Where should I take my tool money next?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Hand Tools forum

Forum topic by Promod1385 posted 09-21-2012 07:01 PM 1181 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Promod1385's profile


19 posts in 2067 days

09-21-2012 07:01 PM

Long time lurker first time poster here on LumberJocks!

I am a general contractor getting ready to relocate out of state, as part of my move I will have a lot more time to dedicate to wooden box and furniture making. I have a fair amount of tools already and plan on acquiring a bunch of new hand tools (we are getting relocated for my fiances job so there is some financial “bonus” to the move).

What I have:
12” miter saw
A few chisels
Worm drive saw and straight edge.

On my list to buy:
More chisels
dovetail saws
sharpening stuff (honing guide, more stones, etc…)
Planes (been watching e-bay for used Stanley planes)

Where to spend the rest of my money?:
Table saw?
Router table?

I am leaning toward a router. I can cut all of my mortises and tenons by hand, the worm drive and clamp system can be used for cutting up sheet goods (I consider it easier and safer than a table saw). Any thoughts, comments or things I am forgetting?

Thank you in advance for the input!

20 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile


8187 posts in 2570 days

#1 posted 09-21-2012 07:32 PM

A good workbench comes to mind. The above thread will give you
a bunch of great ideas.

I would suggest Veritas or Lie Nielsen planes if possible.

Welcome to LumberJocks!

View Cole Tallerman's profile

Cole Tallerman

392 posts in 2179 days

#2 posted 09-21-2012 07:46 PM

If you want to use hand tools i would defiantly suggest a good bench. you will see some really fancy ones on here and i have no idea what your skill level is but in my opinion, throw together a base with 2×4 and 4×4 and make sure it has a good hardwood top with some good vices. Next, if your doing more then just hand tools, Get a good cabinet or hybrid table saw with a router table attachment. It is close to impossible to get cuts as accurate as a good and well calibrated table saw. If your really against the table saw, get a bandsaw. it can do most of the cuts that a table saw can do and more. It is also safer then a table saw

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3152 days

#3 posted 09-21-2012 07:49 PM

Welcome to LJs!

With a good table saw, nothing is easier than that. Using the circ saw and guide gets old really fast, IME. That’s where I’d start, especially when you consider the ability to do cross cuts and miters. You might consider yourself covered with your miter saw, but what about cuts bigger than its miter capacity? I’ve sawed 2×4s with a speed square, but I would not care to cut boards over a foot with a square…and I wouldn’t want to use a much longer rail for that cut.

I think you’ll want the table saw pretty soon. It does a lot more than just cut wood into squares.

The router would certainly be my second choice over everything else. That will cover your dados/grooves and rabbets, bevels and round-overs, as well as profiles and repeated pattern cuts…though you can do much of this stuff with a table saw too.

The exception to this would be if you are tempted to buy a cheap table saw. I’d buy the router first in that case.

-- jay,

View bondogaposis's profile


4717 posts in 2345 days

#4 posted 09-21-2012 07:50 PM

Bandsaw and thickness planer.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3152 days

#5 posted 09-21-2012 07:52 PM

Oh, get clamps. And when you think you have enough, get a lot more.

-- jay,

View knotscott's profile


8006 posts in 3369 days

#6 posted 09-21-2012 07:54 PM

Everyone’s different, but a good TS is the #1 tool in my shop. Router in a router table is right up there too…it’s the most versatile tool in the shop. I’d save the small stuff for lunch money and pocket change expenditures. Windfalls are harder to come by…spend those on something significant.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Gshepherd's profile


1727 posts in 2195 days

#7 posted 09-21-2012 08:34 PM

Rat hole it and start building, when you decide in your head there has to be an easier way or you say I wished I had a xxxxxxxxx right now…...... It may sound weird but I keep several writing pads ready when I get to brain storming into the shop and write stuff down. Tools needed will depend on what your focus in woodworking is. Some guys love to do it all with handtools, You have a mix I see. I would tend to think everyone here will say the tablesaw is the first piece of equipment we build around. I love to do many different things so it does get expensive but normally it is a one time buy and lifetime of enjoyment. Too many times starting out I just jumped into buying equipment without researching as much as I should have and resold it and bought what I wanted. Thus wasting money…. The tablesaw can be one of the most expensive items you will buy…... Little stuff is easier to come by, big purchase items get first. Lots of stuff can be bought used and just as good as brand new if not better cause previous owner got the bugs out of it. Sorry I go to winded but it is a big decision and so many ways you can go… Good luck.

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

View HorizontalMike's profile


7754 posts in 2907 days

#8 posted 09-21-2012 08:50 PM

Well when I started outfitting the shop ~3 1/2yr ago, I had this to cut lumber with:



-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

4211 posts in 2555 days

#9 posted 09-21-2012 09:11 PM

Like Mike did the 0690 and a Bandsaw

-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View CueballRosendaul's profile


484 posts in 2134 days

#10 posted 09-21-2012 09:22 PM

I vote for a good table saw with a router table extension wing. Build yourself a cool router table later.

-- Matt CueBall Rosendaul. I don't think I've ever had a cup of coffee that didn't have cat hair or sawdust in it.

View Promod1385's profile


19 posts in 2067 days

#11 posted 09-21-2012 09:40 PM

Thanks for all of the input fellas!

I have a couple of benches that will be making the move with me so I am covered in that regard (thats the beauty of having a moving company do the heavy lifting!)

I have been shopping around on CL (moving from MN where the CL community is very active to a rural area where there wont be as much stuff available). I am going to look at a table saw/router combo tomorrow. Seems like the guy wants to unload it in a hurry so hopefully hes willing to wheel/deal on it a bit, its a 5-6year old Craftman set up with a Porter Cable router. I am leary about the Craftsman saw but for the money I dont think I can go too wrong.

My buddy recommended a good bandsaw for its versatility and from what I am seeing online they are the best deal going in regards to new/used prices. I hope to have enough cash to swing the TS/router combo and a band saw of better quality.

I figure I can use the stuff as it for a while, build a router table and then upgrade the TS if and when I need it.

View RogerM's profile


792 posts in 2393 days

#12 posted 09-21-2012 10:09 PM

By the highest quality tablesaw that you can afford, put a Forrest Woodworker II blade in it and go from there.

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

View Don W's profile

Don W

18707 posts in 2561 days

#13 posted 09-21-2012 10:24 PM

I’m with the table saw group.

Check out my site when you’re ready for hand planes.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Bertha's profile


13525 posts in 2687 days

#14 posted 09-21-2012 10:27 PM

I like that you put handtools top of the list! Sadly, I’m thinking table saw. You don’t have to go all out at first. Get one of those Bosch portables (you’re a contractor) and see how you use it. Jumping into a cabinet saw is a bit premature, in my worthless opinion. Those little portables might be all you need. When you need more, get more.
Then go to Don’s site and catch the disease:)

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

View cutworm's profile


1075 posts in 2787 days

#15 posted 09-21-2012 11:21 PM

Welcome. Looks like these guys got you covered. I use my tablesaw and router the most. RO sander is nice too. I’ve found that good blades and bits are worth the investment.

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

showing 1 through 15 of 20 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics