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1  For Sale & Wanted / Wanted / Re: Looking for safety gear, respirator, air filtration on: 19 February, 2009, 13:02
Some possible sources for respirators and air filters:

www.axminster.co.uk
www.rutlands.co.uk
www.dmtools.co.uk

It is worth checking some other sites (both in Europe and the US) to compare prices before buying, and there are certainly other sites in the UK that may supply them too. For the air filter, look at the Jet products - I have an AFS500,  which I have found to be good.

For Record Power products, their website gives prices and resellers:

www.recordpower.co.uk

I have the DX4000, which certainly works but it is very noisy. I would recommend having a look at the cyclone option for dust collection before deciding on any particular product though - there is a lot of information on cyclones available online if you search via Google or the like.

2  Irish Hardwood Timber / Getting started / Re: collet capacity on: 23 October, 2006, 18:18
I understand "collet capacity" to refer to the diameter of the router bit shank that the router can accomodate, but perhaps this phrase is also used to represent something else? There are three sizes of shank diameter that I am aware of: 1/2", 1/4", and 8mm.  The main advantage of router bits with a larger diameter shank is that larger cutting heads can be used - a smaller diameter (i.e. thinner) shank means a weaker shank, and therefore a bit with a large cutting head and thinner shank may be more likely to snap at the shank. Another advantage is that routers with a 1/2" collet tend to be less prone to vibration (of the cutting head), so not only are they safer but they also tend to produce a cleaner cut too (depends on quality of router though, and power of router).

The general advice is to always use a router bit with a larger diameter shank where you can, for reasons of safety and quality of cut. This assumes a good quality router and good quality router bits - anything less than reasonable quality there and you are risking life and limb by using the router. The disadvantage of larger bits are: usually a router with a 1/2" collet is heavier and can be more difficult to move about (although sometime the weight can give greater stability), the bits and router are more expensive (although a larger cutting surface on a bit may mean that it will last longer so the bit might be better value over its lifetime).

I have a 1/2" router (that also accepts a 1/4" collet) and a 1/4" router. The 1/4" router is easier to manoeuvre because it is lighter, so I often turn to it first. However, the 1/2" router is more stable due to its weight and also has greater horsepower so I tend to rely on it for more demanding tasks.

The 8mm collet sits between the 1/2" and 1/4" collets, size wise, bringing the router close to the benefits of a 1/2" router. Personally, I'd opt for an 8mm collet over a 1/4" collet except that I have already invested money into quote a few 1/4" router bits. Although I haven't seen 8mm router bits in Ireland, they are available from at least one website in the UK. Not all routers can take an 8mm collet however, so that is something else to bear in mind.
3  Irish Hardwood Timber / Getting started / Re: Where to buy power tools on: 12 September, 2006, 15:11
Oops, you are right, diytools.ie is (was) Lenehans not O'Callaghans as I suggested (don't know where I plucked that name from - too much time spent sniffing sawdust!). They are now reachable at www.lenehans.ie. The website has a far wider range of tools available than their store on Capel Street might suggest, but for some of the prices that I check in the past the website was sometimes far from good value.
4  Irish Hardwood Timber / Getting started / Re: Where to buy power tools on: 11 September, 2006, 15:52
I have bought tools via a number of websites over the last few years. Delviery charges vary from site to site - I'd be wary of sites that don't specify delivery charges openly on their website, but this may not be possible in some cases (e.g. delivery costs from the US are based on weight so they can't quote you for delivery until you have selected the tools you want to buy. Typically, in this case, you have to put together an order, submit your credit card details, and wait for the delivery quote via e-mail, after which you can either proceed with the order or effectively cancel the order by choosing not to proceed with it). Some sites worth checking out are (some of which I mention in another thread here today, some of which I forgot to mention in that thread):

Irish sites:
www.diytools.ie (used to be, and might still be, run by O'Callaghans who have a store on Capel Street in Dublin)

UK sites:
www.axminster.co.uk  (delivery costs are reasonable, but get very high)
www.rutlands.co.uk
www.diytools.com

US sites:
www.woodcraft.com  (delivery charges are high)
www.rockler.com  (delivery charges are reasonable)

Canadian sites:
www.leevalley.com  (delivery charges are reasonable)

Some of the above sites sell hand tools, and other stuff, in addition to power tools. I have never bought power tools from the US or Canada because of the differing power requirements. As per my post on the "ordering power tools from the US" thread, remember that deliveries from outside the EU are subject to VAT and import duty, which can obviously add greatly to the cost.  I haven't bought from www.diytools.ie so can't say anything about them one way or the other (other than that they are the online equivalent of somewhere that sells everything from a pin to an anchor!).

Of the sites above, I can highly recommend www.leevalley.com and www.axminster.co.uk in particular. The other sites are very good too, but in some cases their range may not be that great (e.g. www.diytools.com) while in others their delivery charges can be significant (e.g. www.woodcraft.com - having said that I have bought from Woodcraft several times as their range of products is excellent)

I have used some other sites in the past too, which are gone from my head at the moment. If some more occur to me I'll post them here later. If you are interested in non-power tools, then I would highly recommend that you look at the following German site:

www.fine-tools.com

...they stock excellent tools (as well as budget tools, but they typically clearly identify which is which on the website), their website is a wealth of useful information, their prices are reasonable (although some US sites can be cheaper for some things), delivery is quick and very reasonable, and I have found them very helpful to deal with.  They also have some very good value special offers occasionally.  They are the most pleasant web-based seller that I have dealt with.

Hope this helps.
5  Irish Hardwood Timber / Getting started / Re: ordering power tools from the U.S. on: 11 September, 2006, 14:11
For the mostpart US tools run off 110v (and 50Hz too, as opposed to 60Hz, if I remember correctly). Basically, in most cases you will need a transformer to run US power tools here. I haven't tried it myself, but I have heard both good and bad things about doing this (the main problem that I saw one person refer to was that the tools can't achieve their full power rating on a transformer here - I don't know enough about electricity to judge whether that is likely though). Best thing would be to talk to an electrician or else have a chat with someone who uses 110v power tools - I have seen a few carpenters use them, for example, and as far as I know 110v is popular on building sites.

The DW625 is an excellent router, by the way. I have used one myself for a few years now. The US model might not be quite the same though. For example, the smaller brother of the DW625 is the DW621 and this model differs between Europe and the US - the biggest difference (and it is a whopper!) is that the US version of the DW621 can take 1/2" bits (and 1/4" bits) whereas the European version is limited to 1/4" bits only. I can't imagine the DW625 will differ so drastically between the US and Europe but there might be small differences. Incidentally, I believe the DW626 is the latest top of the range DeWalt router, and I presumed (perhaps incorrectly) it was going to take over from the DW625. You might either be better off getting a DW626 if the cost is about the same (don't know how much it costs offhand) or else look for deals where the DW625 is being sold off my shops who want to make space for the DW626.

If you want to buy 240v tools, the following sites are worth a look, but be sure to compare their prices with those available elsewhere before making a final decision as prices can vary a lot (there are a whole bunch of websites for European-based tool sellers out there, do a quick search in google.com and you'll get back a long list):

www.axminster.co.uk (UK based)
www.rutlands.co.uk (UK based)
www.diytools.com (UK based)

Remember to factor in delivery cost. Axminster give their delivery costs on their website, and I think the others do too. Also, remember that stuff coming in from the US is subject to VAT (21%) and import duty (in or around 7% I think) and all of that gets charged against your order cost plus your delivery cost - whether you get charged that is very much luck of the draw, but budget for it as it is no fun having a bill arrive unexpectedly with your order (speaking from personal experience here!). When you factor those extra costs in, plus delivery costs from the US (which can be expensive from some places), sometimes it is as cheap to buy either here in Ireland or from a European site.

I have used Axminster several times and can recommend them. I have used diytools.com only once and they were fine too. I haven't used Rutlands but they appear to have a similarly good reputation and some of their special offers are genuinely good value.
6  For Sale & Wanted / Wanted / Re: 3/4" steel pipes? on: 08 December, 2005, 16:45
Late late update: For anyone else that may fnd themselves looking for these steel pipes, I eventually found a place in Dublin that sells them - BSS on the South Circular Road (address is here). The pipes come in 6metre lengths, so I just cut them to the sizes I wanted. I went for the galvanised pipes, which were in or around 20euro each plus VAT.

The threads of the pipe exactly match the threads on my US clamp heads. Having cut various lengths of pipe, I now just need to hire a die to thread each of my pieces of pipe giving me a variety of different length clamps. Using female couplers between pairs of pipes will allow me to make up clamps of any length I like, so they are a very versatile (and relatively cheap) option if you are looking for clamps (the clamp heads themselves are not expensive either).
7  Irish Hardwood Timber / Irish timber versus imported timber / Re: What is the difference? on: 31 May, 2005, 14:10
Personally, I am not opposed to using wood from any source, be it from within Europe or further afield, but there are a few things that make me prefer to use Irish woods where possible:

- The traceability of the wood is important to me, where it is offered. I am happier using wood that I know comes from a sustainable resource rather than wood that may have come from illegal (or immoral) deforestation. I think that traceability of local wood is easier to confirm (and therefore trust) than that of wood delivered from abroad (where you have any doubts/concerns about the supplier that is).

- The environmental impact of the transport of wood from further afield concerns me. Given a choice between comparable wood, I'd choose the wood which I believe has resulted in the least amount of pollution to get to me - in most cases I would expect this to be local wood, which is likely to have travelled a shorter distance.

- I am happy to support local employment, where possible. In the case of Lisnavagh Timber Project in particular, I think that it is great to see such a venture succeed so I plan to look there for my wood first. I have found the people at Lisnavagh to be very helpful too, which is surprisingly rare in many industries these days.

- I think that certain objects just look and "feel" better when made from raw material which is local to the country or area, whether that material is wood, metal, stone, or whatever.


8  For Sale & Wanted / Wanted / Re: 3/4" steel pipes? on: 15 March, 2005, 13:28
Hi William,
The clamp heads came from the US. I have looked at buying some pipes from there, but while the pipes themselves are not very expensive the delivery charges are another matter entirely (they are not very heavy, but I am looking for 8ft lengths so I guess I shouldn't be surprised that delivery is expensive). It looks like such pipes are commonly used (for plumbing I am presuming) in the US, but it appears from what I have found so far that steel pipes are not popular at all on this side of the water.

Having them made isn't a bad idea and might be my best bet. I'll give you a ring for those numbers, probably later today or maybe tomorrow. Thanks.
9  For Sale & Wanted / Wanted / 3/4" steel pipes? on: 14 March, 2005, 14:25
Hi,
I am trying to find 3/4" steel pipes (threaded on one end) for use with clamp heads that I have, ideally in 8ft lengths. They seem to be readily available in the US, but any of the Irish builders providers that I have contacted don't sell them. I'm not even sure that  such pipes are used in this country.

Does anyone know of anywhere that sells such pipes here in Ireland?

Thanks.
10  Irish Hardwood Timber / Getting started / Re: Where to find woodworking training? on: 07 December, 2004, 11:31
Hi Neil,
I wasn't aware of that course in Killester College, so I'll check it out. I have one of the publications which lists evening course around the country, but the information in it is a bit scant in places so the website you refer to may be able to help me out there too. Thanks a lot.

pooka
11  Employment & Work Experience / Positions wanted / Furniture making training/apprenticeship on: 08 November, 2004, 14:07
Hi all,
I am interested in training, or an apprenticeship, in furniture making, preferably in the Dublin area. I am in my mid-30's and I am considering leaving my existing career in favour of woodworking. I have no formal training, but have been making bits of furniture at home for a few years. I can be contacted at: madra70 AT yahoo DOT ie (my e-mail address is mangled in order to prevent it being extracted by web-search utilities - just replace the "AT" with "@" and the "DOT" with ".").

Thanks.
12  Our Web Site / Website News / Re: Glossary of terms on: 15 October, 2004, 16:09
Your glossary provided a very thorough answer to at least one question that has been rattling round my head for a while (specifically, what exactly is quarter-sawn timber). That is a very useful reference, and very clearly written. Thanks a lot, and I hope it helps to attract more people to this site.
13  Irish Hardwood Timber / The Lisnavagh Timber Project / Re: Questions re purchasing wood on: 22 July, 2004, 13:57
Oops! Just spotted your mention of opening hours, on your website, so that answers my first question above.  Sorry about that.
14  Irish Hardwood Timber / The Lisnavagh Timber Project / Questions re purchasing wood on: 22 July, 2004, 12:58
A quick few questions:

- What are your opening hours during the week for people arriving to buy wood?

- When it comes to buying timber, I will be transporting it by car. Is there a standard length of board that you sell, or does it vary depending on the tree? (I am thinking here of whether I'd need a roof rack to transport the boards).

Thanks.

Thanks also for providing such a high quality website, and this discussion forum, by the way. I had almost given up hope of finding something of this standard within Ireland.
15  Irish Hardwood Timber / Getting started / Where to find woodworking training? on: 22 July, 2004, 12:49
Hi,
I have been trying to find somewhere (preferably in the Dublin area if possible) where I can learn woodworking skills. Some sort of part-time or evening course would be ideal, so that I can fit it in around my day job. Anything that I have seen so far (FAS course, some DIT courses) seem to concentrate on carpentry, whereas I am interested more in the fine woodworking required for furniture making and the like.

Can anyone point me in the direction of, or even recommend, any options that are out there?

As an aside, is it possible to make a living out of fine furniture making in Ireland? By fine furniture making, I am excluding mass-produced furniture, and furniture made primarily from man-made boards.

Thanks.
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