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Forum topic by christherookie posted 09-21-2018 02:14 PM 490 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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christherookie

107 posts in 3246 days


09-21-2018 02:14 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tools

I have a small workshop (the south wall of my garage) with a workbench, a portable table saw mounted on a homemade cart that I can wheel out to use, and a router table that I can clamp to the top of the table saw cart for usage.

My power tools are:
Table Saw
Circular Saw
Jig Saw
Router
Drill
Orbital sander
Dremel Tool

Hand tools are pretty standard (hammers, screwdrivers, wrenchs, kreg clamps, etc.) though I lack a coping saw, plane, and chisels.

I received a total of $200 in gift cards for Amazon.

I do about one-to-two projects a month and it’s either something small, like picture frame or small box, or a larger piece of furniture. In the next few months I want to build a new coffee table for our home.

I’m trying to figure out what to get. I could grab a WEN drill press for around that price (maybe add in a few more bucks) but I’m wondering if I should spend the money on something completely different like a biscuit joiner, or a few smaller things…and if so, what would be good?

So, yeah, what should I add to my toolset with $200?


19 replies so far

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

7069 posts in 1338 days


#1 posted 09-21-2018 02:17 PM

I don’t see clamps on your list. You need clamps. Lots and lots of clamps.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View LazarusDB's profile

LazarusDB

34 posts in 365 days


#2 posted 09-21-2018 02:17 PM

Decide on your next project and buy what you need for that…and buy the best you can afford.

-- Aaron - Aspiring Craftsman

View christherookie's profile

christherookie

107 posts in 3246 days


#3 posted 09-21-2018 02:35 PM

I do have clamps. Usually I have exactly one less for whatever project I’m doing so I buy more…and the cycle continues. :) I will one day have 57 clamps and have a project where I need to use 58 at once. Isn’t that how it goes?


I don t see clamps on your list. You need clamps. Lots and lots of clamps.

- HokieKen


View GR8HUNTER's profile

GR8HUNTER

5111 posts in 912 days


#4 posted 09-21-2018 02:41 PM

I use my DP almost every time I go to the shop ….smaller items you can pick up along the way …. I bought a cheapo biscuit cutter as I do not use it much …. I think only you can answer this question … GOOD LUCK :<)) post what you buy LOL

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View MrFid's profile

MrFid

886 posts in 2104 days


#5 posted 09-21-2018 02:44 PM

Agree with Aaron. Depends on what you want your coffee table to be. Want cabriole legs? Better look into a small bandsaw.

Buying rough lumber to save $$? Get yourself a planer (and use a planer sled if you need to joint a board).

I’ve never owned a biscuit jointer and have glued up many panels. That process is certainly made easier with biscuits I assume, but there are methods that work at least as well if you’re careful (and use clamping cauls).

How often do you find yourself in the middle of a project saying “I wish I had a drill press right now.” If often, get that. If you’ve found workarounds in the past that don’t compromise your work, then wait on it.

Best of luck!

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

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christherookie

107 posts in 3246 days


#6 posted 09-21-2018 03:06 PM

The more I think about it, a bandsaw might be a better option. I really dislike cutting curves with a jigsaw. What about the WEN 3960?


Agree with Aaron. Depends on what you want your coffee table to be. Want cabriole legs? Better look into a small bandsaw.

View Tedstor's profile

Tedstor

1678 posts in 2833 days


#7 posted 09-21-2018 03:13 PM

I have a biscuit joiner. Its a good item to have, but I use my drill press a lot more.
Chisels or a block plane are essentials imo.
Kreg pocket hole jig is somethng to consider too. It might make that coffee table easier to assemble- depending on design.

Hard to imagine a woodshop with no chisels. Consider these (below). I don’t own them, but have heard good things.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GPC74ZQ/ref=sxbs_sxwds-stvpv2_1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_p=6375e697-f226-4dbd-a63a-5ec697811ee1&pd_rd_wg=pA6iH&pf_rd_r=EY57T4ZSDA5V0F32HYK2&pf_rd_s=desktop-sx-bottom-slot&pf_rd_t=301&pd_rd_i=B00GPC74ZQ&pd_rd_w=6ifc0&pf_rd_i=sheffield+chisels&pd_rd_r=7bcf5a29-615c-4657-8203-37a50fb00b3c&ie=UTF8&qid=1537542650&sr=1

View squazo's profile

squazo

111 posts in 1845 days


#8 posted 09-21-2018 03:31 PM

I have a cheap 200 dollar drill press and hate it, it does not have enough power and the table does not stay square to the bits. there are plenty of good 200 dollar power tools but a drill press is not one of them. I also agree that a band saw is extremely useful.

View tshiker's profile

tshiker

44 posts in 1509 days


#9 posted 09-21-2018 05:10 PM

Wow! I wish I finished 1 to 2 projects a month, nice output! Sounds like you do fine with the tools you already own. I think the best advice you’ve been given is decide on your next project and start from there. I find it comfortable knowing if I need to purchase a tool I can just go and get it. Spending your money on X and then finding out you really needed Y would stink. That being said, far be it from me to talk someone out of a tool purchase! Lol On another note, how about posting some pic’s of the aforementioned projects?

View jimintx's profile

jimintx

855 posts in 1784 days


#10 posted 09-21-2018 05:31 PM

I would most certainly pick a bandsaw. I can’t tell you how often i find it useful, and easy to use. I have a larger one, but I am thinking of adding the 10” Rikon 10-305. I see it on sale every once in a while for $199 to 219 range, and i think it commonly goes for$ 249. I haven’t tried to check its price on amazon right now, however. And, there is a quite similar 10” Jet model, but I have not looked for that one.

-- Jim, Houston, TX

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

7328 posts in 3568 days


#11 posted 09-21-2018 06:20 PM

Buy what you need the most, what you would use the most in your shop, not a glitzy tool you may use once in a great while.
That’s my suggestion and I am ticking to it!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Dwain's profile

Dwain

576 posts in 4059 days


#12 posted 09-21-2018 06:33 PM

I agree with some of the posters above. Base your next tool purchase on your next project. Find out what you NEED and by the best one you can afford. If you are finishing two projects a month, you will have a garage full of tools in no time.

-- When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there is no end to what you CAN'T do

View jamsomito's profile

jamsomito

307 posts in 626 days


#13 posted 09-21-2018 07:06 PM

The suggestion to think about what you need for your next project and get the tool that project needs, is a great one. It doesn’t sound like you have one tool you’ve been craving on every project you’ve done so far (which would be the best way to go), so the one you need for the next project is going to be the best way to go. Chances are if you need it for the current project, you’ll need it for future projects.

If you’re really having a hard time deciding, I might seriously suggest one of the benchtop oscillating spindle/edge sanders. You probably won’t get a great bandsaw for $200, at least it would be hard to get one that does better than some skilled jigsaw work. So, use the jigsaw you already have and then take it to the spindle / edge sander to clean it up back to your line. Don’t have to worry about blade drift or hitting the line on the jigsaw and you still get the figures you want to cut in the wood (straight, inside, or outside curves). I have to do the same starting at the bandsaw anyways, so I think this is a great option. But, it’s the tool I’ve been needing on every single project I’ve done so far, so for me it was an easy choice as my next tool. Check out the Wen 6523 or the Ridgid EB4424.

I would not recommend a biscuit joiner. I have a cheapo I got as a hand-me-down. I’ve done glue-ups with it and I’ve done glue-ups without it. Both have come out the same. It helps with alignment on big glue-ups, but it is far from a necessity.

View jimintx's profile

jimintx

855 posts in 1784 days


#14 posted 09-21-2018 08:08 PM


... I might seriously suggest one of the benchtop oscillating spindle/edge sanders. ...I ve done so far, so for me it was an easy choice as my next tool. Check out the Wen 6523 or the Ridgid EB4424. ...
- jamsomito

THIS is an excellent suggestion! I don’t know why I didn’t think of it.

-- Jim, Houston, TX

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

15694 posts in 2818 days


#15 posted 09-21-2018 08:38 PM

A quality set of chisels. Block plane. Sharpening system.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

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