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View Iggles88's profile

Who agrees?

by Iggles88
posted 06-08-2012 05:38 AM

43 replies so far

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3075 days

#1 posted 06-08-2012 05:52 AM

Been where you are at a few times in my short woodworking venture so far. Catalogs would inspire me to get a number of things that looked cool but didn’t really prove to be useful over time. My shopping tends to go in themes now. When I purchased a bandsaw, I also bought blades, the riser block, and the wheeled base to make it portable. Recently, I was aiming for more precision so picked up an incra miter gauge, the wixey angle cube, and the oneway multigauge. Items such as sandpaper, glue, saw blades, gloves, those maintenance things, I will buy in regular intervals. If I purchase something, I try to wait until I can get all the accessories that are required so I am not left with the feeling like I can power this gizmo up but can’t really use it until ….

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View rockindavan's profile


299 posts in 2603 days

#2 posted 06-08-2012 06:00 AM

Supplies are things that are hard to go without, so I pick them up when I need them. I stock up on stuff like sandpaper when I have some extra money to spend. As far as the more exciting purchases, I do 2 or 3 purchases a year. When I was in school, at the beginning of the semester I would buy a handplane or put in an order to Lee Valley of stuff I wanted. Its nice to treat yourself to some new tools a couple times a year as long as you save up the money.

View Scot's profile


344 posts in 3363 days

#3 posted 06-08-2012 06:02 AM

Outfitting a new shop is tough. There are so many things you feel you need and so little money available at any one time.
I agree with Dave on the theme idea. Pick some area and go with that. Right now I’m installing the DC system in my new shop and that’s all I’m trying to concentrate on right now,( although I admit I did backslide a little last week and buy a Kreg pocket hole jig).
It’s not easy but hang in there!

-- If the old masters had power tools, they would have used them. So get off your damn High Horse.

View Iggles88's profile


247 posts in 2328 days

#4 posted 06-08-2012 06:05 AM

David I do that sometimes. For example I bought all of my hand cut dovetail tools at the same time. LN saw marking gauge, coping saw, marking knife, and dividers.

View Iggles88's profile


247 posts in 2328 days

#5 posted 06-08-2012 06:10 AM

Also I should have been more clear on my shop. I do have a pretty well outfitted shop. Jet Table saw grizzly bandsaw, 8” jointer. Dewalt Planer, router table, ton of hand and power tools. At this point the only big purchases I see myself buying are a drill press and a spindle sander. I only spent so much on sandpaper because I have some hand planes I want to bring back to life. But I’m definitely not short on tools to the point where I’m trying to decide between a router and jigsaw. The things I buy now are things that will make my life easier in the shop. Im not sure there’s many things I cant do with my current tooling so I’m just trying to make things more convenient for myself but I can’t kick the habit of looking at every woodworking website and making a note of everything I see that interests me.

View Iggles88's profile


247 posts in 2328 days

#6 posted 06-08-2012 06:13 AM

I’m not so much looking for advice as I am just trying to listen to other peoples opinion on how they spend their own allowances. I think it’s always good to take opinions from many different people because you could learn something that you would have never thought of yourself.

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 3069 days

#7 posted 06-08-2012 06:22 AM

Shopping can be tricky if you really care about price. If you don’t, then most tools are easy to get.

I recently wanted to purchase a thickness planer for my shop. After cruising the reviews I decided on the Dewalt 735 – 2 speed – 3 knife – planer.

I had a couple of gift cards from Lowe’s and without checking out prices I headed to Lowe’s and picked one up. PRICE: $599.00 + tax minus my 10% military discount.

After getting home I was looking through some magazines and noticed quite a difference in price for this machine.
I did a little lookup on the computer and found these prices for the same Dewalt 735 planer.

$649.99 + shipping Woodcraft
$649.00 + shipping McFeely’s
$629.00 + $50.00 shipping Rockler
$629.00 free shipping Home Depot
$629.00 free shipping Acme Tools
$629.00 free shipping International Tool
$629.00 free shipping Tool King
$606.82 + $96.55 Drum
$599.95 + $49.00 shipping Grizzly
$599.00 free shipping Lowe’s
$599.00 free shipping Sears
$579.99 free shipping
$579.00 free shipping Tool’s plus

Without checking out the prices before I left home, I think I got lucky on price. I have purchased a lot of shop stuff from Rockler, Woodcraft and Grizzly. That would have been a mistake in this instance…..............

-- mike...............

View KarenW's profile


131 posts in 2155 days

#8 posted 06-08-2012 11:53 AM

We also save for those big purchases (the exciting ones!) and the way we keep “supplies” in the shop is to pick up one thing nearly every trip to Lowes. With my business I’m usually in there twice a week so while I’m buying something for the business shop I’ll also pick up something for the home shop – sandpaper, Kreg screws, glue, an extra quart of something, WD40, etc. It’s not hard to add a $3 box of finish nails or a couple rolls of shop towels to what you’re already buying and it doesn’t take away from the stash money for the exciting purchases.

-- Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best. --Theodore I. Rubin

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3035 days

#9 posted 06-08-2012 12:51 PM

Some of my tools date back almost 50 years, but my strategy has always been to buy what I needed to do whatever project I was working on at the time unless I absolutely knew that it was a one time thing and I could borrow or rent the tool.

On the few occasions when I bought something because it “looked cool”, or thought I might use “someday”, it usually ended just took up storage space. – lol

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View bondogaposis's profile


4683 posts in 2318 days

#10 posted 06-08-2012 01:29 PM

I have some sympathy for you, getting started is daunting, because there is so many things that you need all at once. The way I have done it is to pick a project and then begin to acquire those tools and supplies needed for that project. That way you get to complete a project and over time start to build a set of shop tools for the kind of projects that you like, rather than buying tools at random or falling prey to marketing hype.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Cato's profile


701 posts in 3279 days

#11 posted 06-08-2012 01:40 PM

What I tend to do is pick up something for each project that I will not only need for that project but for future ones.

So it can be anywhere from supplies, dye, shellac, etc. or for my most recent project an LN shoulder plane I needed for shaping tenons,a woodpeckers rule stop or marking, and a Veritas hollow square chisel punch to make square peg holes to attach some breadboard ends.

This way I accumulate at the rate of my projects without buying stuff that is not really necessary.

View Iggles88's profile


247 posts in 2328 days

#12 posted 06-08-2012 01:44 PM

Thankfully there hasn’t been a tool that I’ve bought that hasn’t gotten use. The best purchase I made was my track saw, that thing sat for a while probably over three months before I Actually had a need for it but when I took it out and started using it i began using it almost every day in the shop and couldn’t be happier with it. And bondo I’m not sure of you read the whole thread but I’m not just starting out I have close to a complete shop I was just looking for others opinions on how they spend their shop allowances as I’m sure a lot of people do things differently

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 2893 days

#13 posted 06-08-2012 01:48 PM

I had to smile when I saw you said your shop was not completely full yet…

I have been “collecting” and using woodworking tools in my shop for over 35 years, and it’s not full yet either. Keep at it!

As others have stated, I sometimes look for a reason to buy a new item (router bit, jig, specialty plane, etc) for a particular project or the future.

I have the larger tools and items, and the fun – enjoyment of buying those has long since passed.

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View Iggles88's profile


247 posts in 2328 days

#14 posted 06-08-2012 02:02 PM

Please guys don’t take this the wrong way but I think the idea of this thread has been misunderstood by some. I’m not looking for people to tell me what to buy or anything like that I was just interested in how other people outfitted their shop.
Jusfine…..I should have rephrased “full shop” I meant that I was happy with my shop except for not having a drill press and a spindle sander, after I get those two items ill consider my shop full and my attention will be more towards smaller supplies and things like that. The beginning of buying my tools was a rush it was a lot of money spent and a lot of tools coming into my shop but that has subsided and I don’t buy things the way I used to.

View sras's profile


4790 posts in 3096 days

#15 posted 06-08-2012 02:05 PM

I kept my tool buying limited by not allowing myself to buy a tool until I had to borrow or rent it twice. After that I figured it was a tool worth having. It slowed my buying down, but after 30 years of woodworking I still have a shop full of tools!.

Another thought that keeps my buying limited is that once I buy a tool, I am stuck with it. If a better model or a lower price shows up later, I miss out.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 2893 days

#16 posted 06-08-2012 02:08 PM

Steve, that’s crazy talk, you just sell it and get the new one… :)

Otherwise you will miss out on using the different models.

88, I think I understood your comment, it just made me smile…

Good post!

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View Iggles88's profile


247 posts in 2328 days

#17 posted 06-08-2012 02:11 PM

Steve I agree I hate when I buy something then the newer model comes out very soon after. I take things a lot like others do I buy things as I need them.
Jusfine… problem just wanted to try to get people back on track it seemed that a few answers were directed towards me trying to start outfitting a shop.

View ChuckC's profile


828 posts in 2902 days

#18 posted 06-08-2012 02:13 PM

Don’t forget that you can use the Harbor Freight 20% off coupon at HD and Lowe’s.

View helluvawreck's profile


30765 posts in 2833 days

#19 posted 06-08-2012 02:18 PM

I just bought a few more spring clamps of various sizes and some were the quick release type. I spent about $72 bucks. I already had a good many of these but the other day I used every one of them while I was gluing in some ledge strips (for trays) into their grooves on a project where I was making 4 miter cornered boxes with keys. I couldn’t glue them all at the same time and it cost me time. Now I know I can do four at a time and making four boxes at a time seems to work out good for me. I’m trying to save up for my planer so it hurt but, hey, that’s just part of woodworking. I also have an assortment of small spring clamps now that will help me on various other craft projects. Oh, you know how it is – even God doesn’t have enough clamps. ;-|


-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Iggles88's profile


247 posts in 2328 days

#20 posted 06-08-2012 02:25 PM

Chuck it seems some places will take the harbor freight coupon and some won’t and I haven’t had any luck.
Wreck. I know how that goes, I’ve been saving for a drill press and Im sure ya read the first post I spent 150 on sandpaper, glue, the boe shield set. Just little things that ya dont want to buy but have to. Very frustrating

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

7942 posts in 2295 days

#21 posted 06-08-2012 02:59 PM

I can relate totally….

Here’s some ideas that have helped me focus my limited resources and have also set my mind at ease about the things I want but can’t afford.


Example… I really, really want to get an Akeda dovetail jig (you can buy the Trends version of the jig from Canada and have it shipped). But it will sit on the shelf for the foreseeable future if I do buy it, since I don’t have a project near the top of my list that requires dovetails. What I do need right now has porven to be less sexy items…. add’l bearings for my rabbeting bits, more ‘F’ clamps, some add’l DC fittings. These are things that I will immediately put to use…. so these are the things I’m buying, and I’m not losing any sleep over the Akeda. So my recommendation is to focus on projects that interest you and are will grow your skill set and what you need to get them done.

2. Don’t try to keep up the the Jones’s.

A lot of guys posting on WW sites make their living with their tools…. and some others are retired (or are Dual Income No Kids) and don’t have the expenses associated with raising a family…. and then there are some that make three or four times my income. I can’t look at their shops and make comparisons to my own. I need to focus on the aspects of woodworking that I enjoy and seek the time to do them. It’s a losing battle to look at all the great (and expensive) gear that’s out there, and focussing on that only make me dissatisfied with my lot in life.

3. Have a plan and be patient.

Part of the deeper satisfaction that can be found in woodworking is that these skills and the pieces they produce can’t be had from the McDonalds drive through. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your shop be. And the mastering of skills takes even more time. It’s great to dream… but let your dream turn into a plan that is informed by a healthy dose of reality. Then set about implementing the plan, project by project and tool by tool. Over the course of a couple years, you’ll be surprised by what you can accomplish and you can score some serious deals if you watch pateintly for them.

4. Set limits on your aspirations.

I don’t have time to become a master of every aspect of woodworking that I read about in WW mags and see on line. But I am chasing my own, modest little dream. What is often more of an obstical than limited resources, is getting distracted by projects, tools and skills that don’t really have much to do with my dream. An example for me is wood turning. It looks like fun, and is very tempting… but doesn’t contribute much to my dream of making a set of Shaker end tables and matching coffee table and a pair of matching hutches. So I’ve sworn off anything and everything that has to do with lathes, bowels, and the likes. I’ve decided I simply am not going to go there.

5. Be thankful for what you have, rather than disappointed about what you don’t have.

I am a much more happy and contented man than I used to be when it comes to my woodworking. After setting up my new basement shop (which was a major compromise to my dream of building a large timber framed shop) I stepped back one day and realized…. “I’ve got a pretty nice little set up here, and should be able to do some nice projects with what I already have”. Yeah… I appreciate the quality of Lee Neilsen hand tools…. but I’m not ever going to have any… so that’s that. I’ll tune up that Stanley I got for a song on e-bay and keep my eyes peeled for a garage sale find.

Just some fuel for thought. Not trying to preach at anybody.

Good luck with your wood working.

-- It’s the knowledge in your head, skill in your hands and motivation to create in you heart that makes you a woodworker. - Mainiac Matt

View AJLastra's profile


87 posts in 2195 days

#22 posted 06-08-2012 03:01 PM

This is actually not an easy question to answer. I started out buying things that were project specific and that included the not so exciting stuff like glue and sandpaper. As my ability to spend more money increased, I ran into the same issues you are dealing with….what do I want to spend that $200 on? Its easy to say, well, decide what you WANT and thern look at what you actually NEED but in practice, it was still always a dilemma because there are SOOOOOOOO many things out there. It doesnt help me that I am a “gadget freak”. LOL Once the main machines were bought, I can tell you I spent a good deal of money simply collecting wood. I’m lucky because I have sufficient space to store it but in my mind, it did me no good to have all the gadgets if I didnt have anything to use them on! Right now, this very instant, I’m trying to decide whether I really NEED a sliding compound miter saw or just want one. Do I really NEED that really cool, precise measuring tool from Woodpecker tools or is it an overpriced gadget that I really CAN DO WITHOUT. I’ve gone back and forth over whether to put a router lift in my router table. Its a pain to go under the table to adjust a PC 7518. But I’ve been doing it this way for so long, its just part of the process.

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2454 days

#23 posted 06-08-2012 03:09 PM

Of large tools I have none anymore that were bought new. Small electrical tools I buy as needed/appropriate/economically feasible.
I don’t have much money as we are on a very fixed income and when it’s gone, it’s beans and rice for the rest of the month.

I was just sitting here thinking that most of my hand tools were built before 1940, many were built prior to 1900 and some were built back in the 1860’s or a about a decade on each side. I even have a wooden shipwrights plane that was hand made in 1754 with provenance to prove it came from a British ship. ( I don’t really believe it, but it’s cool to think about and the workmanship isn’t exactly crude, just not as “finished” looking as I think it should. A friend took a wood sample to the university where she works and had it dated with whatever method they use. The dating came back as 1730 +/- 20 years.

My large shop tools have either been bought used, donated/given to me or traded for in some way.

I did buy a spankin’ new Milwaukee 14.4v 1/2” drive cordless drill in 2001 and it’s still going strong.

Last summer I bought a Makita sabre saw brand new and have used it a number of times.

Oh, wait….. I did buy a new benchtop HF drill press a couple of months ago along with a litle compressor, (another one) to run just my 18g brad nailer.

Supplies I try to keep up with by buying ahead and looking for bargains.
Hand tools I watch for at flea markets and yard sales. Saws, chisels, Yankee drills, draw knives, hand planes, parts pieces and paraphernalia are on the list.

My shop isn’t large but it’s getting there. I just have to be careful what and when I buy.

Lately I have gotten 1000 Kreg 1 1/4” panhead coarse thread screws for $11. 2500 +/- Kreg 1 1/4” panhead fine thread screws for $13 and 2 new Kreg stepped drill bits for a dollar each at a yard sale.

Wood for shop utility projects is a bugger since we don’t have a truck, I have to pay someone to haul 3/4” plywood for me, whether it’s from Lowes 43 miles away or our local True Value a mile up the road.
I’ve even taken my little lawn tractor and cart up to the local hardware store to haul 3/4” plywood home, right beside the 70 mph highway we live on.

I think we all do what we need to do to survive. When I sell something I keep about 30% for the shop and put the rest into paying off bills, sometimes more sometimes less either way.
My wife is very understanding and supports me in my endeavors.

Sometimes you are the bug, sometimes you are the windshield!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Iggles88's profile


247 posts in 2328 days

#24 posted 06-08-2012 03:14 PM

Ssnvet…..those are some great points and I tell myself a lot of the same things, you seem to have the right idea. There are plenty of tools I’d love to have but I pretty much swore off just like you because along with what you said about not being able to master every aspect of woodworking it will just add to the things on my list and the confusion as to what to spend my money on.
Aj…..I agree with you as well, there’s many little gadgets out there that I’d love to have but I won’t buy most of them, the battle is deciding which ones will actually help your work and which ones are just cool to have. There’s been so many times where I needed a certain grit of sandpaper and when I went to check I didn’t have any, or a certain length screw…..those are the things I and probably most of us should be spending our money on because it will help in the shop but in my head I think to myself well how exciting is a box of screws

View Iggles88's profile


247 posts in 2328 days

#25 posted 06-08-2012 03:23 PM

Dallas. Not sure if that’s your username cause your from Dallas but I’m from Philly and can’t stand the cowboys so let’s try to get along lol. When I first started my shop I was lucky enough to have a good amount f money saved and when i started with the hobby I knew I was in it for the long haul so I decided what better to spend some of this money on then something I love doing. So I bought all of my tools new or 95% of them anyway. But now at this point I don’t have a lot of money either. There’s just certain things I can’t stand buying. Example I just built my outfeed table for the table saw and had to buy leveling feet which cost 20 bucks. Now 20 bucks isn’t a ton of money but it could have gone to something else and I try to spend as little money as possible. Another thing that I really would like to have but don’t want to spend the money on is one of those jig hardware kits from rockler. They’re 80 bucks but I can’t tell you how many times Ive had to go buy one or two knobs or a few t nuts and its a trip to lowes every time. Between the cost of the supplies and the gas I could have bought two or three of those kits.

View AJLastra's profile


87 posts in 2195 days

#26 posted 06-08-2012 03:33 PM

I just ran into the sandpaper issue! and it really hacked me off too! I looked around the shop and said, out loud, to no one in particular, that I had all of this “stuff” but why in the name of Norm Abram did I NOT have a 25 or 50 pack of 150 grit sheet sandpaper!!! I had DISCS for the random orbit sanders but no sheets. SOOOOOO, I get on the computer and see that my local Woodcraft has an overstock of Norton 25 pack sheets and they’re practically giving them away at $4.99 a pack. I got paid today at work so guess where I’m going on the way home. By the way, in case anyone might be thinking this, my reference to the sale price and who was selling it isnt a way to drum up business for Woodcraft. I just mentioned that sandpaper deal because it just happened to me within the last day. I think I got a little lucky and maybe more than a little blessed. My wife said to me that well, God raised a carpenter and knows how important sandpaper is so He figured out a way to help you get what you need for cheap. I’m hoping God sees the need for a sliding compound miter saw.

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2454 days

#27 posted 06-08-2012 03:46 PM

Iggle, my name really is Dallas. I was born in Oregon and raised in Idaho. I didn’t come to my senses and move to Texas until about 3 years ago, LOL.

Since you asked about me, it’s my turn… Is your user name what it is because you own an ‘88 Eagle? Maybe a model 10 or a model 15? Spicer or Allison?

13 years ago I bought almost everything new when I needed it. If you think wood working tools are expensive, try buying diesel engine tools. I worked on and owned and actually still own a bunch of diesel powered stuff. that was probably my downfall. My ex decided she liked my little trucking company more than I did and got it from me with the help of a nice, kind attorney that worked pro-bono until I lost. She kept my 5 almost new trucks and 10 trailers without making payments until they repoed them.
Now I’m a bit disabled, (got hit by a bus and crushed my pelvis), but I do all I can to keep going. I never despair about my lot. At least I’m breathing, I can still get out and move around, refuse to take SSI for the injury so I work with my wife at a job we both love but doesn’t pay much.

Ya can’t beat it!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Iggles88's profile


247 posts in 2328 days

#28 posted 06-08-2012 03:47 PM

Haha what a coincidence. I seen that deal on the sandpaper and was going to order them but noticed klingspors has a 5 pound box of assorted grits of sandpaper sheets for 17 dollars and a 5 pound box of 4 1/2” wide sandpaper rolls in assorted grits for 17 as well so I ordered those. Hopefully it will last me for a while as I can’t stand buying sandpaper but who does. I also am in desperate need of some more clamps. I know everyone says you can’t have enough clamps but I really don’t have enough but hate hate hate buying them

View Iggles88's profile


247 posts in 2328 days

#29 posted 06-08-2012 03:51 PM

Very sorry to hear that Dallas I guess I should stop complaining about such little things. My brother actually is a diesel mechanic so ive seen how much money hes put out on tools but im sure not as much as you with your own business. As far as your question goes my username is iggles88 because iggles is just meant to be eagles meaning Philadelphia eagles and the 88 is because my favorite flyer of all time Eric Lindros wore that number.

View Ripthorn's profile


1454 posts in 2952 days

#30 posted 06-08-2012 03:52 PM

I am in a similar boat. I have a list a mile long of things I would like, but in the end, I make the decision that I won’t get it until I need it. That does result in sometimes frequent purchases of mundane things like glue, solvent, etc., but I have been trying to get my spending habits back in shape after letting them go slightly for a series of a few months. Reading through this thread made me feel like it was a little easier to do, thanks all!

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View Tim Pletcher's profile

Tim Pletcher

90 posts in 3041 days

#31 posted 06-08-2012 03:55 PM

I would build a list of what you need and the normal “retail price” and then start looking for used stuff in good condition.
-set up an ebay alert for each item that you want
-check out estate sales
-going out of business factory sales is an interesting source for tools some times

The rule of thumb is you can never have too many good tools :) helps get the job done


View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2936 days

#32 posted 06-08-2012 04:22 PM

I’m at the point where I have the machines, powertools and hand tools to make everything that has been asked of me so far.

To buy anything else just ‘cause I’d like it would be self indulgence – so bearing in mind there’s more sawdust than money in my pockets, I hold off until there’s something I do actually need, and then there’s a lot of deliberation about recouping the expenditure.

The last impulse buy (from Axminster, the English tool Mecca) was a Festool baseball cap.
I did have buyers remorse after that.

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2215 days

#33 posted 06-08-2012 04:42 PM

I don’t have an unlimited budget, but I do have a pretty decent overage after paying the bills and and padding the savings every month. However if you look at my posts and reviews, you will notice I appear to be one cheap dude. My feeling, and as I have stated before is this: Woodworking is my hobby. I do not make a living doing so. I have never sold anything I made and don’t really intend to. Therefore my tools are toys. Literally, they are the adult version of children’s toys for me. Please do not take this a boasting, but I could definitely outfit my shop with Powermatic/nova/Festool, etc big dollar brands. If you go into my shop, you will see none of them in there. I do believe the tools I have are the best in class for my needs. Here is my thought process:

1 – Do tons of research. I like to look at reviews from many places on a very wide variety of items. Before I buy anything, I generally have a solid 2 to 3 weeks of research done.

2 – Look for a good used one. This can be hard so be sure you know what you are looking for and looking at. I need a jointer now. I refuse to buy a new one. There are always used ones for sale on craigslist in my area. This will be my next purchase when I have the time to do so.

3 – Forget about brands. I know a lot of people here are very brand loyal, or brand “dis-loyal”. I feel your are really limiting yourself that way. Craftsman takes a pretty good beating for example, however I will put my new Craftsman Professional router up against any other 2.5hp router currently on the market. if I covered up any brand markings, and we judged on performance alone, most people would agree. It’s also about 60 to 100$ less than the competition. There’s 2 or 3 good router bits.

4 – Look for deals. Subscribe to websites email alerts. Woodcraft and Rockler have amazing deals from time to time on the “little stuff” you mentioned that is no fun to by, but you need (like sandpaper).

5 – Make a “like vs need” list. I love doing this. Most often the “needs” are no fun.Who likes buying finishing supplies, glue, shop safety and clean up stuff,clamps, screws, etc. No one, it’s boring! Set milestones, so after every 3 “needs” you get to pick one “like”.

6 – Make the boring stuff fun. Everyone needs sandpaper. It sucks “wasting” money on sandpaper when you could get something cool, like a lock miter router bit. Make an awesome display case/shelf/rack/whatever for your boring stuff. If you have a dedicated space that you made, and it looks nice full, you are apt to want to keep it full.

7 – You are never done. Often times I said something like “all I need is a better table saw”. Now that I got the saw, I also got an incra miter gague, a vega fence, many different blades and throat plates, feather boards, push blocks, tapering jigs (or jig building supplies) and the list goes on.


View Domer's profile


252 posts in 3333 days

#34 posted 06-08-2012 04:44 PM

I am a certified toolaholic. When I was first starting out I would buy tools because they looked cool and were cheap. Not inexpensive but cheap. I made a lot of mistakes over the years.

I am on my 3rd table saw and 4th band saw, 2nd planer, etc. My biggest mistake was not buying the best quality I could almost afford and then replacing it down the line.

My new rules are

1. Buying only when I have an immediate need. Like a project that I cant finish without the new tool.

2..Buying the highest quality tool I can almost afford.

3. Talking to other woodworkers who have some knowledge of the tool.

4. I am fortunate that in Kansas City the local Woodcraft Store has a guy who is as nuts about tools as me who helps me decide if a tool is worth while for me. He has talked me out of buying as many tools as he has talking me in to buying a tool.

Hope this helps


View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2454 days

#35 posted 06-08-2012 04:48 PM

Iggle, I’m not sorry at all, sorry if I gave that impression.

I now understand your user name….

I came about asking the question because I do bus conversion remodeling and rehab. I’ve been working on buses for the last 40 years and especially on bus conversions since 2000.

I can’t be self indulgent, (unless the wife buys me a case of beer). She holds the reins to the bank cards. If she doesn’t agree I don’t get it. If I can change her mind, I do.

I’ve found that many times in the process of changing my sweety bump’s mind, I’ve found that I don’t really need the item. Go Figger!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Jorge G.'s profile

Jorge G.

1537 posts in 2442 days

#36 posted 06-08-2012 06:04 PM

My rule is:

If I think to myself “gee it would be nice to have this xxxxx tool to do this job” 3 times I buy it. Why? Because I know I will use it, it will make my life easier, and while you can make a Federal table with only nails, a hammer and a screw driver, there is nothing like having the right tool for the job… :-)

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

View hhhopks's profile


651 posts in 2344 days

#37 posted 06-08-2012 06:31 PM

Focus on the project.
Buy what your need to complete the job.
Unfortunately we stray a bit. Some more than others.

-- I'll be a woodworker when I grow up. HHHOPKS

View Tennessee's profile


2861 posts in 2481 days

#38 posted 06-08-2012 06:42 PM

Guitar players suffer from something called “GAS”, (Guitar acquisition syndrome).
I guess we suffer from “TAS”, (Tool acquisition syndrome)

All I know is after 41 years I still keep hitting the limits of many of my tools, especially ones with dimensional restrictions, like bandsaws, planers, etc. So then I pine for a bigger, quieter, more powerful, machine, on and on and on.
Stuff like sandpaper, finishes, disposables like acid brushes and pencils, small electric power tools, I just pick up as my wife and I both like to go shopping in hardware and home centers a lot. See a new type of oil finish? Go ahead and get a quart. Great price on that orbital sander? I’ll use it sooner or later… It is a sickness, I think.

I never let the restrictions of a project keep me from trying out the latest whatever.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View willie's profile


533 posts in 2421 days

#39 posted 06-08-2012 07:11 PM

Watch the local auctions for estate sales. An old woodworker’s shop can yield many of those things you’d like to have but can’t afford new. Garage sales and flea markets can also have some deals. It takes a little longer to find a specific item this way but if you’re always looking, you’d be surprized how many deals are out there. Craig’s list is good, I don’t use E-bay. I’d rather spend a little on a lot of good old tools than spend a lot on one or two new tools. There’s a lot of good stuff that just needs a bit of cleaning and reconditioning that will give many more years use.

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

View MrRon's profile


4718 posts in 3210 days

#40 posted 06-08-2012 09:13 PM

Like you, I’m the proverbable kid in a candy store with a nickel in my pocket and so many goodies to choose from. Fortunately, my shop has just about every tool I need. Some go back over 50 years. My budget doesn’t allow me much for the luxuries. I really have to plan ahead if I need a new tool. Lately, I’ve been carefully shopping Harbor Freight tools. Some of their stuff is junk; some of it not bad and a bit of it is great. I too browse the on-line catalogs for the best prices.

View Iggles88's profile


247 posts in 2328 days

#41 posted 06-08-2012 09:18 PM

Mr Ron. The funny thing is other then the two tools I mentioned earlier I have every tool I could ever need too and I still buy and buy and buy. Im not rich but I don’t need to really plan ahead when I want a new tool and I think thats part of the problem. I have money so I spend it but I need to get it under control. Like I mentioned thankfully I haven’t bought anything that I have regretted or not used but regardless I build some very nice pieces with what I have so why do I need more ha that’s the golden question

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2657 days

#42 posted 06-09-2012 03:33 AM

I mainly buy tools now to upgrade what I already have. I upgraded to a bigger/better tablesaw after I calculated what I could get for the old one. I really research my tool purchases so I’m rarely disappointed in a new tool. I’m pretty much over the “buy it cause I want it” and am now into “but it cause I need it”. I couldn’t live without my HF spindle sander but didn’t buy it until I was making bandsaw boxes and had to hand sand them because the palm and ROS wouldn’t work on them. Now I use it on almost every project.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Iggles88's profile


247 posts in 2328 days

#43 posted 06-09-2012 04:11 AM

Gfadvm…..I completely agree, I research all my purchases as well, probably way more then is needed but its always worked ive always been happy with my buys. The only tool I bought without weeks of research was my bandsaw the grizzly 0555lx and that’s only because its brand new and not many people fix reviews on it. As for your bandsaw boxes, I’ve gotten into making them a lot lately and is the main reason I want a spindle sander. On 90% of my projects I’ve thought to myself How nice it would have been to have the spindle sander.

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