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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a beginner wood worker and stress is on "beginner". I am trying to get started by buying tools that can do double duty.

I have an immediate need to take off some of the top of a few doors that are sticking in their jambs. However, I would like to buy something that will help me in wood working projects also. And, again, these would be beginner projects.

I bought a hand plane yesterday, but after thinking about it and researching a bit last night, I am beginning to wonder if an electric hand planer, a belt sander, or a random orbital sander would better serve me now and in future projects. What are your suggestions for something to shave off the top of a door now, but that would also work on smoothing board edges and surfaces later? And, again, my projects won't be too elaborate for a while. And I'm hoping to keep the purchase price below $100.
 

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where's my table saw?
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why are there 13 different screwdrivers in a set?

Because each one does one thing best. The same is true with hand or power tools. That's why there are so many different types and choices.

A few good hand planes will serve you better than a hand held power planer which has a very limited usefulness. A random orbit sander either 5" or 6" will always be a good choice for many different sanding tasks. I have several under $60.00 and at least one over $100.00.

If you are on a budget, check out yard sales and flea markets for hand tools, but beware some sellers know the value of the older tools and charge accordingly.
 

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For resizing doors as well as other shop projects, of the three you suggested id go with the belt sander. Youll get a lot more use out of it than you would a power planer, and itll take off material faster for the doors than would a random orbit sander.

However, id buy a good random orbit sander first. Sure, it wont do quite so well on doors, but every shop needs a random orbit sander. Its second only to the table saw in terms of how much it gets used on a project.
 

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For trimming door jams a belt sander would be my preferred choice, but for trying to serve double duty i would rather have a ROS. If you can only currently afford one tool I would get the ROS. A powered hand planer is worthless for woodworking. Could you afford about $150 for a Bosch 6" ROS? A ROS can do everything a belt sander can do just slower. A belt sander can't achieve the surface finish a ROS can.
 

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I would buy a router, and use a wood straight edge to trim the doors.
Learn how to use it and you will be glad you bought it.
Routed edges, can make a big difference in projects.
 

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Quite a few years ago, I replaced all of the interior doors in our house. None of the door openings are square, so the top & bottom of each door needed to be fit to the opening. I clamped a straightedge to the doors & used a circular saw to make the necessary cuts, but bought & used a power planer (DeWalt) to finish each edge. It made a quick, smooth finish, and was worth every penny.

I've since used it for a few woodworking-related things, but not a lot. I'd agree that you probably won't find much use for it in woodworking, and if a sander will do your door job, it would be a better purchase.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the replies! I wish I had the money to buy several of the tools mentioned, but my budget determines the limit I can spend. While it might take a while longer to shave some off the top of the doors, it looks like a random orbital sander will probably serve me best long term.

That being said, I have done some research and it looks as though the Bosch ROS20VSK random orbital sander is an excellent buy. Home Depot is currently selling it for $79. Does anyone have any experience with it?
 

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Not with that one, but I do have a DeWalt that sells for that much at Hombre Depot. It's 5", variable speed works as advertised. It vibrates a bit but all sanders in this price range will do that.

I don't have any experience with Bosch sanders but they have a good reputation.
 
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