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Craig Ruegsegger

Idea Shop 6, Paycheck 12: Cut it Close

With the previous check, we recommended buying a thin-kerf blade. This paycheck, and some savings from your nest egg, purchase a blade designed to make wide cuts, along with

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Idea Shop 6, Paycheck 11: Through Thick and Thin

Idea Shop 6If your saw struggles to cut thick or dense wood, invest in a thin-kerf blade (about $30). Because the thinner blade removes less wood, it requires less power to make a cut.

Although only 1⁄32″ thinner than a regular blade, that’s about 25% less Read more

Idea Shop 6, Paycheck 10: The Tablesaw Arrives!


With the purchase of a tablesaw, the shop starts to look like a shop. If you’ve never used a tablesaw before, don’t worry, we have lots of resources to help you get started. The first step is getting the saw unloaded and assembled. Your best resources here are a strong friend or two for unloading, and the owner’s manual for assembly. We have a few tips of our own that make assembly easier, especially if
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Idea Shop 6, Paycheck 9: Clamp Down and Rack ‘em Up

Idea Shop 6By now you have several hundred dollars squirreled away. With the addition of another paycheck’s budgeted amount, you’ll have enough to purchase a tablesaw and then begin accessorizing it. But first, add a set of clamps. Woodworkers joke that you can never
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Idea Shop 6, Paycheck 8: Of All of the Wood Joints in All the World

Idea Shop 6With the previous paycheck, you dipped into the savings to purchase a router. Most of this check will replenish the bank, with the exception of about $20 spent on a mortising router bit. Read more

Idea Shop 6, Paycheck 7: On the Right Rout

Idea Shop 6Many woodworkers rate a router as the most versatile tool in a shop. It performs dozens of operations: creating decorative edges on workpieces, cutting dadoes, grooves, and rabbets (see definitions of those terms at the end of this article) for joinery, duplicating parts, and more. If you haven’t used a router before, get started with the basics of handheld router operations here. Read more

Idea Shop 6, Paycheck 6: A Plumb-perfect Rack

Idea Shop 6Much of this paycheck finds it way into the piggy bank, helping grow the balance for the purchase of a router in a few weeks. 

About $25 purchases materials for a wall-mounted rack to hold boards. Secured to wall studs by lag bolts, Read more

Idea Shop 6, Paycheck 5: Rack ‘em Up

Idea Shop 6Building projects requires boards and plywood, and that requires places to store those materials. Part of this check’s budgeted amount buys the plywood, lumber, screws, and casters to make a rolling rack that doubles as a sheet-goods cutting station. Read more

Idea Shop 6, Paycheck 4: Teach an Old Drill New Tricks

Idea Shop 6Jigs such as your straightline cutting guides and crosscutting jig help you work more accurately. With this check, you’ll add that kind of accuracy to your cordless drill, and outfit it to do a job you may not have thought about: Read more

Idea Shop 6, Paycheck 3: Get on Your High Horse

Idea Shop 6Working on the floor takes a toll on the knees and back. With this check, you build a pair of sawhorses to elevate your work. When the job is done, the sawhorses fold flat for storage.

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