Reply by Brett

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Posted on Help...New shop set up...what tools should I get first?

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660 posts in 2709 days

#1 posted 07-11-2012 02:33 PM

AngieO, I’m still a beginning woodworker (2 years of limit, part-time experience) and I work out of a garage. Here’s how I got started:

1) I read the “I Can Do That” manual described above to guide some of my tool purchases.

2) I then built a set of sawhorses (using a Workmate, circular saw, and drill) that fold up and can be stored out of the way (lots of plans online).

3) Next, I used the sawhorses to build a work table ( I reinforced the legs, but otherwise built it as described.

4) The work table goes against a wall; I put pegboard on the wall to store tools.

5) A Ryobi bench-top drill press was purchased that goes on the work table.

6) I bought a Ridgid r4510 table saw. I use it out on the driveway, and it folds up and stows out of the way when not needed.

7) I built a small workbench based on the “Get Started in Woodworking” series (

8) Around a year and a half ago, I started getting interested in hand tools, so I haven’t purchased a jointer, planer, or band saw.

Your interests may vary, but this is how I “bootstrapped” my work area into something that is usable. I’m currently (slowly) building an 8-ft long workbench. I may replace both the old workbench and the work table with the new workbench, build a rolling stand for the drill press, and build additional moveable storage (carts, with drawers). This will allow me to move everything into the rest of the garage or onto the driveway when I want to do some woodworking, but also allow me to move everything out of the way when they’re not needed.

-- More tools, fewer machines.

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