What’s in Your Toolbox – Ronald Sauvé
Ronald Sauvé // Builder/Remodeler // Eliot, Maine
Ronald Sauvé, pronounced “so-VAY,” was introduced to building as a kid growing up in rural Vermont in 1950s and 1960s and started working in building trades in 1970. When work needed to be done around the house and farm, his family would do it.
“We always did what we needed to do, whether that was building a barn for animals or whatever,” Sauvé recalls. “I was always interested in carpentry and in high school the only course I got straight As in was shop.”
As old school as that sounds, Sauvé went on to specialize green and energy efficient buildings – teaching an adult education class on the topic at one point.
He is a big user of Apple products and apps.
“I had someone tell me the other day, ‘You are pretty techy for an old guy,’” Sauvé said. “I have iPads, MacBook Pro, iPhone. Those to me are invaluable tools. I have the whole building code on an iPad.”
He uses a laser measurer that can measure the dimensions of homes and export them to apps that can connect with Chief Architect on his Mac, an app on his iPad. He also uses AutoDesk 360 and an app called Measures to insert dimensions into photographs. “I have a few hundred apps,” he said.
Sauvé did not hesitate when asked what advice he would give those just starting their own shops.
“Pay attention to building science. I’m constantly surprised how often contractors are not familiar with why things work.”
He recommends contractors check out Building Science Corporation if they are interested. In the meantime, here is a list of his favorite workshop and job site tools.
SawStop Jobsite Table Saw, Model JSS
Not only is this a high-quality table saw, but it is the safest table saw on the market. Examples of its quality are: One crank of the blade from full down to full up, simple squeeze to tilt blade, accuracy, easy-to-use fence, very good dust collection both under and above the blade guard, splitter storage, miter gauge, and riving knife.
Makita Cordless Plunge Track Saw Model # XPS01PT
Track saws can accomplish high end trim cuts with extreme precision. The cordless feature frees one up to work without the need for AC power when that is not available and relieves one of having to have cords getting in the way. Being brushless means longer run time. I have a corded Festool track saw as well for use in the shop, but this cordless one is what I’ll always use on the jobsite.
RIDGID Sliding 10” Compound Miter Saw, Model#R4210
Crosscutting mainly in the shop, as I have the Rigid 7 ¼” cordless sliding miter saw for most cutting on the jobsite.
Milwaukee Cordless Fuel Sawzall, Model# 2720-22 HD
This saw has more power, and cuts faster than my corded Sawzall.
Festool Multifunction Table, Model MFT-3
Ability to cross cut wide stock with extreme precision. Ability to clamp stock on position for cutting, shaping, sanding, and so on. Cross and angle cutting wide stock up to 23” in width.
Dewalt Cordless Table Saw, Model# DCS7485
Cordless, powerful, quiet, blade brake stops in one second, 24 ½” rip capacity, with the 2-to-9-amp hour batteries I can work all day.
Kreg Pocket Hole Cutting Machine, Model Foreman
It is by far the best pocket hole cutting machine that not only can be used in the shop but can easily be transported to and used on a jobsite. It is quiet. It has the flip-stop gauges that can be either used as edge stops or flip up out of the way for side cuts. The newer model is missing this feature.
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