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livingvicariously
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A rotary tool (like a Dremel or other brand) with a nice assortment of sanding attachments & drilling bits. Check out the Dremel Trio, which will also route out channels for wiring and do plunge cuts for cutting out new windows and doors as well as straight cutting. (The rotary tool is not good for doing that type of cutting.)

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I have a BladeRunner. It's really opened up the dh construction world for me because now I can easily make change that require cutting. This saw is like a jig saw that is upside down and permanently fixed into a small table. It's perfect (for me) for making straight and curved cuts. It has some limitations, but for most of what I want to do its perfect, and I don't have to know exactly what I want before I bug my DH to fire up the table saw!

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The only power tool I own I wish I hadn't bothered is the Dremel sander; I can sand flat surfaces just as well with my sanding block. My favorites to play with are my rotary tools, the bandsaw, the scrollsaw and the lathe; but that's because I'm making furniture as well as houses.

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I have a large number of power tools so it's hard for me to even imagine what it would be like to have only one. Yikes - that would be torture.

I probably use my band saw the most regularly. The second most would be my jig saw and sander. I have 2 kinds of sanders.

The one tool I don't have that I want is a scroll saw. If I had that, I probably wouldn't use the band saw as much. They accomplish similar things but the scroll saw has more versatility with inside cuts and being able to switch the blade in and out so easily.

I do have several kinds and sizes of drills, a table saw, 2 circular saws, 2 drill presses, engraving tools for wood and metal, a reciprocating saw, several types of small Oscillating Multi-Tools, an ancient radial arm saw, paint sprayers, Dremel trio, and many others. I'm a power tool-aholic !!!!

The thing I do have that I don't use much is the small Dremel rotary tools that everyone raves about. I thought I'd use them a lot but I have found that my hands are not steady enough to use them with enough accuracy to suit me. I have arthritis and need to be able to use a guide, jig or a brace for accurate cutting and I've never figured out how to combine the Dremel types and the guides I need together in a convenient method. I'm sure there probably is one but I gave up trying to figure it out.

Good luck - I say buy them all !!!!

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A jigsaw or scroll saw is a good first tool. They are reasonablly priced and available in discount stores, hardware and building centers. You'll know the one that's right for you. They are versatile. I have a Dremel, and it is handy, but i'm just as likely to grab an Exacto knife or other hand tool sometimes.

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Tami, check out the various tool sites like Proxxon, Rockler, Micro-Mark and Harbor Freight and compare models, features, prices, etc. Shop around Lowe's, HF, Woodcraft, etc stores. Attend the Demo Days. Ask lots of questions. Check out the cabinetry classes at your local vo tech; the instructors can give you lots of info and pointers.

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Oh,don't get me started on Lowe's! Mmmm,I am a bit nutty I guess,but I loooove to go into Lowe's!! Partly cuz my perfume/fragrance allergies usually don't get stirred up in there,but the smell of lumber is heavenly and there's all those tools to look at (I still just look,for now!) and all the other 'stuff' that can be turned into minis! I just love that place! Okay,back to Earth now! :)

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Don't get me wrong--I use my Dremel a lot, but sometimes the old hand tools are just faster for some things. I work on my kitchen table, so it depends on if I'm parked there for a long time what I get out of the cupboard.

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Don't get me wrong--I use my Dremel a lot, but sometimes the old hand tools are just faster for some things. I work on my kitchen table, so it depends on if I'm parked there for a long time what I get out of the cupboard.

I like to work at my kitchen table too. :D

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