I'm looking for ideas concerning putting together a small workshop. I only
have a small portion of my finished basement available for a shop so I plan
to buy mobile bases for my stationary type tools. I will be using my shop
tools to build hobby projects such as bookcases and shelving units but not
for furniture. What shop machines should I plan on purchasing.
A typical answer would include Safety Equipment, Table Saw, Jointer,
Planer, Routers, a Bandsaw, Planes and hand tools... But that's a chunk of
cash to "see if you like it" You could start out with a bandsaw and some of
the other tools and use already surfaced lumber as a start. I'd also
suggest taking a WW class at community college or take some of the one day
classes at a Woodcraft if they're nearby. Also, READ! Most of my skills
and experience are self taught and I learned alot by reading EVERYTHING I
could get my hands on. The most important issue is safety. Be familiar as
possible with what you plan to do, and how you plan to do it so that you can
still "count to ten" when you're done. Others will add their remarks, but
this should give you an idea.
If you are going to use pine boards from the home center or plywood, a table
saw would be good but you will not need a planer or jointer. They will be
needed if you want to use rough sawn wood or thickness plane for different
I get a lot of use from my drill press. Same with a small compressor,
stapler, and brad nailer. I built a cabinet for the drill press and the
pancake compressor in in the base. It is on casters so moving it is easy.
Buy tools as you need them. In the case of shelving, you can make a dado
and insert tracks for the shelf brackets, or you can drill holes for pins.
Depending on your preference, that is the time to decide if you buy a dado
blade or shelf pin fixture.
Plan to cut contours and arches? Jig saw can do it, but I like the bandsaw
better. A 14" is the most popular, don't even think about the little 9"
Router with a rounding over bit is nice to have. Of course lots of hand
tools, drills, corded or cordless, plane, sanding stuff, etc.
The previous posters did a fine job answering your question, and the only thing
I would like to add would be to consider looking for some used tools. That way
if you don't like woodworking, you can resell them for probably the same
money. Just make sure you aren't dragging home someone else's junk.
Feh. I don't have room for and can't afford a planer or jointer. Learning
how to do these jobs with hand planes is not without its gotchas, but it's
definitely possible. The real bonus for me is that they have a much, much
smaller footprint than their mechanized counterparts. I'm not afraid to
buy real wood now, even if it's rough. Just takes me longer than you rich
people with the big wallets and the big shops. ;)
Anyway, if I were starting a small wood shop, I'd do a lot of research and
buy the best, biggest table saw that would fit my budget and space, then
adapt the rest of the shop around that. My current situation is that I'm
stuck with an underpowered, poorly-made saw that makes accuracy very
difficult. I have no way to accomodate a larger machine (all better saws
are significantly larger than this one, even the BT3000) without getting
rid of something important, because of the way I populated the rest of my
floor with machines. It's a bit of a conundrum, and one I would take care
to avoid if I had the luxury of starting from scratch.
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < email@example.com>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
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