Another qestion on next powertool to get

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Forum topic by fiddlebanshee posted 09-09-2013 01:47 PM 1168 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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240 posts in 3181 days

09-09-2013 01:47 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tools have to have minimum setup

hi all,

i’ve been absent quite a while from these boards while we were building our house and the ensuing move and chaos. Now we are finally building a garage which will finally have a woodshop and I am taking stock of the tools I have acquired so far and what I might need to have a reasonably equipped shop.

I have:
1. the larger (75?) festool tracksaw with festool workbench, two lenghts of trackguides and an assortment of accompaniying clamps and other accessories.
2. a compound mitersaw
3. a router with some of the more usual bits and a benchtop router table.
4. a biscuit joiner
5. a plane (forget what kind) I think it’s a woodriver #5 benchplane
6. a hand held drill with driver bits and drill bits in various sizes
7. a milwaukee screwdriver set
8. hammers big and small
9. chisel (1 so far I think it’s 1/4”, this I might need some more of).
9. various measuring devises and squares
10. a sander (oscillating hand held).
(EDITED TO ADD) 11. festool shopvac

I am not looking to get a table saw.

So next on my list to acquire in the order of my percieved importance
1. a dowel jig like the jessem one. (because of the next project I am wanting to make)
2. a band saw
3. a belt sander?
4. a drill press
5. a planer
6. a jointer

So between the band saw, the belt sander and the drill press == what would you get next? It seems to me if I have the dowel jig I wouldn’t need the drill press so badly. And if I have no planer/jointer, the bandsaw would come in handy to resaw stock.

Your comments/advice/recommendations would be appreciated.

-- As if I needed another hobby!

16 replies so far

View brtech's profile


1054 posts in 3158 days

#1 posted 09-09-2013 02:11 PM

The usual advice about get the tool you need for the next project applies.

I think a drill press is a mighty handy tool, and when you need to make the hole perpendicular to the work, it’s pretty close to essential, at least for me. You can do a whole lot with an inexpensive HF or Griz bench top DP, although I will admit that I really am looking forward to upgrading mine to a floor standing model with a crank table and a much longer quill stroke.

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 2184 days

#2 posted 09-09-2013 03:02 PM

just my thought

I don’t see any kind of Dust collection. Weather it be a unit or vac.

View waho6o9's profile (online now)


8539 posts in 2812 days

#3 posted 09-09-2013 03:08 PM

Drill press

Band saw

no doubt

View fiddlebanshee's profile


240 posts in 3181 days

#4 posted 09-09-2013 04:24 PM

Oh yea, I forgot, I have the festool shopvac too that I can hookup directly to the festool powertools, and probably to the other tools as well.

-- As if I needed another hobby!

View fiddlebanshee's profile


240 posts in 3181 days

#5 posted 09-09-2013 04:26 PM

So why is a drill press a more versatile tool than a bandsaw? I guess I just don’t know enough of what you can do with a drill press that makes it so desirable.

-- As if I needed another hobby!

View PurpLev's profile


8548 posts in 3884 days

#6 posted 09-09-2013 04:50 PM

all these tool purchase questions are really individual. only you know your work processes and what tools you might benefit from having and what not. there isn’t a one-tool-fits-all answer.

whenever I hear “what tool should I buy next” in my mind I hear that you don’t really need another tool right now , and you are better off putting that $$$ aside until the moment comes and you do develop a specific need for another tool.

just my $.02

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View fiddlebanshee's profile


240 posts in 3181 days

#7 posted 09-09-2013 04:56 PM

@purplev BUT BUT BUT….. the voice of reason. Thanks I needed that, probably. Although I still think I could do with a bandsaw, if only I knew what I would use it for. ;-)

-- As if I needed another hobby!

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2528 days

#8 posted 09-09-2013 04:57 PM

My acquisition order from your choices was: drill press, band saw, jointer, planer, and disk/belt sander. However, these were acquired as I needed (or perceived that I needed) them and related to the current project at the time. Everyone is different and you have to decide what your needs are and in what order you want to satisfy those needs. Just my opinion.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View PurpLev's profile


8548 posts in 3884 days

#9 posted 09-09-2013 08:22 PM

haha… hey , don’t let me stop you from giving someone your hard earned $$$ ;)

I think a better approach though (to each their own) would be if you could list the processes and projects you work on, and what tasks you perform the most, and let people suggest which powertool would be most useful for you for those tasks/projects. what I see above is people suggesting tools but all based on what projects THEY are working on, which could be anything BUT what you actually do/need so could very well be pointless as far as one could tell (or not…).

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View redSLED's profile


790 posts in 2128 days

#10 posted 09-09-2013 08:28 PM

Same answers as for other similar “what tool next to get?” threads:

1. Depends on what you will be making most regularly.
2. Depends on your budget.
3. Depends on the size of your workshop.

All of the above were not specified. Just saying.

-- Perfection is the difference between too much and not enough.

View Don W's profile

Don W

19041 posts in 2803 days

#11 posted 09-09-2013 08:35 PM

I’m with Purp, what do YOU need.

I couldn’t live without my drill press. I have 2 bandsaws. I probably couldn’t live without my belt sanders either, but to be honest, I do more metal work on the sanders than wood, so I’d say that would be the last.

If you do a lot of work that requires resaws, then a bandsaw. If you do lots of curve work, then a band saw. Based on your posted projects, it doesn’t seem to matter.

And if you can’t remember what your Windriver hand plane is, your not using it enough.

In my shop, the last to leave would be the drill press.

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

View fiddlebanshee's profile


240 posts in 3181 days

#12 posted 09-10-2013 02:40 PM

Thanks to all for your answers. It’s interesting to me to see that the drill press wins hands down as one of the more essential tools in a shop. I also realize that I didn’t give quite enough info. So here’s how I see it now:

1. I’m very new at woodworking so I don’t really know what I will be making most, but when I look at projects here on LJ I tend to like furniture (bookcases, tables, general storage, etc). I have built over the last two years two chickencoops and three runs, so that’s where my needs have led me over the last years. Building the coops included also building all the doors and windows from scratch. Since I didn’t have a workshop all this was done outside, on wobbly sawhorses with not one level surface. I am so looking forward to having a workshop!

2. Budget is fluid. I have a good job, we don’t want for money but of course there is always an opportunity cost of buying one thing and then not having another. I would certainly not be able to buy all the tools I ever wanted at the same time, hence my original question.

3. Size of the workshop will be about 14 ft x 30 ft or so. We’re having a 24×48 garage built. Just under half of that will be my weaving studio and a room where I can put my chicken supplies & stuff (including a hospital for sick chickens and an incubator) and storage, the other half will be a spot for our one car and the workshop. The car has been living outside for all of the 8 years that it is old so I can also kind of picture this workshop growing to use the entire 24×24 space depending on where the obsession leads.

-- As if I needed another hobby!

View Don W's profile

Don W

19041 posts in 2803 days

#13 posted 09-10-2013 02:51 PM

So here is how I’ve built out my shop. I look for value buys and buy the tool if I think I need it.

Ex, I had an old craftsman table saw that worked, but I knew I would upgrade someday. A fellow LJ offered me a grizzly cabinet saw for $200. It had been under water for 3 days during a flood, so it needed some TLC, but that’s how my whole shop has pretty much come about.

I bought my drill press when I noticed the last one at HD on sale at a good price.

I got my walker turner 16” bandsaw at an auction for $100. About $60 later it has been ideal.

I just had a walker turner lathe fall into my lap for free. Its in the process of being refurb’ed.

If you are just not into refurb’ing, you can still do the same thing. Just watch the normal channels (craigs list, ebay, local paper etc) for tool listings and when you see something you want and its a killer price, pounce!.

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

View CharlieM1958's profile


16281 posts in 4454 days

#14 posted 09-10-2013 03:03 PM

PurpLev is right about it being a very individual choice. Out of the options you listed, bandsaw would be my choice. However, when you said you have no interest in a table saw, that puts us so far apart in our thinking that I probably have no business giving you advice at all.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3883 days

#15 posted 09-10-2013 04:08 PM

If you want to build furniture, you’ll find it won’t go together
right unless you have squared stock. That can be done
with hand planes, with hand planes and a planer, or
with a jointer and planer.

I got by without a decent drill press for a long time. In
woodworking a hand drill works ok. A basic benchtop
drill press is not an expensive thing, especially a used one.
The costlier ones are for metal work and built
tougher and with tighter tolerances.

I rarely use a belt sander. I have gone years without
having one. I use a sanding board though to do stuff
like fair curves on templates and sand flat faces on small

The premium dowel jigs do a good job. You can do both
case corner and frame joints with them and this gets you
out of messing around all sorts of other joint making setups.

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