Woodworking Talk banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm getting started in woodworking and I'm having a hard time deciding what tools are most important to buy vs what I have now and want to upgrade. Funds are low to buy a bunch of tools at once.

My projects are going to be a workbench, speaker cabinets, end tables, and an entry way bench with storage. I also hope to do some laminating or vaneering in some projects.



Here is what I have:

A craftsman cordless drill and impact which I just sold to upgrade to a Bosch or dewalt kit. I wish I had kept them to invest $200 into something else, but I need something smaller and lighter than the craftsman 19.2v. I use them for auto work a lot and have been wanting to upgrade for a while.

.. Lots of mechanics hand tools, safety stuff, etc. lots of hand tools and saws

.. A Makita 2608 table saw. It is small and low tech compared to newer saws.

.. New Horrible freight heavy duty circular saw, $30 jigsaw, 12$ palm sander. Gifts from Xmas. No luck in selling them.

.. Older Skil plunge router and a couple of bits. Junky but works.

.. Wooden saw horses. And a few clamps, shopvac.

WHAT I AM THINKING OF BUYING

... Kreg stuff. Pocket hole jig, rip guide, kreg clamp system for a bench.
... A good orbital sander like makita Bosch dewalt?

... Saw dilemma - upgrade to a lighter circular saw like Dewalt with electric brake. I am a smaller dude and don't like the $70 harbor freight saw that's heavy duty.

Upgrade makita table saw. Buy a new fence system?, make a sled, needs a zero clearance plate and splitter, stand, out feed.

Or, buy a new tablebsaw like the porter cable one for $300 at Lowes that has a larger rip capacity stand and out feed.

Jason
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
611 Posts
I went about tooling up differently. I picked a project first, bought a plan I liked that stretched but did not exceed my skills, determined the tools needed, then bought the bet of those tools I could afford.

Then on to next project.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
517 Posts
does your router have a fixed base as well?

If not, you can probably pick up a fixed base router on craigs list for around $30 to $40.

Then I would make a simple router table out of 3/4 inch coated MDF

Personally, I would avoid the Kreg stuff if funds are not really that big. It is kind of pricey and you can build your own jigs for less.

And for what it's worth, the tool I use most is my $30 Gyokucho Ryoba (double sided) hand saw. It has crosscut teeth on ones side, and rip cut teeth on the other.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28,388 Posts
I've always let the jobs I was doing determine what tools I bought. If you go to build something and don't have a certain tool to do the job then go buy that tool. The longer you do woodworking the less tools you need to buy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
I agree with the folks that say let the project pick the tools.
I do have the small kreg jig kit and with a little more setup time, it does what I need it to.
In my opinion you can't beat Bosch. Most of the power tools in my arsenal are Bosch, including my 18v drill/impact set.
If your budget doesn't fit a good cabinet saw I recommend a good table saw. I make my own zero clearance plates out of poplar to save myself a couple bucks.
Hope this helps and good luck starting woodworking!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well you guys got me thinking. I'll change my strategy. I'm typing on my phone so sorry about the general reply at the moment...

My first project will be a work bench. Then an end table or desk.

So my main two dilemmas are joining and cutting tools.

Kreg tools are expensive and I hate to pay all of that money for what you get. But they to make joining look easy to me. My other options would be spending money on clamps and doing mortis tenon right? Or biscuit joiner.

I have a plunge router only. What would I gain by building a router table and buying a fixed router? Cutting mort-ten joints?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28,388 Posts
Well you guys got me thinking. I'll change my strategy. I'm typing on my phone so sorry about the general reply at the moment...

My first project will be a work bench. Then an end table or desk.

So my main two dilemmas are joining and cutting tools.

Kreg tools are expensive and I hate to pay all of that money for what you get. But they to make joining look easy to me. My other options would be spending money on clamps and doing mortis tenon right? Or biscuit joiner.

I have a plunge router only. What would I gain by building a router table and buying a fixed router? Cutting mort-ten joints?
If it were me instead of fooling with fancy joints on a work bench, I would just frame it with 2x4's and use 3/4" plywood for the top. All the tools you would need is your circular saw, a hammer, nails and a bottle of glue.
 

·
Sawdust Creator
Joined
·
8,046 Posts
I don't know....practicing joinery on a workbench is a great place to hone those skills....the wood can be cheap, screw ups aren't so apparent.....your first mortise and tenon likely isn't going to be perfect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,541 Posts
I went about tooling up differently. I picked a project first, bought a plan I liked that stretched but did not exceed my skills, determined the tools needed, then bought the bet of those tools I could afford.

Then on to next project.
I like your approach. Pretty much the way I went about it.

As your knowledge and skills increase you match your tools.

It is just too chancy to try to guess just what tool you are going to want/need 7 months from now.

George
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
611 Posts
GeorgeC said:
I like your approach. Pretty much the way I went about it.

As your knowledge and skills increase you match your tools.

It is just too chancy to try to guess just what tool you are going to want/need 7 months from now.

George
I need to make one modification to how I described my approach. I actually put safety first, guided by things I learned on this board. I committed to woodworking for the long haul. So before I bought any new power tools I upgraded the electrical power in my garage/workshop. Then I bought a Harbor Freight dust collector recommended here.

And THEN it was onward to the first project...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
517 Posts
Router table benefits are that it is easier (for most people) to cut tenons, as well as grooves and rabbits, especially in smaller pieces where the plunge router might tip over if you were trying to rout from above, or in pieces that are difficult to clamp a stop / guide for the router to move along.

Steve Neul also gave some excellent advice, which he often does. If you will be using a circular saw, then it is a good idea to use a speed square as a guide, or to make your own guide(s) for it to help the accuracy of your cuts.

If you WANT to do pocket hole joinery, you CAN do it without a jig. It takes a little bit of measuring. Carpenters have been doing something similar (with nails) known as toe nailing. It's basically the same concept.

If you DO get the kreg jig, then from what I have read, it is best to get the $100 jig than the $35 jig (from what I have heard).

Mechanical fasteners (i.e., screws) aren't as strong as dowel and mortise and tenon joinery.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
I am just past newbie stage and bought every tool you could imagine. I wont list everything but I do own a kreg pocket hole jig(the big one), bench top mortiser and several other joining jigs. However, my favorite fastest and cheapest was the rockler dowel jig. I think the the 3/8 is about $30 bucks. If I had it to do over, I would have bought this jig, an expensive dado($150), an expensive set of chisels, and the 1/4 dowel jig. With a little bit of imagination you can make nearly every joint you will every need for 3/4 stock for around $300(or the cost of a mortiser.) Also, you can't go wrong with a good router, expensive table saw blades, and properly set up tools.

I realize there are purist who will argue this but the average weekend warrior can knock out some major projects with these tools. My second project was made using the tools above. If you ignore my crappy would selections it turned out well.

Chest of drawers Drawer Furniture Chiffonier Dresser
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,445 Posts
If you don't need to transport your TS from location to location, there's really no advantage in having a portable jobsite saw. IMHO, it'd be better to buy a good used full size saw with a belt drive induction motor for the same money as a new $300 portable....it'll have much better bones from the start, and far more potential down the road adds-ons, upgrades, and accessories. TS info
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top