What Would You Buy with $2000?

Bming1

Brandon
Senior User
I am in the somewhat early stages of equipping my woodworking and maker shop, and as far as power tools go, I currently have a table saw, track saw, drill press, miter saw and random orbital sander. I've primarily been working with dimensional lumber and offcuts, but would like to start working with other stock too. What are the appropriate next pieces of shop equipment and/or power tools I should consider purchasing, and what should I be looking at if I had $2000 to spend? (this is very much a hypothetical figure at the moment, and will help me to plan a budget) I am very much of the buy once, cry once philosophy, and would love your recommendations for the things I should be saving for now. Buying gently used or well cared for equipment is definitely something I'm open to, though the chances of finding just the right thing and waiting for it make me feel that I should just buy new instead. Would love any and all input, whether on how I should approach this question, or for actual tool recommendations. Thanks in advance!
 

Oka

Board of Directors, Vice President
Casey
Staff member
Corporate Member
Agree with this. Also, if you do not have a jig saw, 4" grinder and a small circular sawmight also consider adding those as well. All get pretty handy. Those I have as cordless now even though I have corded versions. something else to consider
 
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llucas

luke
Senior User
Agree with DeWalt 735...skip the stand, make your own, get the infeed and outfeed tables. Agree with the jointer for sure, but maybe hold out for an 8" if you can swing it, that's prolly as big as most people ever need and you will find yourself frequently trying to joint 6 1/2 " rough boards.
Make your own router table, that's a great project.
 

Bming1

Brandon
Senior User
Agree with this. Also, if you do not have a jig saw, 4" grinder and a small circular sawmight also consider adding those as well. All get pretty handy. Those I have as cordless now even though I have corded versions. something else to consider
Aah, I forgot to include that I have both a jigsaw (my first woodworking-related purchase, actually) and a circular saw. I might also have an old grinder in the shed - presumably for sharpening?
 

Bming1

Brandon
Senior User
Agree with DeWalt 735...skip the stand, make your own, get the infeed and outfeed tables. Agree with the jointer for sure, but maybe hold out for an 8" if you can swing it, that's prolly as big as most people ever need and you will find yourself frequently trying to joint 6 1/2 " rough boards.
Make your own router table, that's a great project.
Thank for the input! Any opinions on a brand and model for jointers?
 

Rwe2156

DrBob
Senior User
My first thought was dust collector. My second thought was jointer/planer.

If you’re planning on building furniture a jointer and planer are pretty much indispensable. So is a dust collector.

Personally, I only do stationary machines, but that also puts you in a much higher $$$ category . IMO 8” is the minimum for a jointer in furniture making. That DW planer will get you so far, but will never stand up to a staionary planer with a real induction motor.

There are combo units out there that may be in the price range.

$2K disappears quickly in a ww’ing shop!!
 

Bming1

Brandon
Senior User
My shop space is large enough now, but it’s a temporary situation, and it’s likely that my future shop (hopefully behind the house) will not be large enough to accommodate bigger pieces of equipment. And yes, $2k evaporates pretty quickly when it comes to power tools!!
 

beloitdavisja

James
Corporate Member
Lots of great deals on used tools come up in the For Sale section on here that can stretch that $2000. I bought my jointer, planer, sliding miter saw, 2 dust collectors, and drum sander from other members here. People selling here typically take great care of their tools and are much easier to deal with than Craigslist or FB Marketplace. Just takes patience to find the right tool for your needs and budget.

Jointer & Planer are a must. Used Dust Collectors can be gotten cheaply, or even free (I got my current 1.5HP DC for free from a fellow NCWW member that upgraded and needed it gone). After those, an alternative suggestion from those above: a drum sander. Seems like a luxury, but once you have one, you'll use it all the time. A 16-32 open ended drum sander will be big enough for most purposes.
 

Hmerkle

Hank
Corporate Member
i'd add a bandsaw to the list. If you want to do curved work or resawing thicker stock.
That was my first thought is a "Good" bandsaw would be first up on the list. it really opens your project potential, that along with the planer and jointer (I agree with the 8" suggestion) - personally, I would wait and watch for a GREAT deal here or on CL or Marketplace and you would be set-up...
One other thought is Dr. Bob's @Rwe2156 suggestion of dust collection - you will be needing that quickly!
 

Henry W

HenryW
Senior User
Brandon - lots of good advice here. Of the stationary tools there are (I think) 5 big ones - jointer, planer, table saw, band saw, and drill press. And of course all these make dust so dust collection needs to be considered. So make that 6 big ones.

Then of course a lathe could be added (depending on your interests), and then various forms of stationary sanders, a shaper (router table), etc.

Of the big 5 I do without a jointer, though others consider this piece essential. The key is that I buy S2S material (surfaced two sides), then I make do with a planer (and sled if necessary), table saw, and tracksaw. This a different approach, but we all make different choices. I have a stationary belt/disc sander and a lathe too. Over 20+ years I have spent less than $2000 on TS, BS, DP, planer, DC and lathe. Not saying you could do that exactly today, but there can be deals to be had, with patience. My major tool acquisition period was 15 years likely - and still need better DC).

I have bought all pieces used (over the years) - and have used my project interests to guide my next tool buy. So yes it matters what you want to make - and my interests parallel your stated interests: tables, lamps, desks, chairs etc .....
I have made all those except chairs - someday!
 

Bill J

Bill
User
Hi Brandon,
I recently set up a smallish shop. The one thing I wish I had done was include more 220 outlets. I bought a 6" jointer (120V). While it is good for 98% of what I do I frequently do run into the 6 1/2 board and have to either plane/sled it flat or rip it smaller than I would really like. All in all, I can't justify the cost of an 8 inch and the added power for such an infrequent use.
What I do regret is not putting in more aggressive dust collection that would also require a dedicated 220 outlet.
So bottom line - invest in electrical up front when you build that new shop.

Another point - I decided to invest in a more powerful 14 inch helical planer and have never regretted it.
 

tvrgeek

Scott
User
I use my C-14 band saw as much if not more than the TS. That is once I bought a good one. If space or budget limited, I think I could get by just fine with a track saw, track plate for router, and a good band saw.
With $2K, you could get a good band saw ( Rikon, Laguna, Harvey 14 minimum) and flesh out your hand tools. But as was said, depends on what you want to do.

On the buy once, with what I learned, I would jump to the Powermatic planer to start and not have bought a Delta lunchbox and Dewalt 735. (Next)
I would have skipped the benchtop and contractor saw and gone to a cabinet. ( Went C-300)
I would have skipped the 10 inch band saw and gone to the 14. ( Wish I had room for bigger) ( Went C-14)
I would have skipped the Sears vac and Jet DC and got the Oneida ( Went Clear View)
I would have skipped the 4 inch tabletop jointer and gone to an 8/helical. ( I went for a 6/helical)
I would have skipped about 10 generations of sharpening machines and gizmos and bought the set of DMT plates and Veritas jig to start.
I can;t even think of the number of measurement and other hand tools I have replaced over the years as I went cheap.
Hindsight could have saved me thousands, but darn, woodworking is expensive!

Do consider, museums and great estates are full of the finest furniture in the world and made by tools that fit in one trunk.
 

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