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Forum topic by Tyro101 posted 01-07-2016 02:40 AM 1079 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 1077 days

01-07-2016 02:40 AM

60 year old just getting into woodworking. Picked up a Laguna TSS and router table (incra wonder with 3 routers) and accessories about 6 months ago on CL and have made a few small items and drawers…..enough to know that I want to pursue it further. Unfortunately am 3 hours from a major city and have no local college, woodworking groups, etc. YouTube, books, and satellite internet are my tutors.

Have a 60×30 shop with about 1/4 reserved for storage and automotive (like to detail cars) with remainder available for woodworking. Shop has 16 foot ceiling, 14 foot roll up door on one end and one side/end with 15 foot lean to-enclosed on 3 sides. Swamp cooler, satellite tv, fridge and spend 15 to 20 hours/week in shop year round. Have one 240 outlet and can have more installed if needed

Have read numerous articles on setting up shops, tools, tool reviews, dust collectors, etc. Dont really know enough for most of the reviews to be very helpful. Am ready to move on with a full shop but have not had any further luck on CL. Started with a 10k budget so have ballpark 7.5k left and asking for recommendations for the following items: (New purchases delivered to my house)

- compound miter saw
- drill press
- band saw
- joiner
- planar
- dust collector (could put under lean-to?)
- shop vac

Prefer lower maintenance/user friendly equipment when a good option


19 replies so far

View conifur's profile


955 posts in 1357 days

#1 posted 01-07-2016 03:29 AM

Sounds like you got a good plan. I would think for 75.5K you can buy quality stuff and have some left over, depending on the planer and jointer, cost about the most depending on size, then the band saw, again depending on size, I dont know what you have in mind for a DC but if like a Jet and if out side dont need the .5 Micron filter, what 400, miter saw,400, DP if not some high end 3-400, shop vac depending on size, but on the large end, 150,=$1350, so BS 1200 ish, jointer, 800ish, and I think that is high for a 6”, but you maybe thinking 8, planer I wont speculate because I dont know what size or type you are thinking about, lunch box/floor model?

-- Knowledge and experience equals Wisdom, Michael Frankowski

View Karamba's profile


116 posts in 1142 days

#2 posted 01-07-2016 03:58 AM

I think that you are leaning towards tools more that toward woodworking (nothing is wrong with that, people do buy Porsche because they like cars not because thet need it for commute) . For example do you really need that miter saw ? Just start making things and buy when you feel you need a tool.

View conifur's profile


955 posts in 1357 days

#3 posted 01-07-2016 04:34 AM

My compound miter saw is used for most of my cross cuts/90* and any angle cuts, more accurate and easier then my basic miter gauge on the table saw.
Some wood workers machine there wood mechanically, others do it with more hand tools, it is just a personal preference I figure. I am a machine guy. Sounds like Tyro101 is too.

-- Knowledge and experience equals Wisdom, Michael Frankowski

View runswithscissors's profile


2897 posts in 2231 days

#4 posted 01-07-2016 08:22 AM

Generally, I would argue that heavy duty tools (esp. table saw, jointer, and planer) are going to give you the minimal maintenance and user friendliness you are looking for. Some LJs will say a lunch box planer will do. But for TS and jointer, definitely heavy duty stuff.

TS: preferably a cabinet saw.

Jointer: 8” is better than 6”

Bandsaw: 14” minimally, 17” or even bigger would be better.

Personally, I wouldn’t hesitate to look at used tools, but a lot of people want that warranty and new tool smell.

As for outlets, both 120 and 240, I have never heard anybody complain that they have too many.

Oh, many will ask you to consider what you plan to build. I’d say, you don’t know what you might build until you have the tools to work with. I have often found that jobs that I might dismiss with a sigh because my tools won’t do the job, suddenly the right tools make those jobs possible. As an example, a welder comes to mind (I know, not woodworking, though with me they often combine).

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View americancanuck's profile


424 posts in 2815 days

#5 posted 01-07-2016 10:51 AM

I think I agree with Karamba. Find a set of plans for a project you like, buy the material and get to work with the tools you already have. While doing that keep track of what new tools would make the project easier to do and/or look better. Don’t buy anything until you need it and are also pretty sure you will also need it in the future. Just my humble opinion.

-- Retired and lovin it

View rwe2156's profile


3174 posts in 1686 days

#6 posted 01-07-2016 12:48 PM

You’ve got a great space and well thought out plan and good budget.

I’ll give my 2 cents worth if it were me:

Basic machines for ww’ing shop:

TS, Jointer, Planer, Bandsaw, Miter saw, Dust collection.
Try to get spiral head jointer and/or planer.

The prices of these machines mount quickly but you have a very nice budget.

I recommend 8” jointer, 12-15” planer and 14” bandsaw.

I would stay away from consumer type machines you see in the box stores and go with industrial rated equipment.
You can find deals on CL, but it might take a while to get all the machines you need. I’ve got several brands in my shop: Jet (Xacta 52” TS, lathe, 12” BS, DC) Grizzly (20” planer, 8” jointer, 16” drum sander), PM (mortiser), Rikon (18” bandsaw), DW (miter saw, scroll saw), Ridgid (RAS – POS got it for $100 its not worth $20). I’m happy with all of them.

I bought all my machines new except for the mortiser, lathe and RAS. In my area 8” jointers and floor planers come on once in a blue moon.

You’ll use them to build:

Workbench, assembly bench, TS outfeed table, SCMS station, lumber storage, cabinets, etc etc etc. ;-)

I recommend putting mobile bases on everything you have at least until you started using your shop a while to have some flexibility in moving things around.

Good Luck!

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View rwe2156's profile


3174 posts in 1686 days

#7 posted 01-07-2016 12:50 PM

Another thing:don’t let the shop morph into the only project you’re working on.

It will be overwhelming for a while wiring, building cabs, assembly table, workbench, etc.

Throw in a ww’ing project to give yourself a break.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View bonesbr549's profile


1576 posts in 3272 days

#8 posted 01-07-2016 12:52 PM

Welcome to the fun! You have a good setup and still have lots of money. To me a way to mill lumber it critical. I’ve had a lunchbox planer for years, and a few years back picked up and old northfiled planer (18”) that has been a great addition. A good jointer is critical or a #7 or #8 hand plane if you are hard core. I had a 6” that while cheap to start was a mistake. To me an 8” is minimum, and the bigger the better. I’ve had my 12” grizzly for 8+ years now and its a good unit no issues. If I had it to do over I’d get an old American piece of Iron. They are cheaper and way better made.

You need a good bandsaw. I have several. I picked up a 1934 Delta 14” that is a joy to use and it’s a beast with good cast iron. I upgraded the guides to carter guide, but it’s for cutting small stuff and curves. I also have a bigger 17” grizzly that I have a laguna carbide blade on for resawing. I also have a 16” walker turner BS I’m going to restore and sell some day It’s a beast of cast iron. If you can only have one I’d start with a good 14” (find an old one) and go from there.

Drill press- In woodworking I use mine often. I have two. One is a Fische (not made anymore) and just upgraded to the PM2800b. It’s a sweet DP but not cheap. Again I’d look for an old one and just check it for runout and even if it needs new bearings not a big deal.

Dust collector is a must you want to save your lungs. Mine’s going on 20+ years old and is a 2hp Secco model. The new cyclones are nice and thats one area don’t skimp on. I also have an air filtration system to pick up ambient dust that a DC won’t get. Do some research. I’m going to make one reccomendation if you can splurge for automatic gates. I use the grngate system and it’s sweet. It turns on the DC and opens the gate on the tool when you turn the tool on. I love it.

One last thought is your friend. It allows you to look at all the CL’s in your area by miles your willing to travel from your zip. Great tool and thats how I’ve found several gems.

Electrical. At a minimum one circuit for your DC and a sep circuit/s for your tools. Big one keep your lights on two sep circuits that are not common with your tools! Nothing worse than a tool popping a breaker and you are in the dark! (don’t ask me how I know)

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View OSU55's profile


1978 posts in 2195 days

#9 posted 01-07-2016 01:33 PM

Congratulations! That’s a nice sounding shop with plenty of room. Your list looks pretty complete. What about a lathe – have you given turning any thought? DC is probably your biggest variable. You could easily spend $3-4K, 1/2 your budget, on the DC and piping. Best thing I can think of is create a plan. Build a spreadsheet listing all the tools and other costs and start throwing costs in to see how they add up. Also, work up a floor plan, including lumber storage. Grizzly has a decent floor planner on their website (may be others). It’s difficult to know what specific aspects of a machine are going to be important to you until you get some experience – there are many ways to accomplish the same thing in woodworking and a lot of opinions. For instance, some swear by a compound miter saw, I hardly use mine – it’s been set off to the side for years. Good Luck!

View JoeinGa's profile


7739 posts in 2212 days

#10 posted 01-07-2016 02:23 PM

I think that you are leaning towards tools more that toward woodworking (nothing is wrong with that, people do buy Porsche because they like cars not because thet need it for commute) . For example do you really need that miter saw ? Just start making things and buy when you feel you need a tool.

- Karamba

This guy’s new here but he speaks some truth. You might go out and spend all that 7.5k on tools, then find out that you wish you had bought a bigger bandsaw because you cant resaw the 8” logs you want to on that 14” saw you bought.

Or you may decide in a few months that you think you’d really like bowl turning, but your budget is busted and there’s not enough left to invest in a lathe.

I use my floor-model drill press EVERY TIME I’m in the shop, that’s something I cant even imagine being without. And over the years there have been SO MANY jobs that I’ve done where a table-top model would not have done the job.

And I also no longer ascribe to the “This will do till I can upgrade to a better/bigger one” .... I have several tools that I WISH I had spent the difference and bought the better one, but I was too impatient to wait.

And you’ve had good luck with CL? Maybe by starting out with what you KNOW you want and/or need, some of the bigger items will show up on CL and you’ll save a few bucks by having had the patience to wait.

Oh and… WELCOME to LJs !

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View OSU55's profile


1978 posts in 2195 days

#11 posted 01-07-2016 08:13 PM

I’ll go out on a limb and guess that eventually you will want to make furniture and other items that look nice and professional. If so, add “Finishing” to your broad list of areas to address, and give substantial thought to how you want to approach it. Personally, finishing is 1/2 the project – I consider the finishing prep and methods when designing. Spraying is much faster than doing lots of hand wiping and polishing. This could lead to adding a spray booth, exhaust fan, spray guns/compressor, etc. to your equipment list.

An area not mentioned – hand tools, and specifically hand planes. One thing led me down the hand plane slippery slope – how to get a glued up table top flat and smooth. Suspecting I wasn’t going to have a 40” or wider drum sander or planer to run that dining room table through, I tried all types of approaches with sanding and routers. I still have the runners and cross slide for router planing – it works but there is a lot of grain tear out and tool cut lines to clean up. Hand planes solved the issue, as well as reduced sandpaper use to very little. I found I enjoyed hand planes and my collection has grown, but that’s a whole different story. Fact is there isn’t a better way for the hobbyist to be able to flatten any glued up panel than hand planes.

As you move through this hobby, I suspect a lot misc tools will come up – fixtures, jigs, measurement and layout, hand held power tools, etc. You may want to reserve $500-$1000 just for those items.

View Matt's profile


160 posts in 1157 days

#12 posted 01-07-2016 11:46 PM

OP – So, having done what you want to do recently I’ll chime in with my limited experience, as a newish woodworker myself.
A little bit of background, I’m an IT professional in my mid 30’s who in what feels like a lifetime ago I worked in construction doing windows/doors/remodeling almost two decades ago with a neighbor (General Contractor) and have always been good at working with my hands (and I have an addiction to tools that I readily admit). Ever since I was a child I wanted to do the stuff that my late mother and I used to watch Norm do. Finally I had the space and means to do so and purchased a Ridgid 12” SCMS and biscuit cutter and went to work on my first workbench and an outdoor “deck box”; this was 18-20 months ago. About a year ago, I added a Ridgid portable (R4510) tablesaw, a ~2HP plunge router and made a buffet (that I’d love to turn in to firewoood, but the wife loves it….) while working out of the one car garage. The garage also houses my other toys so the woodworking stuff always had to be “put away” adding 30 min to setup/takedown when I wanted to woodwork and that hampered my efforts. The wife gave me the go-ahead to use the extra space in our unfinished basement as a fulltime woodshop and I went for it. I knew that I wanted to mill my own lumber so a jointer and planer were required (In my opinion), so purchasing a Dewalt 735X and stand, Grizzly 6” jointer G0452, and a infinity tools router table package with the triton 3hp router. I purchased all of these items in about 3 hours online one night.(lots of limited experience research was performed in the months leading up to the purchase) Other items were a few craigslist scores, a Jet 16” BS, a Delta 17-900 and a HF DC. (Throw in a few other misc hand tools/measuring/chisels etc. )

Fast forward 3 months and while ripping 12/4 poplar for a loft bed, the 7 month old Ridgid tablesaw failed and now I’m the proud owner of a SawStop PCS 36” tablesaw (and the ridgid has been getting “repaired” for the last almost 60 days now with no updates…. here’s hoping I can just get HD store credit for it at 90 days…) All this background to say the following, there isn’t much I would change with my initial purchases.

So the comments on my purchases:
I didn’t go for the spiral heads on the jointer because I figured that when I needed new heads the cost to upgrade after the fact vs purchasing with the jointer was about the same minus all additional use and experience I’d get with the normal blades. However I didn’t think that I’d need an 8” jointer (or larger and went with the 6”). I would, now have gotten an 8” and you’ll likely see the same recommendations from many others. However I’m still very happy with the performance of the 6”.

The Dewalt Planer 735X has been a pleasure to use and for non-production limited space use, it’s outstanding. I don’t have any trouble with snipe, also something that I plan to upgrade with the sprial cutter head once I’ve used up the two sets of blades that come with the planer “X” model.

Router table package:
The router table package, next time I would likely purchase a different fence (I like the incra’s more than the Jess’em Master R II.)

I got a JWBS-16 for a few hundred $, I have no complaints there, and I can’t recommend anything because this wasn’t on my radar until I saw the deal I couldn’t say no to.

Drill Press:
Part of the bandsaw deal – basically free – also great and very useful. Originally I was going to get a bench top. Glad to have the fullsize.

This is an interesting one – I have a SCMS the 12” from Ridgid. It took a bit to get it “true” and it (with a diablo blade) cuts everything I’ve thrown at it with no trouble. The dust collection on it sucks, however this seems to be pretty common with miter saws, so not much of a detractor there. However now that I’ve relocated to my basement where I have more room, but the walls are there, the sliding function (and rails) consume a lot of usable space when it’s set up full time. (It’s positioned under the stairs near the DC for best use of space) looking back I would seriously consider getting the new bosch that does now have the rails. The Festool with the front “tusks” is a great option, but I can’t justify the 1400 (or the 600 for the bosch at this time). This is something that I would change.
Note: I’m currently soured on the ridgid brand (see Table saw and “repair” process above, and a search will find many similar stories) so take these comments with a grain of salt.
Ridgid Tablesaw:
I would not have purchased this if I could do it again. That being said my buddy has the R4512 (Contractor saw) and thinks it’s great.
SawStop Tablesaw:
Zero complaints, only compliments and wish I had purchased it earlier. (No accident or almost accident/close call or wife to force the decision.)
Dust Collector:
I’m a one man shop that can only run one machine at a time. I move a flexible 4” hose to each machine while I’m working and the DC and tool are on separate 20a circuits. I’m very happy with the HF DC, I have modified it with a mac truck airfilter (didn’t know about the Wynn option at the time) and it works well. I’ll be adding a separator in the future, changing the plastic bag is a pain and the bags are expensive (even with re-use). (Lot’s of great examples of the HF DC on LJ’s). I started with a shop vac, then added a “dust right” (Rockler) separator on the shop vac. I still use this option for sanding with a bag in the shopvac. All that being said, I didn’t realize the importance of DC, doing this over again, I would have purchased the HF DC earlier and not fiddled around as much with the Shopvac. DC is not just for your health the Jointer needs it, the Bandsaw with a high TPI blade clogs without it (slowing the cuts), the planer shaving’s need to go somewhere. It even makes drilling easier (A few clamps to hold the hose in the correct place make seeing your work that much easier). I’ll also add – I added a air filter hanging from the ceiling to help with the dust that didn’t get captured by the DC (MS and sanding are the worst offender)

Closing notes: As a toolaholic, I understand your goals and your wants (And please don’t take offense to this, I’m personally proud of my tool addiction); you’ve got a great budget and a great large space to work with. I don’t imagine I’ll need to upgrade for personal (non-production, no rush, no deadlines, all pleasure work) use any of the items I’ve mentioned. Sure I could, but it would be a waste of money, unless you’re in the MD/DC area and want to buy a Ridgid SCMS for way too much money so I can justify buying the Bosch. Plan to spend more on setup/layout tools like dial calipers, straight edges/squares, clamps, clamps, and more clamps, saw set up gauges, etc. than you thought you would spend. I’m having a blast and it looks like you are too!

And I’ll add again, I’m not very experienced but I did do similar to what you’re contemplating now. Some of my suggestions may work for you, some may not, they all could be completely wrong and bad suggestions, this is all just based on my experiences with the decisions I’ve made. Congrats on the large space and have fun with the hobby, it’s how I relax…


-- My "projects" always look better with beer goggles.

View ssocal's profile


1 post in 1862 days

#13 posted 01-08-2016 12:19 AM

I’ll second MadPretzel’s comments about an air filtration system. I have a 3 car garage, 2 bays for the wood shop one for my “Hot Rod”. I have a good dust collection system but it seems the car is a magnet for all fine particles! I’ve recently added the Jet Air Filtration System. It helps a lot. I like the timer feature, let it run for an hour or two when you’re done.

Good Luck,

- Mike

View 8iowa's profile


1587 posts in 3967 days

#14 posted 01-08-2016 12:24 AM

I’m basically a “hybrid” woodworker, and use my hand tools to some extent on every project. There is a lot of value in knowing how to use and sharpen your hand tools.

Frankly I don’t see how any woodworking shop could function without a good workbench – one shoulder and tail vises and dog holes. My bench is the indispensable gluing, clamping, assembly, and general work space.

Even though you have a nice size shop, keep in mind the fact that some of the tools recommended above are very large and heavy. Even though mobile bases are available, at my age I’m not about to start shoving 500+ pound machinery across the floor.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View AandCstyle's profile


3179 posts in 2462 days

#15 posted 01-08-2016 12:31 AM

Tyro, there has been a lot of great feed back so far. I will try to put a slightly different spin on some of it.

IMO, the number one most important piece of equipment is the dust collector. Based on the size of your shop, I would suggest a 3 hp minimum and Bill Pentz would say you need 5 hp. Then, there is the tubing and blast gates that are critical and not cheap. Locate the DC near the center of one long wall to minimize the length of tubing runs.

Once you have that thought out and priced, I would buy a jointer (minimum 8”) and a planer, both with helical cutter heads. These two tools will save you money over the long haul because it is cheaper to buy rough sawn stock than to buy s4s (which usually isn’t square). Some will say that hand tools are cheaper than corded ones, but you will need to decide your preference for yourself. However, you will likely need a small hand plane or two. I like a small block plane and a shoulder plane, at a minimum.

You didn’t mention lighting which I view as essential and can be costly. I like 100 lumens at 3’ above the floor. If your lights produce shadows on your work bench, you are in the ballpark. Paint your walls and ceiling a light color to increase reflected light.

You haven’t mentioned smaller power tools that are indispensable, like a circular saw (for breaking down sheet goods) or a random orbit sander, etc. Buy ones that connect to your shop vac. Some of these tools can be pricey.

Finishing was mentioned and I agree that a compressor is really great to have, but probably not essential. Similarly, I like pneumatic nailers for making jigs, but they aren’t essential.

As has been mentioned, the best way to prioritize your purchases is to decide what you want to build for your next project and then to determine your needs to complete that project. Your budget sounds adequate if you buy carefully, but be certain to save some money to actually buy some lumber. Good luck and blog your progress.

-- Art

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