Wrong guy. You are confusing me with Stoutman. What *I* said at the
beginning of the thread was:
"A good quality table saw with a good fence (I think Biesemeyer and
clones are simple, cheap and rugged.) "
Then Stoutman responded that my suggestion was WAY over the top; that
a Biesemeyer fence wasn't needed for quality work... that he was happy
using a stick.
I support quality gear for the craftsmen because they will do a better
job (Of course assuming they're up to the job to begin with.)
And you're right, you don't think like I do...just for different
reasons than those you infer.
I was in your boat about 12 years ago (but I was the new woodworker!!).
I has a few tools for around the house repairs and such, but when I
decided to branch out, I did not know just what tools I needed
(wanted!!!) so rather then just buy a bunch of tools (and waste my
money) I decided to buy tools as I needed them. Believe it or not
the first major tool was a good drill press (I needed to accurately
drill some holes and after using my Porter Cable hand drill without a
lot of success) I bought the drill press.
The only "real" wood working tool I had was 10 year old radial arm saw
and circular saw. I started reading magazines and buying books to
understand all of the tools that were available and what they were used
for. Especially important were the tool reviews/comparisons in magazines
(Fine Woodworking, Popular Woodworking, American Woodworker to name a
few). I started with simple projects like your sons wants to do.
Others in this news group will go through the list of needed tools all
of which are based upon personnel use and choice so I won't repeat the
good advise that will be provided here.
I do strongly believe that your son should buy the best tools he can
afford but don't buy cheap (just to have the tool) off brand stuff that
may not last or may injure someone because it is of marginal quality. It
is better to wait and spend more $$ for a good tool that will last for
many years rather than junk (and there is a lot of junk out there).
Finally, getting good tools will reduce the frustration having to deal
with a tools marginal accuracy and enable your son to really enjoy the
Oh yes one more thing, if he can, have him subscribe to this newsgroup,
he will find a great bunch of people here that more then willing
to assist with any questions he may have. Especially about what tools
to buy :-).
The *cheapest* way to get into woodworking is to find a school with a
woodshop that will let him use it. (The local college here has a woodshop
with nice tools for $45 / three month membership.) If he really gets into
woodworking he can wean himself off of the school's shop by slowly buying
the tools he uses the most there. This strategy may help him avoid the
mistake of buying tools he rarely uses...
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