Re: what should I choose as my first power tool?

If I had room for it, I would get a table saw... that said, I do my projects with a circular saw and a piece of aluminum angle for a guide. Clamp the aluminum to a piece of scrap, put the edge of the plate under the circular saw against the aluminum and cut across. Then measure carefully (I actually used calipers, but you could easily cut a "gage stick" from other scrap) from the edge of cut to face of aluminum. Then you can use the "gage stick" to set up your pseudo-fence and cut very straight & pretty precisely place lines. It is slower to set up each cut, but a whale of a lot cheaper than a table saw. I wonder about accuracy (squareness) of fences on bench model saws. Anyone have experience to share? I use the same aluminum angle & my router to make dado cuts as well.

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takashi spaketh...

table saws are awesome, but I still need to use a circular saw occasionally, the circular saw is a must-have IMO

I don't have one, but from group comments, I take it a cheap bandsaw is next to worthless, I would spend the money on...

a good jigsaw

get a very good jigsaw, a good circular saw and save up for a very good contractor's saw
--
McQualude

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It can be done for much less than that, don't give up on building a good shop full of tools. Over the last 10 years I accumulated a Unisaw, 6 inch Grizzly joiner; delta lathe; sears RAS; delta 14" bandsaw; sears 10" band saw; dewalt scroll saw; bosch CMS, Jet floor size drill press (yes, it is a very versatile machine) delta 12.5" surface planer and built me Norm's router table, and this cost me no more than $4000 over the years, and the Unisaw and bandsaw were the only things I specifically saved up for and bought new and these two represented about half of the total amount. Keep your eyes open for used equip., size it up as to quality and state of repair, and act quickly. I have sold furniture I made for about $5000 over the years, so I figure I am even.
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the
In the past 2 1/2 years, I've spent $5950. Still need a jointer and I'm done. .I could get away with much less if I had to. Just last week I bought a Benchdog router lift While it is nice to have, you don't "need" one. Paid $199 for an Accu Miter. Some day I'll build a sled for a whole lot less.
You can put together a darned nice shop for $3000, especially if you find some good used equipment. Of course, if I had $10,000 to spend on WW stuff, I'd find a way to do it. Ed snipped-for-privacy@snet.net http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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