Woodshop On A Budget #3: woodshop on a budget (the original #2)

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Blog entry by Chefshep posted 02-22-2011 07:38 AM 7202 reads 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: woodshop on a budget (the Original #1) Ridgid Band Saw off Craigslist Part 3 of Woodshop On A Budget series Part 4: Craigslist takes a "turn" in a direction for new tool acquisition ideas!!! »

Guys… please forgive me…It has been way too long since I made an entry on this blog.

I managed to pick up a real bad case of the flu… It merged into a full on Sinus Infection that had me out of work for 7 days & landed me an emergency room visit. The CAT Scan revealed full sinus blockage. This explained the dizziness, fatigue, and major dehydration… Well, I made it! The budget has taken quite a hit though. Hospitals ain’t cheap… & missing 7 days of work makes it real hard to pay for the hospital. But there’s still plenty of things for us to talk about. So, back to it…

Every Wood Shop needs a table saw… We’d all love to have the “Powermatic PM 2000”, or the “SawStop Professional” as our centerpiece. Maybe, down the road a bit… it might be a bit more realistic for us to have a wish list with that kinda machinery on it… For now, we need something that will work, and that will hold us thru until we hit the lottery…

Craig’s List to the rescue, once again…
I picked up this 10” Ryobi BTS15 Table Saw w/ stand for $65…
For now… this will do…

Next, we need a Miter Saw/Chop Saw… Drum roll please…

$100 Brand new, right out the box, laser sight & all…
With patience & a firm resolve to get what you need & fit it into your budget, Craig’s List can be a Pearl of Great Price! My advice… (for what it’s worth), make up a list of what you need to get started. Factor in your budget. Prioritize which tools you need first… then patiently hunt them down on Craig’s List.

I have found my best Craig’s List deals, not in the “tools” section, but in the garage sales. It may take a bit more time to hunt them down. But in the end, it’s worth it… More to follow…

-- Chefshep :) "When we allow our present to quarrel with our past, we risk jeopardizing our future.” - Winston Churchill

15 comments so far

View dbhost's profile


5631 posts in 2743 days

#1 posted 02-22-2011 07:51 AM

I have heard fairly good things about the BTS15 from folks that actually own them. Sure not a SawStop, not even a BT3×00 Ryobi, but still a good little saw if you set it up right. And you sure can’t beat that price!

That is a very interesting miter saw. Never seen that model. What are the specs?

-- My workshop blog can be found at, YouTube Channel

View Chefshep's profile


121 posts in 2194 days

#2 posted 02-22-2011 08:23 AM

I’d never seen this miter saw before either…
Craftsman 10” Compound Miter Saw, Double Insulated, Model # 315.212500; 5/8 blade arbor, 5000 rpm no load speed, 15amp, w/ laser, table extentions & stop block... see

I will be working on the set up of the table saw… Wondering if it would be worth my time to make a custom table for it…

-- Chefshep :) "When we allow our present to quarrel with our past, we risk jeopardizing our future.” - Winston Churchill

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2136 posts in 2620 days

#3 posted 02-22-2011 02:07 PM

Chefsshep, you know they have internet access at the hospital. You shouldn’t let a little life threatening illness keep you from your more important responsibilities ;)

Ryobi’s concept of using miter and crosscut sleds built into their saw table was pretty ingenious in my opinion. You are not going to be laying sheets of plywood on it, but you should get better miter and crosscuts than with most saws in that price range. I would still be more comfortable using it if it had a blade guard on it. You might want to see if you can get a replacement for it.

Nice haul for the money.


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View nobuckle's profile


1120 posts in 2272 days

#4 posted 02-22-2011 03:43 PM

It’s good to know that you are feeling better and getting back to a sense of normal. Now it’s time for saw dust therapy. Craig’s List can be a great place to buy your tools. Craig’s List is where I bought my Craftsman 6” jointer. The guy I bought it from used it five times for a single job and decided he didn’t need it any more. I snagged it for $180. This was a major upgrade from my ShopSmith 4” jointer. When budgets are tight Craig’s List is the way to go. Thanks for sharing and I hope you stay well.

-- Doug - Make an effort to live by the slogan "We try harder"

View JuniorJoiner's profile


463 posts in 2951 days

#5 posted 02-22-2011 06:08 PM

I don’t know about “sawdust therapy”, as sawdust can be a cause of sinus infections, I would be making certain I had some dust collection happening.
the tools look great.

-- Junior -Quality is never an accident-it is the reward for the effort involved.

View NBeener's profile


4809 posts in 2685 days

#6 posted 02-22-2011 06:37 PM

Totally agree with JuniorJoiner.

Having had FOUR sinus surgeries, myself, and …. so many sinus infections that a) I lost count, and b) I’m on daily antibiotics to keep them at bay ….

Definitely, definitely, DEFINITELY do something about good dust collection, and … meanwhile … consider a 3M 7500 respirator to wear, whenever you’re in the shop.

I’ve seen numerous studies that show that people with chronic sinus problems report lower “Quality of Life” scores than people with Congestive Heart Failure, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder, and a HANDFUL of really AWFUL conditions.

So … take care … take GOOD care !

-- -- Neil

View Dan's profile


3630 posts in 2392 days

#7 posted 02-22-2011 09:05 PM

My first table saw was a Ryobi kind of like yours just without the sliding table. It worked fine until I was able to upgrade to a bigger saw. The only issue I had was the fence was a bit tricky to lock straight.

Another Craigslist tip: In the items for sale you can also find a lot of people posting tools under the General link.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View Chefshep's profile


121 posts in 2194 days

#8 posted 02-22-2011 09:35 PM

Thanks guys…

David, I do have the blade guard…

Neil, Junior, I am in the “study phase” on dust collection now. My next post on this blog will be about the squirell cage blower I picked up… Still trying to come up w/ a good plan/design on either a DC or Air Filter for it…

Dan, I will gladly take any tips on Craigslist… so keep em commin:)

-- Chefshep :) "When we allow our present to quarrel with our past, we risk jeopardizing our future.” - Winston Churchill

View crank49's profile


3987 posts in 2482 days

#9 posted 02-22-2011 10:27 PM

Chefshep, that squirrel cage blower is not likely to work as a DC, but should be no problem to use as a shop air filter. Squirrel cages can’t normally develope more than 1” to 4” static pressure, and are the most common type of fan for HVAC systems; so they obviously handle filters ok.. You need more like a 10” to 14” static to do a decent job as a collector and that requires a paddle wheel impeller type fan.

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 2400 days

#10 posted 02-23-2011 01:14 AM

One tip on saws like that with the angle iron type supports; take the legs off and put some hard board in between the legs and body so you in effect “box in” the base. This will make it much sturdier. These things have a bad habit of wracking at the worst possible times. Boxing in the base makes this virtually impossible.

If you don’t mind a bit more work abd expense, you can put a drawr or two in the box for such things as accessories, wrenches and extra blades.

My other suggestion for your shop would be to make “flip flop” bases for your tools that are of the table top variety. Things like scroll saws, band saws, drill presses and so on, are all suited to these bases. They not only save money by having one base holing two tools, but save shop room into the bargain.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View NBeener's profile


4809 posts in 2685 days

#11 posted 02-23-2011 01:24 AM

Big Tiny: GREAT call, on reinforcing those stands.

What I’ve done … along the same lines … is use a piece of 3/4” ply, tack four casters on it, and then bolt the stand on top of the ply. Gives me some reinforcement, and the mobile tool base.

But … yeah … it’s not IF it will rack on you. It’s when.

-- -- Neil

View Chefshep's profile


121 posts in 2194 days

#12 posted 02-23-2011 04:12 AM

Crank49, good info on the blower. It did come from an HVAC unit. It’s pretty big, so it will make an awesome air filter. The guy says it’ll move 2500+ CFM…

Neil, BigTiny, I’m trying to get a visual on what you’re talking about… Saw plans for an “Easy-Lift Mobile Base” in the ShopNotes Vol. 20 Issue 115, but this doesn’t seem like it would do a lot for reinforcement. Maybe a little. I was considering building a small station from ideas I got cruising thru some of the project posts on the LJ site. But I’m not too sure if it’ll be worth it because I may wish to upgrade sooner rather than later. Who knows, maybe I could come up with a station that would really make that little table saw shine. (I’m open to ideas)

-- Chefshep :) "When we allow our present to quarrel with our past, we risk jeopardizing our future.” - Winston Churchill

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 2400 days

#13 posted 02-23-2011 08:34 AM

What I mean is that you take off both legs on one side and cut a piece of thin ply or hardboard to fit between the legs and the saw body, forming a solid surface where the legs were. You drill this to fit the bolt holes in the legs and remount them with the ply trapped between the legs and the saw body at the top abd the brace at the bottom (if there is one. If not, drill a couple of holes to hold it in place)

Do this on all four sides, leaving you with a sort of box under the saw which is much more rigid than the legs alone.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View Chefshep's profile


121 posts in 2194 days

#14 posted 02-23-2011 07:54 PM

Thanks Big Tiny You have provided my needed “visual”.

-- Chefshep :) "When we allow our present to quarrel with our past, we risk jeopardizing our future.” - Winston Churchill

View StumpyNubs's profile


7004 posts in 2312 days

#15 posted 02-28-2011 05:18 PM

A LOT of people do GREAT work with small, hobby grade tools. Your Ryobi saw looks great to me- the only thing I would do is make a custom stand for it. Get rid of the legs that came with it and make as big a outfeed table as you can fit in your space. It can be an all-in-one bench with your saw, router table, workbench all in one. Run some PVC ducts underneath for a shop vac dust collection system and put it in the center of the shop like a big island. It will give your little saw much of the advantages of a big one!

And it’ll be a lot of fun to design and build. You can put cabinets and drawers underneath for storage, lots of surface space on either side of the saw (where extension wings would go). Put a vice on the outfeed table side. The top can be a double layer of OSB which is super cheap, and then cover that with the cheapest laminate fake hardwood) flooring you can find. (About $1/sq ft) It’ll be tough, flat and glue scrapes off easily.

Just my idea…

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

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