Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Power tools

Power toolsI like making things. It's such a sense of achievement when things turn out right.

Over the years I've discovered that there is nothing like having the right tool for the job.

I also don't mind spending money on good quality tools that last.

After going to some effort to get advice from the 'experts' at B&Q (the UK equivalent of Home Depot), I was advised to buy a small table saw to cut the big sheets of plywood I'd be using. It's the blue thing in the middle of the picture. In the event that proved hopeless, if not downright dangerous.

Next I tried a jigsaw (after more expert advice), which you can see in the front right of the picture, which did the job, but it was almost impossible to get a straight edge good enough to use.

For now, I've settled on a Black & Decker power hand saw which, although slow, cuts a neat line exactly as I want it. You can see it lying on the piece of plywood I've just cut. It also, rather handily, doubles as a jigsaw.

After looking at the Black & Decker website, I'm thinking that maybe a circular saw would be even better.

Anyway, that table saw is going back to where it came from. I'm pretty annoyed at being given such shoddy advice by people who should know better!

Technorati Tags: ; ; ;


  1. Tim,

    A circular saw works great - but also look for an extruded aluminum straight edge to go with it. These aluminum straight edges usually break down in the middle but when combined will be able to reach across a full sheet of plywood. Simply offset it for the width of the saw base plate (remember this dimension), clamp in place on both ends of the sheet, and cut away. Straight as an arrow.

    One boat working dude to another.

  2. Excellent Jake, that's what I'm after then.


  3. Jake's right - Festo and Metabo [and maybe others too] both do circular saws running on a sort of aluminium ruler and that's definitely the way to go with plywood. Nice site, big project. Andrew

  4. Why on earth would you expect the salesmonkeys at B&Q to "know better"?

    A circular saw is indeed the obvious choice for big sheets of ply. Since you're in Southampton, Machine Mart in Portswood seems a far better bet for tools than B&Q. (Or online like Toolstation etc.)

  5. Hi Pete

    The sales monkey actually appeared to know what he was talking about at the time, even though he didn't.

    That was very early on for me, when the learning curve was the steepest.

    I'm still learning now...