Prices of tools??? Prices are DIRT cheap compared to just 20 years ago.. 20
years ago a Grizzly TS cost you $800, it still costs you $800, the same with
virtually every other tool. Most of the hand power tools are less than 20
years ago without inflation!
Be happy you are starting now and not years ago.
Radial Arm Saw Forum: http://forums.delphiforums.com/woodbutcher/start
Talk to lots of people about it look in the paper for used tools auctions
garage sales on the web e-bay and find some local sawmill,usually rough cut
lumber i so much cheaper and you really get to see your project come
alive...what a great feeling......
Knowledge speaks, wisdom listen.....
I started my stationary tool collecting 30 years ago when I was a freshman in
High School. (I still have that wood lathe). Through the years I have
purchased some new, and a lot of upgrades. ( I am on my 4th RAS) I go to a lot
of garage sales (never bought a big tool at an auction), classifieds, ebay, and
word of mouth. How can I justify the expense? Well it's my outlet. Meaning,
I don't golf, gamble, smoke or travel much (not against these, just prefer not.
Are the tools cost effective? Mayvbe not, but we have solid hardwood bathroom
(and kitchen to be) cabinets, along with a beautiful staircase, and 8"
baseboards, and custom window and door trim. These tools will hold the value
pretty well, especially the used ones, so I look at them like an investment.
That's the way to look at it. It is something you do for your own
recreation and relaxation. What price do you put on that?
SWMBO is fond of telling others that with my hobby she doesn't have to go
out to find me nor worry about me driving home. I couldn't afford another
woman, and I won't woodwork if I've had a drink - even hand tools.
If you like, and have the time, you can even sell some of your things. My
tools are paid over and over with sales of what they produce, and a bit left
over here and there after the household is taken care of brings in new ones
to try. When I go, the kids will have a lot of stuff to divide.
How can I justify the expense? Well it's my outlet. Meaning,
SWMBO gets mad at me sometimes because I can always find something more
interesting to do than sit on the couch and watch the idiot box with her.
I need to hook her up with some friends who have husbands who go out
drinking and adulterizing so I can convince her of how good she has it.
For that matter, I don't even have any friends. Just doesn't work out well
with my irregular schedule. So there's really nothing to keep me away from
home other than my job. If I'm off for eight days, my car sits in exactly
the same spot for eight days.
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < firstname.lastname@example.org>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
Great tip. Almost every area has some kind of small sawmill, usually several.
Learn to sticker while stacking and keep a spot for three stacks, one fresh,
one nearly ready, one ready (move into the shop--if you have the space--2 or 3
weeks before use).
Also, visit local SMALL cabinet shops. Talk to the owners and employees. I've
found old tools stored because they've moved on to better things...I knew one
guy who had 3 old (very old) Craftsman radial arm saws that needed only tables
and blades to give many more years of service. Also bought a dust collector
from him...traded, really.
And that's another secret: learn to trade. Check and see what you have that
might be valuable to others that you don't often or ever use any more.
"We have a firm commitment to NATO, we are a *part* of NATO. We have a firm
commitment to Europe. We are a *part* of Europe."
Keep an eye on the paper looking for people selling their equipment.
Yes, it does happen.
Start with relatively simple projects. Buy only the equipment you need
for the project at hand.
And last, nobody buys a shop full of equipment or lumber all at once.
It's the collection of a lifetime.
On 07 Aug 2003 23:20:46 GMT, email@example.com (JimC622911) wrote:
And you need a shop to put all the tools in!
A well equipped shop can be modest to as expensive as you want.
One problem starting out is sorting the "needs" from the "wants" of your
dream shop. I bought tools as I "needed" them, but will admit that some
could have been postponed or even eliminated it the budget was tight.
I think that a router table is important. You can build one cheap, you can
buy a nice one for $200 to $400, but I did not "need" the lift for $229. I
sure like it though.
As for the original question "how can I afford this hobby?", I have my
limits and priorities. (and my kids are grown and on their own) After the
bills are paid, there is a few bucks to be spent on anything we want. If I
want to spend more than that, I wait until next month. If my wife wants to
buy something for her hobby, that month I skip buying for mine.
When I buy wood for a project, I always buy more than I need. The leftover
will cover any "oops" that can occur, but also makes for another smaller
project. Cut offs can be made into things like bookends, paper towel
holders, small boxes. This is not stuff that will be in a museum, but is
something to tinker with while waiting for the glue to dry.
If I never bought another tool, I can make just about anything I want.
OTOH, there is always some tool that would be handy to have.
One more thing. Train your children right from the beginning. If you give
them three meals a day, they will expect that all the time. Big saving
Shop around and know what brands and models of the larger tools cost. Then
keep an eye on the classifieds for woodworking tools for sale as well as
garage sales. There are deals to be found, you just have to do some
BTW, if you are already planning a major project such as redoing your
kitchen and you build the cabinets yourself, the savings you will get will
pay for some of the large stationary tools that you need to do the project.
Don't get discouraged, it is a long journey.
I guess it depends on your perspective. Pound for pound, woodworking machines
are vastly cheaper than the computer you used to post your article, right?
They last a lot longer than computers, and you can use them to build stuff
that you'd otherwise have to buy.
Starting off with a few good tools and gradually adding to your collection as
you need to is really the best way to go. Not only will you minimize your
startup cost, you'll also learn to use each tool to its full potential. For
example, it's not unthinkable that you could build a very nice table with just
a hand saw, a hand plane, a chisel or two, and some clamps, but it'd take some
skill. Adding a good router and a long straight edge to the mix would make the
project simpler. Adding a half-decent table saw again simplifies the project.
So, you can to some degree replace fancy power tools with more of your time and
A warning: There's no need to go out and drop a lot of dough on top of
the line machines, especially when you're just getting started, but you should
also avoid buying really cheap tools that will end up causing more trouble than
they're worth, and which you'll just have to replace anyway.
On 07 Aug 2003 23:20:46 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org (JimC622911) wrote:
#1.) Compare the cost of some tools to hiring someone to do home
improvement work. Many higher-end home improvement tools are
excellent woodworking tools. Start with smaller projects that
require less materials. That entertainment center or library will be
much nicer if you take the time to develop your skills first.
ex:// I bought a reconditioned, higher-end, sliding compound miter
saw when installing new crown moldings in my home. I'll use the saw
again in a home improvement capacity when I install some hardwood
floors. In the meantime, the saw is in my wood shop. Even with the
$300 cost of the saw, and using extra molding due to a mistake or
three, I saved big bucks my installing the trim myself.
#2.) Buy tools only as you need them, and seek out factory
reconditioned power tools. Always compare a recon price to a new
price before buying. Not all are great deals.
#3.) Avoid beginner's hype. Unisaws and Powermatic 66's are GREAT
table saws, that cost $1800-2200+, depending on the options. With a
little extra time, you can get the same or very near the same quality
of work with a $500-600 contractor's saw, a good square, good blade,
and some extra alignment time. Books like "Tune Up Your Tools"
<(Amazon.com product link shortened)60341822/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_1/103-3863855-6685463?v=glance&s=books&nP7846>
can help you get fantastic results with much less money.
Someday you may need or want a $2000 table saw, especially if time
becomes money in your woodworking world. The knowledge you learn
about setup might allow you to pick up a good used "pro" tool for
1/3-1/2 the price.
4.) "Outsource" rarely done jobs that require big, expensive tools,
like wide belt sanding. Most areas have small cabinet shops that are
more than happy to do small cash jobs. Also look for clubs or adult
education "open shop" times.
A good starter setup can be as simple as a hand saw, straight edge, a
good square, router, drill & bits, sanding blocks & paper, chisels, a
block plane, sharpening stones, and especially BOOKS and web access.
Buy the best tools you can afford, and all of these tools can be used
even if you end up with a shop like Norm's. My local library is chock
full of great woodworking books and videos, all free! <G>
Last, but not least, always practice any technique on scrap first.
This way, if you cut a joint wrong, or mess up a finish application,
you don't ruin a project, you just make more scrap. As you gain
experience, your speed will improve. <G>
On Thu, 07 Aug 2003 23:20:46 +0000, JimC622911 wrote:
I'm just getting started and the investment has been significant up front.
Luckily, my family is very supportive of this effort, and I've got a list
of friends with ideas and plans for custom desks, cabinets, and all kinds
of projects they're willing to pay for the instant that I have the skills
to make them. Heh.
For starters, I got a new credit card with a low rate. As much as I hate
putting things on credit, if I just wait until I can pay cash for
everything I'll never get started. By my calculations, you can get a
basic set of hand tools and a few power tools to get you started, and I'm
talking new, mid-tier to high-end stuff, for about $1,000. That includes
some handheld power tools (sander, circular or jigsaw, etc), and a lot of
hand tools (clamps, planes, chisels, backsaw, sharpening setup, measure
tools, etc). You can probably get the same basic set of equipment used or
lower-tier for less.
I plan to basically buy things as they become necessary and learn to use
hand tools as much as possible, and upgrade to power tools when my
projects become big enough to justify them. I'm kind of a cheap bastard
but willing to pay for quality, so I tend to wait as long as possible to
make a purchase and get high-end stuff on the gamble taht it'll last
longer for me.
I'm expecting my up-front investment, including a good assortment of hand
tools, some power tools, and a few classes, and setting up shop to run me
about $1500 to $2000, but spacing that investment out over 12 months, it's
pretty manageable. But, I also am part of a 2-income family living in a
cheap part of the country (St. Louis) and we don't have kids, so we have
more disposable income than most people (for now).
The #1 advice I'd give is not to get carried away and mire yourself in
debt. If you need to take on debt to get started, set a hard-limit and
don't go any further into debt until you pay off what you've got. Avoid
taking on debt entirely if you can. I've set a $1,000 limit on myself for
interest debt (if I can buy something on 0% financing over 120 days or
whatever, that's different).
Basically, buy what you can afford as you need it. It's going to take me
3-4 months to get my shop pulled together and acquire the basic tools I'll
need to build anything. A work in progress.
Been accumulating my tools over 30 years now. Could not afford to buy
them all at once. Also happened upon some real deals as I waited. Buy
youself a top notch table saw with the best fence you can afford,
router, drill press, band saw and jointer, compressor and nail/staple
guns. I only buy high quality stuff; can't loan it because almost no
one cares about tools as much as I do. So, I don't have any borrowed
and kept. That keeps costs down. I would not spend $1000 on hand tools
and I have a ton of them. Buy a good table saw first, a PC 333 random
orbital sander second along with a Hitachi M12V router.
Table saw w/fence $1000
Router $150 (Lowe's Hitchi M12V)
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