Author Topic: Woodworking  (Read 1191 times)

Offline phillamb168

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Woodworking
« on: September 21, 2011, 05:20:21 AM »
The closer we get to being serious about building our own house, the more I think about how much fun it would be to build out my own interior - cabinets, molding, banisters, etc. I've done basic stuff - ripping wood, cutting to measure, etc - for my deck, and it's held up pretty durn well for the year it's been up, no signs of damage, still level, a tiny bit of warping to be expected from being made of wood, but otherwise I'm pretty happy. Our next purchase is going to be a miter saw. I look at how much custom cabinets cost and think to myself, jeez, I could build that myself and load it with ikea pulls and rails and it'd cost half the price!

Anybody done that sort of thing before?
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Offline punatic

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Re: Woodworking
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2011, 05:39:56 AM »
Finish carpentry is an art.  Start small - practice, practice, practice, and I think you can do it.  It would be way easier, and most likely cheaper to hire someone, but then again, where is the satisfaction in drinking store-bought beer?

As you walk through your home you will see evey boo-boo, and most likely you will love them all.
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Offline MDixon

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Re: Woodworking
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2011, 06:01:29 AM »
While there is some satisfaction to doing it yourself and knowing what is perfect and what is not, time is also a factor. Figure you will be 2 to 5X slower than a professional.

I remodeled our kitchen this spring. Complete gut job, did all the wiring, plumbing, flooring, drywall and wanted to do the cabinet install, mainly to save money. It took the professional three complete 10 hour days to do the install. I figure it would have taken me a week to 10 days to pull off and I just didn't have that sort of time. It's all the little things that will eat your lunch like drilling for the pulls. In our area it is $1 per hole, which sounds expensive, but when you look at laying it out or purchasing a jig to center the hole and then adjustig the jig it was worth every penny. Just having the right bits and tools is problematic.

If you do decide to go after it yourself some of my favorite newer tools are:
Micro Pin Nailer
http://www.amazon.com/Hitachi-NP35A-Gauge-Micro-Nailer/dp/B003SHDM84
You can use this to attach all kinds of molding. I even put down hickory quarter round using it (hickory is hard stuff).

Corded MultiTool
http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00923465000P?prdNo=8&blockNo=8&blockType=G8
My gosh there are so many uses for this, drywall, small sanding, cutting nails, you name it...LOUD!!!

Impact Driver
http://www.amazon.com/Hitachi-KC18DHL-18-Volt-Lithium-Ion-2-Tool/dp/B001N2NTE8
I got this set for $180 and wish I had gotten the driver years ago. Great for any kind of screw or bolt.

PS: In doing the kitchen I believe I pulled out every tool in my arsenal (and they still are scattered about in my garage).
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Offline Mark G

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Re: Woodworking
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2011, 06:25:05 AM »
I'm in the middle of finishing my basement, which includes a bedroom, bar, and bathroom. If you're pretty hand, I'd say go for it. I'm doing all the work myself, but I have friends in all the trades, so advice/help/tools are just a phone call away. Just know your limitations, know when to ask for help, and you'll be fine. Having the right tools makes all the difference in the world, and those are expensive. That's when it really pays off to know people with expertise and equipment.
Mark Gres

Offline phillamb168

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Re: Woodworking
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2011, 07:58:25 AM »
Yup, already got the impact driver. SWMBO and I bought a Makita 18v cordless set as our first combined anniversary present, one of the best kits we've ever, ever bought. I am totally a Makita man, through and through. We've got a Metabo circular saw and jigsaw, and they're great, but the Makitas are well-built and american-made.

After I get this:



I think I'm getting this:


I'm assuming I can use the plunge router to form molding - right? Or do I need a table router of some sort?

Re the micro pin nailer, is that like a finishing nailer?
« Last Edit: September 21, 2011, 09:07:39 AM by dbeechum »
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Offline phillamb168

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Re: Woodworking
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2011, 08:00:44 AM »
Finish carpentry is an art.  Start small - practice, practice, practice, and I think you can do it.  It would be way easier, and most likely cheaper to hire someone, but then again, where is the satisfaction in drinking store-bought beer?

As you walk through your home you will see evey boo-boo, and most likely you will love them all.

Yeah, that's a big part of my reason for wanting to do it. I'm certain it's going to be LOADS of work, but I figure if we can have the builders get the house water-tight and wired up, I can take a year and get everything done bit by bit while we rent out something nearby.
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Woodworking
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2011, 08:31:52 AM »
When building cabinets everything needs to be dead on and square.  I've built furniture with a circular saw but I don't recommend it.  You really need a good table saw (and that's not a $150 Ryobi) with a quality fence.  I still dream of a Incra system but it's too pricy right now.

Depending on what style you are looking to build you may need a 2.5 to 3.0 HP router.  Making raised panels is not easy or as high quality without a lot of power and a router table.  What hinges you choose can dictate things like a drill press for perfectly straight cups and holes.

I'm not trying to scare anyone away from making their own cabinets.  Just keep in mind that it takes the right tools and a lot of skill to build 10 or 20 cabinets that all fit together and look good.  I've built quite a few cabinets and shelving units and am proof a minimally skilled craftsman can make nice stuff but it isn't as easy as it looks.  Be prepared for a collection of scraps.  8^)

Paul
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Offline MDixon

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Re: Woodworking
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2011, 11:42:10 AM »
The pin nailer is great for moulings or holding something while you glue. The mark it leaves is often so small you will not need to fill it to hide.

A word on tool manufacturers - just because a manufacturer makes one excellent tool does not mean all their tools follow suit. I have the worlds crappiest table saw and a compound miter by the same company which is awesome. I do like Hitachi air nailers quite a bit, they put my Craftsman stuff to shame. I have some Spotnails tools which I have not had a chance to use, but understand they are great. My coordless Ryobi set has just about given up the ghost, but the coordless right angle drill from them is awesome.

I doubt you have one in France, but if you need tools to use and abuse I like Harbor Freight. I needed to do a ton of masonry with natural stone. I burned up about 5 angle grinders in the process. Of course when I can get them for $10 each, no big deal... ;)
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Woodworking
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2011, 01:00:07 AM »
If you have the time, I say go for it.  I'm too chicken to do my own plumbing if it's going to be buried in a wall or floor, for that we bring in a pro.  But we've done a couple of bathrooms (stripped down to the floor joists) that turned out nice.  I wouldn't go so far as to build my own cabinetry, but if you do that would be impressive.  You'll need to start a thread for the pics :)

Oh, and the money you will save you can put toward a nice set of tools to do it right.  Once a bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen are done you can move in and finish the rest while saving on rent.  Then again, the chance to get some solitude while you work on the house could be nice too.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline EHall

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Re: Woodworking
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2011, 10:50:06 AM »
Dewalt and Milwaukee are reliable brands too... and remember, measure 2x, cut once!
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Offline MDixon

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Re: Woodworking
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2011, 05:11:03 AM »
What I actually do is a bit wasteful, but I never measure anything if I can help it. I'll either make a storyboard or take the actual piece and then use some painters tape to mark the length. It uses a buttload of tape, but once you get the convention down as to exactly where you are going to cut the cuts are extremely precise since the edge of the tape tells you exactly where the edge of the blade will fall.
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Offline theoman

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Re: Woodworking
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2011, 05:19:59 AM »

Yeah, that's a big part of my reason for wanting to do it. I'm certain it's going to be LOADS of work, but I figure if we can have the builders get the house water-tight and wired up, I can take a year and get everything done bit by bit while we rent out something nearby.

It's a cool idea and all, but you'll be paying rent while paying the mortgage. You'd probably save money by having someone else do it. Plus, that's a lot of time you could be spending brewing beer. Then again, if it's what you like to do, the time and money matter less.

Offline phillamb168

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Re: Woodworking
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2011, 07:05:22 AM »

Yeah, that's a big part of my reason for wanting to do it. I'm certain it's going to be LOADS of work, but I figure if we can have the builders get the house water-tight and wired up, I can take a year and get everything done bit by bit while we rent out something nearby.

It's a cool idea and all, but you'll be paying rent while paying the mortgage. You'd probably save money by having someone else do it. Plus, that's a lot of time you could be spending brewing beer. Then again, if it's what you like to do, the time and money matter less.

Totally agree, but there's that whole 'I built this myself' thing. I love that feeling, get it every time people ask me who I paid to build my deck.  :)
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Offline bo

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Re: Woodworking
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2011, 09:58:58 AM »
One thing you can do is build the cabinets yourself, because they aren't that hard to build and they don't require super equipment or special bits. Then get with a cabinet maker for your door and drawer fronts.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2011, 10:01:43 AM by bo »

Offline SwashBuckling Drunk

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Re: Woodworking
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2011, 11:36:24 AM »


........Oh, and the money you will save you can put toward a nice set of tools to do it right......

I wouldn't be surprised if it costs MORE to build your own cabinets