What do i need next?

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Forum topic by slopjock78 posted 11-17-2011 06:30 PM 1244 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View slopjock78's profile


64 posts in 1806 days

11-17-2011 06:30 PM

Well, first off i guess a little background. As you can see, i’m brand new here and just doing a lot of looking. Just starting to get into wood working. The only thing i’ve made so far is a jewelry box (with lots of guidance from my dad and use of his wood shop) that i used to propose to my now wife. I’ve been around construction my entire life (literally, my dad started taking me to job sites as soon as i was out of diapers) and have up to this point amassed a fairly nice collection of construction tools that i use in my “side” job of rental property renovation and remodeling jobs.

but, now that i’m moved into a house with the room, i’m going to start turning a chunck of the basement into a wood shop. So, was wondering what to buy next. Up to now, i have a dewalt 10” sliding miter box, and a brand new Dewalt 744XRS table saw that will be serving me for the time being both in my shop and on the job site (thats how i sold my wife on buying a $600 portable table saw….). Ive also got a Ridgid router, but not a table for it yet. will be adding a 5” random orbital sander (either dewalt or ridgid) for christmas. So, lets say i have $500-600 to spend. what would be added next? Planer? jointer? router table? i do like to buy quality item, so would rather buy one quality $500 item that is what i need, rather then two cheaper items that i will want to replace sooner rather then later.

i’m thinking my first project is going to be a set of night stands for our bedroom. No idea what they are going to be yet, but that i believe will be the first thing. so if that makes a difference on what to buy, thats the project.

any and all suggestions welcome.

thanks for the help

5 replies so far

View SnowyRiver's profile


51452 posts in 2903 days

#1 posted 11-17-2011 07:18 PM

It would be nice to have a jointer and surface planer. I am never sure how people get along with those unless you are doing everything with had tools. If you buy a jointer first, you could do a good 8” one and surface plane lumber with it. Dont discount used equipment. Watch Ebay and Craig’s list. You can find great deals on used equipment which will cost half the price of new.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View ShaneA's profile


6424 posts in 2021 days

#2 posted 11-17-2011 07:54 PM

Jointer and planer, for that price you get used for sure, there are always lots of joiners on the second hand market. Planers, are available as well, it just doesnt seem to be as many as jointers. If you have the ability to run 220 power, that will be helpful and open up possibilities of more and better machines.

View pintodeluxe's profile


4827 posts in 2236 days

#3 posted 11-17-2011 08:23 PM

Planer first. Then Jointer.
You can use the tablesaw as a jointer for a while. Just make a long sled with hold-down clamps to run along your fence.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Don W's profile

Don W

17880 posts in 1990 days

#4 posted 11-17-2011 08:32 PM

So it really depends on your style. What degree of work do you like to do by hand. If I had to start over from your spot, I’d get a planer (I haven’t hit the hand tools hard enough to want to plane a pile of rough sawn yet) and a Stanley jointer (#7 or #8). Jointing by hand is actually kind of fun. Eventiually I’d get a jointer, but it would allow you a better planer to start on your budget. (I’ve bought a cheap ryobi after my makita died and I wish I hadn’t. Its on my upgrade someday list)

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 2692 days

#5 posted 11-17-2011 09:41 PM

Depends on whether you want to mill your own wood – most of us do as it is cheaper and much more precise to have straight edges and flat surfaces. A planer is indeed a priority for milling….a jointer can be fashioned by making a jig on the tablesaw…or a router table…but a real one should certainly be considered for a future purchase.

As for costs….at what you mention for your budget…used tools in good shape are a great way to go…especially if they are available when you want to buy them….if you have to go new, I would recommend a Dewalt735 with ext tables – this one gets great reviews. There are other great bench top planers (benchtop planers are reliable and inexpensive compared to floor models but they seem to do a comparable job – the benchtop jointers do not seem to work like the planers do and a floor model is recommended). There are also some nifty spiral head benchtop Planer’s (for more figured woods) becoming available but I have not seen too many reviews on them yet.

I would certainly recommend you get a table for your router also – especially if you plan to make drawers and raised panels (there are other ways to make these – but a router table is the fastest and most convenient)...there are some inexpensive ones that would serve but if you can, save up for one with an incra fence (or it’s equivalent)...I have one for mine and it is truly a timesaver….I also have a lift on my router…which I recommend for convenience – it is really a pain to have to keep reaching around under the table to adjust the bit height every time you change a bit or the thickness of your workpieces.

I believe there are many posts on LJ’s that recommend tool purchases in certain order….but these are only suggestions…the reality is necessity….when I am considering a project….I work it through in my head as to how I will be fashioning the parts….I can then decide which tool I will use (there are so many ways to do some things that you might be able to substitute a tool you have for one you don’t)...if I don’t have a necessary tool (or substitute), then it is time to consider whether I can afford it along with the cost of the project…if it goes over my buget it is time to consider a design change or even a different project.

Welcome to LJ’s also, this place is a great source of info, tips and techniques. Alot of us come to woodworking from the construction industry…both woodworking and construction complement each other very well – but either one is not a required by the other. There are excellent LJ’s here that have no connection to construction.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

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