Lynda's Workshop

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Workshop by Lynda posted 01-13-2011 10:14 PM 1355 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

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View Lynda's profile


2 posts in 2895 days

United States

Goal is to set up workshop in 20×20 area. I need recommendations regarding best table saw for beginner, also configuration of shop. Is a shop vac worthwhile? What other tools are must haves?

6 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4026 days

#1 posted 01-13-2011 10:55 PM

Lynda, you are at the exciting point in setting up a wood shop- buying tools. It is always fun to add a new tool to our shop. Your questions are pretty broad and would be best answered as a forum topic where they will get viewed by more members. But it will be a challenge to answer them without more information such as your budget, type of woodworking you intend to pursue, and so forth.

For example, if I were giving a recommendation for a table saw I would suggest a cabinet saw, especially if cabinetry is your main type of woodworking. But if the budget does not allow a cabinet saw (a good one can run from $800 for a hybrid saw to $4K) then a good quality contractor saw can do an adequate job as well.

Here is a link to Grizzly Tools shop planner. I have found it helpful in designing and arranging my shop. Of course, the virtual tools that you can download are all Grizzly machines but I have always been impressed with both the quality of their tools and customer service.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View HorizontalMike's profile


7770 posts in 3118 days

#2 posted 01-14-2011 04:49 PM

Welcome Lynda, nice to see more local woodworkers joining LJs. Regarding the shop vac: To be honest, you will need much more than that. Suggest looking at Harbor Freight (either the Vance Jackson or Walzem store) and keep an eye out for their 2hp dust collector. They are on sale right now for $189. Most dust collection systems cost twice that, so this is a bargain and popular choice.

RE TABLE SAWS: Buy one step better/higher than you can afford. In other words don’t skimp on this purchase decision. I started out looking in the $400 range and ended up with $1750 invested, but am thankful every time I use it. I opted to include a router extension on my table saw.

Best wood source in town: BlueLinx Hardwoods off of WWWhite off of 410S on the East Side.

Others will chime in with their prioritized lists of big power tools, so balance that with whatever your WW goals are.

Table Saw
Band Saw (I like the 14” Rikon)
Jointer (though you could probably get by w/out this for a while)
Drill Press—at some point

Other Must-Haves:
Clamps—at least a dozen to start out (and NOT just the cheap plastic HF ones, some ok but get good f-clamps as well)
Hand Planes—how many depends on you. Believe it or not you will use these even if you go the power tool route. Especially small ones like a block plane, shoulder plane, smoother)
Card Scrapers for detailed finishing
Chisel Set and sharpening system (research this as there are a multitude of methods here)

As you get started, you will find out what your needs really are and that is the fun part, assuming you can fund your desires. I think I spent about $6,000 to $7,000 starting my woodshop about a year ago. Good luck!

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Bernie's profile


422 posts in 3041 days

#3 posted 01-15-2011 07:01 AM

Welcome Lynda… I just posted a tour of my 24 X 24 workshop. Maybe it can help you design your shop. One aspect not pictured or explained in my post is the story of the 2 posts in the middle of the shop. They are metal posts and I boxed them in wood. One step farther. I extended the face boards on 2 sides far enough to screw a peg board on the ends of the extended face boards. I hang tool on them.

Tools… like Scoot said… depends on what you want to do. And Mike is right… don’t skimp on the table saw. It will be the shop’s workhorse. I bought a small Jet cabinet saw and still delighted about it. I didn’t want the 5HP saws or even 3HP. My Jet 1.75 HP saw is good (only had to hit the reset button once and finished my cut a tad slower. Those 5 HP saws have very scary kick backs. As for dust control, my Jet 1.5 machine is great for me. Low ceilings means I use an expendable flex hose for different tools and a remote switch to operate. Cost was reasonable and works well. I have a window box fan with a furnace filter I place on my workbench when sanding small pieces. Whatever yo do… take Mike suggestion and don’t buy cheap. There are lots of great hand tools that you will need and do excellent work. But do your homework. For example, Mike suggested a card scraper also known as a cabinet scraper. I swear by this tool and use one all the time. But you need to know how to sharpen one. A good scraper will cost you under $15 or $25 for a set which includes convex and concave scrapers. Then you need a burnishing tool ($25) to finish sharpening them (and the knowledge to use this tool).

There really are so many to know and you probably already know lots of these things. Joining LJ is an excellent start, but search for a woodworking guild in your area. They are always full of wonderful folks eager to help. One last comment… although you’re not the 1st… I’m happy to see you joining the ranks. I wish more women would join the woodworking community.

-- Bernie: It never gets hot or cold in New Hampshire, just seasonal!

View devann's profile


2246 posts in 2897 days

#4 posted 01-30-2011 10:11 AM

Welcome to LJ Lynda, and welcome to the woodworking community. There’s good advice posted above and you can spend a ton of $$$$ setting up a shop from scratch. Start with tools that you are the most familier with. I tend to buy hand held power tools that are reconditioned. They have been sent back to the orignal manufacture and overhualed to preform like new. You get new tool preformace and warrenty and a used tool price. Go talk to the people at Texas Tool Traders. They have more tools than the big box stores and a better return policy. I’ve dealt with the Austin store for more than twenty years and they’ve always been good people to buy from. Take a look around the website at some of the shops posted and see what you setups like most. And remember “plan your work & work your plan” Good Luck.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View beginner1's profile


74 posts in 2762 days

#5 posted 06-08-2011 04:45 AM

Lynda, look for bargains. Watch for sales and buy what you can, when you can. Good Luck

-- Gerald, Illinois

View thedude50's profile


3603 posts in 2682 days

#6 posted 11-19-2011 08:15 AM


-- Please check out my new stores and

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