Reply by Charlie

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Posted on How to get started when space and budget is an issue...

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1101 posts in 3370 days

#1 posted 07-10-2013 12:09 PM

Nobody has asked so I guess it’s up to me…

What do you want to DO with your woodworking tools? What do you want to build? Pretty tough to advise you without knowing that.

That being said…. or asked, as the case may be….

Hand tools are a great option. And a good hand plane doesn’t have to cost $100+. I didn’t pay more than $20 for any of mine except for a big Anant jointer plane that was one of the first ones I bought. A good cleaning, sharpen the iron, flatten the sole if necessary and away you go. The time spent getting to know the tools is every bit as important as the time spent using them.

GET A DECENT HAND SAW. They’re cheap. Doesn’t have to be a gold plated one. I have a mid-sized Dewalt hand saw that I think I got for less than $30 at Home Depot. In my opinion… and it may be worth what I’m charging for it…. who knows… a cheap table saw won’t give you the precision that you buy a table saw for. So learn to measure and cut accurately with the hand saw…


Get a decent circular saw and make some edge guides. You don’t need one of the fancy track saws. They’re nice, but we’re talking budget and space and all that. I’d suggest making at least 2 guides for your circular saw. A 4 ft one and one made to cut a 90 degree cross cut. A sliding miter on one of the fold-up rolling stands is a nice addition for later.

A good drill. I use the heck out of my cordless. It’s a 20v Dewalt. I have a drill press too. A small one. And it’s hard to do what a drill press does best without a drill press, but I got along without one for a long time until space and budget allowed me to get one.

Hand tools don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. And very often you’ll find you can accomplish something by grabbing a hand plane or a hand saw in less time than it would take you to set up a machine to do the job.

Which brings us back to…. what would you like to DO with your woodworking?

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