Friday, September 11, 2009


Hum...haven't posted here for 4 months! Really haven't been doing anything that extrodinary and haven't had anything to post about. But I thought of something today worth talking about.

So I have been spending a lot of time out in my shop recently building halloween props. And I have been giving a lot of thought to what tools I'd like to purchase first. I have had a long list of tools that I want for some time but I started thinking about what do I REALLY want the most. And I thought of 3 very important ones.

First on my list is a new Band Saw. I own a small table top version that to put it plainly SUCKS. It isn't big enough to cut anything large and it is cheap and won't cut straight to save it's life. I am a big fan of Delta so I want the 28-276 14" 3/4HP open stand band saw. This puppy runs about $400.

Next on my list of tools is a table saw. I own a simple right tilt 10" contractor saw with a VERY cheap fence that can't cut a square line to save it's life. It also has cheap pressed metal wings that are not smooth or worth much of anything. I probably counldn't even sell the saw for $50 on craigslist because thats about how much a new one would cost. I replaced the motor in it after a few years so I've paid more for it than its worth.

So what I want instead is a Delta 36-982 10" left tilt contractors saw with a 30" Biesemeyer commercial fence. This new version comes with cast iron wings and a nice mobile base. It has a 1.5HP induction motor. The left tilt blade makes cutting angles MUCH easier. It costs a mere $1000.

Something else that is on my list is a Delta 50-875 3-Speed Air Filtration system with remote. I have no doors or windows in my woodshop and I'm sure I've probably cut years off my life with the amount of junk I have inhaled. This bad boy can go through 1200 cubic feet per minute of air capable of filtering the air in a 20 by 20 foot room 13 to 18 times an hour. Not really high on my list but probably a must have. This one costs about $500.

Well, all of these are nice but I've decided what my first purchase is going to be. I've always wanted a CNC machine. My main idea for one is to carve really complex tombstones out of foam and other foam based products using a rotary tool. I've looked at the shopbot but that puppy is $8000 which is WAY beyond my reach. So I have discovered the DIY CNC sites and found that I can build my own CNC machine by purchasing kits and following some plans and using free software and my own laptop for about $600. I'm thinking that it would be fun to make my own. It will be sort of like a hobby kit that I can put together this winter. I'm quite confident that my computing skills will come in handy to understand the software side. It might take a little more effort to build the actual machine. I'll probably find a plan that is simple enough to meet my needs. More to come on this...

Shopbot for $8000 DIY CNC for about $600


Quin said...

Very cool! I too would like a CNC machine - sure, could become a member of Portland TechShop and have use of cool equipment. But I like the idea of making one too. Will have to follow in your footsteps!

YamFu said...

Oh where, oh where did our little Jeff go? Oh where, oh where can he be?