So what is the proper order to fully outfit your shop? As a newer
woodworker, I read tonnes of articles about how to equip the shop and which
tools should be bought firt and now that I'm into it I'm begining to see how
bad some of the advice is. Lots of wood magazines recomend the bandsaw
first, and in the top 5 have a mitre saw of sorts... Why? The first order
of business in my garage/shop was to get orginaized. I need some cabinets,
shelves, a bench. The bandsaw just wouldn't cut it. I used plywood for
most of this stuff.
Here is how I'm doing it so far and the rest of the plan:
(* Don't have yet.)
1. Table saw
- Great for sheet stock, perfect for making a straight cut. Got the
cabinets up, a base for the planer (when it was purchased), and made a few
jigs for the router. It's also the biggest machine, and takes up the most
space. It seems the shop is slowly being built around it.
- The prepared stock I could get around here was very poor quality.
None of it was anywhere near flat. Plus it's much cheaper and I get more
control ove rthe wood if I buy rough milled boards. The wood store will
joint the wood for me, but it can still move after I bring it to the shop.
- This is for the same reason as jointer. I could have switched the
order in which I purchased them, and would not have noticed. I bought them
very close together. If I were to do it again, I'd buy the planer first and
just get the boards jointed at the lumber store.
* 4. Dust collector
- This actually moved way up my list after my first small project which
used the Jointer/Planer. I originally had it last, but items 1-3 just make
too much of a mess. It's a sefety issue as well, the first day I had the TS
I cut some MDF up and my nose was burning.
*5. Drill Press
- It's cheap. At least compared to everything else. It's just nice to
be able to drill a nice straight hole. I use this to remove waste for
mortises. Right now I just practice dovetails.
- There are a few reasons it's last. To have a TS and a BS just seem to
be overkill if you can not mill lumber. As stated before: I need cabinets.
Cabinets need sheet goods a BS wouldn't do. To get a decent BS, will cost
decent $$$. The TS and the BS are twi major pruchases, costing almost
double what anything else on the list did. By one at the begining, and one
at the 'end'.
So that's my list. I'm sticking to it.
Well it can be very much a personal thing, but I tend to agree with your
order. Table saw #1. I actually don't use my band saw a whole lot.
I assume you have some hand power tools already, like a good cordless
drill/driver? That would be high on my list too.
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The answer rests _solely_ with what you do as a woodworker and where you're
What works for you wouldn't necessarily work for a furniture maker,
particularly one who does a good bit of hand tool work .... a band saw would
go from the bottom of your list, to the top of theirs.
Good on ya ... having a plan is 90% of the battle.
As already said it is a personal choice thing. And, I don't disagree
with your order of choice. Except, lets say those cabinets were going
to have lots of nice detail on them. You know curved shapes. You may
need a band saw much earlier. Or, even a router table for molding
before the band saw. Do you see why it's a personal choice?
I for one tried to live with a limited number of tools. I finally gave
up trying to make some ornate furnature with what I had (The problem
was I was spoiled by taking a wood shop class with all the nice power
tools). Years went by without doing much in wood. Until one day I had
the money to buy the equipment I had always wanted. Today, even though
I am without a shop because of a move I feel my "hobby" is well
rounded. My desire, the quality of my tools and the range of tools
match my ability. I always knew I had it in me but got discouraged by
what I had to do it with.
I hope you are able to round up the items on your list. One problem
though I hope your realize those asterisks in front of the item numbers
are only place holders for the tens and hundreds of tools you will
actually find (real or imagined) you need.
Your list pretty well matches mine. My desire in a bandsaw runs pretty high
end so I have successfully put off buying one two years in a row. I bought
a top end Bosch jigsaw. That may have allowed me to put off the bandsaw
purchase another 3-4 years. I've never had a miter saw on my list. I have
a sliding table on my tablesaw. A few good crosscut sleds also helps make
the miter saw a low/no priority item.
When I first got into woodworking, I also built a purchase plan which I
update periodically. The only major items left are the bandsaw and bunch of
new shop lights. Then we get into the never ending goodie want-list. When
I have a new "got to have", I put it on the list and mark it as "future".
It is interesting how many burning purchases get added to the list and
forgotten. For instance, my list has a $900 saw train fence for the
tablesaw that was put on there two years ago. Now I look at it and say
Been 40 years since I purchased my first tool...and honestly you
list looks pretty good to me... I did purchase a floor model drill
press much sooner then you plan...(delayed the planer...or shall I say
home shop planers were just not that available in the 1960's and
neither was dust collection.... which my dad never had in his shop at
all... so I had a bandsaw long before I wanted a dust collector or a
my purchases were tablesaw...jointer...drill press..THEN I kind of
went with what I needed for my next project....
Wishing you well... and lots of sawdust....enjoy
When I got started in woodworking I purchased a Shopsmith multi tool.
I did not have very much room in my starter house and the Shopsmith was
perfect. I added the Shopsmith bandsaw, jointer and planner shortly
afterwards. I found the Shopsmith tools very good for a small shop and
I have built a lot of furniture with the Shopsmith tools.
I don't regret purchasing the Shopsmith (even though it seemed
expensive at the time). It has allowed me to learn alot about
woodworking and brought many hours of joy.
For me it was the perfect starter woodworking tool package.
Now, the kids are moved out we are building a new house with a big
I am now looking to buy my first table saw for the shop after 25 years
of woodworking with the Shopsmith. The new shop will be designed
around the table saw and I will keep the good old Shopsmith for
sentimental reasons and because it is the power source for the bandsaw
and jointer and serves as a lath also.
The shopsmith unit is a great tool to start woodworking with if you
don't have the space for all the individual tools.
I bought tools in more of a project driven manner.
I have a radial arm saw that was extensively used in a home renovation
project and I later bought a small chop saw (mitre saw) to do much the
samw job because it was portable and cheap.
A dust collector is an excellent purchase and need not be really
A decent small router and set of bits for it will let you do more
decorative edges and cut some of your own mouldings. Also used for
machine cut dovetails, box joints etc.
It is really a very personal choice based on what you do most and how
safe you feel using a tool for specific operations. e.g you can
crosscut on a table saw but I have never felt secure with some of the
longer pieces I regularly cut. The mitre saw does the same job but
feels much safer doing it.
The mix of responses here is really quite funny. Obviously the order
you buy things in fits your needs, not some order that all woodworkers
would agree with.
I entirely support myself making custom furniture, both welded and
jointed. I don't have a table saw. I plan on buying one sometime, but
as of yet I haven't found it to be lacking. I understand why some
people would put it first on their list but for me looking at it terms
of high quality goods a table saw (PM66 or General350) equals a 6"
jointer, a drill press, dust collection, a decent planer, a circular
saw, and a router or two. With those things I can do most if not all of
what you can do with your table saw.
I don't understand the comment that bandsaws are hard to setup or use.
I am on my third and have found them all to be fairly straight forward.
Sure you have to clean up the cut afterwards, but you have to do that
to some degree no matter what you are doing. I think they more than
make up for that with the flexibility they offer, I can resaw, rip, and
cut really complex curves really safely.
Just my two cents.
Oh and hell the G0555 is really cheap. I mean you get what you pay for,
but come on.
being a novice in woodworking, I would say the following:
- band saw is NOT first, band saw are hard to use, do not have a nice bit
table and do not produce nice finish result (at least for me), keep it as a
later tool for resaving and other play (such as boxes and plank making)....
- table saw is the FIRST thing you need, you can do so much with one...
however, do not do like me and do not buy the first price one, but get a
decent one (cabinet maker if possible), they start in the low $600 for
decent ones... if you have real money, go higher of course, but I personally
have issues with the limitations of my $99 saw and beleive that a $500~$600
saw would be way good enough...
- router! one of the most versatile tool
(up to here, you go to the lumber yard, buy the wood and get them to
straight edge it and plane it for you), but after that, you will want to
prep your wood yourself:
- planner! powerhorse beast, the dewalt 735 is good and you can get a
refurbished one for $350... you can get some of the delta for $250, but the
dewalt is worth the difference
- dust collector goes with the planner, this beast will generate a LOT of
dust! you can get $90 one on sale at HF, and they will be way good enough
(got mine last week)
- mitter saw should be around here, or maybe before if you have a need, I
have a 10'' which shows limitation quite often, I would really go with a
12'', but they are more expensive. You might be able to find a cheaper 10''
sliding one which would be ok..
- drill press, jointer, band saw are then as a first need first served
basis, I used my band saw mainly for log cutting and resaving... but I want
to try making boxes and stuff like that too....
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