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Home Depot Tools - What Should I Buy?


dominus
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Ok, I was finishing up the basement at my old house before selling it and I found someone that wanted to rent it for 6 months then buy it, and took it, unfinished basement and all. I've returned all my extra supplies for finishing the basement and have about $800 in Home Depot store credit.

What should I buy? :D

I've already got a *trumpets blare* Delta scroll saw. I also have a fairly decent skil router.

I was thinking of one of the smaller bandsaws. (I'm not going to do any resawing or acoustic guitars. I'm planning on building spiky black guitars, probably not going to do flamed tops or anything.)

A drill press, probably one of the smaller ones. I've got a guitar with a tailpiece that I wanted to convert into a string-through, how deep would the throat need to be on that?

How are the 13" planers? I measured some guitar bodies I have, and most of them seem likely to fit through one of those. (Anything larger gets VERY pricey, and this is a hobby that may not work out for me. B) ) Not sure if I'd need a jointer or not. I see people selling poplar and basswood blanks on E-Bay that are preglued. I figured I'd just get one of those, shape it, rout out the necessary spots for the bridge, electronics, neck, etc, and attach an existing neck after I painted. :D Again, this is hobbyist stuff for me, so having the best of everything isn't for me. If I finish one guitar that will be accomplishment enough. :D

Maybe a bench sander too.

Any other ideas?

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I have a 9” Ryobi band saw that I started out with and I still keep it around for smaller jobs that doesn’t require the big band saw. If you don’t mind relief cutting some of the waste away you can use it to cut out bodies before you route.

I have a Ryobi Bench top drill press that has been great. I really only use it as a fret press now but I drilled many a peg head hole and control hole with it over the years.

I even have one of their bench top planers and I still use it today. They take forever to get the table flat to avoid snipe but once you get it in, you’ll have no issues with it. I make my own blanks and wouldn’t suggest using it on a 12” wide board as the motor doesn’t seem to have enough power to feed a blank that wide through it smoothly. When I get some extra cash I’ll upgrade but for a hobby it’s not a bad buy.

If you have a harbor freight close to you can pick up a 6” jointer for around $200.00 and if you can get the fence square with the table they are awesome! I’d suggest that over buying blanks already glued.

However, if you are going to buy blanks you can forgo the planer and jointer and possibly focus on getting a production style band saw and drill press.

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If it were me, I'd buy a decent band saw first. If I'm not mistaken, Home Depot has a nice 14" Ridgid saw that hovers around $400 I think. Next is a drill press - a benchtop will do just fine for most guitar stuff. Then keep some of that money for when your Skil router craps out (which it likely will) and buy a nice Bosch or Porter Cable. As for the scroll saw, I have one but since I got my band saw I quit using it.

Just my $.02...

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I have been woodworking for lets see I just turned 42 and I started at 5 yrs old....... Dam thats a long time ! I have used so many different tools it's not funny. But I am impressed with the rigid line of tools. I have their 6" jointer and two of their plunge router sets. One I leave in my router table and the other I use for all of my hand held work. Much nicer then the porter cable router of the same specs. In fact I bought it first and the dam spindle lock broke after two weeks, so I returned it and got the rigid. It is very smooth in operation and has a handy light to see your work better. It comes with a fixed, and plunge base in a handy soft case/bag. The jointer has worked great and grizzly has a spiral cutter head for it that I would like to get for it. That would be sweet!!!!!!! Anyway thats my two cents.

Ridgid router set

Ridgid 6" jointer

h7765.jpg

Mike :D

[Edit: Had to make those first two pics into links; they're really hi-res and massive]

Edited by Rick500
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I have the ryobi 9" bandsaw and it is the biggest piece of crap I ever bought.I bought it to replace a delta that was stolen,but I turned right around the next dayt and bought another delta....the ryobi was useless.And the delta was the same price. quote]

I never used the delta saw before but I used my 9” Ryobi saw to cut out a solid 2” thick Purple Heart guitar body and it struggled but it did it. Any 9” band saw is going to be suspect when compared to higher end equipment. That’s why they only cost $89.99.

Now my new Rikon resaw bandsaw is a monster in its own right!

100_2748.jpg

I wouldn’t give that thing up for the world! Used it to cut through 2 ¼ aluminum a few weeks ago! Awesome power.

Edited by zyonsdream
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I've been thinking about getting one of the Ridgid oscillating belt / spindle sanders

d5d53144-f039-4696-b365-f9e82d9683bb_300.jpg

Picked one up, looked like a better investment than the Ryobi Bench/Disc sander.

I ended up having nearly $900 in Home Depot credit once I returned all my extra basement finishing odds and ends.

Got that Ridgid sander, then went for the Ryobi 9" bandsaw (I'll probably use the Delta scrollsaw for headstocks), the Ryobi 9" Drill Press, they had a Ryobi Router + Table for only a little more than a table alone, so I picked that up. (Maybe I'll sell the Skil router then.) Also picked up a Dremel for other tasks but I might use it for a few odds and ends on guitars, touchups and the like. Picked up some of their endcap specials (a massive screwdriver set for $20, a wrench/plier set for $20, drill bit set for $40, the 200 piece dremel kit for $30, etc.) Also grabbed a few shelving units and torchierre lamps for my brother, and then popped it all with a 10% off coupon I had because I just moved. The checkout lady loved me. :D

Now I've still got about $200 in home depot credit for whatever else strikes my fancy. I'll have a busy few days setting up my basement shop now. :D

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I have been woodworking for lets see I just turned 42 and I started at 5 yrs old....... Dam thats a long time ! I have used so many different tools it's not funny. But I am impressed with the rigid line of tools. I have their 6" jointer and two of their plunge router sets. One I leave in my router table and the other I use for all of my hand held work. Much nicer then the porter cable router of the same specs. In fact I bought it first and the dam spindle lock broke after two weeks, so I returned it and got the rigid. It is very smooth in operation and has a handy light to see your work better. It comes with a fixed, and plunge base in a handy soft case/bag. The jointer has worked great and grizzly has a spiral cutter head for it that I would like to get for it. That would be sweet!!!!!!! Anyway thats my two cents.

What I have learned over a long history of tool buying is you get what you pay for. If the price is low the tools is of inferior quality and belongs in the occasional home user category. I especially like the 9" band saw comparison. Which junk band saw is better LOL.

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Play around with that Ryobi drill press for a while as soon as you put it together... I'm having issues with the table on mine not wanting to stay perpendicular to the axis of the chuck. It's kind of flimsy, and flexes under pressure from the drill. I have to shore the table up with a block of wood if I want to be sure it's not going to move.

I have one that's a couple years old, though; not the same exact model they're selling now. [Edit: Mine's the 10" model.]

Edited by Rick500
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What I have learned over a long history of tool buying is you get what you pay for.

I couldn't agree more. I personally would have stuck with a bandsaw in the $400-600 range, a nice router, and a drill press. With these tools, you can accomplish a great deal in guitar building.

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I have the Ryobi router and I’ve used it for two years now and it works great. Just don’t overload the bit or it will start to work out. You really have to chuck hard on it. Pick up an extra cullet incase you spin the bit in the cullet. Besides that it’s capable of making many guitars. At least mine has.

http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j287/ZDG...ld/100_3266.jpg

I upgraded to a Triton monster router when I needed something that would work on 2.5” aluminum and when I started building my last guitar I went back to the Ryobi. It’s great for doing cavities but I’ll likely use the Triton for doing profile routing.

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......What I have learned over a long history of tool buying is you get what you pay for. If the price is low the tools is of inferior quality and belongs in the occasional home user category. I especially like the 9" band saw comparison. Which junk band saw is better LOL.

To a degree this is true, but I have had a lot of luck with the "junk" Ryobi stuff as well as other inexpensive tools. I don't think I have ever spent more than $500 for any single tool I own. I think a lot of it has to do with how often you use a tool. My Ryobi plunge router has been a great tool for the money as well as a Ryobi table saw BT3100 that is one of the best $300 I have ever spent. If I were using these things everyday, then yeah, I would probably pony up the $$ for the pricey stuff, but for me, the non-pro quality stuff has worked out well. My big stuff (happy with all of it and didn't mortgage the farm to buy all of it):

Ryobi plunge router $99 (every neck pocket, pu cavity, etc. I have routed with this thing looks and fits just as nice as your $300 Bosch, Porter, etc does)

Ryobi BT3100 table saw (there is a cult following for this little saw, just do a little googling)

Ryobi 18v cordless drill (drills holes and drives screws, what else do you need?)

Shop Fox 17" radial floor standing drill press (very versatile press for under $300)

Cheapo 8" table top drill press (this gets the most use and I spent less than $60 at Harbor Freight)

Delta 6" (refurbished) jointer (another fine tool for under $260 at Tool King)

Delta 22-580 13" planer (think this was ~$400 when I got it)

Grizzly 14" band saw (another great value for under $400)

Rikon 6" x 48" belt/disk sander ($250 and works flawlessly)

Rigid oscillating belt/spindle sander (this thing has paid for itself and probably gets the most use in my shop)

DeWalt scroll saw (this was the most expensive tool I own and probably gets used the least - still under $500)

Dewalt (refurbished) miter saw (under $300)

Ward's radial arm saw (very old but works fine, does not get a lot of use for guitar building though)

Granted, some of this stuff isn't necessarily considered cheap tools. I guess my point is, if you choose tools carefully based on your needs and expected amount of useage they will get, you can get by just fine for a lot less money than you would expect.

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On the subject of Home Depot tools:

Ryobi 10" drill press:

Okay for the price; I wouldn't buy it again due to the table not being very solid.

Ryobi 12v cordless drill:

Good for small jobs around the house, and lighter than the 18v ones, but the battery doesn't last long enough on one charge, or charge quickly enough, for a big project. Not bad for $25. I also got my dad one last year and he seems to like it.

Ryobi 18v cordless drill:

Love it! I got a great deal earlier in the year on a packaged set of the drill, a cordless mini circular saw, battery, and charger for $59. The battery charge lasts a long time, and it's quick to charge back up enough to use again.

I may even buy a second one if a deal comes along, especially now that they have the new, more powerful batteries for them (the ugly green ones).

Ryobi BT3100 table saw:

I never have been able to get the thing adjusted correctly. It has a sliding table rather than a slot for accessories and the miter fence to slide in. I thought that would be okay, but it's a pain. Everything about it that should stay put, moves. All the sliding parts are sloppy, I'm talking almost 1/16" of side to side movement. I rarely use it, and I never use it if I want to be accurate cutting something. I have to resort to a straight edge and my router with a straight bit if I want anything cut square after it's come out of that saw. Did I mention I don't care for the saw? :D

Ridgid 13" planer:

It's great. Best value in its price range, in my opinion. Comes with a stand and adjustment tools, and the knives are sharp on both sides so you can flip them when they start to get dull. Does everything it's supposed to, and well.

Ridgid 12 gallon shop vac:

A little noisy, but does a good job. I use it with my power tools for dust collection. It hasn't shown any signs of failing, and I've had it for a couple of years.

I plan to get the Ridgid oscillating spindle/belt sander soon.

Edited by Rick500
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A few months back I had my router blow out on me and at the time I was very broke with no funds in sight, so I had to find something cheap. On craigslist I found a once used Ryobi 2hp plunge router with a few extra bits for $40 and found that Home Depot sold the straight edge guide. As Hydro mentioned it is actually a very nice router. I don't know if its the same one hydro has or what the original price was, but this thing has many different speeds, 6 of them A-F I believe, plunges smoothly, has plenty of juice, and seems very tight and precise. Nothing yet that I can find wrong with it. I wanted and planned on going for a highend router because of the use it will get with guitar building, plus it is one of the tools that needs to leave a very precise edge so quality is very important. Anyhow, I had no choice when I got that Ryobi, but I will say it is a great router and I have enjoyed using it. I will still more than likely buy a nice higher end router, plus I want a nice table to go with it, I'm tired of setting up jigs and clamps, I would love a table!

Just very recently like early this month I blew out my super old B&D jigsaw when making a body template and needed a new one. I figured I'd only spend $35-$50 max as I have my bandsaw and don't need it to do much(plus I hadn't priced jigsaws in a long time and was way off in what I expected price wise). However, after checking out the saws I couldn't leave with anything less than the Hitachi, which is what I got and am extremely happy with it. I haven't even had the chance to use all the features, but so far that thing is a champ, I would recommend it for sure. I love tool shopping, I could spend all day checking out tools. J

Edited by jmrentis
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Speaking of router tables... I have a BenchDog Pro Top contractor router table (this one) and it's great, but if I had to do it over again, I'd just build my own. Maybe buy a nice aluminum backed fence and some T-track, but build the rest of it. I could have saved some money (it was $220 I think).

Edited by Rick500
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Yeah, I have been thinking about building one and I know I could make a better one for cheaper, but at the same time I am so slow in building that it may not be worth it for me. I haven't decided or even shopped for any yet, I see them all the time and say yeah I need one, but never act on it. What sparked my recent thoughts was the one on the top row in the middle on this MLCS page. I bought a bunch of router bits from them a while back and was very happy with my purchase. They were decently priced and they have a great variety of them. They also have plenty of other stuff, I am always forced to look through everything they send me because often times they have great deals. I really never hear anyone mention that place and it somewhat baffles me as I haven't found any issues with them.

For $139 that seemed like a decent little table, again, I haven't shopped for tables yet, so I don't have the features vs. price relationship for tables yet. But at first glance it seemed like a decent buy. They also have some decent buys on router bits if you check through the pages. Anyhow, thanks for the info Rick, I'll definitely see how the numbers figure and if it is worth it for me to build a table. If I didn't want to work on guitars so much, I would love to build a router table, lol, sucks that building guitars is so fun. J

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I saw a couple guys in this thread have the Rigid OSS/belt sander. How do you like it? I was kicking tires in Home Depot yesterday, and it looked like a nice machine overall, but the table looked kind of flimsy and smaller than I expected. Any comments?

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If you can swing it a 14" bandsaw is a tool that you can use for a very long time and has enough ability to handle most any task you will need for building guitars. You will not want to use it to run wide re-saws all day long, but it can certainly handle the task occasionally. I have become a fan of Steel City's bandsaws if you can swing it, they are a little beefier in all the right places when compaired to Rikon's, Grizzly's and what have ya. They are not going to be the absolute best, but strong performers for the $$$.

A good floor model drill press is a very handy tool, as log as it is big enough to get the some extra functions and has a decent swing and table. I really really love my drum sander, and along with my bandsaw would never want to give it up. It gets a ton of use! When used with my bandsaw I see no need for a wide planer (and I get lots of great veneers instead of planing away material). I have been using a Hitachi router for a while now, and really think it is as nice a router as I have ever run across. I also have a Bosch Colt laminate trimmer and it gets high marks for power, it's adjustment are not as slick as the Hitachi but it is solid. I have a Hitachi compound miter that has served me very well over the years, and has proven to be handy. Not on the top of my priority list for tools, but it slots my fingerboards and is a nice compliment to my bandsaw. I have a 4" jointer and a 6" jointer. The 4" is only for soft woods(dedicated for jointing soundboards and brace stock). The 6" is for everything else, although I am really considering a larger jointer in the 12" range for a couple big tasks I generally handle with my 18" bandsaw and a slider table.

So if I had to pick power tools in order of which is most important to me;

1. Router

2. Bandsaw

3. Wide Drum Sander

4. Good size drill press

5. Jointer

Hand tools can replace these, but the tasks become ever more tedious the higher you go up on my list with hand tools.

Peace,Rich

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Ryobi BT3100 table saw:

I never have been able to get the thing adjusted correctly. It has a sliding table rather than a slot for accessories and the miter fence to slide in. I thought that would be okay, but it's a pain. Everything about it that should stay put, moves. All the sliding parts are sloppy, I'm talking almost 1/16" of side to side movement. I rarely use it, and I never use it if I want to be accurate cutting something. I have to resort to a straight edge and my router with a straight bit if I want anything cut square after it's come out of that saw. Did I mention I don't care for the saw? :D

Wow, I've found mine to be highly accurate. The lack of "standard" T-slots is only an issue if you want to buy all of your jigs. If you're into making your jigs, it's fairly easy to make the work with the sliding table and/or the slots on the rails and fences. If you do have a fair number of existing jigs that fit standard T-slots, it's easy to make an inset table (or two) with T-slots.

You may want to check-out: BT3Central for some help/tips for working with this saw.

Ray

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I especially like the 9" band saw comparison. Which junk band saw is better LOL.

The 9" delta bandsaw is a good tool for smaller work.The ryobi 9" is not as good.The prices are comparable.

The delta has a stronger motor which allows you to tighten the blade properly so the blade does not wander aimlesly through the wood.

Difference between a 14" bandsaw and a 9"?About $500(same brand),so try not to be such a primaddonna about the sizes of the tools being used.A 9" bandsaw of good quality is not junk,and some of us don't have a dedicated shop to store alot of massive tools in.

I have confidence that my 9" cut guitars are as good as most of those cut out on a 14".Yes I do have to do more sanding,but that is the price you pay for using portable sized tools.I store my tools inside the house and carry them outside to my picnic table when I am building.Pain in the ass?Sure,but I fail to see how that makes a difference in the end quality.

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