I am embarrassed now that I have been woodworking for a few years how many tools I have collected. What I really am afraid to admit is how few of this massive collection I really use with any consistently. It seemed for a long time every time something “new” or shiny, improved, or whatever came out, I just had to have it. Some how, I had convinced myself if I just had that tool – it would make me an better woodworker.
I humbly admit most of these new fangled tools I rarely used. Never understood what they should or could do for me. Didn’t work or broke down quickly or never worked right to begin with.
But somehow I had to have them.
It’s mind boggling the money I have spent on these in the past. I don’t think I really want to know. I’m sure I would be surprised and better off if I didn’t know anyways.
For the longest time I couldn’t get myself to sell any of these expensive tools I never used ,underused or could ever really use. It was like I convinced myself some day I would need or use them. Then I would be exonerated for having kept them.
Two things changed this for me.
First and foremost- SPACE, or should I say lack of it. I simply couldn’t store, fit, or hid anymore in my shop.
The second thing was experience. That is the longer I did wood working the more I come to realize that there were some very basic tools I used every day. These tools became my life line and as I began to better understand my craft I realized these were my bread and butter work horses and I needed to by quality and take care of these tools with extra care.
Over time I soon became wise to all the marketing and temptations and just learned to say no.
For me- I have come to believe less is more and have a very basic list of “must have tools”.
All the rest I could get by with out.
This is my list
This is only my power tools not my hand tools with is another whole blog.
A 3 or 5 hp cabinet table saw with very precise fence, and a 7ft top. I won’t name names but I have a favorite I just upgraded to a 5 hp but found the 3 hp to be nearly as good. The biggest difference is noticed when rough ripping and cutting hardwood 8/4 other wise the 3 hp was ample for me.
Two planers, one 13 inch bench top, and one 22 inch floor model.
A sliding miter saw and one 12 inch chop saw. One stationary the other portable.
Drill press bench top. (I admit, I could get by without this but I find it very handy when I need it.)
A dedicated 1-3/4 horse table saw for dados blade only .
A floor model portable dust collector.
Fourteen inch band saw.
My next blog entry I would like to talk about hand power tools and hand tools I can’t live with out.
I’m curious what’s yours?