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joshdonlan 01-25-2014 02:11 PM

Tools required for the job?
Hi folks,

Firstly Im new on here, so apologise if this is in the wrong section. Im a pigeon fancier wanting to build a new loft and accessories out of wood. Im not too bad at woodwork, but currently have just basic tools; hand saws, circular saw, drill, jigsaw etc. However im wanting to improve my skills and be more creative with my work.

What tools are required for basic work with plywood sheets and timber?

Im wanting a table saw for ripping ply sheets, a table drill and possibly a router (never used before). Has anyone got any further advise?

If I added a few photos would people be able to advise on the tools needed?


chitownken 01-25-2014 02:31 PM

Instead of a table saw for ripping plywood, check into the Festool Track Saw. 4 X 8 sheets of plywood are hard to handle on a table saw. I personally like Porter-Cable routers, but there are quite a few good ones out there. Look into a router table that you can mount your router under. Makes it much easier and safer when working with small pieces.

Gee it's fun to spend other people's money!

jackmel 01-25-2014 02:38 PM

How about Norm? That's a pretty good tool to have. The other guys too. Roy Underhill for traditional, that young guy I can't remember on American Woodshop I think it's called. I've learned a great deal about carpentry from Norm Abram. I know he retired. Others out there are good too.

I know the feeling cutting plywood with a table saw. Basically need a table in front and one in back, all leveled nicely with the saw of course, and not inhibiting in any way, the safe operation of the saw. And even that is tough because it's hard to keep it straight although I suppose you could build a large fence to make it easier but that's a pain to move attachments on and off of tools.

Sorry, Tom Silva too.

joshdonlan 01-25-2014 02:39 PM

Thanks for the response.

Can I also add that I will need some form of dowel jig.

jackmel 01-25-2014 02:44 PM


Originally Posted by joshdonlan (Post 1296615)
Thanks for the response.

Can I also add that I will need some form of dowel jig.

I use a small self-centering metal jig with 1/4, 5/16, 3/8 holes along the top that you center along the edge of a board. I use it to build face-frames for cabinets or any other thing I want to add dowels to. You know about pocket screws right? Guess where I learned about those? :)

joshdonlan 01-25-2014 02:50 PM

2 Attachment(s)
I have attached a couple of photos of the things im trying to make. What tools are required for the job?


joshdonlan 01-25-2014 02:58 PM

Ive never heard of pocket screws, but looked it up on google. Looks handy. I must add im from England - UK. We have no decent programmes on TV such as American Woodshop. I catch the odd thing on Discovery channel but thats about it.

chitownken 01-25-2014 03:12 PM

A saw to cut the plywood, a drill press with Forstner bits to make the holes for the dowels, a jig saw to cut the oval holes and a router to round over the edges and create the rabbets.

The Kreg pocket hole jigs are great. You might also look into biscuit jointers.

joecaption 01-25-2014 03:47 PM

I have not used dowels for at least 20 years, since I bought my Kreg tool.
Far faster, much stronger and tighter joint, no clamps needed to assemble.

SeniorSitizen 01-25-2014 03:48 PM

Sure a table saw is handy and I have 2, but to break down large sheets of plywood or anything the table saws have to wait in line until it becomes their size by using my portable circular saw in conjunction with a guide similar to these by Popular Mechanics.

For your projects and many others a miter saw would be near the top of the tool list and I'd be lost without a drill press but a portable hand drill will assist in build many things with careful use.

A kreg system should serve you well and as you progress you will determine what is important to you for tools.

jackmel 01-25-2014 05:26 PM

No one said anything about a planer. That looks about 1/2" thick. You're not going to find good hardwood at 1/2" so will have to use the loudest tool in all of carpentry-kingdom: a surface planer. I hate running mine. Not because I don't like having it but rather everyone in the neighborhood knows I have it when I'm running it.

Ok so surface planer.

Millertyme 01-26-2014 11:44 AM

Planer is a great tool to have if you plan on doing a lot of projects. However i do many without one. You can alway resaw on a table saw or buy the proper thickness from lumberyard or hd

PaliBob 01-29-2014 05:51 AM

Josh, Thanks for including that Pic.
Just a comment about dowels, Nobody here would try to connect the various panels shown with dowels.
My solution would be to use Kreg pocket screws using the Kreg Miini Jig along with a Kreg face clamp. No need to get the more elaborate Kreg Jigs.
As far as tools go, Amazon UK may be a good source for you.:thumbsup:

chitownken 01-29-2014 07:30 PM

In the first picture, I thought those were dowels used for the "bars". No way would the panels in the second picture be doweled together. Kreg pocket screws would be the easiest.

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