Spend the rest of my money fellas! What should I get next?

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Forum topic by TDog77 posted 12-19-2011 05:07 AM 1536 views 0 times favorited 39 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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125 posts in 2380 days

12-19-2011 05:07 AM

Ok so I am all but 100 percent on getting a Sawstop 3 horse cabinet saw and since I basically spent double what I was planning on spending for the table saw I need a little help prioritizing what I should do with the rest of the budget. For a little background I am a GC and have quite a few hand tools that relate to rough carpentry, basic finish work drywall yadah yadah but i am in desperate need of dust control, band saw, jointer, planer, good hand planes and a router table and I am at a loss on what I should get next with only 3500 to 4000 more. I feel like I am going to come up way short here. I really really like the hammer A3 26 jointer planer but that is another 2500. I have a small list of projects that I would like to start as soon as I am geared up that includes a couple of large reptile enclosures, multiple cutting boards, a kitchen island (no cabinets or doors just shelves) and a medicine cabinet. Which items do you think I should get first and or what should I not skimp on and what can I get away with having something that is not quite ideal and or slow etc. PS I would like to thank so many of you for answering all of my previous posts so fast and with such great detail.

39 replies so far

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3924 days

#1 posted 12-19-2011 05:13 AM

Wow everyone is going to have an opinion on this one, but a good planer is my thought. I don’t own a jointer so I do all my edge jointing on the table saw. To flatten boards I use a sled through the planer – a little more work, but a lot safer than a jointer.

With that said, you need to get a dust collector – you don’t want to gum up that new saw stop with dust – you need to have the dust collector to keep it going well. And since you really need to have the dust collector for the rest of your power tools – makes good sense to get that first (to me anyway).

Oh – and one last thing – the wife will appreciate the dust collector should your shop be attached to your house. Amazing how much dust can get sucked into your house from a garage shop.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View ShaneA's profile


6956 posts in 2626 days

#2 posted 12-19-2011 05:16 AM

Check out the local CL. An 8” jointer, planer 15”, 14” BS, and DC would have to top the list for me. If you can find some of these used, it will help you maximize the budget. There will always be be more. Hand tools, routers, blades/bits, stock…it never ends. Good luck on the journey.

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3097 days

#3 posted 12-19-2011 06:03 AM

A serious dust collector would be my next purchase. By serious, I mean something in the 1200 – 1500 cfm range. This would also be a great time to plan your shop layout – including the duct work. It’s lots easier to have a general plan for dust collection when you start than it is to beat something into submission as you go. – lol

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View TDog77's profile


125 posts in 2380 days

#4 posted 12-19-2011 06:13 AM

I have done zero checking on DC, are there any safe bets that are still reasonable in price?

View rustfever's profile


752 posts in 3338 days

#5 posted 12-19-2011 06:15 AM

I would not spend any $$$$$ until I could go no further. Only then will you know the next required purchase.

-- Rustfever, Central California

View TDog77's profile


125 posts in 2380 days

#6 posted 12-19-2011 06:16 AM

Betsy, is the sled on the planer pretty tricky and does it give pretty good end results. A couple of weeks ago I watched a video on youtube where full width sticks ran perpendicular to the sled and there were shims under each side to adjust accordingly.

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3676 days

#7 posted 12-19-2011 06:20 AM

Buy used. You can get everything you need to do a wide range of
work with the budget you have.

Combo Euro-style jointer/planers have their virtues of course, and the
slot mortiser is a nice thing to have, but your dollars will go a lot further
buying a used one or buying used separates.

You can do the work you’ve cited with a 6” jointer bought used for
$100. The planer I recommend is a used Belsaw or similar type American
planer; they are overpowered, hard to break, easy to fix and accurate
from part to part. They also don’t scream like the portables.

Building your own cyclone dust system is a nice project for your shop.
There are plans out there and ways to stretch your dollars a lot.

With what you have left over you’ll be able to splurge on fine hand tools,
which add up. Believe me.

View Kelby's profile


134 posts in 2439 days

#8 posted 12-19-2011 09:46 AM

How big is your shop?

That SawStop is a very nice saw.

My view on tools is that you should either by one that you’ll be happy with for life or a cheap one that you’ll upgrade when hou get the funds. There’s little sense in spending a decent chunk of cash on a tool that is OK but that you’re going to want to upgrade later anyway.

if I were in your situation, i would probably get a nice planer that you can keep forever, and go cheaper on the other tools that you can upgrade when you get more funds. For your budget, I might try a combination like this:

15”-16” planer with spiral cutterhead—you can get a pretty nice one for under $3k.

used 14” bandsaw or something like this— (I used the Harbor Freight one for years until i was able to upgrade my bandsaw. It’s not a great bandsaw, but it can get you by until you’re ready to upgrade.)

Jointer—6” (you can pick up a decent one used for a few hundred bucks)

Dust collector—Lots of people by the 2HP Harbor Freight collector and modify it with pretty good results, and it’ll get you by until you have the funds for a cyclone.

That would be my approach. But it seems you’re willing to spend enough for now that you probably won’t go wrong either way.

-- Kelby

View HamS's profile


1829 posts in 2417 days

#9 posted 12-19-2011 12:10 PM

From the cheap seats I would suggest the Dust Collector,because it is critical to healthy working and then the planerand jointer. I have not tried the sled trick, but I will say this that I regret buying a 6-inch jointer. I am now limited to what I can make out of 5 3/4” boards. It works great, but only for six inches andthatis not enough. However, I save a significant amount of money in acquiring material because I can buy rough cut lumber and finish it. I actually buy very little material for a project, usually just the sheet goods. I buy a pile of #1 common green hardwood, oak or maple or walnut, from the sawmill at bonus check time usually for around 60-80 cents a bd ft and stack it in the barn for a year or two. It then is nicely air dried and it is much cheaper that way. This system only works if you have the time to dry the lumber, have the means to dispose of the bad stuff you have to cut out of the lower grade material, and have the means to finish the rough-sawn lumber.

-- Haming it up in the 'bash.

View Bertha's profile


13529 posts in 2721 days

#10 posted 12-19-2011 02:58 PM

How bout a used Minimax combo? I’ve seen them around. You’ll want dust collection on that TS. My jointer (PM) is a master mess maker. Buy vintage and use the rest on handplanes. Keep in mind that if you’re buying new planes, you’ll need at least $1000 to get a reasonable collection. Good luck.

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

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3924 days

#11 posted 12-19-2011 04:02 PM

TDog – it seems my post from last night did not get picked up. The sled for the planer is not a hard thing to make or use. The sled I use is not even a dedicated sled, I make one when I need it, which lately has not been often. With that said, I very seldom plane anything longer than 4 foot because very few of my projects require anything longer than that. The beauty of smaller pieces is that it is easier to plane on a sled because there is less shimming required.

I’ve not used a sled with sides like what I think you are describing. But I have use longer boards on the sides of my shorter boards to help avoid the snipe monster. The longer boards take the snipe and the shorter project board avoids it.

I also use a sled for planing smaller pieces that would not otherwise be safe to put through a planer.

Hope that helps a little.

My opinion is still to get a good planer, but to get the dust collector first. You’ll need the dust collector to keep that new saw stop going and clean and as others have said the best time to plan out a dust collection system is when you first get started in building your shop.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3097 days

#12 posted 12-19-2011 04:21 PM

Harbor Freight sells a DC that seems to be very good. Search LJ’s for threads about it.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3103 days

#13 posted 12-19-2011 04:46 PM

Don’t under estimate the importance of good dust control. I didn’t take dust control very seriously for the first few years of woodworking and I have a persistent cough today that I blame on those early days of not controlling dust well.

FWIW – - I see the band saw as an optional – down the road – purchase.

I didn’t see a drill press on your list. In my shop, I consider my DP an almost essential tool. You can get by nicely with a $300 – $400 unit.

In my opinion, a combination planner/jointer is only called for if you have space limitations. If you have the room, I’d opt for separate machines.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View agallant's profile


551 posts in 2915 days

#14 posted 12-19-2011 05:19 PM

Things I thought I did not need and now can not live without.
1. Dust collector
2. Drum Sander

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2997 days

#15 posted 12-19-2011 05:33 PM

Are you going to be fitting any of the stuff you make? If you are, don’t forget the hand held electric planer, a good jigsaw, a multitool is a great thing to have for cutting skirting boards in situ, and a portable workshop vac to clean up after. Sliding compound mitre saw? FWIW you won’t be disappointed with anything made by Hammer.

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