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Newbie - What do I need?


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Posting this for the group as I'd like to eventually consolidate the conversations here and move them to the reference section as this is a fairly common question.

Assume I'm brand new to woodworking and I plan on sticking with the hobby. What big tools do I need and in what order should they come?  Also, in a second list, what smaller tools do I need and in what order?

I'll start with my list but, reserve the right to change my order and add to the list....lol

Shop Equipment:

  • Table Saw
  • Planer
  • Jointer
  • Dust Collection
  • Bandsaw
  • Miter Saw
  • Router Table
  • Drill Press
  • Drum Sander

Protable Tools:

  • Clamps
  • Cordless drill / bits
  • Router / Basic bits
  • Sander
  • Jig Saw
  • Chisels/mallet
  • Sharpening system
  • Block Plane
  • Hand Saw - Rip and Crosscut
  • Router Plane
  • Low Angle Jack plane
  • Track Saw

Other Essential Items:

  • Accurate square
  • marking knife
  • Bench - Useable with vises
  • Shop consumables - Glue, finishes, sandpaper, etc..

 

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Very good list as a good starting point.

Personally I would move the miter saw down the list to just above drum sander.  I have said this before, it eats a lot of space in the shop and is basically a 1 trick pony.  I would add a jigsaw (corded or cordless) as a way to crosscut without MS.  I would make a note to buy you last table saw first, mistake I made, only plus is now I have 2.  I would also prefer a 5 1/2 over low angle jack.  

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16 minutes ago, Woodenskye (Bryan) said:

Very good list as a good starting point.

Personally I would move the miter saw down the list to just above drum sander.  I have said this before, it eats a lot of space in the shop and is basically a 1 trick pony.  I would add a jigsaw (corded or cordless) as a way to crosscut without MS.  I would make a note to buy you last table saw first, mistake I made, only plus is now I have 2.  I would also prefer a 5 1/2 over low angle jack.  

We'll agree to disagree on the miter saw but, I definitely missed the jig saw!  I also missed a track saw..

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I’m on the border side of the fence with Bryan about the jig saw. I’m probably one of the lone few that scuffed at the idea of breaking down boards with a jig saw and relied on dragging out the circ saw and extension cord due to an underpowered jig saw. Now, thanks to other’s recommendations and a gift from my son, I have a Milwaukee powerhouse and correct blades and the circ saw is stowed away. The miter saw is drug out onto the driveway and me on my knees, only on special occasions. 

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46 minutes ago, Kev said:

We'll agree to disagree on the miter saw but, I definitely missed the jig saw!  I also missed a track saw..

Good catch on the track saw.  We always disagree on the MS, but for this thread, if you are new and only have a 180 sf shop (single bay garage or shed) to work out of, can you honestly say you would have a MS set up permanently?  If you went down the list TS, P, J, DC, BS and a decent bench, room for infeed/outfeed, space gets tight quickly if you want to build furniture.  Basically my opinion comes down to space you have and what you want to build.

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2 minutes ago, Woodenskye (Bryan) said:

Good catch on the track saw.  We always disagree on the MS, but for this thread, if you had a 180 sf shop (single bay garage or shed) can you honestly say you would have a MS set up permanently?  If you went down the list TS, P, J, DC, BS and a decent bench, room for infeed/outfeed, space gets tight quickly if you want to build furniture.  Basically my opinion comes down to space you have and what you want to build.

That would depend on the saw..  I actually use mine for finished ends so, I would still have a MS even in a small shop.  The footprint would be significantly different for sure though!  The MS is probably my most frequently used tool in the shop.

Just different work flows and neither is wrong.

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I am going to color outside the lines a little here.  As Bryan mentioned above a lot of newbs start out with a single or half of a double car garage and even then they may have to share the space.  I have had this conversation to a point with my nephew, he is real close to this situation.  He has a basic non sliding miter saw which I told him is a good way to go because I believe a non sliding MS, unless you get to spending some serious coin, is easier to keep adjusted.  He also has a router table.  We talked about him getting a bandsaw, track saw and planner along with making a planner sled.  This was a plan to get him the most bang for his buck.

You can rip with both the track saw and the band saw

You can cross cut with the track saw and miter saw

You can do your surfacing with the planer and sled

You can edge joint with your router and a straight edge, if your router table has a fence that you can off set to out feed side you cn edge joint on your router table.  Or you low angle Jack plane.

Yea this is all pretty slow compared to having a table saw and jointer added to the above but it also uses up a pretty small foot print in a shared environment.

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“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”  John Wooden

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I'm going to go even further outside the lines...

Decide what your first project is going to be and then using the list above purchase the tools you need to make that project. Then decide on your next project and pick up the addl tools needed for that. Rinse and repeat and pretty soon you will have a well outfitted shop with the tools you need and use.

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3 hours ago, pkinneb said:

I'm going to go even further outside the lines...

Decide what your first project is going to be and then using the list above purchase the tools you need to make that project. Then decide on your next project and pick up the addl tools needed for that. Rinse and repeat and pretty soon you will have a well outfitted shop with the tools you need and use.

I think this is a fair observation but, don't you also think you need to be able to make stock flat and square to build most furniture?

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My shop equipment evolved almost verbatim to Kev’s list. However, he stated that as a newbie and intended to stay with the hobby and as no one will know this going in, I agree with @pkinneb, buy as the project requires. 

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13 minutes ago, Woodenskye (Bryan) said:

You would think, but then again have you looked at the internet recently.  ?

lol...  That's right, if it's on the internet, it has to be true and accurate right ?

 

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3 hours ago, Kev said:

I think this is a fair observation but, don't you also think you need to be able to make stock flat and square to build most furniture?

Absolutely Kev but I see a whole lot of people spending a lot whole lot of time thinking their shops need to be perfect and they need to have every tool known to man before they can make something. Now if collecting tools and designing and laying out shops is your end game then have it. I love my shop and I love my tools but above all I love what I make in it and the feedback I get when I give something away and for me that should drive the decisions especially if funds are limited.

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5 minutes ago, pkinneb said:

Absolutely Kev but I see a whole lot of people spending a lot whole lot of time thinking their shops need to be perfect and they need to have every tool known to man before they can make something. Now if collecting tools and designing and laying out shops is your end game then have it. I love my shop and I love my tools but above all I love what I make in it and the feedback I get when I give something away and for me that should drive the decisions especially if funds are limited.

I completely agree.

There's lots of ways to get to square and flat.  Regardless of the "end game" with adding tools to any shop, you still have to be able to make square and flat.  Does that mean you need a shop full of Felder equipment?  No.  

It's a fair point and I think there could be some positive results in discussing ways to accomplish these tasks in a space limited shop.  We could also discuss budget constraints as many starting out don't have the budget to buy monster tools.  But, I'll also say that I've seen some pretty incredible work done by folks with the budget friendly Rigid TS, jointer, and lunchbox planer from the big box store.  They're not Felder so, don't have the bells and whistles but, they still get the job done just fine.

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10 hours ago, Kev said:

I completely agree.

There's lots of ways to get to square and flat.  Regardless of the "end game" with adding tools to any shop, you still have to be able to make square and flat.  Does that mean you need a shop full of Felder equipment?  No.  

It's a fair point and I think there could be some positive results in discussing ways to accomplish these tasks in a space limited shop.  We could also discuss budget constraints as many starting out don't have the budget to buy monster tools.  But, I'll also say that I've seen some pretty incredible work done by folks with the budget friendly Rigid TS, jointer, and lunchbox planer from the big box store.  They're not Felder so, don't have the bells and whistles but, they still get the job done just fine.

Unfortunately some believe that in order to build something you need a shop like the people they watch on YT.  Nothing could be farther than the truth, but that’s how some think.  

Those would be good conversations to have.

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9 minutes ago, Woodenskye (Bryan) said:

Unfortunately some believe that in order to build something you need a shop like the people they watch on YT.  Nothing could be farther than the truth, but that’s how some think.  

Those would be good conversations to have.

100% agree!  

Perhaps when we do the final recommendation list for the reference page we could break it up into 3 budget categories (low, medium, high)  and suggest machines or alternate methods for that particular budget category? Probably just manufacturers though as we don't want to keep up with (or change) the list with each manufacturer's model changes, deletions, and additions.  I could definitely see some overlap in the budget categories!

We should also probably add a note to tools that could be omitted for space limited shops with the alternate ways to perform that tool's task?

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It might also be interesting to create two tool set ups based on the floor space of a one car garage and a two car garage in the lower two budgets.  I think if you are spending in the upper end budgets you are also done with small spaces.  

Even coming up with budgets can be a challenge because very rarely does a person start in this hobby with a budget.  It usually starts with a couple of tools from some other DYI and the the light bulb moment when they realize they enjoyed that process.   I built all of our kids bedroom furniture when they were little with a radial arm saw and a hand held router.  When I decided to build our kitchen cabinets is when I started to tool up.

Would a visual budget scare some off?  I guess if they see a budget here on a woodworking forum they already have their foot stuck in the buck

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“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”  John Wooden

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20 minutes ago, Chet said:

It might also be interesting to create two tool set ups based on the floor space of a one car garage and a two car garage in the lower two budgets.  I think if you are spending in the upper end budgets you are also done with small spaces.  

Even coming up with budgets can be a challenge because very rarely does a person start in this hobby with a budget.  It usually starts with a couple of tools from some other DYI and the the light bulb moment when they realize they enjoyed that process.   I built all of our kids bedroom furniture when they were little with a radial arm saw and a hand held router.  When I decided to build our kitchen cabinets is when I started to tool up.

Would a visual budget scare some off?  I guess if they see a budget here on a woodworking forum they already have their foot stuck in the buck

This "list" could get crazy in a hurry!  I'll try and work out a format off line that will transpose easily to the forum..  Might have to do it as a pdf file that's downloadable???  I'll start with a handful of the power tools and get them up here to see how we like the format before getting through all the tools and adding to the list.

Another consideration is that sometimes, one tool requires another tool to be "fully functional". Chisels/handplanes and a sharpening system for instance.

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Just tossing this out there as a format as well as a test to see how this forum will handle and Excell spread sheet copy/paste...  My numbers are only quick searches on line without much in-depth research.  It should also be noted that Felder doesn't publish their pricing so, my number is a guesstimate.

 

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3 minutes ago, Coop said:

Very well done Kev. You put a lot of thought into this in a very short period of time! 

Thanks..  I've edited it a few times as I've found things I didn't like..  It's a live document at this point and input is welcome!

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3 minutes ago, Coop said:

Only thing I see so far is misspelling of real estate unless you are using urban dictionary like Steve did? ?

Thanks..  I actually misspelled it twice and in different ways..  Somehow..  And spellcheck didn't pick it up..

It's fixed now.

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