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Forum topic by JetDriver posted 03-15-2016 05:59 PM 616 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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JetDriver

21 posts in 559 days


03-15-2016 05:59 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tools newbie question

I just started getting into woodworking a couple of years ago and have been slowly expanding my tool collection. Like many of us the combination of having recently bought a house and having two young kids means the budget is limited.

Right now I’ve got a jobsite Table Saw (Craftsmen 137.218300), a 12” Hitachi Compound Miter Saw, Makita Circular Saw, Bosch Jig Saw, 14.4 Volt Dewalt Drill, and a Home Depot Nail Pneumatic Nail gun set ($49!).

The next obvious purchase is a Router and I suspect a band saw after that. I have a friend with a Dewalt planer he is happy to loan me and he also has a Delta Benchtop Jointer.

What I’m wondering is what would you buy next (after the Router)? I have a small shop with limited space at present (see my other post on that) so big footprint items can be a challenge.

Would a Table top Bandsaw be a good buy as a starter or should I wait until I can have a larger model? What about a drill press? Do floor standing models offer a lot over benchtop models? And the really dumb question.. What sort of things do you use your drill press for?

Thanks for your help folks its appreciated.


17 replies so far

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WillliamMSP

733 posts in 1064 days


#1 posted 03-15-2016 06:21 PM

I’m a noob, too, but tools are tools, whether it’s woodworking or anything else. If you want to avoid buying aimlessly (often a waste of time and money), the question to ask is: what would make it easier for you to do whatever it is that you want to do? IOW, don’t buy a band saw because someone else says that it’s irreplaceable for their work – look at the project that you want to work on next/first. Is there something that’s keeping you from getting the job done or is there something that would make it a heck of a lot easier? If it’s a significant investment, will you get your money’s worth out of it in this project and in future projects?

Basically, I’m a big fan of something along the lines of, “if you can’t articulate what your specific need is, you probably don’t need it.”

-- Practice makes less sucky. (Bill, Minneapolis, MN)

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bbasiaga

754 posts in 1455 days


#2 posted 03-15-2016 06:30 PM

Good advice from William.

I think ultimately you will find ways around not having a bandsaw as there is a lot you can do with that jigsaw and a fence and some patience. If you find yourself doing that a lot, or end up getting roughsawn lumber or stuff you need to resaw, then a bandsaw will be handy. Until then…save your money.

A drill press is a great tool that I think you will use on a lot of jobs. I did just fine with a benchtop from HF for $50 for a long time. Hard to go wrong there. As my projects got bigger, I did run in to some power and reach limitations. When it finally died after years of good service, I did replace it with a floor standing model to get more depth and reach. Drill presses can be used for: driling, sanding, light lathe type work (see Youtube). Doesn’t sound like a lot, but with tilting tables and jigs you can make a lot of holes that are really hard to do with a hand drill. Plus it is a lot easier to keep them straight. There are tools you use on every project, and the drill press is a lot closer to that list than a bandsaw, at least for me. Now if you make a bunch of bandsaw boxes….see William’s advice above.

-Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

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SarahDIY

4 posts in 262 days


#3 posted 03-15-2016 06:38 PM

Thank you William. I am new to woodworking as well and that is great advice :)

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MadMark

976 posts in 913 days


#4 posted 03-15-2016 07:07 PM

Buy as you need, not as you want. If you buy a tool and there is nothing waiting on that tool, then you just bought a toy.

Buy inexpensive (not cheap) at first. If it lasts, great. If it fails buy the next better one. Repeat as required.

A cheap ts with a good fence will cut better than a good saw with a cheap fence.

M

-- Madmark - Madmark2150@yahoo.com Wiretreefarm.com

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knotscott

7207 posts in 2836 days


#5 posted 03-15-2016 07:17 PM

What to get depends a lot on what you want to do. Add a decent router for sure….build a table for it too. Beyond that, it depends.

It sounds like you like woodworking (you’re past your rookie season!), so rather than continuing to buy entry level homeowner grade tools with limited capabilities, I’d consider looking to longer term tools that will serve you better, and that you can grow with. Floor standing units in general will almost always have the advantage of more mass, more capacity, usually more power, better long term reliabiilty, quieter motors, better accuracy, more torque, and are usually more feasible to fix in the event of a failure.

You currently cut curves with your jigsaw….a small BS won’t necessarily be a huge step up from that. If you can save a little longer, or look at used I’d think you’d be better off.

A borrowed planer or jointer are a lot better than no planer or jointer, but it’s always nice to have your own.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

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jumbojack

1667 posts in 2084 days


#6 posted 03-15-2016 07:21 PM

Jig it.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

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tmasondarnell

19 posts in 1249 days


#7 posted 03-15-2016 07:25 PM

As another noob to fine woodworking, but with a lot of experience at other building projects, this is all good advice.

Just to pile on with everyone else, I buy a tool when I realize that not having the tool is impacting the quality of the work I can do. Once the lack of a tool (or a tool’s quality) starts limiting me, then it is time for a tool.

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SuperCubber

866 posts in 1744 days


#8 posted 03-15-2016 07:32 PM

Based on your shop size, I wouldn’t eliminate the thought of a benchtop band saw. I agree with William’s advice, but I too am somewhat limited in space. I share a two car garage with a minivan, and a zillion kid toys/bikes. Right now, my only option is a bench top band saw. I bought it 2 years ago (10” Craftsman), and have been very happy with it. It’s very accurate with a good blade, and can even do a limited amount of resawing. It’s resaw capacity is only around 4 3/4”, but it has worked for me.

Bottom line is this: I won’t have space for a 14” bandsaw for at least 3-4 more years. I was more than happy to spend $160 on the 10” band saw for 6 years ($27 a year), as opposed to having none at all. Another benefit to having the small bandsaw is once I Do have a new shop with more space, I can leave a narrow blade on the 10” and put a resaw blade on the 14”.

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

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OSU55

1056 posts in 1449 days


#9 posted 03-15-2016 07:55 PM

I will join in with the “buy it when you ENVISION needing it” crowd (hard to find a good deal if you wait until you need it). I find a benchtop drill press invaluable. Floorstanding model would be better but not necessary, especially now that I have a lathe that can handle long pieces.

I have a 10 inch craftsman bandsaw. The biggest benefit is the circle jig I made for it. If you will do things with thin materials it can resaw very well up to about 4 1/2 inches. If you want to saw better curves it is far superior to a jigsaw, but is not absolutely necessary.

A tablesaw crosscut sled is invaluable, as well as a miter sled if you need repeated angles. Much better than miter gauges.

I focus on the best tool value, not the best tool. Many of the best tools are poor values. That is value to you. A professional cabinetmaker certainly needs a high dollar cabinet saw, whereas the weekend hobbyist does not. If one has a huge supply of rough lumber to resaw, A 17 inch bandsaw makes a good value. Otherwise that capacity gets wasted, etc.

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SuperCubber

866 posts in 1744 days


#10 posted 03-15-2016 07:57 PM



I will join in with the “buy it when you ENVISION needing it” crowd (hard to find a good deal if you wait until you need it). I find a benchtop drill press invaluable. Floorstanding model would be better but not necessary, especially now that I have a lathe that can handle long pieces. I have a 10 inch craftsman bandsaw. The biggest benefit is the circle jig I made for it. If you will do things with thin materials it can resaw very well up to about 4 1/2 inches. If you want to saw better curves it is far superior to a jigsaw, but is not absolutely necessary. A tablesaw crosscut sled is invaluable, as well as a miter sled if you need repeated angles. Much better than miter gauges.

I focus on the best tool value, not the best tool. Many of the best tools are poor values. That is value to you. A professional cabinetmaker certainly needs a high dollar cabinet saw, whereas the weekend hobbyist does not. If one has a huge supply of rough lumber to resaw, A 17 inch bandsaw makes a good value. Otherwise that capacity gets wasted, etc.

- OSU55

Couldn’t have said it better.

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

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hotbyte

841 posts in 2435 days


#11 posted 03-15-2016 07:58 PM

For the router, get one that comes with multiple bases (fixed and plunge) and with 1/2” & 1/4” collets. Something along the lines of the PC 690 or Bosch 1617 (I think is right number).

View JetDriver's profile

JetDriver

21 posts in 559 days


#12 posted 03-15-2016 08:07 PM

Thanks William its good advice and something I’ve actually been keeping in mind. I’ve been wanting a new drill for a while but I keep reminding myself the old one works and that until I can articulate why I NEED that new 18V Milwaukee kit I shouldn’t be buying it.

Need was how I ended up with the jigsaw because I had a sewing table to build for my wife which meant cutting a hole in the table top which meant the jig saw. That table is teaching me the need for lumber that is properly square and true which has me thinking about jointing and planing.

So maybe the better question is when you think about all the tools that inhabit your workshop that I don’t own what are the most valuable and why do you find them valuable to your work? I think part of my challenge is trying to figure out how tools that I’ve never owned or worked with personally fit into the picture.

But yes William is spot on. Unless you have a projects that requires that tool to complete its a toy not a tool.

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SignWave

316 posts in 2495 days


#13 posted 03-15-2016 09:16 PM

This may just be restating what has already been said, but a tool without a need is a solution looking for a problem. Most of the time, once you’ve acquired a minimal amount of tools, you can find a way to solve most problems you’ll encounter (as jumbojack said, “jig it”).

-- Barry, http://BarrysWorkshop.com/

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bondogaposis

4021 posts in 1811 days


#14 posted 03-15-2016 10:37 PM

Don’t buy tools until you need them. Pick a project, if you need a tool for that project buy it. Over time you will acquire the tools you need to build your projects.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1056 posts in 1449 days


#15 posted 03-16-2016 12:18 PM


Need was how I ended up with the jigsaw because I had a sewing table to build for my wife which meant cutting a hole in the table top which meant the jig saw. That table is teaching me the need for lumber that is properly square and true which has me thinking about jointing and planing.

So maybe the better question is when you think about all the tools that inhabit your workshop that I don t own what are the most valuable and why do you find them valuable to your work? I think part of my challenge is trying to figure out how tools that I ve never owned or worked with personally fit into the picture.
- JetDriver

Here is my explanation, which may help you. A planer unless continuing to borrow is good enough. Getting panel/top glue ups wider than a planer flat – that led me to handplanes. Handplanes solved my edge jointing needs. Face jointing is done with a planer sled. I use a handplane on a shooting board to get perfectly square ends. Handplanes replaced sandpaper, except for a quick pass with 320 to help stain/dye penetration. Dado blade for tenons. bandsaw does tenons as well. Drill press for mortices, chisels to clean them up, as well as other clean up. Drill press for perpendicular holes and large forstner bits, sanding drums. Table mounted and hand held routers for raised panels for doors and cabinet sides, edge forming, rabbets, dados, dovetails, many things. Handsaw and chisels for handcut dovetails. A cheap HF lathe to play with and make some tool handles led to an interest in bowls, vases, platters, etc. – turning is a whole different world (I have some projects posted). There are many ways to do things in woodworking and you will end up with some overlap.

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