New to woodworking, want to make sure I don't go down the wrong path - Page 3 - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #41 of 48 Old 03-29-2013, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by LearnByDoing View Post
I do not understand how a thread titled "new to woodworking and don't want to go down wrong path" with a poster asking where he should start winds up with suggestions for spending thousands of dollars on Festool and the like. Unless you have money to burn don't waste money on anything until you've decided what you want to do. Start with a project. Pick one you'll enjoy, you will learn from, and will involve and investment in a minimum amount of tools. You will learn a TON, not only about woodworking but about what tools you like, don't like, or want to buy. But most importanly, you will either fall more deeply for woodworking OR SHOCKER... decide it's not for you. And if the later happens, you didn't waste a ton of money.

I have a buddy who blew about $6500 on a workshop full of used JET tools and other misc. Stuff. He had a fantasy of being a woodworker. Most of that stuff has collected dust in the 4 years he's owned it. Hell, I've used some of the stuff more than him. He didn't even know he had forsner bits, let alone what they were. Now he makes plenty of money so it certainly didn't break him. And he may, one day use them all to their fullest. But until then he could have used that money on other things and taken his time in deciding what he needed and didn't.
Well said.
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post #42 of 48 Old 03-30-2013, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LearnByDoing View Post
I do not understand how a thread titled "new to woodworking and don't want to go down wrong path" with a poster asking where he should start winds up with suggestions for spending thousands of dollars on Festool and the like. Unless you have money to burn don't waste money on anything until you've decided what you want to do. Start with a project. Pick one you'll enjoy, you will learn from, and will involve and investment in a minimum amount of tools. You will learn a TON, not only about woodworking but about what tools you like, don't like, or want to buy. But most importanly, you will either fall more deeply for woodworking OR SHOCKER... decide it's not for you. And if the later happens, you didn't waste a ton of money.

I have a buddy who blew about $6500 on a workshop full of used JET tools and other misc. Stuff. He had a fantasy of being a woodworker. Most of that stuff has collected dust in the 4 years he's owned it. Hell, I've used some of the stuff more than him. He didn't even know he had forsner bits, let alone what they were. Now he makes plenty of money so it certainly didn't break him. And he may, one day use them all to their fullest. But until then he could have used that money on other things and taken his time in deciding what he needed and didn't.
No you are right on the money, he should go out and buy stuff from Harbor Frieght, that way if he doesnt like it he can just hold onto it. Not everyone is an idiot and most people that I know that want to do this LEARN FIRST then buy tools. My explanation of Festools quality was just that, had I to do it again I would of bought the best from the start. Can you get away with hand tools? Sure I do a ton with hand tools still but lets face it most wood shops dont have a lot of hand tools anymore. I have been doing woodworking since I was 11 and my grandfather first got me interested in it. I am now 47 so I think I can say I speak from experience when I say what I say. This is a business for me and not just a hobby so when I tell a newbee something it is never to discourage him but to encourage him/her to learn first and buy the best 2nd. This was my 2nd post on this thread and my first one was on getting an education first, so you just blurting out your rambling about me stating that he should rush out and buy Festool comes on a uneducated eye (in other words you are saying that because you did not see my first post). The fact that your buddy went out and bought $6K worth of Jet tools without knowing what he was buying and was going on the hopes that he would like it was insane but good for him for taking the step in the right direction buying quality so that the resale is high.

I would never suggest to anyone to buy any tools before education. I was trained for 8 years in finish carpentry, plastering, painting, framing, tuck pointing, brick laying, concrete work and more by my grandfather and uncle before I did anything on my own. I had a full grasp of everything when I started my first business. I knew that I did not like brick laying or concrete work but I loved to plaster and I loved woodworking so that is what I followed. I took a love for plaster to the decorative market and started doing decorative painting and Venetian Plaster with woodworking as a hobby that I did every weekend and on down time. I did the decorative painting/plastering for 17 years before I started making mirrors which is now what I have been doing for better then 10 years and I sell mirrors all over the world. I still remember where I got my start and I still remember how grateful I was to my family to give me a chance to work with them so when I suggest to a new comer to the trade that education is the best start (first post) then tell him about the best tools it is to give the person the understanding that once you know how to use them PROPERLY then you should seek out the best tools for what you want to do.

Rob

BELOW ARE SOME PICS OF MY WORK:

Pic 1 = Tuscan Plaster finish
Pic 2 = 18' Long Mirror frame and Antique Mirror that I made for the VIP room in the Hard Rock Cafe' Nashville (2nd floor if you want to go see it)
Pic 3 = Custom Cabinet that I made for a customer along with antique mirror that I made for inserts
Pic 4 & 5 = Custom wood panel that not only did I help build but also did all the finishing on. This is a 12 layer glaze to resemble an old Victorian Pub that the
client had pictures from England of.

This is why I say EDUCATION FIRST then BUY the best 2nd!
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post #43 of 48 Old 03-30-2013, 09:57 AM
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with a poster asking where he should start winds up with suggestions for spending thousands of dollars on Festool
Well the concept of festertool being as waste of money might be correct. After all, he made not one single mention of having a problem with handling a broom and dustpan.

However, I think that the notion that a person ought to "take it easy" and spend his $$ on lesser equipment is error and nothing about the fact of being new to the hobby saves the notion from its error.

Why should a newbie suffer the misery of crappy equipment? Why should his first expenditures be for sub par equipment?

In woodworking machinery you really do get what you pay for.

Buy a hobby class table saw and you get a saw that teaches you , not about woodworking, but how to compensate for crappy engineering and design.

Why should a newbie spend his $$ on that?

Hey~!!! It's a hobby~!! It's not supposed to make sense.
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post #44 of 48 Old 03-30-2013, 10:24 AM
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I totally agree Cliff (not so much about Festool) that buying tools less expensive is the not the right route. Each person here knows best what they can spend on a tool but if your intent is to become a quality woodworker building pieces of quality then Chicago Machinery and Shop tool is NOT the answer! Sure not everyone can afford Festool but that is NOT the only quality option either. I own a 10" Dewalt Miter Saw, 12" sliding Compound miter saw both by Bosch and Craftsman and each one is set up for a differnt funtion and to cut a different wood. Dewalt, Ridgid, Craftsman all make a nice table saw for around $500 I own a Dewalt for working on my houses and own a Steel City Cabinet saw in my shop. For larger projects and cutting sheet goods I prefer my panel saw over my table saw as it is a 1 man operation but that is a heavy investment that the normal woodworker would use a lot less and where a table saw can do the same thing with a helper or an outfeed table. I guess what I am saying is that no you do not have to buy the most expensive tools to fill your shop but there is many opportunities to go to places like Rockler, Woodcraft, Kreg, Woodmaster and so on and try the tools first hand before you buy them. I am pretty impulsive and buy at a drop of a hat if I can see the benefit for my shop however I do know that not everyone can do that and believe me I was there.
I still say education before tools. If you take a class at a place like Marc Adams it only cost you about $1000-1200 including lodging but at the end of one of his classes you will have the knowledge to either move forward or decide it is not for you. Personally I think anyone not very good at math should swing to a different profession as everything in carpentry is math of some sort and more then the cost of tools, the cost of cut incorrectly wood can be more expensive.

Some of the things that a new comer to woodworking have to figure out is not only how to do it, but where to do it, what are the right tools for any project, cost of materials to make that item amoung many more. I have gone to the mill and bought $3000 worth of lumber to make moldings and sat in my truck going over the cost wondering what the hell I just did. To be serious about woodworking as a hobby you have to be semi dedicated to getting the right tools but to make a living at it you have to really have a grasp of the cost, because if you think that tools are your only cost that is only where it first begins. Hell I did my business when I first started with limited hand tools (hammers, planes, nail sets, nail pouch, hand saws and the only power tools that I owned was a circular saw. There is no shame in that, in fact I think that may be a great start for a beginner but even with hand tools you need to buy ones of quality. I own about 25 nailers which do about everything that you need but like my hammer much better. I wont put cedar clapboards on a house with a pneumatic nailer because I like to hand nail them. Woodworking, carpentry and finish carpentry can be fun if you have the knowledge to take the steps.

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post #45 of 48 Old 03-30-2013, 10:38 AM
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it's about the budget!

Quote:
Originally Posted by leros View Post
I'm new to woodworking, so I'm starting out with virtually no tools. I'm hoping to get some help with building my tool collection while also not wasting money on unnecessary things. I think I could very easily spend too much money getting started.

I have cheap non-woodworking hand tools. I also have a Rigid 15" drill press and a Craftsman 10" bandsaw. These were bought before I had a real interest in wood working. I'm pretty much starting from scratch.

I'm still not sure if I want to go the hand tool or power tool route. I think I'd prefer the power tool route, because I have limited time and it seems like I may be able to get more done this route. On the other hand, I'm a night owl and can't run power tools at night due to noise so hand tools have the advantage there.

The basic things I think I'm lacking right now are
1) a way to joint and plane wood
2) a way to make straight accurate cuts

I'm thinking about spending a bit of money just to get tools that enable me to start being able to do things. I've been thinking about getting the Rigid 4512 table saw and the Jet 10" jointer/planer. This is about $1000, which is a significant amount of money.

1) Is it a good idea to spend that sort of money to get started? I just want to get some tools that enable me to start doing stuff.

.

As you can see, I really don't have a good grounding as to how to get started buying tools. Could really use some advice from you guys. Thanks

OK, he's starting out, probably not going to use power tools too much except weekends, and to him $1000.00 is a lot of money.

Festool and other power tools are not affordable or practical for the OP at this time, so those recommendations won't apply.
He did mention a jointer/planer combo unit, a power tool, but that particular unit is not highly recommended anyway. So where should he start?

My vote is for a used cast iron table saw, contractor type Craftstman, Ridid or Delta which will work on a budget and is what I started on 50 years ago and used it for 40 years improving the fence over the years.
I had a Millers Falls 14" hand plane for those beginning years, but I knew nothing about it's care or sharpening. I made it work until I got a 6" Craftsman jointer.... which I also knew nothing about it's set up or sharpening. I learned by doing as the saying goes.
I also didn't know that to cut a board safely on the table saw, it should be flat on the bottom, and have one straight edge against the fence...I had a few kickbacks.
I used mostly plywood and 1 x material from the lumber yard and didn't know how to sight down a board for curves and cups.
My stuff didn't always turn out that well. My first commission was about 9 huge plywood bases, plinths, for a gallery in Chicago. I made the stuff in my living room, using a circular saw and the above mentioned table saw, in a rented apartment, but it all worked out OK. I went on to study Industrial Design, taught briefly, and worked at GM Design for 30 years using the skills I learned on my own and those acquired at the University. As I got better and made more money, I upgraded my tools.
I still used the 1960's Craftsman 10" table saw, but acquired 2 12" ones which I ultimately ganged together to form one large table and even that one grew to a total of 3 saws recently.... total investment about $1500.00 I'm not a professional cabinet maker although I would put my set up against others costing thousands more. I don't like changing blades, so there is a rip on saw no. 1 and a crosscut blade in saw no. 2 and a dado head in the saw no. 3. All 3 saws have fences are Unisaw by Delta.
So you can do it on a budget.

I also have a production 12" Powermatic 5 HP if needed.... $3500.00. I haven't needed it in years.
I also acquired several, more used 6" jointers, a new 8" Grizzly $750.00, and a Min Max 13" jointer/planer combo $2600.00, which mostly sits idle, so you can spend money on things you don't really need.

So, whadda Ya wanna do? Make cabinets? Furniture? crafts stuff? yard stuff? just putz around? learn some basic skills?
You hafta decide which path you are goin' down, then it will make more sense which tools to acquire and how much to spend on them.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 03-30-2013 at 10:41 AM.
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post #46 of 48 Old 03-30-2013, 07:39 PM
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Welcome Leros :)
I see you ginned up a good discussion here, well done.
I know you are not nearby, but this saw was the first thing I spotted in CL
http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/tls/3713538264.html
100 bucks.
It can be tuned up, a couple of good blades for another 100 or so, and you are in business.
Basic miter saw is the same. 100 does not buy much new, but can go far used.
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post #47 of 48 Old 03-31-2013, 04:41 PM
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(not so much about Festool)
lol

I pick on Festertool all the time. It started with me at a show. I went to the Festertool booth and asked about their big router ( I was router shopping and I wanted a big dog router). The guy told me all sorts of things about how their router was so much better than ay other router on planet earth. None of it made much sense. He was unable to talk about bearing classes, roller or ball diameters, what the pre-lube was, or whether the windings on the motor were OFHC copper or just plain old regular copper, the grade of the carbon bushings. You know all the sorts of things that make a rotating spinning or recirculating electric device different?

In short he could tell me nothing about the brand, or the specific router, that justified the astonishing price tag beyond the usual sales puffery. I got it that they have good QC. So does Bosch and Milwaukee. So where was the big deal difference? I mean besides the three months of vacation and short work days that Euro workers got. Besides that, what exactly would I be paying for?

Anyway I decided to give the brand a try. After all Any company that could charge an arm and a leg to make a cutter go round and round and STILL manage to inspire almost psychotic zelous loyalty in their customers more dedicated than even than the Paulie Girls who go out every 4 years and slather Ron Paul Bumper stickers 2" thick on every unguarded surface - yah they are more devoted than them - - so I was thinking I just had to find out what all the BuZzZ was.

So I asked the Festertool booth guy about a show price - what was it? It didn't really matter though, I'd already made my mind up I was going to get one.
Except that when he heard the question he nearly turned six shades of green blue and pink. SHOW PRICE???????~!!!!!! WTF!!!!!!!?? NO BODY ASKS FESTERTTOOL FOR A SHOW PRICE~!!!!
He went from sales geek to completely snotty and condescending and insulting How Friggin dare I make such an inquiry?

Well I didn't take his crap for very long before I gave him as good as he got and left him picking up his router off the floor.

And that was the end of my love affair with Festertool where I'm sure that they may make fine equipment, but almost a thousand dollars for a router isn't buying a router worth a grand, but rather some spendy Euro Worker's Vacation.


Of course the caveat here is that I have no ownership experience with the brand. So nuthin I say about the tool quality is based on experience. But then, I don't speak to their quality other than to say that I'm sure they are fine. I won't have any experience with them either unless Old Uncle Horace the woodworker dies and leaves me some festertool equipment, But I don't have an uncle and I ain't buying any.

Hey~!!! It's a hobby~!! It's not supposed to make sense.
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post #48 of 48 Old 04-01-2013, 08:49 AM
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Cliff,

All I can say is your one funny guy!

I never ran into them at a booth, I had a friend show me the Kepex system which is there compound miter saw. I laughed at first thinking how is a little bit bigger then a 10" miter saw going to do anything that my 12" Bosch cant? Well in about 5 minutes I saw what I was missing. That little saw can take a bite almost as big with about 20 functions that most saws never thought of. The attention to detail of what most saws are missing Festool has figured out and to remind you they are there to use, they are GREEN. You know what they say, "Back up what you hack up" and Festool can. Now I personally have not used Festool's router system, my buddy has it but I refuse to look at it because I like Triton routers (I own 3) and for a router table I have Kreg (which I love everything Kreg). Festools system may be superior but with Kreg I have attachments like the beaded face frame attachment which I use quite a bit and really like. In part I agree with you on Festools stupid ass way of saying I am so damn good that you will buy me no matter the cost and I guess that if they couldnt back it up I would of sold out. The crazy thing is that new or used the tool sells for almost the same price. I will be really honest about something though, I do not use my Festool Kapex for cutting 2x4's (my buddy does), I only use it for finish carpentry where I have precise cuts to make, my other saws do alot of my work. I dont know why and my buddy is always laughing at me but I like all my saws and to me they all have a purpose.
Personally I can only speak of the Kapex and UGG (stand) and wing set up, the TS55 which is there track saw (blows the competition away) and the domino BUT I still use my Freud biscuit joiner as well. What I will say is can you get away with never buying Festool but if your plan is doing that NEVER USE ONE! Once you use one (not just watch a demo - anyone will buy a ginsu knife if demo'd) you will be buying one. At that point God help your pocket book! No matter how many tools that you have, no matter what you do with them if you see another cool tool you will end out buying them and finding a use for them.

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