Woodworking Saw Dust-all


Do you take pieces of wood, cut them up into smaller pieces, then connect them to each other to make things? Let's talk about it!

Show off the things you made, warts and all! Show off your shop, which I'm sure is totally organized and not at all covered in sawdust! Brag about your bargain tool finds! Complain about the ridiculous price of wood these days!

Here's a completely non-exhaustive list of resources if you're looking for learnings. I'll add to this if people post additional recommendations:

Steve Ramsey - Woodworking for Mere Mortals - This is a great place to start. He does a lot of stuff aimed at hobby level stuff using pretty basic techniques and tools. Almost exclusively power tool woodworking.

Stumpy Nubs - This one gets a lot more into fine woodworking, more advanced joinery, though also has a lot of videos aimed at beginners. Covers both power tool and hand tool woodworking.

DIY Creators - Lots of stuff for beginners. Mostly does projects with a very modern style, which is kind of unusual for the youtube woodworking channels I've found.

Bourbon Moth Woodworking - This guy only got started on youtube in earnest when Covid hit, so he's still developing his focus. He's been doing a lot of "watch me build a project while I narrate what I'm doing and why" stuff lately, which I find useful. Mostly power tool woodworking in a professional-level solo shop. Hates sanding. Good beard.

The Honest Carpenter - Actually more about trade carpentry for homeowners than strictly woodworking, but he's got a lot of videos about basic tool usage, which usually applies to woodworking too. Plus, there's probably a lot of overlap between people who do woodworking and who own homes that have wood in them.

Rex Krueger - Used to do power tool woodworking, but has transitioned mostly into hand tool and traditional woodworking. Lots of stuff about planes. Does woodworking professionally, but does it in a basement workshop.

Blacktail Studios - All about making epoxy pour hardwood tabletops. He's a one man professional shop, and mostly narrates as he's making a project. Not super helpful if you're not actually doing epoxy stuff, but it's pretty interesting to learn about.

url=https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKp... Wood Whisperer[/url] - He's a geek that does woodworking! Mostly power tools. Lots of stuff from beginner to advanced, and has a huge back catalog of content. Sells a bunch of project plans on the website that include detailed instruction videos. Kinda pricey, but might be worth it? (I haven't tried any of these, but maybe someone else has and can give feedback?)

Jonathan Katz-Moses - General woodworking, mostly power tools. Lots of jigs and other shop builds, along with a bunch of theory and explanation stuff. Also sells plans and tools on his website.

Non-Youtube Resources:
Woodworking for Mere Mortals - Steve Ramsey (from up above) also offers three paid courses that provide more detailed instruction over a series of progressively-advanced projects. I'm actually working through his Weekend Woodworker course now, and I'm enjoying it.

He also has a lot of written posts that are free that complement his free stuff on Youtube. Unfortunately, you kind of have to dig to find them on his site. The best way I've found is to go into a post, and then use the category list in the sidebar to go to a page that has all the articles in that category. This is one of the category pages, and you can dive into any article in there to find the rest of them.

Stumpy Nubs - Website for the Youtube channel above. Has a free email magazine, though I think they're transitioning to a new format soon? Also has a lot of plans available for sale.

Ana White - Tons of free plans, heavy focus on building with very basic tools, using basic lumber from Home Depot. If you see a "look at my first project!" post, there's a 50% chance it'll be one of her plans.

/r/BeginnerWoodWorkng - Really helpful subreddit for asking questions, getting advice, and posting projects. Some project posts push the definition of beginner. "Look at my first dovetail attempt" post not required but strongly encouraged.

/r/Woodworking - Where the real woodworkers hang out. Lots of good advice, lots of pretty pictures, can occasionally make you despair about your own lack of skills.

/r/WoodworkConfessions - Where you go to feel better about your skills by reading about other people screwing up.

I am beginning to dip my toes. My wife got me a knife set and some wood to begin whittling.

I'm going to start there and see how it goes. After that I'm going to begin making Halloween and Christmas decorations.

I've held vague aspirations for a long time, and I've recently cleared enough space in the garage to once again do something, so my interest is piqued. I definitely don't have all the optimal tools/equipment, and table saws terrify me, so I'm trying to see how far I can get without adding one to the mix. Haven't tackled anything too ambitious yet, built some cheap raised garden beds a couple years back and I'm currently knocking together a small fence for a garden border.

Anyone have a preferred cheap, versatile solution for supporting various lengths of wood? I've got a battered old Craftsman folding workbench that I've been using for just about everything, but without another support of matching height it's always a pain to work with larger pieces.

I've been slowly getting into this over the last year or so. I've been watching a TON of woodworking youtubers, and going "hmmm..." Last summer, my wife got me a Ryobi jobsite table saw, which I proceeded to do nothing with until the fall, when I got a set of standing desk legs and "built" a top for them. The top was really just a piece of red oak plywood that I added a 3/4" band of solid oak to, then stained and sealed. It came out pretty okay, but has a lot of pretty obvious flaws.

Now that the weather's warmed up, I've been getting more serious about it. I've been rearranging the garage to make more space, and I'm working on putting some of the clutter in order. I've also been working on building out my arsenal of tools. I either already had, or picked up, most of the basics. I already had drill and driver with a million basic bits, a circular saw, and miter saw. I picked up a corded router with a fixed and plunge base, oscillating sander, and a bunch of miscellaneous small stuff like sandpaper, a few more specialized drill bits, squares, that sort of thing.

Two things I learned pretty quickly: I hated my table saw, and it's really limiting and expensive to need to get milled lumber. The saw did cut things, but the top was really small, the whole thing felt really light, it had a single bad miter slot, and I never really trusted the fence to be straight or accurate to the scale. Every cut I made, I was measuring off the front and back of the blade multiple times, and it was a pain supporting any workpiece of any size. For lumber, having to get S3S or S4S meant that I could only get certain types of wood, and it was more expensive than roughsawn.

So I started trolling through Craigslist and FB marketplace posts looking for a table saw upgrade, a jointer, and planer. About a month ago, I finally hit paydirt, and found a Craftsman 152 hybrid saw with a full cast iron top for $200 in really good shape, and I managed to snag it. When I picked it up, the guy said that I beat out the next guy by about 20 minutes in contacting him, and he'd gotten a dozen people asking about it throughout the day. I got it home, cleaned it up a bit, waxed it, and it's SO MUCH BETTER than my original table saw.

Pre-cleanup and wax job:

Since I've got two young kids, one struggle has been finding time that I can actually do work in the garage without my wife feeling like I abandoned her. Recently, I've started doing 30-60 minutes in the garage in the mornings, in between dropping off the kids and signing on to work. It's worked out pretty well! Unfortunately, the garage shares walls/ceilings with all three bedrooms, going out after everyone's in bed isn't a great option, but this'll do.

So far, I've build a basic work bench:

A little patio table:

And a starter french cleat section, and storage for my clamps and drill stuff:

I'm still on the lookout for a deal on a planer and 6" jointer, and I started watching for a dedicated dust collector. I put together a DIY dust separator for the shop vac which'll help, but I'll want something bigger if I get the other two tools.

I've even been using my 3d printer! I printed out some little painting pyramids, a center finding jig, and a thing that lets you cut the exact right size dados (which I pretty quickly obsoleted by finding a deal on a dado stack, but it's still cool).

Used xmas money and got a nice Bosch plunge and fixed base router combo kit. Just bought a nice dewalt 12 inch sliding double miter saw. Going to build a cart for it as well as 2 side carts that can be clipped together and used as an outfeed table for my table saw. Just need to buy some lumber, which is going through the roof right. Though have to finish kitchen remodel first, sigh. Anyway, see this video for something similar to what I plan to do, minus the leveling capabilities of the side tables.

Clever OP topic is clever, and I'm intensely jealous of your workshops.

benign1 wrote:

Anyone have a preferred cheap, versatile solution for supporting various lengths of wood? I've got a battered old Craftsman folding workbench that I've been using for just about everything, but without another support of matching height it's always a pain to work with larger pieces.

If I understand the issue, I think a basic rolling cart with locking wheels would be a good solution. It can roll out of the way when you don't need it, and also have some storage in it. There are a lot of videos on the 'Tube about making rolling carts.

Unfortunately, it may not be cheap unless you have scrap lumber lying around.

I recently bought these casters to put on an old cart I had my laser printer on and stored paper in. Two of the plastic wheels had broken off and Kit wanted me to throw it away. It's now in my garage and will maybe hold my mitre saw at some point. The wheels seem fairly sturdy. I plan on getting 3" ones for my cheap-o work bench I built about 17 years ago so I can roll it if needed.


Tagging! I built a goat trough back in the day...

When my brother and his wife were living with us for 5(?) months last year, we built some storage shelves in my garage. I bought the smallest Kreg pocket hole jig for the cross beam supports and loved it. I used it again last week on a table I slapped together with scraps I had. It looks bad compared to Chaz's awesome patio table, though. I'll still post a pic when I get it painted. Pocket hole joinery isn't the prettiest, but it sure holds strong. You can buy plugs to fill the holes, too, if you really want.

We pretty much used Ana White's plans for the shelves.

Here's the shelves (and my Bro that was kind enough to help). Looks like I hadn't screwed down the plywood, yet, when that last pic was taken.






Has anyone bought a track saw add-on for your existing circular saw? If so, what are your thoughts on it?


No, but I plan on building a track saw addon for my circular saw. I've seen quite a few tutorials on youtube for them.

The biggest project I've done is my farmhouse table last year. It's a whopping 10 ft long table that can seat 4 people on each side and 1 on each end.

There's lots of little things I would have done differently and better, but it was a great first BIG project for me.


benign1 wrote:

Anyone have a preferred cheap, versatile solution for supporting various lengths of wood? I've got a battered old Craftsman folding workbench that I've been using for just about everything, but without another support of matching height it's always a pain to work with larger pieces.

I try and build all of my workbenches and tool stands so that they are the exact same height. I also put casters on everything. I then built a set of simple I frame saw horses that are the same height as well.

All that said, I also have a cheap set of these that I bought at harbor freight that I use ALL the time to support a long board. They're light and super fast to adjust the height on as needed. And the tops roll. So feeding something super long into a table saw is easy with them.



Oh excellent. I was thinking about starting a thread but this is perfect.

I am still starting out and I am not very good but I'm working on it! Right now we're trying to get the garage reorganized to be able to do more extensive projects. I really like using the Dewalt cordless tools and have a good set but I'm really looking forward to getting a nice table saw to help make things easier. The first project I did was to make a router table that I can attach my cordless router to so I made this:

Mine is nowhere near as pretty as the video but it works and is super portable. Next is a work cart for the garage on casters. That miter saw stand linked above also looks super useful for my miter saw.

Those roller stands seem great for that price.

I love all of the above projects. Thanks for starting this thread, Chaz.

I would love to have scored that table saw for $200. Nice find.


benign1 wrote:

Anyone have a preferred cheap, versatile solution for supporting various lengths of wood? I've got a battered old Craftsman folding workbench that I've been using for just about everything, but without another support of matching height it's always a pain to work with larger pieces.

If you mean a makeshift workbench, two saw horses and a nice 3/4 piece of plywood work well. For an outfeed it's tough to beat the roller stands that astralplaydoh posted.

I've done a few projects, including a nice desk with a drawer that my son uses for his PC. I used dimensional lumber and gel stain as I made it out of poplar. It's aged nicely (the green in poplar gets more brown over time) and continues to work well. Also made a bathroom countertop that I really, really need to reseal.

My biggest issue is space. I have a one stall garage that's filled with bikes and stuff we need to get rid of. I am forever moving things from one place to another so I can either work on bikes or woodworking. I don't seem to have room for both.

Second biggest issue is lighting. I hope to rectify that next month with some led lighting.

I do need to do something for the outfeed of my table saw. When I got the new saw, I was halfway through building the workbench, and wasn't clever enough to make sure that it was the same height as the saw, so it's actually about 6" low. I'm planning to add some additional blocking on the bottom to get it to the same height.

If you're more looking for something specifically for the miter saw, there's a bunch of folding stands out there with extendible arms. I got a Ryobi one when I got the miter saw years ago, and it works well.

The down side is that it takes up a bunch of room when it's set up, and since it's not a solid surface, you can wind up having to constantly pull the support in if you're cutting a long piece into multiple smaller ones. I don't have the space to keep mine set up, so it's kind of a pain to use the miter saw. My plan is to build a rolling miter saw stand with fold-down wings in the near future.

If you're thinking about doing the sawhorses and plywood workbench thing, it's worth grabbing a pair of 2x4s to put the plywood on. A lot of prefab saw horses have two little notches in the top that are just the right size to hold a 2x4 on the narrow edge. Put two boards across the two horses, then the plywood on top of that, and the thing will be a lot more stable than the plywood by itself.

Added a bunch of links to the OP. Let me know what else I should add.

Both the workbench and patio table I posted above are from Steve Ramsey's Weekend Woodworker course. They're super basic construction, though they do look nice.

I'm a huge fan of Steve Ramsey but.......I used to like him WAY better when he actually posted regular tutorials on Youtube.

Chaz wrote:

Added a bunch of links to the OP. Let me know what else I should add.

Both the workbench and patio table I posted above are from Steve Ramsey's Weekend Woodworker course. They're super basic construction, though they do look nice.

The wood whisperer is great. https://thewoodwhisperer.com/

Thanks for the rec, Evil. I'd seen a few of his videos in the Youtube recommendations, but I hadn't watched many. I did a dive into them this weekend, and I'm sold. Added that and another to the OP.

I actually got to spend a bunch of time on shop stuff this weekend. The boring, but excellent thing, is I finally finished cleaning the place up. Pulled out all the warm weather yard stuff, got everything up off the floor, and vacuumed everything. I've been wanting to get this done for literally six months, and it's awesome to finally have it done. It also means I can actually get to and use my lifting equipment, so hopefully I can get back into that.

One of the things I did a weekend or two ago was make this super simple dust separator. It's not perfect, and I still need to tweak it a bit, but until I get a better dust collector, this is doing a really good job keeping most of the dust out of the shop vac's filter.

The main thing I got done was to build a storage box to keep kid books in. I could've kept this really simple, but I wanted to try some new stuff, so I went slightly over-complicated, and decided to make it with rabbet joints and cut handles into the end panels. Mostly, I wanted to use the dado stack and plunge router. Sorry in advance for how long this is, and the lack of photos. I should remember to actually take in progress pictures if I'm gonna write these novels.

Obviously, lumber is stupid expensive, and this only needed to be functional, so I went with the most cost-effective option. That wound up being these pine bed slats. They're basically 1x4s that were around 38" long, and wound up being ever so slightly cheaper than a single 8' 1x4, so I grabbed a half dozen.

I glued them up in pairs to get wider panels. Also made two sets cauls to try and keep them flat. That worked okay, but these are cheap Home Depot pine, so there was always going to be some cupping and twisting, and there was! I always think I'm clever by doing glue ups last in the day, but the down side of that is dealing with squeeze out. The neater method is to let the squeeze out sit for about 30 minutes, then scrape it off while it's still soft, but before it fully cures. Except I never, ever remember to go back out and do that, so I wind up either wiping it off immediately (which makes a wide, thin area to sand off later) or leave it until hard (which has you sanding off thicker nubs along the joint). I need to get better about using the right amount of glue so there's less squeeze out, and do the half hour thing.

After I started laying out my cuts, I realized that I needed the bottom of the box to be wider than the double board panel gave me, so I cut two of the panels to the length I wanted the crate to be, and glued those together. This is where I noticed that I had a bunch of flat sawn boards, and I hadn't alternated the grain patterns. Oops.

Got everything out of clamps and sanded the faces as flat as I could. Since I don't have milling equipment, the joints were kind of uneven, but a bunch of sanding mostly took care of it. I really need to get some 60 grit discs for my sander.

Then I got to play with the dado stack! I did a bunch of playing around with setup blocks on a test piece, and was confused why I could set the blade height against the block, but wind up with a shallower rabbet than I wanted. I think it might have been two things. First, the outside blades of the dado stack are ground at an angle, with the high angle on the outside, and the chippers are a bit lower. I was using the outer blades to set the height, so gonna need to figure out how to do that better. I also wonder if the blade might be dropping a bit when the stack gets up to speed, because I wasn't locking the height adjust down.

Got it figured out, and started cutting joints. I did mostly okay, but went a hair too far in on the rabbets of the box bottom, so I had to tweak the others, and had some overhang I needed to clean up later. Some of the inconsistency may have also been the boards being unevenly milled. I really need a jointer and planer. I got everything dialed in pretty closely, glued and in clamps. I picked up a strap clamp, which worked really well.

Next was all the sanding! Yay sanding. Then I wanted to cut handles in the end panels. I could've drilled starter holes and used the jigsaw to cut the rest, but where's the fun in that? So I pulled out the plunge base for the router. I laid out the cut lines for the handle, put in a straight cut bit, and set up the edge guide, plus two stop blocks on the sides. I did two setups, one to cut the two short and one long edge, then a second to cut the other long edge.

The annoying thing I discovered is that my router base is a different shape on one side than the other, so flipping it around to put the edge guide on the opposite side would've meant adjusting the stop blocks. I'm lazy, so I didn't do that. But what I didn't remember is that with the way I was pushing the router vs the side the edge guide was on, I was doing a climb cut, and also had to push the router away from the edge I was cutting to keep pressure on the edge guide. That was awkward and bad, and I messed up the edge a bit. I need to not do that.

I got the handles cut out okay, then threw a roundover bit on to ease the edges of the handles and the top of the sides. This is where I wish I had a palm router, because balancing the full size router on a 3/4" surface is blah. After that, it was just sanding the edges I routed, and put on a coat of paint. Behold, a box!


The other thing I did is spend some time getting more comfortable with Sketch Up, and made a set of plans for a storage unit for sanding stuff.


The slots on the bottom left are to hold these things that hold sanding discs and let you line up the holes when you're putting them on. I've got some of those made already, and just need to tweak the length of the dowels I used. The section on the right will be for full sheets. The rest of the spaces will be for the sander, tack cloths, sanding blocks and sticks, and probably a can of spray adhesive. Let's see how this goes!

Really appreciate all the workbench/work support suggestions, just now getting around to looking at all of them. Budget is probably the deciding factor, and I don't have great amounts of extra wood lying around, so it's likely sawhorses, 2x4s, and plywood for now. But I definitely have a better idea of what to aspire to in future.

You can get a long way with 2x4s and plywood. That workbench up there is just six 2x4s and a single sheet of 3/4" plywood. You could probably do it with less plywood if you didn't do the shelves.

Chaz wrote:

You can get a long way with 2x4s and plywood. That workbench up there is just six 2x4s and a single sheet of 3/4" plywood. You could probably do it with less plywood if you didn't do the shelves.

Nice, I didn't realize that! I need to check what I have on hand, but I'm probably not far off...especially if I could run with a single layer MDF top for now and add on or replace it later. Meantime I'm definitely picking up one or two of those roller stands to help with building that.

MDF is pretty good for a workbench top. It's smoother and flatter for one. I like to put a very thin sheet of hardboard or mdf on the top of any workbench I make so that I can change it out if it ever gets too many cuts or gouges in it.

Yeah, I've heard that suggestion a few places. If you go with MDF, just make sure it's supported, because it's not as strong across a span as plywood. You might also want to do something to protect the edges, because MDF is prone to getting damaged there. Could probably just throw on a strip of iron on edge banding and that'd be good enough. I'm just leaving mine as plywood for now, and plan on some future bench being a full-on solid wood monster thing with vices and holes for holdfasts/bench dogs and stuff.

I've been working on that sanding storage unit that I designed up above. I get to play with my dado stack! First thing I did was start wearing gloves when changing the saw blade so I stop scraping my knuckles.

The throat plate that I made is working pretty well.

I spent a bit of time playing around with the dado stack setup to find the one that gave me the best fit. I'll probably hang onto this piece and add to it so later, I can pull it out and see if one of them fits the piece I'm working with, and if it does, I'll know exactly how to set the stack up again. Hopefully it'll save me some time later.

Got most of the dados and rabbets cut. One thing I learned pretty quickly is that doing these cuts, it's really vital that you keep a lot of downward pressure on the piece as it goes over the blades. If you don't, you wind up with minor variations in the depth of the cut, which is bad. Fortunately, the fix is "send it through again, push harder, dummy."

Hey, the rabbet joints fit pretty good!

I maaybe could have gone ever so slightly wider on the dados.

Some forceful convincing got them in. We'll see if it's easier or harder once I add glue.

All the major pieces fit together surprisingly well. I still need to cut the slots, dividers, and nailer pieces, then glue it all up.

Nice! I love those sorts of projects. Simple yet super useful.

Sigh. My garage is completely clogged with Christmas decorations that, up until a week ago, were still in the house but my wife quickly stashed them out there because someone was coming over and now I can't get to any of my tools.

My near term projects are a table saw sled for cross-cutting, a tray for my nightstand, and a foot stool.

Asterith wrote:

Nice! I love those sorts of projects. Simple yet super useful.

Yup, and I love the "as I went along" pics. Thanks!


This is kind of turning into a liveblog, so hopefully it's interesting or helpful to people.

My goal this morning was to get the slots cut, and then assemble the main body. The thin slots go all the way through the piece, so I'd use the table saw to cut those. The other slots I didn't want to go all the way, through, because the cabinet was going to be deeper than the pieces going in them, and I didn't want them to slide too far back. Doing those on the table saw would be iffy, so I'm going to use the router on them.

Setting up the dado stack was easy. The slots needed to fit 1/4" slats, and didn't really need to hold them tightly. The stack's thinnest cut setting wound up being just right. The trick with all these slots is that I needed to make five or six slots, and they needed to line up with the slots opposite them. The easiest way to do that is to set up for one slot, then cut both pieces on that setup, then set up the next, and so on. The slots were going to be evenly spaced, so I just needed to get the first one in the right spot, then move the fence 3/4" out for the next. This is where it's super nice to have a fence and measuring tape that I know I can trust.

I got everything cut, and noticed that the last slot on one of the pieces was way closer to the 1/2" dado than the other. I put them next to each other, and...

Uh-oh. What I'd forgotten is that one of those pieces was 1/2" wider than the other, because it goes into a dado on the side panels, while the other piece is the full width. That means that when I measured in from the outside edge of the base piece to set the first slot's position, I actually needed to move the position on the other piece 1/4" toward the edge to account for the dado. Lesson learned. I did some thinking about whether to cut a whole new piece, but decided that the adjusted slots would fit on the other half of the board, I didn't care about having some extra slots visible on it. So I got those cuts done, using the other piece as a reference.

Everything fits now! Something that's interesting to notice in the first photo is that the piece on the left has no tearout on the edges of the slots, while the one on the right has a bunch. That's a great lesson in the difference between a rip cut on the left (cutting with the grain) and a cross cut on the right (cutting across the grain). If I cared about tearout for this project, I'd really want to either make sure that both pieces had the grain running in the same direction so the slots went with the grain, or used a crosscut blade on the saw to cut the slots.

Next was routing out the non-through slots. Setting this up was kind of a pain. Setting the edge guide parallel to the slot would've been ideal, but the piece was tall enough that I didn't think the edge guide would reach. I wound up using the edge guide as a stop block to define the end of the cut, and clamped a board to use as a fence to make the cut straight. The problem was figuring a way to clamp the fence on both ends when it needed to be in the middle of the piece. I wound up basically keeping the fence at the edge of the bench, and hanging the work piece off the end. That worked fine.

The second trick was getting the fence consistently perpendicular to the work piece. I did that by positioning the router where I needed it, then using a speed square to line up the fence and clamped it. That was a pain. I found that using the squeezy-handle clamps actually tended to shift the fence as I clamped it, so I switched to f-clamps, which worked better. Each setup took a lot longer than I'd have liked, but I got it done eventually. I've got an idea or two for how I could improve that next time.

Can you spot where I derped out and forgot to release the depth stop, stop the router, or pick it up before I moved it? Cuz I sure can! Fortunately I was taking a shallow cut, it's in a spot where it's not really visible, and I obviously don't care about visible mistakes. Tomorrow, more routing!