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Forum topic by Robin1976 posted 05-21-2009 04:05 PM 1022 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Robin1976

20 posts in 2761 days


05-21-2009 04:05 PM

Hey all,

New to woodworking and I have a few tools, but won’t say which ones. I’m curious… if you were starting from scratch and had to plan the order in which you would buy tools (power tools, hand tools or other)... what would you buy in what order? I’m curious to see what everyone’s priority order would look like…


17 replies so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 3290 days


#1 posted 05-21-2009 04:26 PM

Robin, since my woodworking focuses on using power tools I would get a table saw as my top priority, followed by a planer, router and jointer and drill press, in that order.

One note I would add is that I believe that it is better to buy the most tool that you can get for your budget. I would rather spend my money on one quality tool rather than several inexpensive tools.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View RedShirt013's profile

RedShirt013

219 posts in 3129 days


#2 posted 05-21-2009 05:06 PM

You can use sheet goods and surfaced lumber, a bit more expensive but allow you to delay getting a jointer/planer. Also what you plan to make determines what tools you need to get

Combination square > Tablesaw > fixed+plunge base router > chiesels > clamps > hand drill > orbital sander > jigsaw > jointer > planer > dust collection > when necessary drill press & bandsaw

If you are using rough lumber move jointer and planer all the way up the list

-- Ed

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8523 posts in 3116 days


#3 posted 05-21-2009 05:10 PM

start with a good square, sharp pencil (I use 0.9 mechanical – it’s always sharp, but not as brittle as the 0.5) a marking knife (I used a utility knife for a long time).

if you can’t mark your straight lines, it’s hard to get anything aligned, regardless of what tool you use

then, saw (table saw/circular saw/handsaw) , chisels, and planes.

this will give you the ability to make anything on a budget. then get other tools to make things easier (router, planer, jointer…etc.etc)

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

View lew's profile

lew

11348 posts in 3223 days


#4 posted 05-21-2009 05:10 PM

I think I wold place the bandsaw close to the top of the list. It really expands the types of cuts (therefore projects) you can make.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

16244 posts in 3686 days


#5 posted 05-21-2009 05:23 PM

I can’t argue with Ed’s list much.

I have to disagree a little with Scott’s advice about buying one quality tool over several cheaper ones. I agree that you get what you pay for, and quality tools are worth the price over the long haul, but… let’s say you have a $500 to spend on power tools, and you don’t know when you will be able to put out any more cash. For that $500, you could buy a good contractor saw, OR you could buy a smaller benchtop table saw, a benchtop drill press, and a 9” hobby bandsaw. I would go with the 3 cheaper tools. Even though none of them will be something you want to hang on to for your entire woodworking career, you can do things project-wise with those three tools that you just could not do with a table saw alone, no matter how good it is.

On the other hand, if you can see yourself devoting a decent piece of your monthly budget to new tools, I would agree with Scott’s suggestion of saving up for one good tool at a time.

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

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a1Jim

115207 posts in 3045 days


#6 posted 05-21-2009 05:32 PM

The other guys make good points like charlie If your budget won’t allow for the best of every thing then start with the basics and trade up over time .That’s what I’m done for over 20 years and for the most of my tools I think I have long term keepers. One other point is If you know you want to be involved with one aspect of woodworking, Like carving or scroll work etc. then your focus might change as to what tools are highest on you list.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View marcb's profile

marcb

768 posts in 3141 days


#7 posted 05-21-2009 06:07 PM

If you are using rough lumber move jointer and planer all the way up the list

Move the bandsaw up too, it really makes cutting to rough size a lot easier and way less dangerous. A bandsaw can substitute for a tablesaw for a while if you need to depending on the size of the projects.

View marcb's profile

marcb

768 posts in 3141 days


#8 posted 05-21-2009 06:10 PM

If you are using rough lumber move jointer and planer all the way up the list

Move the bandsaw up too, it really makes cutting to rough size a lot easier and way less dangerous. A bandsaw can substitute for a tablesaw for a while if you need to depending on the size of the projects.

While I find my 14” bandsaw nice, I would really like a slightly larger one, just to get the larger table if nothing else.

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

939 posts in 2861 days


#9 posted 05-21-2009 06:18 PM

Welcome to lumber Jocks!

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View Elaine's profile

Elaine

113 posts in 3091 days


#10 posted 05-21-2009 06:20 PM

I’d start with a budget, (I have an allowance and save some of it each week for the tool and wood bank) good first aid kit, dedicated work area, safety items, a mentor, then move on to handtools -Hammers, mallet, chisels, screwdrivers, crosscut saw, rip saw, backsaw, miter box, coping saw and blades, sandpaper, measuring devices (2 foot folding rule, carpenter’s rule, good quality combination square, speed square, good mechanical pencil), files, block plane, jointer plane, scrub plane, scraper (I liked the idea of using glass) sharpening stones -Though I have other types, I like ceramic (no mess while sharpening), a strop, a corded drill (won’t have to replace batteries in two to three years) with bits -bradpoint, paddle, forstner. Wood. Workbench. From there I’d move to power tools – Dust collection, Good circular saw, jig saw, sliding compound miter saw, plunge router. I’d then move to a drill press, bandsaw, lathe and all it’s tools. Through all of this buying, I’d be saving for a good quality table saw. I did get a cheap table saw as a gift, I still have it. (I’m not allowed to use it unless someone’s home and I am closer to joining AARP then remembering my 21st bday) I’m not sure why we always put table saws as number 1 on the list -I cannot rip a 4×8 sheet by myself without a lot of aids or just my circular saw. I have found of all the tools- the table saw is the one I use less frequently over the years.

Although my senior :) I disagree with Charlie, I used to agree with him. But poor quality tools are frustrating, they also become expensive in the long run. I would watch for estate auctions (I’ve bought some mid quality power tools for next to nothing), yard sales (I take my best friend’s husband and let him start the talking with the men or they ignore me), go to the local woodworking stores and ask around, join some woodworking clubs -It’s like a big family -More help than you can shake a stick at!. Make it a habit to go to the stores clearance areas. Watch for sales. I’m accused of watching for deaths and divorce. I used to have some old jig saws -my first that I bought about 30 years ago, one I received for Christmas and then ran across a Makita that was on clearance (something changed in the packaging I think). There is no comparison to set up, noise level, ease of usage of a good quality tool. There is also no comparison in learning to use hand tools first and learn to use them well. Use the internet for advice and projects then move on to the books and magazines.

View hObOmOnk's profile

hObOmOnk

1381 posts in 3595 days


#11 posted 05-21-2009 06:32 PM

FWIW, I wouldn’t buy any tools until you define what you want to do, the materials that you want to use and your current or desired skills level.

-- 温故知新

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

939 posts in 2861 days


#12 posted 05-21-2009 06:48 PM

I agree with Elaine. Its the best way to start, underestanding the concept of handtools first, before a further move to power tools and shop machines. Powertools often look so “easy”, and people tend to think that having them, makes you a woodworker. A garage full of tools and power tools not necesarily means there is a woodworker there. It’s commoon to see shops full of fancy equipment, everything shiny, hundreds of feet of dust collection ducts….....but…..poor results.

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View Robin1976's profile

Robin1976

20 posts in 2761 days


#13 posted 05-21-2009 06:49 PM

Thanks everyone!

All good input… and a lot of good points raised.

Basically I plan to make some outdoor furniture first… simple wood screw and glue joinery and learn basics of cutting, wood types, wood finishing etc. Picnic table and adirondack chars as per plansnow.com (got a gold membership as an xmas present). Once I have those made I am turning my attention to probably simple pine coffee/end table. At this point joinery will be required so by then I hope to have the palner/jointer. IF I don’t have them by then… I will make probably a mitersaw station or router table.

I currently have: Miter saw (old one, rusty, needs TLC or replacement), Plunge Router with 25 or so bits, Circ saw, biscuit cutter (cheap one I got for $20 on sale from princess auto) and cordless drill. All of my gear is from a canadian franchise… (canadiantire.ca). Perk is that when they have a sale.. they have a SALE! 50% off is minimum… bought my circ saw 80% off, plunge router with bits $200 on for $80!

Sounds like table saw is the next purchase… which is what I was planning also. After that… I’m torn. A drill press and bandsaw perhaps… or a jointer/planer. All depends on time of year and available money I guess. When I reach the point where I do joinery I’ll probably pick up a dado blade set also… $100-$200 right there.. yikes!

Thanks!
R.

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

16244 posts in 3686 days


#14 posted 05-21-2009 06:59 PM

Elaine’s advice about looking for good used tools is right on the money (if you don’t mind being a grave-robber or picking up the pieces after some barracuda has picked her ex’s bones clean in the divorce) :-)

(“Senior” my a$&!) ;-)

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

View HokieMojo's profile

HokieMojo

2103 posts in 3196 days


#15 posted 05-21-2009 07:37 PM

depending on how fineyou want the outdoor furniture to be, the circ saw may be enough. It is really just a handheld tablesaw. if you aren’t trying to fit joints with it, I’d think a circ saw would be enough.

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