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Cost to have carpenter make cuts

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I know this sort of defeats the purpose of DIY, but I'm tired of my equipment failing on me or just not working properly. Whether it's a wobbly fence on a table saw or a bent shoe on a circular saw, I'm a living example of murphy's law. As such, I'm considering having a carpenter or cabinet maker just cut up the pieces I need so I at least can build my boxes knowing they're square and I won't have to do any repair work. I've got two sheets of 4x8MDF ready to go with the lines already marked, I just need someone to cut them. How much do you think they'd charge? In total, there's 18 different panels I'll need done. See below.

post #2 of 27
I'd think maybe $50-$100 depending on the guy. If he had a big saw, he could rip all those pieces in half hour easy.
post #3 of 27
what u need is a track saw.
post #4 of 27
I suggest adding your general location to your info, as someone here is likely to help you out if you're near enough.
post #5 of 27
I just had Arauco 3/4" 4'x8' sheets cut to my needed dimension at a local lumber yard. I had 3 sheets cut first and they charged me $10 per sheet. I came back and had 4 sheets cut and was charged $5 per sheet. My cuts were for bookshelves and towers so, there were lots of panels in the end.
post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frosteh View Post

I've got two sheets of 4x8MDF ready to go with the lines already marked, I just need someone to cut them.

Make sure you mark on the panels what the sizes should be, don't just mark cut lines. Different blades have different cutting widths, so if you need panels that are 12 3/4" wide the spacing you need between the panels will be different based on the blade that is used (for example, I have standard and 'thin kerf' blades for my table saw).

+1 on providing location information, there are lots of friendly folks out there that would help if you are close enough. A local cabinet marker would be a good choice if you cannot find someone local to help you. I would not rely on the box stores to cut them for you, I have heard too many stories about the inaccuracy of their cuts.
post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 
I live in Kirkland, WA. Those cuts are meant for a 1/8" saw blade, which I think is pretty common for most applications. I think part of my issue is that my skil saw is many years old and the crappy base plate has bent and the depth/angle adjustments don't stay straight any more. Perhaps it's high time I just buy a new saw.

I do like the track saw idea. PeachTree USA has some t-track that I could use to DIY a track and base. I think this may be the way to go.
post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frosteh View Post

Perhaps it's high time I just buy a new saw.
I do like the track saw idea. PeachTree USA has some t-track that I could use to DIY a track and base. I think this may be the way to go.

Using a DIY project to justify buying new toys tools? Shame on you! tongue.gif

If you want quality results, you will want to invest in some quality tools. You don't need to spend a lot, but you don't want to go the cheap route either.
post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeerParty View Post

Using a DIY project to justify buying new toys tools? Shame on you! tongue.gif
If you want quality results, you will want to invest in some quality tools. You don't need to spend a lot, but you don't want to go the cheap route either.

I know! How dare I!?!? The big question now is, worm gear or sidewinder circular saw? I've used both, but never used a good sidewinder.
post #10 of 27
Er, both?

I've used a $40 Skil Saw and it works just fine. Honestly I've never thought of using my worm drive saw. That's more of a heavy duty construction lumber kind of device than a precision MDF knife.

It's all in the setup and how well you hold it against the guide. I haven't used a track saw yet. I just whack 4x8 sheets down to under 4x4 and then it's on to the table saw. There is no substitute for a high end table saw with a good fence and extension tables. Mark the edges/corners that are straight/square and use your fence/sleds to cut all the others to be parallel and square too. The "rough" cuts need to be trimmed off with the table saw...
post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 
Unfortunately I don't have a large stationary table saw. I made a nice straight jig for my circular saw but the issue is that, even though the jig is straight, the saw shoe is unstable and the saw wobbles at non-90* angles. Believe me, if I had a nice big table saw I'd be using it.
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frosteh View Post

Unfortunately I don't have a large stationary table saw. I made a nice straight jig for my circular saw but the issue is that, even though the jig is straight, the saw shoe is unstable and the saw wobbles at non-90* angles. Believe me, if I had a nice big table saw I'd be using it.

Time for a new circular saw. Do you have a router? For a rectangular prism with butt joints, only two sides need to be perfect. The rest just need one good edge, oversize the rest of the edges. Then a flush trim bit in a router.
post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cptomes View Post

Er, both?

Whoops. Just realized what you meant. What I was trying to say is I've never used a GOOD sidewinder, only my 20 year old Skil that's pretty beat up. The worm gear i used I did like, but it seemed pretty damn heavy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cptomes View Post

Time for a new circular saw. Do you have a router? For a rectangular prism with butt joints, only two sides need to be perfect. The rest just need one good edge, oversize the rest of the edges. Then a flush trim bit in a router.

I do. However, I need to replace that as well. The plunge knob no longer holds at a certain depth, and I can't plunge with anything larger than a 1/4" bit (unless I pre-drill a hole to put the router bit in).
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frosteh View Post

Whoops. Just realized what you meant. What I was trying to say is I've never used a GOOD sidewinder, only my 20 year old Skil that's pretty beat up. The worm gear i used I did like, but it seemed pretty damn heavy.
I do. However, I need to replace that as well. The plunge knob no longer holds at a certain depth, and I can't plunge with anything larger than a 1/4" bit (unless I pre-drill a hole to put the router bit in).

Porter Cable 690 router and buy the bases as you need them. Basically an industry standard router.

Flush trim bit you use around the outside of the box. No plunge cuts.
post #15 of 27
Stop using table saws. There are only two saws you guys should be using for speaker cabinet building. Ideally, a panel saw. Failing that, as most of us will, you'll want a good circular saw (Milwaukee) with a guide system. I use this one: http://www.eurekazone.com/. Even better would be a Festool setup. MUCH, MUCH easier to rip a 4x8 sheet using that since you don't have to try and move a 4x8 sheet evenly up against a small table saw guide. I don't know why you guys are even willing to consider doing that. I'd use a circular saw freehand before I'd ever consider a table saw for speaker building.
post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonoMan View Post

Stop using table saws. There are only two saws you guys should be using for speaker cabinet building. Ideally, a panel saw. Failing that, as most of us will, you'll want a good circular saw (Milwaukee) with a guide system. I use this one: http://www.eurekazone.com/. Even better would be a Festool setup. MUCH, MUCH easier to rip a 4x8 sheet using that since you don't have to try and move a 4x8 sheet evenly up against a small table saw guide. I don't know why you guys are even willing to consider doing that. I'd use a circular saw freehand before I'd ever consider a table saw for speaker building.

I could rip a 4x8 sheet into pieces faster with my table saw than you could do it with any other method and have just as good of cuts. It's fine if YOU don't like it but it works fine if you have any sort of fence system, which most people that use table saws do have. It works great and is very fast is you are even half way handy.
post #17 of 27
I don't make cuts on 4x8' sheets, but like cptomes said once down to 4x4' or smaller with your extension tables up a table saw is perfectly suited and much faster/more consistent. Now the way the OP has his sheet laid out a good circular saw with guide is the way to go.
post #18 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cptomes View Post

Porter Cable 690 router and buy the bases as you need them. Basically an industry standard router.
Flush trim bit you use around the outside of the box. No plunge cuts.

I'm not sure I know what you mean. I don't use my router for anything other than flush trimming edges and routing holes for drivers. As far as my experience goes (which is limited, so please help me out if you know of a better way), plunge cutting with a circle jig is the only way to make cutouts for speaker drivers. Is there a better way? I'd love to know because it sure was a royal PITA last year making cuts for all my drivers. This year I'm not flush mounting so it shouldn't be as much of a hassle, but you never know...

Quote:
Originally Posted by N8DOGG View Post

I could rip a 4x8 sheet into pieces faster with my table saw than you could do it with any other method and have just as good of cuts. It's fine if YOU don't like it but it works fine if you have any sort of fence system, which most people that use table saws do have. It works great and is very fast is you are even half way handy.

Having used a really nice, and huge, cabinetry table saw, I agree that table saws are far superior to circular saws for precision, provided you have a good table saw. The dinky little portable ones are trash. It's just that the space and cost investment in one of those saws is so astronomical that most of us just go with circ. saws and make a jig.

Well off I go to Home Depot! I'm looking at either the Makita 5007MG or the Milwauke 6390. I think it'll come down to which has a more comfortable grip for me. And, of course, I'll be buying a nice 60T carbide blade to go with it. smile.gif
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frosteh View Post

Having used a really nice, and huge, cabinetry table saw, I agree that table saws are far superior to circular saws for precision, provided you have a good table saw. The dinky little portable ones are trash. It's just that the space and cost investment in one of those saws is so astronomical that most of us just go with circ. saws and make a jig.

I use one of these: RIDGID 10 in. 15-Amp Heavy-Duty Portable Table Saw with Stand. It is portable (in the loosest sense of the word) but still a high performance saw. You can not use it to cut down big sheet material, but once you have the pieces small enough you can get some real accuracy with this. And it folds down to store on edge when it is not in use. Just don't use the blade that comes with it, invest in a MDF or plywood blade for your choice of cabinet construction material.

For cutting down the big sheets, I use a circular saw and an older version of these: Straight Edge Clamp. I use one when I don't need a perfect edge, and two when I do (using the tool base as a spacer when I set up the clamps). Works great!
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeerParty View Post

I use one of these: RIDGID 10 in. 15-Amp Heavy-Duty Portable Table Saw with Stand. It is portable (in the loosest sense of the word) but still a high performance saw. You can not use it to cut down big sheet material, but once you have the pieces small enough you can get some real accuracy with this. And it folds down to store on edge when it is not in use. Just don't use the blade that comes with it, invest in a MDF or plywood blade for your choice of cabinet construction material.
For cutting down the big sheets, I use a circular saw and an older version of these: Straight Edge Clamp. I use one when I don't need a perfect edge, and two when I do (using the tool base as a spacer when I set up the clamps). Works great!

I have that exact same saw. It's really quite a great saw! I've had it for about a year and a half and use it all the time, never once had any sort of issue. I have a dual rolling fence L&R setup and can rip full 4 x 8's by myself in no time. I have a cir saw with pretty much all the attachments you can get but I generally don't use it much.
post #21 of 27
Thread Starter 
I saw those at home depot. If I had the budget and space to store one with the table extensions you bet your ass I'd buy it. Alas, the college student funds don't allow for that (nor does the landlord, grrr) so I got a nice Makita hypoid saw instead. For $200 with a nice Freud blade im hoping it'll work for me. Time to build a jig!
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frosteh View Post

I'm not sure I know what you mean. I don't use my router for anything other than flush trimming edges and routing holes for drivers. As far as my experience goes (which is limited, so please help me out if you know of a better way), plunge cutting with a circle jig is the only way to make cutouts for speaker drivers. Is there a better way? I'd love to know because it sure was a royal PITA last year making cuts for all my drivers. This year I'm not flush mounting so it shouldn't be as much of a hassle, but you never know...

I was thinking about precision cuts for cabinet panels. You don't really need precision cuts everywhere since you can flush trim with the router.
post #23 of 27
What you need is this http://www.lowes.com/pd_287348-39450-KMA2675_0__?Ntt=rip-cut&productId=3654122&rpp=32

A small local lumber shop has cutting service at $1/per cut. You would have to buy their products though. The cuts are very precise to 1/32" tolerance. I have used the service. I measured the cuts and they were precised as my cut specification. Buy new sheets from the local lumber shop and have them cut it...probably cheaper than hire a carpenter to cut it.
post #24 of 27
That Kreg rip jig looks like kick back city. You would be far safer without using that thing.

As others have said, we're not making high end kitchen cabinets here, and you don't need a $3500 cabinet saw to get good accuracy. For those on a really tight budget or those without a lot of tools already in hand, just use a worm drive (or regular old circular saw) to rough cut to dimension and then flush trim with a router after assembly. You're looking at a few hundred bucks total in tools.

I'm fortunate to have almost any tool I could possibly need (I used to be a general contractor), but you really don't need more than a few tools in order to get some really good results when building speaker cabinets. If you're making a ton of long rip cuts the best investment would be a track saw. They are safe (safer than table saws for the average user) and they are very accurate. You could also use a "shooter board" and get similar results with a worm drive. Hell, back in the day guys didn't have any of the tools we have today and everything was built with much higher quality that it is today. They used to use hand saws and planes...

http://www.finehomebuilding.com/how-to/departments/building-skills/make-a-saw-guide-for-faster-cleaner-cuts.aspx
post #25 of 27
It doesn't appear to look like a kick back (city as you've suggested). It looks simple, safe, and precisely rip.

http://youtu.be/FvGpnGXs4e8
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by nith View Post

It doesn't appear to look like a kick back (city as you've suggested). It looks simple, safe, and precisely rip.
http://youtu.be/FvGpnGXs4e8

As a guy that spent 10+ years in construction, a lot of that specifically as a framing carpenter who cut and ripped plywood almost daily, I can assure you that that guide gives you a greater chance of binding the blade and thus allowing kick back to occur. If the person using that tool goes offline, the edge guide would force the blade to bind and kick back.

That you tube video doesn't prove anything. It's an advertisement, it's supposed to make it look super easy and safe to use. Joe Schmoe at home in his garage is not equal to a paid professional in an advertisement...
post #27 of 27
You could definitely optimize your cut sheet arrangement and put all the 18.5 x 26.5 pieces on one sheet. 5 of them fit across the 96" length and makes it easier and more precise to cut when you change your saw dimensions less. Same method applies to your other repeated cuts.
Anyway, like others have said, just get them cut anywhere. Assuming you'll be flush trimming the edges with a router you can get them cut at your local lumber yard for $1 a cut and it will work fine.
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