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post #1 of 47 Old 02-28-2013, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
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Workshop Essentials?

I have been building my workshop over the years and am curious for some expert opinions on where to spend my money. I currently have:

10" Dewalt Portable Table Saw
10" Ryobi Miter Saw
Palmgren Benchtop Drill Press w/ x/y table
Kreg Router Table with Porter Cable Router
Bosch Plunge Router
Bosch Palm Router
Makita Barrel Grip Jig Saw
Makita Palm Sander
Rockwell Oscillating Tool
Dewalt Angle Grinder
Dewalt Benchtop Grinder
Makita 18 V Drill/Impact

I am debating on replacing some of these things with better equipment or buying equipment I do not have. Things I was debating replacing are the table saw and miter saw. Things I was considering buying are band saw, scroll saw, planer or jointer.

I am in small production and want to make my work as efficient as possible. Please give me feedback on my best investments for a good efficient shop.

P.S. I do spend a lot of time in cleanup using a shop vac. So maybe even a better vacuum system.

Thanks in advance

Thanks, Dan
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post #2 of 47 Old 02-28-2013, 01:01 PM
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get the planer, the joiner, and the bandsaw. As far as replacing what you have, are you happy with the way that they perform and are they able to handle the tasks that they are meant for? If so don't fix what ain't broke.

"Courage is not knowing about when to take a life, but knowing when to spare it."
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post #3 of 47 Old 02-28-2013, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
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I have some limitations with the table saw and the miter saw. Both prevent cutting larger pieces accurately.

Thanks, Dan
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post #4 of 47 Old 02-28-2013, 01:11 PM
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Hmm then if you have the cash you'd better get bigger ones... send your table saw to me I'm having trouble with mine lol

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post #5 of 47 Old 02-28-2013, 01:15 PM
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Bandsaw. It's extremely versatile. Dust collector. I'd upgrade the table saw before getting a jointer and planer.
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post #6 of 47 Old 02-28-2013, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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Sounds like a better table saw may be the way to go.

Of the band saw, planer and jointer, which first?

Also, the reason I bought the table saw a bought was because I liked the racket & pinion fence. I grew up watching my dad take an hour to set the fence parallel. Do newer saws have fences that self square or do you need to take the time to square it?

I have never used a band saw. I understand they do not cut straight. If that is true what makes them valuable? Seems like a straight cut is kind of important.

Thanks, Dan
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post #7 of 47 Old 02-28-2013, 01:29 PM
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I have a little benchtop 8" Ryobi bandsaw. I can do the roughouts for 90% of my wood carvings. Rip all sort of lumber and veneers. Yes, they do cut straight, at least mine does with a sharp blade.
Cut all sorts of curves. Insanely sensitive to a dull blade (wanders),
so I keep a couple of spares. Nothing fancy, Vermont American, whatever I can get in the local hardware store (only one in the village.)
BUT. It is just 8" from the blade to the column. I can't cut any more than maybe 2.5" thick.
What would I replace it with? A 12" or 14" floor model that can cut an honest 4" thickness.
= = =
The 10" miter saw, router, scroll saw, drill press, they're all fine.
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post #8 of 47 Old 02-28-2013, 01:32 PM
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Get a good table saw, and a jointer becomes obsolete. My order, TS, BS, then if you truly think you need on get a planer. Just my .02
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post #9 of 47 Old 02-28-2013, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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How much is a good table saw? Not knowing that much, I think I tend to spend too much just to make sure I am covered. I don't want to spend too little and regret it.

Thanks, Dan
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post #10 of 47 Old 02-28-2013, 01:48 PM
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I bought a PM66 with bisemeyer fence, brand new 5hp motor for $1400. But that's what I had always wanted. You can get something like grizzly for prob cheaper
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post #11 of 47 Old 02-28-2013, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcoledc View Post
How much is a good table saw? Not knowing that much, I think I tend to spend too much just to make sure I am covered. I don't want to spend too little and regret it.
This is a loaded question that may require an entire forum, and you will still get multiple opinions.
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post #12 of 47 Old 02-28-2013, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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I guess the most important thing for me is accuracy. Is accuracy mostly in the fence?

Again, I bought the Dewalt b/c it squared itself. If I go to Lowes and buy the best they have there, is that going to be enough? Or do I need to go online for something good. I frequently see tables in videos with the Biesmeyer fences. Is that overkill for small shop or is it worth the investment? Again I am not entirely sure where to focus.

Thanks, Dan
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post #13 of 47 Old 02-28-2013, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcoledc View Post
Sounds like a better table saw may be the way to go.

Of the band saw, planer and jointer, which first?

Also, the reason I bought the table saw a bought was because I liked the racket & pinion fence. I grew up watching my dad take an hour to set the fence parallel. Do newer saws have fences that self square or do you need to take the time to square it?

I have never used a band saw. I understand they do not cut straight. If that is true what makes them valuable? Seems like a straight cut is kind of important.
The bandsaw can do straight cuts such as resawing a board in half. However the ability to cut curves makes it a great compliment to a table saw in your shop.

Look at the Ridgid contractor saw at Home Depot. That is a good saw for home hobbiests. You might also find a decent used cabinet saw in that price range on Craigs List.

If you are going to start working with rough cut lumber and hard woods then you will need a jointer and planer. They work together and while there are techniques to do without one or the other my recommendation would be to get both when you are ready. At used prices that's doable.
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post #14 of 47 Old 02-28-2013, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcoledc View Post
Sounds like a better table saw may be the way to go.

Of the band saw, planer and jointer, which first?

Also, the reason I bought the table saw a bought was because I liked the racket & pinion fence. I grew up watching my dad take an hour to set the fence parallel. Do newer saws have fences that self square or do you need to take the time to square it?

I have never used a band saw. I understand they do not cut straight. If that is true what makes them valuable? Seems like a straight cut is kind of important.
Honestly bud I named those three because those are the ones that I need also lol. Also I go over to a friends place and use his planer a lot. I have never used a joiner though. but All are useful and I think other than a table saw the planer and jointer would be before a bandsaw... Also as far as a scroll saw around here you can pick one up at a pawn shop for $30

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post #15 of 47 Old 02-28-2013, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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I have had the Grizzly 14" band saw on my list for awhile. Again, I don't want overkill. I realize this is not top of the line, but it sure isn't a couple hundred from Home Depot or Lowes.

Thanks, Dan
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post #16 of 47 Old 02-28-2013, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
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I would rather spend the money on something good, than regret going cheap later. I just don't want to overkill. I am not large scale production, but I am a bit of a perfectionist.

It sounds like from this discussion, I should go first with a better table saw and then a bandsaw. Who agrees?

Thanks, Dan
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post #17 of 47 Old 02-28-2013, 02:09 PM
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If you are looking for a true cabinet saw, a lot of folks like the Sawstop for its quality and blade safety feature...but, to save a finger you lose an arm and a leg at the checkout counter. Powermatic makes a great saw, and I heard the Unisaws are great too. Better have 220v in the shop though. Although, Sawstop makes a 1 3/4 hp 110v model. Figure on anywhere from $2500 to $3500. For a good hybrid saw, look more for features and less at name brands. The key features are type of fence, location of trunions (cabinet mounted very preferrable but harder to find), and motor type/size. Budget $600 to $1500. For a more portable saw, Bosch gets consistently good marks on its 4100-09 saw, around $800. Any TS becomes a lot better with a proper alignnent (which is why cabinet mounted trunions are preferred) and a quality blade.....that's my very short answer.....now, your gonna hear 1000 other opinions, and most will be just as valid, just from a different perspective.
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post #18 of 47 Old 02-28-2013, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback. The Sawstop and Powermatic are too pricey for my shop.

Thanks, Dan
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post #19 of 47 Old 02-28-2013, 02:48 PM
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Thanks for the feedback. The Sawstop and Powermatic are too pricey for my shop.
Yep. Been there. What budget are you looking at for a saw?
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post #20 of 47 Old 02-28-2013, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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I would say from $1000 to $1500. Again, that is to say, I shouldn't be spending my money elsewhere, like a bandsaw.

I also didn't mention anything about sanders. I currently have a Hitachi 4 x 36 belt sander with a 6 inch disc. I have wondered if I should get an oscillating edge sander.

Thanks, Dan

Last edited by dcoledc; 02-28-2013 at 03:23 PM. Reason: Add info
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