Getting Started Tips...


Hi All- First time writer, long time reader.
I am looking for suggestions on getting my workshop started. I haven't touch anything woodworking related for several years now and would like to startup again. I am starting from square 1. I am looking for tips on hardware as well as which items recommended to purchase first. I know the saying goes "Don't buy any tool until you need it" but where to begin is the bigger question.
I am planning to start small (jewelry boxes and humidors) to get a hang of things again. I may get into lathe work as well, but most likely not right off the back. I don't want to invest huge amounts of money immediately. As I start to use the shop more and more I'll upgrade the equipment as needed.
I am planning on making use of my abundant 3rd floor attic space for the shop. Do you think this is a good or bad idea? My basement wont work so well and garage is pretty much out of the question also. I will need to run electric as well as insulate for the cold winters and hot (well they used to be at least) summers of Wisconsin! I know getting equipment up to the attic will be a real pain but it is all I think I can do.
Your comments are much appreciated.
Thanks, Nick
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Me again...
I'll fill you in on some more background information. I own a duplex that was built in the 1920's. Strength of the attic floor should not be an issue (things were built to last back then). I reside on the 2nd floor. Since I have a tenant that lives on the first floor I'd rather not build my shop in the basement. I was thinking that by going up to the 3rd floor that there would be a nice sound barrier by having my living quarters between the shop and tenants floor.
My garage is separated from the house and is shared by the tenant. Putting the shop in the garage won't work... At least how it is designed at the moment. I took another look at it after reading some of the responses posted here. I can possible put an addition on the North side of the garage. This may work but dramatically drives up the cost factor for getting started. Hmmm... Things to stew over...
What about equipment? What would you recommend as the basics. Are there starter combo machines that are worth the investment? I have heard rumors of a shop in the area that you can rent time at that has everything you need, I may start here.
Again your thoughts are appreciated.
~~ Nick.
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2> <DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>Hi All-</FONT></DIV> <DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>First time writer, long time reader.</FONT></DIV> <DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV> <DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>I am looking for suggestions on getting my workshop started.&nbsp; I haven't touch anything woodworking related for several years now and would like to startup again.&nbsp; I am starting from square 1.&nbsp; I am looking for tips on hardware as well as which items recommended to purchase first.&nbsp; I know the saying goes "Don't buy any tool until you need it"&nbsp; but where to begin is the bigger question.</FONT></DIV> <DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV> <DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>I am planning to start small (jewelry boxes and humidors) to get a hang of things again.&nbsp; I may get into lathe work as well, but most likely not right off the back. I don't want to invest huge amounts of money immediately.&nbsp; As I start to use the shop more and more I'll upgrade the equipment as needed.</FONT></DIV> <DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV> <DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>I am planning on making use of my abundant 3rd floor attic space for the shop.&nbsp; Do you think this is a good or bad idea?&nbsp; My basement wont work so well and garage is pretty much out of the question also.&nbsp; I will need to run electric as well as insulate for the cold winters and hot&nbsp;(well they used to be at least) summers of&nbsp;Wisconsin!&nbsp; I know getting equipment up to the attic will be a real pain but it is all I think I can do.</FONT></DIV> <DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV> <DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>Your comments are much appreciated.</FONT></DIV> <DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV> <DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>Thanks,</FONT></DIV> <DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>Nick</FONT></DIV></FONT></DIV></BLOCKQUOTE></BODY></HTML>
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What about equipment? What would you recommend as the basics. Are there starter combo machines that are worth the investment? I have heard rumors of a shop in the area that you can rent time at that has everything you need, I may start here.
Renting shop time is a good idea if you have no tools are need a particular tool that you don't have yet.
There are a few combo tools, such as the Shopsmith. It is a tablesaw, bandsaw, drill press and a couple of others. If you are tight on space, it may be a good idea. The problem is, you cut out a part on the bandsaw, then you convert the machine to a drill press. Drilling the holes you screw up and have to cut a new piece. Tear down and re-set. Then tear down and re-set. Nice to have all the tools sitting and ready.
Looking at the "for sale" ads in our local shoppers paper, there are many of them for sale. Some weeks there will be a half dozen Craftsman table saws and maybe four Shopsmiths. I've rarely seen contractors saws, once saw a Grizzly, never saw a Unisaw listed. Since Craftsman sells many saw (especially low end starters) I can see the reason of so many. OTOH, Shopsmith is in the minority and yet just as many are for sale.
If you are unsure of your dedication to the hobby, buy used and the minimums before you dive in and spend a bundle.
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When I started gathering the major power tool, my first purchase was a table saw. In retrospect, I probably would have been better served by starting with the band saw. It is more versatile, and I use it more than my table saw. I have the Grizzly G055, and it's a great saw, but I may replace the bearing blade guides with plain blocks.
Let us know what you do and how well it works.
Hi All- First time writer, long time reader.
I am looking for suggestions on getting my workshop started. I haven't touch anything woodworking related for several years now and would like to startup again. I am starting from square 1. I am looking for tips on hardware as well as which items recommended to purchase first. I know the saying goes "Don't buy any tool until you need it" but where to begin is the bigger question.
I am planning to start small (jewelry boxes and humidors) to get a hang of things again. I may get into lathe work as well, but most likely not right off the back. I don't want to invest huge amounts of money immediately. As I start to use the shop more and more I'll upgrade the equipment as needed.
I am planning on making use of my abundant 3rd floor attic space for the shop. Do you think this is a good or bad idea? My basement wont work so well and garage is pretty much out of the question also. I will need to run electric as well as insulate for the cold winters and hot (well they used to be at least) summers of Wisconsin! I know getting equipment up to the attic will be a real pain but it is all I think I can do.
Your comments are much appreciated.
Thanks, Nick
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wrote:

And I thought I was going to be the only one to suggest this. I had the benefit when I started of already having access to a table saw and I use it a lot, but for small projects starting out it's hard to beat a band saw. They are versatile, fun, and for your particular situation, don't throw as much dust around as a table saw. Invest in a good 14" one. I got an el cheapo 9" and yikes.. better than no band saw at all, but not by much.
Direct a lot of your attention towards building up hand tools at the start, as a lot of them are bare necessities and while they don't generally have the sticker shock of the big power tools they sneak up on you a little at a time. Plus if you change your mind you can easily resell them on ebay for little loss. A good low angle block plane. A good set of chisels. Clamps, four 12" Besseys is a good start, but only a start.
Learning how to sharpen properly and mastering the band saw will keep you out of trouble for a while. If your interest holds then start to worry about where the table saw will find its home.
Searching this newsgroup via groups.google.com will provide you with more information about just about anything you'd want to know.
-Leuf
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Nearly everyone spends far too much on tools and not enough on timber.
Find a good timber supplier; affordable, nearby, and with a good range (preferably locally grown) of useful timber. Then start buying timber that attracts you, and choosing your projects accordingly.
--
Smert' spamionam

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wrote:

Andy's right for another reason. When SWMBO sees a new tool arrive, she counts it as being for me. When she sees timber arrive, she starts to think I might actually build one of the projects on the honey-do list.
Patriarch
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