This Woodworking Tips Card is about the size of your tools. You can make bigger projects when you have full sized tools, but they may be too much for someone only looking to make smaller projects. Here is how to get the best bang for your buck on tool sizes.
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Bigger Tools for Bigger Projects
If you are planning on making cabinets or some other large project, then you will need to buy larger tools in order to handle the bigger stock. A small bench top table saw will not be able to safely cut the large pieces of wood you will be using.
However, if you are making smaller projects, you can get a lot of great use from a smaller table top unit. The decision is important, because you will make many different projects as you learn more and more about woodworking.
The easy solution is to buy medium size tools, and in the case of the main tools, even shoot for some bigger models. The interesting thing about a bigger tool is that they can make smaller projects just as well as big ones.
With a large table saw, you can still rip thin strips. With a small saw, you can only cut as wide of a piece as the fence will allow. In the case of my small table top saw, that’s about ten inches. Here is how you can solve the problem…
Buy Big For Your Main Tools
In the case of your table saw in particular, try and get a floor standing table saw that has a larger rip capacity. Even if you buy all of your other tools in smaller sizes, having a nice table saw can really open up your projects to larger builds.
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This is the one thing I really wish I did when I was first looking at table saws. I was only making guitars at the time, so I didn’t even think about getting anything bigger than a table top model. I did not think I would ever be making cabinets, so the size never concerned me.
Had I thought about it a little more, I would have gotten a larger table saw. I could have done all of the guitar making process on it just the same as my smaller saw, but I would be able to make bigger things too.
Think and Decide Before You Buy
I always recommend that new woodworkers buy tools for the project they are making. This is still my advice, because it helps you get the tools you need and avoid the tools that are a waste of money. The same goes for the size of your tools.
If you absolutely never see yourself making anything very big, then skip the larger tools and purchase bench top models. However, if you even have the slightest feeling that you might make something bigger, then save a little and buy a full size tool.
Not only will the larger tools be able to handle the smaller projects, but you will also leave yourself open to future projects that you may not have even thought of.
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