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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm still very new to woodworking and I'm excited to learn. I'm wanting to put together a compact shop and I need some advice.

So far I have a few nail guns, a compressor (small pancake style), a 12" DeWalt compound miter saw, a few hand sanders, and various hand tools.

What would you guys recommend me buying. I need small but good quality stuff (without breaking the bank). I'm working with a 17' x 11' area so I'm going to need to get creative with storage.

I obviously need a table saw and routers...

Thanks for the help :thumbsup:
 

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I'm still very new to woodworking and I'm excited to learn. I'm wanting to put together a compact shop and I need some advice.

So far I have a few nail guns, a compressor (small pancake style), a 12" DeWalt compound miter saw, a few hand sanders, and various hand tools.

What would you guys recommend me buying. I need small but good quality stuff (without breaking the bank). I'm working with a 17' x 11' area so I'm going to need to get creative with storage.

I obviously need a table saw and routers...

Thanks for the help :thumbsup:
What are you wanting to do with it?
 

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If you want to make small boxes and simple items/gifts like i.e. jewelry boxes, blanket chests, cutting boards, stuff like that, that where alot of woodworkers start. But you will soon graduate to that entertainment center. So you might as well goahead and realize that buying on a budget is one thing, but quickly realizing that you spent too little can be expensive in the longrun too.

What i am talking about is the table saw. You have heard it said a million times that it's the heart of the shop, because it is true. So many guys put together a woodshop and spend $1000 - $1500 on a router, bits, and a good quality compound miter saw.

This is a mistake in my opinion. If you have to wait a little longer to get your shop together in order to get the table saw you need, then wait.

But lets determine what table saw you need? Do you need more than a good bench top table saw? I say yes. While there are several models that deliver power enough for most jobs you'll encounter, they struggle, are not stable, and will not cut that 2" - 3" hardwood you will stuff through it one day for whatever reason.

Instead of spending several thousand dollars on peripheral equipment, get your table saw first. You need more than a bench top table saw. Its purpose is for taking to the jobsite and ripping trim and that is what it excels at. It can crosscut too but my point is don't make the mistake of assuming because the manufacturer touts it as an acceptable "small shop" table saw "for the hobbyist" that it is.
You don't have to have a cabinte saw (although that is preferrable) but you should at leat get a nice contractor saw.

My first serious table saw I bought in the early 90s was a Grizzly 1023S sliding table saw. It was a dream compared the Ryobi BT6000 or whatever that nightmare was.

My current saw is a Oliver 270D which ws manufactured in 1947. It's in my avatar with my wife. The writing which you can't read says "Still Purrs like a Kitten". I am referring to both the saw and the wife but we are talkning abou the saw now.:cowboy:

That saw was manufactured up until the mid 1990s when Chinese pressure fianlly forced them to close there doors, but the saw had a waitng list and cost $15,000 to purchase.

I got mine for $650. Now while that probably was once in a lifetime deals, my point is that for over $500, you can purchase the best bench top table saw on the market IMO which is the Bosch. but you will not have the "Heart of The Sh0p" type of saw. you might not run into a deal likemine, but don't get in a hurry. Shop around and wait for a good deal to come along on a serious saw.

At least buy a nice contractor saw with a good fence. I don't normally suggest this unless the budget warrants but you may even consider Grizzly. They have some excellent deals on cabinet saws. you can get a 2HP - 3HP cabinet saw from the for under $1000 i believe.

My point, which I have tried to emphasize (lost the entire tex twice and had to start over because I am NOT used to typing on this little bitty laptop!:censored: :cursing: ) is that I cannot emphasize enough the importnce of getting as much table saw as you can possibly afford before you say something like "Okay I have $2000 to spend right now . . . . that means $750 for the table saw . . . . $500 for a router and a set of bits . . . $400 for a sliding compound miter saw . . ." I say no don't do it that way. Take the whole $2K and buy a table saw, a dust collector, and a couple of excellent blades for it. Then buy the other stuff as you can.

That's my 2 coppers I will let the experts list the other stuff you need. just don't buy any of it until you have that serious table saw wired and piped and singing like a jaybird.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What are you wanting to do with it?
Well, what I do now is trim carpentry and that is basically what I have equipment for. I'd like to get into doing more detailed wainscoting which would require a table saw and router.

But I also want the ability to tinker if you know what I mean.

Someone needs to make a universal gym type woodworking rack that you can spin and get all the different tools :laughing:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I agree that a good table saw would make sense for me as a first purchase. I'm thinking of going to woodcraft this weekend to look at some models. I don't have the money just yet but I want to know what I'm looking forward to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Austin.

I'm not sure I'm buying it there... just want to look for now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Cedar Park is where I live. NW Austin
 

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Must have been a lot of guys unable to sleep last night. Jill passed the flu to me and I've been up all night....:furious: :furious: :furious:
 

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When I do paperwork it involves the computer. When I do computer work it involves checking forums. When I do checking foums it wipes out my paperwork. :laughing:

I gave up on the paperwork and started out reading chainsaw stuff and ended up reading the site of The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. :blink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yea, I usually don't get to sleep very early. I'm not exactly a morning person.
 

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I agree that a Table Saw is a great place to start. My journey started with a miter saw out of necessity of a home improvement project. Then to the tablesaw, dust collector, air cleaner, jointer, planer, drum sander (I was doing a LOT of chess boards), and band saw. Mortise machine, 12" disc sander, oscilating drum sander, and radial arm saw came later. The second set of power tools mentioned are nice to have, but you certainly don't need to start there.

I'm now getting more into hand planes. I wish I had appreciated the need for good hand tools before getting all of the power tools. What I mean is that I should have been investing in some good hand planes before some of the more "specialty" power tools.
 

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Exactly plowboy. Don't overlook hand tools like quality chisels and planes. Every shop needs a good quality block plane at least with a nice sharp blade. I'll make a post about Scary Sharp System in the General Woodworking forum when I have time unless someone else would like to??? Again, don't buy junk here.
 

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For me, dust collection and air cleaner was a high priority. I'd spend 2 hours in the shop and would weeze for a couple of days. The dust would kill my lungs.

I just picked up a .5 micron filter bag for my JET 1100 dust collector.

Recently read an article where a test was done on air cleaners. A box fan with a disposable filter performed as well as any of the high dollar systems that you can buy. The other conclusion was that the static washable filters don't do as good a job as the paper disposable ones. I was disappointed in that because I bought a washable filter about three years ago. I was tired of spending the money on the disposable ones. They don't seem to last very long.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
OK, so let's talk specifics. What table saw would be best for a hobbyist who wants something that is good quality but isn't too big or outrageously expensive?
 

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OK, so let's talk specifics. What table saw would be best for a hobbyist who wants something that is good quality but isn't too big or outrageously expensive?
I'm sure the advice could be across the board here, but I'll give you my 2 pennies.

  1. Spend more than $99 or you'll spend $99 again and again. A hobbiest shouldn't spend more than $500 in my opinion.
  2. Go will a belt driven saw and not direct drive. They will run smoother and last longer.
  3. A "contractor" style saw is a good choice. No need for a cabinet saw.
  4. Brand: staying above $99 will mean you'll likely run into some quality brands. Opinions where are going to vary, so I'll just advise, again, not to go TOO cheap.
  5. Make sure that it either has dust collection ports or that they can be added. Dust collection is a must, IMHO, at some point for any shop. Dust collection ability is a must in almost every tool I buy. I hate sweeping floors and weazing.
 

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I know space may kill you, but the Grizzly contractors saw is a top pick by me, simply due to it's ridgid construction, and it has a super fence...and the price is dirt cheap, IMO. Catch it at the right time, and freight is free too, or you can drive to Springfield and pick it up in person.
 

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Wow... Nathan, I would have never guessed you were into woodworking. Good for you, as a hobby it can be very relaxing and satisfying. The trim guns and sanding equipment is a good start for the installation side of it, and helpful in the building side. Most of the things I build have joinery and not very many nails. I use nails mostly for applying moldings. As for the equipment side of it, it really depends on what you plan on building. You had mentioned the trimming side of things and wainscoting. Making wainscotting could be as simple as having a jointer and a tablesaw. A chopsaw would be a plus. You can buy the moldings you need for now from a lumberyard. Most of the equipment you can buy for a shop can be put on casters and stuffed into a corner until needed. If you are serious and not just a weekend or once a month warrior, you should invest in a contractors style saw, something in the 2-3 HP range. You can start out with the fence that comes with the saw but when you start to use full sheets of plywood you are going to wish you had a nicer fence system (Biesemeyer or UniSaw fence). I think you will also need a jointer, you can start out with a bench top 4", but I would suggest with going to a 6" to start. Dust collection is a must, and a 2" hose shop vac is a starting point. Not having a planer in a shop would be hard for me. You can get a 12" portable that will treat you well for a few years. Now of course all this costs money, and you've got to start somewhere. Start with the tablesaw and shop vac, then the jointer, a router with a selection of bits and a router table if you plan on making doors and panels. Good luck with your endeavor and do show us some of your work.
 
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