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Shop Tools #8473 11/18/03 04:23 PM
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Andy H. Offline OP
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Okay, the good news is business seems pretty solid and I've outgrown the old sugarhouse workshop. The challenge is, as I move into a new, bigger shop (for up to 4-5 people)what tools and equipment should I install to make it all more efficient? We've got all the standard hand-held electric tools (makita beam saw, mortiser, planer, router, etc.). What about chop or compound miter saws? Radial arm saws? Handling equipment? etc.

I'm looking for specifics on what other people are using in their operations. All ideas are appreciated.

Andy H.

Re: Shop Tools #8474 11/20/03 05:36 PM
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daiku Offline
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Hi Andy.

I find that we get a lot of use out of all the standard woodworking machines, even if they aren't specifically for timber framing. They're just nice to have around for miscellaneous tasks that always seem to come up. Maybe you need to build a cart, or a shelf, or something like that for use on the cutting floor. We also use many of the stationary tools specifically for timber framing. We use the table saw, jointer and thickness planer for prepping splines. The radial arm saw does a nice job on knee braces. The bandsaw cutd the inside radius of curved knee braces, etc.

I'm not sure if the dust collection system was worth the trouble, since most of the sawdust is created with portable tools where the dust just spews on the floor. I'd be interested to hear if other folks have an opinion on DC systems. CB.


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Clark Bremer
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Re: Shop Tools #8475 11/20/03 08:31 PM
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ZAC Offline
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Hey fellow central VT TF,
One tools that i've used quite a bit is an air compressor with just a sandblaster gun(just for air) on the end of it to shoot into a mortise to clean it out. Rather than turning the whole timber over everytime. Just keep the compressor full so it's ready when you are. You probally already have one but i thought i would add my two cents. Great to hear things are going well for you. Take care...ZAC

Re: Shop Tools #8476 11/22/03 01:26 AM
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Andy H. Offline OP
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Thanks to Daiku and ZAC for your replies. One thing I'm specifically wondering is whether anyone knows if the the Makita or Dewalt 12" sliding compound miter saw ($650 =/-) can be used for cutting timbers efficiently. They seem to have greater capacity than radial arm saws, but I'm hoping to be able to cut through an 8x8 with no more than two cuts.

Also, as far as the wide portable planers, is the new style Makita 12" worth the $2,000 they're asking for it?

Re: Shop Tools #8477 11/22/03 03:12 AM
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Roger Nair Offline
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I think the clearances on the miter saws would interfere with larger timber, movement to and alignment with heavy timber to a dedicated mitersaw station requires a special dance, accuracy would be limited by the blade not being regulated by the table or fence, particularly for depth of cut and the variety of cuts would be limited. I would prefer hand held circular saws with robust bases. I have not used a Makita planer but will recommend either Mafell or Protool-Holzher, despite major sticker shock.

Re: Shop Tools #8478 11/23/03 04:51 PM
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daiku Offline
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Andy:

My 12" RAS can do a 4" depth of cut, but as Roger points out, it's not practical for timbers, except perhaps some short pieces. Roger's exactly right: You can't get the timber flat against the fence to get a square cut. A heavy timber will distort the fence if you try - even if you build an extra heavy fence (don't ask me how I know this laugh ) I use it extensivly for knee braces, however.

Makita has improved their 16" saw recently, for about the same money as you were talking about. You will want to upgrade to a carbide blade though. The new base is better than before, but still not as good as the after-market upgrade.

I've used a Makita 6" and own the HolzHer 8" planers. Although they operate a little differently (especially the technique needed for planing stock wider than the planer) they are both good machines. Keep the blades sharp! (Makita blades are resharpenable, the Holzher are not)

Oh - I forgot to mention compressed air, but ZAC picked that up. Always useful, if only for blowing things around. CB.


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Clark Bremer
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Re: Shop Tools #8479 11/27/03 11:07 PM
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Gabel Offline
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Andy,

I got the new Makita 12" planer about 6 weeks ago and am satisfied with it. I needed a wide planer and couldn't spring for a German machine, so I got the Makita. It leaves an excellent finish. Knives are reversible and disposable (which I like). Changing knives takes 3 minutes and is fool-proof. I have planed about 6000 bd ft of oak with it so far and am using my third new set of knives. I expect you could go 2.5 - 3 times farther in pine. It is not fun to use, but I don't know any 40 lb tools that are. While I am sure the German machines are excellent tools, I feel the Makita is worth it's cost.

Gabel H.


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