New shop. #1: Help!

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Blog entry by simmers posted 11-26-2008 11:59 PM 1366 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I’m completing set-up in my shed, which is 20’ X 32’. I’ve rewired. I just bought a wood stove for $30.

I have some tools, none that are real quality. My plan is to start repairing, rebuilding, and refinishing antique furniture and building some furniture. I have a business plan. I am planning on taking 2 years to really learn the what I need and build up a business.

Among big purchasses, I need a good tablesaw, jointer, planer, bandsaw, air compressor. I have a very good mortising machine and router that I bought from a retired cabinet maker. And I have a tank to strip furniture.

I’m consider driving 2 hours to Grizzly near Williamsport, PA and getting everything there. I would hope to get good warranty service if I deal with 1 place for the big stuff. They seem to have good stuff for a fair price.

Can anyone give me some suggestions on my plan, on Grizzly, and the equipment? I’ve been looking for used stuff for 3 months….no luck.

What should I expect to spend for the tools I listed? I am hoping $3,000 will get me some good stuff. I don’t want junk and I don’t want to look to upgrade in 2 years.

Bob, just joined 5 minutes ago

-- simmers

7 comments so far

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4278 days

#1 posted 11-27-2008 12:23 AM

humm…if you keep looking I expect quite a few cabinet shops will go out of business or downsize real soon. This is a great time to be buying used tools. Maybe keep your eye out for an auction or two.

View Julian's profile


880 posts in 3489 days

#2 posted 11-27-2008 12:36 AM

craigslist is your friend when it comes to used tools. I have seen many recent posts with cabinet shop tools galore going for really cheap.

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

View Tomcat1066's profile


942 posts in 3759 days

#3 posted 11-27-2008 12:48 AM

As for $3,000 getting you some good stuff, it really depends on what you’re calling “good stuff”. For example, Grizzly has one saw here that would eat up that entire budget. That doesn’t cover a jointer, a planer, a bandsaw or anything else.

As for other tools, you say they’re not real quality tools. Personally, I’d suggest planning on upgrading those soon if you want to become a pro at this. I have a few that I’d describe the same way and they’ll be getting upgraded very soon. Tools may not make the craftsman, but they definitely can hurt them.

Now, that said, with your $3,000 budget, here are the tools I’d personally go with. I know you said you rewired, but I’m still going to assume you’re set up for 110 just to be safe. If not, then there’s probably a 220 version at Grizzly you can snag instead.

Table Saw: G0661
Jointer: G0490
Planer: G1037Z
Bandsaw: G0555
Air Compressor: H3716

Granted, that comes in at $3069.95 before tax which is a bit more than you expected, but that’s still pretty darn close. None of those are really top of the line, but they all seem to be good tools.

BTW…welcome :)

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View mjlauro's profile


244 posts in 3724 days

#4 posted 11-27-2008 01:57 AM

don’t buy the grizzly contractor saw, you can get a saw just as goof for less…..also you prob don’t need a jointer and planer to get starterd, they are a luxary…....if you go grizzly, spend more on a bandsaw , then get a contractors saw at lowes or home depot for less then $500. personally I would go with this bandsaw

View simmers's profile


17 posts in 3431 days

#5 posted 11-27-2008 02:11 AM

Yes, I’m set up for 110 only. My current tools are not upgradable. They are disposable.

Thanks for the feedback. I need the advice.

But I have a tough time thinking a jointer would be a luxury. I’ve looked at Lowe’s/HD contractor saws. I think I would be wishing I’d bought something better. The bandsaw at Grizzly looks really good.

-- simmers

View Tomcat1066's profile


942 posts in 3759 days

#6 posted 11-27-2008 05:34 PM

Not knowing how big your shop is, it’s hard to make specific suggestions. However, assuming you have enough space and you’re wanting to stick with Grizzly, this hybrid saw might be worth a go for you. I’ve never used any of these saws though, so don’t take my word for the quality.

However, contractor’s saws aren’t so bad really. A lot of the quality woodwork you see in the project section was made with contractor’s saws. A quality contractor saw will do plenty, especially starting out. For many, it’s the only saw they ever need. It’s especially great if you need mobility from a saw. Cabinet saws don’t roll that well I’d imagine ;)

And, in all honesty, you don’t actually need and jointer and a planer. You can do the same things in other ways. For example, you can joint the edge of a board on a table saw and hand plane (or hand plane and joint for that matter). Even a router can do a lot of this if you know what you’re doing (I don’t…I’ve just heard about it ;) ). Plus, you can always start out with pre-surfaced wood. It costs a bit more, but it prolongs how long you can go without some means of flattening wood.

Just my opinion here, but to often people see a problem and think “I need to buy a tool to fix this” rather than figuring out what they can do with what they have. Sometimes, it can’t be done. If you have no hand planes, no planer, and/or no jointer, you really can’t flatten wood effectively.

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View mjon's profile


27 posts in 3743 days

#7 posted 11-27-2008 07:25 PM

Craigs list is the best for used tools ,get a good woork bench and spend a little on good hand tools . the repair buisiness is really good right now,so focus on that you can get by with mostly hand tools good luck—Michaeljon woodworker

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