(I posted some of this on someone else’s Forum post and thought, that’s pretty good I ought to have that post on my own site, I’ve even got a blog called Setting up Shop, so here it is. Sorry if you’ve seen it before)
I started from scratch a few years ago. The first tool I got was a miter saw which I sat on an old dining-room table that I plan to refinish someday. I was putting up trim and flooring in the house so I needed that first.
Then a table saw, and a planer. I sat the planer on a table made from a couple of sawhorses and a solid-core door from the local Habitat for Humanity. That gave me a solid surface make some boards to build a couple of simple but sturdy bases for workbenches.
Those first workbenches were the basis for many other projects and the solid-core doors were an easy way to get a really heavy, thick top. (Had to cut em down and that was a mess. Solid-core doors are not solid wood inside if they are the “Fire Rated” kind. This stuff looked like a compressed mix of sawdust and gypsum)
I still have those benches. I use one for assembling small stuff and the other for painting and finishing.
But I still haven’t built a Roubo. Maybe someday…
Oh yes, the miter saw? It’s still on the dining room table. I don’t use it much – having learned to make sleds get much better accuracy on my table saw.
-- Some problems are best solved with an optimistic approach. Optimism shines a light on alternatives that are otherwise not visible.