OK, so, again, THANKS!
Trying to address the many points, bear with me...
Regarding Festool, I am of two minds: they are surely built by people who t
hink about design care about quality. I always try to invest in quality.
Having said that...as with golf, I'll wait for the finest equipment until m
y skills are honed better.
SawStop is a given - that's not just quality, that's safety. They're lots
of money - I have a grand total of about $1400 recent dollars (plus about $
400 "old dollars" - spent years ago) invested right now, so the cost of a S
awStop looms large. I'm being very thrifty wherever possible, got two daug
hters in the Ivy League so I'm hemorrhaging money. It IS a higher priority
than most items, though, because of safety AND because my second-hand Shop
Smith leaves something to be desired for sawing. I must say that since I g
ot that nice Diablo 24T blade it cuts like a champ. Table stinks though, t
oo high and too small.
Multitool - CHECK. Got a Dremel a year or two ago, along with a Rotozip, n
ice tools, very handy.
Pencil Sharpener - got a couple mechanical pencils instead, they make a con
sistently fine line which I like. And a box of kids chalk for face planing
Will check out Roy Underhill's vids, thanks. Seems a good idea. I love qu
ality TV :) Will check the other sources of info, thanks for the others!
Regarding philosophy (such as the excellent advice to buy as I need), my ph
ilosophy so far has been to buy when needed OR when a bargain presents itse
lf. e.g. Paid $150 for my Ridgid 13" planer, $500 for my ShopSmith Mark V
510 AND DC3300 dust collector, $105 for my Craftsman 2HP 6" jointer. I lov
es me a deal :)
Sliding Miter - CHECK - another used bargain on eBay, 12" dual sliding DeWa
lt for $260 with decent blade.
Digital angle gauge sounds truly worthwhile, will check it out. Sounds lik
e an inexpensive way to make life a lot easier.
I'm a big proponent of learning, so I picked up a couple of books. By the
way, there is a book that is rapidly becoming my woodworking bible, it's ol
d, but still available, and fabulous even though somewhat dated: Furniture
and Cabinet Making, by John Feirer, 1983. Covers a vast amount of material
, and offers some clever techniques. Highly recommend it.
Good point about shop power - that's one other reason I got the ShopSmith -
it doesn't pop my wimpy 110V 15A breakers. High on my list, won't be chea
p though - I can do most of the wiring, but the subpanel work will still be
Router - have an old Craftsman, works, runs strong, need a plunge-y one and
a table, though. Good point.
Jig saw - CHECK+CHECK - inherited both a saber saw and scroll saw from fath
er in law, God rest his soul.
@MikeMarlow: with you on HF, they can offer some good stuff, got a very nic
e tile saw for a song there once. Am wary of their quality in general, tho
Meaning to check out the Domino. Seems like a game-changer. Track-saw wil
l have to wait but is a GREAT idea - I can make-do with a clamped guide edg
e for the time being. Track-saw would be a MUST have for a contractor thou
@Lew: I covered the thinking chair FIRST lol!
Workbench need: acknowledged. Right now I'm using a couple 3/4" ply tables
on sawhorses with cross support using those dandy table-building hangers f
rom Rockler. Planning to build a couple nicer ones with under-table storag
e that do double-duty as infeed-outfeed tables, plus a rolling tool cart to
keep the always-needed stuff close at hand.
As a footnote, I have seen LOTS of back-and-forth about ShopSmith tools, so
I'm going to go on the record here to (hopefully) avoid a repeat of some o
f the ugly threads I've witnessed elsewhere:
1) YES, SS is a compromise tool in both power and configuration. Built for
those without a lot of space.
2) NOT a great value when purchased new (unless you don't much space.)
3) VERY good value when purchased cheaply - I got a starter table saw, plus
a lathe if I want to try turning, plus a drill press, borer and sander.
4) WELL built, in the USA.
5) Pricy, pricy, PRICY accessories.
In summary, can't say I love it, but am grateful I found one at a good pric
e when I did. I may be the first SS owner to ever NOT gush about the darn
thing, and am proud of that fact :)
And I'm grateful to you guys for being welcoming and helpful. Will try to
offer what I can as well.