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Forum topic by woodthaticould posted 04-18-2012 06:04 PM 1523 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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12 posts in 2596 days

04-18-2012 06:04 PM

Thanks again to everyone for your suggestings regarding a basic starting workbench.

I’ve decided to build one using the Kregs pocket hole widget. I was going to buy one anyway, and this would appear to be a good first project. I imagine that the purists don’t care for such joinery, or the lack thereof, but as I explained I need to get going and on a next to nothing budget.

After I made by first posting I found a small garage with a finished (drywalled) interior and electrical power. I will be renting it month to month starting May 1st. It ain’t much, especially since it’s subject to the whims of a landlord, but it is at least a start.

Also, although the conventional wisdom says table saw first, I’ve decided that I will start with a bandsaw.* I think it will do for at least this first phase of my woodworking. Again, owing to budget, I’ll be buying the Grizzly G0555, which I feel is the best cheap bandsaw I can buy. I don’t want to buy used as I’m not a good mechanic and don’t want to get bogged down trying to tune and tweak a used machine.

So this is my best laid plan…I think. Of course, as always, I welcome all feedback.

  • Addendum: I don’t say this to question the wisdom of ages. However, given this is one garage in a row of them and given that I’ll be the only renter working there, I feel strongly that I should start with the quieter, less aggressive machine.

8 replies so far

View Paul's profile


85 posts in 2702 days

#1 posted 04-18-2012 06:11 PM

Coming from someone that just started as well I would skip the band saw .. save up 300 more $$ and get a table saw. I actually bought a Miter Saw first and wished I had bought the Table Saw first. :) The 0715P from Grizzly is a great saw. and is only 300 more :)

-- - Paul, Flower Mound,TX

View GregD's profile


788 posts in 3405 days

#2 posted 04-19-2012 07:53 PM

When budget is an issue it is best to first think about the early projects that you want to do. Buy the tools as you need them.

Popular Woodworking magazine has an “I can do that” series that could be helpful – see their web site. Wood magazine has a “Basic Build” series; not sure if they also put that on the web site for free. These projects are designed to use minimal kit and basic techniques.

The Kreg pocket hole jig is a great thing to have.

-- Greg D.

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3135 days

#3 posted 04-19-2012 08:19 PM

If your budget is really tight why not start with 2 or 3 hand power tools and a few hand tools. You can do a lot more than you think with a circular saw, jig saw, drill and router along with a few basic hand tools. With a straight edge you can rip and crosscut pretty accurately. If you need to be extra accurate you can trim the edge with a router and straight edge. You can continue to save up for a table saw. Best of luck to you and welcome to Lumberjocks.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 4192 days

#4 posted 04-19-2012 08:36 PM

I have to ask. Is this going to be a business? If it is I would up grade and get a better saw for two reasons. (Not that the Grizz is a bad saw, I own a Jointer and a planer by them).

Reason 1. Without a table saw the band saw will get all the work, more then it may be designed for depending on what you are using it for and how often.

Reason 2. The accuracy and finish cut of a band saw is not as good as a Table saw requiring lots of hand work.
I think I would buy a good table saw (Buy your last tool first) and use a saber saw until you have the money for a good band saw.

Something you may consider as well: If you are new to wood working for about the same price as a band saw you can get some really nice had tools to learn with and will last you a life time if you get top of the line.
good luck on your purchase whatever you do.

View woodthaticould's profile


12 posts in 2596 days

#5 posted 04-19-2012 10:27 PM

Thanks all around. I appreciate all the good feedback.

1. Paul: I see your point of course. Natually that would mean spending my first free weekend in a long time reading through all the table saw reviews. Then again, my paltry $500 to $750 price range will certainly narrow the list of choices. And I did mention that this is a rented space. I leaned to the bandsaw because it was the quieter choice. We’ll see.

2: Greg D: I know the magazine but I haven’t read it for a long time and didn’t know about the “I can do it” series. I like their style for addressing those us who are starting small and frugal.

3: Helluvawreck: Yes, that’s sage advice, which means still more research… on jig saws and circular saws… given that Festool is out of the question. I can’t even afford their electric toothbrush. I have a decent power drill and a router, although a low end one. (It will no doubt do for now.) Thanks for the welcome. And good for you on that weblog link.

4: Sandhill: Yes, I see your point(s). And, of course I’m daydreaming about certain hand tools. I’ve already made a short dream list. Regarding that, I’m going to buy only top quality handtools, I guess one every now and then.

View woodthaticould's profile


12 posts in 2596 days

#6 posted 04-20-2012 07:32 PM

Postscript: I found this fairly recent exchange on the subject of bandsaw versus table saw and the results favored table saw but not by as much I expected.

Also, I picked up a book from the local library today (Small Woodworking Shops from the editors of Fine Woodworking) and Gary Rogowski writes, while admitting it’s a minority opinion, that he recommends the bandsaw as the first stationary power tool to buy. However, he ends by saying that if you’re going to be building with strictly plywood, you should buy a table saw and router.

View RandyM68's profile


693 posts in 2586 days

#7 posted 04-20-2012 09:29 PM

You can do a lot with small power tools and some good jigs. Looking through the jig projects on here will give you lots of ideas on how to get the most out of a cheap router and circular saw. If you are just getting started, spending all of your money on big stationary tools might turn into an expensive lesson. A lot of people buy them, and find out that weren’t really as interested as they thought.

-- I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you. I'm sorry,thanks.

View enurdat1's profile


100 posts in 2515 days

#8 posted 04-20-2012 11:32 PM

I started with a BD jig saw and yard sale drill. My first ‘big’ tool was a bench top table saw. The tablesaw performed everything I asked of it, even though it wasn;t really designed for some of it. If I was starting again, I would definently look at a table saw.

-- It is what it is...

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