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Disc/belt sander vs BIG disc sander

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Anonymous

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Hello! I'm new to this forum and also a woodworking newbie. I have a pretty limited budget but am looking to buy a few good bench mounted power tools to make my life easier. I remember from my school days that a BIG disc sander was very handy for eating relatively large amounts of wood quickly and helping make good a multitude of sins (not least of which my wonky sawing...)

Anyway, I see rexon do a big 12" sander for about £150 but was wondering if I really needed this and maybe it would be better to get the draper belt/8" disc combo? Not a good plan if the disc just won't be man enough for the job though....

Any thoughts?

James
 

gidon

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Hi James
Welcome. Do you already have other stationary tools? I personally wouldn't say that a disc sander should be your first purchase. An inverted belt sander may be a cheaper more versatile option. Also a drum sander attachment for a drill press is incredibly useful. Both (not the drill press which is also more handy than you think) would set you back £60+.
But if you are set on a disc sander, it might be worth you looking at what Axminster have on offer. And others I'm sure will have some specific recommendations.
Cheers
Gidon
 

Scrit

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You can't beat a belt sander for making tapers, for example as you would need for the inside of a Shaker box body - it just can't be done on a disc sander (well, at least not easily), but for squaring ends and putting an off 90 degree end on work the disc sander is the best approach. Had a look at the Record Power RSBDS200 belt/disc sander? http://www.recordpower.co.uk/DisplayProductDetail.Asp?p=01480 I've tried this and I think it's a solid little machine. I believe that it's on a special at about £69 till the end of the month.

Scrit
 
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Anonymous

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Thanks for the replies, in answer to your question the only other bench tool I have at the moment is a cheap drill press.... I think I may go for the belt/disc combination machine if the general view is that a BIG sanding disk isn't essential...

Does anyone have any recommendations on what I should get as a priority? Basically I have a budget of £1000 and would like to invest it in the tools that would be most useful... So far my thoughts are I would spend between £300 & £400 on a reasonable lathe, £200 on one of those nifty Elektra Beckum bandsaws and £90 on a makita circular saw.

Any thoughts would be much appreciated!

cheers

James
 

Gill

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A lathe? Well, if you can master it, then why not. It's just that I wouldn't have thought it an essential item for equipping a workshop unless you intend to focus on turning. In which case you'll also need something to keep your chisels sharp. I'm a fan of the Tormek 2005 sharpening system, which you might find a little pricey but it sharpens tools very efficiently and quickly. In fact, it's probably the most used bit of machinery in my workshop, after the Hegner scrollsaw and I'm not a turner.

You might also want to consider some form of vacuum cleaner/dust extraction. Very useful if you're using mechanical sanding aids. Incidentally, I once owned a second hand Clarke 4" belt/disc sanding station and I loved it. It broke down a short while ago and I haven't got round to replacing it yet, but it was already quite battered when I first acquired it.

No tablesaw, huh? A man after my own heart. If you want to cut panels you might find it useful to have a long straight-edge (such as a spirit level or a "Clamp'nGuide" type of edge) as a guide for your circular saw.

Don't forget those little bits and bobs that are indispensible, such as a vice, cramps, sawhorses and so on.

Have you thought of buying a router? Very useful beasties. So are planer/thicknessers.

In the end, it all boils down to identifying the sort of woodwork you'll be looking to do and then picking the tools you'll need to do it. As I said, a turner couldn't get by without a lathe (obviously :roll: !) whereas someone who likes to do intricate stuff such as me would be lost without a Dremel and the various accessories. What sort of stuff will you be looking to make?

Yours

Gill
 

gidon

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It's very tricky to recommend what to get first. But for me it was a table saw - even a cheapish one will allow you to quickly dimension boards to size ready for whatever you want to do with them. They don't take up an awful lot of room when not is use and are pretty versatile. They are dangerous and you need to take a lot of care with them. If you do get the chance to attend an evening class and actually see experienced people using them (this goes for all stationary tools) it's worth it. I did when I started out. For me the next most useful stationary tool is the planer thicknesser as Gill mentions. These are pricey though but complete the dimensioning process and mean you don't have to buy your timber ready prepared (which is limiting and expensive). You could get both for just about a £1000.

Lathes aren't really vital for furntiture making but if you want to become a turner - you may *only* need a lathe and lots of turning tools. Not my forte - having never used a lathe ...

A bandsaw could be useful - I'm toying with getting one. Have a look at this thread for more info.

Cheers

Gidon
 
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Anonymous

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Thanks for the replies, really useful info... The reason I had lathe on the priority list is because I LOVED woodturning when I was at school, I was amazed at how relatively easy it was to produce something that looked great! Well, by my standards anyway....

I read the table saw/bandsaw debate with real interest because I knew I would need one or the other... I decided on bandsaw because I thought I would probably not be making that many LARGE things and if I needed a table saw I could make do with a good circular saw (the makita).

A planer/thicknesser though? hmmmm, yes, I can see that could really save money and being a bit of a skinflint this is a major plus! And I like the idea of being able to turn rough bits of wood rescued from a skip into something workable!

Which brings me on to my final question, wood. Where should I go for the best deal? I only have a small car so can't really pick large bits up from anywhere... Do most people get it delivered from timber yards? Anyone know of a good place in the Oxfordshire area?

Cheers

James
 

gidon

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Best to look in yellow pages and phone around. Do you want to use hardwood or softwood? I take it you're after hardwood. There are online merchants:
Slhardwoods
British Hardwoods
Both sell planed and sawn timber so you can see the price difference. This isn't the cheapest option - finding a good supplier nearby is best but isn't always possible.
There will probably be someone in Oxfordshire here who can recommend a specific supplier.
As an aside table saws aren't specifically for cutting larger items - in fact smaller ones struggle. But they are good for accurate repetitive cuts. And the cheaper saws - the Axminster one (can't remember name), the Delta 36-525 etc aren't bad at all and pretty cheap.
Cheers
Gidon
 

Scrit

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If nothing else there is always Timbmet in Oxford Bhttp://www.timbmet.com/html/index.php). They are a large, mainly trade, supplier but they do carry a good selection of stock including FSC Certified materials.

Scrit
 
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