Author Topic: Trying to decide on my next upgrade  (Read 1221 times)

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Offline Cochese

  • Posts: 323
    • The 144 Workshop
Trying to decide on my next upgrade
« on: May 13, 2020, 09:20 PM »
I am in a position to put some money back into my shop, and normally how this work is that I’ll identify my most pressing need and address it. I have quite a few things on my long term outlook but I can’t decide what to address right now because everything seems to be right about the same urgency level from where I look.

I have a 11’6” (3.5m) square shop that has pretty much anything I would need to complete a given project. It’s tight, but it works. But I can’t add something like a CNC, which I would greatly benefit from. The size factor plays into somewhat in my thinking. Here I’m asking what you would address next if you were in my position. My finances are fine, this is money set aside specifically for this purpose, so I’d appreciate it if we can stay on topic.

I have on my long term wish list the following: a Kapex, TS75, Domino 700, Rotex of some sort, a spray solution, and a welder. For purposes of this thread I am omitting the welder because I have the one I want picked out and am getting it in August. I recently got a couple TSO products to help with my sheet goods, and will also likely pick up a Seneca parallel kit. What do I build? To this point smaller furniture for my house and set pieces for a local theatre company. Upcoming projects are a computer desk, tall bookcases, and maybe kitchen cabs.

Kapex – I feel like this may be inevitable, but it’s so much money to address some minor issues. My miter saw (Hitachi C12RSH) works fine, but is brutal on the dust collection, and I sometimes don’t trust the accuracy at 90 degrees. I also don’t use the miter capability much and the compound cuts at all because it isn’t great to do and getting back to 90. I really would be gaining convenience here for the trade of a big chunk of change and a little bit less capability. The Kapex is only about 15 pounds lighter than the Hitachi, which I thought would be more. I could take it outside when I needed to cut boards longer than shop can handle. Some situations that could be handled by the jigsaw, though.

TS 75 – This would be very helpful in jointing boards. I can also do this with my TSC 55, just with a bit less capability and power. I do have a 6” jointer I can do this on, my issue with the jointer is that I am limited to about 6.5” width and this doesn’t solve that. Expands my abilities in a very specific case.

Domino 700 – Will be added one day, just perhaps not now. No projects on my radar that the 500 can’t handle and be better suited. Won’t be selling the 500, so the ability to do both with the 700 isn’t a big selling point. Also the most expensive thing on my list and needs tenons on top of that. Probably the thing I most won’t do right now, and will wait until a need arises.

Rotex – I thought for sure I would grab a RO150 to pair with my ETS 150 (and DTS and Pro 5) at the first opportunity. Again, though, I don’t have a huge need for stripping paint in my upcoming projects. I absolutely do want that ability, and have two dressers sitting in my house right now that I would elevate up the list, but I do so enjoy my ETS. Alternate is the Bosch GET-75N, but I lose the advantage of having the paper already. I am also considering the RO90 for the ability to sand narrow stock (which I sanded with my 150 on this last project) plus the delta head, which I don’t particularly enjoy with my DTS. Downside is that I have to buy not one but two new sets of papers.

Sprayer – I am debating building vs buying new kitchen cabs, and if I build I will have a need to paint them white. I have a 8 gallon compressor, so I don’t think a HVLP gun from HF or somewhere would fit the bill (but would be ecstatic if it could). Otherwise, my finish method of choice is hand applying Arm-R-Seal. I was looking at either a 3 or 4 stage Fuji if I went this route, but I would be 100% spraying outside in the elements.

What would you add to your arsenal?

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Offline gunnyr

  • Posts: 226
    • Compass Custom Creations
Re: Trying to decide on my next upgrade
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2020, 09:38 PM »
I suggest that you develop a prioritization matrix.  Google "Project Prioritization Matrix"  and you will find lots of resources.  They will help you put a numerical value to each of the things you need/want.  You can then make your decision.  The main purpose of the matrix is to help quantify how you feel.  Once you've done that you can certainly choose the fourth ranked item.  But I warn you that, if you are honest about your matrix, the item that ranks #1 should be done first!  ..... So I've heard! [eek]
Semper Fi,
Jeff

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Offline waho6o9

  • Posts: 1534
    • Garage Door Handyman.com
Re: Trying to decide on my next upgrade
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2020, 12:00 AM »
"But I can’t add something like a CNC, which I would greatly benefit from. "

In a cost benefit analysis you answered your own question. 

I vote to get the CNC. 

Definitely get the Rotex 150.00 save the rest and organizing a  prioritization matrix sounds like good advice.

Best of luck. 

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3003
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Trying to decide on my next upgrade
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2020, 05:34 AM »
I sold a really good sliding miter saw to help pay for the Kapex. The Kapex has speeded up my work immensely but the major advantage is that I don’t have to lug it outside to cut with it. The dust collection is light years beyond the old saw.

Also, the Kapex is extremely accurate and can be trusted to cut perfect angles.

Of all the items you mention, the Kapex stands out as making the most difference.
Birdhunter

Offline Cochese

  • Posts: 323
    • The 144 Workshop
Re: Trying to decide on my next upgrade
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2020, 08:44 AM »
I suggest that you develop a prioritization matrix.  Google "Project Prioritization Matrix"  and you will find lots of resources.  They will help you put a numerical value to each of the things you need/want.  You can then make your decision.  The main purpose of the matrix is to help quantify how you feel.  Once you've done that you can certainly choose the fourth ranked item.  But I warn you that, if you are honest about your matrix, the item that ranks #1 should be done first!  ..... So I've heard! [eek]

I'm not sure I can even be honest with myself to make an honest matrix. My heart is saying one thing, my brain another.

"But I can’t add something like a CNC, which I would greatly benefit from. "

In a cost benefit analysis you answered your own question. 

I vote to get the CNC. 

Definitely get the Rotex 150.00 save the rest and organizing a  prioritization matrix sounds like good advice.

Best of luck.

There's just no room. Somehow in November I made room for a drum sander, something I didn't think I'd have room for. My compromise was giving up some systainer storage and placing my planer lower to the floor. I'm slap out of room for much else. I budgeted in my plans for about four or five more systainers and some odds and ends, but nothing major like a CNC. That would require a bigger shop, even one that folded up against a wall.

I sold a really good sliding miter saw to help pay for the Kapex. The Kapex has speeded up my work immensely but the major advantage is that I don’t have to lug it outside to cut with it. The dust collection is light years beyond the old saw.

Also, the Kapex is extremely accurate and can be trusted to cut perfect angles.

Of all the items you mention, the Kapex stands out as making the most difference.

My heart is saying Kapex because it would be the thing that would get used most. My brain is saying put that same money into two or three other needs. I am concerned slightly about the efficacy of dust collection coming from my dust collector vs a vac. It's a 4" system that reduces down to 2.5" for about two feet and hooks to my Hitachi. If the higher flow rate of a CT or other vac is what I need to get better dust collection, then maybe that's a sign that I should wait. I do have a spare very small wall-mountable vac that I could use, but it's a 1.25" hose and the vac itself is tiny. I could certainly eventually grab another CT and dedicate it to the Kapex, but I wasn't including that with this tool budget.

Heart - one big thing that I'll use a lot. Brain - multiple things that I won't use as much but will address a lot of future needs, and maybe continue refining the Hitachi to capture dust better.

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1724
Re: Trying to decide on my next upgrade
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2020, 10:24 AM »
Matrix? [eek]  :P ;)

I say Kapex...unless you don't trust that the motor issue has been resolved. It's part and partial of a "dust-free" system if you want a minimal dust environment for your shop. Yes, it is crazily pricey, but it also comes with an admission ticket to an elite (or a dumb, depending on your perspective  [tongue]) group of mitre saw users. At least, with that saw in the shop, one can pretend to be someone doing fine work and projects only! ;D
« Last Edit: May 14, 2020, 10:59 AM by ChuckM »

Offline elfick

  • Posts: 579
Re: Trying to decide on my next upgrade
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2020, 10:52 AM »
If the CNC is going to going to be the most useful item, make sure you've exhausted all options before you decide it won't fit. There are videos on youtube about creative ways to fit a CNC in a small shop. One couple mounted it to the wall so it folds up out of the way when not in use. Many others put it on a low rolling table so it can slide under a bench.

If the CNC is definitely out of the picture, then I'd lean towards the Kapex.

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3003
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Trying to decide on my next upgrade
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2020, 11:30 AM »
I have a Festool Mini vac mounted under the Kapex UG stand. It’s hooked to the Kapex via a short 36mm hose. The dust collection varies from excellent To good driven by the type of cut and by my technique.

After a lengthy project, I vacuum a little sawdust from behind the saw. I’d describe the amount as a light dusting. I never feel as if the saw is putting dust into the air.

All of my tools are on roller bases as my work space is chopped up. The UG stand coupled with a couple of roller stands allows me to work with really long boards.
Birdhunter

Offline RJNeal

  • Posts: 473
Re: Trying to decide on my next upgrade
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2020, 11:40 AM »
I agree with what Birdhunter said.
Seems like the only dust that sticks around is a small amount of normal size dust particles. All the fine dust gets vacuumed away.
Seems like with not only with the apex but also with the OF2200 and track saws.
Rick
Have you walked your saw today?

Offline Cochese

  • Posts: 323
    • The 144 Workshop
Re: Trying to decide on my next upgrade
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2020, 02:43 PM »
Yes, the CNC is extremely not an option due to space. I should look around for a local maker group and when I need something done, do it that way. I was thinking maybe some medallions with my logo or something. Table saw inserts, etc. Things I could batch and have done at once for perhaps a small fee.

So, I've made a decision at least for now. I decided to give my miter saw a chance to redeem itself over the summer. I have already added an auxillary fence and am attempting a couple of things to prevent dust from flying around everywhere. If I can limit it to just behind the blade, I can deal with that. I have just now confirmed the accuracy at 90° and it is on the indent so it is repeatable. I have a saw stache on the way and have an idea of how to mount it. Worst case, I'm in for about $15 more dollars, I'm three months down the road, and I've already addressed another need.

I'm going to attempt to shoot some cabs with some appropriate paint with the sprayer I have access to, might even pick up a HF gun on sale for $10 and add a water trap for my air hose (I need to do that anyway). I think the TS 75 wouldn't be useful this year.

As such, I just ordered a Rotex 90 and will pick up a few pieces of paper for it. It allows me to sand narrow stock, which will again present itself on my next project. The Rotex 150 is really tempting right now because there is some remaining stock of the Emerald Editions with the hard pad, but that's only a $50 savings.

Offline bkharman

  • Posts: 2060
Re: Trying to decide on my next upgrade
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2020, 04:25 PM »
Yes, the CNC is extremely not an option due to space. I should look around for a local maker group and when I need something done, do it that way. I was thinking maybe some medallions with my logo or something. Table saw inserts, etc. Things I could batch and have done at once for perhaps a small fee.

So, I've made a decision at least for now. I decided to give my miter saw a chance to redeem itself over the summer. I have already added an auxillary fence and am attempting a couple of things to prevent dust from flying around everywhere. If I can limit it to just behind the blade, I can deal with that. I have just now confirmed the accuracy at 90° and it is on the indent so it is repeatable. I have a saw stache on the way and have an idea of how to mount it. Worst case, I'm in for about $15 more dollars, I'm three months down the road, and I've already addressed another need.

I'm going to attempt to shoot some cabs with some appropriate paint with the sprayer I have access to, might even pick up a HF gun on sale for $10 and add a water trap for my air hose (I need to do that anyway). I think the TS 75 wouldn't be useful this year.

As such, I just ordered a Rotex 90 and will pick up a few pieces of paper for it. It allows me to sand narrow stock, which will again present itself on my next project. The Rotex 150 is really tempting right now because there is some remaining stock of the Emerald Editions with the hard pad, but that's only a $50 savings.
I know you have said “no room for a CNC” but what about something like a Shaper Origin?  I test drove one years ago at Festool Connect and said “it’s cool, but I won’t use that”. 2 years later, I was using it almost daily. There is a similar satisfaction of making something in Illustrator and 5 minutes later I am cutting it out. I say it is to akin of thinking of something then widdling it on a stick I found in the yard.

Cheers. Bryan.


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Offline Cochese

  • Posts: 323
    • The 144 Workshop
Re: Trying to decide on my next upgrade
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2020, 09:37 AM »
Yes, the CNC is extremely not an option due to space. I should look around for a local maker group and when I need something done, do it that way. I was thinking maybe some medallions with my logo or something. Table saw inserts, etc. Things I could batch and have done at once for perhaps a small fee.

So, I've made a decision at least for now. I decided to give my miter saw a chance to redeem itself over the summer. I have already added an auxillary fence and am attempting a couple of things to prevent dust from flying around everywhere. If I can limit it to just behind the blade, I can deal with that. I have just now confirmed the accuracy at 90° and it is on the indent so it is repeatable. I have a saw stache on the way and have an idea of how to mount it. Worst case, I'm in for about $15 more dollars, I'm three months down the road, and I've already addressed another need.

I'm going to attempt to shoot some cabs with some appropriate paint with the sprayer I have access to, might even pick up a HF gun on sale for $10 and add a water trap for my air hose (I need to do that anyway). I think the TS 75 wouldn't be useful this year.

As such, I just ordered a Rotex 90 and will pick up a few pieces of paper for it. It allows me to sand narrow stock, which will again present itself on my next project. The Rotex 150 is really tempting right now because there is some remaining stock of the Emerald Editions with the hard pad, but that's only a $50 savings.
I know you have said “no room for a CNC” but what about something like a Shaper Origin?  I test drove one years ago at Festool Connect and said “it’s cool, but I won’t use that”. 2 years later, I was using it almost daily. There is a similar satisfaction of making something in Illustrator and 5 minutes later I am cutting it out. I say it is to akin of thinking of something then widdling it on a stick I found in the yard.

Cheers. Bryan.


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To be perfectly honest one of the huge reasons I never considered it was that for the longest time anyone ever talking about it was trying to get their cost reduced. I've not done much research beyond that initial reaction, although I do know there is an ongoing cost associated with the tape.

I was hoping that more progress would be made in our eventual move away from this house and it's restrictions, but the longer it goes the more I think I'll be stuck here. The hope was we could find a nice three car garage that I could have some room to spread and have room for things like this. So renting space at a makerspace for a couple days a year that I might need access to a conventional one isn't too bad of an ask. It isn't something that I was going to fold into my usual routine, just for some one off stuff. Not having it isn't going to hurt me too badly.

Offline bkharman

  • Posts: 2060
Re: Trying to decide on my next upgrade
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2020, 11:00 AM »
Yes, the CNC is extremely not an option due to space. I should look around for a local maker group and when I need something done, do it that way. I was thinking maybe some medallions with my logo or something. Table saw inserts, etc. Things I could batch and have done at once for perhaps a small fee.

So, I've made a decision at least for now. I decided to give my miter saw a chance to redeem itself over the summer. I have already added an auxillary fence and am attempting a couple of things to prevent dust from flying around everywhere. If I can limit it to just behind the blade, I can deal with that. I have just now confirmed the accuracy at 90° and it is on the indent so it is repeatable. I have a saw stache on the way and have an idea of how to mount it. Worst case, I'm in for about $15 more dollars, I'm three months down the road, and I've already addressed another need.

I'm going to attempt to shoot some cabs with some appropriate paint with the sprayer I have access to, might even pick up a HF gun on sale for $10 and add a water trap for my air hose (I need to do that anyway). I think the TS 75 wouldn't be useful this year.

As such, I just ordered a Rotex 90 and will pick up a few pieces of paper for it. It allows me to sand narrow stock, which will again present itself on my next project. The Rotex 150 is really tempting right now because there is some remaining stock of the Emerald Editions with the hard pad, but that's only a $50 savings.
I know you have said “no room for a CNC” but what about something like a Shaper Origin?  I test drove one years ago at Festool Connect and said “it’s cool, but I won’t use that”. 2 years later, I was using it almost daily. There is a similar satisfaction of making something in Illustrator and 5 minutes later I am cutting it out. I say it is to akin of thinking of something then widdling it on a stick I found in the yard.

Cheers. Bryan.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

To be perfectly honest one of the huge reasons I never considered it was that for the longest time anyone ever talking about it was trying to get their cost reduced. I've not done much research beyond that initial reaction, although I do know there is an ongoing cost associated with the tape.

I was hoping that more progress would be made in our eventual move away from this house and it's restrictions, but the longer it goes the more I think I'll be stuck here. The hope was we could find a nice three car garage that I could have some room to spread and have room for things like this. So renting space at a makerspace for a couple days a year that I might need access to a conventional one isn't too bad of an ask. It isn't something that I was going to fold into my usual routine, just for some one off stuff. Not having it isn't going to hurt me too badly.
Ah. I call this the dreaded “do I buy a vacation/holiday home or do I travel somewhere different each year” vacation syndrome.

For years I have been “building my shop”. Of late, I am moving back to stationery equipment but more in a hybrid fashion.

That being said, I also have a great makers spot about 30min away. Pre-covid, I went there mainly to use their 3D printers as I have no real need to buy one. I bought a Felder bandsaw instead because in the next few years, that is where I am heading with my WW skills. I am playing the long game on big equipment for my post retirement work.

Hope this helps and FWIW, I love my Shaper. I bought it fairly early, but wouldn’t part ways with it at all. Tape is a consumable like blades and bits to me. Not eating up a space the size of a sheet of 8x4 and being able to go to the workpiece night matter where it lay, is best for my needs at the moment.

Cheers. Bryan.


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People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along? Can we get along?

Offline elm

  • Posts: 48
Re: Trying to decide on my next upgrade
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2020, 10:23 PM »
@Cochese If you are still deciding I thought I would pass along my recent experience.  I just got a Kapex (old model, new motor) after a lot of agonizing.  I had been shying away from them for quite some time for the motor reason and price.  Last year and into this year you could find one that was the old style with the new motor for about $1100 with warranty.  That was tempting but i was still not convinced.  I finally settled on getting a Makita to replace my older model.  I was looking at about $600 or so and waiting for a sale.  Important to me was precision...I had given up on the Kapex like dust collection.  I had already added a mustache to my older Makita and it helped, but still not great.

I then started to reconsider and think about the Kapex with the promo that is going on with the stand and wings.  Still a bunch of money.  The research resumed and I started asking others about their experiences (including Seth (@SRSemenza) here on FOG).  He was very helpful.  I also contacted some local folks and everyone really liked theirs.  No issues and they said it really helped their woodworking (and time) with the precision of the cuts.  I was back on the bandwagon and looked for the $1100 deals I had seen before.  They were all gone.

I then picked up the phone and called Hartville Hardware (they had advertised heavily the older style with the newer motor) and got in touch with a really helpful chap there.  He said there were none in the shop, but might have one in the warehouse.  He made some phone calls and a few minutes later I had one heading my way, and for $1025 total to me.  At that price the decision became much easier than full price for sure.

It arrived this week and I took it out of the box yesterday.  The only concern was the rotation of the miter table itself was rough.  Seth had mentioned something similar.  I looked underneath and backed out two screws for the friction plate about an eighth of a turn.  Now turns like butter and still holds well.  I also put my Woodpecker straight edge on it and it was flat as can be; both horizontal and vertical surfaces.  I am pleased I purchased it.  I made a few test cuts and it was easy and the dust collection was greatly improved.

Now if (I hope it is never) I see a puff of smoke, I may regret the purchase, but for now I am pleased.  The saw was shipped quickly, and arrived in great condition.  I am going to use my current miter saw stand (Rigid brand) and put on custom wood wings using Universal Kapex Brackets I ordered from multi-blade.  They cost $55 each and allow me to make wings out of some scrap and if I need them longer I can rest them on the support extensions of the miter saw stand.

I am finishing up a major project that has taken over a year. I wish I had the saw sooner.  Good luck with your decision.