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Forum topic by Iggles88 posted 06-08-2012 05:38 AM 1935 views 0 times favorited 43 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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247 posts in 2560 days

06-08-2012 05:38 AM

Now this may not apply for all. For the people where money isnt an issue or for people who aren’t addicted to spending money on tools or anything else shop related this probably doesn’t apply to you. For me I don’t have unlimited funds but I am definitely addicted to spending money for the betterment of my shop. I usually spend atleast a half hour a day on rockler or woodcrafts website a day since I don’t have either within driving distance of me that’s the only way I can shop at those places. Now the problem I have and I’m sure a lot of people have is that when I do have some extra money to put towards my shop allowance I can never decide what to buy. I’m fairly new to woodworking so my shop isn’t completely full. There are just so many things that look like they’d be great to have in the shop and I always have a hard time choosing which items to buy at that point in time. The way I look at it there are things that are fun to buy (e.g. Power tools, hand planes, lumber, etc) and then there are things that you know you need but just don’t want to buy because they really aren’t too exciting (e.g. Sandpaper, saw blades, glues, etc) so I always end up putting those things off to be able to buy more exciting things. I just put an order in at klingspors for 150 dollars worth of those not so exciting things and while I know I’ll be happy down the line, I can’t help thinking about other things I could have used that money for. Anyone else have the same problem? Anyone want to chime in on how you spend shop allowance?

43 replies so far

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3308 days

#1 posted 06-08-2012 05:52 AM

Been where you are at a few times in my short woodworking venture so far. Catalogs would inspire me to get a number of things that looked cool but didn’t really prove to be useful over time. My shopping tends to go in themes now. When I purchased a bandsaw, I also bought blades, the riser block, and the wheeled base to make it portable. Recently, I was aiming for more precision so picked up an incra miter gauge, the wixey angle cube, and the oneway multigauge. Items such as sandpaper, glue, saw blades, gloves, those maintenance things, I will buy in regular intervals. If I purchase something, I try to wait until I can get all the accessories that are required so I am not left with the feeling like I can power this gizmo up but can’t really use it until ….

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View rockindavan's profile


299 posts in 2835 days

#2 posted 06-08-2012 06:00 AM

Supplies are things that are hard to go without, so I pick them up when I need them. I stock up on stuff like sandpaper when I have some extra money to spend. As far as the more exciting purchases, I do 2 or 3 purchases a year. When I was in school, at the beginning of the semester I would buy a handplane or put in an order to Lee Valley of stuff I wanted. Its nice to treat yourself to some new tools a couple times a year as long as you save up the money.

View Scot's profile


344 posts in 3595 days

#3 posted 06-08-2012 06:02 AM

Outfitting a new shop is tough. There are so many things you feel you need and so little money available at any one time.
I agree with Dave on the theme idea. Pick some area and go with that. Right now I’m installing the DC system in my new shop and that’s all I’m trying to concentrate on right now,( although I admit I did backslide a little last week and buy a Kreg pocket hole jig).
It’s not easy but hang in there!

-- If the old masters had power tools, they would have used them. So get off your damn High Horse.

View Iggles88's profile


247 posts in 2560 days

#4 posted 06-08-2012 06:05 AM

David I do that sometimes. For example I bought all of my hand cut dovetail tools at the same time. LN saw marking gauge, coping saw, marking knife, and dividers.

View Iggles88's profile


247 posts in 2560 days

#5 posted 06-08-2012 06:10 AM

Also I should have been more clear on my shop. I do have a pretty well outfitted shop. Jet Table saw grizzly bandsaw, 8” jointer. Dewalt Planer, router table, ton of hand and power tools. At this point the only big purchases I see myself buying are a drill press and a spindle sander. I only spent so much on sandpaper because I have some hand planes I want to bring back to life. But I’m definitely not short on tools to the point where I’m trying to decide between a router and jigsaw. The things I buy now are things that will make my life easier in the shop. Im not sure there’s many things I cant do with my current tooling so I’m just trying to make things more convenient for myself but I can’t kick the habit of looking at every woodworking website and making a note of everything I see that interests me.

View Iggles88's profile


247 posts in 2560 days

#6 posted 06-08-2012 06:13 AM

I’m not so much looking for advice as I am just trying to listen to other peoples opinion on how they spend their own allowances. I think it’s always good to take opinions from many different people because you could learn something that you would have never thought of yourself.

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 3301 days

#7 posted 06-08-2012 06:22 AM

Shopping can be tricky if you really care about price. If you don’t, then most tools are easy to get.

I recently wanted to purchase a thickness planer for my shop. After cruising the reviews I decided on the Dewalt 735 – 2 speed – 3 knife – planer.

I had a couple of gift cards from Lowe’s and without checking out prices I headed to Lowe’s and picked one up. PRICE: $599.00 + tax minus my 10% military discount.

After getting home I was looking through some magazines and noticed quite a difference in price for this machine.
I did a little lookup on the computer and found these prices for the same Dewalt 735 planer.

$649.99 + shipping Woodcraft
$649.00 + shipping McFeely’s
$629.00 + $50.00 shipping Rockler
$629.00 free shipping Home Depot
$629.00 free shipping Acme Tools
$629.00 free shipping International Tool
$629.00 free shipping Tool King
$606.82 + $96.55 Drum
$599.95 + $49.00 shipping Grizzly
$599.00 free shipping Lowe’s
$599.00 free shipping Sears
$579.99 free shipping
$579.00 free shipping Tool’s plus

Without checking out the prices before I left home, I think I got lucky on price. I have purchased a lot of shop stuff from Rockler, Woodcraft and Grizzly. That would have been a mistake in this instance…..............

-- mike...............

View KarenW's profile


131 posts in 2387 days

#8 posted 06-08-2012 11:53 AM

We also save for those big purchases (the exciting ones!) and the way we keep “supplies” in the shop is to pick up one thing nearly every trip to Lowes. With my business I’m usually in there twice a week so while I’m buying something for the business shop I’ll also pick up something for the home shop – sandpaper, Kreg screws, glue, an extra quart of something, WD40, etc. It’s not hard to add a $3 box of finish nails or a couple rolls of shop towels to what you’re already buying and it doesn’t take away from the stash money for the exciting purchases.

-- Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best. --Theodore I. Rubin

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3267 days

#9 posted 06-08-2012 12:51 PM

Some of my tools date back almost 50 years, but my strategy has always been to buy what I needed to do whatever project I was working on at the time unless I absolutely knew that it was a one time thing and I could borrow or rent the tool.

On the few occasions when I bought something because it “looked cool”, or thought I might use “someday”, it usually ended just took up storage space. – lol

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View bondogaposis's profile


5088 posts in 2550 days

#10 posted 06-08-2012 01:29 PM

I have some sympathy for you, getting started is daunting, because there is so many things that you need all at once. The way I have done it is to pick a project and then begin to acquire those tools and supplies needed for that project. That way you get to complete a project and over time start to build a set of shop tools for the kind of projects that you like, rather than buying tools at random or falling prey to marketing hype.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Cato's profile


701 posts in 3511 days

#11 posted 06-08-2012 01:40 PM

What I tend to do is pick up something for each project that I will not only need for that project but for future ones.

So it can be anywhere from supplies, dye, shellac, etc. or for my most recent project an LN shoulder plane I needed for shaping tenons,a woodpeckers rule stop or marking, and a Veritas hollow square chisel punch to make square peg holes to attach some breadboard ends.

This way I accumulate at the rate of my projects without buying stuff that is not really necessary.

View Iggles88's profile


247 posts in 2560 days

#12 posted 06-08-2012 01:44 PM

Thankfully there hasn’t been a tool that I’ve bought that hasn’t gotten use. The best purchase I made was my track saw, that thing sat for a while probably over three months before I Actually had a need for it but when I took it out and started using it i began using it almost every day in the shop and couldn’t be happier with it. And bondo I’m not sure of you read the whole thread but I’m not just starting out I have close to a complete shop I was just looking for others opinions on how they spend their shop allowances as I’m sure a lot of people do things differently

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 3125 days

#13 posted 06-08-2012 01:48 PM

I had to smile when I saw you said your shop was not completely full yet…

I have been “collecting” and using woodworking tools in my shop for over 35 years, and it’s not full yet either. Keep at it!

As others have stated, I sometimes look for a reason to buy a new item (router bit, jig, specialty plane, etc) for a particular project or the future.

I have the larger tools and items, and the fun – enjoyment of buying those has long since passed.

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View Iggles88's profile


247 posts in 2560 days

#14 posted 06-08-2012 02:02 PM

Please guys don’t take this the wrong way but I think the idea of this thread has been misunderstood by some. I’m not looking for people to tell me what to buy or anything like that I was just interested in how other people outfitted their shop.
Jusfine…..I should have rephrased “full shop” I meant that I was happy with my shop except for not having a drill press and a spindle sander, after I get those two items ill consider my shop full and my attention will be more towards smaller supplies and things like that. The beginning of buying my tools was a rush it was a lot of money spent and a lot of tools coming into my shop but that has subsided and I don’t buy things the way I used to.

View sras's profile


4942 posts in 3328 days

#15 posted 06-08-2012 02:05 PM

I kept my tool buying limited by not allowing myself to buy a tool until I had to borrow or rent it twice. After that I figured it was a tool worth having. It slowed my buying down, but after 30 years of woodworking I still have a shop full of tools!.

Another thought that keeps my buying limited is that once I buy a tool, I am stuck with it. If a better model or a lower price shows up later, I miss out.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

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