When I decided to start woodworking, I had about that much money to
start with, although I cheated a little because I had a few hand power
tools already. For that money, I got the delta bench top table saw,
delta bench top band saw, delta bench top jointer, delta bench top
planer, delta miter saw, and delta bench top drill press. Most of them
were miserable tools. The first to go was the table saw. I did two
projects with it, then put it on ebay. I actually got back most of my
money on it because I was able to include the "free" saw blade that
came with my delta CS. The band saw was next. I was able to ebay that
one also. The jointer was ok, but the table wasn't flat and was too
short. I ebayed that one for maybe half what I paid. All I have left
are the bench top DP and planer. I now have a floor standing delta DP.
I'm debating whether I should sell the other DP or keep it as a just
in case second drill press. The planer will be replaced in january or
february. I also need to replace the miter saw because there's so much
arbor runout, I can't miter anything. I may keep it as a loaner for
friends or for cutting things I don't want to put on the nice miter
saw. I also have some throw-away routers that I don't know what to do
Of the tools I got, only the planer and the DP were winners. If I
could do it again, I would have gotten the base model grizzly
contractor's saw. That way, I could have upgraded to cast iron wings
or a different fence later. Rather than a miter saw, I would have made
a miter sled for the table saw and used the circular saw to cut down
big stuff. For the jointer, i should have bought s2s until I could
afford a good one. I should have also started with the porter cable
690 for a router rather than the ryobi I started with.
On the other hand, maybe it would have been better to buy/build a
workbench and start off with chisels, planes, and a dozuki.
On 12 Dec 2005 10:55:10 -0800, with neither quill nor qualm,
I agree. The OP would do better with a few books on woodworking
(for the style of woodworking he wishes to undertake) and a few
hand tools. The HD kit bench would give him a start and a Harbor
Freight vise would top it off. With those, he could start building
a real woodworking bench.
As to saws, I've tried some lovely old Disstons (rip and crosscut)
dozukis, ryobas, gent's saws, dovetail saws, and a few others. I have
never found anything better for most sawing requirements than a ryoba.
The little $26 razor saw I got from the Japan Woodworker is just
great! Ads for these are in most copies of FWW magazine.
They're $25.95 DELIVERED! (ask for the hardwood version of their
9-1/2" Gyokucho) 1-800-537-7820 (Dept. D2, Fine Woodworking ad)
They who know the truth are not equal to those who love it. -Confucius
http://diversify.com Comprehensive Website Programming Services
I don't know what he used, but our local big box stores have
5 basic (crappy) power tools for $ 99 each (and often under on sale):
Table saw, bandsaw, drill press, belt/disk sander, miter saw
That's a lot of different tools for just half of your budget.
Probably nobody in this newsgroup would be happy with them, so
the question is purely academic.
I can only imagine what it would be like to afford only the top of
the line power tools! Man oh man, how great that must feel. Most of
what I read here is that if you can't run with the big dogs, then
stay on the porch. 'You can't do very good woodwork with a $150.00
Delta or whatever, you need the top of the line cabinet saw.' Instead
of getting on with the hobby of woodworking, 'you should only read
what others have done, since the cost of the power tool is what makes
great woodworkers, not skill.'
There are a lot of folks like me who have a limited budget and
possibly only a credit card to purchase things with, to take the
sting out of the initial cost, so to speak. Yes, it would be great
to be one of the Jones's that everyone needs to keep up with. But in
reality, there are far more less affluent woodworkers than upper
To make a point, a person doesn't need a Cadillac to go somewhere, a
Chevy will do the job, a Cadillac will just do it in more style. So
in choosing whether to save my pennies and not purchase a power tool
until I have the very one that will make me a great woodworker, or
maybe purchase a lessor tool and practice my woodworking skills when
I am starting out, I choose the latter.
If I have to replace a $150.00 table saw after 4 or 5 years of use
and upgrade to a better saw, what have I really lost, $150.00? I
think not. I think that I have really lost nothing if I have learned
how to to use the tool and stepped up to the next level of
To wrap it up, just purchase what you can afford. A person can do
excellent woodwork with nothing but hand tools. Power tools are just
an option. Power tools just make it easier and quicker to do the job.
The important point, at least to me is just get out in the woodshop
and make things...with whatever tools you have or can afford.
Make more sawdust,
I would buy a good table saw, perhaps a Grizzly contractor saw, with a good
The table saw will always be the star of your show.
Most everything can be done with the TS and you should be learning what it
will do first.
If I were in your shoes, which I once was, I would spend it all on the table
I started with nothing in the early 80's in doing cabinet work and now I own
a cabinet shop.
(I started as a carpenter in '74)
I still want more than I can afford (mostly shaper cutters, etc.), but I
would rather wait for a
high-quality tool than to own junk.
You will make more money in the future to buy more good stuff. Be patient.
woodstuff "Have a good day
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.