what do u really need in the shop?

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Forum topic by Ritty posted 03-12-2011 10:29 AM 2562 views 0 times favorited 33 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Ritty's profile


63 posts in 3032 days

03-12-2011 10:29 AM

Topic tags/keywords: tools

hi LJs im fairly new to lumberjocks and, thought maybe you guys could help. what are the key essntial tools in the shop. so far i have a nice table saw with a incra fence and a porter cable router with router table and a dovetail jig, ima getting a drill press but my grandma said i cant have it till i build her a cabinet lol i love that lady. and of course 3 sanders 1/2 sheet, orbital, and the mini mouse sander, jig saw, circular saw, i dont see anything i really need what about something that would make life a whole lot easier with things idk you guys tell me

33 replies so far

View Greedo's profile


473 posts in 3196 days

#1 posted 03-12-2011 01:52 PM

out of the basics, i would say you are missing a jointer/planer eventually with a dust collector.
and a random orbital sander would be a noticable upgrade from an orbital model.

and i almost forgot the bandsaw! drill press is not essential IMO, been woodworking intensively for the past 3 years, never used my drillpress (i use it for metalworking so it’s greasy)

View blockhead's profile


1475 posts in 3544 days

#2 posted 03-12-2011 02:09 PM

It really depends on what you will be building mostly. I agree with Greedo, a bandsaw is a nice tool to have. I do use my drill press quite a bit though. For what I do, my PC belt/disc sander and Ridgid oscillating sander are indispensible. I use my chopsaw A LOT as well. Be sure you have a good blade on your TS. Makes life a lot easier.

-- Brad, Oregon- The things that come to those who wait, may be the things left by those who got there first.

View biglarry's profile


76 posts in 2924 days

#3 posted 03-12-2011 03:10 PM

An essential for me is back ground music, usually classic or hard rock.

An item that I think would make your life easier is a Kreg or similar pocket hole jig.

For the rest of the tools I’m a firm believer in a shop evolving. An example could be you are building cabinets and you are using European hinges. You need a Forstner bit for the holes and you don’t have a drill press so you buy one. After you get it you will wonder how you got along without it.

Many time we buy tools because we want them but we should save our money and get things we need. I learned this the hard way buy just after buying a drill press I needed a jointer.

It sounds as you have a good start to your shop and I hope you make a lot of saw dust in the future.

-- "When the going gets tough, switch to power tools." - Red Green

View Bertha's profile


13551 posts in 2929 days

#4 posted 03-12-2011 03:12 PM

Owning a planer & jointer really changed the way I approach woodworking. I’d buy a nice hand plane but be careful, you might get hooked!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View ScottN's profile


261 posts in 2915 days

#5 posted 03-12-2011 04:04 PM

Let your work decide what tools you need. You’ll know what you want, when you want it.

-- New Auburn,WI

View Ritty's profile


63 posts in 3032 days

#6 posted 03-12-2011 11:48 PM

thanks guys your comments really helped, i think i might go get me a bandsaw idk dont need it yet maybe save up for it then buy when i need it. you guys helped alot thx

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2920 days

#7 posted 03-13-2011 04:49 AM

you don’t mention the miter saw. that would be on my list before the band saw (and I would probably place a planer ahead of the band-saw too). that’s based strictly on my personal use. not to say the band saw is a luxury item but I got by for years without one until I saw a surplus in my tool budget.

View Tommy's profile


138 posts in 3064 days

#8 posted 03-13-2011 05:45 AM

I was recently in your same position and I’s saw BANDSAW BANDSAW BANDSAW. So much versatility and so many functions it adds for you!

-- Tommy, ---- It's Never Crowded On the Extra Mile.

View Stormin's profile


193 posts in 3025 days

#9 posted 03-13-2011 05:57 AM

A refreshment fridge is always a nice accessory. A router is a great tool to have.

-- I started off with nothing I have most of it left

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3207 days

#10 posted 03-13-2011 06:00 AM

You didn’t mention some of the very basic but IMHO most essential tools. The squares, levels, measuring and marking instruments. Then you almost have to have some good quality hand saws, chisels, and at least a couple of quality planes. I make use of all these tools on just about every thing I work on. You also have to have the proper sharpening tools and supplies to make these hand tools work correctly.

In the power tool department, I agree with the bandsaw, miter saw, belt/disk or oscillating edge sanders and drill press. These are all very useful tools to have after you get the basics covered. I might even consider these tools as essential basics as well.

And CLAMPS. You never have enough clamps.

Did you say “I don’t see anything else I really need.”
Really? You just have to be joking, Right?

View Dandog's profile


250 posts in 3010 days

#11 posted 03-13-2011 06:05 AM

I think clamps are good but a nice scroll saw is so much fun. Make sure you get a foot pedal.Maybe a bandsaw first

-- life an woodworking is one big experiment

View Greedo's profile


473 posts in 3196 days

#12 posted 03-13-2011 11:30 AM

come to think of it, why not just list the tools we use in the order we use them.
in my case when i start a project the first tool is use is the miter saw for cutting the wood at rough length, then usually the tablesaw for ripping the wood in the needed dimensions, then jointer and planer.
those are the basics for me with each project that involves solid wood.
then it depends on what i am making, not every project requires the bandsaw, drill press, router table, shaper, ... as for powertools the only one i use with each project is the random orbital sander, so you better get a quality one!

View ScottN's profile


261 posts in 2915 days

#13 posted 03-13-2011 12:48 PM

A jointer and a planer. Find a local saw mill which sells kiln dried lumber.HUGE savings on wood prices, and where else are you going to find #1 and #2 com wood which IMO is some of the prettiest wood you’ll find.?

-- New Auburn,WI

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3716 days

#14 posted 03-13-2011 03:01 PM

I would vote for the planer and jointer too…It opens the door to a lot of possibilities.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3102 days

#15 posted 03-13-2011 03:06 PM

You should go ahead and get all of the power tools that you need, but I would advise you not to neglect the hand tools and learn how to use them well while you are young. It’s the kind of thing that I don’t think that you will ever regret.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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