That budget is a tough one... Time to visit auctions and keep the bids
The best money I have spent is on good gauges and squares. But even that
would blow your budget. The gauges and squares allow you to judge the
accuracy of your work and strive for improvement.
For example - I have a Stanley combination square - should have bought
the Starrets -- when I had the money.
Got a set of angle gauges (blocks of metal with precise angles) from Lee
Valley -- to set up the saws correctly -- now I waste less wood and sand
and plane a lot less now. Also -- with the saws set correctly -- I can
do some projects quickly that were very difficult before.
Go to auctions and be frugal - not cheap. :-)
Been there with that budget - gave up lots of luxuries to get better tools.
Before you spend a lot cruise
They have just about everything a woodworker could want.
Then make a list of the fundamental tools and get them as you can spring
a few bucks over time. Spend the money to get something to build a
clearly defined project. Preferably choose projects that require things
you will use repeatedly.
Find a friend with a table saw and figure out what you can trade for
some help and some time. If they have a band saw as well treat them real
nice - cause you can re-saw lumber and bring down your wood costs.
And as someone said - take a wood working course that allows you to use
the shop tools.
Money -- wisely used -- can bring a lot of happiness. :-) The problem is
achieving the wisdom to know how to spend it. You can achieve wisdom by
learning and thinking - or making mistakes and learning from them --
different strokes for different folks.
And before you wreck wood, finish it wrong, or break tools -- read the
posts in this group - and ask if you cannot find the question already
Learned hundreds of things here that would not have occurred to me...
Thanks everyone for your replies. It seems I am leaning more towards
the hand tools at this point. Is everyone in agreement, however, that
hand tools are not that great with MDF? What about other manufactured
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