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Hello Brethren of the Blade,

I am a new woodworker. I have built a few projects in years past using others' shops and tools, and now I am trying to build my own shop, as I have a kid on the way and need a hobby and would like to pass down the knowledge and craft.

Just bought a Ridgid R4512 at HD for $396 out the door!!! I had read several reviews of where people bought the saw at 20% off and I was determined to get the same deal. After haggling with 4 different stores and several different managers I was successful on the 5th try (second try on store number 1, manager 2). Here's how I did it… I called late at night on a Saturday, when I knew it was closing time soon, and asked for a manger. I haggled back and forth with him for about 15 minutes, mentioning deals I saw on the internet and citing a YouTube video that recorded a successful call of another guy doing the same thing. But the BUZZ WORD was, and I should have thought of this first thing, was LOWES. I mentioned Lowes and it was like instant savings. Long story short… Always haggle with home depot, especially with expensive items, and mention Lowes. After all, I did it and saved somwhere in the range of 26% on a $529 saw.

Also, would like Ideas/plans for a hope chest/toy box for my future child to eventually pass down as an heirloom. What type of wood do you recommend using? I thought about Pine because it's cheap and my first major project, but I dont want it to get banged up really bad really fast. Is there an oil or finish I can use to strengthen the porous wood? Thought about using maple, walnut, or oak or another hardwood, but figured it might be wise to use cheaper wood for my first project as I may make some mistakes that may be costly.

Just to mention… keep my shop is in very beginner stage. The only major piece of equipment I have is this new saw. I do have, however, a mitre saw, plate/biscuit jointer, dremmel multimax, various handtools, blah blah blah.. i just dont have other major machines I want/need like a jointer, planer, band saw, etc.

Any advice/comments are appreciated. Thanks!
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