Anyone else have a poor man's shop?

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I have recently gotten into woodworking and while I have purchased some nice hand tools, most of my power tools are the bottom of the line, 100 bucks or less variety. I have a router/table, miter saw, and tabletop table saw all from the entry level Ryobi line, and I just bought a 9" bandsaw by Delta. My drill motor, sander, and jigsaw are all Firestorm combos, most of my other stuff Ive gotten at garage sales. My wood I look around the local recycling yard for.
Does anyone else have a similar setup? I deal with not a small amount of an inferiority complex hearing everyone here talk about their great 20,000 dollar setups. I guess Id like to hear from some other poor saps out there.
Bob
If I were a rich man, All day long Id be a dee-dee dum...
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We don't care what you have or what you don't have when it comes to tools. Just bring your enthusiasm and interest in working wood and making something with it - any way you desire.
You will be surprised at what some of the talent that hangs around here uses for tools and turn out masterpieces and pieces of art that will blow you away.
Welcome to the wRECk Bob... (this place is becoming a regular village of Bob's.....no, we won't go there...)
Bob S.
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"itto That "
Just a tip for you and other scroungers, Get a list of your local glass and mirror shops and go got the crates that their glass 7 mirror come in, You will find some heavy duty pine and som real goodlooking stuff. A crate of Glass or mirror is if i remmember correctly over 2000 lbs so the crates are made real heavy duty. Good pickingds for a wood scrounger Good luck, George

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Thanks for the tip George. Bob my shop sounds like yours only my router table is home made and I have a HF scroll saw.

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Bob -
It took me a long time to accumulate my tools, and I bought the best I could afford, new or used, as opportunities and cash came available.
Don't let your tools or your perception of them interfere with your work and progress as a woodworker. I started out several years ago building a small altar for my sister. I had an old arthritic 7" TS and little else... Yet the project and satisfaction that started with that project have now blossomed. My wife and I build furniture, small boxes and commissions for a living.... There isn't yet quite enough work, but there is always more coming in, so it is going in the right direction, and we are doing fine.
There was a post about a fellow here who was very talented and he used his circular saw to cut dovetails... My advice is to learn as much as you can - most WWers are self taught - and keep an eye to safety. If you really do like the craft and the pleasure it brings, everything else will come along. Using tools that are "entry level" (and don't take me wrong in using that phrase) will give you the experience to REALLY know what you want and like when you do get a nicer drill, saw, whatever. When I started out I *almost* bought what I thought was GOD'S OWN tablesaw at Home Dopot for $400 because I *thought* it was the creme-de-la-creme... But I held out until I learned more. Never ask a barber if he thinks you need a haircut...
As for having a shop full of... whatever.... that isn't as important as being able to use what you have, regardless. A crappy woodworker could have everything in the PM or Delta book and still not cut a square tight joint, while someone that KNOWS what to do, or can figure it out could probably build a Queen Anne Highboy with a, well, circular saw or that saw I almost bought at HD. Tools *DON'T* take the place of good craft, but they DO make it ALOT easier. Post some pics in ABPW if you're able - I'd love to see your work. Good luck!
John Moorhead Lakeport, CA.
PS: One thing I can tell you I *KNOW* you need is MORE CLAMPS... Scary, huh? :0)

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A poor man's shop is quite different than a frugal mans shop which is what I have. I get all my equipment used from estate sales and auctions. I'm lucky to live in an are where there are alot of both. Got a Unisaw for 275.00 (Just had to add a fence and scrub a little). All hand planes, routers (2 PC, 1 Crapsman), marking gauges, knives, chisels, hand saws, etc were all under 40.00 ( hand tools mostly under 20.00). Got a Bosch SCM saw for 75.00 (Needed a new plug). The list goes on.
On the other hand, I had to do without a Drill Press for 5 months until I scored with a Delta for 45.00. This is the case, and although I spend very little money for my toys, I have to do without until I get them. I have collected all these things over a 3 yr period.
I do buy cheap on occasion. Clamps especially, because I can't do without them. Mostly HF and such. The 2.75 build-your-own pipe clamp is a staple in my shop. As well as many shop made jigs to keep costs down.
All in all I have what many would consider an above average shop. Nothing nearly as nice as a pro's, but when you walk in you feel as if its quite a bit more than a hobbyists. To my delight and also my wife's, it all came at a cost of a little time, some ability to fix broken things and keeping my eyes open. Its still very possible to set up shop this way.
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On 06 Jan 2004 01:58:00 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (GBsCards) wrote:

Drive- By- !!
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I'll bite: how do you manage a pipe clamp at $2.50.
Lamont
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (GBsCards) wrote in message

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lamontcranston wrote:

HF sometimes goes that low. Cheapest now is $2.99 http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Category.taf?categoryid"2&pricetype=S&categoryname=PIPE%20CLAMPS
-- Mark
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Sounds like you live in a dreamworld to me. Router? Bandsaw? I wish!
I have: - Ryobi non-compound miter saw (the cheapest one from HD) - Skil circular saw (the cheapest one from HD) - B&D 7.2V VersaPak crappy drill (the cheapest one from HD). - Craftsman scrolling jigsaw ($5 at a yard sale) - used Craftsman contractor table saw (actually this is a great saw with major upgrades) - Wilton palm sander (weird thing shaped like an iron with velcro sandpaper)
Except for the table saw, I don't think that I spent over $200 for all of them combined.
Mind you that I read catalogs and drool a lot. But, like they say, "it's the poor musician that blames his instrument".
codepath

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snipped-for-privacy@nolove.com wrote:

;-) Within reason. I've seen children's guitars with necks so warped you'd need a Bessy to press any of the strings down on the first fret... <g> A friend's music store always took children's guitars in trade, and *always* smashed them in the back alley.
-- Mark
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Yeh, I am afraid so. How about a 1949 shopsmith 10ER ($300), $20(used) B&D benchtop jigsaw, B&D miter saw from pawn shop($50-I think) and hirsch saw table ($40-years ago) for a router table. So to answer your question, you are not alone. Here is where it gets weird as far as myself. I could theoretically afford better equipment....(SWMBO-would have to approve)..........but I work about 10-16 hours per day in refrigeration (commercial-type) and there is little time for hobbies. I do enjoy every moment in the shop. Most time when I am reading this NG I am on call, killing time waiting for the pager to go off..........and then it is to the truck and heaven knows when I will get home. Untill this lifestyle changes I can't see investing in high dollar stuff, just to watch it rust. Another thing is that being a repairman........I can fix up any old tool and get by with it. So possibly for different reasons......we both use about the same quality tools. You must understand that Home Depot does not make all their money on DeWalt etc. otherwise why would they carry the cheap stuff. BTW just got a pickup truck load of free poplar boards 8/4 from a guy at work.........to build window sash for my aunts house that is literally falling in. Got it free cuz it is full of rough cut square nails. Going to Biglots to get some cheap throw away carbide blades for the shopsmith. I guess I will rip it down to size between service calls this week. I know you don't know me .....................but trust me when I say we are not alone. :-) Lyndell
People should be judged by their ability to use what they have available, rather than by the actual quality of their product. :-)

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I have some real nice tools, and some that are barely adequate. I like the real nice ones better ; ^ )
getting stuff at garage sales doesn't mean you're buying junk. a lot of my tools were purchased used, including the real nice ones.     Bridger
On 5 Jan 2004 17:07:42 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@operamail.com (Bob) wrote:

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On 5 Jan 2004 17:07:42 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@operamail.com (Bob) wrote:

No, they're all different.
I've got no money these days. When I did last have some, I sunk it into more of the job-holding-up consumables (abrasives, fixings, finishes) than I'd ever run out of, a really good cabinet saw, and every bit of decent timber that's ever offered to me at a bargain price. Seems to be working out for me.

I helped build windsor chairs last year. We had drawknives and home-made drawhorses. Made some nice chairs too.
-- Smert' spamionam
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Bob wrote:

I started with similar tools, but fewer of them. They were fine to start with; my errors were more than theirs.
Over time I upgraded to a good 1/2" plunge router and later a contractor saw.
-- Mark
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During the time I was a full time student, I had a hard time getting materials and the like for model building (been a rc-plane building freak all my life=) and getting tools was also difficult. However, because I had done some building classes for children at a school nearby, I once heard they were getting rid of old stuff and that way I got a small benchtop drill press for nothing, just had to ask since they were going to throw them away. (mostly, of course, for my work simple hand tools will suffice)
The thing was in a sorry state, had not been maintained at all I guess and it has a work table that has a lot of holes in it from students not elevating their material before drilling. But just cleaning it up and removing broken parts, getting a new drive belt, setting it up right, got me a drill press perfectly good enough for drilling in model airplanes. It sure helps getting perpendicular holes and runs very quietly, so I use it alot.
So, I guess what Im saying is, that it pays to ask around, you never know what youll find. Of course, those living near an industrial area may have an easier time finding old useful stuff. Nowadays I try to save money for as good equipment as I can afford. Still being a half-time student, thats not alot after paying the usual monthly bills, but I do find nice deals sometimes, AND I havent stopped looking at flee markets and the like! :-)
Cheers, Ken Finland
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Thanks for all the great replies. I dont feel so bad anymore.
I am actually very grateful for all the tools I have. My first project was to build an 3' deep by 8' high case for holding painting canvases. I constructed in on my knees in a gravel driveway, cutting the dadoes with a heavy worm drive saw-- one kerf at a time. It was the worst 12 hours of my life- but ever since then I've been absolutely hooked.
I started out just intending to buy a miter box and saw to make frames for my paintings, but the tools just kept calling out to me-- "you need me". I will have about 900 to spend in Feb and Im going to make a real decent Veritas workbench, the Workmate is just not doing it for me (Ive allready broken the top), as I am 6'4". Should probably spend the cash on a TS but I like the BS better, as its queiter for an apartment dweller, its a 9" and I guess that will be big enough for a while.
Again, great to be a part of this group. Thanks for all the welcomes.
Bob

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clip...

Oh yes, Ive heard the voice of the Sirenes too, trust me! =O))
Ken
P.S. Sorry, but I just couldnt resist posting this=)
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I know what you mean.
Somehere, out there, is a Delta Unisaw with a bessimer fence calling my name.
I just can't seem to FIND it.
Lamont

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Bob wrote:

I don't know if you're a turner, yet, but come over and listen in at rec.crafts.woodturning for a little while. We've always got the tools vs user argument going. The other week it was $3000 lathes vs powered apple corers. You'll also recognize alot of the people. Dave in Fairfax
--
reply-to doesn't work
use:
daveldr at att dot net
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