Author Topic: Newbie to Woodworking tool Questions  (Read 3440 times)

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Offline jasen

  • Posts: 35
Newbie to Woodworking tool Questions
« on: December 27, 2016, 08:22 AM »
Hi guys

I'm very new to woodworking but have had basic high school skills and assisted/watched carpenter friends help me do my decking, house renovations (knocking out /replacing  walls etc - so not a total newbie.)

I want to make cabinets, bookshelves,  bar stools for a start and have other projects including DIY Laundry cabinets and benchtops (pre drilled etc) To get there first I'm building an MFT top and saw horses and then from there add a Paulk compact workbench. These will be major projects in themselves and I'm looking forward to it. I know there's specific tools to do the job better and quicker but want to minimise money spent (don't we all? lol)

I currently own a Rotex90 and CT22.
I have a Ryobi 210mm Mitre saw (used for rough sawn timber and I will need to check it's accuracy)
I have a pile of "bits and pieces" like hammers screw drivers wrenches etc and Makita cordless drills and drivers

My planned purchases and questions are follows.

TS55. My first purchase shortly to start my workbenches. A few questions. Would I get away with just 1x1400mm rail for the above projects - I could get the pieces cut down by the supplier therefore not needing a 2nd rail). Does the blade that come with the unit enough for my needs (MDF, playwood cuts and maybe 35mmx 90mm (2"x4") Recommendations?
UJK Parf Guide - no real questions here but looked at getting CNC'd and just doing 2 tabletops would pay itself over. I've subscribed to Peter Parfit's Youtube - and love this system and his videos. It will also give me some practice and learning.

MFT Dogs - My step son is a fitter and turner so he will be making me bench and rail dogs. How many are needed? 2 rail dogs but how many bench dogs do people typically use - no limite here but I don't want him to make more than is needed.

C15 Driver - OK, I have read alot on this tool vs CSX  I really like the chucks that can be used for drilling especially for cabinet making (I know the CXS is used for predominately cabinet screwing etc etc.) I'd love to have both but can't justify. I love the Centrotec system and I have read about the pluses and minuses but cost is the factor here. Recommend another quality kit or bite the bullet?

Router - this is something I need to do alot more reading. I'm reading best to have 2 - one for table top and one for hand. I can live with that and don't mind (I say this now) swapping over from table to hand. If I had to buy one router that would do both I'd be a happy man :) Preferably a router that does have dust extraction.

Last but not least the other stuff like:

Clamps - obviously some MFT style clamps - again some other brands that are similar to Festool. Recommendations for other clamps and sizes? I have no clamps at all.

Kreg Pocket drill. I'm overwhelmed by the choices - Ive looked at you tube and reviews and none the wiser what would suit me. I also read they arent that strong but then viewed David Stantons video on building stools with the Kreg system  Great channel David!

Smaller tools like Incra 150mm Pro Rule or something similar - flat edge and anything else that you can recommend for basic wood working tools

Sorry for the long post and the structure but hopefully this will be my go to post - if mods reuire me to break it down to other posts I'd me more than happy to oblige.

I'm really looking forward to the journey (though it will be slow but very satisfying to build "stuff" catered for what my wife and I want)

Look forward to sharing the journey and posting m,y first project!


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Offline blaszcsj

  • Posts: 409
  • I like building stuff with my hands.
Re: Newbie to Woodworking tool Questions
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2016, 09:35 AM »
I'll focus on your router question.

In terms of festool the 1010 Is great all-rounder and is great for a beginners work scope. Gobs of power for its package size. The 1400 would be your all in one with power and finesse to boot. I am a big fan of the pistol grip handle style. Others are not so keen.

If you are looking for a good starter set the Bosch Evs 1617 is a great router design that has been time tested. It can be purchased with bothe a fixed and plunge base. But wait there is more! It is also widely supported by the aftermarket in table mounts because of its standard motor body. Part availability is good and it won't break the bank! I used this setup for 10 yrs before moving to festool.

Some people like triton but I have not been much of a fan. I find them finicky. The porter cable 7518 motor is also a great option for table mounting.

Hope this helps.
OF1010 EQ Router | MFT/3 | DF500Q | Carvex 420 | ETS EC 150/3 | CT 36 Auto Clean | TSC55 | LR32 | OF1400 EQ Router | ZOBO Metric Set | CXS Li 2.6 - 90 Limited Edition | Universal Cleaning Set | HKC55 | Centrotec CE-SORT | RO150 FEQ | DTS 400 | RO90 DX | CTSYS | C18 Drill | SysLite KALII | Syslite STL 450 | RAS 115 E | OF2200 EB

Offline Kev

  • Posts: 7652
Re: Newbie to Woodworking tool Questions
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2016, 09:55 AM »
A couple of the Metabo drill/drivers are Centrotec compatible, though I prefer using my Festools generally.

If you have the patience to buy as you find the need, be sparing on your initial clamp purchases and keep you eyes out for bargains.

Dogs? 8~10

Rails? I'd simply go mad with 1x1400, but it does depend on you application. If you ever need to cut longer than ~1200 you'll need another 1400 or longer rail options.

If it's to be ONE ONLY FESTOOL router for all jobs, then it's the 1400. That said, if you do a lot of edges you will end up with a little trim router.

You will find yourself acquiring useful little hand tools like low angle block planes, etc and they'll add up.

I'm not a pocket hole fan and I do like the domino ... can't imagine stools assembled with pocket hole joinery [wink]

« Last Edit: December 27, 2016, 10:08 AM by Kev »

Offline mcooley

  • Posts: 228
Re: Newbie to Woodworking tool Questions
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2016, 10:46 AM »
The TS55 fine tooth blade which the unit comes with is fine for doing softwoods. I use it for all my plywood cuts and some hardwood pieces so long as they aren't any thicker than 1/2. For hardwood cuts greater than 1/2 like 1" or 2" I use the 12 tooth or similar. It leaves minimal cut marks.

I like the 1400 router and find that its size and power are a good combination. I like the pistol grip as well. I just wish they had put the actual "grip finish" on the handle itself! Best to be working over a padded floor mat.

But the Bosch would be more than enough. The issue is dust extraction. The 1400 has no light which also makes it a bit out of touch with current models of routers. I find the visibility not to be great with the dust capture enclosure attached. But it does collect the chips well.

Lastly, I like the CSX drill but more for its small light weight form factor and very sensitive trigger for doing cabinet work like putting in drawer slides etc. Good control for centering a screw quickly with minimal movement from the part you are attaching. I find I go to it more than my Makita all-rounder but it is under powered in some situations. Chuck size is a bit limiting if you need something like a 1/2 etc.


Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1393
Re: Newbie to Woodworking tool Questions
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2016, 11:35 AM »
1400 rail is fine if you're not ripping anything longer than 1100 mm or so.  You need a little room on the track for infeed and run off.  The blade that comes with it sounds fine for your initial purposes. 

The C15 has a brushless motor and fantastic trigger control.  I like this aspect of it much better than the CXS which makes it my favorite drill. 

The do-it-all Festool router is the 1400.  It has ample power and will accept a 1/2" bit, which the 1010 will not.  It will work with Festool's CMS router table if you plan on going that route.  Other router tables not so much without some level of customization by you.  I'm not a big fan of the CMS myself, beyond the price, the multiple pieces that make up the top (I have a VL) are a pain in the butt to level out.  If I did it over again, I'd get a solid surface table, with a fixed porter cable router motor and buy something else for handheld use (or just get a Bosch 1617 kit for table and handheld use).  You can eventually add an inexpensive trim router from one of the other brands can round it out. 

Clamps, Bessey Revo's are good but expensive options.  Buy as needed, but for starters, it's hard to go wrong with a couple 24" and 40" clamps.  I can't remember the last time I saw someone post "I wish I didn't buy so many clamps".  :)

Joinery, Kreg has it's uses, but it's not my first choice.  Some like it, others like domino's, others use both (dominos for alignment and kreg for holding/clamping.  It's your choice.  Kreg is obviously cheaper up front, but you'll likely supplement it somewhere down the road.  The domino is expensive but fantastic.  It does have a little bit of a learning curve so don't put it to task on your project before you've had a chance to test.

Other stuff as mentioned:  Measuring and marking tools, small plane, bench chisels, hand saws, sharpening stones - they will all creep into the shop in time.  Good lighting in your shop space is a nice thing to have as well!  Have fun and welcome to the FOG!

Offline HarveyWildes

  • Posts: 819
Re: Newbie to Woodworking tool Questions
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2016, 01:11 PM »
Other people have commented on the big stuff, so I'll add a note on my favorite small tool.  I find the Incra 3" rule incredibly useful for setup.  It's small enough to go anywhere, the detail is great, it's easy to read, and it has an end scale.  Plus after buying all of the Festool stuff that you'll need, buying something really useful for around $10 US will seem almost effortless.

Offline ScotF

  • Posts: 2536
Re: Newbie to Woodworking tool Questions
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2016, 02:18 PM »
Good advice so far. For the drill, I would recommend the 18V over the 15V. Not sure what the cost difference is, but Festool has discontinued those models in NA and I would guess in time that 18V will be the standard. It will allow easier integration with other 18V tools if you want to add them later one. I really like the TXS drill as well and it seems to be a perfect drill, but I would not want to be limited to just one smaller drill/driver (and I just got it so I have not had enough time to really put it through its paces). I recommend buying tools as you need them and really getting a better understanding of what you want to build and where you want to take your projects. I think that a drill and TS55 is a great place to start and will compliment your sander and CT perfectly. I think that a router is a must-have and the 1010 or 1400 is where I would start. I think a jigsaw is another must-have if you want to cut curves, etc... and I would recommend buying one to add to your list. You could accomplish lots of things with these core tools.

Offline jasen

  • Posts: 35
Re: Newbie to Woodworking tool Questions
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2016, 06:00 PM »
WOW Guys thank you all for posting - I really appreciate it! I only skimmed so that gives me more reading.

@blaszcsj - this is what I wanted to read and suits me exactly - thank you. The funds don't exist for a Festool router atm but I really need to look at getting one sooner or later. I'll have to read and find an equivalent Aussie model. I agree about the Triton Routers and it was ruled out due to cost - I may as well buy a Festool Router (I'll drop the research on this for now)

@Kev Thanks mate - I  agree with all your comments.

@mcooley , scottf Will stick with Festool C15 atm due to price and extras supplied. I will be visiting my local store next week. I'm not interested in any other Festool cordless tools.  The CXS would be a great compliment but I believe I 'll get away with it but not the other way around (buying CXS first). Thanks for the blade tip.

@RKA great advice and what I was leaning too. Yes I would like to go the domino way LOL!

@Harvey - excellent tip and I really like the Incra range so will definitely get that piece amongst my other bits

@ScotF I value your comments on understanding of what I want to build and have put a lot of thought into it. Making an MFT table top etc will give me great pleasure and understanding. My Grandfather was a woodworker and had his own shop and I have an emotional connection with it now. Its a craft and I respect what I have read with regard to learning the basics (i'm looking at classes too). To me the Festool way (rightly or wrongly) is my way to achieve projects. Having stability (track work) in creating my new hobby is a must - more on that one day. I don't expect miracles and I'm happy to move methodically and learn woodworking skills as my projects need it.
Oh I'm going to look at at  Trion 300 tomorrow with a pile of blades for $AU300 so I'll let you know how I go. I will be getting tools as I need them but if theres bargains out there I will buy!

Cheers again 

Offline jasen

  • Posts: 35
Re: Newbie to Woodworking tool Questions
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2017, 07:21 AM »
Made my first purchase from this post.
I got a 2nd hand  T18+3 standard kit on ebay (AU$360 inc postage). The guy selling made guitars and so wasn't a tradie. I've been looking at ebay and some of the condition of the equipment is like "Are you for real?" This drill was quite dusty but a quick clean with Arco (plastic polish) it looks brand new. I can't find my magic erasers to clean some stains on the systainer so that will wait until tomorrow.

I love the feel and control of it compared to my 18v Makita impact. I will leave the CXS as a purchase further on - I need other stuff first.


Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3623
Re: Newbie to Woodworking tool Questions
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2017, 09:14 AM »
Congratulations @jasen  Not sure how the secondary market is in AU, but here you can occasionally find good deals  on Festool.

Since no one has commented on the clamps issue yet -- you should probably get a starter set of decent clamps, and then buy more as needed (which will be quite frequent -- probably every single project, if your experience is like everyone else's, since as the saying goes, you can never have too many clamps...).  Although they are more expensive, I highly recommend getting parallel clamps, something like the Bessey REVO

They have a lot of clamping force, the jaws don't mar the work like a bar clamp will (without a shim), and, as the name suggests, they are designed to keep things straight and square when you clamp them down.  2 pairs in two different sizes (24 and 36 for example) is a good start.

Alternatively, you can match the clamping force of the parallel clamps at a significantly lower cost with DIY pipe clamps:
The other advantage of pipe clamps is that you can customize the length depending on the project (and availability of pipe).  I tend not to use these just because they aren't as delicate or precise as the parallel clamps, but I always have a few around in case I need an extra strong clamp, and they are indispensable if I'm clamping anything longer than 4 feet.

Also good to have a few cheap 6" or 12" trigger clamps lying around to quickly or temporarily secure pieces, stop blocks, work aids, etc.

There are more creative options out there depending on the type of work you're doing, though these would probably be a later purchase depending upon your project list.  These include strap clamps for doing mitered or irregularly shaped work:

Or the bow clamp/caul + bar clamp option for face frames or panel glue ups:   

If you keep up with woodworking, there is no avoiding spending a lot of money on clamps, so it's always good to keep an eye out for sales or used options.  I was gluing up a fairly modest project yesterday, and I still had at least $300 worth of clamps and clamping accessories holding it together.
Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS-EC 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • CT 26 w/BT module • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3

Offline jasen

  • Posts: 35
Re: Newbie to Woodworking tool Questions
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2017, 05:08 AM »
Hey Edward

Thanks so much for your detailed response. Some excellent insight into all the clamps.

Alot of reading to do and I'll get back to you when i purchase my first clamps!