Author Topic: Woodshop tool priorities?  (Read 2338 times)

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Offline ColossusX

  • Posts: 218
Woodshop tool priorities?
« on: January 05, 2020, 11:41 AM »
We have a house about to start construction and when it's done I'll finally have a shop space.  Currently I dont have any "shop" tools, only power tools and site tools like my table saw.

I'd like to start getting some stuff for my shop now, and buy over time.  Things I know I'll need or want:
Planer
Joiner
Drill press
And I'm sure I need more.

What will provide the most utility and what should I prioritize. I mostly do remodeling and I've done some custom cabinet work.  Would like to start doing more cabinetry and furniture work, like table tops and benches.

Thanks


Offline grbmds

  • Posts: 1949
Re: Woodshop tool priorities?
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2020, 01:03 PM »
Hard to prioritize unless you have some starting point for what it is you plan on building first. The best course of action is to accumulate large stationary tools as you build a project and need the tool. However, buying rough hardwood lumber is the least expensive and most flexible way to get the wood you want for furniture, cabinets, and even shop furniture (like a bench). To get that lumber flat, smooth and straight, a jointer and planer are a good starting point (or a jointer/planer combo, depending on what you have money and space for). It would be great to have a 15" helical head planer but I have used a 13" Dewalt 735 planer for over 10 years and it has worked well for me. For most of my woodworking life I got along with a 6" short bed straight knife jointer, but I would recommend getting an 8" helical head jointer. I have used one for the last 7 years and the extra width and helical cutter head yielded a huge improvement to the results I get flattening and jointing boards.

Beyond that, I always feel a table saw is hard to do without, but many do without, using a track saw and/or bandsaw instead. I do not have a full-size tablesaw, but a jobsite saw instead. I find that I get along just fine with that for ripping shorter boards and really haven't built anything I couldn't handle on that saw.

Beyond the basic table saw, jointer, and planer, it's hard to recommend purchases. If I had it all to do over again I wouldn't try to equip my shop with what I thought I would need. I'd rather buy additional tools when I actually couldn't do the desired work with what I already owned. (Not as much fun, but financially more sensible).

Finally, don't underestimate what you can build with the tools you already own until you try.
Randy

Offline ChuckM

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Re: Woodshop tool priorities?
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2020, 01:18 PM »
If I were to equip a new shop from scratch, my machinery purchases (in order of priority):

1) Cabinet saw (preferably SawStop 3HP & fully loaded) plus the Jessem stock guides (to handle sheet goods easier in addition to its safety functions)
2) Thickness planer (skip the jointer, you can do stock preparation just using the table saw and thickness planer with a couple of jigs)
3) Domino joiner (DF500 or 700 depending on what you usually make, the latter if big doors, big benches, etc.; otherwise DF500)
4) Drill press
5 or 6) Sanding equipment
6 or 5) Routers
7) Mitre saw
8 ) Bandsaw
9) Others like a lathe, scrollsaw etc. based on project needs

Dust collection/shop vacs are considered basics like a workbench, clamps etc.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2020, 01:22 PM by ChuckM »

Offline ColossusX

  • Posts: 218
Re: Woodshop tool priorities?
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2020, 01:33 PM »
I have the df500 domino, the Pro5, rs400, ro125 sanders, track saw, miter saw, mobile dust collectors.  For now I'll probably just use my jobsite table saw, it's pretty serviceable. At least until I have some of the other larger shop tools. 

Online Mario Turcot

  • Posts: 1050
Re: Woodshop tool priorities?
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2020, 02:07 PM »
You are already on a good start. One semi-stationary tool that has not been mentionned yet is a drum sander.

Cabinet saw, bandsaw, planner, jointer, drum sander are all making a lot of saw dust & chips. They requires a bigger dust collection system, mobile shop vac a like comes full in no time.

Essential: Air purifier/cleaner
Mario

Offline ColossusX

  • Posts: 218
Re: Woodshop tool priorities?
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2020, 02:20 PM »
Also have the makita cordless router and the dewalt 619 router set.  Want to get the OF1010 soon. 

I plan on having a shop wide DC system, once I figure out what I need.  I have about 9 months to slowly buy some of this so I dont have to buy it all at once

Offline TSO_Products

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Re: Woodshop tool priorities?
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2020, 02:29 PM »
I have the df500 domino, the Pro5, rs400, ro125 sanders, track saw, miter saw, mobile dust collectors.  For now I'll probably just use my jobsite table saw, it's pretty serviceable. At least until I have some of the other larger shop tools.

@ColossusX – you may want to ask yourself what you are most likely to be building first: fine furniture or shop- and storage cabinets.
You’ll probably find cabinets constructed from sheetgoods close to the top of your list. Your track saw and dust collection is a great foundation for that type of work.

You may want to widen your view beyond the stationary tools already listed earlier and get a copy of the “Hybrid Woodworker” – an excellent, profusely illustrated and well written guide by Marc Spagnuolo aka Wood Whisperer. It can save you time and frustration in choosing your hand- and power tools wisely.
Invest in quality lay-out and measurement tools right up front. For example: Starrett’s Combination Machinists Square with various blade lengths is a must have in my book.

TSO offers free CAD model downloads and 2-D dimensioned drawings of popular 20mm worktop patterns
https://tsoproducts.com/plans-drawings/worktop-cnc-routing-files/

You can have your  worktop CNC routed by a local Sign Shop to get you up and running with usable tablespace for all manner of sheetgoods work and then some. Add a couple of our Tall Dogs and a pair of UJK Dog Rail Clips, all for less than $ 50.00, and you have expanded your track saw capability to make short work of building plywood or melamine cabinet.

Enjoy your new home and shop!
Hans
 

Offline ColossusX

  • Posts: 218
Re: Woodshop tool priorities?
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2020, 02:52 PM »
Great idea about quality lay out tools.  I just have standard job site quality squares and such.  Great for framing and even trim, not as good for some of the cabinet work I've done, although I'm sure some of it was user error. 

I already have the mft style files, just no luck getting any of the cnc shops to respond to my inquiries

Offline dupe

  • Posts: 87
Re: Woodshop tool priorities?
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2020, 07:09 PM »
I’ll suggest another book you can get through Taunton, ‘Small Woodworking, Shops’. Even if you have a ton a room, this book puts precedent on quality of flow through a shop versus having every machine in the catalog. It has a ton of quality storage and organization solutions as well.
 
Edge sander has always been on my list. Think I’d get much more use out of it than my drum sander - Supermax 19-38 - affordable, works well, easy to change abrasives.

Dedicated assembly table, think about flow, and make dust collection #1.

MFT.1080    CT.Midi    DF.500    DTS.400    ETS.EC150/3    RO.150    RO.90    CXS 10.8

Offline jobsworth

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Re: Woodshop tool priorities?
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2020, 07:28 PM »
Basics

Table saw / track saw

big table mounted router OF2200/ 3 hp

small hand held router (MKF700/ 1010)

planer

Clamps various lengths and types.

work bench (MFT / Paulk what ever)

Hand tools: wrenches, allen wrenches, Combo wrenches, sockets, chisels.

Miter saw (Kapex, dewalt, Bosch Makita etc)

sanders (R/O ES 150/3,RO 150 etc)

sander paper for sanders various grits machine and hand sanding

radio (tunes are always nice)

Thats good for starters.

Offline RussellS

  • Posts: 280
Re: Woodshop tool priorities?
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2020, 10:57 PM »
I have the df500 domino, the Pro5, rs400, ro125 sanders, track saw, miter saw, mobile dust collectors.  For now I'll probably just use my jobsite table saw, it's pretty serviceable. At least until I have some of the other larger shop tools.

Based on what you already own, I'd advise the next important tool to get is a jointer/planer combination machine.  Hammer, Felder, MiniMax are the usual names.  12" or 16" size with those spiral cutters.  And a bigger dust collector.  In the future maybe a bigger table saw or sliding table saw.  Need a router now probably.  Maybe, maybe later get a band saw and drill press.  Right now you have enough tools to make joints and dimension wood.  And sanders.  But you do not have anyway to really flatten and thickness wood.  So jointer/planer now.

Offline cpw

  • Posts: 172
Re: Woodshop tool priorities?
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2020, 08:16 AM »
Core of my hobby shop is:

Sawstop 3HP + built in router table w/ 3HP PC Router in a woodpecker lift
MM16 Bandsaw
FS41e Jointer/Planer
3HP Dust Collector

That was a big investment over several years (about 6). They were purchased in that order, each thing upgrading my originals.   I started out much smaller; and also over several years (the 6 years or so before that).  The originals they replaced were purchased based on when things were on sale or when I absolute needed them:
RIDGID TS3650 Contractor Saw
9" Tabletop Bandsaw
1HP Double Bag Delta Dust Collector
DW735/RIDGID 6" Jointer

If you do get one of the big jointer/planers, you need a big dust collector to go with it.  If you can buy already prepared lumber and sheet goods, you can build a lot of interesting and useful stuff without the initial money for a jointer/planer.

Offline ColossusX

  • Posts: 218
Re: Woodshop tool priorities?
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2020, 10:48 AM »
I was actually looking at getting your original planer/joiner combo, the dw735 and a rigid 6"

Offline ChuckM

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« Last Edit: January 06, 2020, 12:03 PM by ChuckM »

Offline cpw

  • Posts: 172
Re: Woodshop tool priorities?
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2020, 01:19 PM »
I was actually looking at getting your original planer/joiner combo, the dw735 and a rigid 6"
I built a whole kitchen with them.  The reason I upgraded was to get the wider jointer, there were enough times that I needed to cut things in half and then glue them back together or just waste 25% of an 8" board that it was a bit frustrating.  I went with a combo to preserve space, since I would not have a lot of room for both the planer and the bigger jointer.  I haven't found the combo switch to be overly burdensome yet, but if you can afford the space [which for me in my area is more expensive than the tools] having separates is probably nice.

Offline ScotF

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Re: Woodshop tool priorities?
« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2020, 03:39 PM »
I would buy a nice bandsaw as the first purchase and then add a jointer and planer - as big of a jointer as you can fit and afford as the first three. I would then add other tools per project. Sounds like you have a table saw already and I assume other power tools. Dust collection is also important on bigger machines, but a nice cyclone unit would be ideal if you have the space.

Offline Jiggy Joiner

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Re: Woodshop tool priorities?
« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2020, 04:21 PM »
Maybe the best way to work out future tool purchases, would be to get some of your tasks or projects underway. This will tell you what other purchases need to be made.

Offline Thompmd

  • Posts: 12
Re: Woodshop tool priorities?
« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2020, 07:58 PM »
I’m kind of in a similar position. By far the nicest piece of machinery was a Sawstop 3hp professional model with a 52” table. I have to admit I’m surprised how little time I’ve spent on projects and how much I’ve spent on what I call infra structure.

My thought was/is buy the best tools you can afford, my friend said he spent as much on his table saw as my SS but he did it over 20yrs and 3 saws.

Offline ColossusX

  • Posts: 218
Re: Woodshop tool priorities?
« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2020, 07:47 AM »
Lots of good advice.  Thank you.  I've mostly used sheet goods and pre finished stock to build what I've needed.  I'll see what projects come up and decide what to get from there.  I would like to start working with live edge slabs for custom shelves and table tops.  For now, I'll keep an eye out on a decent planer and bandsaw and a good shop dust collector.  I've seen some decent used units on FB Marketplace.

Offline blaszcsj

  • Posts: 471
  • I like building stuff with my hands.
Re: Woodshop tool priorities?
« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2020, 12:02 PM »
Lots of good advice.  Thank you.  I've mostly used sheet goods and pre finished stock to build what I've needed.  I'll see what projects come up and decide what to get from there.  I would like to start working with live edge slabs for custom shelves and table tops.  For now, I'll keep an eye out on a decent planer and bandsaw and a good shop dust collector.  I've seen some decent used units on FB Marketplace.

@ColossusX if you are looking at slab work, a router (OF 1400 or 2200) and a router sled for planing the slabs is probably the best bet. Woodpeckers has a decent setup for inspiration or purchase. It can also double as planer/jointer. it would also take up the least amount of space and you could likely unload the woodpecker kit when you are done with it relatively easy to recoup money if you dont need it any more.
OF1010 EQ Router | MFT/3 | DF500Q | Carvex 420 | ETS EC 150/3 | CT 36 Auto Clean | TSC55 | LR32 | OF1400 EQ Router | ZOBO Metric Set | CXS Li 2.6 - 90 Limited Edition | Universal Cleaning Set | HKC55 | Centrotec CE-SORT | RO150 FEQ | DTS 400 | RO90 DX | CTSYS | C18 Drill | SysLite KALII | Syslite STL 450 | RAS 115 E | OF2200 EB | OSC 18 Vectoro

Offline cubevandude

  • Posts: 60
Re: Woodshop tool priorities?
« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2020, 09:54 AM »
Here's the order I would purchase large equipment in, with my experience as a professional carpenter.

1. Band saw - I'd have a good look at a Laguana 14/12 bandsaw.  By the time you upgrade a used one, you will have as much or more invested in it then this machine.   This is one of the most versatile machines for woodworking of any kind.

This is the best price I found in the US: https://www.rockler.com/laguna-1412-14-bandsaw

2. Track Saw and 20mm Precision Top with Stainless Dogs.  This is one of the best way to break down sheet goods without help.  Once you have smaller pieces then the table saw some into play.  A good table makes this easy. 

3. Buffalo/Canadian Blower and Forge 18 inch Drill Press.  Sometimes you can find one with the mortising kit.  If you find one with a 3 phase 220V motor on it you can add a VFD and then have infinite speed control with 110 or 220 single phase power.  A cheap offshore drill press will frustrate you.

4. Tormek Sharpening System.  I'd recommend this before the planer and jointer are purchased so you can sharpen your own blades as this can get really add up.  Most guys don't sharpen their blades soon enough because of the cost.  With the right jigs you can also make some extra pocket change and you can keep your wife's knives and scissors sharp.

5. Jointer - 6 inches or larger.  These are simple machines, so find one that suits you.  You don't need the fancy carbide heads and big HP.  Make sure you have an extra set of blades and a good knife setting jig.

6. Planer - Buy the biggest one you can afford.  15" seems big until you start making a bunch of 16" or 18" wide projects.  Again make sure you have a second set of blades and the knife setting jig for the machine you get.

7. Sawdust Control -  With the planer you've got a mess.  You have to decide if you are going to re-circulate the air back into the shop or just blow it outside into a container.  If you are putting the dust collector in the shop, then you will need a good cyclone and filter system to capture this hazardous byproduct.  I'd spend some time reading Bill Pentz' website so you understand the dangers of fine dust.  I've seen a lot of Youtube videos where they spend thousands of dollars on a cyclone system and then vent it outside anyway.  This is a waste of money IMO.  The least expensive method is to buy a blower and just blow the sawdust  into a trailer or enclosed bin outside, then you don't have to deal with the fine dust returning into your breathing air supply.  The whole design purpose of a cyclone dust collector is to keep the warm or cool air in your workspace, if this is not a concern then, don't collect the dust in your work are, remove it.

8. Sander.  You'll want a sander at some point.  The Ridgid Oscillating Edge/Belt Spindle Sander is an inexpensive option and I love mine as I can take it to the jobsite for the staircase work I do.

9. Router Table or Shaper.  Your needs will dictate this decision.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2020, 10:07 AM by cubevandude »

Offline demographic

  • Posts: 565
Re: Woodshop tool priorities?
« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2020, 01:31 PM »
For a hobbiest I would say its worth watching a few Paul Sellers youtube videos and have a good hard think about what power tools you DONT need.

I have a fair few power tools but I'm a site carpenter and speed is the key, if its enjoyment I'm talking about hand tools are far and away nicer to use.

Having said that, a tracksaw sure is handy, extraction for it, a bandsaw does some things other tools struggle with and maybe a router and drill press.

« Last Edit: January 15, 2020, 03:05 PM by demographic »

Offline them700project

  • Posts: 64
Re: Woodshop tool priorities?
« Reply #22 on: January 10, 2020, 11:35 AM »
Let your budget be your guide. Many tools overlap in function. track saw does alot of what a tablesaw can do but may lack abilities in small cuts.

-I started with a table saw  and used it to build a miter saw station for my kapex. (I went overboard and chewed up more space than I should have but gained a ton of shop storage)
-Started with a HF 2 hp dust collector(which i eventually made 2 stage, but finally replaced with a clearvue.) The HF alone is a good start to save money in the beginning
- My next tool was a dewalt 735 and I liked it but didnt love the blades(eventually got an A3-31 and sold this)
-Laguna bandsaw
-Powermatic drill press
-Jessem Router table( I would like to sell this and switch to a tablesaw wing router for space savings

Like others have said I would buy the tool I needed for my next project. and along the way each of these is going to need accessories and you will need hand tools and marking/measuring tools. Buy them as you need them. Look for sales

Clamps buy them when you find them on sale Jet comes up from time to time with cheap parallel clamps sets. (you will always need more than you have)

Space is the only finite item you should think about in the end. Always think about what the shop will look like when you have every tool you want. because you have x amount of square footage and it is unlikely you wil talk the wife into an addition. if you are building the house you may want to figure away to get the DC and a compressor installed outside of the shop(basement/attic)

Power should be thought out so that down the road you dont need to add anything. Lighting too


Offline JohnnyEgo

  • Posts: 7
Re: Woodshop tool priorities?
« Reply #23 on: January 15, 2020, 12:12 AM »
A lot of things can be done with what you've already got, but other tools make it easier or more convenient.  Stepping up to a cabinet saw and a floor drill press made some things faster and easier.  I got by for 25 years without owning a bandsaw; could improvise most of it's function between a coping saw, a jig saw, a router, and/or my stationary belt sander.  Now that I own one (a Laguna 14BX), I love it and it takes a lot less time for me to accomplish some things than before I had it.  So all of these added up to save significant shop time when I had more money than time, but none of them individually was a game changer.  The jointer-planer was.

I bought a Felder combo machine (A3-41) and it opened new doors into the hobby.  I was no longer bound by whatever I could find pre-dimensioned from the big box stores.  I started working a lot more in solid woods and with nicer materials.  I could dial in the exact thickness I wanted, and started working in materials other than in 1/2 and 3/4 thicknesses.  Ironically enough, it moved me away from power tools for smaller projects, and back into hand tools and traditional woodworking approaches, just because I could very accurately size the raw material to dimensions like 3/8", etc... 

I wouldn't say you needed to start at the Felder / Minmax, etc... level, and the DW 735 and Rigid 6" are great places to start on a budget.  But you can definitely include me in with the other posters telling you a jointer and planer would be wise early purchases. 

Offline RussellS

  • Posts: 280
Re: Woodshop tool priorities?
« Reply #24 on: January 15, 2020, 02:20 AM »
think about what power tools you DONT need.

Agree, agree, agree.  And there are a lot of hand tools you don't need either.  Like every size of handplane.  You can get by with just the 4 and 7.  You don't need the 3, 5, and 6 along with the 4 and 7.  Or maybe you can get by just fine with only a 5.  Do you need two size of shoulder planes?  Or is one size shoulder enough.  Do you need a tenon and dovetail saw?  Or is a dovetail enough.  Do you need a rip and crosscut saw?  Well maybe you do need both of those if you are cutting all your wood by hand.  But if you are using a power saw to cut your wood, you might not need any regular handsaw.

Offline ColossusX

  • Posts: 218
Re: Woodshop tool priorities?
« Reply #25 on: January 15, 2020, 08:39 PM »
All the advice and insight is helpful.  It reinforced some of the ideas and I had and made me rethink some others..