Woodworking guy img. A Woodworker's Notebook Presents:

Minimal Tool and Shop Startup


I think that if you're on a tight budget that you can do far more than you imagine with your portable circular saw. First, buy the best carbide tipped blade you can afford, this will pay you back many times over. A combo blade will give the versatility you need for ripping and crosscutting solid woods. If you're working with sheet goods, get a fine toothed blade for that job as well.

Try not to make freehand cuts with the saw, use fences and straight edges as much as possible for the most accurate results. Some workers will even mount the saw upside down on a plywood surface to simulate a tablesaw's utility, but this can be risky and is too lengthy a subject for now.

You should be able to cut lap joints to add strength to a workbench base unit, and simply use both glue and screws to assemble. The top, of course, is from a suitable sheet product cut to size and screwed down to the base's top rails.

Shop cabinets can be cut from sheet goods such as plywood, O.S. B. (orient strand board), particle board, etc., and assembled with glue, biscuits, dowels and screws, giving a rugged and durable result.

Use vertical- spaced shelves to hold boxes on in lieu of drawers for storage- you can make the drawers when you get the table saw or that which follows:

I would say at this point that the first tool to follow the portable saw would be a router. Mounted in a shop- made table, you can do truly amazing work, including drawer- making.

Believe it or not some woodworkers never need more than this to build with, so take it from here and good luck.


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