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Forum topic by JoeyG posted 04-13-2011 04:08 PM 1923 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View JoeyG's profile


1275 posts in 2619 days

04-13-2011 04:08 PM

Topic tags/keywords: bandsaw lathe jointer

I have always worked in small shops but never as small as my garage. I am trying to fit everything I need in it and still have room to use it. I know I have to make sacrifices, but how much power verses space should I give?

The three main pieces I still need are a jointer, band saw, and lathe. I figure I can get away with a 6” bench top jointer that is easy to store when not in use. I rarely use boards over 6 inches wide so this should work out fine. My choices here are what brand, price, variable speed, and horse power. I really have to be careful with my cost. I also plan to possible upgrade in 10 years after my children go to college. lol.

For the lathe, I am at a complete lose. I don’t want to spend a fortune since I have never really used one before and may just hate it. I also don’t want to get a shoty machine that makes turning miserable. I am thinking about the mini lathes, since I would like to give pens and small bowls a shot. Any suggestions?

Finally and possible the most confusing is the band saw. Also most importantly, since it will be the next machine I buy. I have to be very careful of how much space it takes up. That being said it needs to have resaw capabilities. I am just unsure of what I should even look at. Even in the smallest workshop I have worked in we had room for a large band saw. I know I need at least 1 hp and 6 inches of resaw height. Since the jointer I am thinking about getting has a 6 inch table that should be more than enough. Any of you guys out there that have small shops with band saws in them I would like to know what you use and how it works for you.

Thanks now for any help you guys can give me.

-- JoeyG ~~~

10 replies so far

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2844 days

#1 posted 04-13-2011 04:56 PM

Hi Joey—

Good questions. Anything up to a 14” bandsaw has the same footprint. Anything under a 14” bandsaw isn’t worth your time and trouble. Stay with the name brands you read here (I saw an “Elephant” brand saw recently—nice potential boat anchor) and be sure it’s one you can add a riser block to if you want to do that downstream.

My experience with small jointers has been dismal. Table length has everything to do with a good result and cast iron mass absorbs vibration—the demon enemy of glass-smooth cuts on wood. If you can work it out on the floor, get a good 6” unit and don’t plan to move it around. Longest bed you can find. Again, either an old one (they’re easy to restore if they’e complete and intact) or a name brand.

Just a note on the bandsaw—1 hp is a minimum, but if that’s what you end up with, you can upgrade when your lumber pile tells you to.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View TheWoodNerd's profile


291 posts in 3185 days

#2 posted 04-13-2011 05:16 PM

I have a PM 3520b, so I know nothing about “small” lathes, but a lot of people seem to like the Delta Midi.

The thing about turning, it just sucks you in. Offhand, I don’t recall anyone who learned to turn who didn’t like it. Now, those who just tried and and were never taught technique, those guys probably had a bad time of it. Whatever lathe you pick, try watching some videos on YouTube and maybe buying an intro video. I would think that learning from a book would be rough, so much of turning is dynamic and visual. If you have a local woodturning club, they’re generally pretty friendly and willing to help out newcomers. And my wife highly recommends the beginner woodturning classes at our local WoodCraft.

In fact, I’d highly recommend you do the video/club/class route before even getting a lathe, it’ll help you make a much more informed decision.

-- The Wood Nerd --

View Loren's profile


10373 posts in 3642 days

#3 posted 04-13-2011 06:12 PM

You can get a decent vintage lathe for $100 or less. I see them for sale
often on Craigslist. Most haven’t been beat up as they were used by
hobbiests who never did much with them.

I don’t recommend the modern stamped steel lathes sold by Habor Freight,
but the old cast iron ones by Craftsman, Delta, Walker Turner, Beaver,
and so forth are mostly pretty decent machines for spindle turning.

If you want to do bowls and burls and heavy stuff you need a much bigger
lathe. That’s where the confusion comes it, because all the serious turners
like to turn big stuff. You might join a local turning club or take a class
and pretty soon one of the guys is gonna say he just upgraded to a huge
Oneway lathe and wants to sell his old one “to make room”.

Most turners seem to like a bandsaw with a lot of height capacity. I don’t
disagree. I prefer the larger steel framed band saws, but in your part of the
country you may have a hard time finding a used one. In Los Angeles you
can find 18” and 20” used steel framed saws for $500-800 and sometimes

The benchtop jointers suck… or the modern ones do anyway, with the variable
speed motors. You can get a decent used Craftsman or Rockwell benchtop
jointer that uses an external, capacitor-start motor for about $100 or less on
the used market. The benchtop ones usually have 36” long beds or less.

View Tedstor's profile


1643 posts in 2627 days

#4 posted 04-13-2011 06:18 PM

I concur with Lee, particularly about the BS. I was in your shoes about six months ago. I was setting up a shop in my one car garage. Being on a tight budget, and not knowing exactly what I wanted, I filled my shop with vintage craftsman machines I found on CL. AMong the buys was a 1970, 12” BS witha 3/4hp motor. The small table and low power make it a very poor resaw machine. However, despite my overall dissatisfaction with that particular BS, I’ve come to learn that the BS is my favorite tool in the shop. Cutting out patterns and other curvey pieces is a real joy. And the BS has a smallish footprint, is fairly quiet, and relativly safe to use. The upside to buying that machine is I can easily justfy buying a better appointed BS in the future, knowing I’ll use it every chance I get. Since I only paid $100 for the Sears BS, no huge loss.
If I were to buy a new machine today Grizzly 14” models would be my top contender. And if money was tight, the HF 14” is actually a pretty well respected machine too. And of course, the used market might yield a high end machine at a bargain price. But I’m not overly convinced that the 14” machines from high end band names like Jet or Delta are appreciably better than the Grizzly. Not for my needs anyway.

Oh, and I learned that my 4” craftsman jointer was inadequete within the first week of ownership. Its a 1960s vintage, very well made, and does fantastic work on smaller pieces- 24” or less. On longer boards, its mediocre at best. I can’t get a 6” floor model with a longer bed soon enough.
I dunno, I’d probably forego getting the lathe if it meant I could get a larger jointer. At least for now. But turning isn’t something that looks overly interesting to me….yet.

View dbhost's profile


5708 posts in 3226 days

#5 posted 04-13-2011 06:40 PM

A typical Taiwan 14” band saw will do the job you are looking for. Small bench top band saws don’t cut the mustard as it were… You want at least 1 HP. For the money, the Grizzly G0555X is probably the nicest saw out there. You can get a nicer saw, but you will spend a lot more on it…

I have a 6” bench top jointer and for the most part am happy with it, good clean results every time. Unfortunately it is a Sunhill, and they went out of business in 2010. It was merely a rebadged Geetech 6” jointer. I think Woodtek still selss a green and yellow version of this jointer. The Delta / Porter Cable bench top jointer seems to have its fans. I don’t personally like it. Compared to my Sunhill, they just seem cheaply built.
To make up for the mass issue. My jointer is bolted to a “mount board” and then clamped to my workbench when in use. That way it takes advantage of the mass of the bench as well… This solution works well for me.

As far as lathes go, you kind of need to first figure out WHAT you want to turn. I wanted to do a variety of small to mid size turnings, including longer spindle turnings, so I opted for a Jet JWL 1236 clone (Central Machinery #34706) and have been quite pleased. If I were doing nothing but bottle stoppers and pens, this would be major overkill…

You didn’t mention if your shop is dedicated, or if you are deluded into thinking cars and lawn mowers belong in there. That will make a HUGE impact on your equipment and storage selections…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View Bertha's profile


13525 posts in 2687 days

#6 posted 04-13-2011 06:47 PM

These are hard questions to answer, as they’re quite personal. If you want vintage, the sky’s the limit. If you want new and ease of purchase, I’d go with a JET minilathe, a Rigid 6” jointer, and a Grizzly 14” bandsaw. If you’re up for a little refurb, you could buy vintage all for the price of the bandsaw. Not much help, I know, but my 2 cents. I didn’t read the posts above yet, so I hope I’m not embarrassing myself. I scored a 1958 Delta 20” bandsaw in excellent condition yesterday delivered for $750. It can be done with a bit of hunting.

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

View JoeyG's profile


1275 posts in 2619 days

#7 posted 04-13-2011 08:08 PM

Thanks for the input. My wife is kind enough to park in the driveway and let me have the garage, which I am thankful for. It is purely a shop so I don’t have to make room for cars, etc. I have all my tools on rollers so that I can move them out of the way as I need to. So far I have bought all my tools off of CL and have been happy so far. I know that one day in the future I can upgrade but there is only so much you can do without the tools. It sounds like the 14” band saw is the way to go. Now I must weigh cost, with options and brand, and what is available on craigslist. I like buying used now, I get to save a few hundred or more on cost and don’t have to feel bad about upgrading in the future. I will continue my search and keep your words in mind as I figure out what I want and what I have room for. Thanks again

-- JoeyG ~~~

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2844 days

#8 posted 04-13-2011 11:53 PM

I’m glad dbhost mentioned the Grizzly GO555X by alphanumeric. Grizzly makes three 14” bandsaws, so it is a good thing to be specific about which model one is recommending. My experience is with the notch-down GO555 and I think it is an exquisitely built machine.

And yes, that is my picture in the catalog. My 15 minutes of fame.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 2917 days

#9 posted 04-14-2011 12:51 AM

Dbhost is right about the go555x,I bought one new and never regreted it. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy one used if it was well taken care of.
Only thing Lee left out was whatever BS you buy, don’t scrimp on the blade. A good blade (woodslicer,timberwolf) is a must.

-- Life is good.

View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4091 days

#10 posted 04-14-2011 12:55 AM

I have a Jet VS mini lathe that I like alot. Just so you know, woodturning is another thing that will send you down the slippery slope. You need all kinds of accessories to get rolling.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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