Starting a small home shop on the cheap

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Ease in I think it's going to be. After a lot of thought (and 'some' good advice here), I've decided to start small and work my way up. First items are a small pad in the crawlspace and install the dust collection system, table saw and a router or two. That ought to keep me busy for a month or two and get me well on the way to butchering some wood :). If I use those tools as a stepping stone (e.g. building jigs, some cabinets for the garage, Etc.) maybe I'll learn enough in the process to take myself out of the 'seen it a thousand times, but never done it' category.
My thanks for the advice, it is truly appreciated,
Bob H
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You've got that right, Bob. I just add a little at a time, but I must have over $30,000 into my little shop at this point- and it's not even the nicest one in town (though it is getting pretty respectable at this point). That's not to discourage anyone, of course- you hardly notice it when it goes out of your wallet in $80-150 chunks with big purchases spread out a bit.
OTOH, sometimes (though not enough to quit my day job) I make a tidy short-term profit from that shop in the basement. Even though I doubt I'll recoup the entire investment anytime soon, it sure does help out to be able to make an extra couple thousand bucks every now and then- and that's something that wouldn't have been possible if I had spent all that woodworking investment down at the local tavern every Friday.
Everything has an opportunity cost to it- at least with this hobby, you've got a pile of tools and hopefully some nice projects to show for your effort. Most other recreational activities can't make the same claim...
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$30K on tools 'n stuff? That's some "hobby." That's what I attempted to point out to the OP who alleges that he wants to start out "on the cheap" but his punch list of tools 'n stuff reads like a professional cabinet shop's inventory.
Bully for you, though!
J.
Prometheus wrote:

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Well, sort of a hobby. But I'm a carpenter/cabinetmaker by trade, so I try and keep my home shop at or near the tooling level I'm accustomed to at work. Gotta do something with my overtime money, and I'm hoping to stop having a boss to worry about at some point in the not so distant future. But the same logic applies to someone looking to do it as a serious hobby- it's a whole lot more fun if you're not fighting your tools, and if you buy your stuff a little bit at a time it doesn't hurt the wallet too badly. I couldn't imagine trying to get everything at one time- my checkbook would probably have a stroke, and I'd be eating nothing but sawdust for a year or two.

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And of course, there's the enjoyment aspects of woodworking. I've yet to find a recreational enjoyment that makes me money. Since my woodworking falls into the category of something I enjoy, I don't ever really expect to make money from it, not in the long term anyway. The occasional profit made from small projects only goes to amplify the enjoyment I get from woodworking.
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Bob.. I'll let the others fight the brand wars....
Just wanted to say that I've been playing with woodworking for about 50 years and still want a few things on your list "someday".. lol
Mac
https://home.comcast.net/~mac.davis https://home.comcast.net/~mac.davis/wood_stuff.htm
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John Doe wrote:

One thing you MUST apply to any purchase is a lot of research and thought. If space is at all limited then think about the capabilities of each power tool you buy. Examples: a decent router with table can also double as a joitner thereby removing the need for the dedicated jointer; a drill press will accommodate a full set of drum sanding bits and lessen the need for a drum sander or a belt/disc sander.
Again, one thing I would recommend to any wrecker is some kind of dust extraction system, even if its only a wet/dry vac hooked up to the tool. You will never regret a (relatively) dust-free workspace.
FoggyTown
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Router table is probably the worst way of jointing boards. It can not face joint, a far more needed application than edge jointing. They are generally far to small to be very useful on edges. Assuming a good tablesaw is at hand, edge jointing on a router table is of no use, the tablesaw can do it better. As for face jointing, a hand plane will do that and much more.
> Examples: a decent router with table can

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I've been following that path recently. :)
Let me add to that list of exmaples and follow-up with a couple of tips . . .
Get one of those table saw sanding discs[1][2] and two pieces of adhesive sand paper. I have the one from one Woodcraft. It cost me about $26 total (including the sand paper).
For those of you out there that have these devices and already know this, you're probably going to be thinking to yourselves, "Duh, that's obvious!". But for me, it was one of those eureka moments that only occured to me *after* I got the stuff home and I was getting ready to try it out. :) Here's the tips:
1)    You can put the adhesive sand paper on *both* sides of the disc! I put a 60 grit piece on one side and 120 grit on the other. In this way I could rough shape things with the 60G side, and then flip it over and smooth it out. This is why you should get two pieces of adhesive sand paper. :)
2)    Given the costs of these discs, if you need additional grit options, just buy another disc and two more pieces of adhesive paper. No need to pull the paper off the disc, just change or flip the disc over. So for about $52 you can have two discs and four different grit options.
[1]: http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?familyid 09 [2]: http://www.freudtools.com/woodworkers/rep/sawblades/Accessories/html/Accessories_1.html
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John Doe wrote:

I'm probably in a similar situation. I've had some home-reno type tools for a while, and am now finally in a place where I can set up a small shop.
My first suggestion is to start with a specific project, then buy the tools that you need to build that project.

For the first few years I used a circular saw and a straight edge for sheet goods. If you have a very good saw and blade, you might not need the router for final trimming.
I then upgraded to a very old 9" Rockwell contractor's saw, which I used for a couple years. Finally this past year I got a bonus at work and spent it on a General International cabinet saw.
You will want outfeed support. For cutting sheet goods on the table saw (without pre-cutting into manageable chunks with the circular saw) you need side extension and maybe an infeed support as well. This takes a *lot* of space.

Still don't have one myself. A jigsaw will do some of what a bandsaw can do, but of course can't resaw.

Don't have one yet. A friend has a 6" one.

Same friend as above has a 12" lunchbox planer.

Got a cheap (but decent) one last year when it went on sale. Made do with a hand drill until that point.

I have a single router with two bases, one of which drops into the table. Bought a cheap set of bits at a wood show, and buy good bits as needed.

Have a 10" single bevel non-slider. Works for most stuff I need. Anything bigger goes on the crosscut sled on the table saw. Anything too large for the sled (which has 14" capacity) gets cut with the straightedge and circular saw.
Chris
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You don't have sanders, finishing spay guns, compressor, or any fans, vents, or such on your list. I presume this is just an oversight for posting to this NG.
Just remember one advise from FWW -- "Beginners focus on making wooden things, after a year or so, everyone focuses on making customers." No mater how well built, the finish and how the whole projects looks is what sells.
You will be selling items that cost way more than Wal-Mart. The buyer wants to feel they are getting something for their money, even if it just bragging rights to 'hand-craftsmanship.' The more 'intangibles' you can offer to a customer, the easier the sell.
Phil

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So, when did he say anything about going into business? The word hobby that he used told me otherwise.

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