for a woodworking newbie, which tool would you recommend as your first
purchase? From what I have been reading, it seems many of the things that
can be done with a table saw can also be done with a router table and a
straight bit? and it appears to be safer.
Opinion only of course, but ... personally, I don't think a
router will be much good without a table saw. But, it depends on
what you want to do, which you gave no hint of; there ARE
instances where you possibly wouldn't need a Table Saw for much
of anything but they are few and far between.
And no, a Table Saw can't come close to doing what a router can
do, and vice versa in most cases. I've never known anyone who
used a router but didn't also have to use a table saw.
What kind of projects do you see yourself doing? That will
answer your question; more details needed, but I suspect you want
a table saw first.
Saw. You'll need to cut boards to width and length, router isn't for
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Thats a pretty ambitions project for your first. If you buy all your
materials pre-planed and jointed; buy stock, pre-made, mouldings and can
find premade turned posts then I suspect your best first tool will be a
compound mitre saw. Then Table saw, router w/table, jointer, planer, shaper
and hundres of other cool things. bwo ha ha ha.
I do plan on purchasing the wood preplaned and using pre-made moldings. For
the posts I was considering using porch posts... I already own a compound
mitre saw and many other tools. I meant to ask "which would you buy first
out of those two tools", I did not mean to imply that it would be my first
Well, you can make a router table for almost nothing, so all that
leaves is buying a router if you don't already own one. That is
dramatically less expensive than a table saw.
I work just fine without a table saw. I use a bandsaw instead. At
first I did that because that is all I had room for. Now I'm sure I'd
get a table saw, even if I had room. It is safer, quieter, and very
versatile. One caveat: Bandsaw is not good for handling a lot of
Sorry I wasn't clear, I actually own quite a few tools... just not the kind
that would be used for making furniture. My weekend job is rehabing houses
so I have quite a bit of experience with rough and finish woodworking (from
framing to moldings). I already own several compound mitre saws, jig saws,
circular saws, multiple drills and rotary tools, etc...
I think the table saw is a must have piece of equipment.
Depending on which model you get, you could replace or adapt one of the
side tables to mount a router and you'd have both of your choices.
You could even use the TS fence for the router in many applications.
If you can have only one item go with the table saw.
Marc (who is happy that he could log onto rec.WW without any
Ts here too, but be sure to know how to use it safely. I was lucky enough
to have a few courses. It can kill you, i mean its a mean m/c. But it
cuts things to size. A sled is used for crosscutting. Easily made and
essential, non standard eqpmt.
One more opinion - definitely get a table saw. Of all of the tools in
my shop, it sees the most use and is the most versatile (sp?). Just
don't skimp on the price - get the best saw you can afford - you won't
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