Author Topic: Possible shop upgrades - input appreciated  (Read 6745 times)

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Offline JustinWG

  • Posts: 36
Possible shop upgrades - input appreciated
« on: March 22, 2017, 07:13 AM »
After purchasing both a CT 26 and an ETS EC 125-3, I have become quite fond of the madness.  With that said, I am considering some additional purchases and as previously stated, I'd appreciate input - both pros and cons.

**EDIT**  My current shop is an attached garage where my wife and I both park our vehicles - cleanliness is a factor.

I stated in a different post that we recently bought a new home and are looking to do some improvements.  We're are doing approximately 1k sq. ft. of engineered hardwood, 400 sq. ft. of LVT, MDF trim pack, interior doors, roofing, and possibly some furniture.  I've also been asked to do some side jobs, where I could rationalize the use of some items.  A portable and modular system seem appropriate.

One of the main reasons I'm considering some purchases, is to try and keep the house clean and livable through the renovations.  These renos were supposed to be done before kiddo was born, but that didn't happen.  So, here we are....

Currently, my kit consists mostly of Dewalt gear - SCMS DW780, Contractor Table Saw, drills, impact, etc.

What I am considering:

1.  Kapex - strictly for dust collection.  Definitely not excited about the cost, but in theory, the DC will enable me to base the saw in the house, much closer to the work area.  Probably the most used item on the list.  Add the cost of a blade.  If I go this route, I will sell and take a hit on the Dewalt.

2.  MFT3 - clamping, cut station, and general work area - pretty straight forward.  Fairly certain I'll end up with an MFT, just a matter of which version.  Any suggestions on cheaper, but still decent quality quick clamps?  Being a bit of a novice, the track system appeals to my greater senses.

3.  Carvex 420 barrel grip (corded) - old jigsaw took a junk on me, need a new one.  I've read a lot of mixed reviews on this tool and it has me concerned.  I'm drawn to the prospect of clean cuts, circle jig, and track pairing.  Batteries and I don't get along, hence the cord.  Other option, a more budget friendly approach, i.e., Bosch or Dewalt contractor model

--  Those are the main areas of concern, however, there are some other temptations.  I have been strongly considering a router for sometime, but I have zero experience with them.  I know they are incredibly versatile, but I always talk myself out of it with, "how much would I really use it?"  I believe a good router could make a lot of projects viable and/or make them a lot easier....  Any strong feelings about jumping into routing, or staying away?  I have considered something in the general size of the OF1400 (not to be mounted).  *Side note* kitchen cabinets will need to be refaced down the road.

--  TS and Domino are both desired, but I can't justify the costs at the moment.  With respect to home projects, I am curious, should I more seriously consider one of these, and dump something else on the list?

As always, any input is appreciated.  I'm just trying to get the most out of the limited budget.  Thanks.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2017, 07:16 AM by JustinWG »

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Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 4010
Re: Possible shop upgrades - input appreciated
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2017, 07:42 AM »
Can you put in a divider like the accordioning ones that they use at schools?

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1969
Re: Possible shop upgrades - input appreciated
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2017, 10:10 AM »
1.  I went from a 780 to a Kapex.  The lighter weight made it easier to relocate to where i was working and the better bevel adjustment made it easier to cut flat where I would have cut it upright on the 780.  Dust collection is a bit better, but not so much that I would use the Kapex inside living quarters, it's still too messy.  I could have improved the dust collection on the 780 (search for fastcap sawstache) if I was inclined.  But I really didn't like the slides on that saw (too small for the size and weight of the head) - next to weight my only other complaint about it.  The 780 was otherwise a very good saw and the Kapex is a tough sell if you're looking for value (granted everyone defines that differently).

2.  MFT3 is spendy and a little wobbly.  Other clamping tables have emerged like Kreg which are worth a look.  Those are smaller and lighter, making them much more portable.  If you need a large stationary surface, consider DIY.  You can build a cabinet with storage underneath which is much more practical.  As to clamps, I do like the festool ratcheting quick clamps a lot.  They are probably my most used clamps.  Yes, they are a bit spendy, but a pair go a long way.  Do look at how people use the dog holes to align the track to the work piece you're cutting.  You can do this with other clamping tables and a DIY table.  So using a tracksaw with a table in the future isn't necessarily out of the question. 

3.  I would certainly look at the top of the line Bosch.  No personal experience with it, but the reviews speak for themselves.  And the carvex blade guide adjustment is a little more finicky by comparison.

1400's strength is probably dust collection.  Other brands are catching on though and when/if you decide to mount it in a table, the router table plates commonly available will accommodate Dewalt/Bosch, but not the Festool without some modifications. 
-Raj

Offline HarveyWildes

  • Posts: 930
Re: Possible shop upgrades - input appreciated
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2017, 11:03 AM »
I'd suggest that you read other FOG threads on the Kapex before buying one.  They are somewhat discouraging.  I have a Bosch with a dust collection shroud hooked up to my dust collector, and it get 95% of the dust.  If you are not doing a lot of compound miters, consider whether a track saw setup would meet your needs.

I have an MFT in my shop and it works fine for cutting.  I've done some planing on it, but that's where you'll feel that it's not as sturdy as you might like.  There are extra braces to sturdy it up, but I haven't tried them.  Bear in mind that the MFT is made to be portable, so it's not going to be as sturdy as a fixed base bench.  Some people have built an MFT into a permanent base.  I am making my own bench top using the Parf Guide system - again, refer to the other FOG threads on that.  The Parf Guide system created a very accurate pattern of holes.  Again, if you go with a track saw, consider getting the MFT3 set, which includes the fences and rails for cutting.

All of the Festool tools I have are designed to handle dust well.  I was never able to freehand route in my shop without getting dust and small chips everywhere, until I got the Festool routers (2200 and 1400).  I can't say enough good about them.  You'll want a router sooner or later if you are doing furniture, and most likely if you are building doors, rather than just installing them.

Think of that last point when considering a dust extractor or sander as well.  One of Festools distinguishing features is that the dust collection is systematically designed in.  I have the ETS EC 150/3, Pro 5, and DTS 400 sanders with a CT36 dust extractor.  They leave virtually no dust behind.  The router is the same, as is the Domino.  The track saw is pretty darn good as well.



Offline Peter_C

  • Posts: 877
Re: Possible shop upgrades - input appreciated
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2017, 01:20 PM »
My opinions:

You already have a good SCMS, so modify for better dust collection and keep it. If you don't have a stand for it get one. Working on the ground sucks.

Buy the track saw of some kind. When it comes time to do hardwood flooring and you need to make a long rip at an angle to compensate for non perfect rooms you will love the saw. Buy the expensive long track too. I like having the Dewalt track clamps AND a set of the ratcheting Festool quick clamps.

Jigsaw will be critical for hardwood flooring and many other projects. The Bosch 572 or whatever the part number is will suffice and can have dust collection too. Get the best one they make. Save the money for buying different Festools.

You are also going to need a flush cut saw (Jam saw) of some kind. I have a Crain which is expensive, but also use my multi-tool a lot. Battery powered is my preference, but I get along pretty well with batteries and consider cordless for 80% of my power tools essential.
 
I can't imagine not owning a router, especially if you want to cut circles. The 1400 would be a great first router, and there IS a table insert available for it from Jessem. http://www.jessemdirect.com/product_p/02320.htm My preference is for Whiteside router bits as they are affordable'ish. Armana is a great brand but a little pricier. You could always buy a cheap Chinese kit and replace the bits you routinely use.

An MFT of some kind is really nice to have. Some people call them slabs, I call it my holey table, but with the Parf Guide System you can make anything you want, or if you know someone with a CNC have them do it. Either build a table that rolls, wood or 80/20, or use saw horses with it. Of course the MFT table is about as portable as you can get, and they do make leg stiffeners for it.

Why engineered flooring? Unless you buy Muskoka hardwood flooring you will be lucky to get one refinish out of it. Plus the floor will never be sealed nor flat. Way more of a pain, but have you considered solid 3/4" flooring and finishing onsite? It is the cheapest way to get a nice floor. Buy direct from the mill, and cut the middle men out. Bringing someone else in to finish the floor would probably be a break even. I was in a house yesterday, observing their solid maple floor and how many lips it had at the board ends, and how the grooves were turning grey with gunk, yet the house was clean, didn't leave me with a positive feeling about prefinished hardwood.

Offline them700project

  • Posts: 64
Re: Possible shop upgrades - input appreciated
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2017, 03:40 PM »
Id say go for some sort of jigsaw. You have everything you need to lay that hardwood aside from possibly notching out for weird corners or other things like that. Ive heard mixed reviews for the Carvex. I have the Bosch and like it

Offline DrD

  • Posts: 416
  • I might not be fast BUT I sure am slow
Re: Possible shop upgrades - input appreciated
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2017, 04:36 PM »
@JustinWG,

1) I have a Kapex and love it; would not have probably bought if I already had a SCMS, but I didn't, so what the hay - keep your DeWalt unless there's something wrong with it;
2) Going straight to the jigsaw - I have a Festool PSB300 and really like it, but if I could have a do-over, I would get the Mafell - very pricey, but probably in your budget if you don't get the Kapex;
3) I have a Kerg Clamping Table, and use it lots; I also have a couple of MFT/3s joined together - they are the most used tool I have - get 1 or more MFT/3s.
4) For furniture - I have build a Morris Chair and have started a Maloof Rocker - RAS115 for scooping out chair seats, DF500 for joinery, a band saw for shaping pieces - a 10in does me just fine even thou I have a 14" with a 6" riser;
5) Track saw - I've got a TS 75 and, again love it; in a do-over I would probably get a Makita; I'm not an advocate of the long guide rails - too expensive - get a 32", a couple of 55" (with holes so you can add the LS32 for cabinet work), and a 75" along with some Makita rail joiners; you'll use your track saw as much as any other tool you have.
6) Routers, as Norm says, a woodworker can never have too many routers.

Best Wishes
KS12 EB Kapex with Delta Folding Table & FastCap Best Fence; TS75 EQ with Parallel Guide Rail Set (FS-PA 495717 & FS-PA-VL 495718) and FS 800/2, 1080/2, 1400/2 LR32, 1400/2, 1900/2 Guide Rails, and Betterly SLC23 Straight Line Connector; DF500 Q with Assortment Systainer; OF1010 EQ with Fine Adjuster for Guide Stop, WA-OF Angle Arm, UP-OF Edging Plate and SF-OF Chip Deflector (486242); OF1400 EQ with OF1400 Dust Hood x 2, OF 1400  Edge Guide x 2, OF 1400  Guide Stop; LR32 Set; PSB399 EQ; EHL65 E; RAS115.04 E; RS2 E; ETS150/3 EQ; RO150 FEQ; Hand Sanding Block Set; CT26 with assortment of AS and Non-AS Hoses; MFT/3 Table x2; SysLite; Assortment of Quick & Screw Clamps, Consumables, Dogs.

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 4010
Re: Possible shop upgrades - input appreciated
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2017, 04:55 PM »
There is always Bosch rails and an MT55 or KSS 40 to consider. Especially if you get a Bosch or p1cc jigsaw and want to run it on a rail.

Once one heads down the path then you are locked into that system. So deciding on rails up front is pretty important.

Offline RustE

  • Posts: 445
Re: Possible shop upgrades - input appreciated
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2017, 07:16 PM »
I would want an oscillating multi-tool.  The Fein corded version that comes in a Systainer is a good option.  Both Makita and Milwaukee make a nice cordless version that are worth a look if you already have cordless tools from either.

I have used the 10" DeWalt SCMS a few times and liked it.  Maybe a dust hood of some sorts behind the saw would help with the dust?

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 1694
Re: Possible shop upgrades - input appreciated
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2017, 09:04 PM »
Think about what you need a SCMS for, then decide if its worth replacing the one you have now and if you do does it need to be a monster 12" saw or can you get by with a 10" SCMS and a good track saw. There's not a huge difference in the crosscut capacity between a 10 and a 12. What's the reason to get a 12" anyway? Mostly for the deep cut capacity for cutting the larger crown isn't it?

MFT or a bench - I spied the new Kreg offering at a recent WWing show and I like what I saw. You can join tables together to form a large work surface and there are a number of clamping options. IT doesn't replicate all the function of an MFT but it might be worth considering one or maybe two. They fold up neatly and are easy to carry or transport. I'd like to see less plastic and more aluminum parts but all in all they look decent. I spied them on sale in Lowes so if you're itching for a look-see that might be the place to get your hands on one.

Table Saw - hold off until you can get a decent saw, or maybe you'll never have the room to use and store a TS in your garage/shop. That's OK, there are plenty of ways to work around this that won't limit your work. You might have to trade time for speed but again you'll some bucks that can be put into other tools.

I have an older version of your DeWalt SCMS, the 708. If I was to do it over again I might think and a 10" SCMS, maybe even consider a cordless version of which there are a number hitting the streets this year. If I was going to stick with a 12" I think I would look at the Bosch with its glide mechanism. Fits tighter to the wall and takes up less shop space.

14" Bandsaw - small footprint and versatile would be a good add and not as pricey as a good table saw. There is some old iron out there on CL you can pick up for a song and bring back to life. Need to do some homework to avoid the bad apples though.

Track saw - can handle much of your TS work plus a few tricks of its own. Between a track saw and a good router to cut dados you're covered.

Router - you can start small and then add a second router. I bet if you ask most they'll tell you they have at least two routers. How I ended up with six I'll never know (1 Milwaukee 5615, 2 PC 690s, 1 PC 75182 in the router table, 1 DeWalt 611 compact, 1 Ridgid trim router), but I use them all and its nice not to have to change a setup or bit mid project. Plus with the router and a jig you can do some loose tenon work. One of the WWing mags just ran an article on using your router with a jig to cut mortises for Festool Dominos. Not as fast as the Domino but you'll save a bundle, and if you find yourself doing a lot of loose tenon work you can add the Domino later.

Jig Saw - I like my Bosch 1590 which I have had for about 8 years now. Wouldn't trade it for anything.

Multi-tool - My Fein Multimaster is powerful but pricey. Two years later the copy cats came out. I bought a RIDGID JobMax and use it more than the Fein. The JobMax can so much more than any other multi-tool. You can choose from four power sources: 12V, 18V, 120V AC, and pneumatic. There are a number of attachment heads such as the 3/8" close quarter right angle drill, a 1/4" impact, 3/8" ratchet head, jigsaw head, rotary tool head, your standard multi-tool head, and one or two more that I can't remember right now. MY $300+ Fein Multimaster can't drill holes or spin a 9/16" socket or dozen other things the JobMax can do. And the JobMax has held up for about 5 years now so maybe give it a look.
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It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline JustinWG

  • Posts: 36
Re: Possible shop upgrades - input appreciated
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2017, 05:23 AM »
@Holmz – The rail system is why I am kind of dodgy about pulling the trigger.  Once you commit, that’s really it.  Due to the fact that I already have a CT26 Dust Collector, paired with my interest in the LR32 system, it really pushes me in the direction of the Festool line for more of a smooth integration.

@Peter_C – With regards to your question about the flooring, we are in a situation where we have limited options.  To be as brief as possible, last year we found the same floor that was originally advertised at Lowes, but at Lumber Liquidators, but for $4/sq. ft. cheaper.  It was Morning Star’s Honey Hand Scraped Solid Strand Bamboo 5’ x 5 ½”.  I installed the product with the assistance of a 40-year professional.  We followed all the specs, without fail.  Within a week of completion, the product began to fail. 

We processed a warranty claim and now get to replace the floor.  Sadly, an unfinished floor isn’t much of an option, as we’d like to avoid the time involvement, cost, and exposing our newborn son to stain/finish products. It has been recommended by several local installers to stay away from nail down product due to PB underlayment in several rooms.  Glue down is an option, but for the sake of time and convenience, not sure that we want to go that route.

Being limited to store credit, we have even less options – part of the problem is that when we picked out our floor, we also bought new furniture, painted walls, beams, and cabinets, sanded (woohoo for ETS EC 125-3) and stained a lot of custom woodwork, etc. etc….  It is imperative we find another dark floor to match what we already have.  Again, our options are limited.  Some of the new floors we looked at didn’t receive promising reviews, whereas some of the engineered flooring received more favorable reviews.

And sorry for the seemingly naïve question, but what makes you say an engineered floor will not be flat nor sealed?  Or have I misread that?

--

After further research and reading more commentary, I think I’ll avoid the Kapex for a bit longer.  Not because it isn’t a good saw, but it’s an expensive side-grade given my current DW780 setup (saw, blades, stand, etc.)  Hopefully, I can squirrel away enough money by the time the next gen comes out.

Regarding the Carvex, I’ve read several mixed reviews on dust collection and splinter guard being inferior and concerning.  None of my local stores have the high-end Bosch to compare to a Carvex side by side.  I guess it’s a matter of getting some hands on with a Bosch somehow – thank you for that direction.

I’ll also be considering Kreg’s tables.  It doesn’t have to be a Festool, but just something portable, reliable, and a good work surface (marking, clamping, sanding, etc.)  I have more sturdy options at home, but nothing nearly as good for clamping.

Still having a hard time with router choice though.  Leaning heavily on the OF1400 due to dust collection (which I know isn’t as good as the 2200), size, bit choices, LR32 system, and other accessories.  I know there are cheaper and more powerful options out there, but this really seems to be a solid middle ground with lot of room to build on.

TS seems like a possibility if I’m skipping out on the Kapex, but then again, I already have a decent table saw (for my immediate needs), arguably putting a domino in range.  That said, I’ll have to check out the article that @Bob D. suggested, by WWing.

A multi-tool might sneak its way onto the list.  I wouldn’t use it a ton, but darn they’re handy.

All in all, seems like I can still manage a few items while saving some money.  Thanks for helping scratch that Kapex itch.  Both my wife and I appreciate it!

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 4010
Re: Possible shop upgrades - input appreciated
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2017, 07:34 AM »
Yeah @JustinWG  I got the Bosch version of the LR32... (FSN-OFA)
But also have a ct26, dx93, MFT, and domino.
The saw works on the MFT, and the all the other tools work with the CT26.

Difficult decisions, but generally any way you go will work out.

Offline Peter_C

  • Posts: 877
Re: Possible shop upgrades - input appreciated
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2017, 01:21 PM »
@Peter_C – With regards to your question about the flooring, we are in a situation where we have limited options.  To be as brief as possible, last year we found the same floor that was originally advertised at Lowes, but at Lumber Liquidators, but for $4/sq. ft. cheaper.  It was Morning Star’s Honey Hand Scraped Solid Strand Bamboo 5’ x 5 ½”.  I installed the product with the assistance of a 40-year professional.  We followed all the specs, without fail.  Within a week of completion, the product began to fail.

Lumber Liquidators is known for cheap flooring, lots of issues, and often lack of warranty claims, so you should feel special you are getting a warranty claim. They also got sued and lost for formaldehyde off gassing. Which I am sure has been resolved now.

I also noticed LL offers different thicknesses of that particular flooring. Thicker will almost always be better. Engineered is superior in many ways so I am not against it. Over radiant heat it can be one of the only options.

Do you know why that happened? Was the wood left inside for a week before starting the install, and checked with a moisture meter? Moisture from underneath? Sorry if you already have a thread or two on this topic. You can ignore me...

Was your failed floor handscraped? Or have you walked barefoot on a handscraped floor before? It feels weird underfoot to me. *shrugs* Most likely can never be refinished either.
It has been recommended by several local installers to stay away from nail down product due to PB underlayment in several rooms.  Glue down is an option, but for the sake of time and convenience, not sure that we want to go that route.
Cutting corners is never a good option. Install whatever hardwood you decide to get, utilizing best installation practices possible. If that means ripping out all the particle board underlayment and replacing it with ACX ply, so be it. What material is the sub floor?

Obviously not for glue down; use a top quality vapor retarder. They do have the silicon stuff which is supposed to be far superior for off gassing vs roofing felt.
http://www.lumberliquidators.com/ll/c/White-Silicone-Vapor-Paper-Sq-Ft-SILPAPER/10021412
And sorry for the seemingly naïve question, but what makes you say an engineered floor will not be flat nor sealed?  Or have I misread that?
No hardwood floor is flat, until it is sanded onsite. It is all relative though. What is flat? I was just in a house the other day that had pretty good sized lips on a pre-finished floor.

If you pour water onto a pre-finished floor, the water runs between the grooves under the hardwood floor, where it then has to evaporate out, over a long time. Which is why I am not a fan of hardwood in a kitchen. Looks great though, and most people never have an issue.

Offline JustinWG

  • Posts: 36
Re: Possible shop upgrades - input appreciated
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2017, 04:21 PM »
Quote
I also noticed LL offers different thicknesses of that particular flooring. Thicker will almost always be better. Engineered is superior in many ways so I am not against it. Over radiant heat it can be one of the only options.

They offer several thicknesses, however, only certain products are available in certain configurations (thickness and installation type, i.e., nail v. glue v. click)  To get a thicker pre-finished floor, we'd have to jump to a glued installation.  The original material we chose was a 1/2" - which we found to be suitable for our needs and allowed us enough material to refinish at a hopefully much later date.  A lot of the currently available engineered floors are 3/8", even fewer in 7/16" or greater.

Quote
Do you know why that happened? Was the wood left inside for a week before starting the install, and checked with a moisture meter? Moisture from underneath?

I have assumptions that the product never fully cured out before packaging and shipping.  I cannot prove that, and it is a mute point now.  The flooring was brought into the project site, climate controlled at 70 degrees Fahrenheit, packages opened, stacked a max of three high (specs allowed for up to five high), and allowed to sit for nearly six weeks prior to installation.  Before actual install, several boards from various packages were checked.  I did not do this myself, however, I was assured that it had passed.

Quote
Was your failed floor handscraped? Or have you walked barefoot on a handscraped floor before?

It was advertised as "hand-scraped and distressed", which is the look and feel we wanted.  It wasn't a significant hew, but it did have a slight variance of texture - enough that could be sanded out for the purposes of refinishing.

Quote
Cutting corners is never a good option. Install whatever hardwood you decide to get, utilizing best installation practices possible. If that means ripping out all the particle board underlayment and replacing it with ACX ply, so be it. What material is the sub floor?

The industry term escapes me at the moment, sorry, but they are either 2x6 or 2x8 T&G.  The home was built in the PNW in the mid 70's.

Quote
No hardwood floor is flat, until it is sanded onsite. It is all relative though. What is flat? I was just in a house the other day that had pretty good sized lips on a pre-finished floor.

If you pour water onto a pre-finished floor, the water runs between the grooves under the hardwood floor, where it then has to evaporate out, over a long time. Which is why I am not a fan of hardwood in a kitchen. Looks great though, and most people never have an issue.

Sorry, I guess that was me taking it to literally?  I know that it wont be a perfect 0 degree flat field.  It was relatively flat, and by all accounts, was very pleasant initially.  I will never put hardwood into a wet area.  Way too much potential for catastrophic failure and problems.  Too many variables are present - I'd much prefer a stone, tile, or LVT - much safer IMHO.

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 1694
Re: Possible shop upgrades - input appreciated
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2017, 01:02 PM »
If you are referring to the term ACX, that is the grade of face side and the back side veneers, and the type of glue.

A = Face veneer best quality with few if any defects
C = Back veneer good quality with some splits and cracks and plugged knots (footballs)
X = eXterior grade glue

ACX doesn't tell you what species of wood, could be pine or fir or something else, but usually pine or fir. It also doesn't tell you anything about the core make-up, is it veneer or lumber core.

So ACX is only half of what you need to know, but years ago when I worked in the lumber yard when they asked for ACX it was fir and used for wall or roof sheathing, but that was back in the early 70s. Yeah, I'm showing my age with that one.  [huh]
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It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?