Best tool to cut wood that doesn't scare me?

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Old 07-02-09, 08:35 PM
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Exclamation Best tool to cut wood that doesn't scare me?

I want to be able to cut my own wood rather than paying Lowes to cut it for me when I buy it! They used to do it for free but now they are charging to do it! Sounds like an easy question? Not so fast... My problem is that I don't work with wood often, I don't have a lot of space, I don’t have a lot of money, and I have 10 fingers and 10 toes and I want to keep it that way! I have looked at circular saws and even little jig saws and they all make me very nervous!! I'm a klutz so I know using a tool like that will eventually reduce my number of digits to less than 10. That being said, what would be the best/safest way to cut wood in limited quantities?
I have a corded and cordless Dremel tool and a corded B&D drill. They are good tools and I’ve seen all kinds of attachments and things for cutting but I don't want to kill them using them to do something they weren’t built to do! At most I cut wood 2 inches deep and in very small quantities but not so small that I want to go “powerless” to cut them! So if anyone tells me to get a manual saw of any kind I'll throw a fit the likes of which you have never seen!!! Just do a little brain-storming on my behalf and any ideas will be appreciated...
 

Last edited by whippet1; 07-02-09 at 08:38 PM. Reason: I can't spell...
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Old 07-02-09, 08:58 PM
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safe , and precise the "dead wood concept

Ive been using it for a couple of years now and its well worth the money

The EZ Smart Woodworking System by Eurekazone, Inc.

more info here

Beginners Guide to EZ Smart Woodworking System - Sawmill Creek

The Dead Wood concept and the EZ smart
Everyone has had a few close calls working with wood. We become complacent. We relax. We try to work with the tool in an unsafe manner, and we know it. Many things happen when we work with wood. Some of these things can scar us for life.
We have these thoughts as we look for ways to make this occupation and hobby safer. The idea we have embraced is the 'Dead Wood Concept'. We have sought to design a system of tools and accessories which will keep the wood dead still in place as we cut, bore, plane, rout, etc. First we eliminate the opportunity for the wood to become a projectile. Next, we position the power tools in such a way that hands and fingers stay clear of the tool path. Then the path of the power tool is always going away from the body guided in the track of the rail.
This concept of securing the work piece is widely used. By labeling it the 'Dead Wood Concept', we are just calling attention to our desire to make woodworking safer and more enjoyable. We like designing 'Smart Tools for Smart People'.
<!-- -Russ Bransford -->
Our Goal...

We're almost there



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Old 07-02-09, 10:25 PM
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Hi whippet1, the safest functional power tool I have for cutting wood is my jig saw. I know you mentioned it, but despite it's noise, it is very easy to control. If you were really careless you might get cut, but the chances of nine fingers is v low. This is the first power tool I let my kids start with and they all survived. Variable speed will let you ease into a piece of wood and you will quickly be able to do all of the cutting you need.

keep thinking 10 and you will be all set.
Bud
 
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Old 07-03-09, 06:11 AM
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Noise is why Norton sells hearing protection. I don't go into my shop and operate things like planers, joiners, etc. without hearing protection. EYE protection is a must!!!
 
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Old 07-03-09, 09:46 AM
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I can't say I have ever seen one of these accused of being the cause of a lost digit:



in reality, a jigsaw is probably the safest route but the problem with a jigsaw is they are not the greatest tools when it comes to long cut accuracy. It is easy to get off course and end up with a poor line. A circular saw would be the next step but can be very dangerous if not used properly. Power tools are always a trade off. You get production but it will always be at the risk of injury. That is the nature of the beast.

If all else fails, there is a table saw available that will not cut your finger, if used properly.

Saw Stop
 
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Old 07-04-09, 06:11 AM
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i second the vote for the jigsaw but you have to understand it's tough to make a straigh cut in a large board with one. i would also suggest a mitre box. store bought units will handle 4-5" widths but you could have someone make you a custom box that could handle larger widths. spend a little more on a good hand saw. your arm will thank you.

not to hijack your post but don't blame Lowes for charging, we've had to start charging for cuts too. commercial table saws, mitres saws and panel saws are expensive to purchase, operate and insure. also, people will have you cut something then find out they measured wrong and want to bring the lumber back. no precision cuts... we make one cut for free per board purchased and it's stated to be within 1/4". we actually had a guy want a cut at
x and 21/32".
 
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Old 07-10-09, 04:13 AM
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I really hate to admit this, but…

Well thanks everyone for the great help and advice. I have chickened out and haven’t gotten any of the suggested power methods. I would love to own one of the EZ Smart systems but WOW, the cost is way over my tiny budget. (By the way I saw that system demonstrated on the Time Warp show, very cool.) I considered a jigsaw very seriously but in the end I bought only a hand saw….:NWhining: Don’t get mad at me; I know how ironic my choice is after threatening a hissy fit. I just love my digits too much to threaten them like that.
As for Lowes charging for cuts; once again, some jerks ruin a good thing for the rest of us…
Thanks for the help any way.
 
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Old 07-10-09, 05:17 AM
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We're not mad at you. Glad you found your tool of choice. Some choices in life require us to get over our fears or adapt. You adapted.
 
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Old 07-10-09, 07:21 AM
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Also, keep watching for a friendly neighbor or contractor. MANY have workshops and would be quite willing to make a few custom cuts for you.

But be careful even with a hand saw. Start your cut by drawing the saw towards you and then push away. Wear a good glove on the hand holding the wood.

If you eventually want to reconsider a power tool, check out a starter program at one of the voc schools.

enjoy
Bud
 
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Old 07-10-09, 07:41 AM
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Just to throw this out...
Had a guy come in and buy 8 sheets of 3/4" MDF(?), wanted it cut into 4X8 blocks. $.25 per cut, and we weren't allowed to stack anything. Something like 1150 cuts, but he didn't want the dust mess at his house.

We had one guy running the radial non-stop for something like 3 hrs. What a PITA
 
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Old 07-10-09, 03:44 PM
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For $287 I'm not going to even ask what he was going to use the MDF in that small of pieces for.
 
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Old 07-10-09, 05:19 PM
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Some sort of shim or blocking for an interior brick wall I think? I probably would have used 1 x 4 pine myself..who knows? Prob an engineer...lol. We had a lot of those because of NASA and the collider nearby.
 
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Old 07-17-09, 02:35 AM
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Talking

Well I ended up going out and buying a miter box and saw. I sat down and started sawing and I was finished with the first cut in moments...
I figured it was some kind of fluke until the next cut and the next. I was finished in 35 minutes!!!
I don't know what I was expecting but I didn't think I'd cut it all by hand in under an hour!! I very rarely UNDER estimate myself but it was really fast and easyBeer 4U2
Maybe it was because the saw was new or I was having an unprecedented burst of energy... I don't know, but I regret all my *****ing about power saws when the manual way was so easy!
Oh, and by the way I still have 10 fingers and 10 toes!!
Sorry I wasted all your time!
 
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Old 07-17-09, 04:22 AM
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Not a waste of time at all, glad we could help.

Bud
 
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Old 07-17-09, 04:54 AM
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I use power tools only when I really have to

cordless tools like your handsaw served craftsman for years without power or laser guides

explore hand tools , they still do what they where designed for .

heres a good place to learn about doing things by hand
Neanderthal Haven - Sawmill Creek




(i will admit you wont find me doing much ripping by hand )
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Old 05-21-14, 08:11 AM
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Thanks everyone for this awesome thread and whippet1 for asking the exact questions that I've been wondering about!

I'm still trying to figure this one out. What I'm picking up from this thread is that a jig-saw is pretty safe - you might get a nasty gash but you don't hear about losing fingers - but not easy to keep an accurate line on. If Bud9051 lets his kids start with a jig-saw, maybe I'm just about ready for it too I often compare my DIY skill-level to that of a keen 7 year old.

I was also intrigued by flopshot's suggestion of a mitrebox and whippet1's response to using one. Does a mitrebox just help you with accuracy, or does it make it easier to saw? I'm totally new to working with wood and I'm just so damn slow and awkward with the saw!

Thanks
 
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Old 05-21-14, 10:17 AM
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Welcome to the forums lisep!

A power jigsaw is somewhat safer than a circular saw mainly because it doesn't move as fast or as aggressively giving you time to stop if you started to cut yourself. Clamping a fence to guide the jigsaw would help in cutting a straight line.

A power miter saw is more or less a skil saw mounted on an arm that you bring down to cut the wood. They do tend to give the most accurate cuts but are limited to the size of wood they will cut. There are also miter boxes that basically hold the wood in place and then you run a hand saw thru the slots to get the different angles.

Do you have any woodworking friends you could hang out with, helping them and learning in the process?
 
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Old 05-21-14, 02:19 PM
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Sawing

I am arriving late on this thread and I have one additional thought for beginners.

Invest in a couple of clamps to use to hold your work piece while you saw. You will find sawing much easier when you do not have give so much attention to holding the board while you saw.
 
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