Dailey Woodworks

Craftsman 150-Piece Mechanic’s Tool Set – Product Overview

I recently received the new Craftsman 150 Piece Mechanic’s Tool Set in “Gunmetal Chrome” from Lowe’s.  If you’re anything of a tool nut like myself you’ll know that Sear sold the Craftsman brand to Stanley-Black and Decker and made a deal to sale Craftsman branded tools at Lowe’s.  Getting to the point this new Craftsman lives up to the legendary Craftsman name.  I’m very impressed.



Now I’m not a mechanic and I really dislike working on my own vehicles, but the simple fact is everyone needs a decent socket and wrench set for basic DIY tasks from assembling furniture to light auto maintenance like changing a battery.  As a professional carpenter I need a high quality set of wrenches, ratchets, and sockets to maintain my tools and equipment, assemble the barn door hardware I use, and various other things work related.  I also do perform my own basic auto maintenance.

Youtube Video:

 

Overall I’m very impressed with the quality of the Craftsman Tool Set.  The plastic case is fantastic, even after some pretty vigorous shaking all the pieces were still in their proper place.  The case is well laid out and it’s easy to both find and retrieve the tool you’re looking for.  The “Gunmetal Chrome” finish looks great on the overall excellent fit and finish on all the different parts.

Craftsman did a great job clearly marking and labeling the sizes on both the wrenches and the sockets.  Big easy to read font and nice deep etching make identifying the correct size a breeze.

If you’re looking for a great quality tool set with most of the tools you’ll need I can fully recommend the Craftsman 150-piece Gunmetal Chrome Mechanics Tool Set as a great buy for yourself or as a gift.

August 2015 Vlog

In this month’s Vlog:

  • An update on my Coconut Oil wood handle finish
  • 10 month Review of my Craftsman 10 inch Compact Sliding Compound Miter Saw
  • An overview of my “Paulk Total Station” multi-purpose workbench and the modifications I’ve made to it.

Bosch TS2000 Gravity Rise Stand Unboxing, Set-up, and Review.

Using part of my Tax refund I bought the Bosch TS2000 Gravity-Rise Wheeled Table Saw Stand for my Jobsite Table saw.  In this article I’ll cover unboxing, mounting my table saw, and first impressions.  Be sure to check out the Youtube video also.

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Multi-year Review of the Craftsman C3 Cordless Tools

Craftsman C3 19.2 Volt Lithium Ion Combo Kit
Craftsman C3 Kit

Many Christmases ago, 2009 by my best estimation I received the Craftsman 19.2 Volt Combo Kit.  It
included a drill, a circular saw, a reciprocating saw, a light, and 2 Ni-Cad batteries with charger.  This kit was purchased from the Sears Outlet and was marked as “reconditioned.”  I have used these tools extensively over the last 6 years and still use the original tools, minus the batteries.

With this set I have built a 10×20 ft Storage building, broken down dozens of sheets of plywood, built deer blinds, done demo work with the reciprocating saw, and remodeled a bathroom.  The original drill has been dropped from roofs, left out in the rain, drilled thousands of holes and driven as many screws.  The saw is my go to tool for breaking down sheet goods and is easy to handle.  The reciprocating saw is OK with a good blade but eats batteries too quickly.

For some reason these tools have a bad rap, many say they are cheap and wont last, but my set is older than the “C3” branding and is still going strong with the new Lithium-Ion Batteries.

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Why Didn’t I Make This Sooner? A DIY Track Saw

In repentance of last weeks post I am showing you the track I made for my circular saw.  This is a crazy simple jig that is worth it’s weight in gold and will forever change how you use your circular saw on sheet goods.

This method works with any circular saw.  The catch is that once you make this jig it only works for that one saw.

I made this jig to work with my Craftsman C3 Circular Saw.  It’s a great little saw.  However, in making this video I realized how badly I needed a new blade.  I replaced the blade and it made a world of difference.

Being a compact 5 1/2 saw I lost to much cut capacity by using 1/2 plywood.  I was able to adjust the jig to work with my Skil 13 Amp 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw.  I’ll remake this jig out of 1/4 inch material for my cordless saw.

Another modification I did was glue a strip of 100-Grit Sandpaper to the bottom.  That really makes the track stay in place.  I can get by without clamps now.

If you have the money buy the DeWalt Track Saw. It looks amazing! One day…

Craftsman 10 inch Compact Sliding Compound Miter Saw Review

I’m excited about this tool.  I did a lot of research debated models price points compared similar models and finally decided on this model.

It is the Craftsman 10″ Compact Sliding Miter Saw.  It’s a relatively new model. In fact, as of this post there are only 9 reviews on Sears’ websites.  I’ll add mine shortly.

Craftsman’s ‘standard’ 10 inch sliding compound miter saw has well over 300 reviews and carries about a ‘four star’ rating.  All nine who reviewed the compact model loved it.  I initially went looking for this standard model, when I found the newer compact model.

[Side Note:  shortly after I received my saw I went to Sears.  There I saw the “standard” 10″ sliding compound miter saw.  I was not impressed.  The compact model that I bought is a much better and higher quality tool.]

What makes it ‘compact’?

The catalog states this saw takes up 39% less space than the ‘standard’ model.  Other than that everything else is the practically the same.  (I’ve seen conflicting data on Craftsman/Sears’ website about crosscut capacity.  The standard model’s crosscut is always listed at 12″. The compact model varies from 11.5″ to 12.5″.  The box says 12.5″ so lets go with that.)

The difference is how the rails work.  On most sliding miter saws the saw head is fixed to the rails and the rails slide in and out from the back of the saw.  This makes the saw take up a lot of space.  Place this style to close to a wall and the wall will prevent the rails from fully functioning.  With this compact model the rails are fixed in place and the saw head moves along a carriage. This makes the saw always take up the same amount of space.

 

Out of the Box

I checked all of the adjustments and settings and found that everything was dead on out of the box.

10 inch Miter Saw Blade

Features
  • Single Bevel:  This means that the saw only leans to its left.  It still does up to 50-degree miters on both sides, but if you need to do compound angles you have to take into account how you position your piece.  More expensive dual-bevel saws tilt to the left and right speeding up production, but cost almost double.
  • Depth Stop for Dados:  This is a nice feature though I’m not sure how much I’ll actually use it.  There is a bar that flips in and out of the way of a screw to control depth.  I work with 3/4″ stock for the most part so I set it to cut 1/4 dados in 3/4″ stock.  (The saw does not accept dado stacks, but you can cut dados by cutting a series of grooves into the work piece.)
  • Laser Guide: This was dead on out of the box but is hard to see outdoors in full sunlight.  It is in front of the saw and protected by the shield.  There are two thumb screws to adjust it.  It is powered by the plug not batteries and has an on/off switch next to the trigger.
  • 12.5″ crosscut.  3.5″ material thickness.  This is at 90-degrees.
  • Adjustable wings: I’m not sure how far out the wings go.  I do know I set the flip up stop to 16″ with no issues.  This is a nice feature, but once I build a miter stand in my shop it won’t be used much
  • Rail Slide Lock:  This prevents the saw from sliding while in storage or transport.  It can be locked in place and used as a non-sliding chop saw.
What I Like:

The saw is accurate on all of it’s settings from the box.  I didn’t have to spend any time calibrating and fussing with settings.  The only parts I had to install were the handle that swings the miter bed, the dust bag, and the hold down clamp

The “fit and finish” is good.  It does not feel “cheap” but well built and “solid.”  The saw head moves smoothly along the rails.  The miter stops engage solidly.  The miter bed pivots firmly yet smoothly with no slop.  (How long this holds up is yet to be seen).  There is a nice spring loaded lever that locks the miter bed in place.  The bevel has a stop at zero, 45, and 33.9-degrees, all are positive so you can be confident that when it hits the stop it is where it needs to be.



I like how the laser is set up and how it adjusts.  It’s protected from accidental bumps by the blade guard.  It doesn’t need tools to adjust and being in front of the blade it won’t suffer from dust build up.

The rails slide smoothly without slop.  There is enough resistance that it doesn’t fly back and forth.

Compact 10 inch Sliding Compound Miter Saw

What I Don’t Like

Honestly there isn’t much that I don’t like, but nothing is perfect and there is always room for improvement.

The laser is hard to see in sunlight, so if the next version would beef that up a little that would be great.

The saw gets in it’s own way.  Depending on the cut you want to do you have to make sure the rail is not hitting the fence or the motor isn’t going to come down on the hold down clamp.

Functionally, the hold down clamp works just fine, but it is a time consuming process to adjust.  Something with a quick release would be a welcome improvement.

Dust collection with the bag is almost pointless.  Dust Collection with a Shop-Vac is OK.  I’ve notice that if you extend the arm all the way out, then pull the head down, then push the saw back into the work piece dust collection is better than when simply chopping.  I don’t make a huge deal of dust collection, I accept saw dust as a fact of woodworking.  If I can create less dust or remove it with a vacuum, great! If not I just setup outside.

The saw blade is pretty decent.  It is definitely not as good as my $70 Freud Industrial Blade that is in my table saw.  But that blade is 1/3 the price of this miter saw.  As of now I have no plans on upgrading the current blade until I wear it out.  When I does wear out I will replace it with a premium blade made for sliding miter saws (like this one).

Conclusion

It was money well spent.  I’m very happy.  I got a tool I could afford that is good quality.  My goal for all my tools is 1) never go into debt for a tool, I pay cash for all of them 2) buy the best value I can reasonably afford, and 3) when a tool fails or wears out replace it with a better model.  Hopefully this saw will last me many years and when it is worn out I’ll be able to replace it with a “professional grade” saw.  Until then I have no doubts I can produce professional quality stuff with this saw.

Video Review

For those of you more inclined to watching a review, here you go.

 

If you want to know more about what saw blades I recommend click here.

 

How a New Blade Transformed My Band Saw

New Bandsaw StationFrom “day one” I’ve been disappointed with my Band Saw.  As my birthday approached I thought long and hard about what new tool I wanted.  My wife and I aren’t “gift” people so for our birthdays we get to buy whatever we want (we have a set limit).  After much internal debate I decided a band saw would add the most versatility to my small shop. Next came the research.  It was not in my budget to spend $400+ on a 14″ band saw, so I started looking at bench-top models.

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Just an Update on my Projects

I’ve got my trailer at my house and I’m in the process of piling up junk.  I don’t really have a place to keep my trailer at my house, so my work (youth minister) let’s me keep it there behind on of our buildings.  I did shoot a how-to video of me repairing/remaking a 100ft extension with shot ends into two 50ft cords.  It’s easy and cheap and let me just say that two 50ft cords beat a 100ft cord any day.  It’s so much easier to use.  The video is there but I haven’t had time to edit it.

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Rustic Picture Frame Using Salvaged Materials

IMG_20140208_123056_582

For Valentine’s day 2014 I decided to make my wife a gift.  (She’s mad because it is done and wrapped and she has no idea exactly what I made her (ps this is posting AFTER she sees it)).  I recently was inspired to start making projects to sell.  I figure I’ve got to pay for all of my cool tools somehow.  Also being poor is no fun! Our small town has a craft show once a year and one of my goals for 2014 is to make enough projects/crafts to have a booth by September.

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Dailey Woodworking Episode 1 – Table Saw Stand and Outfeed

I’m starting to work on my Youtube channel that will focus on woodworking projects. I’ll be making things for my shop, for my house, for my wife, and things to sell. Check it out. My goal is one video a month, and maybe two a month.

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