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New adventure into woodworking #1: The "foundation"

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Blog entry by Dave66 posted 09-03-2012 02:10 AM 813 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of New adventure into woodworking series Part 2: More data for those who like data »

I just retired from my second 20-plus-year carreer. That’s over forty – plus years doing something I hated. Now its time for a change.

I’m not a professional woodworker, I’m not even very experienced. But, I’ve played with woodwork for more than 50 years. I’ve even made some fairly decent keepsake boxes over the years.

Now, I want to get into woodworking in a way to find out what I’m capable of. With the support of my new spouse, I’ve taken some equity out of the house to pay for building a 450 sq ft shop—my first serious shop. I’ve been waiting to do this for about 50 or more years.

Recently, I opened a discussion about bandsaw selection in the tools forums. I’m getting ready to buy my first bandsaw. The result has been wonderful. Many gracious and helpful people have provided terrific input to my bandsaw selection process—I’m very grateful.

However, I have some clarifying thoughts about where I’m coming from that don’t belong in that forum, but are somewhat motivated by what peoplle there have contributed. I am not trying to rant or start any sort of flame, I’m only trying to explain where I am at this point.

I started out in that forum asking for inputs on selecting a bandsaw. I got more than I could have hoped for: the people here are wonderful! However, it’s interesting to me that the discussion rapidly focussed on Rikon vs. Grizzly. Sure, there are other brands that may, in fact, be superior, but this community narrowed down to these two very rapidly on the basis of value for dollar.

First, I want to acknowledge all the wonderful people that pointed out that I should not buy more saw than I need. However, the advice boiled down to”don’t buy more saw than you need to do what you do.”—Well, what I do and what I might do are both defined by what I can do: If I buy a 14 inch bandsaw, I’m not very likely to learn how to resaw.

As I said, I’ve been waiting for this for 50 years. I’m 65+ years old. I’m not going to spend the time I have left playing patty-cake with my tool selections and my woodworking capacity. I’m not rich by any means, but I’m also not going to “skinflint” this opportunity.

That said, and I hope Ididn’t offend anyone, I’ve decided to buy a Grizzly Extreme bandsaw for the following reasons:
1. At the price of the Grizzly, plus shipping I can immediately afford to buy a disk/belt sander as well. (Not the case if I buy Rikon).
2. The Grizzly has a motor brake that the Riklon apparently does not. This is potentially a big deal for me.
3. the Grizzly appears to support a wider range of blade widths than the Rikon. (0.25 – 1.5 vs. 0.5 – 1.0)
4. There is a significant price differential ($200, even with the Rikon on sale) between Grizzly 17 inch and Rikon 18 inch, delivered. Further, I can buy a Grizzly 19 inch, 3 HP saw with motor brake and shipping for the same price as a Rincon 18 inch, 2 HP saw with no brake, and inferior resaw fence, including shipping.

At any rate, this is my analysis to date.

Ground-breaking on the shop is not for a week or so. Then, after completion I’ll be making my “buy decision..” I’ll try to keep this current as we go.

I look forward to posting more as the shop gets built.



6 comments so far

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

11479 posts in 1759 days


#1 posted 09-03-2012 03:05 AM

Dave – welcome to the gang. Im glad that you are getting your well deserved shop and arent skimping on the gear. If youve got the money to burn and a supporting budget, have it brother. Are you starting from the ground up or upgrading / expanding?

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Dave66's profile

Dave66

13 posts in 847 days


#2 posted 09-03-2012 02:46 PM

Chris,

Thanks!

Regarding gound-up vs. upgrading: I have a few tools, both power and hand. (I definitely need to improve my skills with the hand tools—I haven’t used a plane since middle school.) I have a job-site grade table saw and I’ve built jigs and sleds for it. I have a router table, again with jigs and sleds. I also have a bench-mount drill press, a jointer, and a scroll saw; plus, biscuit joiner, brad nailer, compact router, Dremmel rotary tool, and a decent mitre saw. So, I guess I’m expanding is the short answer.

I just get really tired of moving the vehicles out of the garage to set up for a project, then having to put all the tools away to get the vehicles back in. Leaving the garage in shop configuration just isn’t an option for me—particularly with the new spouse . . . she wants to park inside. And, “if Momma aint happy, aint nobody happy.” Besides, she has been extremely supportive. She is the one who insisted and encouraged me to do this, finally.

Dave

BTW, I really like the trophy and the coffee table. Being honest, I haven’t had time to look at the rest, but I will. There’s a lot to this site!

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112936 posts in 2329 days


#3 posted 09-03-2012 03:21 PM

Welcome aboard Dave I think you will be very happy with the Grizzly . I guess you have all your plans worked out for your shop,but if I had it to do over I would have put radiant heat in the floor. One thing I did that has worked out great is too put some of my dust collection in the floor. It saves having dust collection you have to step over or having it overhead on tools like your table saw. If you haven’t finalized everything in your new shop there are some very good an informative threads about building shops here on LJs .Enjoy your retirement .

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Kookaburra's profile

Kookaburra

748 posts in 977 days


#4 posted 09-03-2012 03:28 PM

It will be fun watching you Dave. Keeping a blog here will be good for you – remembering why you did what you did when you did it – and a good lesson in the thought process for the rest of us.

I have the same philosophy as you, it sounds like. I would rather get a tool I can grow into than one that I will soon outgrow. No, I don’t have “money to burn” but that is one of the reasons I would rather make an investment in a good tool that I will use for years than throw my money away on a throw-away tool.

What are your first projects going to be?

-- Kay - Just a girl who loves wood.

View Dave66's profile

Dave66

13 posts in 847 days


#5 posted 09-03-2012 04:55 PM

Thanks, Jim.

I appreciate the advice. Radiant floor heating would be nice, but it would also be an additional cost. And, one of the things I’m trying to do is preserve the option (fiction) of disguising this as an additional bedroom if I need to do that to sell the house in the future. I plan to have my dust collection overhead, for good or ill.

Kay! How great to finally meet a lady here. I was afraid it was going to nothing but guys. Yep, you got it in one!—if it matches what I do now, it probably isn’t what I really want, ‘cause the whole point of this for me is growth. I too, don’t have “money to burn.” But, I’m fortunate that my spouse supports my passion and that I can use some of our assets (home equity) to do this with her approval.

I’m currently working on some folding knives with exotic wood scales. I’ll continue to develop those over time. But, my first major project when the building is complete, is going to be a Woodsmith workbench. Then, I’ll be doing wall mounted cabinets, tool storage, and work surfaces. I also want to do a torsion box assembly surface—I might incorporate that into the workbench or the work surfaces, I don’t know yet. It depends on space.

BTW, all: I think I don’t really have a handel on how to post to this site. If I’m not making it work, I appologize.

Dave

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

11543 posts in 1442 days


#6 posted 09-04-2012 02:41 AM

I think you will be very happy with the Grizz bandsaw (I love mine). If you can do it, I would urge you to put your DC and compressor outside of the working area of your shop. I did and I have never regretted it. Much quieter and any fine dust that escapes your filter isn’t in your shop.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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