Re: How do you guys afford this hobby? (again)

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Prices of tools??? Prices are DIRT cheap compared to just 20 years ago.. 20 years ago a Grizzly TS cost you $800, it still costs you $800, the same with virtually every other tool. Most of the hand power tools are less than 20 years ago without inflation!
Be happy you are starting now and not years ago.
--
Rumpty

Radial Arm Saw Forum: http://forums.delphiforums.com/woodbutcher/start
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I do contract work on the side and use that $$ for tools.
Im not "allowed" to use family $$ for my obsession =) So to keep myself in check - I only use $$ I earn on the side.
-R

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Talk to lots of people about it look in the paper for used tools auctions garage sales on the web e-bay and find some local sawmill,usually rough cut lumber i so much cheaper and you really get to see your project come alive...what a great feeling......
-- Knowledge speaks, wisdom listen..... Jimi Hendrix

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I started my stationary tool collecting 30 years ago when I was a freshman in High School. (I still have that wood lathe). Through the years I have purchased some new, and a lot of upgrades. ( I am on my 4th RAS) I go to a lot of garage sales (never bought a big tool at an auction), classifieds, ebay, and word of mouth. How can I justify the expense? Well it's my outlet. Meaning, I don't golf, gamble, smoke or travel much (not against these, just prefer not. Are the tools cost effective? Mayvbe not, but we have solid hardwood bathroom (and kitchen to be) cabinets, along with a beautiful staircase, and 8" baseboards, and custom window and door trim. These tools will hold the value pretty well, especially the used ones, so I look at them like an investment.
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That's the way to look at it. It is something you do for your own recreation and relaxation. What price do you put on that?
SWMBO is fond of telling others that with my hobby she doesn't have to go out to find me nor worry about me driving home. I couldn't afford another woman, and I won't woodwork if I've had a drink - even hand tools.
If you like, and have the time, you can even sell some of your things. My tools are paid over and over with sales of what they produce, and a bit left over here and there after the household is taken care of brings in new ones to try. When I go, the kids will have a lot of stuff to divide.
How can I justify the expense? Well it's my outlet. Meaning,

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George wrote:

SWMBO gets mad at me sometimes because I can always find something more interesting to do than sit on the couch and watch the idiot box with her.
I need to hook her up with some friends who have husbands who go out drinking and adulterizing so I can convince her of how good she has it.
For that matter, I don't even have any friends. Just doesn't work out well with my irregular schedule. So there's really nothing to keep me away from home other than my job. If I'm off for eight days, my car sits in exactly the same spot for eight days.
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Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
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martin responds:

Great tip. Almost every area has some kind of small sawmill, usually several. Learn to sticker while stacking and keep a spot for three stacks, one fresh, one nearly ready, one ready (move into the shop--if you have the space--2 or 3 weeks before use).
Also, visit local SMALL cabinet shops. Talk to the owners and employees. I've found old tools stored because they've moved on to better things...I knew one guy who had 3 old (very old) Craftsman radial arm saws that needed only tables and blades to give many more years of service. Also bought a dust collector from him...traded, really.
And that's another secret: learn to trade. Check and see what you have that might be valuable to others that you don't often or ever use any more.
Charlie Self
"We have a firm commitment to NATO, we are a *part* of NATO. We have a firm commitment to Europe. We are a *part* of Europe." Dan Quayle
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Keep an eye on the paper looking for people selling their equipment. Yes, it does happen.
Start with relatively simple projects. Buy only the equipment you need for the project at hand.
And last, nobody buys a shop full of equipment or lumber all at once. It's the collection of a lifetime.
On 07 Aug 2003 23:20:46 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (JimC622911) wrote:

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And you need a shop to put all the tools in!
A well equipped shop can be modest to as expensive as you want.
One problem starting out is sorting the "needs" from the "wants" of your dream shop. I bought tools as I "needed" them, but will admit that some could have been postponed or even eliminated it the budget was tight.
I think that a router table is important. You can build one cheap, you can buy a nice one for $200 to $400, but I did not "need" the lift for $229. I sure like it though.
As for the original question "how can I afford this hobby?", I have my limits and priorities. (and my kids are grown and on their own) After the bills are paid, there is a few bucks to be spent on anything we want. If I want to spend more than that, I wait until next month. If my wife wants to buy something for her hobby, that month I skip buying for mine.
When I buy wood for a project, I always buy more than I need. The leftover will cover any "oops" that can occur, but also makes for another smaller project. Cut offs can be made into things like bookends, paper towel holders, small boxes. This is not stuff that will be in a museum, but is something to tinker with while waiting for the glue to dry.
If I never bought another tool, I can make just about anything I want. OTOH, there is always some tool that would be handy to have.
One more thing. Train your children right from the beginning. If you give them three meals a day, they will expect that all the time. Big saving potential there. Ed snipped-for-privacy@snet.net http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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Shop around and know what brands and models of the larger tools cost. Then keep an eye on the classifieds for woodworking tools for sale as well as garage sales. There are deals to be found, you just have to do some detective work!
BTW, if you are already planning a major project such as redoing your kitchen and you build the cabinets yourself, the savings you will get will pay for some of the large stationary tools that you need to do the project.
Don't get discouraged, it is a long journey.
good luck Frank
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On Thu, 7 Aug 2003 19:30:37 -0500, D K Woods

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wrote:

Ya know, Paul, the guy who runs that, is an old friend of mine, and I bet he doesn't know about rec.woodworking. I aught to point it out to him...
-BAT
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I sell my wife and drugs to support my hobby

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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (JimC622911) wrote:

I guess it depends on your perspective. Pound for pound, woodworking machines are vastly cheaper than the computer you used to post your article, right? They last a lot longer than computers, and you can use them to build stuff that you'd otherwise have to buy.
Starting off with a few good tools and gradually adding to your collection as you need to is really the best way to go. Not only will you minimize your startup cost, you'll also learn to use each tool to its full potential. For example, it's not unthinkable that you could build a very nice table with just a hand saw, a hand plane, a chisel or two, and some clamps, but it'd take some skill. Adding a good router and a long straight edge to the mix would make the project simpler. Adding a half-decent table saw again simplifies the project. So, you can to some degree replace fancy power tools with more of your time and elbow grease.
A warning: There's no need to go out and drop a lot of dough on top of the line machines, especially when you're just getting started, but you should also avoid buying really cheap tools that will end up causing more trouble than they're worth, and which you'll just have to replace anyway.
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On 07 Aug 2003 23:20:46 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (JimC622911) wrote:

#1.) Compare the cost of some tools to hiring someone to do home improvement work. Many higher-end home improvement tools are excellent woodworking tools. Start with smaller projects that require less materials. That entertainment center or library will be much nicer if you take the time to develop your skills first.
ex:// I bought a reconditioned, higher-end, sliding compound miter saw when installing new crown moldings in my home. I'll use the saw again in a home improvement capacity when I install some hardwood floors. In the meantime, the saw is in my wood shop. Even with the $300 cost of the saw, and using extra molding due to a mistake or three, I saved big bucks my installing the trim myself.
#2.) Buy tools only as you need them, and seek out factory reconditioned power tools. Always compare a recon price to a new price before buying. Not all are great deals.
#3.) Avoid beginner's hype. Unisaws and Powermatic 66's are GREAT table saws, that cost $1800-2200+, depending on the options. With a little extra time, you can get the same or very near the same quality of work with a $500-600 contractor's saw, a good square, good blade, and some extra alignment time. Books like "Tune Up Your Tools" <(Amazon.com product link shortened)60341822/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_1/103-3863855-6685463?v=glance&s=books&nP7846> can help you get fantastic results with much less money.
Someday you may need or want a $2000 table saw, especially if time becomes money in your woodworking world. The knowledge you learn about setup might allow you to pick up a good used "pro" tool for 1/3-1/2 the price.
4.) "Outsource" rarely done jobs that require big, expensive tools, like wide belt sanding. Most areas have small cabinet shops that are more than happy to do small cash jobs. Also look for clubs or adult education "open shop" times.
A good starter setup can be as simple as a hand saw, straight edge, a good square, router, drill & bits, sanding blocks & paper, chisels, a block plane, sharpening stones, and especially BOOKS and web access. Buy the best tools you can afford, and all of these tools can be used even if you end up with a shop like Norm's. My local library is chock full of great woodworking books and videos, all free! <G>
Last, but not least, always practice any technique on scrap first. This way, if you cut a joint wrong, or mess up a finish application, you don't ruin a project, you just make more scrap. As you gain experience, your speed will improve. <G>
Barry
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On Thu, 07 Aug 2003 23:20:46 +0000, JimC622911 wrote:

I'm just getting started and the investment has been significant up front. Luckily, my family is very supportive of this effort, and I've got a list of friends with ideas and plans for custom desks, cabinets, and all kinds of projects they're willing to pay for the instant that I have the skills to make them. Heh.
For starters, I got a new credit card with a low rate. As much as I hate putting things on credit, if I just wait until I can pay cash for everything I'll never get started. By my calculations, you can get a basic set of hand tools and a few power tools to get you started, and I'm talking new, mid-tier to high-end stuff, for about $1,000. That includes some handheld power tools (sander, circular or jigsaw, etc), and a lot of hand tools (clamps, planes, chisels, backsaw, sharpening setup, measure tools, etc). You can probably get the same basic set of equipment used or lower-tier for less.
I plan to basically buy things as they become necessary and learn to use hand tools as much as possible, and upgrade to power tools when my projects become big enough to justify them. I'm kind of a cheap bastard but willing to pay for quality, so I tend to wait as long as possible to make a purchase and get high-end stuff on the gamble taht it'll last longer for me.
I'm expecting my up-front investment, including a good assortment of hand tools, some power tools, and a few classes, and setting up shop to run me about $1500 to $2000, but spacing that investment out over 12 months, it's pretty manageable. But, I also am part of a 2-income family living in a cheap part of the country (St. Louis) and we don't have kids, so we have more disposable income than most people (for now).
The #1 advice I'd give is not to get carried away and mire yourself in debt. If you need to take on debt to get started, set a hard-limit and don't go any further into debt until you pay off what you've got. Avoid taking on debt entirely if you can. I've set a $1,000 limit on myself for interest debt (if I can buy something on 0% financing over 120 days or whatever, that's different).
Basically, buy what you can afford as you need it. It's going to take me 3-4 months to get my shop pulled together and acquire the basic tools I'll need to build anything. A work in progress.
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<snip>

What part you from A.K.A. where did you go to high school? ;^)
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On Fri, 08 Aug 2003 15:18:55 +0000, Steve wrote:

Hah! I get asked that constantly. I'm actually from Iowa, I moved to St. Louis a few years ago when I got a job offer here.
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Been accumulating my tools over 30 years now. Could not afford to buy them all at once. Also happened upon some real deals as I waited. Buy youself a top notch table saw with the best fence you can afford, router, drill press, band saw and jointer, compressor and nail/staple guns. I only buy high quality stuff; can't loan it because almost no one cares about tools as much as I do. So, I don't have any borrowed and kept. That keeps costs down. I would not spend $1000 on hand tools and I have a ton of them. Buy a good table saw first, a PC 333 random orbital sander second along with a Hitachi M12V router.
Table saw w/fence $1000 Router $150 (Lowe's Hitchi M12V)
wrote:

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Listen to what this guy says, from someone who's FAR too far into debt. $7600 to Home Depot right now.... was just going to use it for a couple small things... uh huh :-(
--randy

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