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I too started out when the radial arm saw was queen of the shop. And found out it was more like the queen of harts in Alice in Wonderland. I got by and I did some interesting and creative work with the thing. And survived. Today it's still there, more or less permanently locked at 90 deg. Still good for careful cross cutting with a fine blade and (I think) still the easiest for dadoing (you can see the cut).
Knowing what I know now, I'd buy the biggest baddest band saw I could almost afford. I get by with a dinky table saw and a big out feed table. With the radial saw I'm stuck with and a chop saw I rarely cross cut on the table saw. The little table saw saved me enough to buy a whole lot of other goodies, including a nice chisel or two.
In the "good old days" the master carpenter would simply assign the tedious jobs to to his apprentices or journeymen. He still had to know his craft before he could tell them what to do and how to do it.
Main difference now is that swearing at your cnc machine isn't as satisfying as swearing at a clumsy apprentice.
Lie Nieslen tools are over rated. They are not over priced, considering how they are made, but the result simply don't justify the price for me. Lie Nieslen makes copies of old Stanley tools. I bought old Stanley tools at a fraction of the LN prices invested a little time in them. Even if I counted that time at my pre-retirement pay rate I'm still left with plenty of money to occasionally buy a modern Veritas tool. After a couple of misfires, the same economics now apply to the wooden planes I make.
This development is mildly interesting, but then so was Tata Motor's purchase of Jaguar and the local yacht dealer closing.
It is unrealistic to expect much beyond common courtesy from anyone working for peppercorn retail store wage rates. Most of the folks constantly grouse about "customer service" never had to "serve" the public. Makes you wonder what else is in their soup after they bad mouth a waitress.
If I wasn't so cheap, I wouldn't hesitate to buy LN tools based on FWW's reviews, without having to fondle them first. Good stuff, but so are $5 cigars and they won't let me light one up in that shop ether.
Gee Wizz. Usually you see this kind of stuff in a PC vs. Mac thread. A flame war with all that saw dust?
I make wooden stuff for a hobby. I have grand children. Sometimes I make nice stuff for posterity. Or because the kids need a bookcase, a shelf, a picnic table. Or for my wife's birthday.
A couple of interesting things seem to pop out at me:
-I can't afford LN tools.
-I can't afford the furniture the pros here make ether.
-The economic concerns of a handful of high priced professional furniture makers to the very rich has absolutely nothing to do with my reality.
-The comments of the pros are a bit like reading Miss July's turnons and turnoffs. Mildly interesting perhaps, but are they personally relevant? At my age? Not very likely.
-It's not that hard to acquire a vintage Stanley plane, tune it and replace the blade.
-I buy that old Stanley from an American who usually needs the money more than LN, LV or Woodcraft.
-I learned to make wooden planes. May never buy another iron one. And talk about savings!
-My Honda was made in here, by folks whose uncle couldn't get them a UAW job at GM. Not by foreigners.
One last thought. It's been a rather long time since I bought a copy of the magazine with the above mentioned Miss July in it, but I subscribe to Fine Wood Working. For the pictures.
I own a bench top drill press, lathe, sander, jointer, and table saw. Aside from the Ridgid oscillating belt/spindle sander, I would generally rather have full size machines. It boils down to cost, period.
The little lathe, with a bed extension really does do every thing I want to do. The small bench top drill press however is totally inadequate and the only way I get away with the tiny table saw is because I also have radial arm saw.
The 12 in. band saw falls flat when it comes to up stock for turning (raiding my brother in laws wood pile...). I have to use a chain saw.
The little jointer? Well I have a Stanley #8 and I need the exercise.
The main reason I built a router table was so that it could double as an out feed table for the dinky table saw. Not much of a table saw, but it sure beats ripping on a radial saw (!) and, having the radial saw, that's all I use it for. With a bigger band saw, one that would accommodate a wider blade, I would doubtless make a large auxiliary table and do my ripping there.
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