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Forum topic by jotrocks posted 10-20-2018 08:46 AM 806 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jotrocks

9 posts in 30 days


10-20-2018 08:46 AM

Hello all,

I’ve got a minor interest in doing a few woodworking projects on a limited budget, and I’m not sure which way to go with my first large tool purchases. Not only do I have the limited budget, but I’m not sure I want to spend a ton of money on tools in case I lose interest or don’t have the time (2 small kids at home, keep me busy) to really keep furthering my skills.

So I wanted to get your opinions because everybody has to start somewhere. Currently I have a nice circular saw, nice router, and a crappy jigsaw that I used to build a large subwoofer for my patio, it came out pretty decent. For my next purchase I’m planning are a non-sliding miter saw which I’d use to build a workbench/miter saw station. Then, find a quality used table saw, with the goal of making end grain cutting boards as I’ll need to make accurate rip cuts. I’d also build a router sled since I don’t have the budget for a drum sander. Eventually, I could see wanting to make some shelves, cabinets, even a dining table or other simpler furniture pieces.

I’m wondering if the table saw should be first, since I’m not entirely sure how often I’d use the miter saw and if it would even be as accurate as the table saw for similar cuts. Frankly, a TS kind of makes me nervous. But that’s just me.

Any guiding words would be much appreciated!

Thanks
Matt


20 replies so far

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

5055 posts in 2527 days


#1 posted 10-20-2018 01:02 PM

Get the table saw first. To build a workbench the table saw will be of much more use than a miter saw. One of the most common cuts you will need to build almost anything is the rip cut. Table saws excel in rip cutting. Miter saws can’t rip cut and while you can rip cut with your circular saw it is a difficult and somewhat awkward operation with that tool. You be able to crosscut with both the table saw and circular saw, making the miter saw more of a luxury than essential.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View EdDantes's profile

EdDantes

34 posts in 86 days


#2 posted 10-20-2018 01:15 PM

Agree with Bondo. A well-tuned table saw with crosscut sled will do everything a miter saw can (and more). A miter saw may be able to improve upon the speed with some of these operations assuming you spend money on a nice one. From a upfront investment standpoint, you’ll get more mileage (for less money) with the table saw.

If you’re not sure this is going to be a longterm hobby, look around for a contractor saw that’s in good shape, preferably with an upgraded fence. One thing to make sure of is that is includes a blade guard, or be sure you can get an aftermarket one (and factor that into your price).. Depending on your location, you can get one from anywhere between $100-$300 (depending on accessories and upgrades included).

View jimintx's profile

jimintx

845 posts in 1760 days


#3 posted 10-20-2018 02:06 PM

I offer more support for a table saw as the next significant purchase.

I use my TS almost daily. My buddy down the street has an ancient little Ryobi table saw that he keeps under a bench and hauls out from time to time. He has churned out a large number of cabinets and tables, and small pieces of furniture, and on and on with that little, seemingly outdated, table saw.

FWIW, back in the 60s-70s, maybe 80s, I believe 98% of the folks that wanted to build with wood started with one major tool – a radial arm saw from the local Sears. When you got your RAS, you were a serious woodworker!

RAS machines have lost so much of their widespread popularity due to safety issues, but really because we can now replace that by getting great little table saws, and fine and affordable miter saws.

Add in a really good handheld jig saw (aka a saber saw), a couple of modern powerful cordless drills and drivers, a router (or two!), and some decent hand tools. You will be set to do a huge number of things with wood.

When you look at crews doing home remodels, they all arrive at the project house and set up a portable table saw and a miter saw in the driveway. With that they build custom cabinets, built-in bookshelves, all the trim, and largely every other thing needed for the job. Its a really versatile tool arsenal, and you can carry it around in the back of a small SUV, so its easy to store, as well.

Additionally, welcome to Lumberjocks. You came to a good place for wood work chit chat!
...

-- Jim, Houston, TX

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jotrocks

9 posts in 30 days


#4 posted 10-20-2018 03:35 PM

Thanks – I’ve seen a few hybrid saws in my area CL recently that could be a good place to start. One is a Grizzly G0661 the other is a Delta 36-725. A riving knife is a must for me and I’m not very handy so I don’t want to get into an older saw that might need some work.

Appreciate all the advice – thank you!

Matt

View WoodenDreams's profile

WoodenDreams

211 posts in 86 days


#5 posted 10-20-2018 04:35 PM

Starting out with a Table saw is a good way to go. (one with a plastic table top is not as accurate as a cast iron table top), build yourself a nice sled for it. When starting out with young family, it makes sense to keep the price down. You can always upgrade later. You’ll find handy a small 4”x36” belt sander, they usually come with a 6” disc sander. You may want to consider a tool envelope or budget, so you have the funds later as you need additional tools, wood & hardware. Then as you need them, slowly build up your portable power tools, such as a 3”x21” or 4”x24” belt sander, detail sanders, orbital sander. Slowly build up your clamp collection.

View EdDantes's profile

EdDantes

34 posts in 86 days


#6 posted 10-20-2018 05:23 PM



Thanks – I ve seen a few hybrid saws in my area CL recently that could be a good place to start. One is a Grizzly G0661 the other is a Delta 36-725. A riving knife is a must for me and I m not very handy so I don t want to get into an older saw that might need some work.

Appreciate all the advice – thank you!

Matt

- jotrocks

Just for clarity, the G0661 or 36-725 would both be nice choices. The riving knife is nice, but even on older saws you can use a splitter. While the riving knife is theoretically “better”, when used properly I think the difference is negligible. There are also after market plastic splitters that can be used.

Even if you’re not handy, it will do you well to really take some time to figure out how to troubleshoot and tune your saw. That’s going to be what’s going to let you go from just “cutting wood” to doing solid work. They’re actually pretty simple machines, and once you take some time you’ll have no problem. If you do end up with a hybrid/contractor saw, I highly recommend the PALS system to align the blade. Just infinitely easier than tapping away with a wooden block for an hour.

Finally, try not to be nervous about the saw. A healthy amount of respect and caution is certainly warranted, but any tool can hurt you if you’re not paying attention and doing things safely…not just the table saw. Keep the guard on with splitter/riving knife, use push sticks and feather boards, build a sled for cross cuts, make sure you have adequate infeed/outfeed support, etc. Then if you find this is something you really enjoy, you can always upgrade to a SawStop cabinet saw. There are going to be arguments about whether it’s actually safer which aren’t material to this conversation, but it may at least give you some piece of mind.

View 8iowa's profile

8iowa

1586 posts in 3937 days


#7 posted 10-20-2018 06:12 PM

Actually, you might consider a used Shopsmith. They usually come with several accessories such as 4” joiner and bandsaw. Shopsmiths easily outlive their owners and are not hard to find at very reasonable cost. The company also provides support.

Many thousands of “beginners” have started woodworking this way.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

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jotrocks

9 posts in 30 days


#8 posted 10-20-2018 11:22 PM

Thanks – the guy with the Grizzly is asking $575 and the Delta (if it’s still available, waiting on a reply) is $400. I went to Lowes to take a look at the Delta and it looks solid enough for me. I did some searches here on it and $400 seems reasonable for it used. The Grizzly model I didn’t see much about, I think it’s been replaced by a new model that’s more popular. It’s been listed for a few weeks so I may get him down to $500 on it. I don’t know that there’s enough different in the Grizzly to warrant the extra $$ for it. If the Delta is available I may jump on it.

Thanks again for all your responses!

Matt

View Rayne's profile

Rayne

1091 posts in 1715 days


#9 posted 10-20-2018 11:37 PM



Thanks – the guy with the Grizzly is asking $575 and the Delta (if it s still available, waiting on a reply) is $400. I went to Lowes to take a look at the Delta and it looks solid enough for me. I did some searches here on it and $400 seems reasonable for it used. The Grizzly model I didn t see much about, I think it s been replaced by a new model that s more popular. It s been listed for a few weeks so I may get him down to $500 on it. I don t know that there s enough different in the Grizzly to warrant the extra $$ for it. If the Delta is available I may jump on it.

Thanks again for all your responses!

Matt

- jotrocks

I had the Delta and that is a great beginner saw that will hold its own. The built-in mobile base is extremely handy and I noticed the Grizzly doesn’t have one, so you’d have to add that to your cost if you wanted mobility. You’ll get a lot of mileage out of the Delta without breaking the bank.

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jotrocks

9 posts in 30 days


#10 posted 10-20-2018 11:51 PM

Welp. This just popped up. CL search alerts are the best :-)

Might be a little more saw than I need but this seems like a really good deal.

https://phoenix.craigslist.org/nph/tls/6728571623.html

Matt

View Rayne's profile

Rayne

1091 posts in 1715 days


#11 posted 10-20-2018 11:55 PM



Welp. This just popped up. CL search alerts are the best :-)

Might be a little more saw than I need but this seems like a really good deal.

https://phoenix.craigslist.org/nph/tls/6728571623.html

Matt

- jotrocks

Jump on that one and check it out in person. The sled, mobile base, and knowledge of the saw by the owner makes me think everything he is saying is true. Then you can gloat that your first saw was a Powermatic. lol.

View EdDantes's profile

EdDantes

34 posts in 86 days


#12 posted 10-21-2018 12:11 AM

That’s a pretty good deal on that Powermatic, mainly because of the fence. I’m pretty sure that’s an older right tilt model, and it will have a splitter/guard not a riving knife. It’s dust collection will also be inferior to both the Grizzly and Delta as it’s the classic “motor hanging out the ass” design.

That VSCT fence would be close to $400 retail once you add in the custom built rails. I don’t have one, but everyone seems to rave about it. For reference, I’d say a reasonable price for the saw without all the upgrades/extras is probably somewhere around the $250 range.

And it’s not really more saw than you need. The saw itself is going to be functionally quite similar to the Grizzly and Delta. Like I said, the benefit will be the fence which is going to be helpful even for the most basic operations.

View jimintx's profile

jimintx

845 posts in 1760 days


#13 posted 10-21-2018 04:54 PM

If you have the space for the Powermatic setup, I would go buy it and not look back.
The ad sounds to me like you might get it if you have $500 cash in hand when you are there.

But also, that Delta saw will also be a very good way to get deeper into the hobby.
You have two great choices without further adieu.

-- Jim, Houston, TX

View jotrocks's profile

jotrocks

9 posts in 30 days


#14 posted 10-22-2018 03:02 PM

Sadly I don’t have the space for that saw as is, though it would be perfect because I envision doing a fair amount of plywood ripping in the future. The seller was willing to cut down the rails and separate it from the base for me so I could fit it in my garage, but he didn’t have a blade guard or splitter so that would be another $200 or so on top of the $500 saw which is a lot more than I want to spend.

I did notice a local shop has a Grizzly 1022 for sale for $500. What I’ve read about that saw is it’s a little older but a solid saw. Has a blade guard and (I think) riving knife based on the pictures. It’s pretty close to me so I’m going to go check it out in person and ask some questions. http://www.timber-woodworking.com/site1/usedEquipSpecs.aspx?equipment_ID=3226

The search continues!

Thanks
Matt

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

2105 posts in 2814 days


#15 posted 10-22-2018 03:26 PM

For a splitter, you can get a nice zero-clearance insert and mount the micro-jig splitter, which is only $40 for the splitter. I say only $40, but when you look at it as a few little thingies you could hide in your shirt pocket that seems high, but if it works it works.

As long as you are not doing bevel cuts, the MJ splitter should be fine.

-Paul

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