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Antho

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Hi All,

Im looking to buy a table saw in the next few weeks, Ill be using it to rip down construction lumber into size and cutting clean accurate working faces. Im also going to buy a planer/thicknesser for finishing wood to size and to finish any timber that will visible such as internal roof structure, exterior pillars and beams, trellising, decking etc etc. Its a 40m2 bungalow so ill probably (rough guess here) be milling 6-8 cube of Douglas Fir/White pine on each cabin.

Speed and efficiency are important as its very hot and dry daytimes and cold and humid at night, wood can have a life of its own here. I have a Festool for cutting sheet board so the table saw will only be for use on real wood so must have a min 8cm cut depth. When building built in furniture, and decorative items I don't want to always have to use the planer so saw accuracy is important.

I am looking at the Metabo TKHS 315 M saw or a similar product from Scheppach. does anybody know these machines? Budget up to£800...

I have several quandaries such as... do I spend a bit more and get an entry level heavy workshop machine and sacrifice mobility (ill need to build several cabins, and all manner of wood work on our project over the next 5 years meaning ill be moving a temporary workshop around our 2.5 acre land) or will a mid priced site saw be accurate enough and up to the job? I have 3 phase power onsite so do I get 3 phase machines... is the extra power necessary when working with, Pines, Firs, Cypruses and Cedars?

Its the first time I have bought any work shop tools and want to buy one time only. Does anybody have any advice or recommendations?

Thanks,

Anthony
 

Oddbod70

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Sounds to me like you are talking yourself into light trade kit. You want it to work reliably and quickly for a few years at least.

you dont actually say what sizes you need to prepare though!

Site saws, like the Metabo are exactly that, for use on site. Many a house has has been framed out with one, but they are neither that powerful nor sub-mm accurate. the max depth of cut really is a max. It will just do it, but not all the time and not when the blade starts to dull.

with the planer the power really determines the width and depth you can take in one pass. A few mill off a 12” hardwood board needs some oomph. 0.5mm off a 4” is no sweat for anyhing

souns like an exciting project tho, hope you keep us updated. Good luck
 

Antho

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Thanks for the reply I’m in Morocco so I will be buying most of the timber in 3 packs of raw sawn timber of 3.5 m3 each and then do a lot of preparing myself onsite. Using a band saw for the ripping could be an option then passing it through the Thicknesser for finished elements. That was I would take pressure off the saw meaning it will stay accurate for longer whic I understand is an issue with cheap saws.

Does this sound logical to you?

By the way it’s not like working in UK as I’m 3 hours from a European standard builders merchant or tool supplier.,,, even then it’s hard to get what you need. I have to think of every possibility especially with the added issue of corona.

What’s your thoughts on this approach?
 

Oddbod70

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I personally wouldn't rip on a bandsaw,although its how wood is generally milled commercially, and you can certainly do it.

A site saw will cut 50mm deep easily and 75 with a bit of care.

if you look at most construction its done with 50mm think of whatever width. If you need thicker you nail a couple of 50mm together. Thats why the circ saw and nail gun are so common. Add a site saw and a electric hand planer and you could go a long way to building a timber framed house.

i‘m still struggling with what you are actually doing, other than build bungalows. Is it..

1. milling your own timber from weird Sizes
2. Framing from largely standard size construction timber
3. 2nd fit
4. Cabinet making
5. All the above

in theory you could do the lot with a few hand tools or a 100k workshop. The difference would be how long it takes. I doubt either would be ideal.

There is obvious overlap in some places but, for example, i would not be applying beading with a 90mm framing nailer. Nor would I bother running framing timber through a planer. Cabinet making with a big skillsaw is a PITA, but so is cutting 30 birds-mouths on a panel saw.

forgive me for asking, but have you got much constrution experience?

Edit: what size is the timber you are starting with? Thickness and width particularly. Thats the essential question.
 
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Antho

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Thanks for the answers.... Yes pretty experienced i used to have a construction company in the UK and have ran numerous shop fitting and residential renovation and extension projects. Im not the most experienced carpenter but I can deliver a finish and accurate job. Im in Morocco and everything is more tricky here we have little availability to high quality tools, materials or labour. Most people build in the most basic masonry construction so even engineers and architects have a limited knowledge compared to a western standard. No offence too morocco but everything is done to the lowest cheapest solution that will work. There are highly specialised and qualified guys in the cities but prices are more than the UK for this type of work. We are 3 hours from the nearest BnQ style shop let alone a professional tool/material supplier so I am having to import all machines, tools, fixings and solutions.

I am constructing about 700M2 of built space (on 7000m2 of wild scrub land with no water mostly in masonry) for a tourism project in the middle of nowhere and im doing all the carpentry pretty much single handed. Great experience to notch up.

All walls will be built with rough sawn framing timber/OSB but the roof will be exposed and needs to be made from PAR Douglas Fir. The climate is very severe here and we have massive daily changes in temperature and humidity and its very very windy plus 500m from the sea so you can imagine how tricky construction can be in this environment.

Wood is very expensive here we pay 50% more than the UK and UK 2nd grade lumber from the merchants is joinery grade here so in order to get best quality and price Ill be buying it in rough sawn packs of 3.5M3 and then cutting and milling to size and finish. I have tried using local guys to offer a cutting service but their not consistent or accurate and its a 1.5hr round trip plus loading time. By the time i buy the timber acclimatise it onsite send it over to a damp cutting workshop and back again the timber is often deflecting to point that installation is a ball ache.

Ill be building mini kitchens, shelves, doors, cupboards, pergolas from scratch so this will all need running off accurately onsite from sawn timber. The framing timber will be ripped from larger pieces creating 2 square faces to build from.

Ill be making my own glulams onsite to make up roof bearers and long span window lintels/beams in the walls.

Ill also be milling some rustic native hardwoods for rustic furniture and shelving.

I have been advised by American guys to buy a powerful accurate bandsaw for the ripping as its safer and requires less effort from the machine. Basically I need a good accurate and robust mobile site workshop. This is not an area i'm at all experienced in hence sounding like a newby.

Im looking for a decent router table for 1/2 inch trend, a Pillar Drill (im building a yurt), bandsaw, table saw, planer thicknesser and a compressor run framing nailer . I have all other hand and power tools including a chunky old ELU planer that is superb for heavy work and a festool set up for panel boards.

PHEW.... man its so difficult to explain how complicated things are here..... we take so much for granted in the UK. If I get my spec wrong or my site set up this bungalow will go way over budget and will be so twisted and bent by the time next winter comes Ill have to rebuild it.

Finished sizes will not really be bigger than 150 x 60 except for the odd piece but the raw lumber could be 300 x 100 i won't know until I firm up the order with the supplier next week.

I have 3 phase to the land so I could go for 400v versions of site tools if its worth it.

I hope that answers your questions in a bit more detail.

Many thanks,

Ant

Im just finishing this.... almost 100% natural construction

IMG_5359.jpeg
 
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Daniel2

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Sounds like a great project.
I think, in your shoes, I would be considering building
myself a quasi-permanant workshop first.
In there, I would install some (secondhand ?), trade level
basic machines. Nice big table saw, big grunter planer/thicknesser,
bandsaw, etc. There, I could do the initial preparation, dry fits, etc.
Then cart the prepared pieces off to the latest project site, where it
would be finally fitted, using a selection of site tools.
If you're planning on doing this alone, and assuming you're not
immortal, then, as you've already said, speed and efficiency are key.
Good luck & please keep us all updated. It's an interesting project.

ATB,
Daniel

Edit : If you go the workshop route; don't forget to orientate it out
of the prevailing wind. :D (y)
 

Antho

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Thanks Daniel, Yes ill be building a temporary building next too each bungalow as I build. Im building some big work benches now so ill be all set up to work efficiently. I don't want to have BIG HEAVY machines as I need to move around the land as I go. Also 2nd hand could require maintenance which is tricky here. Also just getting a 250 kg planer into position on our desert land would be a night mare we had to use camels to remove 50m3 of sand by hand lol

Do you think site gear like Scheppach and Metabo is up too the job?
 

Antho

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Winds blowing 40mph today... dust everywhere. How will trade machines cope with this environment?
 

okeydokey

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Have you looked around to see what make/machinery do the locals use in case they have found from experience what handles dust/sand etc best?
 

Antho

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Yeah they all use massive old European machines but they have been used very hard and are not always reliable... also devoid of any blade guards also they rarely cut straight. I just don't feel confident buying second hand gear here or in UK as don't have the experience or knowledge
 

Jonathan S

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Hi Antho...Ive probably got the same wind as you today....Im across the med in Spain.
Very interesting project you have there, hope it all goes well!

Ive made a couple of timber houses in Spain, not as isolated as you but off grid so understand the issues that you dont experience in uk....last week I made a couple of glue-lams 9meters long from sawn timber, and have done it on a couple of occasions in the past...without a helicopter its difficult to get this size of timber to site.
Like you I have generally purchased a full pack of timber (normally 150x50x4800), what I found was to PAR the timber on a remote location without big machinery was a little difficult and frustrating! I decided to to just sand the timber with a 40 or 60 grit with a Rotex and leave it rustic.

Regards your table saw, I cant give any advice on your Matabo/Scheppach....What I have done is use a big Elu circular saw upside down in a bench....it works but not ideal...Have you looked at the Mafell range, they have nice portable bench saws, carpenters chain saws, portable band saws etc....another thought is have a semi permanent workshop where you prepare your timber, buy a Hammer/Felder or SCM table saw and planner thicknesses, it would up your budget but you could sell it when finished and recoup some of the cost.
 

Antho

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Hi Antho...Ive probably got the same wind as you today....Im across the med in Spain.
Very interesting project you have there, hope it all goes well!

Ive made a couple of timber houses in Spain, not as isolated as you but off grid so understand the issues that you dont experience in uk....last week I made a couple of glue-lams 9meters long from sawn timber, and have done it on a couple of occasions in the past...without a helicopter its difficult to get this size of timber to site.
Like you I have generally purchased a full pack of timber (normally 150x50x4800), what I found was to PAR the timber on a remote location without big machinery was a little difficult and frustrating! I decided to to just sand the timber with a 40 or 60 grit with a Rotex and leave it rustic.

Regards your table saw, I cant give any advice on your Matabo/Scheppach....What I have done is use a big Elu circular saw upside down in a bench....it works but not ideal...Have you looked at the Mafell range, they have nice portable bench saws, carpenters chain saws, portable band saws etc....another thought is have a semi permanent workshop where you prepare your timber, buy a Hammer/Felder or SCM table saw and planner thicknesses, it would up your budget but you could sell it when finished and recoup some of the cost.
Ahhhh somebody who understands.... haha. The semi permanent workshop is exactly the route ill take as I need to work next to the site very efficiently. If I went down the real machine route I'd go with big old stuff like a wadkin as its bullet proof but I just don't trust the local stuff 2nd hand. Modern machines may not cope well with the semi outdoor very sandy dusty environment.

Great to hear Glulams are pretty easy what glue did you use? Its reassuring to hear that you have come to the same conclusions as me on how you have to work here.

Did you have any pics of your work?
 

topchippyles

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How did you end up in morocco from the uk antho ?? 3 phase would buy you a lot of good machines if you have the power there. Got a uk contact who could put them together and ship them across in a shipping container which can be a small ready made workshop out of that wind.
 

Antho

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How did you end up in morocco from the uk antho ?? 3 phase would buy you a lot of good machines if you have the power there. Got a uk contact who could put them together and ship them across in a shipping container which can be a small ready made workshop out of that wind.
I met a Moroccan girl and the rest is history... Its great idea but I could not get the container onto the due to road access... also Moroccan customs are a nightmare and i would probably pay a ridiculous import duty

Many thanks though
 

Antho

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I personally wouldn't rip on a bandsaw,although its how wood is generally milled commercially, and you can certainly do it.

A site saw will cut 50mm deep easily and 75 with a bit of care.

if you look at most construction its done with 50mm think of whatever width. If you need thicker you nail a couple of 50mm together. Thats why the circ saw and nail gun are so common. Add a site saw and a electric hand planer and you could go a long way to building a timber framed house.

i‘m still struggling with what you are actually doing, other than build bungalows. Is it..

1. milling your own timber from weird Sizes
2. Framing from largely standard size construction timber
3. 2nd fit
4. Cabinet making
5. All the above

in theory you could do the lot with a few hand tools or a 100k workshop. The difference would be how long it takes. I doubt either would be ideal.

There is obvious overlap in some places but, for example, i would not be applying beading with a 90mm framing nailer. Nor would I bother running framing timber through a planer. Cabinet making with a big skillsaw is a PITA, but so is cutting 30 birds-mouths on a panel saw.

forgive me for asking, but have you got much constrution experience?

Edit: what size is the timber you are starting with? Thickness and width particularly. Thats the essential question.
Hi replied below just in case you did not see it...
 

Jonathan S

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Great to hear Glulams are pretty easy what glue did you use? Its reassuring to hear that you have come to the same conclusions as me on how you have to work here.

Did you have any pics of your work?
The gluelam I made the other day was made with a polymer glue, the foaming type, but in the past I have used an exterior white glue with no issues, If the beam is not on show I tend to screw rather than clamp.....screws speed things up.

Regards photos I've not got much to show as my bread and butter stuff is high end kitchen and library etc, the framing stuff I do is normally helping friends out....the one photo I've found was the start of roof job for an off grid mate that was harvesting his own water, we basically made him a large enough roof area to create enough water harvesting for his family of 5.
 

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Antho

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The gluelam I made the other day was made with a polymer glue, the foaming type, but in the past I have used an exterior white glue with no issues, If the beam is not on show I tend to screw rather than clamp.....screws speed things up.

Regards photos I've not got much to show as my bread and butter stuff is high end kitchen and library etc, the framing stuff I do is normally helping friends out....the one photo I've found was the start of roof job for an off grid mate that was harvesting his own water, we basically made him a large enough roof area to create enough water harvesting for his family of 5.
Wow thats a big roof and nicely put together. Did you mortice and tenon? Ive forgotten what rain feels like lol
 

Jonathan S

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Wow thats a big roof and nicely put together. Did you mortice and tenon? Ive forgotten what rain feels like lol
That roof is now much bigger, we have extended it twice since that photo was taken.

There is no traditionally cut mortice and tennons.....I generally made the beams up with the joints built in.

Gosh, yes rain......when it does come I get depressed....
 

scotrodg

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Have a look at Lumberjack Tools, they have a range that seems to fall into your price point and have been reviewed quite well.
Only problem is, like most power tool suppliers in the UK just now, stock levels are horrendous.
The decent table saw they sell, is however currently available and must fall roughly into the spec you are looking for.
Good luck with the project, sounds awesome.

Rodger
 

Antho

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That roof is now much bigger, we have extended it twice since that photo was taken.

There is no traditionally cut mortice and tennons.....I generally made the beams up with the joints built in.

Gosh, yes rain......when it does come I get depressed....
Man we celebrate here... ive only seen rain 3 times in two years ha ha
 
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