Author Topic: Looking to start my shop but what larger purchases are most important first?  (Read 4917 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline ToolGuy42

  • Posts: 13
I finally have a garage space to build out a shop for tinkering and making things in my free time. I only have a small number of hand tools and a few battery powered tools like a drill, jig saw, dremel etc. I'd like to start getting some larger power tools but not sure which ones to look at first. My first choice I think will be between a miter saw or table saw. What's more useful? Then maybe a router table? I'd like to build out a main center shop table on caster wheels as well. Does anyone have some words of wisdom when it comes to the order of importance for choosing which tools I should focus on first?

Offline DynaGlide

  • Posts: 1054
I finally have a garage space to build out a shop for tinkering and making things in my free time. I only have a small number of hand tools and a few battery powered tools like a drill, jig saw, dremel etc. I'd like to start getting some larger power tools but not sure which ones to look at first. My first choice I think will be between a miter saw or table saw. What's more useful? Then maybe a router table? I'd like to build out a main center shop table on caster wheels as well. Does anyone have some words of wisdom when it comes to the order of importance for choosing which tools I should focus on first?

I started where you are. I got a steal on a nice DeWalt miter saw as my first big power tool. I didn't add the table saw until several years later. It's all about what you plan on making. Pick your first project and see what you realistically need to get it done. I didn't own a router table either for a few years until recently. I was mostly making stuff that either went outside (picnic table) or I relied on materials that I didn't have to rip down.

Avoid the temptation to buy all the things.
Instagram @matts.garage

Offline Vtshopdog

  • Posts: 80
Agree with Dyna regarding letting project needs pick the tools you get first. (Conversely my wife will verify you can pick a project to justify whatever tool you lust for,....)

You might do well looking at used stuff for sale locally for first buys to try a given type of tool out, particularly for corded tools.   If you find the tool suits your needs, great you saved some money.  You also can resell it for close to what you paid if you need same tool but better quality or decide it’s not useful. 

Look for quality brands being sold by homeowner and hobbyist types and avoid heavily used job site units. Cordless battery platform issues may complicate things when buying used, having multiple battery brands is suboptimal.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2020, 03:13 PM by Vtshopdog »

Offline jeffinsgf

  • Retailer
  • *
  • Posts: 394
I worked for Woodsmith magazine for a few years in the early 80s.  Don Peschke (the owner and publisher) insisted that every article be capable of being built using nothing beyond a table saw, router table, drill press and an assortment of power hand tools. I've always suggested that group as a beginners starting list.

If you're willing to put some "sweat equity" into it, there's no reason you can't have excellent equipment at bargain prices. For example I'm almost through restoring a 1964 Craftsman table saw that I would match against most anything available today for power and accuracy. I paid $100 for it and I have about $50 so far in new parts and accessories.

Power tools today are as good or better than they've ever been. Stationary machinery?? Not so much.

Offline neilc

  • Posts: 3031
I find a table saw to be far more useful than a miter saw.  I have both.  Unless you are doing 'production' work, a miter / crosscut sled on your table saw can provide a high degree of accuracy, safety and flexibility.  Table saws let you work with joinery, smaller sheet goods, repeatable cuts for cabinets, furniture, etc. 

A simple approach is to make a router table that can attach to a  table saw so you can use the miter guide and fence for the saw and router.  It also conserves space in a small shop.

There are many on the forum that use a Festool track saw and an MFT table for crosscutting and ripping, and it too is a good choice, though I don't think it's as accurate for repeatable work as a table saw.  Take a look at Ron Paulk's bench and accessories on Youtube.  It's versatile, easy to build, breakdown and gives you a lot of options for add-ons.

Online Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3483
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
The absolute first thing I'd buy is a quality set of safety glasses. No matter what I plan to do in my shop, I don a pair as soon as I walk in the door.

For me, my table saw (SawStop) is the anchor of my shop. You can do everything on a table saw that you can do on a miter saw except possibly moldings. I would start with that and buy a mobile base for it. I have a really chopped up shop area and having all the machines on mobile bases lets me accommodate large projects. A really good dust collector is a must. I like the Oneida products. I do not like the dust collectors that rely on a cloth bag.

I really like using a hand plane. Sometimes, they are a lot faster than setting up a power tool. Lie Nielson has good planes and chisels. Planes and chisels lead down the road of sharpening and that is a fun topic.

The next tool I'd buy would be a 14" band saw followed by a drill press.

Home Depot drills and routers are good enough for starting out. I think DeWalt and Bosch tools are just below Festool in quality and a lot cheaper.

If you are cutting up a lot of plywood, a track saw is nice to have.

The Festool Domino is a game changer in fastening pieces together, but a good biscuit cutter is a close second and far cheaper.

Above all, think safety. Consider what might go wrong and put your body parts in danger. If you are uncomfortable with an operation, walk away. Come up with a safe way to accomplish the operation.
Birdhunter

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 2128
You said you have space for a shop now, is that dedicated space?
Meaning you don't have to pack up at the end of the day and slide
your TS and bench in the corner so the car can fit in the garage.

Before you buy what is the power situation in your new shop, and
can it be upgraded (increased with more circuits) if need be. Do you
have 240V power available? If yes look for a 3HP 240v table saw. It
will be all you'll ever need, or maybe too much, depends on what
type of work you plan to undertake.

Used iron will yield you the best bang for your buck IF you know
what you're looking at (and for) plus willing to do give it some TLC
cleaning it up and adjusting.

If you have someone you know who has a good eye and history with
stationary power tools maybe take them along when you go to look
at a potential purchase. I have found many tools on Criag's List
that I purchased and then resold for a slight profit to cover my time
fixing them up or gave away to family members to help them get a
shop started. If you go this route don't be in a rush to buy the first
TS you see. You might even change your priorities if you come across
a great deal on a bandsaw, jointer, or drill press.

Actually, it's a toss up between a good bandsaw and a table saw I think
for a first stationary power tool. But it's tough to know without knowing
what capabilities you have in hand held tools at present.


-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 1437
I would plot the layout, etc of the shop first for what you might by.  Thus plan out the storage, electrical, and so forth, so when you buy stuff, it fits into a plan.

Beyond that, let the projects drive it.  Generaly, if you are starting out, project will match the order of construction,  so working from rough framing, to eventual furniture.   Buy tools that match the flow of projects.  There really isn't a need to buy tools now for fine finish work if you won't be doing that for many years.  But if you will be framing walls and such, buy a miter saw.

I would also hatch a plan.  Do you want to have a flexible shop, mobility, one person movable, etc.  And plane out tools, and how they interact.  Some things like just buying all Festool for example, would make dust collection straight forward, but if you will have big stationary stuff, I would think you want to plan for some standardization of things.  Similar for power.  Do you want to be all 110V, or do you want to be 230V.   You very much can buy tools from all sorts of companies, don't get trapped in one brand, but planning some ways they interact better with each other can help.

All that said, without knowing anything else, a 12" sliding compound miter saw is pretty going to be the start point for many folks. Unless you want to go all out on a push/pull table saw.

Biggest thing I would say is, dust collection.  Plan everything around dust collection, don't buy any tool that isn't good at dust collection.  A festool dust extractor is a great bit to start with.

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 2704
Table saw (the best you can afford).

Offline Thompmd

  • Posts: 247
I’m going to go against the grain a little. I retired a couple years ago at 53 and a hobbyist. I too have a dedicated space of about 1000sf in the main area with rooms off that. 99% of the things I do is stationary and don’t leave often. I was very fortunate to have bought this shop from a gentleman who used it as his workshop to build log cabins so it was set up pretty well.

I would suggest a table saw( I have a Sawstop professional cabinet saw,3hp single phase)first . My next suggestion is dust control. I went with a CT36 from Festool and the rest of my tools I stayed with Festool for the dust collection . After that I too would buy as needed.

Where I would go against the grain a little is suggesting new. Warranties, accuracy and if your not real careful buy the time you buy/resell you can end up with the cost of new . I know there are good deals on used but the few times I’ve done that it hasn’t worked out the best.

I’m new(er) to woodworking and my thoughts were buying good tools eliminated part of the equation and I also feel like I’ve “settled” throughout life getting what I needed and not what I wanted.

There’s no wrong way to go about it, be happy and do what makes you smile.
Sawstop Industrial Saw, TS75,2 800,2 1400 & 2700 rails, CT36, Rotex RO 150 FEQ, CT-VA-20, Carvex PS 420 EBQ, Carvex acc. ZH-SYS-PS 400, Kapex KS 120, CT Cyclone Dust Collection Pre-Separator CT VA 20, DF 500 Q Set, Domino 1,060pc Tenon Assortment, UG-KA-SET Portable Imperial Stand & Extensions,OF1400 EQ-F-Plus, MFT/3, MFT-SP, FS-HZ 160, TSC 55, T18 E

Offline David

  • Posts: 511
  • Author/speaker/advisor to entrepreneurial experts.
    • A few pieces that I’ve built
I didn't see anyone mention dust collection, or maybe my skimming is out of practice. Buy a good, new SawStop.

Truth be told, I use my Felder 610 more than I use my tablesaw, though.
Fifth book (less interesting than woodworking) at http://www.expertise.is

Offline kevinculle

  • Posts: 421
Presuming you will work with both rough sawn lumber and plywood I would suggest:

1. Jointer
2. Planer
3. Bandsaw
4. Tablesaw with router table
5. SCMS
6. Drill press

Offline CeeJay

  • Posts: 347
Presuming you will work with both rough sawn lumber and plywood I would suggest:

1. Jointer
2. Planer
3. Bandsaw
4. Tablesaw with router table
5. SCMS
6. Drill press
Also my recommendation. That’s where I started. All good quality used, except the bandsaw and SCMS which were new.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Offline fuzzy logic

  • Posts: 383
Agree with Deformed Tree and others wrt planning & dust collection in particular. 
I'd go with good table saw as a start - and the training / awareness that needs to go with whatever you go for.
I have a book I found interesting & useful - been looking for it - it's there somewhere!
The book may have recommended on FOG once upon a time.  It all about making jigs for table saws. 
Anyways, with a table saw + the right jigs = lots of things that can be done; you might enjoy this sort of approach as very instructive wrt your understanding wood & making joints etc   
I'll keep looking & post if (when!) find it. 

Good luck
Richard (UK)


Decent people do the right thing - always?

Online Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3483
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
I forgot to add in my prior post that a Starrett combination square is a must. There are far cheaper combo squares, but none better. Take care of it and it will last far past your lifetime. Buy it new. Some used ones are so abused that they are no longer square.
Birdhunter

Offline JonathanJung

  • Posts: 160
  • www.timberlightdesigns.com
    • Timberlight Designs
I would let the projects you're interested in, and the style of them, dictate your purchases. Somehow, when I was in a 1 car garage, I'd managed to produce cabinetry, light millwork, some furniture, outdoor projects, with the following:

miter saw (non-sliding 12", more accurate)
table saw (contractor)
lunchbox planer
track saw
routers

with those plus the normal selection of hand power tools, there's a lot you can do. Jointer, big planer, router tables, stationary sanders, drill presses, bandsaws, they are good when you get more involved down the road.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2020, 02:30 AM by JonathanJung »

Offline Thompmd

  • Posts: 247
I forgot to add in my prior post that a Starrett combination square is a must. There are far cheaper combo squares, but none better. Take care of it and it will last far past your lifetime. Buy it new. Some used ones are so abused that they are no longer square.

Bird hunter: sorry to hijack but can you list the combo square/squares model numbers? I need to purchase. Thanks
Sawstop Industrial Saw, TS75,2 800,2 1400 & 2700 rails, CT36, Rotex RO 150 FEQ, CT-VA-20, Carvex PS 420 EBQ, Carvex acc. ZH-SYS-PS 400, Kapex KS 120, CT Cyclone Dust Collection Pre-Separator CT VA 20, DF 500 Q Set, Domino 1,060pc Tenon Assortment, UG-KA-SET Portable Imperial Stand & Extensions,OF1400 EQ-F-Plus, MFT/3, MFT-SP, FS-HZ 160, TSC 55, T18 E

Offline ScotF

  • Posts: 2895
I think that the bandsaw is the single most important stationary tool for working in solid wood. A well tuned bandsaw is very accurate and can rip, resaw, crosscut and cut curves. The main limited factor is throat depth and resaw height. A good 18 inch or bigger size will allow you to do most everything you need to do. Combined with a track saw and there is little you cannot accomplish cutting with this set-up.

A table saw is also useful for narrow rips and joinery cuts and can be outfitted with jigs for accurate cross-cuts and other joinery. I build furniture and rarely use my table saw - or at least my big cabinet saw. I did acquire an Erica earlier this year and I love it - but wanted something to do miter-saw functionality and table saw narrow rips in an compact package. I still use my track saws way more. But knowing what I do now, I would add a table saw after the bandsaw and a good jointer and planer. As someone mentioned, DC is hugely important too.

Good accurate layout tools are a must as are a couple of good hand tools - a block plane and a couple of quality chisels are important too. I would also get a dovetail saw to help with little offcuts and joinery.

For hand power tools, I think a router is an absolute must  and probably the single most important power tool besides a bandsaw. You can actually use one to flatten rough stock and to joint edges and even plane thickness if you had too. Edge profiles and joinery are other uses. I would add a high quality jigsaw to the mix, drill and of course a couple of sanders - one for flats and getting high quality finish and one orbital to work on edges and to get into corners. Personally this would be the Rotex 125 or Rotex 150 and the DTS400, but the ETS EC 150/5 would also be a worthy choice, combined with the DTS400.

Online Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3483
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
I suggest looking at the Starrett.com site to pick a combination square. I think the 12” length is best and I like the satin finish. It seems easier to read. They have metric and inch scales.

I like Woodpecker’s 1281 square if you want a fixed square in addition to the Starrett.
Birdhunter

Offline rvieceli

  • Posts: 1451
@Thompmd here's a thread on the forum that has a lot of info:

https://www.festoolownersgroup.com/other-tools-accessories/starrett-combo-square-clarification-please/msg609384/#msg609384

Here's a link to Starrett Combination squares:

https://www.starrett.com/category/precision-measuring-tools/combination-squares/111001#currentPage=1&displayMode=grid&itemsPerPage=12&sortBy=wp/asc

Use the filter on the left of the page to zero in on your picks.

blade length 12 inch is a good size
satin chrome for the blade is easire to read
4R unless you are a machinist or need metric (1/16th and 1/8 on one side 1/32 and 1/64 on the other
There are 2 head types Cast and forged and hardened cast has a wrinkle finish forged is smooth

forged is a bit more expensive.

You'll also find that a 4 or 6 inch double square is very handy as well.I use mine more than the big one.

https://www.starrett.com/metrology/product-detail/13A

https://www.starrett.com/metrology/product-detail/13C

Ron

Offline Thompmd

  • Posts: 247
Thank You both for the help, I’ll definitely check into them.

Sorry for the hijack. I definitely enjoy these types of threads as I’m also doing a very similar thing.
Sawstop Industrial Saw, TS75,2 800,2 1400 & 2700 rails, CT36, Rotex RO 150 FEQ, CT-VA-20, Carvex PS 420 EBQ, Carvex acc. ZH-SYS-PS 400, Kapex KS 120, CT Cyclone Dust Collection Pre-Separator CT VA 20, DF 500 Q Set, Domino 1,060pc Tenon Assortment, UG-KA-SET Portable Imperial Stand & Extensions,OF1400 EQ-F-Plus, MFT/3, MFT-SP, FS-HZ 160, TSC 55, T18 E

Online Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3483
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
When I bought my lathe 22 years ago, I knew zip about turning. So, I hired a pro turner to come to my shop and teach me lathe safety and enough to start turning simple spindle type objects. He returned in about a month to teach me to turn bowls. Each lesson took about 3 hours and gave me a huge jump start.

Table saws, band saws, even hand tools can be tricky to set up and to use safely. Bringing in a pro to help you get started might be worth considering.
Birdhunter

Offline cubevandude

  • Posts: 107
If you study the festool system and use the ideas off this forum, You can be quite creative with minimal floor space.  I would start with a 3X5 MFT slab and get a track saw, with the SS Parf Dogs from Lee Valley.  You could put three of these top together to have a marvelous work table for cutting.  You can do a lot with a setup like this.  I have makita.  Watch Peters videos on the Parf Guide system and the Parf Dogs.  I just got a 14 tooth blade for my track saw to do rough lumber edges with the track saw.

The 20 mm system is brillant.

Offline savsuds

  • Posts: 40
Electrical.

It is the one thing I would have done before I starting filling my garage with tools/benches. My garage's electrical limits determined my purchases. My projects should have driven the purchases instead.
Hobbyist just trying to have fun and not let my OCD ruin it for me.

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 1437

The 20 mm system is brillant.

Everything looks good when you have a sexy spokesperson.

Offline ToolGuy42

  • Posts: 13
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]

Offline jobsworth

  • Posts: 6714
  • Festool Baby.....
@ToolGuy42

Before you go out and start buying tools you mentioned you were going to add on to your garage. The very first thing you need to do IMO is figure out how much room you actually will have. From that point you can decide what tools to buy be it a large band saw, 5HP table saw with a 50 Inch fence or a contractors or jobside table saw.

 Once you get the space dialed in then figure out your electrical needs are you going to have enough power in the shop 1,2 3 circuits a 220 circuit... where yer gonna put the outlets.

Then you can decide on what tools size etc to get.

 Dont for get everythng else that goes along with a shop to all the jigs, screws, squares hand power tools etc. You have to make room for them to.

I already had my tools and I designed my shop around the tools I already owned.

Hope this helps

Offline Mini Me

  • Posts: 42
The first thing you should buy before anything else is dust extractor, preferably a cyclonic type.

Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 498
As a guy who works in a large cabinet shop, with every way there is to cut materials from sheet goods to rough lumber...if I were working from home, a track saw, a table to work it on, and a 14" bandsaw are a versatile combination.
Planers/jointers are far more useful for those who are working mostly with solid wood and essentially useless to a guy who is building sheet goods projects.
Drill presses shine in production oriented situations, but there really isn't anything you can't drill by hand.
Routers, either in a table or by hand, are extremely versatile, but I wouldn't consider them to be large stationary tools, for the purpose of this discussion. They are not expensive enough to consider a major purchase.
So, as a few others have said, "it depends" on several things. What you make being first on the list. Available space, power access, and even level of commitment are also factors.
Safety glasses and dust collection are also extremely important. The glasses should always be used. Dust collection is somewhat dependent on the equipment you end up choosing. Small (hi velocity) extractors are great for many of these tools, but there comes a point where a larger volume system is needed. There again, dependent on tool choice.
Jointers/planers and table saws don't deal so well with smaller units.
This totally leaves out things like a lathe. Some guys do a lot of turning, some almost exclusively, and others never touch one. Some do a lot of carving, others none. There are guys who are almost exclusively using hand tools like planes, chisels, and saws. While others see these as minor trimming and only slightly used tools.
Wood working is a very broad term that includes a lot of different segments that range from artwork to construction of household needs.
CSX
DF500 + assortment set
PS420 + Base kit
OF1010
OF1400
MFK700 (2)
TS55, FS1080, FS1400 holey, FS1900, FS3000
CT26E + Workshop cleaning set
RO90
RO125
ETS EC 125
RAS115
ETS 125 (2)
TS75

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 5228
“Wood working is a very broad term that includes a lot of different segments that range from artwork to construction of household needs.”

Great summation!

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 2128
"The glasses should always be used."

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

Offline Wood_Slice

  • Posts: 100
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
  • *
  • Posts: 27
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: 147
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: 188
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: 415
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. 

Offline squall_line

  • Posts: 425
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: 415
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: 496
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 »
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: 376, 376, 376 holy, 632, 1016 holy, 1400 holy, 2400, GECKO, GRS 16 PE, GRS 16 PE

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 415
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: 496
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.
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: 376, 376, 376 holy, 632, 1016 holy, 1400 holy, 2400, GECKO, GRS 16 PE, GRS 16 PE

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 2704
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: 496
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 »
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: 376, 376, 376 holy, 632, 1016 holy, 1400 holy, 2400, GECKO, GRS 16 PE, GRS 16 PE

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 2704


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: 496
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 ...
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: 376, 376, 376 holy, 632, 1016 holy, 1400 holy, 2400, GECKO, GRS 16 PE, GRS 16 PE

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 2704
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: 298
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 ChuckM

  • Posts: 2704

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 »

Online afish

  • Posts: 491
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 »