Beginning tool selection...

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Okay, I'm new to this woodworking thing, but I really enjoy it. The situation is, I'm looking to get some more tools but I'm not sure what is most likely to be beneficial (or at least versatile) at the moment.
I currently have a 9" Ryobi bandsaw and an 8" (not sure if that's right but the blade says 8.25") makita table saw and was wondering what you wood-working gurus would recommend as my next tool. I can't decide between a 10" miter saw, 10" drill press (perhaps least obvious use to me at this point), or an 18" scroll saw. These are the ones I have a use for (or can see a practical need for in the near future). So what order would you buy these, given the types of projects listed below and limited cash availability?
I've built a maple coffee table and my next big project is a Cherry dining table with leaf. I'm currently working on a lot of small projects though, including some beer steins for friends (like you see at those rennaissance festivals), clocks for my daughter and some friends, cutting boards, wine racks, a couple of decorative and utility boxes, and a photo album cover for a wedding gift (much inlay work...fun stuff).
I have a circular saw, belt sander, ROS, skill saw, a couple of drills, a router attachment for my dremel, which is suiting me reasonably well for now (will definitely be getting a router eventually though) and some hand tools including various saws, chisels, planes etc.
So after all that, are there any recommendations for tools I might find very useful (limited space availability) but haven't mentioned? I considered a planer, but honestly don't expect much need for one at this point.
Thanks for any input you folks may have.
bkr
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Go to Sears Get a credit card. Go to the tool department. Charge that card to the hilt.
By the time you've paid that card off, you will have... Worn out some tools Broken other tools Thrown some tools away because they are worthless Figured out which tools that you need to pop for some big bucks, and some where which cheap is just fine.....
Learned to NEVER get another credit card.
James.....

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J&KCopeland wrote:

Ah, no, thanks. I don't use credit cards for anything and the Sears near me doesn't seem to have a good selection of power tools of the kind I'm looking for.
bkr
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Okay...then...
Buy one of the larger mechanics tool sets. I don't care what you do in life, you're going to use tools from that set from time to time. Save yourself some grief and buy a mid-range tool box to hold those tools. Keep the tools in the tool box. Soundly admonish any spouse or offspring that would dare to take a tool from that box and not put it back. (BTW, Craftsman mechanics tools are perfectly acceptable for the average non-mechanic).
Now buy the basics. Hammers, handsaws, circular saw, and perhaps a reciprocating saw. Buy an assortment of GOOD hammers in various weights. (I prefer fiberglass handles, but my best 13 oz trim hammer is wood-handled Plumb made in the 30's) Get use to the idea of buying "the basics" for the rest of your life.
Buy a 10" table saw. If you can afford it, buy a mid-range cabinet saw. You'll probably never have to buy another one. (Consider the need for portability. If you don't need to move it from job to job, there is no reason to sacrifice any feature for portability) Buy one of the better fences for that saw.
But the best blades you can afford. Figure out where you're going to get the blades sharpened. (This is important. Good blades are expensive. However, good blades that are dull are pretty close to worthless)
Buy several books dedicated to making jigs. Do not try to reinvent the wheel, rather use the innovativeness of other, wiser people to make you life easier. Search the internet diligently and make sure you save any gems to be used at a later time. Invest some time in 19th Century tool techniques. Just remember that they were every bit as lazy as you are. And very few of them found virtue in doing something the hard way.
Locate a supplier for Johnson's Paste Wax. It has a thousand uses from protecting wood to protecting your table saw top.
*****If you choose the neader path, then start buying planes, and the rest of this post is probably worthless to you.
Buy a 6" jointer (You can put this off for a while, but when you do get one, you're going to wonder why you waited so long.)
Now you can start to diversify depending on your preferences.
Buy clamps. (Create a tradition that for all birthdays, anniversaries and holidays, that the present of choice for you are clamps. Provide suggestion lists of which clamps.)
Buy a good drill press (Surprising to me, I probably use that drill press with as much frequency as any tool in the shop) Buy a good bandsaw (I don't use mine all that much, but that's just me.) Buy a good compound miter saw (Personally, I'm not all that enamored with those sliding miter saws. But, I use the miter saw as much as the table saw.)
Buy a good lathe (Lathe work is world until itself. I don't own a lathe, but I'll bet the turners will tell you to buy top line chisels)
Buy a decent air compressor.
Start buying routers Buy big brutes, plunge and fixed base, and buy small ones (laminate trimmers) Buy decent router bits. Do not buy the sets. You'll never use half the bits in a big set.
Buy one of the better dovetail kits. Buy one of the better dado sets
Buy assorted nail guns, including a framing nailer, a finish nailer and a brad nailer. (BTW, so far my two Craftsman nail guns have performed as well as my Porter Cable and Paslode)
It won't take very many years before you can come back and go through the post, point by point and say, "This was bullshit, and this was a good suggestion."
James...
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J&KCopeland wrote:

Serious mucho $$$$$$$ here. It really is a world unto itself. It has so little in common with "flatwood" that the two can hardly both live together under the name "woodworking." Which is why they call themselves turners, not woodworkers, and keep their $7,000 lathes and $250 bowl gouges over on the other newsgroup. :)

Don't shoot yourself in the head/eye/arm/heart with it though.
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On Thu, 06 Jan 2005 03:39:39 -0500, Silvan

plain.. relaxing... fun... it was well worth them money...
I build furniture as a hobby...BUT between projects when I am in one of my lost, funky, what the hell am I going to get into today, moods I find that I can fire up the lathe and have a blast... To me it is a tool ...that I use as a toy...
I am not a "turner" for sure... BUT I do not have any other machine in my shop that I use as a toy to play with..on days that I feel like being a little boy again... lol
Bob Griffiths.
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Bob G. wrote:

Don't get me wrong here, I have a lathe too. I'm just pointing out that it's a whole different world, and probably not something I'd put on a short list of must haves for a new woodworker.

I'd say I'm in the same camp. If you take turning seriously, it's just too much money, too much equipment, too much everything. I like to have a bit of fun, but I haven't actually found much practical use for my lathe yet, other than making replacement knobs for hand planes. I have enough change dishes, mushrooms and candlestick holders to last several lifetimes. My lathe is a mini, and I can't do much else on it. I definitely don't have room for a full sized lathe, so that's basically just the end of it for me. It's a fun toy, but it's basically useless as anything other than a momentary amusement. Make something neat looking, then throw it on the fire so it doesn't clutter the place up.
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J&KCopeland wrote:

James, thanks for the advice. I was looking in the bookstore yesterday for woodworking books. Any suggestions for books on jigs? I noticed a couple other comments yesterday about low or mid-range saws with a good set of jigs can be passible for quite a lot of work.
I have considered a lathe, but honestly I don't have the space and I'd rather get reasonably decent at other aspects of this hobby before investing the time and money into that side. I've used a lathe a few times in the past and I enjoy it, but it takes far more effort to learn to do well (in my opinion).
I'm assuming the other parts of your post were made in humour so I'll just leave them alone.
bkr
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Start with the internet. Go to google and input "woodworking jigs". There will be enough to keep you going for quite a while.
There is a little mag called "Shop Notes" that comes out every month. I buy it at the grocery story. It's tiny, but generally, every issue has worthwhile suggestion(s). Bob Wearing's *Router Tips and Techniques* is excellent.
http://www.shopnotes.com /
Check out the video of the router jig. That's probably next.....

Amen.
"Humour" ???? Are you British? (American's spell it "Humor") Just you wait (Grinning) Come back in several years and we'll see what's humorous and what isn't.

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J&KCopeland wrote:

humour like a Brit...generally I don't even notice and it depends on my leisure reading of the moment I think.
Thanks for the link to the shopnotes.
bkr
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wrote:

Sounds like the exact method I used in the Mid 60's when I got into this hobby.... That Plastic Sears Money taught me a few things
Bob Griffiths
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calmly ranted:

Priceless! The only problem is that each person who does this has helped the Searz Monster stay alive yet another year to sucker some thousands of other folks out of their hard-earned money.
-- "Menja b, caga fort!"
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bkr wrote:

Interesting, I can't imagine living WITHOUT a planer. What do you do if you need a board that's 3/8" thick, but only have 1/2"??? Run to the lumberyard every time you need a special size? I'd go with the planer.
After that, a miter saw. It makes cutting accurate 45's so much easier than a miter gauge and a TS.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Can't afford a planer, and where on earth would I put it anyway? I find when thicknessing a board, it almost never really matters if one face is a little off. So I get one face flat, use it as a reference for the other face, and hand plane to the line. I don't get 100% results, but since it almost never really matters if one face is a little off...

Or build a good miter sled for the TS. I got some amazingly good miters out of my incredibly crappy Skil 3400 after I built a good, solid sled. I made a bunch of poster frames with it. I just looked at them a couple years later, and found the miters are spot on. Looking back, it's really impressive what I was able to do with that piece of junk, through the liberal application of jiggery. I'm much happier to have a real saw now though. (Or what I consider a real saw anyway. There's always some guy with three Unisaws snickering at me from the back of the room. :)
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

something else like inlays. If I use a planer (my brother has one) the only thing I have left is spill cleaner. Honestly, the reason I'm not really considering a planer is space and cost at this point. Saws have much more versatility for the same price.
bkr
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I would upgrade the TS to a 10" first. It is a lot of money but well worth it. I started with a Crapsman direct drive table top saw and when it finally broke (13 months) I upgraded to a Jet contractor saw. A bigger saw will give you much more flexibility and accuracy. I would even consider buying a used TS. They are simple machines with few moving parts, if everything is straight and the bearings are good the most you have to worry about is the motor.
I have a TS, router, planer (freebie), jigsaw, plate joiner, and a rotozip (piece of junk). I'm not sure what to get next, I'm torn between: bandsaw, drill press or a joiner (can't get it right on the router table). I'm guessing after 2 or 3 more projects I'll decide, but I'm leaning toward the drill press.
I wouldn't buy 'cheap' tools. After the Crapsman TS and the rotozip, I read a lot and go to the Borg and get a feel for the tools and buy the best I can afford. You can also rent tools cheaply and test drive them...
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Ray wrote:

it, but drill presses are certainly handy. I don't do many projects where I need one at this point, but I can see future projects where I will, which is why it's in my list.
Right now, the cheap tools are all that I can afford, so they'll have to do. I'm hoping that I'll be able to sell a few pieces in the near future (already have one person asking me to build them a couple of things) so that will justify buying better tools. Right now, though, I need the tools to build the pieces. Maybe I'll try renting a couple of the better tools to do the projects and then use the money to buy them.
bkr
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Well the joiner may be next. My current project is a coffee table and I need to edge join the boards for the top. This is the first time I am trying this so If I can't get it right on the router table or with a new TS blade a new joiner may be required ;-).
I finished this yesterday and am hoping it will improve my chances of joining with a router: http://woodstore.woodmall.com/rofe.html Funny how every project requires a new jig or tool...
This site also gave me some good tips: http://www.woodshopdemos.com/rtrplnr.htm
If I still can't get it right with the router I will try a new saw blade first. I currently use a 50T Craftsman blade for just about everything.
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Ray wrote:

(brand new) from a friend and figure with the 8" I could buy something different for now and then upgrade to the 10" or maybe a 14" when I have more space and the 8" is dead.
bkr
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[snipperized]

*S* You may want to price 14" blades first.
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