LumberJocks

All Replies on Must Spend Smartly

  • Advertise with us
View RWininger's profile

Must Spend Smartly

by RWininger
posted 09-14-2012 03:55 PM


33 replies so far

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2169 posts in 1535 days


#1 posted 09-14-2012 04:32 PM

Hi Ron—Welcome!

There are so many used opportunities out there that I’d let go of the idea of new for now.

The grade of tool that suits you? It depends on what your goals are. As a pro, I tend to aim high here, so temper these thoughts with those who are serious hobbyists:

Table saw first. The bigger the better (read: safer) right up to and including the Unisaw and the Powermatic 66 (and others). Consider the Sawstop if its principal virtue resonates with you.

Jointer next. With it, you can make little boards into big boards. 6” is adequate, 8” is better. Helix knives would be of particular interest if you’re headed to exotic and highly figured woods. Traditional knives have economic advantages if you’re into mainline hardwoods.

Lastly Bandsaw, which is a portal for curves! 14” is adequate for most of us, avoiding the really tinny imports from 30 years ago.

Ready set go!

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View Surfside's profile

Surfside

3263 posts in 858 days


#2 posted 09-14-2012 04:34 PM

You better plan first what projects you’re going to do. From there, you can decide what tool to use in every project. It’s so impractical to buy a tool just to let it stay for a while and not use it. BTW, welcome to LJ, Ron!

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1843 days


#3 posted 09-14-2012 05:05 PM

Definitely purchase tools as you need them, as Surfside said.

With regard to “brands,” most all brands have their junk and their jewels. Brands like Porter Cable, DeWalt, Bosch, Laguna, Jet, Delta, Powermatic, Craftsman, Rikon, etc. would fall in this category. Brands like Black and Decker, Skil, and Ryobi are more geared toward the homeowner, so they will be mostly consumer-grade products, though if you look closely there will be a good product mixed in here and there (e.g. Skil will always have their great worm-drive circ saw).

Some of the products offered by these brands are chinese-made products, many of which are the exact same product offerings. Often times, Harbor Freight will have the same tool (Central Machinery) for a substantial discount compared to the named-brands. Their lathe, spindle sander, and band saw is an example of this.

A few companies sell Born in the USA, solid products and wouldn’t THINK about ruining their reps by selling inferior tools. Incra and Festool are the two big boys there, and their prices will often show it. In my case, I love anything Incra. For Festool, you have to judge if it’s worth the extra price…but the tools are reputedly tremendous. Lie-Nielsen enjoys this reputation among hand-tool users.

Other companies like Kreg, Woodpeckers, and Lee Valley will generally deliver solid to spectacular products as well.

In all of this you must read reviews and judge a tool’s quality by price…you do get what you pay for regardless of the actual brand.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View RWininger's profile

RWininger

16 posts in 765 days


#4 posted 09-14-2012 05:07 PM

Thanks Lee, all are above wallet size. Would like to stay around $1200 for saw. That way I was wondering about the steel city products, in budget but not sure about quality of their equipment.
Was looking at the Jet 14 In 1.25 hp band saw, seems to have decent reviews on that model.
Way to much to think about.
Surfside, your spot on, I don’t want to buy something just to say I have it
i need to come up with my first router table Project first,
Thank Ron

View RWininger's profile

RWininger

16 posts in 765 days


#5 posted 09-14-2012 05:26 PM

Thanks cosmicsniper, all are great points. just seems a little overwhelming starting out a new hobby. Comes down to trust in the reviews.

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1843 days


#6 posted 09-14-2012 05:26 PM

Ron: Grizzly, Steel City, General, Shop Fox…would fall into the category of “some good/some bad.” Though somebody like Grizzly will also deliver some huge bang for the buck.

As for the other of purchase, I’d definitely get the table saw first…and I’d get a planer before the jointer, but that’s always a debatable thing. I still don’t have a band saw because I’m holding out on something big…and I have access to one if I need it. But the band saw opens you up to projects that you just can’t do without it…at which point it becomes indispensable.

Most people build their shops around the table saw.

Yes…definitely overwhelming!

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

14549 posts in 1023 days


#7 posted 09-14-2012 05:39 PM

Welcome to LJ’s!

As far as brands, How much they get used plays a part in that. If it is something that will be a prime tool, then spending more on high quality means more. Spending a lot on a minimally used item is less logical. not that you don’t want good, but you don’t always need great.

Should be articles here on most things:-)

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View GrandpaLen's profile

GrandpaLen

1562 posts in 957 days


#8 posted 09-14-2012 06:05 PM

Ron,

Welcome to LumberJocks , a world of advise, opinions, and experiences, all shared without judgement.

If you could walk into a well lighted workshop with plenty of proper electrical outlets and every hand and power tool at your finger tips, what would you most enjoy building?

With possibly the exception of a lathe, most any woodworking disciplines can be accomplished with a good assortment of hand tools.
That being said, power tools can speed a mundane task on to a more interesting phase of your project.

More to the point of your question. What will you need to mill your stock with?
Most shops have a decent power saw at it’s center, albeit a circular saw, table saw, bandsaw or mitersaw and again, this will depend on which disciplines or types of woodworking you are most interested in.

In my opinion if you are setting up a power tool oriented shop, your next consideration should be an adequate Dust Collector, for the safety of your health and your shop.

The rest of your tool collecting will again depend on your preference of favorite projects to build.

In regards to Brand preference, you will find that there are very few Brand snobs here on the LJ site, as far as every tool in the shop being one brand.
Of course there are specific tools which certain companies have always been considered as the leaders of the industry, but even those have comparable competion which have dedicated followers.

The process of researching on-line and magazine Tool Reviews, also you will find great reviews here at LJs in the REVIEW tab, is a smart way to the process of elimination or to at least narrow down your choices, and when you just feel you can’t make that final choice without user input, bring that specific dilemma back to the LJ family and post your question here on Forums.

Work Safely and have Fun. – Grandpa Len

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View Tedstor's profile

Tedstor

1369 posts in 1318 days


#9 posted 09-14-2012 06:07 PM

“not that you don’t want good, but you don’t always need great.”

Nicely said. Perfect, concise articulation of my thoughts on the subject.

View Surfside's profile

Surfside

3263 posts in 858 days


#10 posted 09-14-2012 06:25 PM

That’s a good point, Ron. This is the most important stage when you start woodworking, deciding what tool to use and what brand. Though some may have learned the lesson after a very bad purchase. But it’s better to have a great start by choosing a great tool to work with.

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View RWininger's profile

RWininger

16 posts in 765 days


#11 posted 09-14-2012 06:49 PM

What a bunch of articulate fellows you all are. This has been a daunting task for many weeks now.
And still I cannot decide on witch way I need to go. Keep reading and looking for now. Would like to have the table saw in place in the next few weeks.
Thanks Ron

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6948 posts in 1599 days


#12 posted 09-14-2012 07:38 PM

Ron,
My biggest suggestion when buying anything New:

1. Do NOT buy their bottom line or ”entry level” model. Buy two model higher on the food chain.

All of these companies, driven by competition, will offer a bottom-end piece that more often than no, will have way too many “issues”. This could be in the form of poor machining, poor setup, mismatched parts, and more.

2. Consider buying a used 6” jointer (NOT new). There are tons of them that come up on CL all the time. For example just check out all of these in the Flint area:
http://flint.craigslist.org/search/tla?query=+jointer&srchType=A&minAsk=&maxAsk=
FWIW, I actually got lucky and found a $700 8” Grizzly G0593 on CL when I was looking and it was within an hour of my home in Texas. If you can be patient and you just might find what you need for much less than new price.

UPDATE: Also when buying used, if the product is only 2-3 years old, most of the bugs will have been worked put and/or corrected before you get it.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View teejk's profile

teejk

1215 posts in 1369 days


#13 posted 09-14-2012 08:26 PM

varmit…figure out what you want to make! It dictates the tools that will let you do it easier. You can always add with the “toys” later (we all have them but in truth many seldom get used).

If you are planning on a full-blown cabinet shop, you need the full compliment. If you plan on small boxes, then the answer changes. Personally I think a decent TS is #1, followed by a decent miter saw, then a decent drill (what did we do before cordless I have to wonder) then more clamps than you can imagine.

From there it comes down to what you want to do. Router(s), air compressor to run nailers (which means you need to buy the nailers also plus all the different size nails) but you can keep your vehicle tires properly inflated also. Then the jointer I guess if you want to deal with rough lumber (first step before you would move to a planer) but if you choose finished lumber carefully, then probably skip that tool and go directly to a planer. My drill press gets used a lot more than many non-woodworkers would imagine.

Brands??? My guess is 90% come from the same Asian factories and differ mostly in color. Hence the advice above to keep an eye out for older used equipment. On the + side, I know the difference in the quality of the cast iron. On the – side, parts can be hard to find (but when they were made, I think it was easier to fabricate many of your own parts without buying replacement parts). Things tended to be pretty simple back then.

View Raymond Thomas's profile

Raymond Thomas

180 posts in 903 days


#14 posted 09-14-2012 11:17 PM

First off, WELCOME to LJs!!

I won’t offer any advice on which tools you should buy first although you did say you got a router table and now need router bits. You could literally spend hundreds of dollars on router bits alone. You need to decide what router based project you want to do, see which bits are needed and then decide which brand you want to go with. You can buy router bits in sets or individually – let your first project be your guide a making that decision.

Buy the best quality your budget can afford and start from there. If you buy cheap, you will find out very quickly that is an expensive route to go.

-- Raymond, Charlotte, NC -------- Demonstrate the difference!

View cutworm's profile

cutworm

1065 posts in 1478 days


#15 posted 09-14-2012 11:40 PM

Welcome. You’ll get a lot of good help from this forum. This article is worth reading for beginners.
http://www.popularwoodworking.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/ICDTBookHiResJune10.pdf
Youtube and other woodworking sites like WWGOA and Wood Magazine have a wealth of info from tools to tips and techniques. Myself I like Ridgid tools. Good bang for the buck. Not the best but often rated best value. I have to spend wisely and am mostly happy with their products. If I were going to invest big bucks in one item it would be a table saw. I guess in the end just buy the best that you can comfortably afford.

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

1375 posts in 942 days


#16 posted 09-15-2012 12:01 AM

I agree with teejk. First determine what you want to make, then purchase the tools required. My first project was a work bench so I got a table saw and a jointer. Other tools followed, but I tried to learn something new with each project and that oftentimes meant a new tool and/or a new process with an existing tool. I found that I was mostly able to justify the purchase of a new tool with a specific project, i.e. If I purchased 2 night stands, they would have cost $600, but if I bought a needed tool to make those night stands (band saw) for $500, then I came out ahead. HTH

-- Art

View toolie's profile

toolie

1767 posts in 1313 days


#17 posted 09-15-2012 12:51 AM

varmint22….......since you asked about brands, i will offer this regarding 2 brands to avoid if purchasing new – jet and powermatic. while these were once quite reputable products, the new offerings are at best average performers in most categories and they tend to be at or near the upper end of the price range for whatever tool one is considering. now if you come across an older (20+ years) tool, it might be worth considering. i made the mistake of buying a jet 18’ band saw. it was my first jet purchase and it will be my last. jet and powermatic (both owned by the same company and they share both customer and technical support resources) are long on promise, short on deliver and pricey, making them, IMHO, extremely poor values.

-- there's a solution to every problem.......you just have to be willing to find it.

View okwoodshop's profile

okwoodshop

442 posts in 1860 days


#18 posted 09-15-2012 02:01 AM

I think most of the advice seems very good,I would add with the table saw and jionter first guys. With these two and a few jigs you can make a lot of projects and learn how different woods work. As your skills increase you will take on more challenging projects that will require other tools but learning the basics of the table saw you will be surprised what you can accomplish.Welcome to LJ’s looking forward to your first projects.

View mikema's profile

mikema

175 posts in 1271 days


#19 posted 09-15-2012 02:17 AM

When I went jointer shopping a couple months ago, I looked at some of the steel city jointers. The construction of many of their jointers looked a little too much like my old Delta bench top jointer, which was junk. I would honestly stay away from that one. If you can get a used Jet or Grizzly 6” or 8” jointer go for it. Honestly, I ended up buying a new grizzly 6”, because their just weren’t a whole lot of good used ones out there in my area. The ones that did come up were almost the same price as a new grizzly, so that is the direction I went. Plus, I think the new knives and the warranty made the extra cost worth it.

I did look up the 8” Steel City jointer, and for the most part it looks like a typical dovetail grove jointer with granite tables on it, so that MAY not be a bad choice, but I would do some research on it first.

-- Mike ---- Visit my woodworking blog: http://sawdustnewbie.com

View RWininger's profile

RWininger

16 posts in 765 days


#20 posted 09-15-2012 04:56 AM

Holy smokes, you guys rock hard. Never expected this kind of feedback. Spent most of my down time at work tonight on crags’ list. Never thought about buying used for some reason, always have gotten new tools. But most of this stuff are big dollar items. So why not see if I can find some good used stuff. must have some money for wood. Plus maybe I will hate wood working, you never know.
A big Thanks Ron

View teejk's profile

teejk

1215 posts in 1369 days


#21 posted 09-15-2012 07:23 PM

Michigan…might be hard to find values on decent used equipment there. It’s impossible here in west central Wis…for some reason the Amish know what everything is worth and will always over-pay (with cash). But before you bite on anything, drop a note here and you will undoubtedly get similar instant feedback…this is a great site for information (and more than a few opinions so you have to employ your own filter).

View teejk's profile

teejk

1215 posts in 1369 days


#22 posted 09-15-2012 07:30 PM

okwoodshop…I’m surprised you would rate the jointer that high especially for a newbie. Mine seldom gets used. Maybe I got lucky with my TS and it rips true such that edge dressing is rarely needed. Unsurfaced lumber is rare also since we are surrounded by sawmills that go to market with S4S.

View Cole Tallerman's profile

Cole Tallerman

392 posts in 870 days


#23 posted 09-16-2012 04:17 AM

View RWininger's profile

RWininger

16 posts in 765 days


#24 posted 09-20-2012 02:32 PM

Ok, so I grew a pair and pulled the trigger on the G0690 10” 3HP 220V Cabinet Table Saw with Riving Knife and the The G0555LX 14” Deluxe Band saw with riser kit. I got the band saw because I always wanted to make a band saw box. I recived one for a wedding gift a few years back and have been crazy to make one. I am sure the table saw will be more than I will ever need.
So thanks for all the in put.
Ron

View Rex B's profile

Rex B

314 posts in 935 days


#25 posted 09-20-2012 02:42 PM

Congrats on your new tools man! Many people here will be envious of that pair of machines, myself included.

-- Rex

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6948 posts in 1599 days


#26 posted 09-20-2012 02:47 PM

Hey Ron! Welcome to the G0690 club! You are going to love it.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View RWininger's profile

RWininger

16 posts in 765 days


#27 posted 09-20-2012 03:16 PM

Thanks, how big of a pain is Assembly on the saw

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6948 posts in 1599 days


#28 posted 09-20-2012 03:24 PM

No pain on un-crating and assembly. I picked mine up at the UPS terminal with my pickup truck. Hill/driveway too steep for delivery. I bought a 1-ton chain hoist and installed in inside my garage/shop for unloading the monster. Worked like a champ. An alternative is to un-crate in the bed of the truck, though you will need at least one other to help slide the base down some 2×6 ramps or some such. You will have FOUR boxes.

This hoist made it a one-man solution:

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View toolie's profile

toolie

1767 posts in 1313 days


#29 posted 09-20-2012 03:51 PM

congrats on the buy, varmit22. that’s pretty close to the configuration of a unisaw so i expect it will perform weell for many years. here’s another take on lifting the heavy cabinet by yourself:

-- there's a solution to every problem.......you just have to be willing to find it.

View RWininger's profile

RWininger

16 posts in 765 days


#30 posted 09-20-2012 03:59 PM

that is funny i was thinking along the same lines to use a jack to get the mobile base under it.

View toolie's profile

toolie

1767 posts in 1313 days


#31 posted 09-20-2012 06:24 PM

doable, but working alone it was a little “heart in mouth” time when i had to raise and lower it. an extra set of hands would have made it a bit less stressful.

-- there's a solution to every problem.......you just have to be willing to find it.

View RWininger's profile

RWininger

16 posts in 765 days


#32 posted 09-28-2012 10:24 PM

Took about 4.5 hr to do TS all by myself . Thats with mobile base and suport table.Went smooth , just have to make up a cord to go from 30amp to 20 amp plug
Sorry about mess, will take care of it this weekend. BS in background.

View toolie's profile

toolie

1767 posts in 1313 days


#33 posted 09-29-2012 01:28 AM

that 690 is a sweet looking saw. if i ever sell my 3 current saws, that’ll probably be top of my list.

-- there's a solution to every problem.......you just have to be willing to find it.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase