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Old 06-04-2014, 06:25 PM   #1
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This chick is buying a saw!! decisions, decisions...could sure use the help!


Newbie lady DIYer here. I’m looking into buying a saw and need some advice. I never had anyone to teach me woodworking skills but I think they are important and would like to learn and pass on some skills to my sons. I am on a limited budget but I do believe in buying smart, not just cheap so I’ve been doing some research. However all the research in the world doesn’t equal real world experience so this is where I hope you guys will chime in.

I hope to complete the following projects in order: shelving/loft for shed, small deck, framing in unfinished basement walls, crown molding eventually. Yes, I’ll probably watch a lot of youtube to accomplish this. Haha I have a circular saw somewhere but misplaced it in the move. Yeah, I’m a tad disorganized. I also have basic hand tools like a drill, wrenches, sockets, etc. I think my Dad might have a jigsaw I could borrow. I have a small compressor/brad nailer I won in a silent auction(never opened). I won’t be setting up an elaborate shop but I want convenience if possible. I also won’t be able to lift/wield very large pieces of wood by myself but on the flipside I’d prefer to not have to ask for help so I’m willing to set up tables, etc. (mobile or stationary) to help with this.

Based on all that, I’m wondering what I really really need. I want my projects to go smoothly and I know having the right tools makes the difference between being frustrated or enjoying the finished project. All the different saws (table, miter, jig, etc.) are a bit confusing to me as far as possible usage. One saw to do it all would be preferable although I know that’s probably not possible. I’m leaning toward purchasing a 12” dual compound miter saw. I’m just not sure if I’ll need the sliding feature or not. Any suggestions based on my proposed projects would be greatly appreciated. I don’t want to overbuy but at the same time, I like convenience and the ability to be able to do things myself. If you can think of any other “indispensible” tools that would be worth considering I’d love to hear it. Thanks so much for all your help!

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Old 06-04-2014, 06:33 PM   #2
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This chick is buying a saw!! decisions, decisions...could sure use the help!


That is a good choice. Also look at the same saw with a sliding option. This allows wider boards to be cut.

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Old 06-04-2014, 06:49 PM   #3
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This chick is buying a saw!! decisions, decisions...could sure use the help!


A compound or any miter saw is a bad choice if it is your only saw, you cannot rip a board on a miter saw (cut a board lengthwise). And paying for the compound feature isn't good because about the only place you will ever use it is when installing trim.

If I could only have 1 saw I think it would be a contractors saw. Almost a table saw on wheels. It will rip, miter, cross cut, and if you get one of the better models they are close to accurate with the stock fence that comes with it. And if you shop around the price is pretty compatible to a compound miter saw But it is a much more versatile tool.

Some may say just get a good circ. saw but to rip a long board with one and keep it straight is extremely hard especially for someone with limited experience.
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Old 06-04-2014, 06:57 PM   #4
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If you have a Community college or somewhere that teaches night or weekend courses it would be well worth the $$ to take some basic courses. Watching UTube is not the same as hands on. PLUS there are some very real safety issues working with power tools and powerful saws so we don't want any missing fingers do we.
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Old 06-04-2014, 07:43 PM   #5
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This chick is buying a saw!! decisions, decisions...could sure use the help!


You are looking for a couple of different tools---both are wonderful and both can remove body parts---

A miter saw --used for cross cutting and mitering--good for trim work (your crown molding) cutting 2x4s and larger 2x s --deck boards and ,if you get a slider--even cutting closet shelves.

Table saw---this one is used for 'ripping'--cutting along the length of a board---Very useful tool---but --the smaller the table saw is--the more unstable it is----so small is much more dangerous to use---and limiting.

Circular saw---and edge guide---sometimes called a 'track saw'---
This tool allows you to make long straight cuts by clamping the guide track to the work and sliding the circular saw down the track.
If you do not have a table saw--this is a very good way to rip wider boards ---

I hope this helped you understand a bit more about what the different choices are---Do be careful---see if there is a local woodworking club---the members are always glad to take time to show a novice how to operate the different tools.--Mike---
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Old 06-04-2014, 07:56 PM   #6
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If I could have but one....it would be a 7 1/4" skil saw. With it, a speed square, and some clamps, I can rip as well as with a table saw, cut miters, and about anything else. More accuracy with the specialized tools, but the all-in-one will do for most. Ron
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:07 PM   #7
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This chick is buying a saw!! decisions, decisions...could sure use the help!


My vote would be 10" compound sliding miter.

And a good skill saw. Some things you just need a skill saw for.

Not mentioned but very important....blades. $50 or more for a good carbide blade does not bother me....though you can get some decent ones for about $25. Your going to want a couple different types. A combination blade for general cutting....and a fine tooth blade....say 60 tooth ...for the more exact and clean cuts....especially molding....
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:56 PM   #8
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This chick is buying a saw!! decisions, decisions...could sure use the help!


I agree with ron. A good 7" circular saw will come in handy for most projects you are talking about doing. I have a Skil 2.5 HP model with a good rip fence. I can cross cut and rip most anything that I need for a project. I would also get a good set of saw horses to work off of. Once you get the idea what needs to be done then work your way up to a larger saw.

http://www.skilshop.com/factory-reco...-circular-saws

I own this saw and have found it to be very good!

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Old 06-05-2014, 09:58 AM   #9
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This chick is buying a saw!! decisions, decisions...could sure use the help!


Black and Decker workmates are heavy, well built and with 2 or them you can do a lot safely. Stay away from the cheap flimsy no name stuff.
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Old 06-05-2014, 09:31 PM   #10
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I think a cordless circular saw might be a good choice for you its more compact and lighter weight it would less intimidating
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Old 06-06-2014, 01:36 PM   #11
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This chick is buying a saw!! decisions, decisions...could sure use the help!


A fair handheld circular saw with a straight edge and a couple of C-clamps will let you rip about anything. A medium duty sliding compound saw will allow you to crosscut accurately and handle your trim and deck boards. A pair of sawhorses and a piece of plywood will make a usable work table at a pretty low cost. After that, a battery drill would be next on my list. Of course you'll always have a need for a variety of hand tools.
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Old 06-06-2014, 05:15 PM   #12
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For the price of a mitre saw get you a cordless pack with a drill, impact, circular saw and sawzall. that way you can do a lot of projects.
Just get a Lowes are home depot brand to start with
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Old 06-06-2014, 06:05 PM   #13
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This chick is buying a saw!! decisions, decisions...could sure use the help!


Quote:
Originally Posted by ront02769 View Post
If I could have but one....it would be a 7 1/4" skil saw. With it, a speed square, and some clamps, I can rip as well as with a table saw, cut miters, and about anything else. More accuracy with the specialized tools, but the all-in-one will do for most. Ron
With a saw guide ( shop made or other ) better for breaking down sheet goods than the average home owner table saw.
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Old 06-08-2014, 05:50 PM   #14
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This chick is buying a saw!! decisions, decisions...could sure use the help!


My vote would be for a compound mitre saw, but I think I'd stick to a 10". The saw and it's blades will be cheaper.

I've got an older Delta 10" with a folding stand that I got at a yard sale, and I never once have thought I needed more than that. It slides so I can cut wide boards, and how often do you cut something thicker than a 4x anyway?

A table saw is something I'd wait on, in your position. What I use mine for most is ripping plywood, which requires a LOT of room, not only for a big saw, but also infeed and outfeed. A circular saw with one of those guide things would work better for someone who would only do it occasionally.
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Old 06-08-2014, 06:03 PM   #15
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Mort how do you rip any board with a miter saw?

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