Hey Lj’s I have to say diving head first into the world of wookworking has been a treat and a major headache for me. When It comes down to power tools and the all mighty web and woodworking publications and public opinion a new hobbyist can drown before even building his first project.
Power tools are the cream of the crop these days so much to choose from makes the final choice that much harder to commit too. Heck even hand tools can be a challenge and there multitude of offerings. I think the Amish got it made with family heritage and know how there not spoiled but all that is available.
So my biggest dilema is I’m a geek and I love gadgets but also depend on know how of others and get lost in the maze of every single choice. It took me 6 months just to commit to a table saw for god sakes. I became lost in Woodsmith Shop,Yankee, and The Wood Whisperer spent more time worrying about my choice and the reality of can I even do this?
Example: First saw awesome little saw Home Depot had It was the Rigid model with a ceramic table cool I thought ceramic , hmm must be new tech right. Then to my discovery Craftsman mad a copy of that model and looked into that , that was until my Gradfather said “Stay away from Craftsmen there crap” ,What!? I thought Craftsmen stuff was quality. I brought the discussion to a local Wood store and got laughed at …. ok yes I’m a green horn.. I promptly went to the almight book store for answers and purchased “Dummies Guide to Woodworking” and read this book. OK fine I needed to learn some basics. Still new questions surfaced such as tilt design,type of table saw,good fence Oh for the sake of my sanity what next!!! Weeks went buy and working in the cable industry my eyes fixed on peoples workshops on a day to day basis soaking up and knowledge available and met quite a few woodworker all with there opinions as well. Ok months have gone by
and still no saw purchase. I was driving thru MO and saw this huge billboard for GRIZZLY Showroom , omg I was like a kid in a candy store look at all these saws!!! After my shock wore off my worry kicked in yet again and I left there more depressed than ever too many choices. Couple more months passed and reading and watching endless reviews decided the Steel City,Rigid,Craftsman and couple others were of the choice list when I discoverd that 80% of the hardware is all made from the same foundry in China. So I really want to get a saw that has a history but also that I can afford and China does not seem to be a real issue since nearly all table saws are made overseas. Ok then warrranty/cost/good tool for the money seemed like a better angle.
So final choices came down to Grizzly,General Inst,Jet,and Saw Stop they all have there pros/cons but finally decided on a Jet 30” JS-10 Proshop w/cast iron wings. This saw is bought local and serviced local if the need arise, the Grizzly had all I wanted for the money but horror stories of RMA and repairs were not for the beginner to worry about. I may buy a Grizzly 6” Jointer/spiral head later to give them a shot. All in all the Jet was more money but I met quite a few people that owned this saw and my family are happy with my final decision.
Example 2: Looking now for a good router have 2 in mind Bosch 1617EVSPK or the Dewalt DW618PK not that meesed up this time but a new problem yet again worry/decision/facts and both these units have developed what the community have declared flaws. But the flaws seem more like pesonal needs vs. industral tasks. The Bosch has had isses with shifting in the housing that is major for dovetailing and the Dewalt has about a 30% motor failure due to folks running unit on hard woods for long periods. But I could be wrong but 200.00 price range does not seem like a hard use price more like moderate use. Are there not better high end products that can handle the torque? I dont think I’ll be dovetailing anytime soon yet I think I can settle for the Dewalt as long as I pay attension to the task at hand maybe even buy an extended warranty. The Dewalt kit has been getting high praise.
I’m sure many here at Lumberjock’s have there own stories this site is huge and maybe I missed some info I was looking for but on the whole this is a great resource here. And I’m sure I’ll get better on the buying then the worry part of woodworking.
-- "If the Universe is Infinite, Then all dreams are real."