LumberJocks

New to woodworking, advice needed please

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by TrentO posted 03-12-2015 04:13 PM 984 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View TrentO's profile

TrentO

20 posts in 637 days


03-12-2015 04:13 PM

Hey all my name is Trent and I’m pretty green when it comes to woodworking. Been interested in it for a very long time but never had the room or money to invest. I know that it wouldn’t save any money making my own furniture and other things but it’d be nice to make something that’s exactly what I want/need. I bought a house a few years ago and it’s been a project to say the least but it’s getting there. I have a 2 car garage and recently decided to give up my side of the garage to make it my wood shop.
That being said I’m not really sure where to start with the tools…..it’s a bit overwhelming to say the least. I know this might be asking a lot but any help would be appreciated. I’d say I have a budget of about $1000-$1200 to get started with right away and would add little things here and there when I get some more money. Basically I’d want to make tables, chairs, maybe a dresser later on when I get more comfortable with my skills. I currently have a super cheap table saw (craftsman evolv) I bought when I first got my house just to make work easier with plywood which actually didn’t make anything easier haha, a ridgid orbital sander, ryobi router, and a few clamps of various lengths. I know I’d want to upgrade the table saw ASAP but didn’t know how much I should spend on one. Preferably one that would last for as long as I keep all my fingers and continue woodworking. Should I spend it all on a table saw and worry about the rest later?
Any help would be appreciated and I know it would take longer but I’d rather buy quality over something cheap and maybe need replaced sooner or later. Thanks again for taking the time to read this and if you have a direction you could point me towards even better.


22 replies so far

View SirIrb's profile

SirIrb

1239 posts in 696 days


#1 posted 03-12-2015 04:19 PM

I would look at a jointer and planer if you already have a saw. 1200 on CL may get you there. But, yes, upgrade in the future to a beast saw when the $ arrives.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View HornedWoodwork's profile

HornedWoodwork

222 posts in 680 days


#2 posted 03-12-2015 04:22 PM

Getting the right TS for your shop is like laying the foundation for a house. What the TS cannot do, you will have to make up for in other tooling. You need 3 pieces of equipment to prepare your stock, a jointer, a thickness planer and a TS. MY philosophy is that you will pay more to buy it twice, so get it right the first time. You can buy really nice tablesaws for about $700-800 that will serve you well for a lifetime. These saws have flaws and limitations that mean you will need some handtools and some practice to get the project parts you need, but with jigs and practice, you’ll be fine.

If you have a $1,200 budget, get a lunchbox thickness planer and a medium quality cabinet saw. A used one can be about $800. This will give you the oppurtunity to buy your lumber from a wide a variety of sources and bring it into project dimensions. When the time is right, add a jointer. Then add the bandsaw and drill press and router table and spindle sander, etc. over time. Best of luck and most of all have fun!

-- Talent, brilliance, and humility are my virtues.

View TrentO's profile

TrentO

20 posts in 637 days


#3 posted 03-12-2015 04:38 PM

Thank you very much for the advice. Honestly does help a lot!!

View Richard H's profile

Richard H

489 posts in 1146 days


#4 posted 03-12-2015 04:42 PM

A jointer and planner are essential tools for sure but at least for me I don’t enjoy using them like I do a bandsaw or lathe. They are loud messy tools that do nothing more than prepare the stock into rectangles for use on other tools. I know this advise might be debatable and please take this as personal opinion only but if it was me I think I would spend a little more on dimensioned lumber for my first few projects and put off these purchases in favor of tools that let you do more skill buildings. The goal is after all to build projects not wood rectangles.

You also are going to want to decide how interested in hand tools you are as they can let you postpone or even forgo a lot of big tool purchases with a little practice. They are not for everyone and I think a lot of people go the route I went which is power tool junkie first / hand tool fan second but if you are willing to put a little time and energy into learning hand tool wood working you may find you really enjoy it and that one car parking spot will seem like a huge workspace compared to being filled with big bulky single purpose machines.

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

4234 posts in 1665 days


#5 posted 03-12-2015 04:46 PM

Wow.. for $1200, you could completely outfit your shop with some pretty high end tools! Table saw, band saw, jointer, planer, lathe, router and table, mortising machine, etc… and still have money left over.

I’d start with the table saw and go from there.

Cheers,
Brad

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

View TrentO's profile

TrentO

20 posts in 637 days


#6 posted 03-12-2015 05:37 PM

I would like to look into hand tools at some point. I’ve always viewed wood working as a attractive relaxing hobby. There are a few welders in my family and they can make some pretty amazing stuff but steel and iron always seemed cold and dirty to me. Wood on the other hand always seems warm and you can’t just bend it to what you want you have to actually work it which is a major part of the appeal. I’ve been looking at table saws/cabinet saws and the possibilities seem endless not to mention the prices are CRAZY! Any suggestions on a model or models to look at or maybe a brand to look at or used ones to keep an eye out for and ones to stay away from?

View Rob's profile

Rob

704 posts in 2537 days


#7 posted 03-12-2015 05:52 PM

Trent, the best piece of advice I can give is to join at least one active local woodworking club and try to make additional woodworking connections wherever you can. Also check around for community shops that you can use while you work on building your own shop.


Wow.. for $1200, you could completely outfit your shop with some pretty high end tools! Table saw, band saw, jointer, planer, lathe, router and table, mortising machine, etc… and still have money left over.

I d start with the table saw and go from there.

Cheers,
Brad

- MrUnix

Brad, I wish I lived where you do! I’ve watched CL constantly for 2+ years and my lucky score was a Grizzly 14” bandsaw with riser block and accessories for $475. After using it a while, I wouldn’t consider it a high-end tool but it’s a step up from everything else I’ve seen on CL. For $1200 I definitely could have built a complete shop around mostly Craftsman tools (table saw, 6” jointer, 12” bandsaw, lathe), 12” lunchbox planer, and 1-2hp dust collector at around $200 each. Not exactly high-end by my definition, but good enough to get started.

-- Ask an expert or be the expert - http://woodworking.stackexchange.com

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

4234 posts in 1665 days


#8 posted 03-12-2015 06:00 PM

Brad, I wish I lived where you do!

I lived in SE Iowa (near Ottumwa) for a little more than a year. You are in a great location if you are willing to drive up to the Chicago area, or even Des Moines, Aimes or Cedar Rapids. You aren’t going to find much in the middle of the corn fields unless you are looking for tractors :)

Cheers,
Brad

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

View DIYaholic's profile

DIYaholic

19180 posts in 2141 days


#9 posted 03-12-2015 07:10 PM

$1,200.00 will go a long way….
Provided you shop on Craigslist.
I highly recommend it!!!
Nearly all of my big machines are CL finds. I tend to spend about 25% of “new retail”.
However, 50% is more typical.
If you are diligent and patient, you can get most everything you need/want.
The trick is to constantly be checking CL. I check it 3 to 5 times a day….
Then be the first one to respond to an add. That and I always keep cash on hand…

I would love to have a $800.00 3HP cabinet saw….
But my $125.00 Craftsman 113 TS serves me well!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View TrentO's profile

TrentO

20 posts in 637 days


#10 posted 03-12-2015 07:46 PM

Thanks rob I will definitely look into that

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2198 posts in 947 days


#11 posted 03-13-2015 11:17 AM



Wow.. for $1200, you could completely outfit your shop with some pretty high end tools! Table saw, band saw, jointer, planer, lathe, router and table, mortising machine, etc… and still have money left over.

I d start with the table saw and go from there.

Cheers,
Brad

- MrUnix

Really? A good quality cabinet saw will run you over $2K

Guess it depends on what you call “high quality” ;-)

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2198 posts in 947 days


#12 posted 03-13-2015 11:23 AM

HornedWW is spot on.

The TS is the center of your shop and the most important purchase.
With your budget, you won’t be able to get into a name brand cabinet saw (Delta, Jet, Powermatic).

I would take a look at Grizzly. A friend of mine has a 2HP model and says for the money its pretty decent. I think he said it was around $800.

I would stay away from Craftsman, and any of the compact saws. I think some of the hybrid saws are decent, but make sure they have a good fence.

The fence is the most critical part of the saw, so if you go looking at used one’s keep this in mind.

With your space limitations, I think you are a perfect candidate for hand tool ww’ing.
You can flatten and plane boards with hand tools so don’t feel you absolutely need a jointer and planer.
You can pick up used planes for pennies on the dollar compared to power tools.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View CM02WS6's profile

CM02WS6

61 posts in 808 days


#13 posted 03-13-2015 12:47 PM

I’ll throw a wrench into the discussion regarding jointers. You don’t NEED a jointer right away. You can use a hand plane to flatten boards, or a planer sled, and then build a straight line rip jig for the table saw. I’m sure the jointer would make those tasks easier, but there are other ways to do those tasks and avoid the cost and space requirement for a true jointer.

View TrentO's profile

TrentO

20 posts in 637 days


#14 posted 03-13-2015 01:16 PM

I would agree with the limited space (unless my girlfriend wouldn’t mind me taking over her side as well but I’d rather not push my luck there) I’d like to use some hand tools to save space and I’m not in any hurry to pump out projects. I’d never really thought about hand tools so thank you guys for suggesting them. Everything everyone has said has been extremely helpful and honestly more than I thought I was going to get. I can tell that I’ll have more questions as my woodworking progresses and lumberjocks will be my goto for all my questions. That being said I’m kinda tempted to send brad my $1200 and see what kind of magic he can work…..hahahaha

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

4234 posts in 1665 days


#15 posted 03-13-2015 01:20 PM


Really? A good quality cabinet saw will run you over $2K
Guess it depends on what you call “high quality” ;-)

Complete nonsense. You can find a Unisaw, PM66, 12/14 and many other high end saws for significantly less than 2K. This and other forums are littered with stories of people picking them up anywhere from free and on up from there (some have even been -paid- to take them). There is no magic.. just patience and persistence.

Cheers,
Brad

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

showing 1 through 15 of 22 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com