Quantcast
  • We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

What to buy first - router or table saw?

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

jeffff

Established Member
Joined
12 Jul 2012
Messages
21
Reaction score
0
Location
Plymouth
Hi, I'm quite pretty new to woodworking. Did it at school and have built a few sets of shelves over the years but decided I'd try my hand at making something totally pointless... A marble machine like this:
(I can't post the link, but the youtube title is "Marble machine 2.1 build part 2: Back frame")

You'll see in that video that the guy uses his table saw to make a bunch of rabbet cuts. Later he has to make several more (part 3 or 4 I think).

Up until now I've never had any power tools other than a drill. I bought a bench top bandsaw yesterday on ebay:
DELTA BENCH BAND SAW ( MODEL 28-185 ) (can't post links)

I realise its small and probably not that good - but I'm on a budget and live in a flat, so am restricted on space too. Hopefully it will be enough to struggle through with even if I'm faced with a bit of frustration here and there.

Am I right in thinking that I could also make those rabbet cuts with a router? Or is it very difficult to make cuts like that in the edges of bits of wood with a handheld router? I'm just thinking that a router is smaller, seemingly cheaper and might be more useful to me in the future for making joints. Or would I need to have a router table as well (and therefore lose the space/price advantage?)

I'm guessing that a table saw and router are both quite essential purchases - but if you could only afford one and were going to struggle through making the marble machine project (perhaps with the odd change) what would you choose? I'm going to need to buy a cheap drill press too.

Thanks
 

misterfish

Established Member
Joined
18 Jun 2006
Messages
1,522
Reaction score
4
Location
Chichester, West Sussex
Welcome.

Marble machines of all types always fascinate me, but obviously need to be made with a fair degree of accuracy. You say you live in a flat - are you actually doing the woodwork indoors or do you have outside space/garage/shed where to work?

Virtually all of the cheaper (portable) tablesaws use brush motors that are very loud and I wouldn't use one in the house. Also, to make the cuts in question you would have to remove the guard and riving knife and make a crosscut sled as shown in the video but with additional guarding for the blade. A router would be a better option when you only have limited space but you will have to make sure that the workpieces are held in position when working on then and you may need to fabricate jigs to hold them firmly and safely. A router table would be useful and make cutting many of the joints easier and safer.

Expect the bandsaw you've bought to have an old/knackered blade which will need replacing. A decent blade makes all the difference.

The other thing you ought/need to do is practise with the tools before expecting to accurately make the marble machine - try making something simple with moving parts.

Good luck with it all and just ask if you have problems or questions.

Misterfish
 

Stormer1940

Established Member
Joined
11 Feb 2012
Messages
465
Reaction score
0
Location
Devon
Is it me or is the way that guy is using the table saw with the sledge just cringe worthy? His fingers are getting pretty close to the blade and the timber doesn't look that well supported...
 

jeffff

Established Member
Joined
12 Jul 2012
Messages
21
Reaction score
0
Location
Plymouth
I'd be doing all the work inside - its quite a big flat, with a big open kitchen/diner area where I'd plan to do the work. I figure I'll be doing a lot of sweeping every time I do anything... In terms of noise, I'm above a shop, so there's plenty of time when I don't have immediate neighbours. From the looks of the video instructions there is limited amounts of tablesawing (or I suppose routering) required.

From what you've said, it looks like the router + router table option is my best bet. Are there any models of router/table at the bottom end of the market that I should consider (or actively avoid)? And are you able to direct me towards the sort of jig I should construct to make the cuts?

And to clarify - are you suggesting I mount the table on the underside of the table with the bit facing upwards?
Thanks!
 

MickCheese

Established Member
Joined
29 Sep 2006
Messages
2,444
Reaction score
1
Location
High Wycombe, Bucks
Jeffff

I would also factor in a good Vacuum extractor, some on here were talking about the Lidle one, they may still have one or two left.

Mick
 

misterfish

Established Member
Joined
18 Jun 2006
Messages
1,522
Reaction score
4
Location
Chichester, West Sussex
Probably your best course of action is to first Google 'using a router table' where there are many sites with info as well as Youtube videos. As you will be using your bandsaw on some sort of table/stand then you probably need a benchtop router table. If you search Ebay for 'router table' there are a lot of offerings some of which include router and bits. You may find a decent used version (like your bandsaw) at a low price. Also you could nip along to Machine Mart who sell 'bottom end of the market' tools where you could actually see and feel their offerings.

The first router I bought was a Bosch POF500a - I needed to cut out the slots under wooden kitchen worktop for joining bolts. This is a small lightweight 1/4 inch router which is comfortable to use and I find it ideal for smaller jobs. When I first got it I wondered if it would get much more use, but it got so much use that it wore out. Within minutes of it failing my wife returned from the local farm shop and casually mentioned that somebody had just put up an advert card for a router. For some reason she'd noted the phone number (female intuition). Anyway it turned out that it was an unused POF500a which I had for £30 and was using within 10 minutes.

One thing about using a router in a router table to bear in mind is the ability to lock the power switch on - some routers require you to hold the switch all the time it is runnung. In this case zip ties and tape help as it is not practical to hold a switch when using a router table.

Misterfish
 

jetsetwilly

Established Member
Joined
18 Apr 2012
Messages
53
Reaction score
0
Location
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
Stormer1940":98v9fg8h said:
Is it me or is the way that guy is using the table saw with the sledge just cringe worthy? His fingers are getting pretty close to the blade and the timber doesn't look that well supported...
That's how they roll in the land of the free :)

edit: and in Canada! (oops)

I like the guy tho - watched quite a few of his videos; his home made bandsaw is pretty impressive.
 

Stormer1940

Established Member
Joined
11 Feb 2012
Messages
465
Reaction score
0
Location
Devon
jetsetwilly":2qk8qhac said:
Stormer1940":2qk8qhac said:
Is it me or is the way that guy is using the table saw with the sledge just cringe worthy? His fingers are getting pretty close to the blade and the timber doesn't look that well supported...
That's how they roll in the land of the free :)

edit: and in Canada! (oops)

I like the guy tho - watched quite a few of his videos; his home made bandsaw is pretty impressive.
He has one of those draw you in voices I suppose...
 

jetsetwilly

Established Member
Joined
18 Apr 2012
Messages
53
Reaction score
0
Location
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
yeah he just seems like a real have-a-go frontier engineer. Safety is important of course, but youtube is what it is, and he's far from the worst. Have you seen the 150bhp log splitter vid?? 8-0
 

Togalosh

Established Member
Joined
22 Sep 2011
Messages
485
Reaction score
0
Location
Birmingham
Stormer1940":3emrtewf said:
Is it me or is the way that guy is using the table saw with the sledge just cringe worthy? His fingers are getting pretty close to the blade and the timber doesn't look that well supported...
..with loose cuffs & no rifing knife..that last bit makes my scar itch.

But I am really impressed with his methodical planning/pattern making. It puts my method of a few sketches on a fag packet to shame :oops:
 

Togalosh

Established Member
Joined
22 Sep 2011
Messages
485
Reaction score
0
Location
Birmingham
I'd go for a table saw hands down but cheap startrite (?) is inacurate rubbish.

A router from cash converters can be mounted to a skip salvaged table/work top/shelf with this plate:

http://www.axminster.co.uk/axminster-ax ... sionid=cxl

I made use of the family sewing machine table for mine.

Axi also do loads of fence, jig, holding, clamping stuff.

My first workshop was the lounge of my tiny attic flat.
Exctraction is a must though ..and so are deaf neighbours.

Good luck
 

jimi43

Established Member
Joined
12 Mar 2009
Messages
6,921
Reaction score
0
Location
Kent - the Garden of England
Stormer1940":6kt076ly said:
jetsetwilly":6kt076ly said:
Stormer1940":6kt076ly said:
Is it me or is the way that guy is using the table saw with the sledge just cringe worthy? His fingers are getting pretty close to the blade and the timber doesn't look that well supported...
That's how they roll in the land of the free :)

edit: and in Canada! (oops)

I like the guy tho - watched quite a few of his videos; his home made bandsaw is pretty impressive.
He has one of those draw you in voices I suppose...
As I have said before..if you put a Tuffsaw blade in the bandsaw...it transforms it from a piece of junk to a "go to" machine. I use my Burgess bootfair special (which has to be the biggest load of dog's doo doo ever) every day now it sports one of Ian's fine blades....a ZCI and a couple of LV guides.

This is some recent delicate work I did (see Hand Tool thread)....



I was able to control the cut so accurately that I could do it in one pass....exactly to the line and without overshooting into the old wood. And what's more...I knew I could with confidence!

If you don't want to go the hand tool route...a good router with a few jigs is a great investment. Don't buy rubbish...try to get a secondhand Makita, Bosch, Trend, Hitachi, Elu....and work out if you really need the added capacity of a 1/2" one before you buy. A smaller 1/4" one is easier to use for most jobs.

All my routers came from bootfairs for next to nothing. I think the most I paid was £25 for a Makita on the left which is a real darling of a machine.



Time was that you always found broken ones at bootfairs but now...with the economy the way it is...as long as you don't buy from a dodgy geezer...you should be ok. Touch wood..I have yet to buy a bad one....and to be honest...at that sort of price...who cares!

Jim
 

Jacob

Pint of bass, porkpie, and packet of crisps please
Joined
7 Jul 2010
Messages
16,763
Reaction score
268
Location
Derbyshire
jeffff":m2wohh5c said:
....
I'm guessing that a table saw and router are both quite essential purchases - b.....
Table saw much more essential IMHO. Bigger the better. Sliding table just about essential.
It's easy to do without a router. They are pressed into use for a lot of things but most of them are done better by other means, except perhaps stopped housings - though open sided housings as for hinges are easiest done by hand.
 

Stormer1940

Established Member
Joined
11 Feb 2012
Messages
465
Reaction score
0
Location
Devon
I really hate to think what the flat is going to look like with a thin layer of dust in places where you didn't think dust would go... Can't you rent a garage or something instead of using your home?
 

Roughcut

Established Member
Joined
28 Aug 2012
Messages
929
Reaction score
0
Location
Norfolk
In your situation (working inside a flat) I think I would look to be using handtools.
Probably will take longer to do the making but I reckon dust would be easier to control and would definately be better for the noise levels. (hammer)
 

Elapid

Established Member
Joined
18 Apr 2012
Messages
134
Reaction score
0
Location
Cornwall
Hutzul":oj63codc said:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/320832786669?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2648

This comes with router all for about £62, could be a quick starter for you, good luck.

There was also a Wolf one that looked the same and it came with a set of bits for the same price. Probably not great quality but would do fine for someone that doesn't use it much. No point in spending hundreds of pounds if you're only using it rarely.

I was lucky with my router. I got a 2nd hand Freud that was nearly new for £45 buy it now locally because the guy was retiring. Worth checking ebays newly listed a few times a day for a buy it now that has been listed too cheaply.
 

slpower01

Member
Joined
11 Dec 2012
Messages
17
Reaction score
0
Location
Dublin
The router table someone posted is the same as the aldi one that pops up from time to time, I have had and used this one for site work for about 3 years (without the side extensions... its just a bit too big and they are annoying.... what I suggest you do if you get one like that is. mount a bit of 3/4inch ply or pdf to the bottom of it... I added two small rips of mdf to make the inside clearance a bit bigger so I could fit one of the rotating car jacks that come with most cars in and have fine adjustment of the router bit height (best thing I even discovered).... you might need to get decent bits as the bits that come with these are only usually good for mdf.
 
Top