Reply by rwyoung

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Posted on Essential equipment for a basic shop?

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409 posts in 3439 days

#1 posted 08-14-2009 05:39 PM

Some random thoughts:

A workbench is a tool. Consider building yourself a good one. Doesn’t have to be an uber fancy Roubo. But something that is solid, flat, clamp & vice friendly will take you a long way.

Cheap table saw – take a very close look at it and consider the kinds of projects you have in mind. If the cheapness of the saw is going to cause problems or safety issues, consider replacing it first. Otherwise look at tricking it out a little bit with maybe a good combination blade (Freud, Forrest, etc), make or buy some zero clearance inserts. Consider a 6” or 8” (smaller if the saw lacks the guts) stack dado set. Build a miter sled and maybe a tall fence. Now you are set to do a lot of basic joinery on the TS.

Get a drill press, even a small 2-1/2” quill benchtop model will take you a long way. I bought one years ago and while it has it limitations, I’ve yet to find a solid reason to replace it.

A router table really expands the horizon for your router. Build your own, it is a good skill-builder project.

Otherwise I’d suggest you think about the kinds of projects you want to build. Then research them keeping an eye on the types of joinery and woods involved. Use those as your guide for selecting tools.

And you can never have enough clamps.

-- Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

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