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Woodworking Power Tools

Using and selecting power tools is basic for success in the workshop. To help you better do just that, study the features in this section. While good tools are important, the skill in using them is equally critical.

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Woodworking Power Tool Uses

Woodworking Power Tool Uses

Always plan to buy the best tools that you can afford, but don't expect to buy all the tools that you'll eventually need at once. Instead, add tools as your woodworking knowledge and skills increase. Here's a guide to woodworking power tools that can help you make those purchase decisions.

You can buy several types of stationary (versus hand-held and portable) woodworking machines as either floor models or benchtop models. Floor models handle heavier woodworking chores.

Drill Press A drill press drills small holes and bores big ones. The depth can be accurately set. The table adjusts for angled drilling. Use the Drill Speed Chart (below) to help get the best results.

Router They are fixed-base or of the plunge type. The plunge router has more versatility because its up-and-down sliding motor housing enables you to start and end a cut in the middle of a board.

Jointer Jointers allow one to create a straight edge on a board and also to remove slight warps.

Tablesaw Besides their availability as either floor or benchtop models, tablesaws are sold in a contractor's style or a cabinetmaker's style. Both have the same blade adjustments, but the cabinetmaker's saw has more heft, power, and less vibration. The cabinetmaker's saw also normally requires 220 voltage and costs more than a contractor's saw.

Portable Circular Saw They have either a helical-gear or a worm-drive mechanism for driving the blade. The helical-gear is popular, but the worm-drive has more cutting power. In blade sizes from 4".

Drill/Driver Cordless drill/drivers look and feel bulkier than corded models because they contain a battery pack that draws up to 18 volts. Drill-drivers cost more than drills or drivers due to the clutch that controls the torque for driving crews.

Planer Thickness planers self-feed, taking the work out of dimensioning boards. They come in portable and floor models with board-capacities to 15" wide and 6" thick.board-capacities to 15" wide and 6" thick.

Portable Belt Sander Typically have belt sizes of either 3x18", 3x21", 3x24", or 4x24". The larger belt sizes cut more quickly.

Radial-Arm Saw If you can figure the angle, the pivoting blade and motor assembly of a radial-arm saw can cut it. The most popular size for home shops has a 10" blade.

Lathe A lathe provides the rotary power to spin a piece of wood, which you shape with a chisel. You make bowls by mounting wood to the headstock, spindles by mounting the wood between the headstock and tailstock.

Scrollsaw Much safer than any other power saw, a scrollsaw is often a hobby in itself. Its thin blade can maneuver through the tiniest pattern detail.

Bandsaw Table size and blade height determine the size of wood that you can saw. Smaller blades will cut tighter circles.

Continued on page 2:  Drill Press


Comments (15)
tonymackintoshn wrote:

Thanks for the insightful short article. Wasn't very helpful to me, but I'm sure this will help out newbies. Can anyone recommend me a new circular saw? I've been reading, but their selection of reviews is kind of large and I don't know what to pick.

10/16/2015 03:50:30 PM Report Abuse
billleccese wrote:

Hi i would like to congratulate the team that puts out the articles.they adjust our outlook to wood working. THANKS

9/1/2010 09:36:32 PM Report Abuse
rew49 wrote:

This is also good for wives who do not understand wood-working tools. This puts it simple and straight forward. For those who do not like the site try the back button. It's easy.

8/21/2010 10:13:44 AM Report Abuse
Curtis Hall wrote:

Magazines always struggle with trying to satisfy their main audience while attracting new readers, in this case beginning woodworkers. A better title on the article would have let readers know it was intended for beginners but anyone should be able to figure out if an article is worth reading after just a few lines. If it isn't, don't read it. It's not a big deal. Wood Magazine is a great magazine but it can't be everything for everyone.

8/21/2010 09:06:25 AM Report Abuse
sanseiru2512296 wrote:

Don't be so elitist about this. There are those that could use this information.

8/21/2010 08:29:25 AM Report Abuse
Don333 wrote:

I don't think that this was worthless - I remember when I was new I needed something like this to help me understand the tools - but it was poorly titled, which is why so many experienced woodworkers ended up taking a look and being dissapointed. If it had been titled "Beginners Guide to Woodworking Tools" perhaps the comments would be more favorable.

8/20/2010 07:34:49 AM Report Abuse
jefferywbarton wrote:

I've been a woodworker for 20 plus years. I'm not ashamed to admit that there is something that everyone out there could teach me. Move on.

8/19/2010 08:35:16 PM Report Abuse
lmcc1961 wrote:

thanks Wood Magazine. I find this useful as I dont know much about the tools....

8/19/2010 07:09:41 PM Report Abuse
devonq wrote:

Good stuff. It's unfortunate that the know-it-alls don't get it. Items like this make it easier to teach people new to woodworking and, unlike our jaded "experts" I can always learn something new. Good job!

8/19/2010 06:26:34 PM Report Abuse
bsjw38 wrote:

You guys saying it is a waste of time. I guess you were born with a drill press attached to your hip. Although I know how to use one. Other subscribers may not even own one yet. Be for real children. The magazine isnt just for the pro. Thank you Wood magazine for doing such a great job.

8/19/2010 05:12:09 PM Report Abuse
kayeh16 wrote:

So many magazines forget there are children and beginners who benefit greatly from basic information such as this. This is not a waste of anyone's time except those whose egos are too big to tolerate those who have not yet gained the experience and knowledge we all wish for.

8/19/2010 04:33:54 PM Report Abuse
BillBliss wrote:

I have the exact bandsaw as in this picture I beleive INCA I've had it for about 20 years GREAT BANDSAW

8/19/2010 04:10:43 PM Report Abuse
rayg813 wrote:

Perhaps there are people NEW to woodworking that may find ths interesting.

8/19/2010 10:59:09 AM Report Abuse
RICKF178 wrote:

Well I guess iwright knows it all but please pardon us that are not know it alls. Veru enjoyable reading and thank you very much WOOD.

8/19/2010 10:34:39 AM Report Abuse
zmaker wrote:

If you didn't already know this, how/why did you end up at a woodworking related web sight? Worthless waste of time.

8/19/2010 10:33:32 AM Report Abuse

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