Beginner Looking for advice - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 03-12-2018, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
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Beginner Looking for advice

Hello all,

I am new to the forum and new to woodworking in general, and I have a few questions that I hope you all can help me with. My wife bought me a circular saw and a Worx Table (Model number WX051). This has naturally gotten me interested in the whole woodworking area. I actually went out and bought a Porter Cable fixed base/plunge router combo kit. After looking at a lot of online articles and videos, I realized two things. First, I should have hung out more with my dad when I was younger when he tried to show me how to use tools, build things, and worked on cars instead running run playing with friends. Secondly, there is a ton of info out there that actually confuses me even more. So long story short, here is what I am trying to get established. As previously mentioned, I have the saw, router, and Worx table. Here is what I am trying add to my collection. The next items I would like to purchase are: Jigsaw, Miter Saw, Table Saw, and a nail gun. I would like to also have stands or a workstation for these items (such as router table, table for a miter saw, etc). As far as the tools go, I would like to get a very capable and practical tool. So basically, I don't need a professional level tool because I will not be building homes and things like that, plus the prices for these advanced tools are really out of my range. At the same, I do not want a tool that is underpowered as I do intend to improve my skill at using these tools and would not want to repurchase a more powerful tool. Balance is what I am look. As for the workstation/stands, what I am looking for is a stand/bench/station that would maximize the space in my garage. Basically, I wouldn't want to have 10 different workstands in my garage. Again, I am looking for balance in terms of being practical and price. I hope I didn't confuse you too bad as I am just looking for a little assistance. Again, read a lot of articles and there are just way too many options. Last but not least, if I can get away with a miter saw instead of a table saw or vice versa I would like that too since that is one less tool to purchase. If it helps, some of the things I am looking to do is to learn general woodworking (hopefully becoming good at it), make my wife household items (i.e. patio furniture), and general household items.

Thanks in advance,
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post #2 of 16 Old 03-12-2018, 10:04 PM
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To get this started, what size shop area do you have?
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post #3 of 16 Old 03-12-2018, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
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I have a 2 car garage. Right now, we do park both vehicles in there. However, I can leave mine out and use that space for my work space. It's relatively roomy.
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post #4 of 16 Old 03-12-2018, 10:57 PM
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Also, what kind of projects do you want to make first?

In my opinion it's a better idea to buy tools as you need them rather than just buying a bunch without having a use for them.
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post #5 of 16 Old 03-12-2018, 11:21 PM Thread Starter
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Good point! That is my normal approach to purchasing items in general. Just got overwhelmed with excitement at the thought of getting my hands dirty. Initially, I would like to make a patio sectional sofa and a flower bed for the wife. Followed by some trophy holders for the boy's room, then maybe written signs for the mancave. Just beginner type things since I am just starting. Depending on the level of frustration during these endeavors will determine where I go from there.
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post #6 of 16 Old 03-13-2018, 12:28 AM
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You can build a lot of stuff with a circular saw and a drill, and maybe a few jigs. The tools are really secondary. If you learn woodworking there are several ways to do most things. Pick a project and build it, buy only what you need.
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post #7 of 16 Old 03-13-2018, 12:59 AM Thread Starter
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I think that's what I'll do. Buy on a needed basis. Seems logical to me. Thanks for the help everyone!!!
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post #8 of 16 Old 03-13-2018, 06:02 AM
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Another thing is it makes a difference what tools you buy is whether they can be left in place and not put away every time your done. (so you can park your car in the garage again). You would want for instance a table say with casters on it to get it out of the way when not needed. If you had a dedicated area then bigger heaver tools can have a perminate spot.

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post #9 of 16 Old 03-13-2018, 08:57 AM
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You will need a credit card with a high limit.

A diamond is how coal reacts under pressure.
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post #10 of 16 Old 03-13-2018, 09:08 AM
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The guys are really giving you solid advice. Buy as you need it, also my addition is look for QUALITY over quantity. Also if you live in the States I recommend Craigslist to buy some if not all your tools, great bargains to be had. One of my favorite Youtube creators(Chad Stanton) says buy one new tool for each project and you will have a shop thats well stocked in no time.

This is a link to his channel.https://www.youtube.com/user/BigChopperoo
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post #11 of 16 Old 03-13-2018, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cchilds1976 View Post
Hello all,

I am new to the forum and new to woodworking in general, and I have a few questions that I hope you all can help me with.

My wife bought me a circular saw and a Worx Table (Model number WX051). This has naturally gotten me interested in the whole woodworking area. I actually went out and bought a Porter Cable fixed base/plunge router combo kit

. After looking at a lot of online articles and videos, I realized two things. First, I should have hung out more with my dad when I was younger when he tried to show me how to use tools, build things, and worked on cars instead running run playing with friends. Secondly, there is a ton of info out there that actually confuses me even more.

So long story short, here is what I am trying to get established. As previously mentioned, I have the saw, router, and Worx table. Here is what I am trying add to my collection. The next items I would like to purchase are: Jigsaw, Miter Saw, Table Saw, and a nail gun. I would like to also have stands or a workstation for these items (such as router table, table for a miter saw, etc).

As far as the tools go, I would like to get a very capable and practical tool. So basically, I don't need a professional level tool because I will not be building homes and things like that, plus the prices for these advanced tools are really out of my range. At the same, I do not want a tool that is underpowered as I do intend to improve my skill at using these tools and would not want to repurchase a more powerful tool. Balance is what I am look

. As for the workstation/stands, what I am looking for is a stand/bench/station that would maximize the space in my garage. Basically, I wouldn't want to have 10 different workstands in my garage. Again, I am looking for balance in terms of being practical and price.

I hope I didn't confuse you too bad as I am just looking for a little assistance. Again, read a lot of articles and there are just way too many options.

Last but not least, if I can get away with a miter saw instead of a table saw or vice versa I would like that too since that is one less tool to purchase. If it helps, some of the things I am looking to do is to learn general woodworking (hopefully becoming good at it), make my wife household items (i.e. patio furniture), and general household items.

Thanks in advance,
Welcome to the forum. I have broken down your huge paragraph so that it will be easier for people to read and understand what you need.

George
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post #12 of 16 Old 03-13-2018, 12:31 PM
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You have gotten great advice above, from experienced people who know what they are talking about. I am a newbie, too. I got a table saw about a year ago, and things took off from there. Here are my suggestions:

* SAFETY COMES FIRST!!
Budget for:
Eye Protection
Hearing Protection
Dust Masks (and filters if you are using chemicals!).

The problem with safety equipment is that other than eye protection, nothing is likely to harm you right away. You can breathe the dust and work around those loud sounds for a while and not notice the bad effects. Only later do the breathing problems, the cancer, and the deafness appear. Start with SAFETY FIRST NOW!

* Buy Tools As You Need Them.
I agree with the others, buy tools as you need them. You can get by with power hand tools for a while. You can build amazingly good projects with them with careful use. The issue isn't entirely about quality, the big shop tools improve your productivity more than affect quality.

* Consider Buying Used Tools, Which Can Sometimes Be Better than New.
Consider buying used power tools, especially the larger ones. Used tools often come with many accessories - blades, jigs, and those costs add up. Old, American-made tools can be far superior to their modern counterparts, made from heavy cast iron instead of aluminum and plastic. Buy used tools in very good working condition. Take the time to learn what to look for (and especially common problems to detect and avoid). I have a mixture of used and new tools. My bandsaw was made years before I was born, and it is more solid than anything you can buy today.

* Plan on Making Your Big Tools Mobile.
If you are working out of your garage, plan on putting your large tools (and maybe your workbench) on casters, so you can move them around. Casters and stands add to your costs; budget for them. You can buy rolling supports or make them. I have a combination of both. I wheel my tools from the garage to the patio in back, where I work. (I have a back door, so it isn't far.) Working outside means that I don't have serious dust accumulations in the garage, which is a huge benefit, especially for my spouse's car. Even though I work mostly outside the garage, I still wear a dust mask and connect a cyclone/shop vac to the tools whenever I work. (Yeah, I wear the eye and ear protection, too. The protections are annoying, but they are so worth it to do what you love to do.)

Some bench size tools are small enough, where you can mount them to boards and clamp them to your workbench, or fit in the expansion space on the table saw that you don't own yet. Small router tables, grinders, and drill presses might fit that description.

In my opinion, some tools need their own stands. You can buy a benchtop table saw, but I would recommend a folding jobsite table saw as smallest effective solution. Table saws are so useful that maybe the space tradeoff is worth it to buy a real contractor or cabinet table saw. Power jointers need long beds to be most effective. I think that planers are too heavy to be practical as a portable tool to lift and move around.

* Quality Consumables (e.g. Blades) Get You More Quality Improvement than Replacing Tools.
The quality of your projects will improve the most through practice and experience, for sure, but ...

... Another thing that I learned is that investing in better quality blades and other consumables may get you more project quality improvement than spending money on a more expensive tool. In other words, you will do much better with a good blade in a decent saw than you will do with a cheap, crappy blade in a top-of-the-line, super-expensive saw. Cheap router bits suck from the start. You won't have to wait until they wear down to get unwelcome burns, chipouts, and other failures. Sure, I buy tools from Harbor Freight, but I would buy their blades only for cutting up waste material for the trash, just so I don't squander my good, expensive blades.

I don't know the condition of your blades, but maybe replacing your circular saw blades with fresh new ones may get you the most quality improvement and value for your money.

* The Public Library Is a Great Resource for Woodworking.
Try the public library to find great books on woodworking. I found and read over 50 books on woodworking from our library. Some of them sucked, but several of them were so good that I bought a copy for my home.
-> One thing that I learned from the books is how much more (and better) I could have done with my handheld smaller tools, such as a circular saw.

* Join Your Local Woodworking Club.
Find and join your local woodworking club. I suspect that most clubs are like mine, where most of the members are very old men. They are incredibly wise and experienced woodworkers, who can give you lots of great advice, especially if you are a patient, good listener.

Join Your Local Woodworking Club as a Source for Great Used Tools!
-> The woodworking club may be your best resource for great used tools at very reasonable prices. Many of the members are aging out and retiring from woodworking. They value their tools and lovingly care for them. They want their tools to go to woodworkers who will love them, care for them, and use them well. Prices are sometimes embarrassingly low. Many of them would rather see their tools in the hands of a dedicated learner than get the highest price from someone who doesn't care. Furthermore, their former owners may be around to answer questions about the tools they sold you.
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Last edited by Tool Agnostic; 03-13-2018 at 12:58 PM.
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post #13 of 16 Old 03-13-2018, 02:08 PM
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I would budget a bit each month for tools you need first then add a few here and there each month always keeping an eye open for craigslist bargains. Hand tools (not electrical powered) probably should be on your list and try to stay away from items that are mass produced now that were once the mainstays of every shop because quite often you can find great old tools still in great shape for a fraction of the price of newer tools that are generally crap now like for example a good quality Stanley #4 plane. The old models made prior to 1970s were and still are great quality and available for cheap on venues like ebay, etc. The newer versions sold for cheap are cheap for a reason..
Good, high quality sharpening stones may be the exception as they're often dished and not very good for sharpening things razor sharp and dead flat when they're old and used although there are exceptions.
The one thing I'd avoid like the plague are the tools sold to claim to do the job of 20 tools. If it slices and dices and does everything you could never do before there's a real good chance they're still not going to do the job and you still won't be able to do the things they claim..
A prime example of the one tool to replace 20 that probably won't be useful for much of anything other than visits to the hospital emergency room..

I figured it's time to change my signature so hold your breath. This is it.
Impressive, huh?

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post #14 of 16 Old 03-13-2018, 06:35 PM Thread Starter
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Again thanks everyone for the posts. All of your advice is very consistent among all of you as well as how I like to approach things, especially when money is involved. Never thought about used items in terms of tools. I just assumed those types of tools would be on its last leg and someone just trying to dump it to make a profit on what's left of said tool. Obviously, I will approach that like buying a used car. I have made up my mind for the first project. It will actually be a rectangle piece of wood with lettering for the mancave. I supposed I may get a little experience with staining as well with this one. All I need to complete this will be to purchase the Letter template for my router. I'm sure you guys could do this with your eyes closed (lol), but it is basic for me and just what I need. Glad I found this site!

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post #15 of 16 Old 03-13-2018, 08:51 PM
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It's a pretty nice place here. Pretty much everybody is more than willing to give advice on anything they can. Longer you stick around the more ya can learn.

"Dreams are stronger than poison and seize more firmly than disease, once captured one can not escape. It's a real curse, but for adventurers who are dedicated to it, body and soul, people without dreams are more frightening than death" (Made in Abyss). The Twenty Seventeen anime of the year, it definitely deserves that award. It's a show you don't expect to throw you off as much as it does. It may be Moe but it's certainly not lighthearted, just the opposite.
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post #16 of 16 Old 03-13-2018, 09:32 PM
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This may make me the consummate pariah, but the best bang for the buck is beyond question a radial arm saw. It can rip, crosscut, dado, rabbet, raise panels, make molding, angles, and on and on.

Radial saws have over the years fallen out of favor. I suppose the safety nannies got scared at one time or another due to poor setups, or not paying attention, or whatever. It's unfortunate in that the tool has so many varied uses, can be safely operated if one will take the time to do so, takes up relatively little space, and is economical to both buy and maintain.

You'll find plenty of naysayers, but look at a RAS carefully and you'll be amazed at its versatility. I have all the saws: table, miter, compound sliding miter, band and scroll, but I still use my radial arm saw more than all the rest of them put together. With its sixteen foot table it's my quickie go-to. I can slam a board on the table, measure it up and crosscut it before I can even unlock the sliding miter saw.

Pile on!
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Another $000,000,000.02 worth of advice,
Mark
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