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Forum topic by Rob posted 12-01-2012 09:14 PM 4481 views 0 times favorited 48 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Rob

407 posts in 1815 days


12-01-2012 09:14 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question tools woodshop

Suppose you’re my woodworking buddy and mentor, but I just moved across the country so I can’t come over to your place and borrow your shop or any of your tools any more. I want to start working on a few projects starting next weekend, and I have $3000 to build my own little new woodshop. What do I spend it on?

Assume that there aren’t any decent tools on craigslist or at garage sales, and keep in mind that I have absolutely no tools, dust collection, shop-vac, clamps, sanding & painting accessories, tables, materials to build my own tables/stands/jigs, or anything else—not even safety gear (you’re such a good buddy that you even let me borrow your extra set of goggles and your earmuffs when I used to come over).

For tools that I’ll probably be using a lot, I would rather spend a little more on something will save me time and which will last a long time (e.g., if you think I need a cordless drill, I’d rather spend $100 on a decent one with a keyless chuck and 2 Li-ion batteries, rather than $40 on one that has Ni-Cad batteries).

Bonus points: do it under $2000.


48 replies so far

View JAAune's profile

JAAune

965 posts in 1061 days


#1 posted 12-01-2012 09:28 PM

Hmm. A shop under that budget will certainly never be capable of every task under the sun.

So allow me to ask three questions.

1. What manner of projects do you have planned?

2. What skills pertaining to the woodshop do you currently have?

3. How much time do you intend to invest into this hobby?

Knowing the answers to those will help people offer advice tailored to your situation.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

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knotscott

5601 posts in 2120 days


#2 posted 12-01-2012 09:56 PM

What to get really needs to be taylored to your needs and habits, and what types of things you’ll build. I’d suggest a good book as a reference….the New Woodworker Handbook, by Tom Hintz is excellent (< $20).

If you’re looking to setup a shop equipped mainly with stationary power tools, I’d focus the bulk of your budget on the primary big tools. It’s easier to come up with $10 for a couple of clamps as an impulse purchase, than it is $1000 for a good table saw (TS). Most shops feature the TS, and that’s where I’d focus the bulk of my research and budget, unless you’ll primarily be using a band saw (BS). The biggies for me would be a good full size stationary table saw, planer, jointer, router and router table, and maybe a modest DC (like the HF unit for $150). With those main tools, you can build just alot using dimensional lumber or sheetgoods. A BS and DP are nice, but can be added down the road…in the meantime, a modest jigsaw and handheld power drill worked fine for early on. You’ll want a reasonable work surface, whether it’s a nice bench, or an old door. I’d add a good tape measure, squares, a chisel or two, sandpaper, and some basic clamps, then would add more clamps, block plane, and other extras as you go. (Ask family members for gift cards to Rockler, Woodcraft, Amazon, Lowes, HD, etc….). $3k is doable if you’re selective….the used market can be your friend if the right deals come along.

If you’ve got 220v, and want to get a seriously good TS, the Grizzly G1023RL is about the best bang for the buck in a 3hp industrial style cabinet saw…$1195/$1294 shipped. It’s not a necessity to have that much saw, but it’s close in price to many lesser saws, and is about all you’d ever need. If that’s more than you can stomach, and/or don’t have 220v, you’re limited to a TS that’ll run on a standard residential 110v outlet….again I’d look to a full size stationary saw. The typical contenders are the entry level price ranges are the Ridgid R4512, nearly identical Craftsman 21833, Steel City 35990, Porter Cable PCB270TS….all under $600. The next step up would include the Grizzly G0661, G0715P, Craftsman 22116 (by Steel City/Orion), Jet Proshop, General International, Rikon 10-201, and Powermatic offerings. These saws all have the potential to perform well…the end performance is largely dependent on how well you set them up, and what blade you choose.

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

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Rob

407 posts in 1815 days


#3 posted 12-01-2012 09:59 PM

1. Let’s suppose I want to build simple furniture for now, like tables, benches, shelves, etc. Nothing too fancy or exotic right now, but maybe that would come later on, in a couple years or so.
2. Just the basics—I’ve used a compound miter saw, circular saw, jigsaw, band saw, router, table saw, drill, finishing sander, belt sander, Dremel, oscillating multi-tool, bar clamps, and a Shop-Vac. I haven’t used a planer, jointer, or lathe. I’ve never owned a table saw but have used a circular saw or improvised with a router for a few long cuts.
3. Let’s say 4-6 hours a week, though it would probably be more if it’s set up such that everything is easy to keep organized and easy to clean up.

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a1Jim

112818 posts in 2322 days


#4 posted 12-01-2012 10:04 PM

Wow that’s a lot of assuming and supposing :) no shop right? no tools right? a place to work and tools for under 3K right? . This ones easy buy a pocket knife, set in your living room and whittle . So far you have $20 spent for a pocket knife. You might need another $200 for a decent vacuum to clean up all the shavings you made in your living room.
Wow you now have $2780 for wood. :))

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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a1Jim

112818 posts in 2322 days


#5 posted 12-01-2012 10:07 PM

Oh sorry I didn’t know you were serious.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Rob's profile

Rob

407 posts in 1815 days


#6 posted 12-01-2012 10:18 PM

Thanks for the suggestions, knotscott. I’ve resisted getting a table saw thus far, but I’ve come close a couple times. I don’t have 220v, but have considered adding it.

a1Jim, if I had all the time in the world, honing my whittling skills would at least be a practical way to spend it in case I ever get stranded on a remote forest island! :)

If it helps, I can also list the tools that I actually do have, and if you want, you can work some or all of these into the budget by based on the amount I paid…I was just curious whether any of my existing tools would show up in anyone’s budget woodshop recommendations.

  • Bosch 18v Li-ion cordless drill $100
  • Dremel $80
  • Porter Cable 3hp oscillating multi-tool $70
  • Skil circular saw $40
  • 2.25hp router with fixed & plunge bases $160
  • Goggles, earplugs, respirators, etc. $30
  • 6hp Shop-Vac $100
  • 2hp (?) mini Shop-Vac $30
  • Pair of sawhorses $10
  • Kobalt 10-in. compound sliding miter saw $180
  • Skil orbital jigsaw $45
  • Skil benchtop drill press $100
  • Assorted router bits $100
  • Assorted drill bits $50

If I did the math right, that’s a

Sadly, that’s most of my power tools and shop accessories, but it’s a growing collection. Compared to all the money I’ve wasted on small electronics and computer junk in the past, I’d say this has been, and will continue to be, a much better investment. I just wish I had come to that realization back in college, when I was probably spending $500-$1000+ a year upgrading my computer.

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Rob

407 posts in 1815 days


#7 posted 12-01-2012 10:48 PM

I figure everyone here had to start somewhere, and it seems hard to imagine that everyone just set aside $10-20k and outfitted their entire shop all at once (then again, as far as I know, that might still be a meager budget). I thought $1000 seemed unrealistic but thought $3000 might be a bit more realistic.

For those who think a $3000 budget is too restrictive, what major items or important features would I have to sacrifice in order to keep it that low, and how much would I need to add for each of those items?

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knotscott

5601 posts in 2120 days


#8 posted 12-01-2012 10:51 PM

You won’t be able to get top shelf at $3k, and you won’t be able to get everything, but you can get a decent shop going if you do the research and buy the better values….don’t confuse value and cheap. Decide what main tools you want first, and focus on those. Getting a good start is definitely doable at your budget.

I’ll reiterate the value of a good book to help you understand what you’re doing, whether this one, or some other.

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

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

10327 posts in 1363 days


#9 posted 12-01-2012 10:55 PM

Is working with primarily hand tools an option you’ve considered?

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

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a1Jim

112818 posts in 2322 days


#10 posted 12-01-2012 11:15 PM

Ok Rob let me try again .I would suggest you sign up for a community collage woodworking class or a woodworking coop where you can use the tools you will need to build the kind of items you have in mind. You say you have used the tools you listed but that could mean only used them once or twice. If you have minimal experience with tools and woodworking that might be another reason to take a class assuming there is one available . Do you have a space you can use as a shop ,a garage,carport etc? As far as tools and equipment are concerned I think Knotscott covered it very well. I know your supposed’s said you couldn’t find tools on Craigslist or garage sales but those might be the place you can make an offer on a shop full of tools in the price range you trying to stay in possibly with some materials and other extras. It might even work to put a wanted wood shop full of tools in the tools section of your local Craigslist.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View JAAune's profile

JAAune

965 posts in 1061 days


#11 posted 12-01-2012 11:18 PM

Three thousand is actually a decent starting budget. I only had around $700 for my tool collection when I began. Mostly it’s just important to understand that a fully equipped workshop capable of performing every possible task efficiently would probably cost ten times that much so it’s important to know exactly what is needed and what isn’t.

I’ll assemble a recommended list later tonight that should provide the tools needed for building simple furniture.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

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jap

1240 posts in 799 days


#12 posted 12-01-2012 11:30 PM

I would skip the dremel you had on your list

-- Joel

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Swyftfeet

169 posts in 916 days


#13 posted 12-01-2012 11:31 PM

Leaving out craigslist and buyin new is your biggest hurdle. Your only doing this 5-6 hours a week so it’s not income, it’s a hobby. You have three options:
1. stick to Craigslist and wait for the opportunities to show up. You could have a sick shop of solid iron if you take your time
2. Minimally equipped shop of high end stuff.
3. Well equipped mishmash of low budget stuff that you’ll kick yourself for purchasing later down the road(my opinion)

-- Brian

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MrUnix

650 posts in 944 days


#14 posted 12-01-2012 11:35 PM

Assume that there aren’t any decent tools on craigslist or at garage sales

I wouldn’t give up on Craigslist or garage sales.. For around $1K or less, you can pretty easily find the four big ticket items (TS, BS, Jointer and Planer) and have the extra $2K to spend on accessories, material, DC, other goodies, etc. The key is patience and persistence, and if applied correctly, you can have a fantastic setup for very little compared to purchasing new. If you are setting up a business, you don’t usually have the time to scour for good deals, but for a personal shop, there is no pressing need other than that itch to get something done.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

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crank49

3506 posts in 1716 days


#15 posted 12-02-2012 12:04 AM

300 Porter Cable PCB-220 ts
200 Rikon 10-305 band saw
150 HF bnch top16 spd 12” drill press
60 HF 1/2” slow speed HD corded drill
180 Ridgid 18v Drl/Drvr set
100 Mikita or Dewalt Cir saw
100 Bosch or Dewalt Jig saw
70 Ridgid 5” ROS
200 Rigd OSBS
30 saw horses
150 clamps, 6” C, 12 & 24” F, 4 sets pipe
40 hammers
180 tape, squar, rule, compas, dividr, levl, spd sq,
100 Skil router w/bases
200 routr tabl matls
160 drl bits, brad point & forstner, routr bits
350 wrk bnch matls
30 chisels, couple good ones
100 Woodriver low angle block plane
50 Stanley hand saw, coping saw, rasp
50 matls for saw guide, saw horse top
100 20 gal shop vac
2900

I know this is not a cast iron cabinet saw shop and the 10” band saw is not going to be resawing veneer, but this is covers most of the capabilities and hangs with your $3000 limit.

I have purchased and used most everything on this list and it all works very well. Most of the most critical tools are top rated brands and models.

If I had an extra $1000 to work with I would swap the table saw and band saw for better, but I would want to have the ones here also. I really like my 10” band saw for instance. But I want to have a 16” some day in addition, not in place of.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

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