Wow that opened up a can of worms
I think I'm going for the Delta Model 36-L31X-BC50 (3Hp X5 Series Lt Tilt).
I'm going for this more for the 5 year warranty and availability of after
market products here in North Carolina/USA. But I still can't get the
Powermatic 66 and now General 350/650 out of my head Decisions Decisions.
My wife and I are new to serious woodworking but we have done a lot of DIY
around the house with power hand tools e.g. reshingled roof, siding house
and built a large shed and all of them look great. Now we want to make
furniture, cabinets and whatever else we can think of or do not know yet.
Just trying to figure out the tools to get is endless and frustrating and I
thought the OSB vs. Plywood debate was tough!!
So could I ask the group with all your knowledge and great sage power if
you went back in time and were going to redo your shop and/or for serious
DIY's and had $5000 to $7,000 to set up a workshop what would you get? What
is over kill e.g. 6' joiner vs. 8" joiner. We would rather get one quality
tool and save up for the next then make a compromise and have regrets in the
Two words of advice: USED TOOLS.
Ok, a little explanation is in order. Virtually all of my stationary
woodworking tools are used, excellent quality older machines. These
include tablesaw, bandsaw, shaper, jointer, lathe (as well as my
metalworking lathe and vertical mill). I bought the routers, planer,
SCMS, drill press, and compressor new. The currently-under-construction
dust collector is a mix.
Good quality used machinery is seldom worn out, and often runs 1/2 the
cost of new or less. All the major woodworking machinery mentioned above
cost less than $3500, and I didn't get a killer deal on anything.
My only regrets: I'd like a beefier old >" planer -- the 13" Ridgid is
good, but I still have to plane larger cabinet door panels by hand -- and
I'd rather have a older 2-stage oil-type compressor.
Well 8" certainly isn't overkill. I use the extra 2" quite often.
Ken and wife,
The last line of your post is the most telling. I concur. For basic
woodworking, a good solid work bench, a tablesaw, 6" jointer, 14" bandsaw,
bench top style planer and a drill press. These tools however, are all
subject to great debate as to their order of priority.
I'm sure you will get more posts detailing the debating the Delta/Jet/Other
issues, but I will offer this, buy the best you can afford and buy it as you
need it, depending on the project. I always justifiy the new tool based on
how much it saved me. ;-)
Lastly, buy good quality saw blades, chisels, hand planes and keep them
Stay out of Harbor Freight and the like.
Enjoy the process of creating.
I would try to afford ($ and space) two tablesaws. ;-) A right tilt with a
sliding cutoff table and a left tilt with a wide fence for sheet goods. My
preference is to always have the blade tilted away.
Good cyclonic dust collection would also be a priority.
A raised floor like a mainframe computer room would allow power & dust
collection under the floor, yet these could be moved relativly easily as the
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