I think it depends on the level of the tool. Grizzly "industrial"
stuff is nearly the same price as "name brand" stuff, and of decent
quality. It's the low-end consumer grade stuff that's cheaper. I was
recently noticing that I can get a DJ-30 and a Grizzly 12" jointer for
about the same price.
Higher end Delta stuff compares favorably with General and Powermatic.
Lower end Delta stuff is crap, lower end Powermatic is often gold
painted Jet, and General International is the same as Grizzly.
I have some of each! <G>
I wouldn't consider a bandsaw an immediate need. Maybe not even a drill
press depending on what immediate projects you have planned. No, I'd say
save the money for a good planer (I like Dewalt's DW735), and a nice router
(if you don't have one). Add a router table to the top of your project
list, and then slowly add the additional tools to your arsenal as needed.
Well, the first plan I would like to do is:
I inquired about the recommended tool list and this is what they replied
Table saw (or radial arm saw)
Band saw (or sabre saw)
Jointer (or hand plane)
Router and router table with 1/8", 1/4", 1/2" roundover bits, 3/8"
spiral end mill bit, edge guide
Drill press with 1/8", 3/32", 3/16", 3/8" and 13/32" bits, countersink
bit, sanding drum
Pipe or bar clamps
Small bar clamps or C-clamps
This probably isn't a beginner project but at least it's step by step :)
You have the table saw already, right?
The dado stack should cost about $100 (Freud SD208 will do nicely; there
are others. And you'll use this for many other projects.
I don't see where this project would require a band saw. There are only
two pieces with curves, and there are many ways to make those curves,
without spending the money on the band saw. That said, you MAY in the
future decide you need a band saw; just not for this project.
If you have your tablesaw properly set up, there won't be all that much for
the jointer to have to do. Mostly, cleaning up the rip surfaces on the
many, many, many boards. Sanding, a good handplane (#5 or larger), a
'glue-line rip' blade, your new router table...
The router is a necessary tool. Buy a good one. Make your own table and
simple fence. Do you homework at www.patwarner.com. I don't know of
anybody more knowledgable, or more pragmatic, regarding these useful tools,
than Pat. Should you decide that you wish to do business with him, for
some of his goodies, you will find him refreshingly easy and
straightforward to work with.
The drill press is a useful tool, although you could probably get by with
an electric hand drill, unless the plans have you cutting a bunch of
mortises with the drill press. Since there are a bunch of ways to do this
joinery, and I haven't seen THESE plans, it's hard to tell. I bought a
$350 floor standing variable speed Delta last winter, and have been
pleasantly surprised by just how much use I've gotten from it. A benchtop
model on a rolling stand might be just fine for your needs.
Clamps. Clamps. Clamps. Can't have too many. You CAN have the wrong kind,
and you can spend a lot more than you need to. But that wasn't really what
you were asking about in this list, was it?
What I see missing, at least from my perception of how I would build this
project, is a means of repeatably thicknessing stock to size. A benchtop
size planer, with a stand, would be on my list. I have been very satisfied
with the Emerson-era Ridgid TP 1300 I got at Home Depot. Lots of folks who
hang out here have expressed opinions on planers. Check them out.
Have fun with this, and more importantly, congratulations on the addition
to the family!
Table Saw's one of the four cornerstone tools in a shop.
This would be on my "Buy First" list.
If budget is very tight - you can get by without this.
If budget is tight, and you've got a lot of dados to cut - there are
inexpensive, but workable offeringes.
This would be on my "Buy Third" list.
That said, I got along for a year with a good jigsaw (Bosch, Milwaukee).
I got along for another few months with a $99 Delta Shopmaster Bandsaw from
When I popped for the 14" Jet - things got much easier.
This would be on my "Buy Second" list.
Again - if you buy it - you'll find yourself using it all of the time.
But you can buy S4S, or use the other tools to get by.
This would be on my "Buy Second" list.
See www.patwarner.com for recommendations on a good first router.
I would not buy a router table immediately.
I would buy the bits as I need them. I use 1/8" roundover a-lot! I use 1/4
and 1/2" roundovers much less.
Hmm - edge guide not necessarily on my buy-first list. One came with my PC
router kit (PC 693VSPK) and I've never used it it.
Spiral bit? Yes - I use my Whiteside flush trim spiral up-cut alot.
I went with a 12" reconditioned Delta Benchtop for $125 from ToolKing and do
not regret it.
When it comes to bits - you should *invest* in a good set of one of: Brad
Points, Forstners and "regular' plain 'ol" bits. I invested in a good set
of Brad Points (WL Fuller and Lee Valley have good ones). I went with a
cheap set of Forstners (and have been replacing them one at a time, as
needed, with better ones). For regular bits, I like to pick up Black and
Decker sets from WalMart. I don't feel bad about tossing them when they're
you'll need something like an accurate combination square. I invested in a
I started off with some Harbor Freight and Big Lot bar clamps. Super cheap.
Slowly, they're getting replaced with Besseys (I do like those new Irwin bar
I wouldn't buy a ton of C-clamps, maybe four tops. They have limited use in
furniture making (they can squeeze too hard). Nor am I a fan of pipe
clamps, I prefer bar clamps.
I have had my JET for about 3 months now and I'm very happy with it.
Of course, I worked the now expired rebate JET was offering and got the
jointer and mobile base for $430 after rebate (mild drive-by gloat).
My first choice was a Yorkcraft but shipping killed the deal (was quoted
$150). My second other choice was a Sunhill but the waiting list was too
long (I would still be waiting for it, I think).
Not to start an argument, but... :) My joke has been a great purchase.
Others have mentioned long waits, and I did wait a short time for mine to be
delivered, but the machine is excellent for the price. It was worth the
wait. That said, I'm sure others, of equal or greater quality, possibly
without the wait, are available.
Yeah, I wanted to point out that the machine is fine. I didn't have to wait
for months, but I am hearing more and more stories of that kind of service.
It's a shame. I hope they get their act together.
Barry, pardon me for interrupting, but I think the point of the post
was to discuss comparisons within the same "class" of tool. The DJ-15
is both more expensive and designed differently than other 8"
"Chiwanese" jointers. I believe the accurate comparison between
Grizzly, Jet and Delta 8" models, from both a price and design
standpoint, would include Delta's 37-380 8" model instead. The Delta
DJ15 and DJ20 are steps above and beyond the point of the disccusion,
with all due respect.
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