LumberJocks

Essential equipment for a basic shop?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by Gavel posted 1810 days ago 4978 views 1 time favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Gavel's profile

Gavel

6 posts in 1811 days


1810 days ago

My “shop” so far consists of a cheap table saw, handheld drill, random orbital sander, circular saw, and a hand router. I’ve also got a decent set of Marples chisels.

I’m trying to decide what to get next. I think the hand router and hand drill will go for now, so I’m leaning towards a miter saw/chop saw, though I’ve been watching Woodsmith Shop and they say the router table/drill press are the other two key components.

Any opinions?

-- "If we do not lay out ourselves in the service of mankind, whom should we serve?" -John Adams


17 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2251 days


#1 posted 1810 days ago

sharpening equipment? quality squares? marking knife? I would go for those first as ‘essentials’ , anything else can be improvised/figured out.

I find my drill press is getting ALOT of use, from roughing up mortises, to installing hardware, precision holes, etc. and I don’t have a chopsaw/mitersaw – I use my table saw with a miter gauge for those (or circular saw for panels)

router table is also a fantastic thing to have, mine got ruined in a flood, and will be replaced soon once I get the time for it – still … before I’ll ever get a mitersaw

but thats just me. I find those other machines more versatile and useful.

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

View Gavel's profile

Gavel

6 posts in 1811 days


#2 posted 1810 days ago

Oh yes. I do have a very nice combination square, a T-square, a handful of clamps, and some other stuff I bought off craigsilst in a kit – a bench plane, a sharpening stone, a marking gauge, and a bunch of other stuff I don’t know how to use. :)

-- "If we do not lay out ourselves in the service of mankind, whom should we serve?" -John Adams

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2697 posts in 1888 days


#3 posted 1810 days ago

Gavel, I guess I usually answer these questions with—-What kind of woodworking do you want to do? There is no pat answer in how to equip a shop. If all you want to do is to turn pens, then a lathe would be in order. If you want to put up crown moulding, then you need a miter saw. Boxes, maybe a band saw or router table. I’m just trying to make a point that the more we know, the more we can help you, and we would love to do just that.

Good luck!

-- She thought I hung the moon--now she just thinks I did it wrong

View rwyoung's profile

rwyoung

369 posts in 2074 days


#4 posted 1810 days ago

Some random thoughts:

A workbench is a tool. Consider building yourself a good one. Doesn’t have to be an uber fancy Roubo. But something that is solid, flat, clamp & vice friendly will take you a long way.

Cheap table saw – take a very close look at it and consider the kinds of projects you have in mind. If the cheapness of the saw is going to cause problems or safety issues, consider replacing it first. Otherwise look at tricking it out a little bit with maybe a good combination blade (Freud, Forrest, etc), make or buy some zero clearance inserts. Consider a 6” or 8” (smaller if the saw lacks the guts) stack dado set. Build a miter sled and maybe a tall fence. Now you are set to do a lot of basic joinery on the TS.

Get a drill press, even a small 2-1/2” quill benchtop model will take you a long way. I bought one years ago and while it has it limitations, I’ve yet to find a solid reason to replace it.

A router table really expands the horizon for your router. Build your own, it is a good skill-builder project.

Otherwise I’d suggest you think about the kinds of projects you want to build. Then research them keeping an eye on the types of joinery and woods involved. Use those as your guide for selecting tools.

And you can never have enough clamps.

-- Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 2917 days


#5 posted 1810 days ago

wood! A shop with out wood is just a tool collection.

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5369 posts in 1978 days


#6 posted 1809 days ago

Everyone has their own method of doing things. Even a cheap TS is capable of crosscuts…you could build a crosscut sled to improve accuracy and safety too….a good TS is important to me, but is something I’d look to replace after getting a few more tools. I rarely use my CMS except for very long pieces of molding, so I’m not seeing that a CMS will add any capability that you don’t already have.

A couple of thoughts:
- A bandsaw or jigsaw will give you the capability to cut curves.
- A router in router table is extremely versatile. (how’s your router bit selection?)
- A workbench or good work surface is a great addition
- A planer would give you some great new capability and a lot more flexibility with what materials you use
- A DP can double as a drum sander
- A basic $20 pocket hole jig will is also a great addition
- Clamps…always a need (the Harbor Freight Pittsburg bar clamps are a super deal on sale)

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

View JoshO's profile

JoshO

48 posts in 2003 days


#7 posted 1809 days ago

lol – right now as it is looking, I have more of the tool collection rather than a shop as defined by Dennis.

I would recommend a heavy duty router with both a fixed base (for a router table) and plunge style.

-- What do you mean it's square? How did that happen?

View Beginningwoodworker's profile

Beginningwoodworker

13337 posts in 2275 days


#8 posted 1809 days ago

I problemly would get a drill press, thickness planer, jig saw, or bandsaw.

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View huff's profile

huff

2786 posts in 1887 days


#9 posted 1809 days ago

I agree with Kent, It really depends on what kind of woodworking you would like to do or learn. and I like Dennis’s suggestion. Wood is always a good place to start. lol

-- John @ http://www.thehuffordfurnituregroup.com

View BeachedBones's profile

BeachedBones

201 posts in 2004 days


#10 posted 1809 days ago

For me the most frequently used power tools are, in order of use 1) table saw 2) miter saw 3) drill press 4) jointer 5) planer 6) bandsaw 7) router /router table.

Best bet is think of what project you want/need to do next, and figure out which new tool is most important to that project.

-- You know.... I think that old wood needs to be furniture.

View GFYS's profile

GFYS

711 posts in 2073 days


#11 posted 1809 days ago

Depends on what you are going to build. I have been building cabinets and doing trim and furniture for a long time and still dont own a band saw or a drill press. I’d like to own them but haven’t needed them. I think you need a spindle/belt sander

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112000 posts in 2179 days


#12 posted 1801 days ago

I think a chop saw is a great Idea.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View kcrandy's profile

kcrandy

285 posts in 2034 days


#13 posted 1801 days ago

This is a great discussion because I face the same dilemma. I’m nearing retirement and what I want to do is more woodworking and the project I want to work on are built ins for my home built in 1926. These would be bookshelves, a sofa for a sun room and attic remodeling. I now have table saw, miter saw, and skill saw as power tools and wonder what else I should have.

-- Caulk and paint are a poor carpenter's best friends

View mikedddd's profile

mikedddd

145 posts in 1832 days


#14 posted 1801 days ago

If you already have a workbench, then I would recommend a band saw. Unless you plan on working with sheet goods a lot,if so stop reading; it’s the most versatile saw in my shop. Then a jointer, planer, router table, drill press, maybe upgrade your table saw, more hand tools, crosscut sled and dado set, for your new table saw, and if you think you need on a miter saw.

-- Mike

View DaleM's profile

DaleM

902 posts in 1986 days


#15 posted 1801 days ago

I would focus on learning to sharpen your handtools while you figure out what it is you want to make. As you are making whatever it is, if you come across something that you can’t do with any of the tools you have or that would make it so much easier, that is the tool you need.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

showing 1 through 15 of 17 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

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase