Dumb tool question.....

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Corgitails, Jun 12, 2004.

  1. Corgitails

    Corgitails Well-Known Member

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    What is the most handy kind of power saw to have around?

    I am trying to build another chicken coop and am getting REALLY sick of cutting things (mostly 2x4s) with the handsaw- it takes forever!

    I'm tool-clueless. What do I need, and how can I learn this stuff? ^_^

    Cait
     
  2. VonWolfen

    VonWolfen Well-Known Member

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    My opinion......a 7 1/4 inch circular saw. Next choice would be a reciprocating saw.....normally referred to as a "sawzall".
     

  3. Bob in WI

    Bob in WI Well-Known Member

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    Many, around here at least, call the circular saw a Skill-Saw,,

    Skill-Saw is a brand name just as Sawzall is a brand name.

    The circular saw is what is best for 2x4's.
     
  4. Corgitails

    Corgitails Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys.

    I'm really clueless about tools. ^_^
     
  5. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    a good sawzall. a variety of blades to cut and destory everything
     
  6. VonWolfen

    VonWolfen Well-Known Member

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    Oh, I forgot, you asked where to learn to use it. Actually, if you are new to power tools, I would recommend that you buy a new saw...my preferences are Milwaukie or DeWalt...but all major brands are pretty good now. You will have a choice of battery or electric cord....I recommend the electric cord if it is convenient. It is also considerably cheaper. As far as how to use it....if you buy a new one, it will come with comprehensive instructions, written in very plain English. These are very dangerous tools, especially if you are totally new to power tools...so PLEASE read all the instructions and proceed slowly.
     
  7. pointer_hunter

    pointer_hunter Well-Known Member

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    And always make sure the cord is out of the way! :eek:
     
  8. Don Armstrong

    Don Armstrong In Remembrance

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    Power drill. No question.

    Talk to your local hardware store (the "old dad" or grandpa vintage employees) or a local community college or adult education organisation about how to learnn handy"man" type stuff - there will be classes.

    As for sawing - buy good tradesman-quality tools - a tenon saw ( rectangular, with a metal stiffening strip along the back), and a general purpose saw. But best quality - not handyman or home quality, but the ones that cost twice that much. Really! it's worth more than twice that much to have them. Sometimes home-quality is good enough, but saws aren't one of those cases.

    Oh, yes. you can get a circular saw attachment for a power drill. Or you can buy one that will do the job - or get a set of power drill, orbital sander, jigsaw, circular saw as a package deal. They won't do the best job, but they'll do a good enough job most of the time, and do it a lot quicker. But still buy tradesman-quality hand tool for what you'll do a lot.
     
  9. Blu3duk

    Blu3duk Well-Known Member

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    No one saw can do it all, however there are types of saws that can do more depending upon what your end result is wanted.

    Handsaws: offer portability, yes take time to operate, offer low cost and ability to have a new set of teeth put on if a saw shop is available in the area. [we have a local fella who is a retired saw filer from one of the local mills who does this for a reasonable rate] some of the handier handsaws i like around are the japaneese backstroke saws for sawing a door frame out flush [also called a flush cut saw] they cut on the pull stroke and look like a cleaver about $30.00

    corded circle saws: price range $15 - $600 the lower end range will run out of power, usually will not last a very long time [wear out before you can get your building project finished] however there are exceptions. The medium range priced saws will usuaully do the average homeowner a lifetime of small cutting projects, and has been usfull to many contractors as well in some situations after the invention of the worm drive circle saw which top out the higher end of the spectrum for price range culminating with the 16 inch Makita beam saw costing over $600.00 for speacialty beam cutting. The pros tov these types of saws are they have interchangeable blades, the ability to cut a 1/4 inch sheet of plywood without tearing, to ripping a piece of framing lumber.....drawback is actually having the right saw at the time ou need it on hand. another trick we use is to turn the carbide blades backwards and saw metal roofing [wearing eye protection]. Wormdrives will last seemingly forever [a friend has one from 1973 that runs as well as the day it was originally purchased] as long as the wormgearcis lubed once inawhile. Most wormdrives weigh nearly 15 poounds due to the heavy bras worm gear they use to drive the blade, they are very awkward for beginners to use, even the magnesium saw bodies are still heavy, and usually $30 higher or more in price...they still use the same blades. Corded saws are have a similar problem in the tag line [power cords] are usually not the right length for your project....and people use to small extension cord to power it with and end up burning out the motor, remedied by purchasing at least a 12 gauge extension cord 50 feet length, over 50 feet i reccomend a spendy 10 gauge cord which runs $1.00 per foot most places. In all I prefer my worm drive over all saws and will hook it up for cutting just about anything except the really tight cuts needed in cabinetry making... but for rough sawing it gives me control..... i am a bit bigger than the average fella though, 6 foot, 250 pounds and been using a worm drive for 10 years or better on my own jobs.

    Battery power circle saws: similar in build to their corded cousins, but they allowcthe frfreedom to saw in places where power cords just dont reach, or the cord gets in the way [ideally used for sawing soffets off] depending upon the voltage they will usually cutt simialr thickness and hardness of woods as the lower end regular corded versions, just cutting it slower, I have a 14.4 volt craftsman, and scored a 18 volt milwakee in the dumpster, the 18 volt is heavier than some of the lower end corded versions, and will only take a 6 1/4 inch blade as will the 14 volt which is about 2 pounds lighter. neither saw for me will cut like i am used to in framing boards, and run out of power beforethe battery is totally gone leaving a person to sit and discharge the battery totally before recharging it. They will do wonderfully in plywood, osb, and pressed board due to the speed which they cannot travel. If a person is using a generator to build with, they are a handy tool to have around charging when using the genset for other corded tools, and pick one up when you need to trim just one or 2 pieces...been there and its a pain to start a genset for just one cut.... They will not have the depth of cut associated with their bigger cousins the corded variety. cost between $100.00-300.00 or come in work sets with drills and such.

    Chop saws/ mitre saws: Awesome machines in they offer portability to the jobsite, can mitre pievces in both a straight and compound nature, will have various depths of cut [depends on blade size]. Compound mitre saws and sliding compound mitre saws are a great investment as they preform many functions in the shop and on a construction site, vary in price range from under $100.00 to close to $1000.00 size and brand name being the cost difference. The larger compound saws [14 inch range have the ability to mitre both ways meaning you dont have to swap ends to and turn over your work to get the right cut angle....sometimes a good thing, buit cost usually $100 extra for this feature. the sliding features makes the compound mitre saw close in function to a radial arm saw, but still not the same. I have a 10 inch straight chop ssaw i gave $160.00 for years ago when the sliding saws were just hitting the market for $600.00 [now range from $200.00 on up] Another contractor friend uses a makita 8 inch for all his crown molding sets, and it will even do BCI beams for lfoors and rafters as depth of cut is 2 inches nad the stroke is 14 inches.....some of the larger saws can cut deeper but the stroke is the same.

    Shop saws: I am gonna lump the table saw and the radial saw into this category and exclude the band saw, the scroll saw, and a couple of others for the reason of speacialty and not the best type to have as a primary saw around the homestead..... the radial saw has many functions, and can be the most useful saw in a shop if given the chance or if workspace is a concern, these saws can be used to cut, rip, mold, plane, sand, profile if you gear up for doing such, these saws are not cheap, starting around $750.00 before putting a blade on, [not counting picking one up second hand] tooling adds to the price but makes the tool useable in many ways, those folks who get a radial saw and explore its uses will rant and rave over the projects they can do with just one machine in such a small footprint. Table saws can be picked up for $75 on up, but i suggest spending at least $500.00 on a new saw to get one that is going to last, my ultimate saw is http://www.grizzly.com/products/item.cfm?itemnumber=G7209 but for now i have a shop version likeany homesteader would have from craftsman. http://www.grizzly.com/ has higher end products for shops, but you cannot beat the quality on some of their products they put their name on. No i do not have any stock in this company, just like their products..... the $800.00 range table saws will last a homesteader into his grandkids lifetimes when cared for properly.

    Power saws [aka chainsaw]: My dad a retired logger says if you cant doit with a chainsaw then it really dont need cut, ok to a point I agree and have used one in building stick frame projects as well as in log houses, and around my sawmill it definately has a use or three. A little 12hour head saw <----humour intended, will cut boards and beams wonderfully and do a quality job for one or two pieces in a hurry, it has other uses around the homestead as well, but i dont recomend cutting a winters firewood with one although people do that every year with them..... cost around $100.00+/- for the little saws ready to cut on up to over $1000.00 for some of the professional logger models, each bigger saw will do the sawing of the littler ones, only the little ones wont cut through what the bigger ones will ultimatley.

    recipicating saws: A nice saw to have on hand for demolition and for doing repairs on plumbing and such, they cost from $50.00 up to $300.00 and the blades vary in price from $1.00 to $15.00 each, drawbacks are the bladeswill bend and not saw straight, they get hot in a hurry and become brittle and break, the blades are not heavy enough to saw a house log straight off [no matte how many peopel you tell this to they have to try it themselves]. Some of the lower end saw do not have enough power to saw thick, dense, or heavy materials thus giving way to broken blades, these saws are really heavier versions of jigsaws which have a place on the homestead for cuttingout key holes [windows] in plywood and such, they just doit with more pwer and go thru many more expensive blades. I have one that rarely gets used so will last me a long time. the blades i like to use cost an average of $5.00 each in bulk and i generaly break 2 every time i use the saw in any application so it gets the last call. but it is useful in repairing plumbing with the shorter metal cutting blades available I still seem to brteak at least one on a pipe it seems like...or atvleast it seems like i spend more on blades for the recip saw than i spend on any other tool.... and i am not hard on my tools.

    Hope this answers a few questions, each type of saw has its uses, some saws can be used for multiple purposes, some should only be used in a particular application, however never use one for something until you have gathered some knowledge of the tool and the damage it can do if handled imporoperly..... I know numerous folks who have not all the fingers they were born with because ofa stupid mistake with a circlec saw, and even i cut my leg with a power sw when i was 16 in the woods [I have been operating a power saw since i was 10], my dad cut his leg after about 20 years working in the woods....accidents happen to professionals, and new users alike....most can be avoided if common sense is applied before the job starts.

    William
     
  10. Michael83705

    Michael83705 Well-Known Member

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    I would never build an outbuilding without a chainsaw. It just takes to long. :)
     
  11. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    All the guys have given you good advice. I just want to add get some good ear plugs and put them in before you start. And HAVE FUN! Love power tools. (What is it that tool guy says? UNGH or something.)
     
  12. tambo

    tambo Well-Known Member

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    I love my cordless drill and my cordless skill saw.I just have to make sure the batteries are charged.I have electric ones too but I always grab the cordless ones first.

    Tambo
     
  13. Jimmy Mack

    Jimmy Mack Well-Known Member

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    for making cuts allow 1/8th inch for the blade width when measuring. For example, if you have a 6' 2x4 and cut two pieces that are 2' each the piece left over will only measure 23 3/4"' long.

    I luv my skill saw worm drive ~ very versatile and accurate. IMO, the heavier weight makes for an easier to control saw and more accurate cuts. also beefy enough to handle most jobs. Put on a 40 tooth blade and you've got a trim saw!

    second choice is my BOSCH jigsaw, one of the few jigsaws that can cut at a 45 degree angle. Really a nice tool but if I could only go with one saw I'd take the wormdrive.

    also have a sawzall, good for demo, rough work and tree trimming/pruning but a difficult saw to get accuaracy on for the finer work.

    I still need to buy a chopbox and chainsaw.
     
  14. simpleman

    simpleman Well-Known Member

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    I worry when my wife or oldest daughter uses power tools. The exception is my sabre saw/jig saw. They use it for wood craft projects and have not cut themselves yet. You can get different lengths of blades that cut anything from plastic to metal. They are great for scrolling and angle work too. They sell the saws just about anywhere for under $50.00

    Ernest
     
  15. SteveD(TX)

    SteveD(TX) Well-Known Member

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    I have to agree that in order of importance: 1) circular saw, and 2) reciprocating saw. My cordless circular saw has seen more use than any one tool I have outside of my cordless drill, since I built my boathouse with these before there was any electricity down there.
     
  16. Zuiko

    Zuiko Well-Known Member

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    A mitre saw is really good, if your mostly cutting 2x4s, I have trouble being too accurate with a circular saw, plus the guard is annoying. However with building you need to cut sheets too, in which case a circular saw would be useful either way. We have a corded skil that we have been using alot. We also have a cordless milwaukee in the mail, so we will see how that works. You should also get a good drill if you dont have one. Corded or cordless, depending on your situation, and what you want to spend. Its important that you can change the height on circular saws, otherwise the guard is even more in the way. Good Luck with the chicken coop!
     
  17. If your project requires many cuts, you'll find the mitre saw very handy. Circular saws are great as well... but once you have a mitre saw, you'll use the circular saw much less (although you'll still need it). There are also portable stands for mitre saws... extremely handy.

    cheers,