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Cheapest usable saw?

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theonetrueruss

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Ok, so I've decided that it's time to build a fermentation chamber. I've been using my magic 68 deg F closet but that really just isn't good enough. I need (ok- really want) a chamber.

So I have a corner of my laundry room that is virtually unused that I an going to turn into a chamber. It has no windows and maintains a fairly stable temp of around 70 deg F. I am planning to just take the nook and build in a chamber. (SWMBO has already bought into that use for the space since we have nothing there now- do it now or I'm screwed!).

Ok.. so I know what I'm building and pretty much how.. the problem is that my tools suck. I don't even have a circular saw... and I don't want to spend $500 for a good table saw.. which is probably what I really should be using.

So what kind of saw could I get to cut my wood at the correct angles etc that wouldn't cost me an arm and a leg? I'm looking for effective and cheap.. hard work 100% ok. And if it requires me to acquire a whole new skillset.. all the better!
 

itsme6582

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Mitre saws are nice but limited on their capabilities. A skill saw could cover everything you need. They are made for cross-cutting bevels as is. With a simple jig you can rip. I just replaced my cordless drill and got a new circular saw with it for $110 from Lowes. They had a corldess circular saw with a laser guide by itself for about $60. I think you had to buy a battery separately though. Here's some simple plans for different jigs from a quick google search...

http://www.toolcrib.com/blog/2009/03/14-circular-saw-jig-plans-crosscut-jigs-ripping-jigs-and-more
 

Bensiff

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Are you talking about just making a plywood box or framing something together? I would look into a mid quality compound miter saw and spend a few extra bucks and a good blade for framing. Then get a good circular saw for plywood...again, get a good blade, cheap blades chew wood up. Table saws aren't exactly made for cutting down sheets of ply, you would want a panel saw for that unless you setup with a cabinet makers table saw setup.
 
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A circular saw seems to fit the bill if you're set on keeping the budget as low as possible and the versatility as high as possible. If money allows, a miter saw would be a nice addition and likely prevent some frustration.
 

dmfa200

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I thought he said "cheapest" saw?
Heck, I made my fermentation chamber without a saw.
2" foam insulation and a hot glue gun.
You want cheap? I'm the king of cheap!
 

brewmonk

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a circular saw is capable of cutting straight line

(but it is a -bleep- of a lot easier for me to use my Unisaw.)

a decent tape measure, a straight edge, 2 low clearance clamps (6 inche Bessey's, maybe), and a bench or sawhorses are needed too.

clamp down the straightedge to align your cut - the measured line you drew with the straight edge (making a straight edge cutting jig removes ALL those steps, and just by gluing 2 thin strips of wood together.)

you have to adjust your measurement for the distance between the saw table (that little metal rectangle the circular saw sits on- i've heard guys call it a plinth, or flange, or foot.) and the blades edge.

you know, the egde that does NOT cut off an extra 8th of an inch.

so, to recap, buy a saw with a good blade, mark your line, and cut to the WASTE side of your line.

you should be good to go for less than $100, and you can store it in a breadbox. (wish *I* could).
 

Bachhus

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If your talking about cutting lenghts of plywood for the walls and you don't "need" a saw for future projects then I know HD will give you one free cut on a piece of wood with the purchase and only charges .25 or .50 for each additional cuts on their massive panel saws. This would be the cheapest way to get the 4'x8' plywood down to your needed size.

This combined with a $2 hand saw from a garage sale for 2x4's and your set for pretty much the cheapest you can.

Just an idea, good luck on the build!

mark
 

FireDancer

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So what kind of saw could I get to cut my wood at the correct angles etc that wouldn't cost me an arm and a leg? I'm looking for effective and cheap.. hard work 100% ok. And if it requires me to acquire a whole new skillset.. all the better!
It is possible to build a chamber with only insulation, glue, tape, bailing wire, chalk, etc. However for some this would be too ugly or not sturdy enough.

If you want something that looks nice, maybe you can find a kitchen counter style cabinet from a remodel job. Call a carpenter or cabinet maker and offer him some homebrew for a good scoop. ;)

Otherwise, I think a combo cordless Drill & Trim Saw would be about $250 or so. For me and my needs, a cordless drill was the best tool investment I ever made. I use that thing more than any other tool I have.

Investing in good basic tools will make all your next DYI projects cheaper and easier.
 

dmfa200

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It is possible to build a chamber with only insulation, glue, tape, bailing wire, chalk, etc. However for some this would be too ugly or not sturdy enough.

If you want something that looks nice, maybe you can find a kitchen counter style cabinet from a remodel job. Call a carpenter or cabinet maker and offer him some homebrew for a good scoop. ;)

Otherwise, I think a combo cordless Drill & Trim Saw would be about $250 or so. For me and my needs, a cordless drill was the best tool investment I ever made. I use that thing more than any other tool I have.

Investing in good basic tools will make all your next DYI projects cheaper and easier.
I took cheapest literally.
I don't believe in buying cheap tools.
I own mostly Milwaukee power tools, and Craftsman hand tools.
Harbor Freight and the like is for throw aways.
Just bite the bullet and buy good brand name tools. They make doing DIY projects more enjoyable
 

KAMMEE

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I have a thought.... if you have a closet you're already using, why not line that with foam insulation and make the chamber directly in the closet. No wood required, only insulation, tape, and your ice blocks and fans and what not in order to move the air around? Not sure if thats an option, but if it is, you wouldn't even need to buy a saw.
 

BrewBeemer

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That HarborFreight 10" sliding compound at $110 looks the best for the features plus it will cut 12 3/16" wide boards. Sears still has the 10" compound;http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00921236000P
For many years it was a 10" Delta compound with the Craftsman name on it.
I paid $87 for the Delta 10" compound in 1990 still a gem after tightening up and aligning it plus adding a aluminum cutting blade.
 

BrewBeemer

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I have a thought.... if you have a closet you're already using, why not line that with foam insulation and make the chamber directly in the closet. No wood required, only insulation, tape, and your ice blocks and fans and what not in order to move the air around? Not sure if thats an option, but if it is, you wouldn't even need to buy a saw.
I would add a sheet metal pan sized to the closet 4" brake lip up for a containment chamber should you have a wild fermentation or accidently broken glass fermenter. The little lady will not be pleased should you have a flood from under the closet door. Invest in insulation plus a receptacle in the closet.
 

Ravenshead

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Just get a decent corded circular saw. They're pretty cheap and you'll need it later anyway.
 
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theonetrueruss

theonetrueruss

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thanks for the advice.. Still not sure which way I'll go but I do see a cheap miter saw in my future for those molding angles.. and a couple sawhorses.. and a circular saw.. the other stuff I have already... Fitting everything in a small space is critical as I already have space issues. Of course with that stuff I can build some shelves and additional storage :)
 

BrewBeemer

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Check ebay as well manufactures for rebuilt tools, rebuilts look and operate as new hard to tell they were warranty returns. Craigslist bring backup, never trusted it with possible stolen items or getting robbed. JMO.
 

bad coffee

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Since you're worried about space, get a decent circular saw. I have a ryobi I bought for acrylic, and it's okay for everything except hardwood ply. However, I mostly just use my 14V dewalt trim saw. Even for 3/4" ply it rocks.

DMFA is right, get decent tools that will last you a while.

B
 
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