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Forum topic by Omar157 posted 06-13-2016 08:25 PM 1065 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Omar157

49 posts in 294 days


06-13-2016 08:25 PM

Hey guys
Last year I really got into woodworking after stumbling on to a video while bedridden from an terrible injury. From that day I spent the next 8 months in bed and watching video after video. Once I was fully healed I started purchasing the tools I didn’t have and pnow have a fully loaded operational shop in my garage. I have everything I could possibly need with the exception of 3 key tools. I a missing a jointer, bandsaw and drill press but there are so many darn choices I don’t know what to get. All of my tools are top of the line, very well reviewed choices but right now I am close to being tapped out. I am in the middle of designing my new home with a dedicated 20×20 shop with a 10×12 loft as my office. I know it sounds like excessive but I am a contractor as well and I need some of that space for some of the non woodworking tools and material. I have $600 burning a hole in my pocket and was thinking a harbor freight 14” bandsaw along with the shop fox 1668 oscillating drill press. With a couple of coupons I can get them both for a bit under $600. My original plan was to √ľoget a benchtop DP and BS but how often do you guys actually wish you had a larger version of each??? I am not going for the biggest and best of each not only because of money but bigger is not always better. I can’t justify purchasing a bid daddy BS or DP since I have been just fine without them and I currently own the Festool Carvex and Wolfcraft portable drill press of which I have used them a handful of times. Would you guys blow off the Harbor freight BS and get a decent benchtop BS along with a Benchtop DP or do you really find yourself wishing it was bigger or more powerful? Your comments will go a long way since I don’t know much about either machine, Thank you very much.


22 replies so far

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chrisstef

15671 posts in 2470 days


#1 posted 06-13-2016 08:38 PM

If I had my choice I would have a 1hp bandsaw with the capability of resawing up to 12”. I currently have a 3/4 hp with 6” of resaw. I get by using it but would like a tad bit more oomph and definitely more resaw clearance. As to a DP, I don’t use mine a ton so personally, I wouldnt drop a ton of coin on one. Where I would spend my money (if I had any) would be on an 8” jointer. Flat faces and square edges make all the difference in the world when working on a project. It will be an upgrade in the future for myself.

-- rock, chalk, jayhawk

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bbasiaga

757 posts in 1459 days


#2 posted 06-13-2016 08:50 PM

I would get a 14” floor standing band saw. Grizzly has great options in your price range. The bench top I had before was frustratingly small and under powered. IMO…bigger is better in this case.

On the other hand…i got along just fine for years on a $50 HF bench top drill press. Only after I wore it out did I get a floor standing model. I cried a bit the day it died.

Brian

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

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bbasiaga

757 posts in 1459 days


#3 posted 06-13-2016 08:53 PM

Missed that you don’t have a jointer….definitely a sound investment. If you have room, an 8” would be great. I didn’t have room so I use a 6” and a couple of tricks to extend it’s capabilities. Going to a 6” jointer is much cheaper so you could extend your budget that way.

Brian

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

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ClammyBallz

309 posts in 600 days


#4 posted 06-13-2016 08:56 PM

Can’t get much better advice than that. Put the money into a decent sized jointer!

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Bill White

4452 posts in 3424 days


#5 posted 06-13-2016 08:57 PM

No on the HF saw. Go Grizz. No on the bench top BS. 14” minimum is a great all purpose size. Service and parts are a big plus.
The Ridgid belt/spindle sander is a real positive. $200.00, and you’re out the door.
No on the benchtop DP.
Floor models are much better, and can be found as “old iron”. Don’t get torqued up about a zillion speeds. 4 or 5 are plenty for the most basic needs. The floor models don’t take up any more floor space.
My old C’man 4 speed made by King Seeley in 1952 is a beast, and has done all I’ve ever needed.
Keep in mind that these opinions are mine alone, and are based on what I have in my 400 sq. ft. shop.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

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Omar157

49 posts in 294 days


#6 posted 06-14-2016 11:58 AM

Decisions decisions Lol. I really like the grizzly 14” band saw and space isn’t an issue. I just don’t want to spend a fortune on tools I have not needed nor will I use often.

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bigblockyeti

3668 posts in 1184 days


#7 posted 06-14-2016 12:11 PM

I would first get a good bandsaw, not a harbor freight. You didn’t mention what you’d be doing with the bandsaw primarily and that will help dictate which one to get. After that the need for a jointer or a drill press (for me anyway) would be about the same. A 6” jointer will have you wishing for an 8” one eventually. A benchtop drill press can be reasonably heavy duty but won’t be as likely to have a larger work table.

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TheWoodenOyster

1275 posts in 1399 days


#8 posted 06-14-2016 12:14 PM

I have a big bandsaw. 21” powermatic from the 60’s. Never have I wished I had a smaller one.

I have a crappy hand me down drill press. I have often wished I had a bigger one.

I say go with a bigger bandsaw and smaller drill press if you have to choose. I think you’ll find yourself using the bandsaw capacity a lot. I shove big, heavy planks thru my bandsaw often. If you can swing it, go bigger.

And to answer your question, when it comes to power tools, bigger is almost always is better in my humble opinion.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

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Lazyman

694 posts in 851 days


#9 posted 06-14-2016 01:56 PM

It depends what you plan to do with them. If you are going to be making furniture or anything where tight, square joints are necessary, you will want a jointer. If you won’t use the jointer often, you might consider a cheaper 6” bench top jointer. I just bought a used 6” porter cable bench top and once I got it tuned up with sharp blades, I’m pretty impressed with how well it works. It fits on a shelf when not in use so doesn’t waste floor space the rest of the time. All of the floor models require a substantial space commitment in a small shop. Grizzly makes a bench top unit that gets better reviews than the Poter Cable unit.

Between a BS, DP and jointer, I personally think a drill press would be the next thing to buy. I have the Shop Fox oscillating drill press and in hindsight I would prefer a floor standing model because it took up too much bench top was a little too tall so I ended up making a stand for it anyway.
As far as the bandsaw goes, again it depends upon what you plan to do with it. If you want to be able to resaw boards or even mill your own logs into lumber you want a decent floor model, probably with 12” resawing capability. If you are just going to occasionally use it to cut curves and templates on smaller pieces, a bench top model would probably do but a jig saw or scroll saw might work just as well.

Don’t forget to check Craig’s List for bargains on good tools. If you aren’t in a hurry, you can keep you eyes open for a good used one of any of those tools.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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Kelly

1113 posts in 2408 days


#10 posted 06-14-2016 03:34 PM

I’ve given away three Craftman band saws. Does that suggest anything”? If you are a contractor, or anything other than someone who wants to do woodwork for more than a month, you can’t afford cheap, and that includes every bench top out there.

I am, now, running a Powermatic 14” with a riser block, so I can and have cut 12” stock. Both scroll cut and re-saw.

My friend has a Grizzly and he swears by it. I can’t say more than that about it and he’s never ran mine, so can’t say how his compares. The fact mine is heavier, specs suggest his motor might be stronger, but I do a lot more with mine than he does with his. The point is, go as good as you can. As they say, it’ll only hurt once – when you buy it.

I have cabinet saws, edge sanders, spindle sanders, carving machines and so on. From first hand experience, I can say: Good equipment and a variety of equipment opens doors. On the other hand, cheap equipment is, as often as not, just expensive horizontal storage surface.

Using operating my current cabinet or band saw as an examples, I now use them nearly every day and with no hesitation. Being able to lift a lever and move a quality fence to a precise position, lock it and go makes the difference between avoiding using a piece of equipment [that’s a nuisance to set up] and not giving it a second thought.

As a former contractor, time was money. If better equipment will hold up, make the job easier or allow me to do a job I couldn’t before [and give me a tax break toward my future hobby equipment (I’m retired now), it just makes sense to go as good as I can, at least within reason.

I would look toward the Grizzly band saw for the reasons stated. I’ve had a couple HF drill presses (one floor and one bench), and they weren’t that bad. Currently, I have a Ridged and the HF competed with it.

As to the jointer, I’ve had a few. They were worth their weight in gold, but, again, bigger is better, providing it comes with quality. Now, decades from the start of my sawdust generating attempts, I have an 8” Grizzly spiral and I love it. Still, I wouldn’t change the route I went, which was a saw capable of giving me jointer quality cuts, a good bandsaw. . . . .

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a1Jim

115202 posts in 3041 days


#11 posted 06-14-2016 04:27 PM

Omar
A couple of points
First given I’m also a contractor of 30 years I think you’re going way to small on the shop.I try and just have wood shop tools in my shop and store most of my dedicated contracting stuff in my truck or trailer,but even at that my 26×30 shop is vert tight.
As far as the BS is concerned you may not think you will use it much but as time goes by you will find you use it more and more so I would not consider any bench top toy BS get at least the 14” Grizzly or Rickon.
I think to start a cheap bench to DP will get you by. Depending what you’re going to make a jointer can be an important tool,over the years I’ve gone from a cheap used 4” then a better 6” and then a quality used 8” and now a Grizzly spiral head 12”.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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MrRon

3926 posts in 2707 days


#12 posted 06-14-2016 04:38 PM

14” BS and DP seems to be the most popular size for the majority of work. The occasional time you need a bigger machine doesn’t justify going with a bigger machine. There are always ways around that oversize project. Most people will condemn HF machines, but I find that someone with a bit of metalworking skill can often take an otherwise mediocre machine (ie: HF) and improve upon it’s design. Sometimes all it takes is replacing fasteners with quality ones; do a little filing here and there; balancing wheels; you get the idea. I have done this with HF tools with good results. I reworked a Ridgid 14” BS and it is as good as a saw costing 3 to 4 X more. I don’t have a lot of money to afford the very best, so it is my approach to buying tools. I have some very fine metalworking machinery (used USA made) so that gives me an advantage to rebuilding cheap tools. One has to first be able to identify whether a tool can be improved or not. Some may not have the skill nor the time to rebuild a tool, but that’s just me.

That being said, if you can’t/don’t want to follow my path, then I would avoid the el-cheapo tools and go for the best you can afford.

On another note, bigger isn’t always better, but more power is. When cutting through 2” of hard maple, you need all the HP you can get. Sure you will eventually get through the wood, but it will take a lot more time and result in a poorer cut. Always consider a good used machine over a new, “made in China” machine. Machines made 50+ years ago were often designed to last a lifetime; not so with today’s offerings.

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knotscott

7213 posts in 2839 days


#13 posted 06-14-2016 05:01 PM

A lot depends on what you want to do. If you use a lot of dimensional wood, I’d get the jointer ahead of the BS or DP….jigsaw and hand drill can suffice til you’re ready. Flat square stock is a great starting point for most projects. More jointer capacity is almost always better than not enough! I’d go with at least 8” if you can.

A decent 14” BS can do quite a lot. If you get a riser block and have sufficient motor power, you can do some resawing. If that’s not a function you’ll need, a standard 14” should have no trouble just cutting curves in most stock. I’m not sure the HF model is the one I’d want, but a lot depends on how good you are at setting it up and fixing what’s not quite right.

Better DP’s are always nice, but that’s an area where a cheap version can work out ok.

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

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Omar157

49 posts in 294 days


#14 posted 06-15-2016 10:27 AM

Thank you for all the responses. I think I’m gonna take advantage of the $100 off on the grizzly g0555 and get the benchtop shop fox 1668 oscillating drill press. It puts me over my budget by $324 but I get an extra tool with the spindle sander and the DP iS more a medium sized machine which should serve me well. The jointer I will not get until I move into the new shop but am leaning towards an 8” machine and when I have the final layout I will order the appropriate machine. I hate this hobby lol. You get addicted and spend all your money on tools. Kinda like being an addict. I’m gonna open a rehabilitation clinic for all those who want to return to normal life without micro bevels and bench planes. Bad joke sorry if I offend anyone but let’s start off another beautiful day on a lighter note

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knotscott

7213 posts in 2839 days


#15 posted 06-15-2016 11:52 AM



Thank you for all the responses. I think I m gonna take advantage of the $100 off on the grizzly g0555 and get the benchtop shop fox 1668 oscillating drill press. It puts me over my budget by $324 but I get an extra tool with the spindle sander and the DP iS more a medium sized machine which should serve me well. The jointer I will not get until I move into the new shop but am leaning towards an 8” machine and when I have the final layout I will order the appropriate machine. I hate this hobby lol. You get addicted and spend all your money on tools. Kinda like being an addict. I m gonna open a rehabilitation clinic for all those who want to return to normal life without micro bevels and bench planes. Bad joke sorry if I offend anyone but let s start off another beautiful day on a lighter note

- Omar157

I know what you mean! The good news is at some point you’ll have a shop full of tools that you love.

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

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