Author Topic: Looking to start my shop but what larger purchases are most important first?  (Read 5962 times)

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Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 2336
"The glasses should always be used."

AND hearing protection. Do not overlook this. Just like your sight you can't get your hearing back.
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It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline Wood_Slice

  • Posts: 102
I would have to agree for a beginner into the hobby a miter saw would most likely be more usefull than a table saw. When you first start you are most likely to buy pre-dimensioned lumber from big box store which you mostly need to cut to length. Table saw would def be a huge asset but I highly recommend watching some safety tips when operating them. I first started with the job site contractor table saws (Ryobi/Skill) and while I didnt notice the danger then i later got myself a hybrid cast iron top table saw. Now you cannot pay me enough to go back to a job site table saw.
DF 500 + Assortments | ETS EC 125/3 EQ | CT MIDI + CT-Fi| MFT3 + Elements| Installer's Set | TS55-REQ |

Offline dashboardpws

  • Retailer
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  • Posts: 41
This is admittedly self serving, but along with all these great and appropriate suggestions for safety gear and tool resources I'll add that if you have all of that and no suitable surface on which to use them, you'll struggle a lot more than necessary. You need a good, sturdy, versatile work surface. ;)

Offline online421

  • Posts: 150
This really depends on what you make, Looking back if I was going to start again I would buy the following:

Bandsaw - I didn’t have a bandsaw until very late
Jointer/planer combo
Table saw
Dust collection system
Drill press, some projects require better drill press, I still use the $199 drill press I bought from local hardware store 10 years ago.
Belt Sander - you might need 2
Router table or a spindle moulder, I never owned a router table.

Chances are you will upgrade later, so buy an economical version first, try it out, you will develop your skills, you will make different things, and you will find yourself use certain tool more than any other. I found myself using a spindle moulder very often so I invested a slightly above average spindle moulder.

Griggio Unica400
Felder AD951
Masterwood OMB1V
Omga T55-300
SCM 5 RCS1100
SCM TI145EP
Comatic DC40
Chicago Pneumatics CPRS10500
Ceccato CDX 12
Holytek DC006
Festool DF700XL, LEX3, OF1010, OF2200, CT36, VAC SYS
Starmix 1635
Danfoss VLT 2880
Sicar TOP6

Offline Bertotti

  • Posts: 256
I started with a table saw and added a 14" bandsaw with 6" risers a few years later. In hind site for what I was doing the bandsaw saw and still sees more work than my table saw. I would think hard about what sort of projects you want to do and what materials you will use the most. I work with chunks and wedges and blocks of wood more so resawing on my bandsaw is the most common thing for me to do. I use the ts55 to break down sheet goods. I only use the table saw if I have a lot of repetitive rips to make of the same width. Thins about your needs that will help you deicde.
I want to populate SD with trees because I miss the forests of the river bottoms.

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 686
When I was setting up my shop the answer was easy:  Table saw.  But that was 22 years ago. 

Since then I first fell into the trap of seeing something that appealed to me, convincing myself that I needed it and they buying it and having it sit idle.

Now I wait until I need the equipment before buying. 

The interned (and YouTube especially) promote the earlier behavior. 

Online squall_line

  • Posts: 824
Since then I first fell into the trap of seeing something that appealed to me, convincing myself that I needed it and they buying it and having it sit idle.

Now I wait until I need the equipment before buying. 

The internet (and YouTube especially) promote the earlier behavior.

Quoted for truth.  This can't be emphasized enough.

It's a shame that when others see this behaviour, they treat the buyers as "trust fund woodworkers" when it's really sometimes just a trap into which we can all fall fairly easily.

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 686
In the early 1970s my younger brother became a "hi-fi fanatic" studying all the available literature on high-end stereo equipment. He saved his money and bought a really superior setup including the latest in tape cassette recorders. 

The day he received his equipment he cancelled all his hi-fi magazines.  He said if he continued to read the magazines he be in a constant cycle of buying new and selling old. 

Unfortunately the internet makes that isolation impossible.   [big grin]

Offline mino

  • Posts: 538
When I was setting up my shop the answer was easy:  Table saw.  But that was 22 years ago.
...
I would say there still are "essentials" you simply need - functionally:

- handy drill driver /12V class like CXS/
- strong drill driver /18V+ like the PDC, but preferably even stronger and with impact/
- vac
- track saw + some rails
- router
- 2-3 mm stroke orbital sander
- jigsaw
- drill stand for a corded drill or a drill press

And that is about it for sheet goods.

The, when moving to process some raw lumber:
 - thicknesser /can be combined with jointer /
 - jointer

And that is about it overall.

One needs all these "basic" tools by type, but does NOT necessarily need all to be top quality. A crappy jigsaw a crappy drill press and a crappy thicknesser will most of the time be "good-enough" for DYI and hobby use. While not having ones "breaks" the thinking freedom to make stuff the "normal" way.


Beyond that, I would agree. Do notice I put no big tools in that list.

For a novice - one *needs* a tracksaw, a vac, a router and a sander to be able to even understand/figure out what they are /and are not/ good for. Same with a jointer-thicknesser in the raw lumber space.

A skilled tradesmen may skip some as would already know his way about. But a skilled tradesmen is not gonna ask where to start anyway.
 [smile]
« Last Edit: June 07, 2021, 11:24 AM by mino »
When the Machine does not have a brain, use Yours.
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AGC 18@AGC 125 flange, BHC 18, C 12, CTM 36, DRC 18/4, PSC 420, RS 200, TSC 55
Protool: AGP 125, VCP 260
Narex: EDH 82, EFH 36@LR32, EVP 13 H-2CA, S 57 A
My Precious: 2x 376, 376 holy, 632, 1016 holy, 1400 holy, 2400, 2x GRS 16 PE, GECKO-DOSH

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 686
If this was not a Festool site, you could swap that track saw for a table saw.   [big grin]

I grew up with a table saw, so the track saw is still secondary to me, (but gaining in usage.)

Offline mino

  • Posts: 538
If this was not a Festool site, you could swap that track saw for a table saw.   [big grin]

I grew up with a table saw, so the track saw is still secondary to me, (but gaining in usage.)
Not really, I called these "essentials" for I see these as tools which are internally not inter-changeable/duplicite so one needs them all to cover all basic tasks.

Ref Track saw / Table saw, so me a table saw is here to do -certain- things better /and more expensively on tool cost and space cost/ than a track saw. So for a beginner it is an "upgrade tool" and not "essential" one.

You cannot really use a small/simple table saw (no extension, no shop to install it in, no shop DC) -in place- of a track saw. The moment one starts thinking how to handle a full sheet rip is when one realizes how it does not work in "field" settings when you have no RP's Total station to support it etc. On the other hand you *can* do everything a table saw can with a track saw. Sure, not as time-efficient, maybe not as accurate, but you can.

And this being FOG has nothing to do with it. My first tracksaw was $100 Lidl/Parkside model with a really crappy default blade which was dull from the factory. But still, it suddenly enabled me to forego depending on the formatting by the wood yard and their (in) accuracy at it.. I upgraded to a TSC because I -wanted- better, the cams and slides on it are day/night. Not because I had to.
When the Machine does not have a brain, use Yours.
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AGC 18@AGC 125 flange, BHC 18, C 12, CTM 36, DRC 18/4, PSC 420, RS 200, TSC 55
Protool: AGP 125, VCP 260
Narex: EDH 82, EFH 36@LR32, EVP 13 H-2CA, S 57 A
My Precious: 2x 376, 376 holy, 632, 1016 holy, 1400 holy, 2400, 2x GRS 16 PE, GECKO-DOSH

Offline ChuckS

  • Posts: 2897
Snip.
 On the other hand you *can* do everything a table saw can with a track saw. Sure, not as time-efficient, maybe not as accurate, but you can.


Actually the opposite of what you stated is almost* true: Table saws were born and used long before track saws.

These come to mind that the track saws are very poor at or incapable of doing: tenons, grooves, dadoes, circles, resawing, cove cutting and more.

* Almost because the track saws are portable, the table saws aren't.

« Last Edit: June 07, 2021, 07:48 PM by ChuckM »

Offline mino

  • Posts: 538
Snip.
 On the other hand you *can* do everything a table saw can with a track saw. Sure, not as time-efficient, maybe not as accurate, but you can.


Actually the opposite of what you stated is almost* true: Table saws were born and used long before track saws.

These come to mind that the track saws are very poor at or incapable of doing: tenons, grooves, dadoes, circles, resawing, cove cutting and more.

* Almost because the track saws are portable, the table saws aren't.
With a respective jig, you can do tenons, grooves /do all the time/ dadoes. Not sure what you mean about "circles", but assume not the ones where kickback will ensue. Re-sawing and cove cutting yeah. But that is truly in the specialist area, and I am not sure you would be able to do that in the "normal" jobsite table saw.

When I think "table saw" as essential tool, I think of the $500 jobsite saws with little to no accessories.

Once one moves to an Erika or basically any proper table saw, the saw itself will cost about as much as *all* the other tools I mentioned.

Then, I am probably looking too small here on what I see as "essentials".

At a $5k total budget - tools, accessories, everything. One should not even look at a table saw before one gets a good tracksaw. E.g. a TS55 + FS/2 tracks, LR32, OF1010 + TSO GRS + TSO PGS will set you <2000$ and you are never gonna touch the precision and flexibility with $2k of table saw + router + accessories hardware.

I consider the $5k the point /+ $0 for shop space/ and thereabouts is where one can get pretty much fully-equipped shop for handling sheet goods for cabinets and some light raw wood work.

The nice thing starting with a track saw is, even if you do decide to get an Erika or thereabouts. The tracksaw setup will not end up idle. It will still be the go-to tool for big cuts and will free-up needing huge tables and/or other funky accessories a TS requires to handle full sheets.

At > $10k total budget /+ >$10k for shop space/ the equation will change and a small cabinet table saw becomes very much a must have thing.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2021, 04:31 AM by mino »
When the Machine does not have a brain, use Yours.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
AGC 18@AGC 125 flange, BHC 18, C 12, CTM 36, DRC 18/4, PSC 420, RS 200, TSC 55
Protool: AGP 125, VCP 260
Narex: EDH 82, EFH 36@LR32, EVP 13 H-2CA, S 57 A
My Precious: 2x 376, 376 holy, 632, 1016 holy, 1400 holy, 2400, 2x GRS 16 PE, GECKO-DOSH

Offline ChuckS

  • Posts: 2897


With a respective jig, you can do tenons, grooves /do all the time/ dadoes. Not sure what you mean about "circles", but assume not the ones where kickback will ensue. Re-sawing and cove cutting yeah. But that is truly in the specialist area, and I am not sure you would be able to do that in the "normal" jobsite table saw.

Circles=Round tops, round discs, etc.

Yes, any quality jobsite or contractor saws with a decent fence can do the fairly common sawing tasks I mentioned in my post.

Resawing is done 90% of time in my shop with the table saw, not with the band saw. I resaw on the band saw only when something is long or wide (6" and above). The secret to resawing quickly, cleanly, precisely and safely on the table saw is a tall fence, a quality ripping blade (thin-kerf, if available), a pair of featherboards and a push shoe.

People do tapers with the band saw; I with the SawStop...faster and cleaner results. Try tapering 20 pieces of narrow stock (1-1/4"x2") on four (4) sides with a track saw...doable with some kind of fixture, but quite a task.

My point is that a track saw, with its strengths and weaknesses, can complement a table saw. but not replace it, unless a user does not do many of the sawing tasks that a table saw excels at. In that case, some can even argue that a hand saw can replace the table saw. This statement also applies to the band saw.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2021, 03:39 PM by ChuckM »

Offline mino

  • Posts: 538
Resawing is possible with a tracksaw up to a point, did it a couple times, same as tapering. But it is a pain indeed.

Either way I believe we are in agreement actually.

The thing is, what you are targeting is a higher-end use case where raw wood processing capability is a must and taken for granted. I was aiming the "essentials" way lower, into the processing manufactured sheet goods area where a TS is no way essential. One simply do not need to do most of the non-sawing tasks you rightly note.

I argue that, for a lot of folks, anything beyond sheets goods processing is a bonus they have a limited use for. I see folks which can benefit from being able to make sheet goods stuff at quality as a much bigger group from those who cannot do without a raw lumber processing capability.

Ref. why I see a Tracksaw as a "before table saw" purchase:

Not sure if you ever tried to rip a full sheet of ply in one person in a 10 x 20' garage on a jobsite TS in the $500 class *without* any  saw table to speak of and just ad-hoc supports. Expecting any kind of accuracy is futile there, safety sideways.
I did, and it was possible to do the rip but very much impossible to make it accurately. I either had to hold the sheet -or- stabilize the saw. I even ended up screwing the saw to floor temporarily in then end. Still a PITA. With a tracksaw that is a task for a 10 year old.

Now, with a proper 4x8 table with extensions and a proper fence, that is another matter. But then we have just moved to whole different cost/space envelope. And we still do not have a portable tracksaw to use off-shop ...
When the Machine does not have a brain, use Yours.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
AGC 18@AGC 125 flange, BHC 18, C 12, CTM 36, DRC 18/4, PSC 420, RS 200, TSC 55
Protool: AGP 125, VCP 260
Narex: EDH 82, EFH 36@LR32, EVP 13 H-2CA, S 57 A
My Precious: 2x 376, 376 holy, 632, 1016 holy, 1400 holy, 2400, 2x GRS 16 PE, GECKO-DOSH

Offline ChuckS

  • Posts: 2897
Snip.
Not sure if you ever tried to rip a full sheet of ply in one person in a 10 x 20' garage on a jobsite TS

That's where the track saw shines.

I sold my TS75 in 2019 due to little use of it. If I need to break down a sheet (not as big as 4x8), I can do it very well on my SawStop with the Jessem Stock Guides and outfeed table. But for a 4x8, I'd have used my circular saw and straight edge -- the same method I used in the pre-TS75 days. The truth is that I've never dealt with a 4x8, because I always have it sized at the home center to 4 x 6 or two 4x4, etc. (first two cuts are free), so they can fit into my SUV. 8' sheets are too long for my car. [sad]
« Last Edit: June 08, 2021, 11:38 AM by ChuckM »

Offline cpw

  • Posts: 310
I prefer a track saw for large sheet goods, but always want to final dimension on my table saw with the fence.  If I had to pick one, I would pick the table saw.  A RIDGID contractor saw which is what I started with before upgrading to a Sawstop is $750 at home depot.  The saw is stout and heavy and will handle either sheet goods or hardwood with the 1 3/4 HP motor; just not as quickly as a 3hp machine.  A Makita track saw is $430 with only a 55" rail.  If you get a TS75 for similar depth of cut you are already at $675 without a rail.

Offline ChuckS

  • Posts: 2897

Snip.
A RIDGID contractor saw which is what I started with before upgrading to a Sawstop is $750 at home depot.  The saw is stout and heavy

The Ridgid (cast iron wings) was indeed a great saw with a very decent built-in mobile base for its price. Compared to its peers such as Craftsman, etc., it was well made. Lifetime warranty, I think. Most of my table sawing techniques were developed using that saw.

I sold it for well below $200 Cdn to some high school kid with some accessories, such as the cross-cut sled, extra blades, a dado cutter and jigs as soon as the SawStop PCS was assembled. The Ridgid's major weakness is its poor dust collection, like many other contractor saws.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2021, 03:34 PM by ChuckM »

Offline afish

  • Posts: 604
You got a good start with your list.  I would have built my own 4x8 mft especially If I didnt own a tablesaw, since this will be your primary cutting station for awhile. You will need a good spot to breakdown and cut full sheets.  A capable person can get a lot done with a 4x8 mft, tracksaw and lr32.  A miter box will be along soon for trim work. Your projects will quickly let you know what you need and hopefully help justify the purchase to the CFO. Hopefully you two are prepared for the never ending and relentless wallet attack that is about to start.  Tool buying can be an addiction.  Your probably still in denial, so come back in a few years if you are still at it.  There is a good support group that meets on Wednesday's.   
« Last Edit: June 08, 2021, 06:45 PM by afish »

Offline John Huh

  • Posts: 46
    • Tidbits
Thanks for all the tips!

I think my next project is building some shelving for our living room so I was able to justify to my wife the purchase of the MFT/3 table and a TS-55 track saw. Also have an 1400 router and LR-32 kit on the way. Gonna use some plywood for the cabinets and shelves from my local shop. I'll post some pics once I get them done. Also have some ideas for storage in my kid's room. So many ideas! Really glad to finally have these tools to make them a reality  [big grin]

No matter how much you anticipate your shop design, it will change. Having plenty of outlets and a good dust collection set up will go a long way.

Have you consider Festool dust collector for those tools?