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Blog entry by Miket posted 01-28-2008 04:26 AM 1581 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have been lurking for quite a while. I am just getting ready to fill up my shop which is a two car garage.

I already have quite a bit of tools, but was wondering if a bandsaw was really necessary?

-- It's better to have people think you're stupid rather than open your mouth and remove all doubt.

12 comments so far

View Betsy's profile


3392 posts in 4351 days

#1 posted 01-28-2008 04:51 AM

Mike – I’d go with the band saw as your next purchase. I’m assuming you are a beginning woodworker if you are just starting a shop, with that assumption I’m thinking that you’ll be buying surfaced lumber. A band saw is a very versatile tool that you can do a lot with. My third purchase would be a good planer, followed by a jointer.

Just my two cents. Welcome to LJ’s. You’ll find great advice and good friends here.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4277 days

#2 posted 01-28-2008 05:07 AM

You have opened up a real can of worms here. With 10 posts you probably will get at least 5 conflicting responses. For my money I would go with a jointer and a planer. You could get by with just the planer and use either your table saw (once it is properly set-up and with a top-of-the line blade) or the planer for jointing the boards for glue ups.

But the bottom line is that is really comes down to what you want to do with your tools. If you want to make boxes then a band saw should be a priority. If you want to make cabinets and pieces of furniture then you are going to need at least a planer and, in my opinion, both a planer and a jointer.

If you get the tools then the work will come.

Of course my approach is strictly along the power tool line. There are other who advocate hand tools. I admire their skill but to up and running quickly power tools are your best bet.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Greg3G's profile


815 posts in 4541 days

#3 posted 01-28-2008 05:32 AM

I think the way most people end up outfitting their shop is to buy the tools you need as you need them. If you have a need for a bandsaw, start researching them. There are a good number of reviews both in the Forums and Review section. Another way is sit down and make a list putting the tools that are a priority to you personally in order. Keep an eye on your local site, you may find a good used tool there. You can also select a few buddies and send them a personal message if you like. I don’t think there is anyone here who wouldn’t mind discussing what they have in their shop and what they think about it. First and fore most be patient. I find when I buy tools in a hurry, I make poor choices. Now go forth and create sawdust, you’ll never regreat building something. You may not be satisfied with it but each project is a learning experience.

-- Greg - Charles Town, WV

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4418 days

#4 posted 01-28-2008 06:09 AM

The best bet would to be to find a bunch of projects you would like to build. Figure out the tools you will need to build them successfully. Then see which tools work in all those projects. None of us can tell you what you need to do the projects you like. It is possible to build very fine wood work with nothing but a couple hand saws, some chisels and a few planes. Add a square, a hammer and a screwdriver and you are started. I’ve seen beautiful items come from such a shop and I’ve seen $50,00 worth of machinery produce nothing but crap. The tools and machines do not make the projects, the craftsman does. So, what you buy next is of little importance but where you are going is very important. Good luck, almost all of us will be glad to help you with your questions.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View WoodLoon's profile


1 post in 4227 days

#5 posted 01-28-2008 06:42 AM

The philosophical answers are correct. But maybe you’re just a gear head like me and want to start buying tools! So, FWIW, my suggestion is the first purchase should be a circular saw! Then a guide system, or you can make your own, although the DIY versions are not as flexible or powerful.

Here is a thread at another forum discussing guided circular saws vs. tablesaws. I use an EZ system which is very good, very adaptable – you can really use it to do incredibly accurate cuts – check out some of these links. But it really is like joining a cult! Festool and soon DeWalt have plunge circular saws with integral guides (check out this slick DeWalt ad although it’s not sold in the US). The plunge saws has some safety issues and tend to be expensive, which is part of the reason I chose the EZ system.

-- plan carefully, make mistakes, count fingers when done

View gizmodyne's profile


1780 posts in 4545 days

#6 posted 01-28-2008 06:56 AM

I agree with Mr. Angle.

Figure out what you want to make. Tool aquisition is a slippery slope, but you will find most of us Lumberjocks near the bottom of it.

There is a lot of work you can do with a bandsaw and jointer.

What’s your experience?

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View Grumpy's profile


25542 posts in 4306 days

#7 posted 01-28-2008 07:03 AM

I agree with Thos, think of what you need to do and the projects you would like to complete and the rest will follow. you can do a lot of things with a tablesaw that can make other equipment obsolete but a good drill press and a compound miter saw ( for long lengths of timber) are invaluable. If you get into woodturning a chainsaw comes in handy to compliment the lathe & bandsaw. If you are a bit squeeaed for space a combined jointer thicknesser is an excellent option, It will also do your planeing. Jointing is an essential part of getting your timber stock nice and straight as well as square. Good luck & welcome to Lumberjocks..

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4330 days

#8 posted 01-28-2008 11:58 AM

By all means get the tools that do what you need them to do on your chosen project. That is why you’ll hear a lot of banter here about a “new project, new tool” rule.

View Miket's profile


308 posts in 4227 days

#9 posted 01-28-2008 07:17 PM

Thanks for all your replies. I will have to think about this.

-- It's better to have people think you're stupid rather than open your mouth and remove all doubt.

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3810 posts in 4477 days

#10 posted 01-28-2008 07:47 PM

If you can pick up a book from the library or buy one on woodworking for beginners you will see first hand what tools are needed for basic projects.
That can give you a good idea of what you miight need first, second etc.
Some tools are absolutely necessary while others just make the task a lot easier. (jointers vs hand planes)
You will have to decide on a budget and try to get enough in you shop to aget a project completed.

Good luck


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Tom Adamski's profile

Tom Adamski

306 posts in 4226 days

#11 posted 02-01-2008 06:28 PM

Mike- The table saw is the heart of the shop and I’ll agree that a planer is also essential, but pace yourself on the rest. You can joint boards on your table saw with an inexpensive jig and high quality blade. The planer will work in concert with the table saw and allow you to accuratly dimension your materials. Before the band saw and jointer I would recomend a good quality router table and router. The router gives you a lot of the shaping capabilities like cutting accurate tenons, dados, dovetails, etc… I’ve even seen someone set it up to be a jointer.
Now, I won’t fool you. I do have a bandsaw, jointer and a few other toys, but those came later rather than sooner. Good luck, in the end you will have different experiences that will help you decide which is the right one and when to buy it.

-- Anybody can become a woodworker, but only a Craftsman can hide his mistakes.

View SteveKorz's profile


2139 posts in 4169 days

#12 posted 07-13-2008 06:44 AM

The first tools I had were the Tablesaw, then the Jointer and Planer (bought together). Then I added other things like a router, miter saw and then finally a band saw. I totally regret not having a band saw earlier now that I have one. It would have helped me tremendously.

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

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