<g> A strategy is usually something you realize you should have had
after you made the first mistake. After that it is easier to apply
Like J I have a strategy on all the tools I buy. These strategic
decisions are made while replacing the cheap ones I bought when I
In my real job, I am a Project Executive and I spend all my time straddled
between strategic planning and tactical execution. I must admit this
carried over a bit into my woodworking plan. I put together a purchase plan
for my shop a year ago. The budget was how much stuff costs, not what I
could afford. I just wanted to see what I was in for in the long run. I go
back and update that plan with actual purchases and adjust it occasionally.
Its surprising how closely I've stuck to it. I occasionally blow the plan
when a great sale happens of I find something on ebay. The one thing that
continues to allude me in execution is a band saw. I'm not going to buy one
less than the $1000 range. But that starts me thinking about the
Laguna/Minmax spectrum (for a few $100 more, look what I could get!), then I
back off and don't do anything. Maybe I ought to do like I did the planer -
buy a lower end and start enjoying it, while planning for the big buy a
couple of years later.
I can relate to the dilemma on BS. I ended up making the 'this will
work for me for the moment' decision. That 'strategy' worked for me
on my TS which I had for about 12 years and then sold for a really
good TS. I made a number of nice pieces with my old TS but am I glad
I upgraded - what a difference!
That strategy did not pay off on my first jointer - what a POS. I
barely used it. I replaced it with a really good one and now I'm very
happy and use it all the time.
In both cases I sold the old equipment for slightly less than I paid
for it new so I can't complain.
Now with the BS I have mixed feelings. I couldn't have gotten a BS
yet if I waited until I could afford the best and I've gotten a lot of
use out of mine but, now that I have really good tools with my other
tools, I'm less comfortable with 'making do' with this BS. Ah,
waiting for the next $1500 windfall...
I don't buy super cheap unless the occasion calls for a 'disposable'
tool. Medium price tools that have resale value is the secret. When
you upgrade you can recover a lot of the original cost.
IME, the best strategy is one where you can do the woodworking you
enjoy - keeps you sane in the long run and that's hard to put a price
Thank you for the long, descriptive post. It helps me loosen up a bit. I
might buy that Powermatic 14" on sale after all. Another thing that made me
stop and think. My shop is filling up. I don't have room for everything I
want and I am not moving any time soon.
What was your "good enough for now" band saw? I think of the Grizzley saw
under $400 as falling into that category.
I got the Grizzly 18 inch, 2HP, that was a discontinued model, G1012.
$595 plus shipping brought it to $670. It is an old style that was a
cheap Delta knockoff and there is a lot to be desired about the
machining. I've had to shim the tension adjustment both front to back
and side to side to remove the excess play. The blade guides and
wheel alignment is sucky. Enough horsepower but blade speed
adjustment is so inconvenient that I would have to have a really
special project that demanded a slower speed for me to bother. The
tuning I've done since getting it has improved it dramatically but it
is one of those tools I always know I have to play with to get it
My TS & Jointer on the other hand are right on, reliable, solid, and a
pleasure to work with. The difference is knowing that I can look
forward to a project on the TS or Jointer and only have to think about
the project - not fiddling with the equipment. The BS is a different
story - I always plan on fiddling as part of the project. I guess the
main thing is, now that I have the pleasure of good tools elsewhere,
my tolerance for fiddling has reduced somewhat.
Don't get me wrong, I am very glad I got my BS, I just know I'm going
to have to spend more time on it tuning before I get the confidence
I'm happy with. The good news is that I purposely bought a large cast
iron frame because this kind of equipment can be tuned. An aluminum
POS can never be improved.
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