Well, it hasn't been said here yet, so I will say it. Most tools
(unless they are outright junk)today FAR exceed the skills of the
people that use them. Tools do not make the carpenter, woodworker,
etc. any more than a good set of brushes make a Van Gogh. Good tools
help do a better job, but still, like your computer, you probably use
any given tool at 10% of its capability. Do you think that Duncan
Phyfe needed a table saw that you could balance currency on to make
his beautiful tables,chairs and buffets?
I learned to make kitchen cabinets in the mid seventies with a
circular saw, router, and a jig saw. No, they were not raised panel,
but the old "half-lapped" doors on rail and stile carcasses. Hand
nailed everything too, since compressors and nailers were for "the
hacks that couldn't drive a nail". (Actually, they were just so damn
expensive we couldn't afford the guns.)
All of my early habits stayed with me, and I don't need a shop full of
tools, even being a specialty carpentry contractor. I still make
solid door frames for outside doors on site out of 2x6 and mortise out
the head rail frame piece and dado out the thickness of the door with
my circular saw. A great blade, a good saw, sander, and chisel and
you are in business. Small cabinets are made on site as well on my saw
horses. I do use a router now on the hinge mortises, but did it for
years with the chisel. There are a lot of us out there that are "on
site" carpenters that do things this way, and while all of us would
like more tools, none of us is stumped by not having one certain tool.
The best advice you could get has already been given. Join a club or
a group and learn to use the tools you have the best you can. Shared
information with others increases the learning curve a billion
percent. The side benefit is that you will know if you want to
upgrade what you like and don't like in each tool. The archives of
this rec also make a wonderful library of information.
Good luck! Remember that the average man has more wood working tools
in his garage than the old, *non-powered* crafstmen ever dreamed of...
yet somehow they turned out masterpieces.