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What SHOULD be my next piece of equipment   ?   I have : Table saw, circular saw, router, miter saw, various drills and drivers,palm sander,angle grinder, jigsaw, Kreg kit and a few clamps.  My space is limited and so is my time as I still work a many as 50 hours at 56 years of age and still love what i do so no slowing down for me yet.  

   

I was thinking maybe a combination sander 4inch belt 6inch wheel type?  Bench top drill press? Going to build another heavier bench soon to use for heavier equipment operations'

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Cannot go wrong with a drill press and a planer thicknesser is a great asset rick.

I was also thinking maybe a good guide rail system for router and circle saw.  Woodriver guide rail maybe?

michael evans said:

Cannot go wrong with a drill press and a planer thicknesser is a great asset rick.

#1) A quality straight-edge track system.

Rockler offers one, that features a track for guiding a circular saw, router and jig saw.

http://www.rockler.com/52-to-104-low-profile-straight-edge-clamp-sy...

It offers many nice features.

The best I've found on todays market, for the money.

Suffices nicely for the small shop, DYI and on a job-site.

(I've used a variety of less expensive types, however, they didn't perform like I expected.  The two-piece sections never aligned, to provide a perfectly straight cut, like when trimming doors or cutting sheets of plywood.  Returned them or gave them away.  Then I invested in the Rockler model---MUCH better and all the features filled my needs).

#2) A bench model drill press---suffices nicely in a small shop.

It can be mounted on a work-bench or on a separate stand-base.

The base can be enclosed, with drawer storage for associated tools.

(I have one mounted on a wide HD 2-drawer file cabinet.  3/4" plywood fastened to the cabinet top and the drill press fastened to the PW.  Tools and associated items stored in the drawers).

#3) A planer is nice to have, if you plan to plane down rough-sawn or unfinished material.

Also great for planing thicker stock to make thinner stock.

You'll need enough room at the infeed and outfeed ends, to load and unload the machine, plus clearance on each end.  

It could be mounted on a mobile stand---wheeled in-and-out, or onto a driveway.

Plan to attach some form of wood chip collector, as it will produce lots of wood chips.

(One can purchase a lot of sanded wood pieces for the cost of a good planer).

Have you looked at the woodriver guide system.  

 http://www.woodcraft.com/product/2080310/36514/ultimate-plywood-rip...

Ken Darga said:

#1) A quality straight-edge track system.

Rockler offers one, that features a track for guiding a circular saw, router and jig saw.

http://www.rockler.com/52-to-104-low-profile-straight-edge-clamp-sy...

It offers many nice features.

The best I've found on todays market, for the money.

Suffices nicely for the small shop, DYI and on a job-site.

(I've used a variety of less expensive types, however, they didn't perform like I expected.  The two-piece sections never aligned, to provide a perfectly straight cut, like when trimming doors or cutting sheets of plywood.  Returned them or gave them away.  Then I invested in the Rockler model---MUCH better and all the features filled my needs).

#2) A bench model drill press---suffices nicely in a small shop.

It can be mounted on a work-bench or on a separate stand-base.

The base can be enclosed, with drawer storage for associated tools.

(I have one mounted on a wide HD 2-drawer file cabinet.  3/4" plywood fastened to the cabinet top and the drill press fastened to the PW.  Tools and associated items stored in the drawers).

#3) A planer is nice to have, if you plan to plane down rough-sawn or unfinished material.

Also great for planing thicker stock to make thinner stock.

You'll need enough room at the infeed and outfeed ends, to load and unload the machine, plus clearance on each end.  

It could be mounted on a mobile stand---wheeled in-and-out, or onto a driveway.

Plan to attach some form of wood chip collector, as it will produce lots of wood chips.

(One can purchase a lot of sanded wood pieces for the cost of a good planer).

Yes Rick,

My choice is the Rockler system over the Woodriver.

It offers more features for my likings and needs.

The T-square feature is a big plus, for me---I use it often.

Track guide for circular saw, router and jig saw.

Compare the features, decide what you like, and go-for-it.

Rick said:

Have you looked at the woodriver guide system.  

 http://www.woodcraft.com/product/2080310/36514/ultimate-plywood-rip...


My vote goes to the drill press and you will always need more than just a "few clamps" LOL!

LOL I am always looking to add clamps.  Every time I order something online I try and make sure to toss in a clamp for good measure. 

Rita B. said:

My vote goes to the drill press and you will always need more than just a "few clamps" LOL!

I have the Rockler straight edge system myself. I like it but the clamps which come with it (bought it 2 years ago) are pretty bad. So you may have to factor in the added cost of different clamps to use with this.

If you want one just for cutting then you may be interested in a TrueTrac. I had never heard of it myself until I came across a video on Youtube. I works like a track saw but you use your own circular saw.

But if it comes down to just one tool for right now then I'd also suggest a planer. I'm always using mine. I have the luxury of living in an area where there's a few sawmills around, so I always get my wood from them when possible. But for that odd occasion when I have to get wood from the big box store I always run that lightly through the planer because going from one board to another, it's never the same thickness.

And even if I wasn't getting rough cut from the mills I'd still be putting plenty of miles on my planer. I get pallets whenever possible so that wood ends up getting planed. I also glue up any decent width scraps left over from ripping boards, so it's nice to run those glue-ups through the planer.

Bill H,

Could you please define the issues you experienced with the Rockler straight-edge clamps?

(I'd suggest submitting your findings to Rockler, so the issues can be addressed).

I've found the clamps to be adequate;  however, 

the " t-track hold-down clamp", (#36767), is more sturdy---

it's made with a thicker cross-section, and fits into the t-track on the edge guide.

http://www.rockler.com/t-track-hold-down

T-Track Hold Down

This clamp doesn't flex as much, when heavier clamping pressures are required.

It use the clamps in their t-tracks for jigs and fences.

http://www.rockler.com/multi-track-for-jigs-and-custom-fences-multi...

2-1/4" Multi Track

@ Ken,

I was going to say that I've actually left a review, as many others also have, on Rockler's page for the Straight Edge system and how the clamps were lacking, but now I'm looking at it and it appears that every review for it has gone missing. Almost as if all reviews have been deleted.

The problem with the clamps is that they are extremely thin and metal is very weak. These are actually my pictures of one of the clamps. The part which slides in to the straight edge has flexed out and the body itself has twisted.

I had seen those other clamps which you linked to but I already had a pair (I believe they're Pinnacle) which I'm able to use with the system.

Other than the problem with the clamps, the system is nice.

Great info thanks.  I already ordered the Rockler Straight edge system so I will no to expect a clamp problem and replacement.  It was on sale so I added a 40 tooth Freud 10 blade for my table saw and get it. 

Bill H,

Thanks for your reply and inputs.

Generally, Rockler is pretty good about fixing things and making good.

I've reported faulty components, and they've furnished replacement(s), and I'm satisfied with their service.

I'd suggest contacting them, explain the problem your experiencing, and hope they'll send you replacement clamps.

 

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