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New shop suggestion

by cgideon
posted 02-20-2017 04:32 PM

11 replies so far

View clin's profile


1121 posts in 1845 days

#1 posted 02-20-2017 06:09 PM

There’s more than one way to do most woodworking tasks. There’s nothing you’re likely to do that you couldn’t do with hand tools.

You don’t necessarily need a jointer. There are other ways to get straight edges. For example, I use a clamp on straight edge on boards. This gives me a straight true reference edge that I can run along my table saw fence. This then gives me a nice straight cut edge on the board.

Other options, are table saw sleds that you clamp a board on to. Same concept, you are holding the board straight as you run it through the the saw. There are also ways to create a special table saw fence for jointing.

For the face of boards, you can create a planer sled. Lay rough stock on this so it does not move or flex under the planer pressure, and you can create a flat top surface. This is a great technique even if you have a jointer. As you can joint up to the maximum width of you planer, for example 12”. A jointer that wide is extremely large.

As with most machines, a jointer can be much faster to use, but isn’t an absolute necessity. Same is likely true for every other machine. I couldn’t get along without a table saw, some people do.

While I’m not a hand tool guy, I use them here and there. Don’t dismiss them. Sometimes you can do the job with a hand tool faster than you can setup a machine. Machines are most helpful for large tasks or for repeatative tasks. Good, well setup hand tools are very satisfying to use.

-- Clin

View brtech's profile


1068 posts in 3772 days

#2 posted 02-20-2017 06:46 PM

I wouldn’t get a jointer and planer for a jewelery box, and I would get a better tablesaw before I got a planer and a jointer.

Most of the larger wood suppliers will sell you S4S boards, and since a jewelry box is small, the difference between rough and S4S is pretty small. Start that way. When you start a project that needs 30 bf of lumber, then the difference between rough and S4S matters a whole lot more.

After you get a decent tablesaw, then start watching CL. You probably will need to spend closer to $500 to get both a jointer and a planer. Any of the name brand “lunchbox” planers are fairly decent, and $250 for a used one should get you one in good condition. I would wait for a floor model jointer, rather than a bench top. Older Jets can be found for $250 used if you get a little lucky.

View cgideon's profile


4 posts in 1310 days

#3 posted 02-20-2017 07:03 PM

Okay, thank you for the information! I will have to check with my local Woodsmith Store to see if they have S4S lumber in the sizes I want in order to reduce the cuts I need to make.

Dimensions of the plan so far are 12”W x 10”D x 18”H with opening doors on the sides for necklaces and drawers for earrings and rings and such.

I wouldn’t need to plane these boards at all? I do have a hand plane, I’ve just not used it before so I have to get some practice with it.

Thanks again for the input!

View HokieKen's profile (online now)


15054 posts in 1988 days

#4 posted 02-20-2017 08:07 PM

With wood that small, you can definitely get by with just a handplane. I’d watch some youtube on how to tune and use your hand plane to dimension lumber. It’s probably not as hard as you might think.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View MT_Stringer's profile


3183 posts in 4080 days

#5 posted 02-20-2017 08:18 PM

My local big box store sells wood in small sizes like 3/8 and 1/2 inch thick poplar and maybe a couple of other species. That would give you a head start if you don’t get a planer.

Search youtube for folks building small boxes. you could build the box, then cut the lid off on the table saw.
Good luck.

Search on! :-)

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Lazyman's profile


5798 posts in 2237 days

#6 posted 02-20-2017 09:04 PM

If you have a Rockler or Woodcraft near you, they sell small project sized lumber in all kinds of domestic and exotic woods that is ready to use that will be easier than trying joint and plane them yourself for a small jewelry box so unless you are looking for an excuse to buy new tools…

As for the table saw, while a better one would be my priority before a jointer and planer, as long as it is tuned so that the blade is parallel to the fence it will probably work just fine until you are ready to upgrade. Sometimes technique is more or at least just as important than the tool.

Welcome to lumberjocks.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Dan P's profile

Dan P

755 posts in 2741 days

#7 posted 02-21-2017 12:21 AM

That sounds more like a Jewelry cabinet you’re making.

I use a glass bottom router sled which works really really well for the boxes I make. It is very accurate and the setup time surely must be faster and easier than getting a small piece safely through a planer, although I have never used a planer.

The 1/2×12 x 18” glass cost 35 dollars. The router was around 100 dollars. The glue gun 20 bucks. Very simple to make.

If your goal is to do quality work with quality joints you will fall short using the finished lumber as is, IN MY OPINION.
A lot of times these “pros” are not giving you the best advise in suggesting it is OK to do less than you are capable of. JUST MY OPINION.

-- Daniel P

View cgideon's profile


4 posts in 1310 days

#8 posted 02-21-2017 02:01 AM

That sounds more like a Jewelry cabinet you’re making

- DanielP

Did some more research and yes a jewelry cabinet sounds like what I want to make. My Dad dropped off a Ryobi 1/4” shank router for my birthday and I think I’ll get a benchtop router table for it. I was thinking of doing box joints for the sides as for making the panels trying to do a simple tounge and groove joint or a glue joint to join my pieces of wood together.

Thanks for the sled idea! I will have to look into that!

View Lazyman's profile


5798 posts in 2237 days

#9 posted 02-21-2017 03:02 AM

Personally, I would not do a tongue and groove to make your panels. To be effective they have to be pretty accurately cut or you wind up with minor misalignment that can only be corrected by planing (hand, router jig or machine) or serious sanding afterwords. Also, if you use stock thinner than 3/4”, the tongue and groove start getting pretty thin. Simply edge joining is pretty straight forward as long as you have nice straight edges but you will need a some decent clamps for the glue up. There are various jigs you can make to achieve straight edges with a table saw or router table, if the boards you buy don’t come with the edges straight enough. Or you can learn to sharpen and use a hand plane if you really want to push your woodworking skill.

There are various jigs you can build or buy for cutting box joints on your router table. Practice on some cheaper wood first to learn what can go wrong so you don’t spoil some nicer wood. A small error will multiply over the width of your boards, if you are not careful, and it will not fit together or will have gaps that are hard to hide.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View JBrow's profile


1368 posts in 1769 days

#10 posted 02-21-2017 03:10 AM


The one regret I have is that when I started woodworking I went straight to power tools. They are great to use and make projects go faster. With good tools and a little knowledge, power tools help can produce great results relatively quickly. My regret is that I never spent enough time to become proficient with hand tools and I am a little too old and well-equipped to learn now. If I could get a do-over though, I would probably build some projects with hand tools. I suspect my skill level would advance at a greater rate and I could enjoy the peace and quiet of working in a relatively dust free environment. Then, as I would become proficient with hand tools and saving my money all the while, I would likely move toward power tools for larger and more complex projects.

YouTube makes the proper use and maintenance of hand tools very accessible. One example is Paul Sellers who I think is a gifted teacher. The link is to his approach to milling lumber with the hand plane.

View cgideon's profile


4 posts in 1310 days

#11 posted 02-21-2017 02:48 PM

Thanks JBrow! I looked up some of his videos and I really like the making tools one, going to try to make some Winding Sticks this weekend.

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