New Hobby Woodworker-Tool Recommendation and Order of Purchase

TrackDays

New User
Winston
Hello All,

My name is Winston, and I am brand new to the woodworking world as of 3 months ago when I purchased a SawStop Contractor Saw CNS with upgraded cast-iron extensions, T-Glide fence, and a 36 inch table extension. Currently, my "primary" hobby involves fixing, and upgrading an old BMW M3 so it can live for a few more sessions on the track. When I started that adventure, I had never changed the oil on my car, but I have worked my way up to a position where I can perform fairly complex tasks on the car ranging from electrical issues to rebuilding the engine after removing it from the vehicle. I have enjoyed that hobby, and the costs of various tools seem to be commensurate with the cost of woodworking equipment, for the most part.

My woodworking goals are to be able to create quality keepsake boxes, trays, and cutting boards I can give as gifts and use in my own household. I am trying to develop a plan on what tools to purchase, and the order of purchase. After reading numerous threads, books, and watching countless hours of YouTube videos, I am still at a loss for which tools I should focus on purchasing, and in what order. Please forgive my lack of knowledge, I am just starting out. My thoughts are as follows:

1. Quality Thin-Kerf Table Saw Blades-From everything I have read, my saw with 1.75 HP will perform better with a thin-kerf blade. I would consider an initial investment in a quality set of blades (Forrest), for ripping and crosscutting, to be the starting point. Forrest sells blade stiffeners, but I do not know how these function. From a practical standpoint, I feel like the added weight of the stiffener would increase the rotating mass, and I do not know how this would interact with the thin-kerf blade, other than presumably making it stiffer.

2. Planer- I have found that the suggestion of simply working with S4S lumber at the beginning to be somewhat misleading. Even the highest quality wood I have purchased in S4S has cups, bows, etc. that take it out of the square-stock category. I feel like starting a project with square stock is a must, and people typically advise purchasing a planer before a jointer.

3. Jointer-See above. Also, I have heard completely mixed advice on planer sizing. I know larger is generally better, and a spiral, helical head is preferred. My belief is that a 6 inch joiner would work for the projects I intend to start on. Would you advise completely staying away from benchtop planers. I know this is a budget decision but certain Youtube woodworkers lampoon the idea of a benchtop Jointer because of the outfeed table size and weaker fence.

4. Clamps-I honestly just need some advice here. I know I need a ton of clamps, I am just trying to figure out the best clamp configuration for clamping a box square, and some other clamps I should have in my arsenal.

5. Incra Miter Gauge w/ Sled-The miter gauge that came with my saw is not great, and I have seen great reviews on Incra products. The goal here would be to make mitered and straight cuts with a stop block for repeatable cuts. I know I could construct a purpose build sled for this purpose, but it seems that the added functionality of the higher quality miter gauge may make the purchase worth it.

6. Dado Stack-For accurate, repeatable rabbets etc.

7. Router-For champers, roundovers, dados etc.

8. Self Centering Drill Bits-For Hardware

9. Bandsaw-To cut off box tops (when I get past using the table saw) and to cut out miter splines etc.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post. All suggestions are appreciated. Additionally, if you have some recommendations that I may be ignoring (I am not ignoring dust collection...) for my specific build goals I would greatly appreciate it.
 

BKHam

Bradley
User
maybe the ideas about the work you will do will stay consistent over the years but like most folks, they will evolve. let your priorities do the same.

#1 - don't break the bank on your first blade purchases. the diablos at the home center are fine for a new WW.

I'd move router to #2. they are all over craigslist, you can do mortises and a ton more. I'd move clamps to #3. used ones also available and pipe clamps so low $ with high value.

no argument from me on the planer before jointer.

#5 people love the incra miter gauge but i'm not one of them. I would just say any premium miter gauge but i'd go Jessem or Harvey over incra. just say no to Kreg.
 

Oka

Board of Directors, Vice President
Casey
Staff member
Corporate Member
Welcome to the forum Winston ! You will like it here.

Congrats on the Sawstop table saw. I'll try to answer some if your questions

Hand tools- you will need a few of these to get started. Beside the normal things like a tri-squares/squares, hammers, and screwdrivers. you will need a decent handsaw. I would recommend a Kataba type Japanese saw. They are accurate and easy to use. Chisels, for the money look at the Narex brand easy to find on Amazon and pretty good chisels. Get a set of diamond sharpening stones. Get the kind that are solid steel with the diamonds on top. There is a set of 3 that will provide what is needed for most sharpening needs.
You will need a block plane, a #4 or #5 hand plane. These get decent ones, used Stanley or Bailey is recommended. Talk to Mike Davis, or Graywolf, or others in the forum they can aim you in the right direction.
Power tools, just my opinion:
Get either a DeWalt, Milwaukee or Makita set of cordless tools. Also make sure you get a grinder as well. I use corded tools only when I am doing something the requires major power and endurance, so mostly not used much with the exception of larger project demands. Also get a corded router. You will not need a big one the small 1.24 hp and a medium 2.25 hp are all you will need in the beginning

The 2nd shop tool would be a belt sander, disc sander combo. Or, the belt spindle sander combo. I use that quite a bit

The 3rd shop tool I would get would be the thickness planer. For the money, the DeWalt 735 is the best. You can find on Craigslist if you look so consider that.

After those then the jointer . You can do most jointing with the table saw and a jig so, the jointer is is dedicated so as you get more and more into woodworking you will discover what your needs demand ...tool wise.

Hope that helps, got to go to work..... Welcome !
 

Rwe2156

DrBob
Senior User
1. Quality Thin-Kerf Table Saw Blades-From everything I have read, my saw with 1.75 HP will perform better with a thin-kerf blade. I would consider an initial investment in a quality set of blades (Forrest), for ripping and crosscutting, to be the starting point. Forrest sells blade stiffeners, but I do not know how these function. From a practical standpoint, I feel like the added weight of the stiffener would increase the rotating mass, and I do not know how this would interact with the thin-kerf blade, other than presumably making it stiffer.
For a heavy duty task, yes, but I used full kerf blades on my 1.75HP Jet. Blade stiffeners are a good idea. Good choice on the saw. I'm always happy to hear a newbie buys a SawStop.

2. Planer- I have found that the suggestion of simply working with S4S lumber at the beginning to be somewhat misleading. Even the highest quality wood I have purchased in S4S has cups, bows, etc. that take it out of the square-stock category. I feel like starting a project with square stock is a must, and people typically advise purchasing a planer before a jointer.

3. Jointer-See above. Also, I have heard completely mixed advice on planer sizing. I know larger is generally better, and a spiral, helical head is preferred. My belief is that a 6 inch joiner would work for the projects I intend to start on. Would you advise completely staying away from benchtop planers. I know this is a budget decision but certain Youtube woodworkers lampoon the idea of a benchtop Jointer because of the outfeed table size and weaker fence.
Any stationary machine is going to be better than a portable. That said, a lot of people use the bigger DeWalt planer, but its still a universal motor and not intended for heavy duty cycles. If you opt for a helical head upgrade, you're getting close to the cost of a stationary planer.

My advise on any jointer is "buy the biggest you can afford". Minimum 8". I have an 8" and salivate at the thought of a 12".

4. Clamps-I honestly just need some advice here. I know I need a ton of clamps, I am just trying to figure out the best clamp configuration for clamping a box square, and some other clamps I should have in my arsenal.
My suggestion here is is go to Harbor Freight and buy some of their 12" F clamps, and 12, 24, 36" aluminum bar clamps. No they aren't Besseys but they are decent. The bar clamps need to be upgraded by inserting a hardwood stick in the channel, and filing over the edges of the sliding collar so it doesn't bind.

5. Incra Miter Gauge w/ Sled-The miter gauge that came with my saw is not great, and I have seen great reviews on Incra products. The goal here would be to make mitered and straight cuts with a stop block for repeatable cuts. I know I could construct a purpose build sled for this purpose, but it seems that the added functionality of the higher quality miter gauge may make the purchase worth it.
You can spend as much as you want' here. They are good products. Had one and returned it b/c I didn't like the indexed stop, plus there is no right to left tape for the extension.

I'd take a look at Osbourne and Jessem. I have an old Jessem but I can't recommend it. The newer ones are better.

The WoodWhisperer and Stump Nubs have done some good reviews.

6. Dado Stack-For accurate, repeatable rabbets etc.
Keep in mind you can't use a dado set with solid wing cutters or any blade with depth limiting shoulders. That rules out some dado sets such as Dadonator. SawStop specifically recommends DeWalt, I have a Dado King with is compatible.

7. Router-For champers, roundovers, dados etc.
Aside from a router table (another subject) I think you need 2 routers. One a compact and one a standard middle range 2HP type. Triton makes a nice router. I see now they have a compact, too. Then of course, there's Festool......

8. Self Centering Drill Bits-For Hardware

9. Bandsaw-To cut off box tops (when I get past using the table saw) and to cut out miter splines etc.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post. All suggestions are appreciated. Additionally, if you have some recommendations that I may be ignoring (I am not ignoring dust collection...) for my specific build goals I would greatly appreciate it.
Again, bigger is better. Lots of guys get by with 14" saws and can resaw with them, but they aren't powerful machines. IMO 16" is a good size. Check the Lagunas.

My suggestion to every new woodworker aspiring to a high level of work is to start with a focus on hand tools, and learn to use them. Whole 'nother rabbit hole.

Hope this helps.
 

CarolinaBlueJacket

BlueJacket
Corporate Member
I am fairly new to woodworking myself and here is the approach I am taking... Buy tools as you need them.

Do not be the guy that buys expensive tools because you think you might need them or because someone else bought them, only to sell them for half price on craigslist because you never use them.

I have done a fair bit of work on my BMWs as well and the same goes for that. Yes, a lift is great if you change your oil but it can easily be done with a floor jack and jackstands and you can save the other $4000 for some other tools or your retirement. As you get into it, a lift might make sense, but only buy it if and when you need it.

I personally think the miter gauges are overrated. Make a sled.

I have a Cutech planer with spiral heads and it does great for what I am doing. It and others like it, there are many others like it, are great for beginners because they are fairly cheap, have the spiral which is great for noise, dust collection and figured wood. I am currently looking at a jointer myself. My thoughts now are wider is better. I expect I would be disappointed with a 6inch when I bring home a 6 1/2 in wide piece. Wahuda has some decent 8 and 10in jointers with cast iron bed and spiral cutters for around $600. Not endorsing them, just an example.

In the end, there is no RIGHT answer. Only opinions and what is right for you at the time. Of course better tools are better, but there are a lot of factors for your personal situation. There have been a lot of nice pieces made with some cheap tools.
 

tvrgeek

Scott
Corporate Member
Welcome from another gear-head. I am not as bright as you as I do British cars. (But I do drive a GTi)


Get tools in the order you need them. You have probably heard, the cheapest tool is the right tool. I have spent a fortune on the wrong tool only to replace it.

Critical is true HEPA level dust collection. Both for big tools like the saw, and vac/cyclone based for hand tools. The smalls that cheap DCs let through the bag are what kills you. I do mean KILL. That is really the only power tool one needs to make museum quality furniture.

I like Makita and Milwaukee. I HATE every DeWalt hand held I have ever owned. I went Makita 18V because of the jig-saw and mini router, I went Milwaulkee 12 V for smaller tools.

Unless you are buying expensive 4S lumber, you need the jointer before the planer. You never put a warped board across a table saw, and a bowed board through a planer gives a even, smooth bowed board. Now, a cheap scrub plane can knock a rough cut board to safe to machine size in no time. You can also use a good band saw to get lumber into a safe condition for the TS. A jointer is not just to make a strait edge. You can do that on the TS, it is to get one true flat reference face so you can use the planer.

I LOVE my band saw. I do probably 90% of my cuts not on the BS or miter. If I get a track saw, the TS may become OBE. I have a Harvey C-14.

I did not think a belt sander would be much use. I had a 12 inch HF disk I use a lot, and a WEN spindle, but I got a deal on a used Ridgid belt/spindle and sure enough, it is a handy tool.

A good drill press is a problem. So few made that are decent and the bucks for a Nova takes your breath away.

Make a good simple sled for the saw. You may not need a fancy miter gauge.

Yes, on a 1 3/4 HP saw, go thin kerf. My preference is CMT and Amana, but many love Freud or the disposable Diablo.

I stay away from all benchtop tools that cut. TS, jointer, planer... The scare the daylights out of me. In woodworking, it seems the bigger and heavier the better. Now, I do wish I had a big 8 inch jointer, ( I have the Ridgid 6 with LUX head) but I don't have room. An alternative is the combo jointer/planer machines.

Yea, brad point drills. I also keep a full set of split point and Forsners. I do a lot of metal work, so I keep a set of cobalt drills.

I would love to have four grand for the PowerMatic 15 inch planer ( delivered, tax, shipping) but alas, being human I have the DeWalt 735 with a Byrd curter head. Less I consider a toy. Some get by with lunchboxes, but my Delta drove me crazy.

Now a curve. I have been migrating from power tools to hand tools. I do better work, more relaxing and far safer. Sure, knocking lumber to size is a power tool job. You don't see many of us old farts ripping a 12 foot 8/4 oak plank by hand. But almost all my joinery is now hand tools.

I spend a fortune of every machine and jig to sharpen my tools. I now mostly hand sharpen. I do use the Veritas Mk II when I need to re-establish a primary, but everything else is on a couple DMT plates with a Shapton 1600 finisher. ( A bit of MDF as a strop is almost as good)

For small stuff, very precise, maybe the kind of box work you are thinking about, I picked up a Bridge City Jointmaster. I have only used it a couple of times, but for small precise things, it is supurb. The two previous owners I believe did not spent the time to set it up and tune it so they may have been disappointed.

Even power tool users need some hand tools. If just starting, I might suggest learning the Japanese saws before you have the mussel memory of Western saws. Much cheaper, more versatile and do in many cases a better job. You need a couple really good bench chisels. 1/2 and 1/2 maybe. For things like a quick chamfer, I use my little Lie Neilson apron plane. Even a lot of round-overs, it is easier and quicker to get to sand or scraper point that setting up a router.

I use my lathe more for a buffer than a lathe. Someday I'll have time to learn more about turning. But gad, nothing beats the feel and looks finish of BLO, well cured and buffed out.

Clamps. Over-rated. Blue tape, twine, CA-glue, Pin nailer, etc. Cheap clamps will make you mad, good ones are expensive.

You need quality layout and marking. Quality does not mean expensive. You can get excellent rulers in combo packs from Amazon. PEC blem tools from Taylor, etc. Learn the joys of a marking knife instead of a pencil.

There are 100 ways to do something. 90 of them work. Pick one. If it works, it is the right one. It may not be the one I use, or anyone else on the forum. :)
 

Echd

C
User
Good choice on the sawstop.

As a garage woodworker, I regret not setting up some 220 outlets before embarking on my tool purchasing journey. Ultimately I am not majorly disadvantaged, but plenty of quality older 220v equipment pops up cheaper than lesser 110v tools, and there are times I wish I had a bit more oomph... especially on the bandsaw.

I don't think your ideas are off base. A planer and jointer are highly complimentary of course but the planer is likely the more useful- you can square an edge without a jointer and flatten a face with a plane, or make a jointer sled for your planer. I wouldnt call a jointer a luxury- you will want one- but hobby grade jointers do show their limitations at times. But is it worth buying a huge 12" jointer for the rare occasions you need it as a hobby guy? Probably not. My ridgid with a helical head is very serviceable within its limitations. By the way helical carbide cutterheads are worth every penny for jointers AND planers...

For me it becomes more of a question of organization and floorspace more quickly than the cost of the tools becomes a problem. My vehicles have been evicted from my garages in favor of tools and other hobbies, but even then I have to favor some degree of portability and modularity in my tools and setups... so while a 20" stationary planer might be nice and I could afford it, my dewalt 735 with a helical head does the vast majority of what I need without issue, and easily tucks away in a corner. I see you bought the contractor sawstop. I nearly did the same, but oddly the cabinet saw actually has a smaller footprint!

Don't sell hand tools short either. A low angle jack and a block plane are IMO irreplaceable along with some chisels. I guess it doesn't have to be a low angle jack of course, just a decently sized plane of good quality for general tasks. You don't have to go crazy, but i do like my veritas planes. There will always be a use for those tools... such as cleaning up a board too big for your jointer. Or relieving just a little off a proud edge. Or whatever. My most touched planes in order are an old stanley adjustable block, a veritas low angle Jack, and a stanley 4 1/2 with a hock blade. I think they run the gamut well. My chisels are the narex premium line... inexpensive and decent. If I did truly intricate chiselwork I might buy better, but I don't.

Get a dust collector as well. It doesnt have to be fancy. It will become very obvious very quickly that most are the same model painted different colors for different manufacturers. It's not worth going insane over as there will always be dust, but do get a sufficient setup, use it, and still wear a mask. By the way a Donaldson truck filter will do a great job replacing those terrible fabric bag filters and costs less than $100 shipped on amazon...

If you are doing a lot at the tablesaw and doing it indoors a dust collector needs to be a top priority. You value your hands enough to make the smart decision to start with a sawstop, you should value your lungs too. It will also make your shop much cleaner.

But on the cheaper side of things that nobody ever expects? I sure wish someone would have told me what a cabinet scraper was when I started. What a handy, cheap, and underappreciated tool.
 
Last edited:

CarolinaBlueJacket

BlueJacket
Corporate Member
Good choice on the sawstop.

As a garage woodworker, I regret not setting up some 220 outlets before embarking on my tool purchasing journey. Ultimately I am not majorly disadvantaged, but plenty of quality older 220v equipment pops up cheaper than lesser 110v tools, and there are times I wish I had a bit more oomph... especially on the bandsaw.

I don't think your ideas are off base. A planer and jointer are highly complimentary of course but the planer is likely the more useful- you can square an edge without a jointer and flatten a face with a tablesaw, or make a jointer sled for your planer. I wouldnt call a jointer a luxury- you will want one- but hobby grade jointers do show their limitations at times. But is it worth buying a huge 12" jointer for the rare occasions you need it as a hobby guy? Probably not. My ridgid with a helical head is very serviceable within its limitations. By the way helical carbide cutterheads are worth every penny for jointers AND planers...

For me it becomes more of a question of organization and floorspace more quickly than the cost of the tools becomes a problem. My vehicles have been evicted from my garages in favor of tools and other hobbies, but even then I have to favor some degree of portability and modularity in my tools and setups... so while a 20" stationary planer might be nice and I could afford it, my dewalt 735 with a helical head does the vast majority of what I need without issue, and easily tucks away in a corner. I see you bought the contractor sawstop. I nearly did the same, but oddly the cabinet saw actually has a smaller footprint!

Don't sell hand tools short either. A low angle jack and a block plane are IMO irreplaceable along with some chisels. I guess it doesn't have to be a low angle jack of course, just a decently sized plane of good quality for general tasks. You don't have to go crazy, but i do like my veritas planes. There will always be a use for those tools... such as cleaning up a board too big for your jointer. Or relieving just a little off a proud edge. Or whatever. My most touched planes in order are an old stanley adjustable block, a veritas low angle Jack, and a stanley 4 1/2 with a hock blade. I think they run the gamut well. My chisels are the narex premium line... inexpensive and decent. If I did truly intricate chiselwork I might buy better, but I don't.

Get a dust collector as well. It doesnt have to be fancy. It will become very obvious very quickly that most are the same model painted different colors for different manufacturers. It's not worth going insane over as there will always be dust, but do get a sufficient setup, use it, and still wear a mask. By the way a Donaldson truck filter will do a great job replacing those terrible fabric bag filters and costs less than $100 shipped on amazon...

If you are doing a lot at the tablesaw and doing it indoors a dust collector needs to be a top priority. You value your hands enough to make the smart decision to start with a sawstop, you should value your lungs too. It will also make your shop much cleaner.

But on the cheaper side of things that nobody ever expects? I sure wish someone would have told me what a cabinet scraper was when I started. What a handy, cheap, and underappreciated tool.
I just added a 240V circuit in a full breaker box for a tablesaw upgrade. It was much easier than expected.
 

Echd

C
User
Yeah, big regrets for not doing that myself. I would probably need another subpanel at this point though, and once you've acquired a suite of tools in the lesser voltage, the desire to go back and rewire them falls... as you have to sell off and replace your baby tools.

But in a shoulda coulda woulda sort of world, that's one thing I wish I did.
 

tvrgeek

Scott
Corporate Member
LAJ seems to be the current fad. Expensive boutique brands of planes are big sellers. Hey a LN or Veritas is sweet, but they don't do anything a well tuned Stanley Bailey #5 type 16 will do, and you can get one for $20, not $300. Sure Woodpeckers and Incra layout tools are nice, but a $12 Japanese square is just as accurate and quite handy. I buy disposable 20-pack BIC mechanical pencils.

Plan on several times as much light as you think you will need. More is better, and as one ages, we need even more!

I have really like my Narlex Rictor chisel. I intend to get a couple more in the sizes I use. Probably a big 1" next for back cutting and cleaning up tenons and mortices. You don't need a full set. Get a 1/2 inch good tool. Learn to keep it sharp. When you need another, get it then.

A really cheap chisel, HF or other garbage, ground flat, makes a nice glue line scraper.

I too am a fan of cabinet scrapers. The ones I use I got from Wood By Wright along with his burnisher, but an old Triumph valve stem worked pretty well too. His scrapers seem to be easier to prep and use than the Stanley I have ( too thick) and my cheap ones won't hold an edge curl. I only recently started to appreciate using files and rasps as much as one can. Even cheap files will last doing woodwork where one stroke on angle iron will dull some of them.

Not mentioned was a router plane. A simple tool and surprisingly useful for a machine tool woodworker. Cleans up dado's and tenons, rebates etc. Used are crazy expensive, so worth buying a quality new one. I went Bench Dog, but the Veritas is super sweet.

I will have to disagree a little with "C" on dust collectors. Unless it has HEPA canisters on it, it is a chip collector and fine dust powered atomizer. The worst possible thing to have. Without a cyclone, you can plug canisters in one session and blow the bag off. Sure, you can DIY adding a cyclone and HEPA canisters to any old DC, but it winds up costing almost as much as one built correctly to start with. All canisters will not filter sub 5 micron dust, so get "real" ones. Read the specs. Oneida, Harvey, ClearView. Research them. I have MERV 13 filters on my mini-split and only need to change them about twice a year. I put in a pretty strong through wall fan, so if I do something bad, wearing my Trend Stealth or 3M half face naturally, I can turn it on and evacuate the fines pretty quickly while I leave and take a break. Usually if I rattle can something and the weather won't let me do it outside. For hand tools, the Makita vac/collector is half the price of the Fein or Festool and just as good ( dust devil in front of it of course). One great thing about living here, I am starting to do more and more work outside as we have such great weather. Probably 2/3 of the year.

I may seem a little pushy on dust. Too many friends died from lung disease. My drill press I bought from the ESTATE of a woodworker, no DC.
 

CarolinaBlueJacket

BlueJacket
Corporate Member
Yeah, big regrets for not doing that myself. I would probably need another subpanel at this point though, and once you've acquired a suite of tools in the lesser voltage, the desire to go back and rewire them falls... as you have to sell off and replace your baby tools.

But in a shoulda coulda woulda sort of world, that's one thing I wish I did.

You probably do not need a subpanel. If your breaker box can handle it and most new ones can, replace 2 breakers with a tandem breaker. Do that again and you have 2 slots open for a 240V breaker. Then get some wire, conduit and wire it in. Done.
1663614244256.png
 
Last edited:

CarolinaBlueJacket

BlueJacket
Corporate Member
LAJ seems to be the current fad. Expensive boutique brands of planes are big sellers. Hey a LN or Veritas is sweet, but they don't do anything a well tuned Stanley Bailey #5 type 16 will do, and you can get one for $20, not $300. Sure Woodpeckers and Incra layout tools are nice, but a $12 Japanese square is just as accurate and quite handy. I buy disposable 20-pack BIC mechanical pencils.

Plan on several times as much light as you think you will need. More is better, and as one ages, we need even more!

I have really like my Narlex Rictor chisel. I intend to get a couple more in the sizes I use. Probably a big 1" next for back cutting and cleaning up tenons and mortices. You don't need a full set. Get a 1/2 inch good tool. Learn to keep it sharp. When you need another, get it then.

A really cheap chisel, HF or other garbage, ground flat, makes a nice glue line scraper.

I too am a fan of cabinet scrapers. The ones I use I got from Wood By Wright along with his burnisher, but an old Triumph valve stem worked pretty well too. His scrapers seem to be easier to prep and use than the Stanley I have ( too thick) and my cheap ones won't hold an edge curl. I only recently started to appreciate using files and rasps as much as one can. Even cheap files will last doing woodwork where one stroke on angle iron will dull some of them.

Not mentioned was a router plane. A simple tool and surprisingly useful for a machine tool woodworker. Cleans up dado's and tenons, rebates etc. Used are crazy expensive, so worth buying a quality new one. I went Bench Dog, but the Veritas is super sweet.

I will have to disagree a little with "C" on dust collectors. Unless it has HEPA canisters on it, it is a chip collector and fine dust powered atomizer. The worst possible thing to have. Without a cyclone, you can plug canisters in one session and blow the bag off. Sure, you can DIY adding a cyclone and HEPA canisters to any old DC, but it winds up costing almost as much as one built correctly to start with. All canisters will not filter sub 5 micron dust, so get "real" ones. Read the specs. Oneida, Harvey, ClearView. Research them. I have MERV 13 filters on my mini-split and only need to change them about twice a year. I put in a pretty strong through wall fan, so if I do something bad, wearing my Trend Stealth or 3M half face naturally, I can turn it on and evacuate the fines pretty quickly while I leave and take a break. Usually if I rattle can something and the weather won't let me do it outside. For hand tools, the Makita vac/collector is half the price of the Fein or Festool and just as good ( dust devil in front of it of course). One great thing about living here, I am starting to do more and more work outside as we have such great weather. Probably 2/3 of the year.

I may seem a little pushy on dust. Too many friends died from lung disease. My drill press I bought from the ESTATE of a woodworker, no DC.
Again, I am a newbie but I have been around the world for a while and I have not seen that Woodpecker or Incra is any more square than a cheap square.

Also agree on the dust collector. I would argue that unless you have a HEPA, that it is actually worse than having no dust collection at all because the "dust collector" will collect the large pieces and blow the small dust particles around the room. These are the particles that are small enough to float for minutes or hours and small enough to get into your lungs.
 

Berta

Berta
Corporate Member
I started by deciding what I wanted to build and based my purchases on what I needed to do that.
 

tvrgeek

Scott
Corporate Member
You probably do not need a subpanel. If your breaker box can handle it and most new ones can, replace 2 breakers with a tandem breaker. Do that again and you have 2 slots open for a 240V breaker. Then get some wire, conduit and wire it in. Done.
View attachment 213499
If you need this advice, Please hire an electrician. There are a lot of details that are not obvious to wire correctly. The goal is not to burn your shop down. If you DIY with no permit or inspection, you could have issues with resale. There are actually good reasons for licensed professionals, permits and inspections. Not just a money scam. Yes, I do my own wiring, but I have education and experience. When I wired my shop, it was permitted and inspected. It passed.
 

CarolinaBlueJacket

BlueJacket
Corporate Member
If you need this advice, Please hire an electrician. There are a lot of details that are not obvious to wire correctly. The goal is not to burn your shop down. If you DIY with no permit or inspection, you could have issues with resale. There are actually good reasons for licensed professionals, permits and inspections. Not just a money scam. Yes, I do my own wiring, but I have education and experience. When I wired my shop, it was permitted and inspected. It passed.
I paid the fee for the permit, went downtown and picked up permit, installed the tandem breakers, wired the outlet and contacted the inspector... no response... contacted the inspector... no response. Government at work for me. I moved on.
I do agree that if you are uncomfortable with electric or are unsure, then do not do it yourself. But in reality, it's really not that hard once you read the code and use some common sense.
 
Last edited:

Rwe2156

DrBob
Senior User
Keep in mind you can't use a dado set with solid wing cutters or any blade with depth limiting shoulders. That rules out some dado sets such as Dadonator. SawStop specifically recommends DeWalt, I have a Dado King with is compatible.

Correction - I just saw in the latest Infinity catalogue the Dadonator has been redesigned to be compatible with SawStop.

If I we’re using surfaced lumber I would buy a drum sander before a planer.
 

Westpacx3

Jim
User
Slightly off topic but what are your recommendations on less expensive squares. I like one with digits on it for quick reference while planing but my last one moved at the corner and my current one has numbers that don't line up so only one side is correct. Fortunately it's the inside which I use.

Also layout rules and squares. I see a marking knife has been suggested as well. I picked up a 6 rule I like from Taylor but have seen some T shaped rules as well but I am not willing to pay for Woodpecker right now until all else is exhausted. Can't be rocket science to find accurate tools at a hobby price.

Thanks
 

tvrgeek

Scott
Corporate Member
I paid the fee for the permit, went downtown and picked up permit, installed the tandem breakers, wired the outlet and contacted the inspector... no response... contacted the inspector... no response. Government at work for me. I moved on.
I do agree that if you are uncomfortable with electric or are unsure, then do not do it yourself. But in reality, it's really not that hard once you read the code and use some common sense.
Don't know what county you are in, but here in Orange they are very responsive and helpful. My point is, if one is not aware of the tandem breakers, then one probably has not read the code and is not well versed in the practice, so hire an electrician.

I agree, it is not hard if you have read the code. My last copy was 2008 and there have been significant changes, plus come counties add small changes to the national code. Fortunately, with great effort, it is all on line here.
 

tvrgeek

Scott
Corporate Member
Slightly off topic but what are your recommendations on less expensive squares. I like one with digits on it for quick reference while planing but my last one moved at the corner and my current one has numbers that don't line up so only one side is correct. Fortunately it's the inside which I use.

Also layout rules and squares. I see a marking knife has been suggested as well. I picked up a 6 rule I like from Taylor but have seen some T shaped rules as well but I am not willing to pay for Woodpecker right now until all else is exhausted. Can't be rocket science to find accurate tools at a hobby price.

Thanks
Quite right. Excellent tools are available very inexpensive, and a lot of high priced tools are terrible.
These are excellent: ( I just don't prefer the feel compared to Western try squares)


Taylor sells the blemished PEC tools. Darn near as good as Starrett for a fraction of the price. Combo squares are iron for example, not di-cast zinc. so they hold their square over time. I have had good luck with iGaing, though some have not.


and

So is a drafting square. My shop reference is a Kinex. I have used it to true several cheap carpenter speed squares ( Johnson are usually dead on) and some antique rosewood/brass/steel try squares. They are just so much nicer to pick up than steel. :) For a 90 degree, all you need is a strait bit of board and a scribing knife to square any of them.

I got a bundle of rulers, 6 and 12 inch, different resolutions, for like $12 off Amazon. Excellent. Dividers and calipers seem to all be warped junk, so buy cheap ones and bend/file the tips to alignment. Mine came from Horrible Freight but seem to be identical to ones sold for 4 times the price. Handy to have several dividers. I am learning more and more about relative measurements, not ruler measurements.

Remember, they built the Pyramids with a chalk line, plumb bob, and story sticks.

As a woodworker, you also need to be a tool maker, or at least tuner.

FWIW, on so many recommendations, I got the mini Incra pocket T square. I think I used it once.
Here are some clones:

Now many here, myself included, prefer to buy from the US or otherwise originator of a tool, not a intellectual property rip-off, but there is a limit to how much I will spend when my background in manufacturing tells me the brand name price is out of line. I may have some morals, but I am also not rich. Some clone tools look identical, but are garbage. Saws, planes chisels... Good steel is not cheap. Some clones are excellent. I often buy from the Borg for the return policy. Maybe a little more expensive, but in the long run I come out better. Plus, half the time I get stuff in one or two days. Something to be said for instant gratification.

Selecting the right tool is cheaper than the wrong tool. I find the new cryo treated chisels ( Narlex for one) to be well worth the price, but just buy the size you need. I use my 1/2 all the time. I have a full set of old Marples, but usually only use the 1 inch. I have had MPower, Makita, WorkSharp, and clone Tormex tools for sharpening. Before that, an Haringa and oil stones, Spyderco, black Ark etc. Lots of money. Went the full "scary" system. Who knows how many eclipse style or other gigs. All gone. Veritas MK II and a set of DMT plates. Even that, you can get Trend and other plates for far less. (but do research types of bonding and crystal shapes. Cheap plates are cheap for a reason). My preferred strop is a slab of MDF. I use leather only on my gouges. Tune up an old Stanley Bailey plane, and it does anything you could ever need. I actually prefer my #4 type 16 over my Wood River. A $5 junk #4 or #5 can make an excellent scrub plane with about an hours work. Even a cheap Handyman version.

When buying cheap electrical tools, get the right ones. WEN seems to make cheap tools better than many others. Some of the HF ones are not bad. The only vintage stationary tool I will not touch is a table saw without a riving knife. Personal experience, way too dangerous. I sold my perfectly functional, did everything I ever asked Ridgid and got a Harvey for that one feature. I do not regret it. I would have gone SS but my long term goal is to eliminate the TS anyway.

What I am saying, is if I had bought the correct tools in the first place, I could have paid for the PowerMatic planer I really want. The one "boutique tool" I have I do not regret for an instant is the Lie Neilson little bronze pocket plane.
 

Westpacx3

Jim
User
Quite right. Excellent tools are available very inexpensive, and a lot of high priced tools are terrible.
These are excellent: ( I just don't prefer the feel compared to Western try squares)


Taylor sells the blemished PEC tools. Darn near as good as Starrett for a fraction of the price. Combo squares are iron for example, not di-cast zinc. so they hold their square over time. I have had good luck with iGaing, though some have not.


and

So is a drafting square. My shop reference is a Kinex. I have used it to true several cheap carpenter speed squares ( Johnson are usually dead on) and some antique rosewood/brass/steel try squares. They are just so much nicer to pick up than steel. :) For a 90 degree, all you need is a strait bit of board and a scribing knife to square any of them.

I got a bundle of rulers, 6 and 12 inch, different resolutions, for like $12 off Amazon. Excellent. Dividers and calipers seem to all be warped junk, so buy cheap ones and bend/file the tips to alignment. Mine came from Horrible Freight but seem to be identical to ones sold for 4 times the price. Handy to have several dividers. I am learning more and more about relative measurements, not ruler measurements.

Remember, they built the Pyramids with a chalk line, plumb bob, and story sticks.

As a woodworker, you also need to be a tool maker, or at least tuner.

FWIW, on so many recommendations, I got the mini Incra pocket T square. I think I used it once.
Here are some clones:

Now many here, myself included, prefer to buy from the US or otherwise originator of a tool, not a intellectual property rip-off, but there is a limit to how much I will spend when my background in manufacturing tells me the brand name price is out of line. I may have some morals, but I am also not rich. Some clone tools look identical, but are garbage. Saws, planes chisels... Good steel is not cheap. Some clones are excellent. I often buy from the Borg for the return policy. Maybe a little more expensive, but in the long run I come out better. Plus, half the time I get stuff in one or two days. Something to be said for instant gratification.

Selecting the right tool is cheaper than the wrong tool. I find the new cryo treated chisels ( Narlex for one) to be well worth the price, but just buy the size you need. I use my 1/2 all the time. I have a full set of old Marples, but usually only use the 1 inch. I have had MPower, Makita, WorkSharp, and clone Tormex tools for sharpening. Before that, an Haringa and oil stones, Spyderco, black Ark etc. Lots of money. Went the full "scary" system. Who knows how many eclipse style or other gigs. All gone. Veritas MK II and a set of DMT plates. Even that, you can get Trend and other plates for far less. (but do research types of bonding and crystal shapes. Cheap plates are cheap for a reason). My preferred strop is a slab of MDF. I use leather only on my gouges. Tune up an old Stanley Bailey plane, and it does anything you could ever need. I actually prefer my #4 type 16 over my Wood River. A $5 junk #4 or #5 can make an excellent scrub plane with about an hours work. Even a cheap Handyman version.

When buying cheap electrical tools, get the right ones. WEN seems to make cheap tools better than many others. Some of the HF ones are not bad. The only vintage stationary tool I will not touch is a table saw without a riving knife. Personal experience, way too dangerous. I sold my perfectly functional, did everything I ever asked Ridgid and got a Harvey for that one feature. I do not regret it. I would have gone SS but my long term goal is to eliminate the TS anyway.

What I am saying, is if I had bought the correct tools in the first place, I could have paid for the PowerMatic planer I really want. The one "boutique tool" I have I do not regret for an instant is the Lie Neilson little bronze pocket plane.
Awesome, thanks for the advice. I have been watching the forum for a bit but had little to share at this point being new to all this. I did golf, fly fishing, scouts and now wood is my think. I am a late bloomer but enjoying it except the tool shopping. It is hard to sort the youtuber who wants to sell a tool and a purist using all hand tools. My work wears my hands out so I prefer to use power for the hobby and save my arms for providing my wife her life style. Lol

I'll check out you suggestions. You and a few others seem to be up my alley on opinions and logic. If I have to pay for something I will when the time comes but right now I just finished building the shop and buying my uncles SS, Laguna 14SUV and some misc. Tools and so far it's fun except when I cut the length to the width measurements. Luckily I have an acquaintance with a big cabinet business so the scraps he trashes have worked well for my crafts and work stations
 

Attachments

  • 20220915_200101.jpg
    20220915_200101.jpg
    1.6 MB · Views: 11
  • 20220905_154104.jpg
    20220905_154104.jpg
    880.7 KB · Views: 12
  • 20220831_113445.jpg
    20220831_113445.jpg
    828.9 KB · Views: 12

Our Sponsors

LATEST FOR SALE LISTINGS

Top