I can't decide what tool to buy next

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Basically I have a TS, router and hand tools (some of the hand tools are powered); so where do I spend my money?
I know... the answer depends on how I work. Well I mostly build furniture so any of them would be handy and would save considerable time.
    jointer - save lot's of time over hand planing, should improve precision
    planer - would save me some money, I wouldn't have to buy S2S
    drill press - it would be nice to be able to use forstner bits, plug cutters, sanding drums and of course, to be able to drill at 90 degrees (I know everyone hates them, but would a bench size press be better than nothing?)
    band saw - resawing, pattern cutting, wouldn't have to use that 20 year old Crapsman sabre saw nearly as much
    lathe - obvious reason, I won't be limited to square stock
I am leaning toward jointer, band saw or lathe. I think I should maybe wait on the lathe. The jointer makes me more efficient, but the bandsaw has a higher fun factor, the lathe is more fun yet and increases my capabilities.
--
McQualude

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furniture
Easy. Decide which would be the *handiest*, and save the *most* time!

If it's saving you money, that's hard to ignore.

I use a $50 Harbor Freight bench-top drill press, and I love it. There are, of course, jobs where it doesn't have the capacity, but that doesn't mean it's not incredibly useful for the majority of things I do. And you can get a fairly nice standing drill-press much cheaper than a planer or jointer, to boot.

The lathe is the cheap part. Then you need chisels, a grinder, a grinding jig, chucks, jaws, etc.. By the time you're set up to do much of a variety, the price of the lathe itself doesn't seem so bad. Besides that, once you start on the lathe, it'll be so fun, you'll start neglecting all of your tools that aren't used to prep wood for the lathe!
steve
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If you build furniture, get a jointer and planer. Go with used equipment if you need to for budget reasons, but get both. They will save you so much time compared to hand planing and jointing, that you'll wonder how you ever managed without them. And you can buy your lumber rough, and surface it yourself to exactly the dimensions you want.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
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wrote:

There's good news and bad news. The bad news is you're eventually going to have everything on your list. The good news is the next one isn't going to be the most expensive.

Although this was probably my second major tool, in the grand scheme of things (and I just got my third one) I could have done without it for quite a bit longer.

Spending $$$ on a planer to save is like fighting for peace or screwing for virginity. Although eventually you will wonder how you did without it, I would have this next to last on your list.

I have often said the drill press is the most used tool in my shop. Of course I don't use it strictly for woodworking, so that may skew the data a bit. Even so, I think this would probably be my first choice of next tool.
Although a benchtop would be better than nothing, you're only talking $300-400 for a good floor model, which still makes it the cheapest tool of the list. This is where I'd throw my money.

Very useful. This is almost a tie for first choice for me. Actually, though, replacing that 20 year old Crapsman with a Bosch 1584 (or 1587) would do you almost as well, for now.

Fun tool. Horrible time thief. Turning is a specialty subset of woodworking, much like scroll sawing. If you're building furniture, you don't NEED a lathe. It's a nice-to-have tool, but it's the last tool you need to be spending money on.
By the way, as long as you already have a router, build yourself a router table. Keep it simple; it won't be your last one. Do it even if your router is only a 1-2 hp class router; just don't turn big bits with it.
My tool list at my website has some information on my particular tool complement that may or may not be useful to you. There is also an article on table router/router table philosophy that should be helpful as well as an article on your first/next router purchase.
I hope this helps.
LRod
Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
Shamelessly whoring my website since 1999
http://www.woodbutcher.net
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Both would be nice. I can get jointed wood for about the same price as rough, so I bought the planer first. Still don't have the jointer, but it is next on the list. For no additional cost my supplier can plane to thickness on both sides at the same time and will cut a straight edge. Given that service, I'n not in a hurry to get the jointer.

My bench top dp serves me well. Paid $179. So far, I can't say I've ever needed a larger one, but of course that day will come.

You can save money by resawing also. Before I had mine, I'd often use wood that was really thicker than what was needed, but since I had no practical way of cutting it down or planing it down, I used it. This is a vey practical step for $600 and up. Don't bother with a small ones, you should get the 14" or better.

That is last on my list. Unless you are into turning bowls and the like, the lathe is probably used much less than the other tools you mentioned. When I needed some spindles, I was able to buy them too cheap to worry about buying a lathe.

I think you are correct. The lathe looks like fun to use, but the other tools are much more practical for what you do every day. Ed
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I'd go for a drill press. I use mine a lot. I have a Delta floor model. I wish I had a variable speed model but the price is steep.
If you go with a bench top model, check out Delta's DP350. It is a 12" variable speed model (no pulley changing). Tool Crib/Amazon has it for $209.99.
Rob

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You can possibly get away without a jointer. I use a router table for simple smooth jointing. As you said you have a saber saw that does the basic work of a band saw. Drill Presses can be relatively cheap. But if you have a hand drill you can get away with out one (for the moment) Now we come to the planer, very hard to find a substitute (other than a wide belt sander or drum sander), You can get a descent portable planer for $300-400. However I am already running into size trouble at 12" so if you can afford (have room) one of those 15" or bigger planers, go for it. The Lathe is something else that is hard to duplicate. If you find you are doing lot of projects with round parts it is something to consider. The lathe can be a Hobby in itself. My list would go Planer, Bandsaw, Jointer/drill press (whichever opportunity arises first) And a Lathe whenever I see a great deal. (like a nice used one or $100 off a Jet deal or something)
--
Young Carpenter

"Save a Tree, Build Furniture"
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I got along without one for a long time, till I came across an old craftsman 4'' jointer for 75 bucks. Actually I found it so recently I haven't used it yet. Too many house/yard projects in the way.

The other posters who've said it doesn't save enough money to make dollars the only reason for buying it are right. The way I look at it, I'm not forced to use the "finished" stuff any more. I can use any lumber I find, and I can make different thicknesses out of it. Don't have to run out and find something similar in the right thickness any more. That makes it worth it in my book. But it's not what I'd get next if I were you.

I've got a Harbor Freight benchtop. Sixty or seventy bucks, if I remember correctly. There's been a FEW times I wished I had something with a longer stroke, but not many. And it just gets used and used and used. Not just for woodworking. The longer it's around, the more it comes in really handy.
A friend just gave me a Craftsman 17'' floor model that needs a motor and a few other parts. It'll go in the garage shop. The cheapo HF will stay in the basement.
THAT'S what I'd get next. In fact if I recall, I was just about exactly in your situation when I did and I don't regret it one bit. I needed to drill the holes for a set of european hinges, and it turned out great. All the uses for it are a bonus.

Now that I've got a jointer and planer, the bandsaw's next on my list. But I'm going to look till I find something that'll resaw at least eight inches. Twelve would be better. It's not like the drill press; I don't think I want to get a smaller one while I look for what I really want. :-)

Last on my list. Nice to have, would be fun - actually I know it'll be fun because I *will* own one but not till after I've got a big ol' bandsaw, an eight-inch jointer, and probably a sliding compound miter saw. Then I'll get a nice lathe and my plans for world domination will be complete.
(All of the above gets thrown out the window if I run across a sweet price on any of that stuff.)

Out of the ones you mention here, I'd go for the band saw. But I'm standing by my first position: I think you'll get more out of the drill press than the band saw.
Then of course, I'm not you. Bottom line is, go ahead and ask around and then go do exactly what you want. It's your hobby and it's supposed to make you feel empowered, dammit. If I had to measure the usage fun factor between band saw and drill press, I think the bandsaw wins. :-)
Dan
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OOOOH you will need LOTS of HP for that. I have a 3 HP on a 20 (old Delta) and it's still not enough. -- Jim in NC
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Yep. Definitley not a 14" Jet/Delta/whatever. I had a MiniMax thet I would have done it wil. They run around $1000-1400 I believe. Laguna sells some good stuff too in my opinion.
wrote:

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wrote in message

But
Delta)
Nice to have big horsie, not essential. I have a 1-1/2 horse motor on my Delta 14" saw, with a riser, I can cut 12" thick. The right blade, blade tension and tuning of the saw are critcial. I have been using a Lenox 3 tpi carbide-tipped blade lately for all resawing, and it works wonders (and is worth the clams). A bit slow, but does the job. If I wanted speed, I'd find a dedicated resaw.
JonE
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wrote in

Thanks Jon, that's good to know. I should have mentioned that speed wasn't a factor; I just want the capability and I'll be doing it infrequently so changing to a special blade isn't a problem. And if my tablesaw is any indicator, when I do get my first bandsaw the first few weeks it'll be about fifty-fifty fiddling with it and actually using it. Not sure if it's to be certain it's tuned right or I just like playing with my toys. :-)
Dan
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-snippage-

worth
One point I'd like to bring up - this is the best reason for owning a planer or other thicknesser (I have a drum sander too). All of the lumber I have been using recently, and has been drying in my lumber stack, is lumber that I would be hard pressed to find *easily*. I had most of it cut for me, cut some of it myself, and bought the rest rough and green.
In the stack is 6/4 white ash cut from a tree in my backyard, about 200 bf of clear cherry from a power line clearing project, a decent amount of maple with both curl *and* birdseye in it, some hackberry, pin oak, black oak, white birch, larch, black locust; and my favorite, about 150 board feet of 8/4 native Vermont apple, 6' lengths and 10-12" wide. I dare anyone to spend less than a couple weeks finding decent quantities of any of that stuff sold as surfaced, jointed and kiln-dried stock.
Instead of buying the common-as-horse-dung lumber sold in the better yards. or the pre-warped-for-your-convenience toothpicks at the Borg, I am saving my dollahs for a new Woodmaster 4-in-1 machine.
Jon E - meepmeep vrooooom
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Out of the five tools you mention, the jointer gets the most use, followed by the planer, and the drill press. My bandsaw is rarely used, but will see more use when the lathe finally gets put back into service. You almost have to buy a jointer and planer together, unless you work with stock that is already surfaced two sides. Then, just the jointer. I work only with rough lumber, so the pair is a necessity. The drill press gets used on all kinds of odd jobs, from sanding to drilling to polishing, etc.
Jon
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Of the stationary tools I have this is the order I place on their importance to me: Tablesaw, 6" Jointer Drill Press, Radial saw, Bandsaw, Planer.
Phil
McQualude wrote:

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I bought a Delata small drillpress and was amazed that the locking pin for the table allowed a LOT of rotation. I'm using scraps under it to hold it horizontal in place at 90.
wrote:

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McQualude wrote:

This is a no brainer. Buy the drill press. A drill press is the most useful stationary power tool any human being can own.
A benchtop is OK. I used a 10" benchtop on its own table for a long time, but I just traded up for a 15" floor model, and I'm very glad I did. If you have space and capital, I'd go for the floor model straight off. Especially for woodworking, where a small DP really limits the size of the pieces you can effectively work on.
--
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
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Lots of thoughtful responses. The drill press and jointer were the overwhelming favorites. By my count, the DP got 4 recommendations and the jointer got 3. The rest of the posts were somewhat mixed bandsaw & planer.
I think I will buy a cheap DP for now and look for a good used jointer. I really don't drill many holes, maybe I will. Thanks for the responses.
--
McQualude

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Well, if you'd prefer to stop neandering, then this tool becomes essential

yep, *can* pay for itself over time. To me, the planer and jointer go together, almost need to get as a package deal, although some poster on the wreck joint their wood with their planer.

No. Save for a floor one, I first bought a benchtop, it's capacity is very limited, it is relegated to use as a drum sander ... you might see it on eBay someday. If you can afford a jointer, planer, bandsaw or lathe you can afford a floor DP

A great highly versatile tool

Slippery slope here - you are warned. Turning is FUN. Nice to knock out a beautiful bowl, completely finished, in a couple hours at most. Highly impressive to SWMBOs. HOWEVER, by the time you get a lathe, convince yourself you NEED all the associated turning tools and doodads, you'll have spent as much as you would have to buy every other tool on this list.

One of each is best ;-) Although you didn't mention budget, if there's a way to swing it, even though there's nothing sexy about them, I'd put the jointer & planer at the top of the list so you can start getting rough sawn.
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Nicest feature of a drill press is the indexing vise you can buy for it. Saves bunches of time in lining things up.
On 24 Aug 2003 14:40:21 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@adelphia.net (Tom Bergman) wrote:

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