First let me thank everyone for their thoughtful advice. Posting to
newsgroups can be an iffy proposition at best. You never know what you
might get. I fully expected to get at least some portion of smart ass
remarks, but what I found was a collection of thoughtful and useful
advice - THANKS!
To sort of answer some of the comments in previous posts - I realize
that I didn'g give much details and as such I knew there would be some
generalized answers. Part of my lack of detail is because I don't know
as of yet what direction the woodworking will take me. My first thought
is to make and build some stand alone furniture. There are a number of
specific pieces that I have in mind. Since I am new, my plan was to
stick with straight lines - shaker, mission style etc. Perhaps in my
ignorance I am thinking it will be easier.
Due to the advice given in previous posts I am planning to hold off
purchasing the RAS and check into a local wood working class. I did
like the idea that having the compound miter saw could be moved to make
room on the bench for other tools as needed, giving more flexibility in
a limited space. I was definitely planning on a router and thanks to
your advice I have a better idea of what to look for.
This was a long winded path to get to advice request #2 -
Based on the idea of building some basic furniture - what tools would
you buy first?
Were you disappointed? We could try again! ;-)
My opinion, worth exactly what you'll be charged for it, is that you're
going to need some hand tools, without power cords, and the stuff and skill
to keep them sharp.
A modest set of chisels, such as the Marples bevel-edge, or maybe a little
better. You shouldn't need to spend more than maybe $50 on a set of 4 or
Two or three hand planes. Good ones, whether they are old or new. A block
plane. A #3 or #4 bench plane. A larger plane, like a #5 or bigger. Two
or three handscrapers.
One or two modestly priced Japanese-style pull saws. There has been a lot
of good discussion on these in recent threads. Google is your friend. If
not, www.japanwoodworker.com is.
Some decent measuring tools. An accurate square. A marking gauge. A good
steel rule. A scratch awl or marking knife. A pair of dividers or
compass. A sliding bevel gauge.
Oh. You could buy a powered hand drill, and some good bits.
Read up on Scary Sharp on the web. Or water stones. No power tools are
needed, at least not for now. If you can't sharpen it with either of those
two methods, take it to a professional for service.
Get the McFeeley's catalog, as well as their $10 sampler package of
fasteners. One of the best deals in woodworking. And one of the best
Now here's the hard part. Take you wallet. Take out all of the credit
cards, and give them to your wife for 'escrow', while you study the
catalogs from Lee Valley, Garrett-Wade, Highland Hardware, Japan
Woodworker, and maybe three or four others. Don't buy anything until you
have thought it through for three days. If it still seems like a good
idea, ask your wife for one of the cards back, preferably one with a modest
You can spend a thousand dollars on the above, or find things used or on
sale for a lot less. But none of these tools will be obsolete when your
grandchildren might use them. They seldom wear out or break, if you buy
reasonable quality. If you like estate or garage sales, you can find them
really cheap, in some neighborhoods.
And find that adult ed program, so you can learn to use their power tools
safely, and see what you like.
/preacher mode off
Welcome to the craft!
OP: Listen to the man.
This belongs in the FAQ. (Is it there already? Who reads FAQs?) If I
hadn't already done all those things, I'd print out his post and stick it
to the shop wall. His advice is worth far more than he charged.
One other thing: have fun!
"patriarch email@example.comDOTnet>" <<patriarch> wrote in message
To add to the already excellent advice
When I started out, I'd not hesitate to buy a slick looking power tool, but
had to get an extender for extra leverage on the crowbar for clamps. That
was a mistake. You need at least two Bessey K body clamps, preferably the
31", but you can supplement them with the lower cost Tradesman model clamps.
A couple of 24" are nice and add from there.
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