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Currently the tools I own are a 10" TS, 12" SCMS, 2hp router with fixed and plunge bases, hand held drill, 5" palm sander, circular saw, brad nailer and a finish nailer. What tools would you recommend for me. My shop isn't very big (13×22) and smaller tools that I can put on mobile bases are a big plus. I plan to do many types of projects in my shop from fine furniture (I HOPE!) to cabinetry. Multi-use tools could be good too since I dont mind changing the setup of a tool for different tasks.
 

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The next two on my list would be a decent benchtop drill press (I'd say at least a 10" model), and a 14" bandsaw (you could start with a smaller benchtop model but you'll almost def want to upgrade to a 14" later). Jigsaw is a maybe, its the type of tool people seem to either never put down, or never pick up lol. I'd supplement the palm sander with a good random-orbit sander also, possibly a belt sander. If you live within a reasonable distance of a lumberyard or other supplier of rough lumber, then a jointer and planer would be a great investment and save you a ton of money over time, but if like me all you have are the big box stores selling dimensioned lumber and sheet goods then I wouldn't worry about them till later.
 

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Also be careful with multi-tools. Alot of them aren't much more than marketing gimmicks, tho you will find the occasional gem.
 

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I think Jei'son hit on an important point. If you plan to do a lot of work, having your own planer will allow you to greatly reduce lumber costs by buying rough cut lumber. In many markets it will also give you access to species not available at the big box stores. If you can find one on sale or used, it will pay for itself in no time. My Dewalt 734 paid for itself in less than a year
 

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I use my planer a lot such as when I glue up panels for doors or large panels for tops, also used the planer a lot on the last job for solid wood dovetail drawers. So my planer gets used well, I would be looking for that soon. I have always let my projects/jobs dictate my tool purchase while attempting to anticipate needs so that I can shop for the best value and bang. I have done a lot of great deals on CL and would recommend that for good used tools.
 

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Your limited 386 sq ft of space pretty much dictates that tools be mobile. Since you mentioned that you are receptive to multi-use tools, I'll recommend that you consider acquiring a Shopsmith. It is usually easy to find one on the used market at a reasonable cost, and often other accessories such as a jointer and bandsaw go along with the deal. This will give you a 10" table saw, a drill press with far more capability than a bench top model that can even drill horizontally, a 12" disk sander, and a 16" x 34" lathe. Look for a model 510 or 520. Another plus is that Shopsmith supports their products very well. Change-overs take less than two minutes. The only "tool" required is a 5/32" allen wrench.

In my 194 sq ft here in Gainesville, in addition to my Shopsmith 520, I have a 12" x 4" planer with a DC motor feed, a 4" jointer, a 20 " scroll saw, a 10 1/2" x 6" bandsaw, a 10,000 rpm shaper, an overarm pin router, and a dust collector with a 42" one micron filter. I even have room for a 60" workbench. When you are really limited in space the Shopsmith system makes a lot of sense.
 

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For fine furniture you need straight flat stock. A planer used in conjunction with a jointer is the best way to flatten and straighten stock.
 

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You can go to my workshop and see what tools I think one should have to build cabinets and furniture. You have what you needed to get started. What you get next depends on the jobs you do. If you need something to do a job buy it. My shop is about the same size as mine.

God Bless
tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah a portable sized planer was high up on my list of things to get. I'm not really sure i have the room for a dedicated jointer. Maybe a 6" bench top would be enough? Its my understanding that you can flatten the face of a board pretty well using a sled in the planer. I have also seen that some router table fences can be setup to straighten an edge of a board. Not really sure on the effectiveness of that method. I've also looked at bench top drill presses I can mount to a cart to roll around the shop and a 14" bandsaw on wheels. With the bandsaw do i really need 12" resaw capacity or can i get by with 6"?
 

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I'm skeptical of benchtop jointers. Since I haven't added a jointer yet, I have a jig that allows me to edge joint boards (up to about 5" wide) in my planer. Wider than that, I do it on a router table (with so-so results). You can see plans for building a jig to joint boards in a planer at woodmagazine.com
 

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Bandsaws typically have 6" by default,a nd you install the riser black to get it up to 12", so its the sort of thiing you can upgrade to later if you find you need it.

May want to look at the Jet combo jointer/planer (despite what I said earlier about multi-use machines, its one of the gems lol) I have my eye on the 8" model personally, both it and the 10" have gotten overall good reviews, and its significantly cheaper than buying an entry level 6" jointer and 13" planer seperately (the only downside is a 13" planer is considered "standard" and you'd have to settle for 8" to 10", but it all comes down to the kind of stock you work with)
 

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No matter what wood I buy I can't start a project like a cabinet without my jointer and planer. You've got to get the wood flat and straight. If you don't it's miserable trying to get things to fit properly as you build. Of course all of this can be done by hand and it's the noble thing to do but it can be very, very time consuming.
 
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