New Woodworker in need of Tool Suggestions

Greetings,
I am starting my woodworking hobby and looking to buy some tools. I own many of the basic hand tools necessary for any true craftsman and have had several years experience with them. However I am interested in purchasing power tools to aid me. I did my research on a table saw and am very pleased with the purchase I have made. Although it is not professional grade I suites me well. I feel the next logical step in my purchasing progression is to buy a bandsaw.
Sorry about the rambling. OK, so here's the question. As an aspiring young woodworker should I drop the money for a 14" or even an 18" bandsaw, or will 10" be sufficient for most projects? My projects mainly consist of cabinetry and furniture making. I also intend on doing minimal re-sawing, as I do not own a planer or jointer as of yet.
Any help or recommendations as to size and or brand is greatly appreciated.
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"xerxes" wrote in message

Depends upon the type of woodworking you will be doing. If you're going to be doing a lot of cabinetry you might be able to do without a band saw until you really need one for a project.
If you know upfront that you're gonna to be serious about making furniture, 14" minimum ... buy an older used tool if you can. A used Delta 28-299 would be ideal.
Checkout craiglist.org in your area, but first do an honest appraisal of what your needs/ambitions with regard to woodworking may likely be.
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xerxes wrote:

You'll need at least 14 inches to beat the re-saw capability of your table saw. I resaw up to 6 inches on mine by making two cuts. I think saws under 14 inches are intended for craft-show type items, not building furniture. 18 inches is a serious bandsaw requiring a serious investment. You still have lots of other toys to buy before you'll outgrow a 14 inch.
DonkeyHody "Every man is my superior in that I can learn from him." - Thomas Carlyle
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On Mon, 04 Dec 2006 07:45:27 -0800, xerxes wrote:

If you're looking for mostly scrolling cuts in relatively thin stock consider a scroll saw instead. If you're going for a band saw go for at least a 14 inch--you may not want to resaw now but you will later.
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xerxes wrote:

I feel the next logical step in

Hi, Most serious woodworkers would claim that the next logical step after the purchase of a good table saw is a jointer and planer or combo jointer and planer. If you build a sliding box table for the table saw you can do accurate cross cuts and even mitres in wide stock or panels. A band saw has little use other than cutting curves in heavy stock, light stock up to 3/4", can be handled with a jig saw. Resawing is another matter. I have a 20" 3 wheel bandsaw with a resaw capability of 10". Only used it once to resaw. A band saw is also useful for rough cutting circles and ovals for table tops. Again, a jig saw followed by a router is just as fine. This advice of course makes sense if you intend to glue up panels of solid wood. If your goal is to work with plywoods and other sheet goods, you can survive well enough without a jointer planer.
Good luck, Gene
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Thanks everyone for the help. Gene, you brought up some interesting points. Should I consider buying a router first, as I do not yet own one? Or should I consider looking into a planer or jointer. I doubt I will buy a combination machine as my previous experience indicates combo machines tend to perform badly.
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When getting into routers it is VERY easy to buy bits fast and forget what the particulars are for the specific bits. You DON'T put them into a drawer and let them roll around and knock into each other! Plan on storage of bits, both 1/4" and 1/2" shanks, with a means to identify what each bit is. DAMHIKT.

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snipped-for-privacy@vcoms.net wrote:

A router will almost certainly be more useful at this stage than a band saw. And even a halfway decent router can be bought for not a lot of dough. As far as bits are concerned, I would personally recommend getting a made-in-China set of 20 or so assorted bits off ebay. The inexpensive variety will let you discover which ones you use most often and then you can get better spec bits as you go along.
FoggyTown
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xerxes wrote:

A router will almost certainly be more useful at this stage than a band saw. And even a halfway decent router can be bought for not a lot of dough. As far as bits are concerned, I would personally recommend getting a made-in-China set of 20 or so assorted bits off ebay. The inexpensive variety will let you discover which ones you use most often and then you can get better spec bits as you go along.
FoggyTown
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A good router is far more versitile than a bandsaw for most projects- It's probably a better investment than the bandsaw when you're starting out.
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On Sun, 10 Dec 2006 06:27:43 -0600, Prometheus

I'll second that.
A good router, and practice time learning to use it, can really take your work up a notch.
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You can't go wrong with a Delta 14" bandsaw- and if you find you need more capacity, you can add a riser block to that model. I have a 10" bandsaw, and it's usually inadequate for most projects that involve more than shaping a table leg or cutting curves in small stock. It will not resaw anything worth resawing, so if that's your goal, steer clear of that size. As soon as I get around to it, the 10" is getting replaced by a larger one, and the little guy is getting moved to the garage for cutting small pipe and sheet metal.
Grizzly makes some nice bandsaws, too- their 14" saw will also accept a riser block.

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Router!
But, if you can afford the 3.5HP PC, go for it rather than the PC690. And Eschew the variable speed for a fixed speed and get an external speed control if you feel you need to vary the speed. My VS PC 290 died (the VS part) and I was down to one router until I swapped it out for a fixed speed model.
If you do go for the PC290 (I think that's the right number) go for the kit of fixed and plunge bases and look for a price below $199 (I got one set for $169 and have an "extra" plunge base as a result.
Another thing, when looking at tools, search first for blades and accessories. I bought a Bandsaw (well, got it for Christmas) and discovered when buying blades that many were not readily available in the length I needed.
Owning a "popular" tool assures one of access to lots of add-ons and features not available for some of the "orphan tools such as my Craftsman tilting table bandsaw!
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Tell Suffolk Machinery what blade length is needed and what you're doing and they'll make a blade for you. 1-800-234-SAWS
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resrfglc wrote:

I have a PC 7518 (3+ HP) in a table and I love it. But no way would I recommend that beast as a first router. It's just too big, too heavy and too powerful for general hand-held use, especially for a beginner. You don't take your driving test at Indianapolis.
DonkeyHody "We are all ignorant, just about different things." - Will Rogers
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"DonkeyHody" wrote in message

I agree totally ... my 7518 resides in the router table, an environment for which it appears to be well designed. I'm no wuss and the 7518, even with its soft start, is just a bit too much router to be holding onto for many hand-held tasks.
While I also have a few older 690's, an old B&D from 30 years ago, and a couple of newer PC plungers (more plastic than guts), my favorite "hand-held" router of late for non-plunge tasks, like edging, etc., is a Bosch Colt.
Still, best all-around IME are the 690 series bodies ... I even use one exclusively in a Multi-Router.
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"too powerful for general hand-held use, "
Use a router table. Much safer; more precise; better results. And, I believe, recommended approach whenever possible.

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I think the big routers are fine in a router table. But the OP doesn't even own a router, and you suggested he start with a 3.5 HP monster. I disagree with that advice because:
1. If he doesn't have a router, then he doesn't have a table to put it in. Substantial initial expense for a beginner to start out with a big router from a good manufacturer plus a table to put it in, plus bits etc.
2. Even if he had a router table, there are inevitably times when you need to use a router in hand-held mode. If the only router you have is a 3+ HP beast, the entire hand-held experience is much more intimidating. The starting torque alone is somewhat unnerving. The machine is big and tall and seems to balance precariously on the edge of the board. The hole in the base is so large that special effort is required to keep the corner of the board out of it.
3. There's a natural order of progression here as skills and confidence grow. First a medium-powered machine, then a table to put it in, then a bigger router for the table. The money spent on the smaller router is not wasted because he'll still use it after he has the big one.
DonkeyHody "We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it - and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again---and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore." - Mark Twain
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