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Forum topic by mHudd posted 01-29-2015 03:56 PM 1273 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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10 posts in 2496 days

01-29-2015 03:56 PM

Topic tags/keywords: r4512 new woodworker toy box chest hope chest

Hello Brethren of the Blade,

I am a new woodworker. I have built a few projects in years past using others’ shops and tools, and now I am trying to build my own shop, as I have a kid on the way and need a hobby and would like to pass down the knowledge and craft.

Just bought a Ridgid R4512 at HD for $396 out the door!!! I had read several reviews of where people bought the saw at 20% off and I was determined to get the same deal. After haggling with 4 different stores and several different managers I was successful on the 5th try (second try on store number 1, manager 2). Here’s how I did it… I called late at night on a Saturday, when I knew it was closing time soon, and asked for a manger. I haggled back and forth with him for about 15 minutes, mentioning deals I saw on the internet and citing a YouTube video that recorded a successful call of another guy doing the same thing. But the BUZZ WORD was, and I should have thought of this first thing, was LOWES. I mentioned Lowes and it was like instant savings. Long story short… Always haggle with home depot, especially with expensive items, and mention Lowes. After all, I did it and saved somwhere in the range of 26% on a $529 saw.

Also, would like Ideas/plans for a hope chest/toy box for my future child to eventually pass down as an heirloom. What type of wood do you recommend using? I thought about Pine because it’s cheap and my first major project, but I dont want it to get banged up really bad really fast. Is there an oil or finish I can use to strengthen the porous wood? Thought about using maple, walnut, or oak or another hardwood, but figured it might be wise to use cheaper wood for my first project as I may make some mistakes that may be costly.

Just to mention… keep my shop is in very beginner stage. The only major piece of equipment I have is this new saw. I do have, however, a mitre saw, plate/biscuit jointer, dremmel multimax, various handtools, blah blah blah.. i just dont have other major machines I want/need like a jointer, planer, band saw, etc.

Any advice/comments are appreciated. Thanks!

9 replies so far

View HornedWoodwork's profile


222 posts in 2496 days

#1 posted 01-29-2015 04:39 PM

Well done on your saw! Now throw away that piece of crap blade they gave you and mount a forrest woodworker II thin kerf on that sumbitch and watch it sing!

The chest you want to build I think is a classic 5 board chest. You can definietely build in pine BUT it will look pretty gnarly even under moderate use after a decade or so. I’d go with Oak, it’s cheap and you can work it with just ok equipment. If you mess up, there’s plenty more at hand. Maple would be good too. Walnut is not a beginner’s wood, it’s tough to work with, and expensive. Whatever material you choose, get more than you think you will need. Seriously, buy a lot more than you think you need. Good woodworkers will stick to purchasing 10% more than the project demands, beginners can burn up an extra 25% or more.

Be picky at the pile. Get wood that looks good together. A lot of people focus so much on getting good grain or clear boards that they forget to get wood that matches. This is also why you should over buy, if you have to go back to the store to get more wood, you’ll never match it to the stuff you already have on the bench.

My final tip is, don’t listen to the purists. There are those who will poopoo using screws and fastnerrs, those who will demand you do everything by hand from felling the tree to splitting it with a fro. There are those who can’t conceive a project that doesn’t involve a router. Just do what you love to do and don’t worry about what other people call “right”

Here’s a dovetailed black walnut chest “santa” built for my kids, It’s a simple design but it’ll outlive me by a few hundred years I bet.

-- Talent, brilliance, and humility are my virtues.

View mHudd's profile


10 posts in 2496 days

#2 posted 01-29-2015 05:34 PM

Thanks for the advice. That chest is a thing of beauty! That’s pretty much exactly what I picture I would like my chest to be, but I’m not quite at the dovetail stage, so I think it will be box-joints instead. Do you have any plans for it that you might be able to share? Or technique or advice about building something similar to that?

Could you be more specific about walnut being a difficult wood to work with? I love the look of walnut furniture, but I’ll take your advice as it is not a beginners wood. I’m just curious? What aspects of working with it make it harder to work with? Difficulty cutting? Sanding?

View HornedWoodwork's profile


222 posts in 2496 days

#3 posted 01-29-2015 06:20 PM

Walnut is incredibly dense which makes it brittle and there is very little “give.” Forgiveness in wood is your friend as you start on your journey. Pine has a ton of forgiveness you just kind of have to be close and you can sort of smoosh the wood together. Walnut and dense woods like it don’t “smoosh.” To get an idea of what I mean press your thumbnail into pine, it gives, you can see the indentation of your thumbnail quite easily. Now try it with oak and maple, it gives slightly (you may need to rub the area with the flat side of a pencil to be able to see the depression). Now try with walnut and you can see it made no difference at all. This lack of forgiveness means you need incredible precision through the build. Hard to get there when you are starting out, at least on a project of this size.

I would totally share my plans, but I don’t have any. I sketch for a while then I wing it in the shop. Dimensions wise this is probably about 17-19 inches tall and then I follow a pretty basic rule of 1 : 1.6 for the rest of the proportions. In truth this thing is as wide as the widest walnut board I could find, as the lid is a single board. You could skip the dovetails (I would if I were starting out) box joints are really good for making boxes, ironically enough :-). There are probably 50 reasonable ways to make a 90 degree joint, choose one that works for you. On a table saw that means probably mitre, spline or box joints are in your future.

When building a box for kids remember the lid can smash little fingers, so either recess the area under the lid or (as I have opted for) add torsion hinges that keep the lid from closing quickly. Also remember that the lid is a big fat wide board, it’ll cup and bow and do anything it wants too unless you add a breadboard end (as I have) or do battens cross grain.

The Wood Whisperer was promoting a woodworker’s fighting cancer project that was a good design for a toy chest. Check that out if you want plans or just some cool ideas.

In the picture you can see a brass plaque, I do this a lot when I build for my kids. I build the thing then I put a little plaque on it with something I want to them to know when they are older and I am (potentially) not around to tell them. This toy chest says “Always be a child at play”

Their puppet theatre says “Be a person you would admire” Stuff like that takes it from a box to the box that dad built…

-- Talent, brilliance, and humility are my virtues.

View RogerM's profile


809 posts in 3681 days

#4 posted 01-30-2015 12:51 AM

I have not found walnut that difficult to work with (especially with a Forrest Woodworker II) but it is more expensive. Consider making a prototype chest out of poplar to establish your design and dimensions then try one with walnut, I think you will be pleased.

As for plans, I am with “HornedWoodworker”. I consider where the piece will eventually go and how it is to be used then sketch up some dimensions and go for it. Also, do a query on this website for some good ideas and designs.

Below are a couple of photos of the chest I did out of Pecan:

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

View mHudd's profile


10 posts in 2496 days

#5 posted 01-30-2015 03:32 PM

That is also an incredibly nice looking piece of work. I will follow up with everyones suggestions.

A few questions:

The Forrest WW II may be out of my budget at the moment (damn baby! hah). However, I’ve been doing some research and have come across the Freud Thin Kerf Industrial 50tooth combo blade for around $50-70. I’ve heard Freud is a quality blade and brand. Do you feel the same?

Please explain advantages and disadvantages of full kerf/thin kerf blades. Is it fair to use the over/under 3hp saw rule? Under 3 hp use thin, over use regular?

Also, if I do switch to a thin kerf blade will I have to change anything about my riving knife or anti-kick back?

Thanks for ALL of your help! I really appreciate everyone helping a dude out.

View mHudd's profile


10 posts in 2496 days

#6 posted 01-30-2015 03:33 PM

Forgot to ask, while on the subject of blades. Difference between dado blades and blades advertised as box joint blades? Do box joint blades create a more “squared” cut?

I do intend to use box joints, and eventually dado when my skills are there. Do I need to buy a set of each, or one or the other?


View knotscott's profile


8434 posts in 4657 days

#7 posted 01-30-2015 04:10 PM

Congrats on the baby!

You don’t need spring for a Forrest blade to get good cuts. The Freud LU83 you mentioned is a very good blade, but at that price, I’d lean toward the Infinity 010-150 50T ATB/R as it’s a bit cleaner cutting IME, and is extremely easy to get good results with. In a similar price range the Freud Fusion P410T should give better crosscuts and rip more cleanly than the LU83 (on par with the Forrest), but won’t fair quite as well in really thick rips, which are best done with a 24T ripper like the LU87 or D1024x anyway. The Freud Diablo D1050x is pretty similar to the LU83, but has less carbide. The Irwin Marples 50T would be another excellent bargain choice for < $40. Your riving knife should be compatible with any of these TK blades (lots of folks running TKs on R4512s), but the Marples and Infinity TK’s are just couple thousandths wider, which gives a tad more clearance.

A dado set is much wider, has far more width adjustability, and tends to use top beveled teeth on the outside cutters for less tear out of cross grain cuts. A box joint set is much narrower, has far less width adjustability (if any), and generally use a flat top grind (FTG) that works well for with the grain cuts like a box joint, but will usually cause more tear out cross grain cuts if all other parameters are equal.

(differences in kerf widths is covered here:)
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-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View HornedWoodwork's profile


222 posts in 2496 days

#8 posted 01-30-2015 04:27 PM

Knotscott has it right, you don’t need a forrest blade, you can get by with almost any blade if you are willing to work the cuts a little off the saw. As for Kerf I like the thin kerf becuase it eats less board, that’s the real advantage to me, it might not sound like much but the difference in kerf can make or break a board fitting, especially when you are ripping the same board multiple times. You do need to measure your riving knife to make sure it fits in the thinner kerf, and in some cases, that means that the thin kerf just isn’t an option.

-- Talent, brilliance, and humility are my virtues.

View Dan658's profile


93 posts in 2552 days

#9 posted 01-30-2015 11:40 PM

Congrats on the baby! Your riving knife should be compatible with any of these TK blades (lots of folks running TKs on R4512s), but the Marples and Infinity TK s are just couple thousandths wider, which gives a tad more clearance.

- knotscott

I run a TK 24t Freud Industrial with my (R4512) riving knife and have no issues. Too address the question about kerf vs hp, I can’t say if there is a set formula, but I have a full kerf 60t Freud and it’s been fine with crosscutting dense hardwoods.

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