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Just got the TS up and running this weekend.  It's great.  I'm well on my way to building a coffee table.  My problem is making mortises.  I'm trying to avoid buying any more big tools for now -- so a mortiser is out of the question.  I also want to avoid buying a $800 FMT.  So I'm trying to make templates -- and they're a huge pain in the ass.

Two words for you, Plate Joiner. In 30 years of doing this I have never cut a mortise or a tenon. Dowels or plates are all we used. Be a purist if you like but if the tools are available use them.

If you don't want to use plate joiners, dowels are a good alternative... and no templates. :rolleyes:

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When I found myself with a three-car garage and but one car that sits in the driveway, I thought to myself, "hey, I could put a woodworking shop in here."   About $1,500 later, I've got lots of co

Very impressive, Stone.   I've always wanted a Nakashima. I think the pieces are more akin to sculpture than furniture. The prices are prohibitive now, of course. Why, oh why didn't my parents l

If you don't want to use plate joiners, dowels are a good alternative... and no templates.

One of my former bosses was big time into woodworking. Coupla thou in tools, easy. Made cabinets, bookshelves, tables, etc.

 

We went to a place in the Bronx for specialty woods, maybe Constantino's(?) and he was in ecstacy. Many different kinds of wood, finish materials, bits, etc. Wide range of templates, framing instructions, etc.

 

I build shelves, cabinet units, closet inserts, etc but nothing like furniture.

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Plate joining will add strength were-as dowels are only good for alignment. Test were done by Fine Woodworking Magazine on all kinds of combinations. Something to do with Glue surface area, which I understand but is far to long to explain here. Lets just say that end grain doesn't glue well.

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Plate joining will add strength were-as dowels are only good for alignment. Test were done by Fine Woodworking Magazine on all kinds of combinations. Something to do with Glue surface area, which I understand but is far to long to explain here. Lets just say that end grain doesn't glue well.

Everything I've read suggests that biscuits don't add strength (although joining end grain may be an exception). Wood glue bonds, such as Tightbond, seem to be considered stronger than wood itself.

 

But for most of what I want to do, biscuits wouldn't work. Dowels might, but I'd rather learn mortise and tenon joinery. I have convinced my family to split the cost of a good M&T jig for my birthday.

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You folks are awesome.  I can't even nail two boards together  :lol:

I see woodworking and cooking as having a lot in common. Both require a basic interest in accomplishing something, the thirst for the knowledge to find out how it's done... and patience.

 

With a few basic tools (wood or kitchen) and techniques, one can create a "work of art", or just quickly slap something together for immediate satisfaction. Either way, if you make something that someone else enjoys, you still get that certain feeling that comes when you've made someone happy. :o

 

In both fields, you'll find those who prefer power tools (jointers, sanders, routers... food processors, blenders, stand mixers), those who prefer more traditional methods (hand tools, the craftsmanship of joinery... a set of knives, a pan and a fire) and a lot of people that fall between the extremes.

 

Everyone has an opinion and/or a million questions.

 

In both endeavours, edge tools must be kept very sharp and all tools must be clean and free of rust.

 

Whatever the interest, it should be enjoyable. :rolleyes:

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Everything I read says that I will not be able to make decent furniture without a planer and jointer. 

What - you're going to make furniture? I thought all that gear was for making jigs and other tools for optimizing your woodshop - at least, that's what my hubby uses HIS for :rolleyes:

 

What I have learned from supporting the habit of my shop-mad husband:

 

Fine Woodworking is porno for woodheads - also the Lee Valley catalogue

You can never be too rich, too thin, or own too many clamps.

For domestic peace, get good protection ear (eye and ear) and make an investment in dust collection (see Lee Valley, above)

 

Fly

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The Brits and the Japanese make really elegant and serviceable hand tools, with Japanese saws being works of art as well as hard workers (but they are mostly backward, cutting on the pull rather than the push, and thus require some getting used to).

Japanese pull saws are awesome. I have one that I use for all manner of little household jobs; coupled with a silly wooden mitre box, it's kept me from calling in a carpenter for any number of fixes.

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