Tool and finish question.

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Forum topic by ChipByrd posted 07-12-2013 01:14 AM 607 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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146 posts in 1921 days

07-12-2013 01:14 AM


I am relatively new to woodworking and have spent the past couple months building a work bench, mitre station, and various jigs and furniture for my garage shop.  This has been a really informative site.  I have a couple questions and would appreciate any help:

1) I want to trim out my miter station with cedar (largely because I have it).  I am looking for a finish that is relatively easy and will maintain the natural color.

2) I have a table saw, router and router table, miter saw and station, small cyclone and vac, and most of the expected hand tools.  I am only going to be able to afford one more $400-500 tool this year and wold like advice.  If possible, I plan to build a bed this fall.  So, which of these would you suggest: 

Drill press and sander combo
Thickness planer


2 replies so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

18707 posts in 2561 days

#1 posted 07-12-2013 01:24 AM

1, BLO
2. it really depends. planer you really only need if your using rough sawn. A jointer can be useful, but you can get buy with a hand plane. A drill press I couldn’t live without and a bandsaw I wouldn’t want, but a good jig saw can be made to suffice.

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

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2965 days

#2 posted 07-12-2013 03:55 AM

I like clear Minwax Polycrilic for a finish on all my jigs and fixtures because it doesn’t alter the look of the wood so much.

Given your list of what you already have, and depending on whether you plan to build that bed from rough sawed lumber or purchase pre-milled stock the choices can go two ways.

- With the ability to use rough sawed lumber in mind I’d plan on a glue line rip blade for the table saw (for jointing), pick up a small lunch box planer and a drill press. With careful shopping you can do that for $400 to $500. I’m assuming you have some hand planes in that “most of the expected hand tools” you already have.

- With disregarding milling rough stock, I’d go for the band saw and the drill press if I could find used machines.

I personally have a 3/4 hp 16 speed, bench top DP from HF for about $150 on sale, with discount coupon and a small, but useful, 10” Rikon band saw I got on sale at Woodcraft for $180; so those would fit in your budget. The 10” band saw will not be your go-to machine for re-sawing, limited to 4”, but I use mine all the time.

Sears sells a Craftsman labeled version of the 1 hp Rikon 14” for ~$380 that can re-saw up to 8”, but that with the drill would bump you over the $500 limit a little.

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