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Forum topic by Jchon Paradise posted 08-05-2007 08:49 PM 1892 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jchon Paradise

68 posts in 3948 days

08-05-2007 08:49 PM

Good day everyone -

Here’s my short little story.

I’m looking to build up a little shop for myself and am in need of tools. I’ve been woodworking for several years now, but up until now, I’ve had access to my father-in-law’s Shopsmith (my wife and I have lived with her parents for a while and are now buying our own place).

I’m trying to find creative ways of bringing in some extra money (my wife is a stay-at-home mom) and want to try my hand at building up some local sales of my stuff. Unfortunately, with moving away from the inlaws, I’m also moving away from the tools I’ve been using. So now the only tools I have are a circular saw, a compound miter saw and a couple hand sanders. No more lathe, table saw, band saw, planer, jointer, drill-press, etc.

I’m not looking for freebies (unless you’re so inclined ;o) – but at the same time, if I had the money for all that equipment, I wouldn’t be trying to find ways of bringing in extra money to pay the bills :o).

So I’m left thinking of how I can obtain said equipment… well, if not with money – then perhaps some out there have extra equipment (perhaps you’re upgrading or cleaning out shop?) and are in need of something I can provide (barter).

As a profession, I create websites, graphics, marketing material, etc. as well as build/maintain computer networks. So if anyone thinks I may be able to help them out with something of the sort and would like to talk – please contact me at your convenience. Otherwise, I guess I could just start learning how to hand-carve!


Have a great day, everyone!

-- Jchon - Denton, TX

15 replies so far

View Buckskin's profile


486 posts in 3984 days

#1 posted 08-06-2007 12:57 AM

A lot of my shop is left over from my contracting days when I worked out of the back of my truck or cargo trailer. Before everyone throws rocks at me, LOL, I bought my lathe and drill press from … ducking… Harbor Frieght. There are some challenges to overcome when using B grade tools, but when your on a tight budjet it is one way to get started. Good luck!

View Jchon Paradise's profile

Jchon Paradise

68 posts in 3948 days

#2 posted 08-06-2007 02:03 AM

What’s Harbor Freight?

-- Jchon - Denton, TX

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14172 posts in 3979 days

#3 posted 08-06-2007 02:34 AM

i’ve got 10 inch ryobi plainer to trade for a start at a website, works good. its the original.

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View roundabout22's profile


94 posts in 4083 days

#4 posted 08-06-2007 03:40 AM

Here is the website for Harbor Freight. They carry discount tools for discount prices. Basically they sell tools cheap. Some things are better than others. My dad bought a biscuit joiner that is more of a pain to set up than its worth, however I bought a 18 gauge brad nailer on one of the specials for $20 and as long as I remember to keep it oiled it works great.

-- remember always measure once and cut twice

View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4094 days

#5 posted 08-06-2007 03:43 AM

Also, check yard sales and Many times good tools can be found for cheap. Also, learn some hand tool skills. Lots of things can be done with handtools.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View rb1's profile


12 posts in 4007 days

#6 posted 08-06-2007 06:11 AM

jchon- I feel your pain. I have no room in my garbage for a huge workshop at this time. Hand tools are great, takes more time but can be done. You can find tools on Craigslist, check it daily, could find a steal or two. Barter your skills on Craigslist as well. You will be surprise on how many hits you may get.


-- rb1

View leonmcd's profile


204 posts in 3968 days

#7 posted 08-06-2007 06:53 PM

Might try looking at the problem from a different direction.

What CAN you make with a circular saw, a compound miter saw and a couple hand sanders?

If you limited your projects to the tools that you have and could sell those items then you could buy more tools and expand your capabilities. Might not be the kind of woodworking you are used to but I think that there are a number of simple projects that could generate some cash.

I have a few more tools than you do but I am working on a similar plan. I’m not buying another major tool until I generate enough cash from the tools I have to buy them.

-- Leon -- Houston, TX - " I create all my own designs and it looks like it "

View RobS's profile


1334 posts in 4303 days

#8 posted 08-06-2007 06:59 PM

Here’s a similar discussion from quite some time ago…

I wonder how Peter is doing?

Might be some lessons learned there…

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3959 days

#9 posted 08-06-2007 08:45 PM

With what you have and a set of hand tools you can do quite a lot. On E-Bay you can get a set of good Stanley Bailey plane for very little. You need a #7, #5, #4, and a #60 1/2 block plane. They also have listed good hand saws that are newlly sharp and reset. There are plenty of chisels to go around and hand scrapers sell new for a song. Add a tape and a square and you’re in business. I just saw a shopsmith I just saw a ShopSmith in the paper for $475. I started with a ShopSmith in 1978 and still have one in the shop to use as a drill press and disc sander. don’t forget pencils and paper. and do’t forget to have fun.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View leonmcd's profile


204 posts in 3968 days

#10 posted 08-06-2007 10:35 PM

Occurred to me that building stuff with a limited set of tools might make an interesting contest.

Of course picking the “limited set of tools” might be a challenge itself.

-- Leon -- Houston, TX - " I create all my own designs and it looks like it "

View woodspar's profile


710 posts in 4096 days

#11 posted 08-07-2007 12:54 AM

I think that Leon has the right idea. Bootstrap yourself with the tools you have.

Here’s an idea: If you made cabinets and bookshelves from plywood to sell, you could get a great deal of use out of that circular saw and the crosscut miter saw.

The first thing that I would make would be a edge guide for your circular saw, so you can get nice square, straight cut.

Check out Niki’s posts (and other’s) for ideas on how to build your own jigs for all kinds of special work.

The only other thing that I would recommend is getting an inexpensive (Ryobi or Sears) plunge router so you can do dado and rabbet work on the cabinets and bookshelves. You can get a decent combo kit from sears for about $100 on sale.

Then when you are rich and famous you can buy more tools.

-- John

View furnitologist's profile


198 posts in 4009 days

#12 posted 08-07-2007 01:21 AM

I’m with leon and others….............start building and worry about your tool collection later. You’ll be amazed at what you can make with what you already have.

You’ve got what most of us started with…........Neil

View Jchon Paradise's profile

Jchon Paradise

68 posts in 3948 days

#13 posted 08-07-2007 01:41 AM

Oh don’t worry – I’ll keep building – nothing will stop that :o)

My intent was just to see if there were any out there like Dan who had extra and might take use of some of my other skills as trade.

Dan – email me at and let me know what you had in mind for your site and we can go from there :o)

And I love Leon’s idea of creating a contest out of what can be built with the most modest of tools!

-- Jchon - Denton, TX

View Greg3G's profile


815 posts in 4082 days

#14 posted 08-07-2007 01:55 AM

John, just for the record, my grandfather who made a living woodworking never owned a table saw. He did everything but sanding and turning by hand. When his hands started to go, he did break down and get a circular saw. Remember, all of the great antiques we marvel at today were built without power tools.

The only thing I would add right away would be a router. Its is one of the most flexable tools you can own. I may have an extra 1/4” one laying around somewhere. I’ll dig around and see what I find.

-- Greg - Charles Town, WV

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 4082 days

#15 posted 08-13-2007 09:17 PM

Good advice everyone but I’m surprised that you haven’t mentioned the obvious. One way of building your tool inventory is to buy tools as you need them. Almost every tool I have has been bought as a result of a project need. Convincing the boss that you need a new table saw would be difficult unless prefaced by “I could build that bedroom set you want for a lot less if I only had a tablesaw”. You’ll get the hang of it. It also works if you get a paying project. If someone wants you to build them a deck the right tools will make it go faster and you can justify the purchase…..just don’t kill all your profit….the boss will want to see some go in the bank account.

I got my 1st tablesaw and a jigsaw from this. .
Cost of purchasing a similar Arbor and Gate = $1400
Cost of Tablesaw, jigsaw, and wood to build it. = $800
The feeling of building it with my daughter = priceless

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker

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