I can't decide what tool to buy next

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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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Tom Bergman spaketh...

I neander out of necessity. It's the creation that I enjoy, not the method.
--
McQualude

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Probably the jointer. I think a table and jointer are two tools I use together. I bought a surface planer when I started making drawers, as I needed 1/2" thick stock and that's hard to find except for ply. I'd probably get the lathe last, but it is the most "fun" machine in my shop.
wrote:

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You really have to be careful of a lathe. It is the most dangerous tool in the shop! Responsible for more missed commitments and blown budgets than Congress! OK, you have been warned!
Sounds like you are not particularly pressed for time so:
Planer - cuts hand planing in half and allows pretty much standard dimensioning of stock for any given project.
Band Saw - one of the most versatile tools in a shop.
Drill Press - bench model fine on a stand as long as you have a minimum of 16 inch swing.
Jointer - bigger is better depending on space available and budget.
It is a pretty hard call actually. I keep a shop fund. When I get to the point I can no longer stand being without a tool and there is money available, I start looking for the best price. Last Saturday I found a Delta 14 inch bandsaw with a Baldor 3/4 HP motor on a moveable stand for $150. Looks like a pair of new thrust bearings and some rust removal from the table will bring this saw up to speed. Mad money is nice to have when opportunity knocks. Good luck with your shop! ;)
Dan "Eccentric by Nature"

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than
Absolutely, stay away from a lathe! You cannot imagine what a mess a tool can make until you set out to remove everything that doesn't look like a bowl from a piece of fire wood. Also, walking into the house with a finished project after a few hours in the shop is not near as satisfying as spending weeks of evenings and weekends to finish a square project. And the distraction factor: you go out to the shop to work on a project, and find yourself saying "well, just a few minutes turning." So much for the original project (see missed committments above.) And speaking of budgets: there is not tool in the shop that has as many accessories available for it as a lathe.
Gene
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