I would think that the most difficulty you will have becoming a woodworker is getting used to the much lesser degree of precision in woodworking than is required in machining. Its a 'mind set' thing. This is also a stumbling block at first for engineers also. Once you get past that, the rest is easy.
As for tools, I personally feel that the table saw is the most important piece of equipment you can own for general woodworking. Having said that, logic would dictate that you should spend as much as you can on getting the very best table saw you can afford whether new or used.
As for cabinetry, A table saw and a few different weight routers should be just about all you will need for a while providing you have a good source of quality hardwoods. If not, you will need a planer and joiner up front with the table saw and routers. This of course does not include hand sanders, electric sanders, drills, screw drivers, etc. I threw that in, just in case you were the literal type.
Tony B Retired woodworker, among other things.
"Strive for excellence and settle for completion" Tony B