woodshop

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  #1  
Old 04-25-05, 10:08 AM
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woodshop

I am interested in woodworking and want to start building a workshop...
i need suggestions on what type on tools I should start off with....(table saw..drill press...Routers...ect....)i have a few thousand put aside....any Ideas on make and model of equip...any advice would be appreciated...

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  #2  
Old 04-25-05, 12:49 PM
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Start with medium priced brand name tools, Ryobi, Delta, etc. You can either keep them or upgrade to high dollar tools later.

A few thousand. Sure, a table saw, power miter saw, drill press, bench sander (4x36), orbital sander, router and basic router bit sets, (i.e. set of round overs, set of coves, etc). And the biggest vacuum system you can afford,, nothing less that 2" hose.

First project could be to build your dream work bench. They can get pretty involved with true flat tops, wood vise, storage, etc.
 
  #3  
Old 04-29-05, 11:01 PM
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I'm a big fan of grizzley tools(you'll find them on the web) for the big stuff (table saw, joiner, planner, drill press, etc) I have thier table saw, joiner and stationary sander, and have no complaints, they are much much better then craftsman, or anything you get from the bigbox stores.

And you cant go wrong with dewalt for a miter saw, and I'd stay away from craftsman in my opinion.

I would start out with a table saw, miter saw, and lots and lots of clamps. everyone forgets about those. A portable dust collector system(also grizzley has them), a GOOD quality router table and router, and various hand held sanders. and maybe a band saw.

A couple of thousand will get you a nice start on your wood shop.

Have fun and be very careful.
 
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Old 04-30-05, 10:47 AM
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Hmm... since you said "a few thousand", I'll assume that means at least $3,000. If I had a nice sized shop, with a lot of room, and I have that kind of money to spend, I'd invest most of it into a nice table saw with a large top and nice fence- something you could easily cut plywood with. You could get a decent saw by Delta, Jet, Powermatic, Grizzly, even Dewalt anywhere from $800-1500. Since almost everything you do will involve using a table saw, this would be money well spent.

You could spend $150 on a belt sander, $80 on an orbital sander, $139 on a nice jigsaw. Your miter saw should be selected based on what you plan on cutting with it. Lots of guys are getting sliding compound miter saws, but they really don't need the sliding feature unless they are cutting something wide, like shelving, wide beams, or large crown moulding. They can be used like a mini radial arm saw, but in my experience, smaller miter saws work just as well, and can be more precise than some of the giant ones.

You'll also want some air tools. A small compressor and finish guns will likely be what you will use in your shop the most. Clamps are good, depending on what you plan on building you might want bar clamps, or just some quickgrip hand clamps. A nice assembly bench would be nice, but because of space, I usually just set up a temporary work table of sawhorses and a piece of plywood.

I assume you probably already have a cordless drill and a few other common tools, such a skilsaws and such. Regarding the router, get one that would work well upside down in a router table- that has a depth adjustment tool you insert from above. (I constantly wish my Bosch 1613EVS had that!) And then buy good quality router bits as you need them. A drill press would be nice, but I'd opt for a bench press, that you could incorporate into your bench- the only time I've really wanted a drill press was when I was assembling melamine cabinets where I was drilling and countersinking assembly holes. (fortunately, I used my dad's!)

Oh, and don't forget the radio and TV for your shop either!
 
  #5  
Old 04-30-05, 08:35 PM
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XSleeper - Good point about the radio/TV . That's a must have for any wood shop.

Also I agree with your assesment of the Mitre saw. You can do 90% of what you need with a small one, just as good a larger one or slider. And go for quality rather than features. (IE: Dewalt, not craftsman laser). Not to bash craftsman because they do make some very good tools and always stand behind thier products. I've just never been happy with the quility of wood working tools they put out.

Also, keep a few bucks aside to buy some wood. After you have all these new tools in place your gonna want to get started with your first project.
 
  #6  
Old 05-01-05, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by XSleeper

Oh, and don't forget the radio and TV for your shop either!
Great point! Of course, to top that off, you need a window A/C unit and a gas heater for year round comfort. You can fiddle 365 days a year in a climate controlled room! Sorry to brag guys, but the A/C and thermostat heat is tremendous!

I don't have a refrigerator, but I do have a TV and VCR ( for my wood working tapes I buy at Wood Shows).

You really got some great advice mentioned above. The best! Including the air tool advice and clamps. Lots of great ideas mentioned!

You'll be looking at clamps more closely when you want build your first cabinet. I like ten 24" bar clamps ( not Jorgenson) and ten 5 ft pipe clamps for a basic set ,and every other clamp you can afford to buy, lol. I have about 50 clamps now. And of course a pocket hole cutter to greatly reduce the need for clamps all together!

I've been on this forum for 10 years, under two different names, and I have never said anything bad about Craftsman tools. Here goes... The socket and wrenches are good, but almost everything else is 2nd grade (not 3rd rate, but definately second grade). Never more will I comment on Craftsman because I know alot of guys buy them and use them. That is all good and well. It is what it is,, not good, not bad. I have owned many Craftsman tools and I have earned the right to my opinion. I'm sure I still have and use a few Craftsman tools, but they have been off my list of brands to buy for years now.

All the other brands mentioned above are good brands that I endorse.
 
  #7  
Old 05-05-05, 01:18 AM
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New shop

Thomas,

Last year while reuilding the downstairs of my house, I got the wood bug again. I had a nice start already on rough carpentry tools that would also enhance a woodshop.

Heres what I had already:

Dewalt 706 compound miter. ......my most versatile tool.
Milwaukee 7 1/4 circular saw
Dewalt 314 jigsaw
Dewalt 1/2 drill
dewalt 3/8 drill
Dewalt palm sander
Dewalt reciprocating saw (sawzall)
Most all handsaws, squares.

Heres what I have bought in order recently.
Grizzly 14" bandsaw with riser block...bought it 1st due to a sale
Craftsman 22114 TS....its justa fancy contractors saw with a enclosed motor.
Dewalt 734 12 1/2" planer......decent planer, decent price
Craftsman 6 1/8" jointer.....enclosed cabinet with nice dust collection
HF 2 hp dust collector.... jury's still out on its performance. I might add some 5 micron bags for better filtration

I have a small 1 car garage (11' X 22') and space is at a premium. I was looking at the Ryobi BT3100 table saw for its small foot print and the accuracy that the saw provided, I also looked at a ton of other saws. Then Craftsman came out with thier recent Craftsman Club sale on Table saws. I looked at the 22114 and was sold. Its a tad bigger than the BT3100, but smaller than a contracors saw due to having the enclosed motor.....plus its heavier,which makes handling heavy stock much safer than the BT3100.

If your absolutely positive that the wood bug isn't a passing fad, then go out and buy the best you can afford. My stuff is decent...nothing fancy. I would not pass on good hand tools. I might even put hand tools first. You can make a ton of nice things with basic woodworking saws and hand planes.

If you are going with strictly power tools, then I would get a good dust collector first. Its frustrating blowing dust al over your shop, and its not healthy for your lungs either,........not to mention having to wipe down every exposed item in your shop every 2 weeks.
 
  #8  
Old 05-05-05, 01:14 PM
countrymac
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GTM20,
I love it. Be very safe.....Oh, and don't forget the T.V. Just giving you some crap. (Know a guy that lost three fingers as he looked up to peek at the TV.) I agree with everyone's suggestions with a serious emphasis on the table saw and the dust collection. As you purchase more tools that means more projects and a hell of a lot more dust. (My unfortunate present situation). I made a makeshift system from a wet-dry vac that is mediocre at best. Wish I was in your predicament too. Remember....it's all about justification.

The dirty Irishman
 
  #9  
Old 05-05-05, 04:55 PM
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Well, you guys are making me wish I had a dust collection system in my warehouse. I've got a sweet setup there, with plenty of room for the radial arm saw with extension wings, table saw, jointer, router table, miter saw, refrigerator (heh heh), and so on. But I can relate to what everyone's said about dust. I'm constantly sweeping, and blowing out the shop with a gas blower- a very dusty job.

I just wonder what it would take to keep the shop clean? The area where I make the most sawdust measures about 16' x 48'. Any suggestions? Do I need vac hose at every tool? Or just some floor vac ports and some overhead filters?
 
  #10  
Old 05-05-05, 05:23 PM
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Biscuit Joiner

Don't know why nobody mentioned this, but it's a very nice tool to have. It's easy to use and will save lots of time. I almost never use any other kind of joinery if I can avoid it.

Sometimes a project calls for Mortise & Tenon joints or Dowels, but most of the time the biscuits are at least as good or better.

-Joe
 
  #11  
Old 05-06-05, 07:47 AM
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My shop is heated and air conditioned so I have a great need for dust control. Currently I only have 4 shop vacs, small, medium and large. All dedicated to a tool except the large floor roll around model that I hook up to a tool as I feel the need.

But I really want the integrated system for big bucks, but I can't bring myself to pay $5 for each elbow and connector. And some tools are portable so don't lend themselves well to wall mounted dust ports.

My favorite dust collection a small shop vac on my bench sander. Man oh man does it keep the motor and hardware clean as a whistle.

My table saw, mitre saw, router, etc only collect about 80 to 90 percent with the shop vacs. I would like an overhead ceiling mounted air filtered fan too.

I don't have dust collection on my jointer and planer because they must be moved into position for use and a vacuum setup is to complicated to set up each time.

I also want those fancy switches that turn the vacuum on automatically when it 'senses' that the power tool is energized.

With the time and money I spent on separate vacuums, I wish instead that I would have invested in a complete integrated system. I'm sure I am not alone in that regard. So that is why I mention it to new woodworkers.

Truth is that I don't really like the fixed wall mounted piping that is needed for integrated systems because it's near impossible to run pvc over wireing, shelves, conduit and piping, etc on any of my shop walls. I'll wait for the next ingenious product solution.
 
  #12  
Old 05-06-05, 12:42 PM
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Lugnut,

Next time you need a shopvac for a tool, I think that most of Ridgid's shop vac's come with that AUTO switch you are talking about. I've got one of those and it works slick.

Originally Posted by Lugnut
I'll wait for the next ingenious product solution.
How about instead of a hole in the cement for a floor drain, a holein the floor for a 4" vacuum hose?
 
  #13  
Old 05-09-05, 01:58 AM
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Dust collection

I know grizzley makes a portable dust collector on wheels and I'd guess others are making these too. Kind of a compromise between the high priced fixed system and a shop vac. You could stub off the fittings from each machine, and just roll this into place for a quick connect. I think these are pretty cheap too.




Hey countrymac - You got me on that one.

"I love it. Be very safe.....Oh, and don't forget the T.V. Just giving you some crap."
 
  #14  
Old 05-09-05, 12:37 PM
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All right gtm,

After that last post you've been outed. gtm must stand for grizzly tool man. I thought they didn't allow reps in here?????

Here's a good story I just told on another thread. I was at Rockler over the weekend when I overheard this guys wife complain "What am I doing here?" as he was looking at some router bits. He slowly turned to her and said "The same damn thing I was doing in JoAnn fabrics."-----priceless

Have a good one
-countrymac
 
  #15  
Old 05-17-05, 02:41 AM
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Workbench.

Well ThomasB, the one tool that almost everybody seems to have forgot to mention (except Xsleeper and Lugnut) is the most important one of all. It's the center stage of your shop (wood or metal) and you cant work with out one.

A good stable workbench. Without it, you wont be doing much of anything. What kind you end up with should depend on what kind of work you want to do. I know that sounds a bit vague, but there are so many choices to make that is the shortest answer I can give.

If you plan to do furniture (including things like a dog house, tables, desk's, or what not) then a good heavy duty wood workers bench is in order. If your going for cabinets then a cabinet makers bench.

See, the most important tools in wood or metal working are clamps. A well made bench acts like a giant versatile clamp, allowing you to hold your work in almost any position.

I'm into hand tools and funiture so I use a wood workers bench. I use modern power tools to cut my lumber down to size and then hand tools to do my work from there. To give you an idea about how a bech shouldnt work, think of this. You clamp your 2x8x6 to the table and start plane it. The table move from the force of your body pushing against it. Your plane slips and you now have a nice deep gash in your plank (and if your lucky, not yourself). A bench needs to be heavy and stable. Mine is about 300 lbs. This weight helps the table absorb the twists and sways from the point of contact.

I started out just like you. I bought may tools when I came into some spare capital and started to get my shop together. Then I found out that my little workmate just didnt cut the mustard. Took some trial and error to figure out what I needed and along with wasted time and efort was some wasted cash.

Start with figuring out what you want to do in your workshop. Then start reading up on workbenches and workshop layout. I use my single car garage so space is critical for me. If your going to be making things (not just fixing stuff) then I would say dont waste a lot of money buying a bench. Build one. If your new to woodwork, then you have no idea how much you can learn about it by building your workbench. Dont worry about getting it perfect. Just build one asap and decide what you want out of the next one. To that end, start with cheap pine or plywood stock. Dont bother trying to build the "perfect bench". Here is a link to a site that helped me build my first bench. It's not step for step, but the missing bits (which a total begginer can figuer out real quick) can really help you learn a lot about your new hobby.

http://www.terraclavis.com/bws/beginners.htm

This was/is my first bench. After a year now I decided what I want out of a bench and I'm going hardwood for my next one. On a side note, I wouldnt recommend the square dog holes for your first bench. Just build it (with or without a tool tray) and drill 3/8" holes and buy some wonder dog's. Then do the same on the front board and get some wonder pups so you can clamp up on the front of the bench. Thats what I did.

Point being that yes, you need tools. If you decide to build a bench instead of buying one then youll need tools for that. You just wont be doing much of anything with your tools without a good bench.

As for tools, well it depends on the ammount you plan to spend. If you have at least $2500 then I'd put 2k of it into a good table saw, bench or free stand drill press, Band saw 14" minimum, 1 or 2 hp plunge router and a good trim router, router table, and good bits and blades (good dado blades for your tables saw are a must and joinery bits for the router to start off with). Then about $500 for quality hand tools (you will need some basic's at some point or another), like wood chisel's, planes (getting very hard to find now, but once you use them youll never want to use power tool's for a finished surface, so it's worth the effort to find and learn to use), rip and cross cut saw's, a massive collection of clamps (you can never and I stress this, have enough clamps) of all types and sizes, and of course quality hammers.

I have no problem recommending cheap asian import power tools, but not for a begginer. Since the end of the 90's the chinese power tools have come a long way in quality and compatibility. They are just much harder to get going because they are not alligned well. You have to know what your doing to fix that your self. They also have little or no documentation. Wait on getting anything like that. Also, never ever buy asian or mexican blades and bits. Only get N. American or European made. Thats all about the quality of metal being able to hold an edge and those guy's just cant do it yet and sont seem to care to either.

Good luck and lets hear what you decide. ^_^
 
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Old 06-01-05, 12:19 PM
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Kodai, Nice bench project!

Thanks for the link.
 
  #17  
Old 06-01-05, 04:52 PM
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speaking of workbenches, I came across a cool plan the other day that used a sand-filled box (covered, of course... to keep the cats out) down low between the legs to keep the table perfectly stable. What a great idea, I thought!
 
  #18  
Old 06-11-05, 10:28 PM
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Beyond tools, another important issue to take a close look at is your electrical. How much power is available to you in the area you have planned for your workshop, do you have an adequate number of outlets, how many amps are available on the circuit(s) your area uses and so on. Some tools run on 240 volts or can be wired as such. If you have a 240 volt circuit, it can be very handy.

When I first started working out in our garage, I only had 2 outlets available to me on one 15 amp circuit. That was completely inadequate. From a safety and efficiency standpoint, you should do an analysis before you get started and address any deficiencies you may have.

Logistics should also play a part in what tools you buy. If space is limited, you need to maximize it the best you can. A table saw is a must for almost any woodworker regardless of where their energy is used. It's about as versatile a tool as you can own. Other tools that I have that I use on a fairly regular basis are a 6 inch benchtop jointer, 13 inch planer, a 12 inch benchtop drill press and a 12 inch bandsaw. If you have the space, you can also buy stationary models of any of these tools.

If space is limited, you probably shouldn't go whole hog on a cabinet or unisaw. Most of them are going to weigh in at well over 400 pounds, so if you won't have an area that you can dedicate to it and work comfortably, you'll be having to move that sucker around. Not fun unless you're Charles Atlas. You can get a good contractor saw with a mobile base for $500-$700. Most weigh between 250-300 pounds, and are more easily mobile with a quality base. Models that meet this criteria are the Delta 36-444, the General 50-185, the Grizzly G0444Z, the Jet JWTS-10CW2-JF, and the Ridgid TS3650. A good table saw is nothing without being accurately set up, so be mindful of that. Taking the time to make sure everything is properly aligned and calibrated will save you some aggravation or heartache down the road. Never underestimate the power of a quality blade, either. Forrest, Freud, and CMT all make quality blades. I could probably write pages about what to look for in a saw blade.

In a jointer, the primary measurement is the jointing capacity. Benchtop models are generally 4 or 6 inch, while stationary models are usually 6 inches up to 20 or more. Bed length is equally important if you're jointing longer pieces. The longer the bed, the more stable a surface you'll have for moving longer pieces down the outfeed table.

Surface planers can commonly be had in 12 or 13 inch capacities. There are larger ones, but they're usually cost prohibitive for someone starting out. I've used mine more than I can say. It was invaluable when I was building my red and white oak bench. Having one isn't an absolute necessity, but it helps to be able to mill your own wood, rather than relying on one of your big boxes for it. I've recycled pallettes and fencing both using it.

With a bandsaw, either a 12 or 14 inch is good for starting out. As important as the horizontal cutting capacity is the vertical cutting capacity. If you get one that has an option for riser blocks, you could end up using the same one for years to come. Variable speed is always a nice plus.

With a drill press, bigger is better or at least more versatile. Having a floor standing one opens up the possibility of working on the ends of long pieces. Table size is another perk. The bigger the better. Variable speed allows you to use a wider range of bits and attachments. A lower end RPM number would be 250, for working with larger specialty bits or hole saws as well as working with denser woods. Having the heavier floor model also lends itself to stability.

Dust collection is a great option for any shop. If you're not ready for a centralized system, get yourself a single stage collector. You can buy a Y adapter for it with blast gates that will make it slightly more convenient to switch over from one tool to the other. The key thing to look for isn't necessarily the HP, but how many CFM of air it moves. You can get by with 400 for a table saw, but 500-600 is preferable. Harbor Freight sells one for around $200, but the consensus is the bags could be finer. I think it comes with 30 micron bags, but 5-10 is preferable.

Another tool that I don't use as frequently but as proven itself invaluable at times is my belt/disc combo sander. There are times when having one around has just been a blessing.

Among my favorite portable power tools are my biscuit(plate) joiner, random orbital sander, orbital action jigsaw. I love that jigsaw. A barrel grip Makita, and it's cut everything I've thrown at it. I've had it for a few years now, and it was the first tool I bought that visiby demonstrated to me the difference between a tool and a quality tool.

Cripes. I can't believe I rambled on like that.
 
  #19  
Old 06-13-05, 04:49 PM
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Better to ramble on than to be silent.
 
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