc - luckily I can use those at my classes

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ScottR    1,366

I agree with these guys' assessments as well. I have a 14" bandsaw that does everything I need it to. A larger one would make re-sawing easier, but the 14" can re-saw everything I need for electric guitar bodies. I have a floor stand drill press which I use just a little less than the band saw, and a good router that also gets a fair amount of use. I don't own a planer and I rarely use my jointer any more either. I would love to have a drum sander, but am able to get the job done nicely by the methods curtisa describes.

SR

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curtisa    467
6 hours ago, ScottR said:

I would love to have a drum sander

Drum sander was high on my must-have list for a while. The Jet 10-20 I ended up getting has been pretty good, just wide enough to do a body if I flip it around 180 degrees to do both halves in opposite directions, but small enough to wheel out of the way when I need the floorspace. Only thing I don't like about it is the tracking on the belt, which needs adjusting every hour or so of runtime. Just never wants to stay running in the same direction for very long. Seems to be a common complaint with these open-frame drum sanders.

Upgrading to a drum sander you're also going to have to get a big dusty too. And then you'll want to fit hoses to everything. And then you'll want to get that big old router table. And the collection of vintage hand planes. It's a slippery slope.

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Agree with all on the Bandsaw. I have a Laguna 14" and it works great; however, I always go to my table saw for ripping and some crosscuts. I have a Jet standing drill press, Dewalt makes an excellent and affordable planer (DW735). You can upgrade it later to a Byrd shelix blade. Keep in mind that it is a 13" planer. I have a 8" Powermatic jointer and I love it but I also do others things in my shop besides building guitars so it comes in handy for building furniture. The planer and jointer go together. 

Other equipment that is useful for building guitars is a nice router table and a great dust collector. I actually would put the dust collector first, An air filter is also a must have in a wood shop. Something not on your list is lots of outlets and lights for all that equipment. If your shop is humid, get a dehumidifier. Also get an air compressor. Great for clearing dust off tools and projects. Also can be used for spray painting. I won't even get into hand tools.

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18 minutes ago, Agave Spirit said:

Agree with all on the Bandsaw. I have a Laguna 14" and it works great; however, I always go to my table saw for ripping and some crosscuts. I have a Jet standing drill press, Dewalt makes an excellent and affordable planer (DW735). You can upgrade it later to a Byrd shelix blade. Keep in mind that it is a 13" planer. I have a 8" Powermatic jointer and I love it but I also do others things in my shop besides building guitars so it comes in handy for building furniture. The planer and jointer go together. 

Other equipment that is useful for building guitars is a nice router table and a great dust collector. I actually would put the dust collector first, An air filter is also a must have in a wood shop. Something not on your list is lots of outlets and lights for all that equipment. If your shop is humid, get a dehumidifier. Also get an air compressor. Great for clearing dust off tools and projects. Also can be used for spray painting. I won't even get into hand tools.

Thanks for the thoughts!  Which Laguna do you have?  I have been planning on getting the 14-12 and the resaw king blade.  I had a chance to get a Rikon for about 300 bucks less, but I thought the potential value of being able to do really good resaw, would be worth splurging on the Laguna (and it seemed like the reviews all indicated the Laguna would be better for resaw purposes).  Thanks!

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