Been there, done that. I work a regular job that sucks 70 hours of my
life away per week, and when I get to "play" in the shop(1 car garage),
nothing is more irritating than making firewood instead of finished
projects. If you have more money then time, read on. If it's the
other way around, hand-cut joinery takes more time but sufficently
joins the wood.
I had a garage sale, sold all of my old junk, and then hopped on to
For about $4000.00, you can equip your shop with an INCRA TS-LS.
simply put, amazing. After the initial installation (1 day) I took a
scrap of wood and made a perfectly fitting double dovetail. It's so
tight that it doesn't require glue, although I would advise using it
My 4 grand investment netted me a Jet 10XL 3hp table saw, an Incra
Table Saw-Lead Screw (TS-LS) system, Precision Router Lift, a PC 690
router combo, a DeWalt 733 planer (used), a commercial style jointer,
mobile base, chisels, planes,sharpening tools, measuring tools, safety
equipment, and dust collector.
I put hundreds of hours into research, development, and design.
Incra has made me re-think woodworking altogether. I'm not simply
cutting wood, I'm MACHINING the raw material.
My solid myrtlewood sewing room with built-in fixtures and cabinets is
coming along nicely, thank you.
How can you justify spending that kind of change on yourself, while
your children's college fund suffers? Actually, it was an investment
in my house, my children's future, and myself. The custom woodworking
I have done would start at about 5K if I hired a contractor. I went
down to the county courthouse and got a business license, so now the
purchases became assets for the new business. Uncle Sam is going to
give me an incentive to get my business going, called Section 179.
Basically, it gives me back 40% of my purchase price in depreciation
the first year. It's to help spur the economy, which i was more than
happy to do. These tools will outlast me, and I hope my son will be
teaching his grandson how to use them one day.
One last note, with all of my cool equipment, there is no way to do
away with hand tools. I know of no planer than can produce the surface
that a hand scraper can. Keep your chisels, you will need them.
Best of luck my man.