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Blog entry by whitegoodman posted 06-03-2013 06:51 AM 1414 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have a small shop and a small budget, so as I slowly grow my shop I have finally came to the topic of jointery and furniture making so I have my list narrowed down to purchasing the Incra iBox and a nice dado blade (suggestions on blades gladly appreciated) or a nice router and router table set up or keep saving up for a grizzly bandsaw. any and all suggestions welcomed

10 comments so far

View SPalm's profile


5321 posts in 3938 days

#1 posted 06-03-2013 12:27 PM

Hey, welcome to LJs.
Hard to know where to start.

If you are budget minded, stay away from Incra. That can come later.
Buy a medium duty router and build a RT with a board and a hole through it clamped to your workbench.
Dado blades are nice when they are quality. Get a good set or just postpone and use your new router.
Bandsaws are nice. Don’t buy less than a 14 inch or you will buy again. Keep checking Craigslist.
I worked for years with just a Tablesaw and a router. Your can build a lot of stuff with those two.

You could always go the hand tool route. Buy some handsaws, planes, and chisels. Not my cup of tea, but a lot of people love the serenity of this. It can be expensive this way too if you don’t have a plan.

So much to do, best to pick a project first and buy tools to make it.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3341 days

#2 posted 06-03-2013 01:04 PM

I have to follow along Steve’s train of thought.

I’ve heard woodworkers that rave about a certain tool (a must have for your shop!) and I’ve never used one, so I’m not sure if I should feel stupid because I don’t build that way or I should be proud of the fact I really don’t need that tool to do my type of woodworking.

Re-read Steve’s; that’s just all around good advice.

Have fun and good luck.

BTW; welcome to LJ’s

-- John @

View Woodknack's profile (online now)


12087 posts in 2436 days

#3 posted 06-03-2013 05:47 PM

What you need is based on what you build and if you want to build furniture then I don’t see an ibox being especially useful.

-- Rick M,

View SebringDon's profile


95 posts in 1996 days

#4 posted 06-03-2013 06:15 PM

The easiest way to know what tool to buy next is to decide the next thing you plan to build. That’ll tell you what tools you need to buy to complete the project that you don’t already have.

Don’t buy a tool for the sake of having it. Buy it when you need it. Otherwise it’s easy to end up with a shop so full there’s no room for wood. :D

-- Don

View whitegoodman's profile


7 posts in 1875 days

#5 posted 06-03-2013 06:21 PM

Thank you all for your suggestions they are all greatly greatly accepted, so the clear choice for now is a RT, any suggestions on building it, weather or not I should make a rougher lift or buy one, and what kind of accessoriesshod I out fit it with, and most importantly the router its self. Thank you everybody so much.

View Buckethead's profile


3194 posts in 1925 days

#6 posted 06-03-2013 08:15 PM

I share you fascination with the I box. It’s one of those toys I’m going to get after I get a news table saw. I am still torn on which to do first: purchase a track saw (and which one) or buy the sawstop TS.

I have decided to do both, but that is expensive. I am a professional carpenter, but not a professional master woodworker. Fine joinery will be a hobby for me.

So what the heck Boxes won’t be my thing, but box joints need to be a part of my repertoire. So Incra will get a few federal reserve notes from me.

I like fancy jigs. :-)

But then again… I just took my first visit to woodcrafters. I could have spent 20 grand in there just “getting started”.

There is also joy to be found in perfecting your own jigs. I have seen more than one tutorial for a box joint jig and they look fairly straightforward.

I will say this. I just met zebra wood in person for the first time. I think I really like her.

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

View rhett's profile


742 posts in 3724 days

#7 posted 06-03-2013 11:41 PM

Find a copy of “The Complete Illustrated Guide to Joinery”. I believe Gary Rogowski is the author. It will show you how to make almost every wood joint, multiple ways with multiple tools.

Buy the basics then worry about specialized tooling and jigs.

To produce tight joints, you must first be able to produce flat and square stock.

Be Good

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View firefighterontheside's profile


18553 posts in 1913 days

#8 posted 06-04-2013 12:17 AM

I build furniture for money and have for some time. My main tools are tablesaw, miter saw,router with plunge base and fixed mounted under a table, portable thickness planer, biscuit cutter, jig saw, circular saw, drills, bench drill press, random orbit sander. There are other tools that I would like and will get some day, but don’t really need.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2746 days

#9 posted 06-04-2013 01:09 AM

I want an I Box but my shop made jigs cut perfect box joints so it will remain in the “want” as opposed to “need” category for now.

You can build a very nice and functional router table for very little money. Mine has served me well for years and cost almost nothing. (see my blog if you want to build your own)

So that leaves the bandsaw at the top of the list. I have the 17” Grizzly Extreme Series and highly recommend it.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View DocSavage45's profile


8643 posts in 2899 days

#10 posted 06-05-2013 04:11 PM

I have a Freud Dado set and one from Harbor Freight. The chippers on the HF set are not as smooth, but the price was great. There are several good books on joinery and you can watch Andyboy’s video. If you check out Amazon you can find the books and reviews.

A really good set of chisels?

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

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