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Reply by brtech

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Posted on Newbie needs tool advice

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brtech

698 posts in 1645 days


#1 posted 04-15-2011 05:49 PM

I’m going to repeat what several have said, but add more color.

Your first purchase should be a table saw. A contractor saw is probably what you want to start with unless you a flush with cash. Start looking for a used delta on Craiglist. If you can find a nice one at half of retail, and it’s in good condition, buy it. You might find a good one for far less than that. Depends on age, condition and which fence it has. New, if you can afford it, get the Sawstop. If you can’t I think a Grizzly is probably the best choice. Having said that, many of us, including me, get along with 20-40 year old Craftsman.

Your next purchase should be a cordless drill/driver. I got a Bosch 18V Li-Ion, but there are many fine drill/drivers out there. You need a good set of drill bits. Get brad point bits.

Get two good screwdrivers. Get what they call a 4 in 1. I have a Craftsman, but there are others that are good. Then get one that takes bits, and get a decent bit assortment. It would be good if that one had a long reach.

Then take a trip to Harbor Freight. Get a decent claw hammer, a dead blow hammer, 6” adjustable wrench. Get 6 of their squeeze clamps, 4 12” and 2 18” f clamps, and 6 of the 3/4” pipe clamps. Get a pair of 10 or 12” C clamps. Get their low end dial indicator and the mag base that goes with it. Get a hex (allen) key wrench set.

Take a trip to a big box (Home Depot or Lowes). That may be where you bought the drill. Buy two 10’ lengths of 3/4” black iron pipe and have them cut one into 2×4’ leaving a 2’ piece and other into 3×3’, leaving a 1’ piece. Thread both ends. Buy 4 female to female couplers. This is the pipe for the pipe clamps. You never have enough clamps. While you are there, by an alumunum Swanson Speed Square, a 24” carpenter square and a 20’ measuring tape. Go to the glass department and get them to cut you 3 pieces of glass 4” wide by 12” long. You could instead by a very flat granite tile. Get a Random Orbit Sander. I am partial to the Porter Cable, but there are plenty of other good ones. Get an assortment of sanding discs to go with it, and also pick up a pack of sanding sheets in 80, 120 and 200 grit, and a sheet or two of whatever their highest grit is. A jig saw is very handy. I have a Makita that is very nice.

You need a few hand tools you don’t want to buy at HF or big box. Rockler, Woodcraft or Lee Valley. You want:
A small set of decent chisels, a mallet, a good quality 12” combination square, a dovetail saw (or some other small, thin kerf handsaw), and a decent block plane. You need a good combo blade for your table saw. Lots of arguments on that. I have a Freud, but there are plenty of other choices. You also want a decent stacked Dado set. I just picked up an Oshlun set on sale at Amazon. You want a sharpening jig that holds a chisel or plane blade at the right angle.

Stop at an auto parts store and get some 1000 and 6000 grit abrasive sheet.

Come home and read up about “Scary Sharp” sharpening method. You use the sandpaper/abrasive sheet on the glass with the jig. Sharpen your chisels and your plane blade.

Read up on aligning your table saw. Align your blade to the miter slot and the fence to the miter slot.

This will get you going if you purchase “Surfaced 4 sides” (S4S) lumber.

Then get a good router. Lots of good choices. A Porter Cable is what many have. I have a Hitachi M12VC.

You need a shop vac. You should have a real Dust Collector. The HF 2HP is a great deal, but you need to upgrade the bag to a Wynn .5 micron cartridge filter. You need safety glasses, hearing protector and respirator. Don’t skimp, always use them.

Then opinions vary. I would get a bench top drill press first (Grizz or HF). Then I would get a planer and jointer. I would buy them used (CL). Then a bandsaw.


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