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Forum topic by m7trevlyn posted 05-03-2010 07:41 PM 1897 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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21 posts in 3143 days

05-03-2010 07:41 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tools beginner

I’m new to woodworking but excited to learn and create. Right now I am looking into what tools I need to do what I want to do. My shop space is low as well is my budget. I some saws and hammers and such but I was wondering, what should I be looking to get first?

19 replies so far

View David "Lucky Dawg" Brown's profile

David "Lucky Dawg" Brown

440 posts in 3190 days

#1 posted 05-03-2010 07:51 PM

Welcome to the world of wood!!!!!
Tell us what you do have first just how big is your shop
Table saw Scroll saw etc…
First off you need safety glasses and ear plugs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- dumpster diver delux

View PurpLev's profile


8547 posts in 3846 days

#2 posted 05-03-2010 07:52 PM

Welcome Aboard!

you’d be surprised -but hammers may be the tool you’ll use the least, if any at all.

lets start from the beginning – what kind of woodworking are you interested in getting into? what do you plan on making?

-- 抍 When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View m7trevlyn's profile


21 posts in 3143 days

#3 posted 05-03-2010 09:46 PM

Right now I’m just doing small stuff (I will have pics up soon). I would like to make furniture eventually. Something I could pass down to my children, when I have them. Right now I have a compound miter saw, circular saw, random orbiting sander, chisels, hand drill, and a dremel that I use for a lot of small things as we are remodeling the house as well. My shop is about half of a one car garage that my S-10 won’t even fit into now. Also, David, I do have glasses and plugs (the same ones I take to the gun range). Believe me if there is one thing I remember from wood shop in high school 12yrs later, it’s safety first.

View PurpLev's profile


8547 posts in 3846 days

#4 posted 05-03-2010 09:52 PM

well, sounds like you got a good start. you can rip, cross cut, make holes, and clean up cuts and joinery.

a table saw would be a good step up from the circular saw when it comes to repetitive cuts and multiple identical parts for furniture and other things (boxes and the like).

-- 抍 When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 3181 days

#5 posted 05-03-2010 10:34 PM

I agree with the table saw right off the bat. The second thing I think you will want will be a router, you can build a table for the router. A shop vac will help with dust control.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3272 days

#6 posted 05-03-2010 11:01 PM

I’ll give you a slightly different slant on the question. If I were getting started today, I would buy a track saw before I bought a table saw. When I say “track saw” I am talking about a circular saw that runs in a track. The most well known is festool, but DeWalt and Makita also make them. They will do virtually everything a table saw does and some things a table saw cannot do. They are incredibly versatile and very precise. The festool ts55 is on sale now for $450. That’s a lot of money for a circular saw but it is cheap relative to a table saw. A key point is they don’t take up much room like a table saw.

I also agree that you need a router.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View John Steffen's profile

John Steffen

218 posts in 3253 days

#7 posted 05-03-2010 11:10 PM

If I were to go back and do it all over again, I’d buy more hand tools.

-- Big John's Woodshed - Farmington, IL

View Ingjr's profile


144 posts in 3214 days

#8 posted 05-03-2010 11:18 PM

I’d second Johns thoughts on hand tools. Really all they had in the “old days”, and look at some of the stuff that was built then.

-- The older I get the faster I was.

View NH_Hermit's profile


394 posts in 3294 days

#9 posted 05-04-2010 12:04 AM

Thinking of those tools I use the most, I’d have to say circular saw with cutting guide (I do have a table saw, but find the circular saw w/guide, plus two homemade saw horses, easier for one person to handle sheets of plywood), variable speed drill, belt sander, router, and lots of hand tools, and a wood carver’s mallet (instead of the hammer). I’d also include a good sharpening stone.

a good homemade workbench with vice sure beats the old picnic table I used to use.

and yes to a good shop vac. Iā€™m partial to my wet/dry Ridgid. That should have been the first thing I bought.

Avoid the temptation to buy cheap!

a good dose of patience, humor, and humility helps too?

Oh, and start convincing your wife/partner that each project does require a new tool.

-- John from Hampstead

View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 3208 days

#10 posted 05-04-2010 04:43 AM

A shopvac if you don’t have one already was one of the best investments I made for my little garage shop.

Tablesaw is pretty important for accuracy and repeatability, but like others have said, you CAN get by without one for a while. I like to look at this in terms of what each tool allows you to do:

General rough ripping: circ saw, tablesaw, bandsaw, jigsaw
Accurate ripping, or ripping stock less than 6” wide: tablesaw, bandsaw
Cross cutting: circsaw (tolerable), tablesaw (good), mitersaw (great)
Edging, dadoing, slotting, profiling: router (best), tablesaw + dado stack (grooving/dados)
Cutting curves: jigsaw (ok), bandsaw (best)
Getting a straight edge on a board: jointer (best), tablesaw + straight ripping jig, router, bandsaw
Paralleling a board: planer
Thicknessing: planer
Slicing a board across its thickness (resawing): bandsaw, tablesaw (if board is less than 6” wide)
Drilling: handdrill (ok), drill press (best)
Sanding: by hand, ROS, belt sander, spindle sander, drill press + sanding drums

Routers are very versatile and not too expensive, so that would be high on my list.

A tablesaw, as you can see from above, does many cutting operations very well and more precisely (important for furniture), but doesn’t necessarily give you “new abilities” in the shop compared to some more rudimentary tools you may already have.

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View Stevinmarin's profile


838 posts in 3273 days

#11 posted 05-04-2010 08:19 AM

I’d definitely get a small table saw, a router and a sander. With those, you can pretty much make anything. Oh, and a bottle of glue. For what it’s worth, here's my video on the matter. Have fun!

-- Entertainment for mere mortal woodworkers.

View m7trevlyn's profile


21 posts in 3143 days

#12 posted 05-04-2010 02:45 PM

Thank you everyone for the advice. I did forget to say that I do have a shop vac. I think Hermit gave the best advice, I’ll have to make sure and tell my wife that. From what I’ve seen a table saw should be the next “major” addition to my shop although a router and jig saw will be somethings I would end up with first. So I guess the next question would be what table saw? I’ve looked at a Ryobi that looked okay, but you couldn’t stack a dado on it.

Oh and Stevin great videos.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3870 days

#13 posted 05-04-2010 04:01 PM

I think you have gotten good advise.

View fiddlebanshee's profile


240 posts in 3143 days

#14 posted 05-04-2010 04:19 PM

@Live4Ever— Great overview of which tools do what (best). Exactly what I had been looking for for awhile. Great post! Thanks.

-- As if I needed another hobby!

View Popsnsons's profile


387 posts in 3179 days

#15 posted 05-04-2010 05:28 PM

I agree that a table saw and router would be a great addition. Don’t forget the little things such as layout tools…squares, measuring devices etc.

-- Pops ~ In So Cal...

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