Jointing wood edges are probably one of the most common tasks we do in woodworking and one of the reasons that jointers are such a common tool, but there are other ways fo jointing wood. Two of the methods I still use from time to time are using the table saw with a special sled, and using my wood router.
Sharpening blade and chisel blades is not difficult, but like many things woodworking, having some knowledge goes a long way to a successful sharpening job. A long time ago when I was trying to find someone who could teach me "sharpening" I found there were basically 2 types of people. Those who did what I call and "industrial sharpen" who sharpened their blades until they did a good job, there there were the "fanatic sharpeners" who had every blade in their shop absolutely razer sharp at all times and went to huge lengths with many different grits and polishes to get an outstanding edge. They just love sharpening.
I tried both techniques and ended up in the "industrial" group, which works perfectly for me, my blades are super sharp and work great but I don't spend huge amounts of time trying to make them even sharper. The basis of sharpening blades, both chisel and plane, is to end up with an angle of about 25 degrees (in most cases) and an edge that is super sharp and ... easy to keep sharp and the tool works the way it should.
When I started woodworking as a youngster, I had three tools, a hammer, a chisel and small saw. With these tools I made all sorts of very remedial toys like boats and planes and even little trucks. I thought they were fabulous, and maybe they were for a pre-schooler, but I had the advantage of having real tools and small bits of wood to build things with and has served me with a lifetime of enjoyment and passion.
I am very frequently asked, "what tools should I be getting as a newcomer to woodworking?", and to be honest, that's a really hard question to answer because there are so many different kinds of woodworking there can be quite a different choice in tools required. For example a friend of mine, when he started woodworking, he choose carving, so he started off with quite a different set of tools than what I did. Another friend tool wood turning for novices and when he started buying tools, he too had very different tools than what I would have selected ... so in this video and article I am talking only about the tools that I find useful and that I would select if I were starting out in woodworking today in making furniture and similar type items.
Some hand tools when I purchased them, I scrimped on price because I didn't know any better and there was no one around to ask or coach me. I made some very poor choices in squares for example which turned out to be very frustrating when joints and sides do no line up properly. When I purchased a couple of the squares I used, it never occurred to me that they would not be square and when you square is off, nothing aligns ... ever. It took another woodworker's help for me to realize my problem, but it opened a whole new world for me when I realized that sometimes buying cheap tools is a waste of money because you can't do anything with them except throw them away and and re-buy better ones so you can do your work.
Trim or Laminate Routers have been around for many, many years but there are very few manufacturers because they just aren't as popular as they could be, simply because they are small, low powered and limited to 1/4 inch bits only. But Trim Routers or Portable Routers can be a nice alternative in a woodworking shop for people who don't have full size routers. True, they are limited in their abilities, but with some add-on jigs and accessories, Trim Routers can be a useful item.
The main purpose of the "Trim Router" was back in the day when cabinet makers were building kitchen cabinets, a newly invented material was being used for counter tops and it was called Laminate. After the cabinets were made and installed, the counter tops and the back of the sheet laminate material were coated with contact cement and bonded together. The sheep material always stuck out over the edge so that it could be trimmed off even with the edge of the counter, and this was the original purpose of the Laminate or Trim Router. Since those days, counter top manufacturing has evolved and laminate trimmers are seldom used for the purpose they were designed, but there are still good uses for these smaller router versions.
Any router, full size or hand router, can do much more when it has the benefit of a router table. I would estimate that with my parter router and router table, at least 80 to 90 percent of what I do with that router involves using it on a router table, whether it's building doors, trimming wood of cutting rabbets or dados, so I expect the same would be for the trim router, which is why I decided to build this portable table for it ...
There are hundreds of different table saw blades available from many, many different manufacturers so how do you begin by selecting the one you need. There are probably a number of blades that will work for you so narrowing down what works best for the amount of money you want to spend is a simple matter of knowing the basiscs. This article along with the video will help eveyone new to woodworking, gain the knowledge to make wiser choices when selecting table saw blades.
There are 3 questions you want to ask yourself when looking for table saw blades, 1) - What material will you be cuting 2) - What machine do you have (table saw, mitre saw and what size, 9 inch, 10 inch, 12 inch and is horse power or amperage of the saw) and finally 3) - what is the purpose of what you are doing - furniture making, building a fence or a chicken coup or installing crown molding. 3 very relevant questions that will all come together to help you find the best blade(s) for your use.
Easily the most popular table saw blades on the market right now are 10 inch blades and also the widest selection. There are basically 2 types of blades, Full Kerf - approx 1/8" (kerf referrs to the width of the saw blade tooth) and Thin Kerf - approx 3/32".
Full kerf blades are thicker teeth, thicker steel bodies and heavier blades. They are used in bigger more powerful saws. Full kerf blades have more carbide in their teeth which means the teeth stay sharper longer, and they can be resharpened more more times than thin kerf. Full kerf blades will cut a wider swath so they will use up more material and will create slightly more saw dust and shavings. Full kerf will be slightly harder to push material through as the width of the blades is slightly wider. Full kerf blades are often preferred by commercial and industrial businesses that are using saw blades constantly as these blades withstand harder more rugged use and can be resharpened more often.
Reciprocating saws or "recip saws" as they are commonly called, are not commonly regarded as woodworking tools but many woodworkers have and use them. Recip Saws are standard fare for home reno and DIY projects because they can be used to quickly remove parts of buildings, and with the correct blades, can easily cut through wood and nails so they are big time savers. The good thing with recip saws is that they all take standard blades. The blades can be inserted right side up, or upside down on most saws. Once the collar or collet as some call it, is twisted and the blade inserted they are locked in place. To remove the blades, twisting the collar will release the blade. The one thing I have learned is that when it comes to recip saws, bigger is better. By that I mean that in many cases, the underpowered recip saws are just not capable of doing the work that many people expect from them. Whether you are looking at a corded or cordless tool, my recommendation is to purchase the most powerful one you can. I seldom give this kind of advice but for recip saws, I have never, ever heard anyone complain that the purchased a saw that was too powerful ... I have heard them complain that they should have purchased a more powerful tool.