Woodworking Talk banner
1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am just revisiting woodwork after some years

I have hand tools but I want to try using some power tools - my first project will be a small piece of furniture for books and magazines, probably using veneered mdf and some cherry.

I am planning to start with a bandsaw, a planer thicknesser, a router with a table and a pillar drill.

The number and range of tools available now is amazing! How to choose? I don't have loads of space so I need to select compact items. Some are so cheap, but are they any good?

If anybody can use their experience to help guide me in the right direction I be really grateful
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,543 Posts
For someone starting out and even for the seasoned professional I think that Grizzly offers a great line of tools. I have a few, Router table, joiner, drill press, and bandsaw. Very reasonably priced and the quality is very good.

That's my 2 cents. I'm curious what everyone else thinks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
789 Posts
If I were tooling up from scratch, Grizzly would get my vote as well...you can't beat the price vs. quality, and if you are lucky enough to live close to a warehouse, no shipping, otherwise, they have specials on free and reduced freight too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Hi Bob,

I returned to woodworking after a long break a few years ago and the changes in the power tools & small machines available is incredible.

Don't get taken in by the very cheapest prices, however. You'll only end up buying replacements within a few months. Best to go with reputable mid-range brands like DeWalt or Hitachi for small stuff and Jet or Grizzly for machines. (We don't get Grizzly here in the UK but looking at their website it would appear to be quality generic Chinese/Taiwanese gear badged up accordingly)

My suggestions would be;

1. A decent cordless drill with at least two batteries. This should take care of most of your drilling & screwdriving work. Make sure you invest in some really good screwdriver bits. The cheap ones will not drive many screws but will drive you mad!

2. Planer Thicknesser. In the UK this term refers to a machine which doubles as a planer (jointer in USA) and a thicknesser (planer in USA). I am amazed to discover that you don't seem to have these in the States. It would be ideal for you, Bob. If you can't get hold of one of these, you're going to need a jointer and a planer (thicknesser). Boy, that reads confusing!

3. Dust Extraction. Sorry to put the budget up, Bob, but you are not going to be able to run any machines for long without a small extractor. They're not expensive & the brand doesn't really matter. Try ebay.

4. I would find it hard to manage without some kind of table saw. For versitility in your position I would go for the DeWalt (Elu) flip over saw. This converts from a table saw to a mitre or chop saw. I've had one for years and while it's no longer my main saw in the workshop I find it invaluable for site work or DIY jobs at home.

5. I would see the band saw as a bit of a luxury, but there again, I've never really got along with band saws. If you see yourselve doing lots of curves, fine, but if you want to be resawing hardwoods, get a big one!

6. Drill presses are almost free and don't take up much room. Unfortunately, I hardly ever use mine!

Anyway, there's my twopennerth.

Good Luck Bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Oh Bob,

I forgot to mention routers.

I agree with you setting up a router in a table - go for a good quality one with a half inch collet - either Porter Cable or DeWalt would get my vote.

I would buy a second router for hand work though, with a quarter inch collet. You don't want to be taking your router out of the table and replacing it too many times and a smaller router is much nicer to use for more intricate work. It doesn't have to be an expensive one.

Duncan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Me again, Bob!

Just started work for the day in my shop and picked up a random orbital sander to sand down a joint I'd left to dry overnight.

'How the heck's Bob going to manage without one of these?' I thinks

This of course could go on all day with every piece of kit I pick up, but seriously, you are going to need a sander which you can hook up to your extractor, particularly if you are going to be lipping MDF with solid wood. Be careful, though, that veneer's mighty thin!
 

·
Forgotten but not gone
Joined
·
5,674 Posts
Hi Bob,

The reason I asked if you were on a limited budget is because if you are not, I would not automatically go with Grizzly. Grizzly is a good line of tools but as with all ROC built stuff there will always be some problems here and there.
My first cabinet saw was a Grizz 1023S with the sliding attachment and I loved that thing after I got the rough tolerances tweaked out, but if you can afford a Powermatic, Jet or even General or even a German machine like a Laguna or Altendorf then go for it, unless you know you aren't going to be getting very serious with it.
I know some of the brands are made in ROC too but brands like General, whi I *think* are having stuff made in ROC now still hold these factories to much stricter tolerances than even Grizzly.
Sounds like I am saying Grizzly is junk but I am not. It's just not at the same level as many other of these brandes listed.
Do research for each individual piece of machinery and DO NOT become a brand man. When you do, you are preventing yourself from the best purchase for the particular tool you are buying before you even buy it.
Example, I love Bosch engineeringm but if I wake up and say "I need 24" thickenss planer today!" Well if I have pledged my allegiance to Bosch already years ago then I am out of luck because #1 I don't think they even make a 24" thickness planer and #2 even if they did it might not be the best one on the market today.
I've rambled enough. :icon_wink:

If you only remember one of my opinions here remember this one:

DON'T BECOME A BRAND MAN! :no: BECOME A TOOL MAN!:yes:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
I have to agree on not becoming a brand man. Research the options on all the tools and find what will work best for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
First thanks for all the replies. It's really good that you should take the trouble to help...

When I said I have some hand tools I should have said that includes a drill, circular saw, jig saw, and sander.

I was interested to read from Duncan that you recommend a table saw over a bandsaw. I think I read somewhere the opposite advice. That's why I put down bandsaw on my list. Maybe I'll rethink that.

My intention at first is to have a go at making some small pieces of furniture. Maybe even a desk for my office - I work from home.

I don't know the make "Grizzly" obviously thats an American brand.

Researching the different types and makes is quite a challenging task! Especially when you are not actually using these tools at the moment. I am planning now to visit a woodworking exhibition as a way to get a better idea. It's a little frustrating though because I want to get started!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
789 Posts
4. I would find it hard to manage without some kind of table saw. For versitility in your position I would go for the DeWalt (Elu) flip over saw. This converts from a table saw to a mitre or chop saw. I've had one for years and while it's no longer my main saw in the workshop I find it invaluable for site work or DIY jobs at home.
Ok...Now I am intrigued...would you happen to have a picture of this saw? I am a confirmed gadget type.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
About the flip over saw

I see there is one called "Dewalt DW743 250mm Flip Over Saw 230v" costing about £600.

Is this the item you recommend Duncan? The picture in the web site looks like a
mitre saw, the type where the saw is mounted on an arm above the table.

The name flip - over sounds like the saw part must be capable of being moved to a position under the table, like a normal table saw. Is that right?

Does this facility give advantages?

I just got a Record Power catalogue in the post today. It looks good quality equipment, though not cheap! Maybe you have to expect that.

There is a table saw at £700, Planer thicknesser at £529, Router Table £320.

Then I'll need a router, dust extractor, etc....

It looks like a budget of £2000.

I have also looked at a much cheaper range at a company called Charnwood. Any idea if this equipment is of a good enough quality for home cabinet making?
 

·
Forgotten but not gone
Joined
·
5,674 Posts
I can't imagine a woodworking life of any kind without a table saw. Like trying to make chili without meat. Of course, there are vegetarians in the wotld who claim to get along fine without meat. They are generally very unhappy, and unhealthy people though IMHO. :blink:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well, I went to a woodworking exhibition at Harrogate and bought a Trend router (1/2"collet as advised), a Record Power Router table, a dust extractor, a saw table and a planer thicknesser - all these from Record which looked to me to be the best quality with the right functionality.

Now I'm just waiting for delivery, expected tomorrow.

Thanks again for the advice
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Wow, that is pretty cool. It looks like a real jobsite saw -- I wonder if it's solid enough for the shop. It looks like there might be a miter slot there, but with a small table it might be tough to work with. And the fence -- does the fence turn to the side in table saw mode?

Here's the order I'd place the original list in, except I'd add a table saw and place it first on the list.
1) Table saw
2) a router with a table and
3) bandsaw,
4) a pillar drill.
5) a planer thicknesser,

I agree about Grizzly, by the way. Great company and great deals on good tools.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Being a woodworker on a budget I would suggest the Ryobi plung router; cost around $90 and a best value pick in one of the woodworking mags. It's 1/2'' w/ 1/4'collet. I've used it on a table and hand and it has performed beautifully. My other tools are a SuperShop(tablesaw, drillpress, lathe, jointer and bandsaw)in one and I spent the extra $$ for a WoodSmith 18" planer/sander/molder and just love it. Of course, Ryobi makes a benchtop planer that is highly rated (1300 model I think). Surely there are better tools, but if cost is a factor, the two Ryobi products will do the job. You may want to look into the Rigid brand, they offer a lifetime warranty. I have their 12X36 lathe and love the fact that it's covered for life. I had a handle on the toolrest lock break after two years and they sent me a new one, no questions asked. I do not work for any of these companies, I just own their tools.
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Top