What should be my next purchase?

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Forum topic by Zac Harlan posted 07-25-2009 04:30 PM 1119 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Zac Harlan

14 posts in 2652 days

07-25-2009 04:30 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

My shop is currently sparsely populated. Right now I’ve got a miter saw, contractor grade table saw, router and some clamps. My question is what should I purchase next? Dust collection, planer, an upgraded table saw or something else?

-- Zac, Iowa,

22 replies so far

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2715 posts in 2704 days

#1 posted 07-25-2009 04:39 PM

That’s not an easy question to answer. What kind of projects do you intend to do?
How much can you spend?


View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 3546 days

#2 posted 07-25-2009 04:40 PM

TVTA (too vague to answer).

-- 温故知新

View Roper's profile


1370 posts in 3131 days

#3 posted 07-25-2009 04:42 PM

i agree with kent it is not an easy answer, but if you do alot of work in a small shop a good dust collection system is key, so is an air filtration system.have fun and be safe.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust-

View woodworm's profile


14164 posts in 3009 days

#4 posted 07-25-2009 04:44 PM

Drill Press if your future projects require a lot of holes drilling.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View bayspt's profile


292 posts in 3123 days

#5 posted 07-25-2009 04:45 PM

I say build or buy a router table.

-- Jimmy, Oklahoma "It's a dog-eat-dog world, and I'm wearing milkbone underwear!"

View Zac Harlan's profile

Zac Harlan

14 posts in 2652 days

#6 posted 07-25-2009 05:00 PM

Thanks for the input. I plan on building furniture for my house and smaller projects as they come up. Right now i’ve got a one stall garage as a shop…

I was thinking along the lines of the next tool to purchase or the next thing a shop my size would need.

-- Zac, Iowa,

View dustbunny's profile


1149 posts in 2713 days

#7 posted 07-25-2009 05:05 PM

I also had the same first three tools. My next purchase was the planer, then I built my dust collection, and am still adding to it as more tools move in. The DeWalt 735 13” has it’s own dust collection and because it has a built in fan for blowing chips they recommend not connecting a collection system to it, something about screwing up the fan. It works just fine, and is self contained.
Then the 6” belt/8” disc sander, jointer, lathe, ROM sander, more clamps, getting the band saw next month…......and so on it’s endless.
You’ll find out what you need as you go, you’ll be saying gee it would be nice if I could…and bam, there’s the next tool.


-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 3116 days

#8 posted 07-25-2009 05:17 PM

Well I have all the tools you can imagine and I am still looking for more I have 38 clamps and that is not enough.
I would say a table saw should you next tool.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 3240 days

#9 posted 07-25-2009 05:17 PM

At one time I would have suggested a planer as the next tool but now, hopefully being somewhat wiser, I would suggest putting a dust collection system in place and then a planer. Your health is the most important asset you have and a dust collection system would be an intelligent investment.

The table saw upgrade is one of those things that are nice but not entirely necessary. Upgrade when you get to the point where you simply cannot live with the angst that your saw causes anymore.

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

View EEngineer's profile


1054 posts in 3032 days

#10 posted 07-25-2009 05:20 PM

From your choices:
dust collection – shop in the house? you probably need it. I relocated my shop from the basement to the garage because of dust issues. In the garage I have gotten away without any dust collection for years, just a shop vac to clean up afterwards. Do you have a shopvac? There have been many threads here about homemade cyclones for shopvacs recently (might be my next tool project)
planer – I put off purchasing a planer for years. Unless you are working raw wood or reclaiming wood (this is why I recently purchased one), this could be put off. If you want to reclaim wood, I have gotten some beautiful wood from pallets run through the planer.
upgraded table saw – eh, I don’t see much need. I will be using a contractor saw forever probably. If you have a decent quality contractor saw, keep it.

How about improvements to the tools you have now? You mentioned a router; a router table increases what you can do and precision immensely. I need a bench for my miter saw in the worst way; I find myself jury-rigging the weirdest setups to cut longer pieces. And, of course, extensions and outfeed tables for the tablesaw, if you have room.

Just some thoughts – it is difficult to say without knowing what you want to accomplish.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View knotscott's profile


7145 posts in 2794 days

#11 posted 07-25-2009 05:20 PM

If you use solid wood, a planer will add a capability that you don’t currently have….DC is a natural addition after using a planer (aka chip spewing monster!).

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2715 posts in 2704 days

#12 posted 07-25-2009 05:36 PM

You might want to build it, but I would suggest a workbench. It’ hard to do anything without it. I doesn’t have to be elaborate, just sturdy.


View mikedddd's profile


146 posts in 2648 days

#13 posted 07-25-2009 05:42 PM

I agree with the other posts about the dust collector, I never thought I really needed one and thought it would be hassle hooking and moving around from machine to machine in my shop, but after I had one for awhile I hooked up a small run of PVC so certain machines could be permanently hooked up, now I can’t even imagine not having a dust collector in my shop.

But there are always different tools that you want or think you need, then there are the tools that you already have but want to upgrade to better ones. Also as already mentioned a router table is a big asset in a woodshop and you can build some very nice ones with the tools you already have.

The main thing is have fun and work safely.

-- Mike

View Chazmania's profile


4 posts in 2811 days

#14 posted 07-25-2009 06:00 PM

When I was in the situation (garage workshop), I bought a router table. I have been happy with it, and would suggest the same.

Still, dust collection would be a wise investment at this phase. I’ve made do with excellent dust masks/respirators but they do get tiresome. Not that I’d necessarily abandon them with dust collection…

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3192 days

#15 posted 07-25-2009 06:52 PM

Go to my workshop and forum “New Shop Equipment & floor plan”. You can see what equipment I have and what I plan on buying yet. I would say up grade table saw or dust collection, band saw or jointer, router table, spindle/edge sander, drill press and a planer sooner if you plan on buying solid stock in larger quanities (100+ bd ft) at one time. Everybody well have many different ideas but here is my thoughts. Good luck on equiping your new shop.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

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