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Hi Guys,
New to LJ and just getting back into woodworking after a long hiatus. I worked in a cabinet shop during college but haven't had the time or means to do any of my own woodworking until now (15 years later).

I have just started putting together my own low-budget shop and am looking for some advice. My shop currently consists of the following:

Jet Proshop Hybrid TS with 30" fence
Bench Dog Cast Iron Router Table Extension
Bosch 1617EVS Router Combo
Ryobi 1301 Planer
PC Compound Miter Saw
Harbor Freight 2HP Dust Collector (waiting to do some mods-better filter, chip collector-for $142 I couldn't pass it up)
Craftsman Scroll Saw

I am trying to figure out if I should get a Band Saw or Jointer next or if I am missing the boat and should be looking in a different direction. I will primarily be making boxes, small tables, bookshelves,etc. and eventually a new dining room table.

Any and all advice would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Gus
 

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IMO…the jointer should be next…you can't make anything without being square, right? I picked up my SteelX 6" floor jointer from Grizzley on clearance for 269.00 with shipping and tax. It isn't a Powermatic, but it does great job for me.

I do recommend a floor jointer over a benchtop because of weight, vibration, and size of stock that can be milled.

Besides a jointer is easier on a wallet than a band saw when you include all the accessories.
 

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Greetings Gus: I say go for the jointer next. When you start making all the things you mentioned, you'll need your wood to be jointed on all sides. That way they will be flat, square, and go together nicely….....
 

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Welcome to LJ's.

I agree with Randy, I think the jointer would be most useful, therefore your next purchase.

The Grizzly 8" is a beauty, I had the G0586 and it was great. If you can fork over the extra money, the G0593 is the same machine, also on sale and it has the spiral cutterhead.
 

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i square everythign up on my TS and planer….my jointer is a P.O.S….so you can get a jointer if you get a really nice one but i use a band saw more….just my perspective….not to disagree with the others
 

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These are the tools that get used the most in my shop:

The table saw, chop saw, jointer, and planer are the main big tools that get a constant workout. Keep in mind a dust collector is always on when the table saw, planer, or jointer are running so there is an extra machine that is overlooked.

The basic needs in the shop are fairly universal. You need to make wood flat and square, ripped to a width, and cut to length.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Can someone give me a read on using my router and a straight bit to perform edge jointing and the planer for doing faces? I have had good success with a 1/2" straightbit and using 1/16" spacers on the outfeed side fence of the router table.
 

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I myself have been looking for a BS, and with reviews, research, and comparing…I decided on the 14" resaw band saw from Grizzely. I plan on a lot of resawing and patterns, but this is about 1100.00 with shipping and tax, so it will be awhile.

I figure with the accessories for the 14" ultimate BS, time to put together, and the size of the motor it is a better deal.

Everything else I looked into had either way more negative feedback or was just not what I needed/wanted.

But hey that is my opinion…and we know what they say about them….
 

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My vote goes to the jointer next - and I'm somewhat of a bandsaw geek. For your small boxes that have curved parts, you can use the scroll saw. Starting out with pieces that are not correctly jointed is frustrating.
 

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I can certainly appreciate the low budget needs - been there myself! The above jointer suggestions are good, but unless you can find a good used one, it will gobble up a lot of budget. You didn't say what size shop space you have. If moving machines around is necessary keep in mind that a floor mounted jointer will weigh 300 lbs or more.

My suggestion would be to first get a good workbench. The type with shoulder and tail vices and bench dogs. This has been a key "tool" for every project that I have made.
 

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I would go jointer, too. I found a used Jet 6" jointer on Craigslist for $240 that was in good shape. It quickly became one of my favorite tools especially since all my lumber is rough cut. You might be able to get away without the jointer if you're using dimensioned and surfaced lumber, but even then I still like to pass everything over the jointer before using it.

I picked up a bandsaw as one of my last large tools and it definitely has it's purpose, but I use it less often than the jointer.
 

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In my opinion, planers and jointers perform separate, though similar, functions. I joint first to flatten and square up a board. Then it goes to the planer to make opposing faces parallel.

If I had to decide between a bandsaw and and jointer, I would go for a jointer. I use my jointer in just about every project.

Did anybody notice that a key appliance is missing from the list (refrigerator)?
 

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Going with your list, I would add a jointer. You have GOT to have square and flat lumber to start off with. Look used on Craigslist if you can take cleaning up an older one. I have seen several of the 80's vintage Craftsman 6" floor model jointers for under $100.00 recently, including one that is currently going for $75.00.

Since you are talking lowish budget, you might want to watch Craigslist for the band saw as well… While not 100%, most of the 14" C frame band saws are nearly identical. Just pick a common one in good shape. Doesn't really matter, but IF you can score a Grizzly GO555 or GO555X for a good price, DO IT…

Now if it were me, you already have a planer, and can face joint in the planer using a sled, and square up the edge joint using either a router table or table saw and a jig. Check out The Wood Whisperer web site, and search for a video called "The Jointer's Jumpin", Marc does a good job showing these techniques… So if you can handle that… go ahead and spring for the canister filter, and build yourself a Thien Baffle for the DC, or a pre separator to go inline first… Safety and health first right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
A quick update. After a bit of time away from LI I am back. Good to see a lot of the same faces around. I went withthe jointer and am now, 2 years later looking to add a bandsaw to the shoppe.
 
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