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My workshop is small. 12'x12' to be exact.  I have been working out there a lot lately, and I found myself wishing I had more space.  I see pics of people who have space to actually USE a table saw INSIDE their shop (I use mine outside in the yard) and pics of guys who have room for a flat assembly table (I try and find a flat spot on the floor) and I get a little envious.

Then I got to thinking; I like having a small shop.

1. I know where all my tools are. (a place for everything and everything in its place) I love being organized and having a neat shop.

2. It doesn't take too long to clean up. I can clean and vacuum the entire shop in about 15 minutes.

3. It feels more like a "man cave".  It's my space.  It's my retreat.  I can put up a deer head on the wall and my wife doesn't care.  My little guy (he's 7 years old) loves to hang out with dad in the man cave and I put together his own tool kit.  He pounds nails into scrap wood mostly, but they all seem to end up being guns!  PERFECT!!!

So you see, life in a small shop DOES have its upside.  I just need to remember this come winter!!!

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The best part about working with free wood is if you mess up you're not out anything but your time, and you learned somthing along the way.  Another thougth for you, check with some local warehouses or freight docks and see if they have any old pallets they want to get rid of.  Many times you can find oak pallets.  It's not the best wood of all but usually they are free.  Check out youtube for some awesome ideas of projects to build using pallets and also how to properly disassemble pallets.  My friend just built an electric stand-up bass using an old oak pallet.  I am going to post some pics in the next week or two.  It turned out AWESOME!!! 
 
David Lazenby said:

Thanks Guys for all of your advice. I have decided for now to forego the compound miter saw and just make some jigs for cross cutting, as well as one for ripping wood. I'm simply out of room. I did get a good deal on a cordless drill/driver from Home Depot and a good orbital sander, both DeWalt. Going to HF tomorrow to get a router & some miscelaneous stuff... I'll look at the orbital sander there and decide if I'm going to get that and take the DeWalt back or just keep the DW. I picked up some free wood on craigslist and am about to get started on building a jig box. A little nervous about it, both about the work and doing the work in the apartment complex, well here goes. I'll probably start messing around on my days off, Tuesday & Wednesday. Wish me luck. Like I said, if it turns out I'll take a good pic, if not I'll take a bad pic but I'll be honest as to how I feel about the job I do. This is a great forum and I sure appreciate all your help.

 

I am wiring, insulating, and sheeting the inside of my shop now.  I hope I will have it done by winter.  I'm doing it little by little as I can afford it!
 
James Sandlin said:

Hey also a small shop will be easier to keep warm this winter!

 

My circular saw is fairly old, don't even remember when I bought it... I'm sure the blade is the same as came with it. How often should a blade be replaced? I've done very little with it but I tried to cut some birch wood that used to be a bed but the saw went about 6" and stopped and just spun the blade and smoked the wood. Is this how an old blade acts? Also, without spending big money what's the best over all blade (or is there an over all blade)? for both ripping and cross cutting? I thought I was stuck on my lil project til I remembered my jig say and it cut it with no problems, not perfectly straight but it was smooth. (and slow)...

 

Hope everyone has a great weekend. I'll be working but I'll be thinking about all of you poor people who are being forced to enjoy your weekend off with your families.

Yup, time for a new blade.  As far as blades go, I'm no expert, but I do know that the fewer the teeth the faster the cut but also the rougher the cut.  The more teeth the smoother the cut (especially on plywood) but you must also cut slower.  I try to buy blades that have a "medium" to large number of teeth.  I would rather have a smoother cut even if it's slower.  Whatever you go with, remember LET THE SAW DO THE WORK!!!  Don't push the saw thru the wood.  Don't go too slow though or you can "burn" the wood.  As far as what brand to buy or what blade is the "best", I have found that a reasonably priced blade at Home Depot will do for about any project I have ever done.  I usually spend about $12 to $20 on a blade.  If your not a "pro" who is using the blade 50 times every day then just about any blade will work just fine and should last you a good long time.  Hope this helps.  Dave
 
David Lazenby said:

My circular saw is fairly old, don't even remember when I bought it... I'm sure the blade is the same as came with it. How often should a blade be replaced? I've done very little with it but I tried to cut some birch wood that used to be a bed but the saw went about 6" and stopped and just spun the blade and smoked the wood. Is this how an old blade acts? Also, without spending big money what's the best over all blade (or is there an over all blade)? for both ripping and cross cutting? I thought I was stuck on my lil project til I remembered my jig say and it cut it with no problems, not perfectly straight but it was smooth. (and slow)...

 

Hope everyone has a great weekend. I'll be working but I'll be thinking about all of you poor people who are being forced to enjoy your weekend off with your families.

Hi David - I agree, time for a new blade. Be surprised how much difference a good blade will make. Here's a good one for under $10, not much, but under. It says "Framing" on it but I get great cuts. It's a thin kerf (1/16"), leaves a decent finish and not a lot of tearout, maybe a little in plywood.

http://www.homedepot.com/Tools-Hardware-Power-Tool-Accessories-Saw-...

 

As far as # of teeth go, more isn't necessarily better. Conversley, less isn't necessarily better either. Depends on the job. For ripping jobs, fewer teeth are better because it gives larger gullets to clear the larger chips (purpose of the gullet-clear chips). For cross-cuts, fewer teeth are better because, among other reasons, the chips are smaller. For a general purpose blade, 30 to 40 tooth is fine. For ripping only, around 20 would be good and for fine cross cuts, 60 to 80. 


David Lazenby said:

My circular saw is fairly old, don't even remember when I bought it... I'm sure the blade is the same as came with it. How often should a blade be replaced? I've done very little with it but I tried to cut some birch wood that used to be a bed but the saw went about 6" and stopped and just spun the blade and smoked the wood. Is this how an old blade acts? Also, without spending big money what's the best over all blade (or is there an over all blade)? for both ripping and cross cutting? I thought I was stuck on my lil project til I remembered my jig say and it cut it with no problems, not perfectly straight but it was smooth. (and slow)...

 

Hope everyone has a great weekend. I'll be working but I'll be thinking about all of you poor people who are being forced to enjoy your weekend off with your families.

Yup, I forgot to mention the kerf.  Also, as far as tearout, I know its an old trick but it works great; place a peice of masking tape over your cut line on both sides of the board you're cutting.  It almost completely does away with tearout especially on plywood.  I know that "everyone" knows this trick, but maybe there is that one person this could help.

 
John Schaben said:

Hi David - I agree, time for a new blade. Be surprised how much difference a good blade will make. Here's a good one for under $10, not much, but under. It says "Framing" on it but I get great cuts. It's a thin kerf (1/16"), leaves a decent finish and not a lot of tearout, maybe a little in plywood.

http://www.homedepot.com/Tools-Hardware-Power-Tool-Accessories-Saw-...

David Lazenby said:

My circular saw is fairly old, don't even remember when I bought it... I'm sure the blade is the same as came with it. How often should a blade be replaced? I've done very little with it but I tried to cut some birch wood that used to be a bed but the saw went about 6" and stopped and just spun the blade and smoked the wood. Is this how an old blade acts? Also, without spending big money what's the best over all blade (or is there an over all blade)? for both ripping and cross cutting? I thought I was stuck on my lil project til I remembered my jig say and it cut it with no problems, not perfectly straight but it was smooth. (and slow)...

 

Hope everyone has a great weekend. I'll be working but I'll be thinking about all of you poor people who are being forced to enjoy your weekend off with your families.

Well David Im heading down that road to got a new saw blade in the spring and done  about 12 jobs and I got some rough oak and with a little help from Jen Jen showed me hal to make a jig for cutting the live edge's off so I just had this great ideal to go ahead and rip 1 1/8" thick oak bad ideal I smoke that blade so there goes anther $35 for a new one next time i'll plan it frist.

Saw blades are designed for specific cutting applications, to produce optimum results.

Circular saw blade selection & buying guide.

Peruse the info offered therein.

http://www.lowes.com/cd_Circular+Saw+Blade+Buying+Guide_449686513_

http://www.rockler.com/articles/saw-blade-selection-guide.cfm

http://woodworking.about.com/od/toolsequipment/p/sawBlades.htm

http://justsawblades.com/ten/choosing_the_right_blade.html

Hi David - For that much and that kind of work, I'd suggest you get something like a 25 tooth or so flat top grind blade. You would get better cuts and be a lot easier on your saw. Here's what one looks like:

Ripping blade

 

This a real Freud blade, not the ones Freud makes for Home Depot. From what I've been able to learn, it looks like the Diablo line is a Home Depot exclusive (or almost exclusive, I have seen them else where) that uses somewhat smaller carbide on the teeth. Otherwise the geometry is identical.

http://www.amazon.com/Freud-LM72R010-10-Inch-Ripping-PermaShield/dp...

Wow, there sure is a lot to know and learn about circular saw blades!  That's what I like about this site...lots of people willing to help out.

David,

There's many who think a saw blade is just a saw blade---

they don't know there is a difference.

David Niebeling said:

Wow, there sure is a lot to know and learn about circular saw blades!  That's what I like about this site...lots of people willing to help out.

Dave,

Small shops keep the Missus thinking there is space for her stuff in there also.

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