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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok first of all thank you to everyone who has guided me through that last 3 months of starting into this hobby. I was (finally!) able to sell my last motorcycle (an old hobby of building them that almost killed me so it had to go). I am not looking at a ton of money, prob around $2k which will signifigantly dwindle once my wife comes within 20 yards of me. So conservatively speaking I assume I will have $500 to play with. Ok on to the point, I have a decent Compound miter saw, table router, hand held router, table saw, jig saw, circuliar saw, drills, chisels ( think that is everything). Where should I go from here? I thought about a lathe but I dont think I have the space for that and I have 0 experience with one. A planer would be nice but that is extremely pushing the budget so I figured I would get one of those around tax season (when I work tons of overtime). So any suggestions? Help me spend my money lol. I know most people will want to ask what do I want to make but the problem is I would love to learn how to make everything!
 

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You do need to consider what you want to make at this time.

Will you be using S4S (Square 4 sides) material such as in the big box stores, or rough lumber which you will need to plane to thickness?

Will you be using only sheet goods (plywood/MDF)?

In addition to the tools you mention, I would want some type of bench. I started with a Workmate, then purchased a second Workmate, and eventually built a bench. Not fancy, but meets present needs. I recently added a front mount woodworking vise which gets used a LOT.

Everyone needs clamps. Lots of clamps. Different lengths and types.

With the chisels, I would get a dead blow mallet, or make a wooden mallet.

I would also consider hand planes. Worthy of a thread by itself. Which planes to purchase depends on the answers to the earlier questions.

You will want some type of sander, I would get 5 in PSA Random Orbit Sander.

Do you already have dust collection, not just shop vac, a high flow/low pressure dust collector? Worthwhile for the table router, table saw, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the info I clearly missed some stuff that I have lol. I typically try to reclaim wood so far. I have been getting tons from friends who just have bunches laying around, everything from chestnut to pine. Mostly just needs tons of cleanup to get to where I want it. I have 3 benches that came with the house when we bout it. 1 is 8ft long another is 16 ft and the final is 6 ft so I think i am good there but I could use some of those clamps that attach on the end of the tables (writing that down). I have 2 sets of those rubber/plastic blue clamps so far has done the trick but I can get more any time I need them. The mallet is a good idea I will write that one down. I am hesitant on the hand planes, something tells me I would screw up but maybe a starter one? Any suggestions? For sanders I have a belt sander, orbital and a finisher I think I am good there but I did consider a grinder as a possible purchase. I don't have a dust collector yet, I see them in posts all the time but it looked like something for the big dogs. I will look into that further. I think if I brought that home and set it up the wife might have something to say about that lol.
 

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Here's the thing...if you don't have a dust collector, you'll be using your lungs as one. Which as anyone will tell you....is the least healthy option. An inexpensive harbor freight collector can be had with a coupon for 150...and add a good filter for 150 and you've got a very decent dust collector. Or check Craigslist.....decent ones on there all the time.
 

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John
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It appears to me you have the basics pretty well covered. With the exception of the dust collector, I would say you are at the point you should let your projects dictate your purchases. That way your tool arsenal will better match your interests. JMHO:smile:
 

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Skip the lathe unless you decide it's what you want to do. I snapped up a good deal on one a few months back....and have never used it.
 

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AC(air compressor) or DC(dust collector).Both get used here just about all freakin day.

And though not really a big ticket item,a nice bench grinder and learning to sharpen "stuff" needs to be consider'd.
 

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I agree with the other posters - focus on dust control/collection (don't forget to include a quality respirator as well - I like the fit of the 3M ones you can get at HD or Amazon) . If you have cash left over from the dust system, make sure you have at least one very good blade for that table saw, and maybe buy a few pipe clamps or parallel clamps. Have fun!
 

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I wood if I could.
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The dust collector suggestion is a good one. I'd say that a jointer would be a much-used, welcome addition to your shop as well.

You mentioned concern about possibly "screwing up" with a hand plane. I think you should look at that differently. There's no reason to be afraid of a hand plane. They can take getting used to to flatten the face of a board, for example. But things like shaving the edge of a board or chamfering an edge takes less practice to do well. And that's something you may find that a hand plane comes in really handy for you. Using it in any capacity will improve your skills and make you more confident to tackle more challenging hand plane tasks.

You can find used hand planes at fair prices relatively easily. Get yourself a hand plane and learn to sharpen and use it. All it takes is a little practice. You'll figure out what woods do and don't plane well, how to follow the grain and so on.I'm certainly no master with a plane. But I'm gradually easing into it with every use. There are just some tasks that are easier, faster and a whole lot less dusty to do with a hand plane than anything else.
 

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I am hesitant on the hand planes, something tells me I would screw up but maybe a starter one?
My personal experience is that I have done more damage or "oops" with a power hand planer and a stationary power planer than I have with my hand planes.

If I attempt to take off a shaving which is too deep with a hand planer, I may only get a short distance. With power tools, I get further......

Sharpening blade and chisels is something each woodworking should learn.

I cannot advise a hand plane without knowing the projects you intend to build. Too many types of hand plane. I mentioned before, this is worthy of its own thread.

I have at least a dozen hand planes, perhaps more. Some are designed for specific tasks. Many people have several dozen hand planes. In my work I do find some planes are used more often than others.
 

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How about a mortise machine or tenon jig - maybe some scrapers... no no no, get a drill press - I mean an air compressor! Did I say that??? I meant a sharpening station! But a scroll saw would look better...

It goes on and on and it will make your head spin. As far as I'm concerned - you already have machines that I wouldn't need. For example (I know lots of folks will disagree so I speak for myself) I have never owned a miter saw because my table saw can do everything a miter can do. If I were to become a contractor and do jobs on sites, I would invest in one.

So take Dave Paine's and jschaben's advice - only buy the tools you will need for the projects you are working on.

And please - don't cry poverty - be upfront with the wife and tell her you are setting aside $X for your workshop and put that aside until you need a tool. I've been retired for 4 years now and enjoying my workshop... but I prepared myself for these years. The last 4 years I worked, I would pocket "coffee break" money. It is very easy to spend $30/week on coffee breaks, so I told my wife I would bring a thermos to work and pocket the money for tools (I was a local truck driver with no access to free coffee). When I purchased my Tormek sharpening system, I pocketed break $ for 10 weeks and now I have perfectly sharp tools (chisels, turning tools, planner and jointer blades, kitchen knives, carving knives etc etc). I do mean perfect... I equipped most of my shop with coffee money.

Sit back my friend and let life happen. Deal with it as it happens and enjoy!
 

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I would definitely echo the dust collection! In the shop safety category there are lots of pictures of people cutting fingers, but if we could post pictures of our lungs i'm sure those wouldn't be pretty either for those who don't have dust collectors. I know I got pretty sick when I first started wood working and didn't have one (I have one now though). Now even if i'm working outside and don't have a respirator i'll still get sick from all the dust. Trust me, it sucks learning things the hard way.

Other than that, for tools i'd look at a planer. You said it would push your budget but I got a like new Makita planer for $300. That one new is over $500. You can get great deals on those and other tools on craigslist/ebay. You might find you could get a planer and a dust collector for $500.
 

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I'm gonna tell you what I did. Right now you have a great base to start with. You need to build some stuff. Keep a little play money in the bank and buy tools as needed. I am starting to find that most of what I am needing is jigs more than tools. Before buying a major item just think, wait, can I perform this task with an existing tool and a jig? Or am I gonna be able to justify this purchase with use on future builds. If you don't hesitate than you may very possibly end up with a shop full of tools( money) that you only use once. My advice is start a build and buy as you go. Build your jigs to last and keep some play money around. ( I hide my play money from the wife)

Sent from my iPhone using Wood Forum
 

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I was in pretty much the same position as you - I sold my old car to help fund my workshop. I told my wife up front that any money from selling it was going into the workshop.

I agree with everyone saying to get a dust collector. Definitely nice to have and a must when you get a planer or jointer. I'd advise getting on with decent bags on it though - my dust collector has 5 mil bags and it flings fine dust all over the shop.

I'd also suggest picking up some hand tools. I've picked up a good number of tools - saws, planes, marking gauges, etc for less than $200 - some of the planes were only $2 each - so you shouldn't feel too bad playing around with them. Rehabbing them also taught me a lot about how to use them and set them up and they aren't as intimidating anymore.
 
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