New to the hobby, a look inside the beginners mind. #1: the first few tools in the shop

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Blog entry by Jason Wheeler posted 01-05-2008 11:58 PM 1463 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of New to the hobby, a look inside the beginners mind. series no next part

I have to say setting up a wood shop is just as much work and cash, if not more, then setting up a steel shop. Luckily a few of the steel tools are useful and will come in handy to the wood shop. I have also a few tools from a set of cedar drafting drawers I built oh, 5 years back. It was a one time thing and at the time living in an apartment, dust was every where. All I really had was a Dewalt biscuit joiner and a random orbital sander, that was it.

A pic of the cedar drawers, mmmm they smell good!
Cedar Drafting Drawers

Seeing that Nara and I will finally be leaving the nest and have our own space has open the possibility to have a well set up metal and wood shop. The garage will house the Hot Rod (under construction) and all the steel tools wile the basement will house the wood shop.

A pic in the metal shop, me in the ol 1930 Ford, under construction…
The Hot Rod Under Construction

On the hunt for tools:

The very first tool to find a home in the new shop (and don’t ask me why first) was the Leigh D4R 24” dovetail jig. I have plans to build all kinds of furniture with drawers and what better way to assemble them then with a dovetail! This is an awesome tool (No I haven’t used it yet, but I have a good feeling!) Ok so now I need a router, right? Well I asked around and looked up the forums and the Triton came up allot. Well I bought the Mastercraft Maximum 2hp set up, hey it was on sale for $125,,,, well, I brought it back, change of heart I guess. The triton has allot more features plus it came with a selection of guide bushings and the neat winder so you can adjust it if you have it under a router table, bonus! Sooooo, Nara and I went for a drive to Busy Bee today and picked up the Triton 2 1/4hp kit, router for $200 smackers. I also picked up a Dewalt 13” 735 Planner and a digital read out, hey what can I say. Reading the last post here on planners, you all sold me one before I even got to the store =)

Well I haven’t set up the temporary shop yet, something to last until next December when we move, but I will soon. The last thing I’m shopping for is a jointer, I’d like to go with an eight inch set up, but I’m not sure if Nara will go for that, hmmmm, I’ll have to get her that purse she’s been talking about I guess?? I’ll let you know how that goes.

Thanks for reading, until next time, Jason Wheeler


6 comments so far

View gizmodyne's profile


1780 posts in 4115 days

#1 posted 01-06-2008 02:01 AM

Sounds good. Great to have 2 spaces. Post pics when you set up the shop.

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4124 days

#2 posted 01-06-2008 02:32 AM

And so the journey begins! Welcome to LJ!

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View jcees's profile


1060 posts in 3824 days

#3 posted 01-06-2008 02:34 AM

I was in the Woodcraft store a few weeks ago and a newbie was asking the hired help about routers and bits. I horned in about the time he asked, “How many routers do you think I’ll need before I’m done?” I leaned in and asked grinning, “How many bits do you have?” Both gentlemen guffawed but I know I planted a seed. The thing is, as you get good at jigging and setups for processes using a router, I’ll dedicate THAT router to a few processes and no others. Therefor, I’ve standardized on Porter-Cable routers and haunt eBay for decent used ones. I now own eleven counting three 3.5hp models, three plunge models, two laminate trimmers and three fixed base models. The bigguns are mounted in a router table and the others have specialized bases for the jobs in which they’re used.

Starting out, I used one and swapped attachments, bases and bits all the time. Finally, I bought a second and the first remained in the router table. No more dismounting, refitting, recalibrating, blah, blah, blah… thus my obsession.

As you state your preference for modern styled furniture you’ll be glad to know that most of those designs are intended to be created with machines with little need for hand skills. It’s not a criticism, just a fact. Now if you intend to become a “fine” woodworker you’ll have to balance your desire for machines with the real need to develop your hand skills as those are the ones that will serve your “fancy” best. Checkout Krenov’s books for inspiration and to see what is possible with handtools in the modern style.

BTW, love that ride, man!

-- When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -- John Muir

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4013 days

#4 posted 01-06-2008 02:38 AM

Sounds like you are off to a good start. Nice car BTW!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4186 days

#5 posted 01-06-2008 01:26 PM

now, I want to see the kitchen .. and the lady’s work space (I am assuming that it isn’t planned that she will be joining you in your work areas, since you are going to swap a purse for a tool)....

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View clieb91's profile


3520 posts in 3960 days

#6 posted 01-06-2008 04:59 PM

Jason, Welcome to LumberJocks. Nice looking car. Sounds like you are on your way to a good shop.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

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