Some general observations about Lumberjocks...

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Blog entry by dbhost posted 10-20-2009 08:09 PM 2062 reads 0 times favorited 35 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve gone through most of the shop tour pages as I love seeing these things, and along with the project pages, I use them to get ideas for projects, layouts etc…

A good number of things intrigued me about this site overall, and I just wanted to share them with you.

#1. It would appear the two most common table saws owned by LJ members that bother to post their shops, are Ridgid TS3650/TS3660s, and Delta Unisaws.

#2. DeWalt DW735 planers are insanely popular, next seems to be the Ridgid TP1300LS.

#4. There are more than the typical sparse handful of folks here working out of a small shed. If I recall right there is even one guy running an 8×7 plastic shed as a workshop. Not sure how, but if it works for him, why not?

#5. I thought I was a lone ranger aiming for bang for the buck, and building a shop leaning a little bit on the heavy side toward Harbor Freight equipment.

#6. Of the HF leaners, I saw no less than 10 other shops that have the same Band Saw, Lathe, and Dust Collector, including the Wynn filter modifcation.

#7 Of those HF leaners, I am the one that is behind the curve as most of those other guys also have the HF 6” floor model jointer, and benchtop mortiser.

#8. There are far fewer shops listed with dust collection than I would have expected.

#9. The majority of the shops that don’t list a current dust collector are running Shop Vac dust collection.

#10. The majority of those are wanting to upgrade to a full on dust collector.

#11. Really great stuff is coming out of some shops that look like a tornado just went through them.

#12. Lumberjocks seem to have a strange affinity for building workbenches, blanket chests, and baby cribs.

#13. Most LJ’s don’t have enough electrical service in their shops, and know it.

#14. Very few of the shops are completely dedicated shops. Most of them are shared storage spaces that share their space with things like lawnmowers, cars, camping gear and whatnot.

#15. Compared most other forums / sites I have seen, LJs seem to have a higher percentage of woodturners. Or at least more productive ones from the projects listed.

#16. For the most part, LJs do not seem to take part in the brand snobbery that has turned myself, and more than likely more than a few others off of certain other sites.

#17. Along with the near total lack of brand snobbery, there also is much more acceptance of the less experienced here. Generally speaking we can come here, and share our stupid mistakes, get advice, and even have a laugh over it.

#18. While I am on a couple of other forums that are as friendly, and helpful as LJs, they are not as active. LJs is one of the most active woodworking sites I have come across. Great if you want action, not so great if you don’t want to blend into the, ahem, woodwork….

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

35 comments so far

View Bob N's profile

Bob N

131 posts in 3924 days

#1 posted 10-20-2009 08:36 PM

Some very interesting observations.

Thanks for taking the time to share them.

View Vincent Nocito's profile

Vincent Nocito

485 posts in 3360 days

#2 posted 10-20-2009 08:53 PM

#19 Lumberjocks are willing to help solve other member problems and address their questions with good solid advice and examples.

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3170 days

#3 posted 10-20-2009 09:03 PM

You just saved me a whole lot of reading … for which I am eternally grateful!

Nice summation!

-- -- Neil

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3266 days

#4 posted 10-20-2009 09:21 PM

Interesting bit of analysis…..

I think the “snobbery” really comes from the fact that when you raise the bar on woodworking – from the week end warrior types to a hobbyist and above – you find that there are only a few premium manufacturers that give you bang for the buck….I believe any of us would buy cheaper brands if they were durable and precise – but that is typically not the case.

That said though…I find this site fits me better than any of the others that I subscribe too…I am definitely more active here….and find that there is more content here….more “meat” than any other sites. The reviews of projects here is very good…no one is intentionally rude or rapacious…and the same with the tool reviews…I find that almost every post I read has some usefull information…which is rare on some other sites…

Also, as you mentioned, there is alot of turners here (being one myself)....I really enjoy the projects and information that is presented here for turners. I also do other forms of woodworking and find there is just as much useful material on these forums as there is for woodturning…

Kudos to Martin for putting together such a useful and informative place for us woodworking addicts….

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 3935 days

#5 posted 10-20-2009 09:48 PM

A very interesting list. I think you’ll find that one reason for #8 is #13. I own a Delta dust collector, but when I moved and bought a house with a two car garage, I found that the electrical in the garage could not support my dust collector running along with my bigger tools. So, I can have dust collection or I can have tools, just not both.

-- Working at Woodworking

View Cory's profile


760 posts in 3416 days

#6 posted 10-20-2009 10:01 PM

Nice observations. I’ve found that most of the members here have a willingness to help with just about anything, without being condescending if you ask a stupid question (which I do more often than not).

I also love how diverse the group is. You get everyone from a weekend hack like myself to a professional blogging about a client build.

In short, Lumberjocks Rocks.

-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

View dbhost's profile


5710 posts in 3228 days

#7 posted 10-20-2009 10:26 PM

Weekend and evening hack reporting in!

Oh, and I completely agree with Russel. I am pulling power from my dryer circuit for the dust collector because I can. A sub panel is on my wish list / todo list.

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View WiZeR's profile


17 posts in 3462 days

#8 posted 10-20-2009 11:10 PM

Point 15 is due to the layout of this site. In a traditional forum, woodworkers wouldn’t enter the woodturning forum and woodturners wouldn’t enter the woodworking forums. Except for the minority who do both or are interested in getting into the other. Here it’s one big melting pot and it helps bring people together.

-- Home of Woodworking.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4173 posts in 3161 days

#9 posted 10-20-2009 11:14 PM


I think the most interesting thing you noted was what Lumberjocks is not. I know the reasons why I enjoy LJ’s and there is no sense in repeating them, because you and everyone who has commented has pretty much covered the waterfront. I wasn’t that aware of the culture of other sites, however, but I been around too long not to have seen it in other of life’s activities.

Brand snobbery, meaning, I assume, if something knows you have a less robust machine than his he points it out and rubs your face in it, is definitely not present here, now that I think of it. In fact there are a few of us that just have fun making do with what we have, fixing it up, and making it perform well. Accepting a situation, and resolving it with interesting and at time innovative strategies. Not just throwing money at it. That’s part of the hobby too, like fixing up old planes. I am always amazed to see who is still using an old Delta contractor’s saw, like me. Maybe I will replace it some day, maybe not. I want to prove to myself I need more first, and make sure that this hobby is truly for me, since I am a newby. It fits me also, because I am not into pride of ownership, just interested in having fun, even if I never make anything wonderful. But I am not slighting those who want to spend the money to get the tool they really need to achieve their goals. The price and brand of machine just shouldn’t be a benchmark, to my way of thinking.

Non-acceptance of beginners is another what LJ’s are not. In most, but not all respects, I am surely a beginner. I thought it would be a universal to accept new folk into the hobby….guess not.

As a result, you can post a goof-up for comic relief. You can discuss how you worked through a problem with a less-than-great set of machinery and capabilities and still got a satisfying result at least for the one doing it. And you don’t have to make a masterpiece to display it and get interesting comments.

Great place.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 3365 days

#10 posted 10-20-2009 11:55 PM

Well I am one of the brand snobs on this site. My shop is exclusively Delta/ridgid/grizzly/ryobi/bosch/portercable/milwaukee/harborfreight/jet/kobalt/etc. and I wouldn’t even consider buying any thing else but my trusted brand. I run one of the best forums on the net, but it has just about died. Almost no activity at all now and I don’t know why.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4173 posts in 3161 days

#11 posted 10-21-2009 01:48 AM


By the way, could I commission you to determine if the cleanliness and orderliness of the shop is inversely proportional to work output? It sounds like you have already made some observations. Then I would have a reason not to clean it up, and could justify my slovenliness to my wife.

There are 10 attaboy’s in it for you…....................

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 3555 days

#12 posted 10-21-2009 02:01 AM

LUMBERJOCKS is the bestest in the world. Thanks to Martin and his staff. The best and the most active.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4173 posts in 3161 days

#13 posted 10-21-2009 02:34 AM


And re sharing the shop…......left the shop for a bit, returned finding a disassembled bird feeder and a bag of seed sitting right in the middle of the shop on my freshly cleared project table…..after carefully cleaning up and getting ready for completion of my benchtop downdraft table…... My wife said it was drying after cleaning it…..(at least she hadn’t placed in on the table saw). So I, noting it was dry, reassembled it just to be nice, and placed it in her work area…........................the kitchen!? Thought she would appreciate it, but she said i was just trying to get rid of her stuff and… know how those things go…...can’t win for losing. And I thought the intrusions of muddy garden gloves and wet caustic fertilizer bags on the table saw had ended for the season….....

Oh well.

Sharing brings a lot of different issues…....

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 3431 days

#14 posted 10-21-2009 03:24 AM

Lumberjocks covers the whole spectrum of woodworkers, tool buffs, snooty people, idiots, business owners and section 8 escapees. However, what you get from this mixture is the most wonderful collection of real people who are truly the best human beings who appreciate and care about ALL projects that are submitted. Nobody at this site goes away with the feeling he is put down, on the contrary praise and good advice is your reward. New members of LJ’s are welcomed so much that anyone would think they were hard up for membership. Lj’s are genuinely appreciative of your medical, family and work area problems and are happy to offer good advice. This is like one big family sitting around a table and relating “this is what I did today”
We are serious, dedicated, compassionate and can have some fun without putting someone’s nose out of joint – which is the way it has to be. That’s why it’s the best woodworking sute.

Oh….... just one more item to add to the LJ’s prestige: It’s the site with the most cutting boards.

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3574 days

#15 posted 10-21-2009 03:42 AM

Oh no according to your list I just don’t fit in. It’s like one of those horrible magazine test my wife tries to get me to take to see if we are compatible. We’ve been married 43 years that might be a good clue.
Whats a guy to do I’ll have to sell all my tools and start over. It’s like being in high school in my 60s and not being in the in crowd.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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