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Basic DIY tooles to get started?


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#1 of 31 OFFLINE   steve nn

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Posted March 25 2003 - 09:31 AM

I am planning on starting my first DIY project sub here soon and I am wondering if a router, clamps and a circular saw would be sufficient along with the other general tools that most of us have out in the garage? I would use a guide and clamps when using the saw for strait cuts._____________

With the experience on this Forum do you suggest starting out with a less challenging and expensive project to get acquainted or just go big guns right out of the gate? There is a Home Depot one mile away from me also, so I would have plenty of access to what-ever I left out?Posted Image

#2 of 31 OFFLINE   Ronnie Ferrell

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Posted March 25 2003 - 10:20 AM

Pat's Sunosubs are good example of what can be built with minimum tools...


rf
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#3 of 31 OFFLINE   steve nn

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Posted March 25 2003 - 10:38 AM

Thanks Ronnie but I was thinking box. I did check the tools out though and I have everything except the router.

#4 of 31 OFFLINE   TimForman

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Posted March 25 2003 - 10:56 AM

I built my LCC with a Clamp-n-Tool guide, circular saw, square, jig saw and router. I say GO FOR IT!
P.S. Borrow the router. You won't need it long.

#5 of 31 OFFLINE   Karl FS

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Posted March 25 2003 - 11:45 AM

The first thing I would buy would be a table saw. If you don't have much space or budget for it, just buy the cheapest bench-mount one you can find. It will save you tons of time setting up your straitedge and since mdf is easy to cut, you'll be able to get away with a cheaper, less powerful model. Also grab a router (you will actually use it quite a bit) - in my experience, the more you spend on your router the more accurate and easy to operate it will be. Finish up with some clamps and you should have just about everything you need.

#6 of 31 OFFLINE   steve nn

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Posted March 25 2003 - 12:20 PM

"Borrow the router. You won't need it long"._______________
Good idea and a penny saved is another woofer earned. Maybe I should by one though to feed the need. __________________
__________________________________________________ _________

I guess I could find some kind of a project around here to warrant a table saw. Lets seeeee.... whats a good excuse? I'll come up with something or I can just do it and take the hit. WAF you know. Hey' come to think of it my father has two and the one he doesn't use is a junker. It would do me fine.

#7 of 31 OFFLINE   Allen Ross

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Posted March 25 2003 - 12:23 PM

well i have to say juggling a 4X8 sheet of MDF over a table saw isn't the easist thing in the world, but i did it. if you are going for a bigger box, like mine, you should look into getting something with a really big fence, to at least rip the pieces down to size.

But i think a good skill saw and a guid with a clam could be just as easy, ah why not get both?
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#8 of 31 OFFLINE   steve nn

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Posted March 25 2003 - 12:30 PM

AH! Now i'm confused. I think I better go give Norm a call. "Now take your 8X4 sheet of MDF and run it through the plainer".Posted Image

#9 of 31 OFFLINE   Rob Formica

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Posted March 25 2003 - 12:48 PM

If you don't have a table saw... (*me*) you can have the hardware store make the major cuts for you (something like --> side width x 8' and front width x 8'). They charge about 0.50$cnd/cut and it makes the transporting and manipulating the sheets easier. In my experience, the cuts are quite precise... and well worth it. You just have to plan out your sheet usage.
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#10 of 31 OFFLINE   TimForman

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Posted March 25 2003 - 02:11 PM

If you own your own home and are planning future projects, plus have someplace to put it, and run it, a table saw is one of the best tool investments there are. If these factors don't exist, sawhorses, Clamp-n-Tool and a square. Oh yeah, a nice carbide blade for the circular saw.
(or Rob's idea).

#11 of 31 OFFLINE   Brian Bunge

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Posted March 25 2003 - 02:28 PM

Steve,

Trying to cut into my future business I see! Posted Image As far as I'm concerned, my router(s) and circle jig have been the most worthwhile tools I've bought.
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#12 of 31 OFFLINE   TonyiBe

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Posted March 25 2003 - 02:33 PM

A table SAW is a great investment. I also recommend buying a cheap router. Also i would start out easy, because i am on my 4th enclosure and my last one looks like i bought it. My first one was the least appealing to me, i started getting picky on the edges and such. Heck i now round all the edges and it looks AWESOME compared to square corners.

#13 of 31 OFFLINE   Greg Yeatts

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Posted March 25 2003 - 03:06 PM

I feel your pain. Everybody has good, but different advice. I do not have a table saw. I do not have room for a table saw. If I did, I would recommend a good one to you. I have a local lumber yard (not a big box home improvement store) cut my panels. They do very well. I could possibly do better, but its doubtful I will every know.

I recommend big clamps. Biggest you can afford (and maybe then some). I bought 8 24" clamps on my first project becuase I thought they would be the biggest I would ever need. Tomorrow, I will buy 8 36" clamps becuase I know no one with larger clamps and I know no one with I can borrow them from (really).

Is my recommendation better than anyone elses? Maybe not, but it's something to think about.

#14 of 31 OFFLINE   Wes Nance

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Posted March 25 2003 - 03:50 PM

If you are building a few speakers, you will get your money out of a router and Jasper circle jig. I have since found many uses for my router, often using it to round or camfer edges on projects, etc.

I built several boxes with a straight edge and circular saw, and it worked OK, but I think repeatability with this setup is problematic at best. You could make one piece to the correct size and then flush trim with the router to match all the others. Some people flush trim the box as they go, and get by doing that.

That said, I just bought a table saw, and I'm quite excited to use it soon. My choice, as a hobbyist was the Ryobi BT3100, which is really a great saw for the money with a wonderfully precise fence for such an inexpensive saw. You can also get a micro adjuster for the fence for cheap to set within 1/64th.

For more info on this saw, check out BT3central.com especially the article in jigs and info on why to buy this saw.

Home Depot carries this saw for $269 (price just went down from $299) and I used a Lowes coupon (HD will honor competitors) for another 10% off, for a final price of around $242. Sears carries this same saw with the Craftsman brand for $450. The Ryobi version comes with a 36 tooth Freud carbide blade. . .

Beyond that, lots of clamps- I got a lot of cheap ones from PennState industries or Harbor Freight. I think I have like 30 or 40 clamps now!

Hope this helps-

Wes

#15 of 31 OFFLINE   Allen Ross

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Posted March 25 2003 - 03:55 PM

if i am going build some more enclosures i think i should make the investemnt, of some good tools, i don't really want to take over my freinds shop like i did last time, eventhough he loved the project i would like to do it on my own terms.

I think the skill saw and the clamp guid will work in a pinch
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#16 of 31 OFFLINE   Karl FS

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Posted March 25 2003 - 04:48 PM

For cutting big sheets of mdf (4'x8'), I think the best thing to do is have them sectioned off at the lumber yard on their panel saw. Trying to maneuver a 4x8 sheeet of mdf onto ANY table saw seems a little unsafe to me, unless you have a very large fence and several support tables to increase the surface area of the table. At home depot they will make the first 3 cuts on your 4x8 for free, so it's really a no-brainer.

#17 of 31 OFFLINE   Chris Keen

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Posted March 25 2003 - 05:04 PM

I believe that the router is your overall best investment. With the router you can do almost anything you'll need to accomplish to build your cabinets. There are some great circle cutting jigs out there that you can get from Parts Express or even Woodcraft.

You can buy a good straight edge guide like the Griset ones here:

8 footer at $100

4 footer at $60

2 footer at $46

Then you can use either this circular saw base plate:
saw plate

OR this router base plate:
router plate

I have no experience with the Griset products, but they look quality on the Amazon site, and this picture might give you an idea for how it works.

Posted Image

The nice thing about this setup is that it has a groove that the plate rides along and helps to insure a straight cut. If you used a router, you could cut straight edges (much like a saw) with this setup. If you have a shopvac of some sort, I would try to buy any small adapters for it that I could to hook up to any dust collection on the router. MDF creates a lot of dust, but this will help minimize the effects greatly if you can do it. Also, if you get a router, you don't have to spend a fortune. A good 1.5 hp or better router can get the job done. Ryobi makes a decent plunge router for around $100 that should do the trick. Make sure you buy good carbide tipped router bits. The high speed steel ones are cheaper, but will wear out quickly and you'll have just thrown money away after replacing them so often.

Good Luck!
Posted Image
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#18 of 31 OFFLINE   Chris Tsutsui

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Posted March 25 2003 - 05:55 PM

I guess I'm going to disagree with a few ppl here and say that you do NOT need a router.

Most subs are box shaped so that means you will only need to make circles and straight cuts. The circles have a relatively large margin of error due to the overlap of the driver, port, or speaker terminal.

I have made holes from 6" to 15" with a simple Bosch Jig saw. I've also been successful with a cheaper Skil Jig saw. If you are concerned about your hand eye coordination you could simply make the circles slightly smaller and then grind/sand them to fit. I used a drum sander or dremel if there were any imperfections. All I do to make holes is put the panel on a table and rotate the panel 360 degrees with one hand while the other hand holds the jigsaw steady. (Use a compass to draw the circle in pencil)

You can whip out several holes this way in minutes and there's no big sawdust mess. The only drawback is there isn't a perfect cut like with a router, but that cut isn't visible anyways.

Picture of holes I made with a Jigsaw. (BTW, I made the holes in the brace using a loostened whole saw bit and drill press.)

However, to countersink some drivers like tweeters you'll be better off with a router. You don't need clamps if you use screws and glue. It's not like you're using a laminate so why not just put bondo, wood filler, or make a plug for the screw indentations and veneer/paint over it. If you're seems have gaps, just caulk the inside and fill the gap on the outside. Posted Image

Really, all you might need is a circle saw for straight cuts, a jig saw for circles, and a drill for assembly. I also have a Porter cable 5" orbital that also comes in handy.

Good luck


#19 of 31 OFFLINE   Dan Dubeau

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Posted March 26 2003 - 03:52 AM

If you are quite good with your hands, then i would recommend a good circular saw, strait edge clamp, lots of clamps at least 6-8, electric drill and a cheap router are all you need to make profesional looking cabinets that are presise, tough and well built.

I don't think you need a table saw but it is definatly very handy, and a drill press would help but if you trust your motor skills then it is not very necessary.

Money can be saved on the router, but never buy cheap bits. i have never cursed and got as angry as i did when i made my tempest sonosub with cheap HSS router bits. Good carbide Router bits and saw blades are worth their weight in gold.

#20 of 31 OFFLINE   Allen Ross

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Posted March 26 2003 - 04:57 AM

when i constucted my tempest i used a carbide blade but i only had a rough cut saw at home and it chipped out a ton on all the edges on my speaker stands, and i tried sanding them off with little succes. oh well.


BTW that is a pretty expensive for a guide, i though it would be somthing like half that price. also does anyone know if you can adjust the length of it? or does it still remain 8 feet long even though you clamp it at 4 feet?
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