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Forum topic by TheSteve posted 03-15-2008 02:09 AM 1777 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View TheSteve's profile


34 posts in 3931 days

03-15-2008 02:09 AM

So here’s the story. I’ve been woodworking for a little over 8 months now and enjoy it very much. I’ve been a professional painter mostly commercial on and off for the last 8 years and plan to keep on with it off and on as a reliable source of income. We also have a virtualy un-used yes (UN-USED) 30×40 2 story metal building with a concrete slab floor. That being said, there is downtime in the construction industry now and then. Sometimes alot more then people would like. This has had us ( my father, brother, and I ) looking for ways to spend the downtime making some money in something else with a possibility of it growing into its own profitable business. We all think that woodworking is the avenue we want to travel down. My father has been self employed for 27 years, and I’ve done my share of self employment myself. We know about hard work and doing without, feast and famine, and also the pride it brings you when you accomplish your goals through all the hard times. So I dont need to be warned about what the future holds in terms of that. I would however greatly appreciate your opinions on equiptment. Ive done more research in the last 8 months on woodworking techniques, opinions, reviews, tips and tricks, etc etc then I have on anything in my life, but I cant seem to get enough. It will get more use then your average small basement workshop but less then a production style shop, and ive tried to pick the best tools I can find to fit into that category in my price range. In most cases ive gone with the buy your 2nd tool first theory because it makes a good deal of sense to me. I.E. cabinet saw vs contractor/hybrid, 17” bandsaw with resaw fence vs 14” then add riser blocks etc.

We plan on cranking out anything from simple country style tater bins, pie safes, etc to high end furniture. Wherever the journey takes us. None of us will have to rely on it for a paycheck, and the vast majority of all the money will go directly back into the business including labor for as long as it takes.

Grizzly seems to be the best quality for your dollar to me. The tools look very solid with good power and high reviews. A good bit of the heavy machines will more then likely be comming from them. ( wonder if they will discount me any or save shipping? :P ) I’ll give my opinions on the tools listed below. This is the current list I have going. I’ll post the hand tools sometime in the next few days when I get it closer to completion.


Table Saw $1,089.00 Grizzly
G1023S 10” Table Saw 3 HP Single-Phase 220V
(seems to be the best saw in its price range)

Planer $447.00 (
Delta 22-580 15 Amp 13-Inch Bench top Planer, 120-Volt 1 Phase
(I’m thinking this will be sufficent for our needs, it was between this and the dewalt 735)

Jointer $839.00 Grizzly
G0656 8” x 72” Jointer with Mobile Base
(This im not 100% about, mostly concerned over how much more use i will get over a 6”. I currently use a 6” mounted delta at a different shop)

Band Saw $929.00 Grizzly
G0513 17” Band saw – 2 HP + re-saw fence
(good power , space, and re-saw height. I’m a big fan of bookmatch and i want to have the option for 12”)

Drill Press $200.00
(no idea really, considerable ammount of them at different shops around)

Jet Sharpening $300.00
(I was almost 100% on this until I started reading bad reviews on the brace arms, wheel quality, and jigs comming apart. now i dont know. Tormek its pricey, worksharp seems nice but i want the option of jointer/planer knives and larger plane irons then 2”, looks like Tormek?)

Miter Saw $200.00
(Same deal as Drill press, Tons of them around, havent researched alot on them. Just need a nice square cut to rough cut lumber to length to go on table saw sled.)

Dust Collector $400.00
(Not sure on this either, I can sacrifice it for awhile and just sweep up / shop vac if need be. I do not know much about different 1’s or what details to look for other then capacity and pulling force)

Lathe $489.00 Grizzly
G0584 VS Wood Lathe w/ Cast Iron Legs
(looks great for what i want it for (table legs , spindles, or equivilent) has options for bowls/plates later on.. currently play on a harbor freight POS)

Domino $1,000.00
With bit/tenon assortment and 2 attachments
(Seems like a huge investment % compared to the other important tools, but i dont think it will take very long for it to pay for itself, and if need be i will have TS and drill press for conventional style or through’s. I could have sworn last time i checked on them the tool came with atleast 1 cutter and some domino’s. everyone ive researched now comes just the tool. The $240 assortment seems pricey, but i wont have any idea which sizes i’ll use most until i start using it and dont have anyone around that has one for me to play with. so seems like the best bet?)

Total $5,893.00

Dont be shy ;) I appreciate all opinions, its a long post and at the very least thanks for reading it =)


-- Aint nothin to it but to do it!

19 replies so far

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4487 days

#1 posted 03-15-2008 02:20 AM

Upgrade the miter saw…biscuit joiner…air tools….compressor….spray gun….

View TheSteve's profile


34 posts in 3931 days

#2 posted 03-15-2008 02:40 AM

this is just the heavy machinery list aside from the domino, for some reason its price made me put it here i guess lol. 50gal 3 stage compressor in the shop, 27 year painter has more spray equiptment then i can list :p including hvlp systems. and the buscuit and air tools will be part of the hand tool list.

im interested in some miter saw info if you care to share, i only use it to rough cut material to size at the moment.

hit me with some details =)

-- Aint nothin to it but to do it!

View DaveH's profile


400 posts in 3951 days

#3 posted 03-15-2008 02:43 AM

I’ll be doing a review on the jointer shortly. I just picked mine up from the shipper today. Hopefully nothing got damaged in shipment. I already own the G1023SLX cabinet saw and have no reservations about recommending it. If the Miter saw is going to be your only cutoff saw, I’d look for 10” or 12” slider. My miter saw and cabinet saw are heavily used.

-- DaveH - Boise, Idaho - “How hard can it be? It's only wood!”

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 3938 days

#4 posted 03-15-2008 03:28 AM

With my experience, I don’t have much to offer. But, I own several Grizzly tools. I haven’t had too many problems but when I have, their customer service takes care of it in no time flat. They have good tools and they back what they sell. I know what you’re talking about, a lot of times I’ve bought tools when I knew I should have got the next step up….. and as always, I pay for it. I think a lot of us do that. We see something we really want, but when we look at the price, we say…... well maybe I’ll get this (a step down and slightly less expensive)........ Good luck. We’ll be waiting to hear how it goes.

View TheSteve's profile


34 posts in 3931 days

#5 posted 03-15-2008 03:40 AM

I use my miter in the shop i work in now alot, but im not sure what the need is for a high end one is for me. As long as my miter saw will crosscut anything from a 2×4 to a 1×12, and put 45’s on edging im all set… atleast so far thats all ive needed. anything larger and i clamp up a straight line and rip it with a circ saw.

are you guys talking about features? lazer guides and hold downs etc? I plan to build a nice stand for it with in-feed and out-feed tables with built in T track stop blocks. Most of the miter saws i look at around $200-300 seem very sufficient to me. any examples on what to look for i might be over looking? sliding seems nice, but i dont know if i really need that investment over spending more on other tools.

any opinions on other things on the list?

-- Aint nothin to it but to do it!

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 3938 days

#6 posted 03-15-2008 03:46 AM

What part of TN are you in? If you don’t mind me asking?

View TheSteve's profile


34 posts in 3931 days

#7 posted 03-15-2008 03:54 AM

Athens, the shop however will be in Ringgold GA… about 15 mins south of Chattanooga TN.

Dont mind at all =)

-- Aint nothin to it but to do it!

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 3938 days

#8 posted 03-15-2008 03:55 AM

Just wondered. Thanks for the reply.

View AWood's profile


51 posts in 3918 days

#9 posted 03-15-2008 04:01 AM

The mitre saw upgrade would be a consideration. I spent time and did some research and after setting myself up with the Dewalt 12’ sliding compound and the lazer, I can litterly split a hair at any angle. I have it mounted on the Rigid protable station in my shop. If I do an occasionally job out of the shop it folds up and wheels into the back of the van. I’ve seen the saw listed at $450 factory reconditioned to new at 525.00. Bosch and Rigid have a similar saw.

-- AllWood

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3941 days

#10 posted 03-15-2008 04:06 AM

the steel city 17” drill press is a good bet

for sharpening check out the worksharp systems

your best bet with a miter saw is the Hitachi 10” sliding its 300 on Amazon refurbished

I don’t think that you need a domino for your shop. just a personal opinion but i don’t think that it’s necessary.

for dust collection your best bet would be to go with an oneida if thats out of your budget than all of the 1 and .5 models look the same to me but i like the delta, powermatic, and jet ones.

View jeffthewoodwacker's profile


603 posts in 3977 days

#11 posted 03-15-2008 04:09 AM

If you are looking at starting a production woodworking business check out I have a few friends that are using their system and are very satisfied with it.

-- Those that say it can't be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4487 days

#12 posted 03-15-2008 05:47 AM

I like the 12” Dewalt. Nothing fancy, but the bigger blade is nice.

View TheSteve's profile


34 posts in 3931 days

#13 posted 03-15-2008 06:01 AM

thanks for the replies, checking the suggestions out.

Teen: domino will be the first tool I buy. I dont think there is any other 1 tool that will add to quality and ease of work than a domino. It will supply a middle line for furniture that allows to sell quality jointed peices at a more affordable price due to the labor saved from milling mortise/tenon manually. To me that ranks up there with the purchase of the table saw. IMO the quality of your work shows through the joinery used, and i want the best joint i can get at the speed that a domino provides. im pretty much dead set on it, even if they recalled them for having lead based paint id just wear a respirator while around it lol.

Miter will either be standard 12” compound miter or 10” sliding, looking at options.

-- Aint nothin to it but to do it!

View DocK16's profile


1184 posts in 4259 days

#14 posted 03-15-2008 06:20 AM

So you want to be a wood worker eh? Like the old saying goes, don’t quit your day job. Hobby wood working is alot like hobby farming. A farmer who won the lottery was asked what he was going to do now. His answer: “I guess I’ll just keep farmin till it’s all gone.” Seriously though I wish you the best of luck it sounds like you have the right attitude. Best advice I’ve ever heard, know your market. ( Is it tater bins or high end furniture, is it turned items like bowls and vases, cabinet work, or furniture, each requires their own type of power and hand tools. No I’m not a full time prof WW, just my “thots” Best of luck in your new venture.

-- Common sense is so rare anymore when you do see it, it looks like pure genius.

View Catspaw's profile


236 posts in 3988 days

#15 posted 03-15-2008 01:37 PM

First, I think your approach is correct. I also think you should continue that approach when you are actually buying tools.

My boss has been WW for years, mostly self-employed. He’s 10 years younger than me. He decided about last year to go “big”. I keep telling my boss that this business is an evolution. He has jumped in whole hog and has spent big money on big tools. So far, it has worked out….(the collectors haven’t come knocking at the door yet.) He’s like a 4 year old running around Toys-R-Us and I’m the parent saying “no, you we can’t afford that, no, maybe next year, no, you already have one of those….”)

I think you should certainly go after the basic ‘5’...table saw, chopbox, jointer, planer, router/table. After that, I would suggest withholding the budget and buy when needed. It gives you more time to think about what you really may need. I’ve also found that my tool choice is more determined by how I decide to do something once I start making something, rather than ‘what’ I’m going to do. And I don’t necessarily know ‘how’ I’m going to do it until it actually occurs. Then I know better that one tool may end up being better suited than another.

Chopsaw is not about the laser and other frills, but, how you use it (although, I think all bigger models are having them anyway.) I like my standard 12” Dewalt, but, the blade will deflect. Sliders will wiggle around if you push on it left or right. But, they cut bigger stuff. I think every shop ends up with both at some time. I personally like the standard and use it more, but, do have the need for a slider.

Lathe, I think, is more of a luxury, unless you have products that will continually have turnings. Otherwise, it doesn’t get used much. The idea is fun, but it may not really get used so much.

My boss immediately started drooling over the Domino. I think that is a luxury also. I would buy one if we set up for production of standard products where we were performing the same operation over and over. There are plenty of ways to do it traditionally without the expense. I would invest in the Festool saw and rails before a Domino. We use those alot more.

Again, I think you’re well organized. My advice is to start with the basics and learn what you’re making more of and figure out how you like doing things. Unless you’re trying to mass-produce something, you won’t notice a lack of efficiency because you don’t have the fancy Domino or something. Add the niftier tools as you go.

-- arborial reconfiguration specialist

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