Beginnings #2: Procuring Equipment

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Blog entry by Knot_Board_At_Awl posted 11-25-2011 09:16 AM 1137 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Starting Out Part 2 of Beginnings series no next part

As written in my first post, I’m still at the beginning of my foray into woodworking as most of my wood projects so far are home renovations and grunt work! Throughout my home renovations, I have been keeping my eye open for equipment so that I can slowly build it up and have it ready for when I can really get into woodworking within the next two years or so (at least that is the plan).

Most of my equipment is used (See my workshop for details). I figure that buying something used helps to save money but also provides an opportunity to really understand how the equipment works as most of the time an overhaul or part replacement is necessary. I love to tinker so taking things apart and putting everything back together is something I enjoy doing and if something works better than it did before, then I must have done something right or I was just plain lucky!

The first piece of equipment I purchased was the table saw. Probably the first for many people and of course is the most useful for any project. I found it on Craigslist from a guy who had been using it to build cabinets in his garage and was upgrading to a Delta Unisaw. When he started up the saw, he said “the squealing is normal and goes away once it warms up!” Sure thing buddy! I knew that the bearings should be replaced but an easy job for me as I work at a place that has everything I need to change them out – and I can get bearings at a pretty good price. I still need to change them out but even still, the saw has been running great. It will go through a good tune-up once the reno’s are done.

The next item on the list was an air compressor. I needed it for the various air tools I have for my reno’s and auto work as well but also handy for a barrage of additional air tools I plan on buying. Again, Craigslist to the rescue! Although it was quite a drive away (2 hrs), I got the compressor and the guy threw in the drill press for $50 so I figure I came out pretty good. The drill press has some surface rust due to it being stored under a tarp for a few months, but nothing some rust remover can’t get rid of!

I just recently received a jointer. A neighbor up at the family cabin was getting rid of it and I took it off his hands for a good price. It’s in excellent shape and had only been used a few times. I still need to run it through a few tests but initial results are promising. The blade still looks brand new!

My dad bought a bandsaw from his friend a few years back and was ready to part with it as he doesn’t use it. He was going to put it on Craigslist until my mom told him that he better check with me. Luckily he did so it will be mine soon. I will add it to my workshop once it’s in my hands.

My dust extractor setup at the moment is a Rigid shop vac. I figure the dust extraction system can wait until I’m ready to do some serious jobs but until then, the shop vac should be more than sufficient until then.

One of the last few things I am looking to get is a planer. I’ll then have a pretty decent setup ready for action. I’ll start looking on Craigslist shortly after Christmas (if I don’t get a new one that is!).

All of the equipment will be running on casters and carts. Since the garage isn’t overly large, most of the equipment will live against the walls or around the post that always seems to be in the worst spot! It’s nice to be able to maximize the workspace and bring out the equipment as you need it.

-- Mike -- Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

1 comment so far

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2794 posts in 3464 days

#1 posted 11-25-2011 08:00 PM

“The right tool for the right job!” (said with a scottish accent as spoken by Scotty, the warp drive engineer on the original Star Trek).

Having the right tool can make all the difference in many ways. One is that it makes a difficult job easier. For me it helps make up for lack of some other skills. The tools, good ones, and those suited to the task can make you look better than you really are. It’s cheating a little bit but hey, for me it’s getting it done that counts.

That’s why, after my basic shop set-up, I tend to obtain tools just before I anticipate I’ll need them, sort of like purchasing a router bit as you feel it’s profile will make your piece look just that much better for using it.

Of course, sometimes I get a tool that in my head I think I’ll need and find out that it’s not appropriate to the cause at this time at all. I’ll bet everyone has some of those.

You sound like you’re finishing up on the stuff that 1. will help you look good, and 2. will let you get the stuff you need to do done. Way to go!

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

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