Reply by Matt

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Posted on Need Recommendations

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160 posts in 1157 days

#1 posted 01-07-2016 11:46 PM

OP – So, having done what you want to do recently I’ll chime in with my limited experience, as a newish woodworker myself.
A little bit of background, I’m an IT professional in my mid 30’s who in what feels like a lifetime ago I worked in construction doing windows/doors/remodeling almost two decades ago with a neighbor (General Contractor) and have always been good at working with my hands (and I have an addiction to tools that I readily admit). Ever since I was a child I wanted to do the stuff that my late mother and I used to watch Norm do. Finally I had the space and means to do so and purchased a Ridgid 12” SCMS and biscuit cutter and went to work on my first workbench and an outdoor “deck box”; this was 18-20 months ago. About a year ago, I added a Ridgid portable (R4510) tablesaw, a ~2HP plunge router and made a buffet (that I’d love to turn in to firewoood, but the wife loves it….) while working out of the one car garage. The garage also houses my other toys so the woodworking stuff always had to be “put away” adding 30 min to setup/takedown when I wanted to woodwork and that hampered my efforts. The wife gave me the go-ahead to use the extra space in our unfinished basement as a fulltime woodshop and I went for it. I knew that I wanted to mill my own lumber so a jointer and planer were required (In my opinion), so purchasing a Dewalt 735X and stand, Grizzly 6” jointer G0452, and a infinity tools router table package with the triton 3hp router. I purchased all of these items in about 3 hours online one night.(lots of limited experience research was performed in the months leading up to the purchase) Other items were a few craigslist scores, a Jet 16” BS, a Delta 17-900 and a HF DC. (Throw in a few other misc hand tools/measuring/chisels etc. )

Fast forward 3 months and while ripping 12/4 poplar for a loft bed, the 7 month old Ridgid tablesaw failed and now I’m the proud owner of a SawStop PCS 36” tablesaw (and the ridgid has been getting “repaired” for the last almost 60 days now with no updates…. here’s hoping I can just get HD store credit for it at 90 days…) All this background to say the following, there isn’t much I would change with my initial purchases.

So the comments on my purchases:
I didn’t go for the spiral heads on the jointer because I figured that when I needed new heads the cost to upgrade after the fact vs purchasing with the jointer was about the same minus all additional use and experience I’d get with the normal blades. However I didn’t think that I’d need an 8” jointer (or larger and went with the 6”). I would, now have gotten an 8” and you’ll likely see the same recommendations from many others. However I’m still very happy with the performance of the 6”.

The Dewalt Planer 735X has been a pleasure to use and for non-production limited space use, it’s outstanding. I don’t have any trouble with snipe, also something that I plan to upgrade with the sprial cutter head once I’ve used up the two sets of blades that come with the planer “X” model.

Router table package:
The router table package, next time I would likely purchase a different fence (I like the incra’s more than the Jess’em Master R II.)

I got a JWBS-16 for a few hundred $, I have no complaints there, and I can’t recommend anything because this wasn’t on my radar until I saw the deal I couldn’t say no to.

Drill Press:
Part of the bandsaw deal – basically free – also great and very useful. Originally I was going to get a bench top. Glad to have the fullsize.

This is an interesting one – I have a SCMS the 12” from Ridgid. It took a bit to get it “true” and it (with a diablo blade) cuts everything I’ve thrown at it with no trouble. The dust collection on it sucks, however this seems to be pretty common with miter saws, so not much of a detractor there. However now that I’ve relocated to my basement where I have more room, but the walls are there, the sliding function (and rails) consume a lot of usable space when it’s set up full time. (It’s positioned under the stairs near the DC for best use of space) looking back I would seriously consider getting the new bosch that does now have the rails. The Festool with the front “tusks” is a great option, but I can’t justify the 1400 (or the 600 for the bosch at this time). This is something that I would change.
Note: I’m currently soured on the ridgid brand (see Table saw and “repair” process above, and a search will find many similar stories) so take these comments with a grain of salt.
Ridgid Tablesaw:
I would not have purchased this if I could do it again. That being said my buddy has the R4512 (Contractor saw) and thinks it’s great.
SawStop Tablesaw:
Zero complaints, only compliments and wish I had purchased it earlier. (No accident or almost accident/close call or wife to force the decision.)
Dust Collector:
I’m a one man shop that can only run one machine at a time. I move a flexible 4” hose to each machine while I’m working and the DC and tool are on separate 20a circuits. I’m very happy with the HF DC, I have modified it with a mac truck airfilter (didn’t know about the Wynn option at the time) and it works well. I’ll be adding a separator in the future, changing the plastic bag is a pain and the bags are expensive (even with re-use). (Lot’s of great examples of the HF DC on LJ’s). I started with a shop vac, then added a “dust right” (Rockler) separator on the shop vac. I still use this option for sanding with a bag in the shopvac. All that being said, I didn’t realize the importance of DC, doing this over again, I would have purchased the HF DC earlier and not fiddled around as much with the Shopvac. DC is not just for your health the Jointer needs it, the Bandsaw with a high TPI blade clogs without it (slowing the cuts), the planer shaving’s need to go somewhere. It even makes drilling easier (A few clamps to hold the hose in the correct place make seeing your work that much easier). I’ll also add – I added a air filter hanging from the ceiling to help with the dust that didn’t get captured by the DC (MS and sanding are the worst offender)

Closing notes: As a toolaholic, I understand your goals and your wants (And please don’t take offense to this, I’m personally proud of my tool addiction); you’ve got a great budget and a great large space to work with. I don’t imagine I’ll need to upgrade for personal (non-production, no rush, no deadlines, all pleasure work) use any of the items I’ve mentioned. Sure I could, but it would be a waste of money, unless you’re in the MD/DC area and want to buy a Ridgid SCMS for way too much money so I can justify buying the Bosch. Plan to spend more on setup/layout tools like dial calipers, straight edges/squares, clamps, clamps, and more clamps, saw set up gauges, etc. than you thought you would spend. I’m having a blast and it looks like you are too!

And I’ll add again, I’m not very experienced but I did do similar to what you’re contemplating now. Some of my suggestions may work for you, some may not, they all could be completely wrong and bad suggestions, this is all just based on my experiences with the decisions I’ve made. Congrats on the large space and have fun with the hobby, it’s how I relax…


-- My "projects" always look better with beer goggles.

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