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Which tools should I buy - cabinetmaking and house renovation?

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WoodYewToo

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With an old house that needs a lot of TLC – and, finally, some time on my hands – I’m getting back into DIY / 'untrained woodworking'. But so much has changed over the decades in which I've been idle… and there’s now a bewildering choice of tools and new techniques. So I need some advice from you good people. (Meanwhile, I’ve been wading through a bunch of YouTube videos – including a fair number of Peter Millard’s excellent videos. So, I’m learning a lot, but would still appreciate any and all advice).


This is what I need to do…

Renovate house (some basic building type stuff, including repair/replace floors… door frames… windows… skirting boards)

Make built in cabinets – including new kitchen… various storage units, shelves and cupboards throughout the house. (Using sheet materials and/or solid wood).

Make free standing furniture – including tables and cabinets. (again using sheet materials and/or solid wood)

Construct garden items – including fencing… gazebo... large gates (for driveway) etc.



Here’s what I’ve got (or will have access to)...

Old Kity K5 combination machine (smallest combo they made). This was a runner – but hasn’t been used for about 25 years and has been in a damp, unheated garage (with only mice for company). It includes a small table saw… a small planer / thicknesser… a mortice cutting table (fairly crude design – but it helped me make a bed, 'back in the day')… a small spindle moulder. The problem is, I’m not sure if any of it works – and I won’t have a chance to assess it for a couple of months or so.



Relatively recently acquired hand-held power tools, including:

Circular saw

Planer

Oscillating multi-tool

Drills

Impact driver

Domino DF500 (on order)

Festool dust extractor (inc chip pre-separator)



Old hand-held power tools… that still work, including:

Jigsaw

Palm sander

1/3 sheet sander

Belt sander

¼” router



So, what else do I need to acquire? I’m wondering about the need for the following:

Track saw?

Sliding mitre saw? Do I need one of these as well as a track saw?

½” router (and table – either self-made or bought)?

Work bench (something like the Festool MFT/3)? Currently only have a B&D workmate!

Planer / Thicknesser (if the Kity K5 is totally dead)?



Any comments on whether each/any of the above is/are a good idea?

Anything super-essential that’s missing off my list?


I should add that I’ll be using a small lean-to conservatory as a temporary workshop – which means space will be very limited. So each tool has to justify its square footage (Hence I held-fire on purchase of the Aldi bandsaw... as I thought, for me, it fell into the 'useful but not yet essential' category) – and, ideally, the tools need to be fairly mobile, perhaps even being moved outside on dry days... for use in slightly less cramped conditions). The use of the lean-to conservatory will hopefully be temporary for a year or three (hopefully).


All advice and comments welcome.

Many thanks for your help (and apologies for the long post).
 

chaoticbob

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It sounds like an ambitious project - that's a wide range of things to do. I was in a similar position a few years ago, but the house 'in need of renovation' had a 400 square foot basement for use as a workshop. So I bought machines to fill it.
The things I actually use most are (a) a cheap Screwfix (Erbauer) mitre saw which isn't fancy, but cross cuts sections quickly and accurately, (b) a Record BS350 which is good for cutting tenon cheeks (and other things) and (c) an ancient Multico morticer (£75), which whilst not essential is handy. The table saw gets little use - a tracksaw is a better option for dealing with sheet materials unless you have the space/budget for something industrial.

The fundamental 'tool' is of course a decent bench - I don't have an mft and never will have. I'm sure it's good for some things, but not for building a door I suspect.

My general advice, based on my own journey, is to try not to think too far ahead about what machinery/tools you need. Your needs will change as your ambitions change and your skills advance. Buy what you need when you need it I'd say with hindsight.. And don't discount hand tools - I was making a frame yesterday, it needed a rebate which I could have done with a router, but quicker and less stressful with a hand plane.

Oh, and then there's clamps. You really can't have too many.

Bob
 
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dzj

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It looks like you already have quite a few tools and machines.
Start a project and if you can't solve a predicament without purchasing a new tool then buy.
Perhaps some new planer and saw blades for the combination machine if it still works.
Tooling for the spindle moulder...
 

Ollie78

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Seems like you have most of it covered. I agree with jameshow about measuring stuff being important. And accurate spirit levels, you might find a cross line laser a very good addition.

Really though just buy what you need when you find you need it.
Or hire it, some stuff you might only need once, like if you need a large disk cutter to do a patio just hire it for a week.

Ollie
 

WoodYewToo

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It sounds like an ambitious project - that's a wide range of things to do. I was in a similar position a few years ago, but the house 'in need of renovation' had a 400 square foot basement for use as a workshop. So I bought machines to fill it.
The things I actually use most are (a) a cheap Screwfix (Erbauer) mitre saw which isn't fancy, but cross cuts sections quickly and accurately, (b) a Record BS350 which is good for cutting tenon cheeks (and other things) and (c) an ancient Multico morticer (£75), which whilst not essential is handy. The table saw gets little use - a tracksaw is a better option for dealing with sheet materials unless you have the space/budget for something industrial.

The fundamental 'tool' is of course a decent bench - I don't have an mft and never will have. I'm sure it's good for some things, but not for building a door I suspect.

My general advice, based on my own journey, is to try not to think too far ahead about what machinery/tools you need. Your needs will change as your ambitions change and your skills advance. Buy what you need when you need it I'd say with hindsight.. And don't discount hand tools - I was making a frame yesterday, it needed a rebate which I could have done with a router, but quicker and less stressful with a hand plane.

Oh, and then there's clamps. You really can't have too many.

Bob
Not so much 'ambitious'... more 'long overdue' and 'totally necessary'. Haha

Yes... sorting a bench out is a priority. I'm thinking MFT, with old kitchen worktops either side.

Good point about not thinking too far ahead - as you say, needs will change as I progress. Deciding when to buy what can be a bit 'chicken and egg'... but moving too soon on a purchase can be a mistake, as you say.

Clamps! Haha. Totally true.

Many thanks for your insights.
 

WoodYewToo

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A short course, night school or something like that in furniture making or so.
It will at least teach you the basics of safety.
Good point.
I've done some rudimentary cabinet making before... but no training (just books - before YouTube existed - and a bit of an engineering background) - so a course could be good.
 

WoodYewToo

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It looks like you already have quite a few tools and machines.
Start a project and if you can't solve a predicament without purchasing a new tool then buy.
Perhaps some new planer and saw blades for the combination machine if it still works.
Tooling for the spindle moulder...
Yes... a lot hinges on whether the K5 works or is non-saveable. Blades and tooling are a good call. Thanks.
 

WoodYewToo

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Seems like you have most of it covered. I agree with jameshow about measuring stuff being important. And accurate spirit levels, you might find a cross line laser a very good addition.

Really though just buy what you need when you find you need it.
Or hire it, some stuff you might only need once, like if you need a large disk cutter to do a patio just hire it for a week.

Ollie
Thanks, Ollie78. Can I ask... when you say 'seems like you have most of it covered'... does that mean I've already got it covered with my existing kit... or if I buy the stuff that's on my 'potential purchases list', I'll then have it covered?

Good point re. spirit levels. Think I'm covered on that one (more by luck than judgement).

Hiring kit? Yes totally agree - can be a better option for occasional use. That said... last time I hired a concrete breaker it cost as much as buying a cheap one from Screwfix (with a 2 year guarantee). So in this era of relatively cheap tools, it pays to look at all options.

Thanks again.
 

Jameshow

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I have no idea what a No 4 plane is... so I'm assuming it's 'four better' than a No 1. (Sorry... I'll get my coat)
Can you recommend a decent square?
Thanks.
Stanley no4 plane the most common size of woodworking plane, old Stanley and record are the best about £20.

Block planes are smaller single handed planes from detail work.

Bahco squares are good and reasonably priced, easy to find too bring orange!!


I'd spend more on your most used tools like drills jigsaw circular saw router etc and less on occasional tools like angle grinder SDS drill etc.

Cheers James
 

WoodYewToo

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Stanley no4 plane the most common size of woodworking plane, old Stanley and record are the best about £20.

Block planes are smaller single handed planes from detail work.

Bahco squares are good and reasonably priced, easy to find too bring orange!!


I'd spend more on your most used tools like drills jigsaw circular saw router etc and less on occasional tools like angle grinder SDS drill etc.

Cheers James
Thanks, James.
I've used a few Bahco things to fix cars (socket sets etc)... so it's a name I trust (from the old days).
Cheers
 

DBT85

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My advice is to start on one of your tasks and buy the thing you need to complete it and then rinse and repeat. If you think that tool is one that you'll use more and you feel a bit spendy, maybe buy something a step above the standard screwfix type model (which we have and still do all get).

For making things like a table it depends on how fancy or important it is. I made what can only be considered a temporary table about 4 years ago. It's 2300mm long and nearly 1000mm wide and 45mm thick with chunky 95mm square legs and a beam between the legs at either end. It was made from "pse" redwood which, shock, wasn't actually as PSE as they claimed (but I knew no better) and it racks if you nudge it. I never even bothered putting a finish on it. The top is so far out of flat you sould use it as a halfpipe 😂 . But, it seats a load of people and I don't care when the kid draws on it or spills paint etc because it took me a couple of days to smush together. That was done with a circ saw and a site saw 🤷‍♂️. One day I'll fix it.

Start a project and if you can't solve a predicament without purchasing a new tool then buy.
Especially try and find a project that you know you can't complete otherwise :ROFLMAO:
 

recipio

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About 80 % of woodworking is crosscutting accurately. Buy yourself a good 12" miter saw with a 30 cm crosscut and put a 60 tooth blade into it. Yes, you will be down about a grand but you will use it all the time. If you have any change left over buy a Mitutoyo digital vernier - it won't lie to you unlike the cheap Chinese verniers.
 

TRITON

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Good point.
I've done some rudimentary cabinet making before... but no training (just books - before YouTube existed - and a bit of an engineering background) - so a course could be good.
Of the engineering background is the important bit. It's the mechanics of what to do and what not to do when using sharp spinny blades.
If you imagine ripping a piece of ply with a circular saw,, sometimes people without the correct understanding will hold the piece being cut off with their free hand, little realizing the danger till the protruding blade slices off their fingers. Its the same with all the dangerous tools, knowing what to do,what not to do etc is the real aspect of the understanding. Things like engineering lathes and mills you know not to introduce sleeves, and fingers anywhere near them when operating.


Something I could have done with when operating a metal planer/shaping machine when I was 15 doing a college course. Luckily only 26 stitches. :oops:
As the joke at the time went. I didn't cut my ******* finger....

...It was the one next to it.

Obviously since that time I've been a bit funny about people using machinery, and try to mother safety into them :LOL:
 

Jameshow

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It looks like you already have quite a few tools and machines.
Start a project and if you can't solve a predicament without purchasing a new tool then buy.
Perhaps some new planer and saw blades for the combination machine if it still works.
Tooling for the spindle moulder...
I usually find I don't have a tool and then find a job to allow me to acquire that tool! 🤣🤣🤣

Cheers James
 

eribaMotters

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I'm guessing the Domino DF500 is a biscuit jointer of sorts. I've found my biscuit jointer invaluable for making my cabinetwork and its great for reinforcing the mitres on architrave around doors and windows so they stay in line.
A second fix nail gun [and liquid nails] has also proved invaluable for fitting of skirts etc. I find the 2amp/hr batteries on my DeWalt will easily do a couple of rooms so no need for expensive and high capacity batteries.
Put aside some time for making jigs to aid with cutting in door hinges.

Colin
 
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jcassidy

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The only critical power tool you're missing that I'd find hard to do without, is the sliding mitre saw. Lidl sell a perfectly good one for peanuts.

I Recently purchased a tracksaw and find it very useful for sheet goods and accurately cutting a B&Q door down to size. saves a lot of faffing around with fences for the circular saw. useful but not essential.

Non power tools, essentials for serious DIY include small, medium, and long levels. These can be cheap from screwfix or B&Q. i pick up Stabila ones when they're in sales or from car boots...

Safety shoes or boots. I've been very glad on several occasions to be wearing steel-capped shoes! And knee pads.

A wrecking bar or several of different sizes. A claw hammer only gets you so far...

A cheap set of Stanley chisels and both a rubber and wood mallet.

My point would be, don't spend all your money on expensive tools because materials are dam expensive and they'll be knocking about in a toolbag most days.
 
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