What essential tools should I get to start my workshop?

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Old 10-09-06, 06:20 PM
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Thumbs up What essential tools should I get to start my workshop?

I am a young new home owner (3 years now) and am wanting to start some home projects this fall/winter. Just looking for suggestions on the "must-have" tools - specifically, power tools. I have a good selection of hand-held basics, but only have a SKIL 14V cordless drill, and SKIL circular saw that I received as a gift. I also have a B&D belt sander.

I want to start framing my basement (currently unfinished) as well as build a workbench and install some heavy-duty shelving in my garage.

Table saw? Mitre saw? Drill press? What "essentials" should I invest in right away to get started on these projects?

Thanks for all your help.
 
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Old 10-09-06, 08:54 PM
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Welcome to the forums. The essentials list can be quite extensive, depending on what you want to get involved in. Since basic framing and finishing is in your agenda, you will want to consider a compressor, framing nailer, finish nailer, brad nailer. A table saw is another necessity, as well as a compound miter saw. You will need drill bits, screw setting bits.
Now this list is never ending, and as I have stated in other posts, it is limited by your budget, and what your spouse will tolerate. It is an addiction for which is there is no cure, and no support groups, except here on the forums.
 
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Old 10-10-06, 06:21 AM
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I think the simplest way to proceed is buy whatever tool(s) you need for your current project. You'll soon have a lot of tools and will be part of our tool-addicted society here.
 
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Old 10-10-06, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by mitch17
I think the simplest way to proceed is buy whatever tool(s) you need for your current project.
That is what I have done [still doing ] Whenever I find I need a new/different tool for the next project and the budget allows, I buy it.

While I wouldn't want to go back to the days when I had few tools a lot of work can be done by improvising with the tools you currently have - it is just easier with the correct tool. You can also rent tools.
 
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Old 10-10-06, 07:20 AM
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I agree with the simple approach. You have a saw and a drill. As well, you have tape measures, chalk lines, levels and work stands. Beyond that, a tool belt and a framing hammer (20-23 oz.) should be sufficient. Having a few large clamps will give you extra "hands".

It's a matter of your time. None of this is cabinet work. A chop saw and pneumatic nailer with compressor will speed up the work, but only by a few hours. When it's done, you won't see that it was done faster.

Put your money where quality counts. A $80 chop saw will crosscut a 2x4 just as well as a $500 SCMS. A $150 refurb framing nailer will drive 3" bright nails as well as a $400 professional framing nailer into ordinary lumber.
 
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Old 10-10-06, 08:11 AM
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Tools

I have been acquiring tools for years.

I simply get what I need but do not already have for the current project, as long as my wife and my budget will allow.

The proper tool for the job reduces the frustration and gives pride in a job properly done.
 
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Old 10-18-06, 12:57 PM
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For framing work, the above advice is good.

I'd say a cutoff saw is a necessity, a couple nailers and a compressor would be good, but certainly not necessary.

Shortly I'd also add a reciprocating saw to the mix. A nice dremel type tool is pretty handy.

If budget is tight, I'd certainly look at some of the cheap tool outlets, like Harbour Freight - which sell , Chinese-made knock off tools.

They won't stand up to hard use, but If you buy one, then wear it out, you know how much you'll use that tool.

By far my most used power tool is my cordless drill - I'd make sure that is the best tool I buy. Then my sliding miter saw. After that, probably my gas pressure washer, believe it or not.
 
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Old 10-18-06, 02:51 PM
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Look at garage sales.. You would be surprised what you can find for a great price.. That's how I found my current bandsaw, a Craftsman 12" digital readout for $200 ($500 new)..
I had a compound miter saw that I gave to my son.. The bandsaw, tablesaw, and a $10 garage sale 24" miterbox ($200 new) are all I need for what I do..
I did buy my drillpress new.. $206 for a Delta DP350 that I really like.. If you're into it, a router can be a most-used tool..
 
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Old 10-23-06, 08:02 PM
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"only have a SKIL 14V cordless drill, and SKIL circular saw... want to start framing my basement (currently unfinished) as well as build a workbench and install some heavy-duty shelving in my garage...What "essentials" should I invest in right away to get started on these projects?"

The two power tools you have are the "essential" ones for these jobs. All the cutting can be done efficiently with the circular saw, and any drilling with the cordless drill. There are two other tools you might not have that you might want to consider for these jobs: two saw horses and a carpenter's square (to hold against the edge of the 2 x 4's you're crosscutting to guide the circular saw for square crosscuts). The carpenter's square makes crosscutting 2 x 4s quicker (you don't need to draw a line), much more accurate, and just more fun. And you can get a plastic one at Lowe's or Home Depot for less than 5 bucks.

Hope you enjoy your projects.
 
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Old 10-24-06, 06:43 PM
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Anything that uses air, a blade or an 18V battery.
 
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Old 10-24-06, 07:27 PM
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A 50 dollar shop vac will keep the wife off your back, for some reason they do not appreciate using their good vac for reno work, I don't know why, might be genetics.
 
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Old 10-24-06, 07:31 PM
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I was wondering when Rapture would chime in on buying tools.
 
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Old 10-25-06, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by mitch17
I was wondering when Rapture would chime in on buying tools.

I was trying real hard on not joining this topic However, the recent jobs around the house led me back to it. Everytime I look at this board, my wallet fits easier in my jeans....for some strange reason.
 
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Old 10-26-06, 01:01 PM
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Everything listed above, plus two saw-horses.
 
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Old 10-27-06, 09:42 AM
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GLad to hear I'm not the only one

My wife laughs or rolls her eyes when I bring a new tool home. (Fortunately her reactions don't get any more violent than that.) But she also expects me to fix broken stuff, anything anytime anywhere, so I say the ladies should cut us a little slack. She didn't laugh quite as hard when she called me with a dead battery, and I told her I'd stocked her car with jumper cables- another "useless tool" that I brought home.

Another place to find tools is www.CraigsList.org , which is a free classified ad site- choose your city or state, and then look at the Tools forum. I do this for entertainment while at work, too.

My entry for the "must have" list is: eye / ear / lung protection. I like my eyes and ears the way they are! Unfortunately, a friend's father got lung cancer, possibly due to his lifetime of breathing woodshop air.
 
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Old 10-27-06, 12:00 PM
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Buying tools:

Get the best tool you can afford at the time, even if it means buying one thing instead of two. You'll save money in the long run
 
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Old 10-28-06, 01:36 AM
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I have recently started using a new "tool" that I never realized would be so great, a Digital Camera. I take before and after pics, download them to the computer, and now can use them to get help on these forums. Isn't technology and the internet great?????????
 
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Old 10-28-06, 07:16 AM
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I think the camera really helps when taking something apart so that you can see how it goes back together.
 
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Old 10-28-06, 08:47 AM
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A camera can be placed in small spaces where your head won't fit and there's not enough light for a mirror. You can even take the camera to the home center or auto parts store to get a replacement part.
 
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Old 12-02-06, 03:39 PM
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On your bench, you will need a bench vise, at least a 4" or 5", my preference is a industrial 6". Also a bench grinder, 1/3 hp or more, with a grindstone wheel on one side and a wire wheel on the other.
 
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Old 12-02-06, 04:15 PM
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My oh my ," It is an addiction for which is there is no cure, and no support groups, except here on the forums. "

It sure is , and then being a professional tradesman I only buy commercial grade which adds to the price , I bought a chinese grinder once on ebay thinking I didn't need it that much - it caught fire in my hand
 
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Old 12-02-06, 05:04 PM
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I bought a Chinese grinder once on ebay thinking I didn't need it that much - it caught fire in my hand
Ive got one from harbor freight ...9.00 going into its second year , grinds just fine .

( I had a Milwaukee drill die on its second hole once ....)
 
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