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What should be my next purchase?

1768 Views 22 Replies 21 Participants Last post by  reggiek
My shop is currently sparsely populated. Right now I've got a miter saw, contractor grade table saw, router and some clamps. My question is what should I purchase next? Dust collection, planer, an upgraded table saw or something else?
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That's not an easy question to answer. What kind of projects do you intend to do?
How much can you spend?
TVTA (too vague to answer).
i agree with kent it is not an easy answer, but if you do alot of work in a small shop a good dust collection system is key, so is an air filtration system.have fun and be safe.
Drill Press if your future projects require a lot of holes drilling.
I say build or buy a router table.
Thanks for the input. I plan on building furniture for my house and smaller projects as they come up. Right now i've got a one stall garage as a shop…

I was thinking along the lines of the next tool to purchase or the next thing a shop my size would need.
I also had the same first three tools. My next purchase was the planer, then I built my dust collection, and am still adding to it as more tools move in. The DeWalt 735 13" has it's own dust collection and because it has a built in fan for blowing chips they recommend not connecting a collection system to it, something about screwing up the fan. It works just fine, and is self contained.
Then the 6" belt/8" disc sander, jointer, lathe, ROM sander, more clamps, getting the band saw next month…......and so on it's endless.
You'll find out what you need as you go, you'll be saying gee it would be nice if I could…and bam, there's the next tool.

Well I have all the tools you can imagine and I am still looking for more I have 38 clamps and that is not enough.
I would say a table saw should you next tool.
At one time I would have suggested a planer as the next tool but now, hopefully being somewhat wiser, I would suggest putting a dust collection system in place and then a planer. Your health is the most important asset you have and a dust collection system would be an intelligent investment.

The table saw upgrade is one of those things that are nice but not entirely necessary. Upgrade when you get to the point where you simply cannot live with the angst that your saw causes anymore.
From your choices:
dust collection - shop in the house? you probably need it. I relocated my shop from the basement to the garage because of dust issues. In the garage I have gotten away without any dust collection for years, just a shop vac to clean up afterwards. Do you have a shopvac? There have been many threads here about homemade cyclones for shopvacs recently (might be my next tool project)
planer - I put off purchasing a planer for years. Unless you are working raw wood or reclaiming wood (this is why I recently purchased one), this could be put off. If you want to reclaim wood, I have gotten some beautiful wood from pallets run through the planer.
upgraded table saw - eh, I don't see much need. I will be using a contractor saw forever probably. If you have a decent quality contractor saw, keep it.

How about improvements to the tools you have now? You mentioned a router; a router table increases what you can do and precision immensely. I need a bench for my miter saw in the worst way; I find myself jury-rigging the weirdest setups to cut longer pieces. And, of course, extensions and outfeed tables for the tablesaw, if you have room.

Just some thoughts - it is difficult to say without knowing what you want to accomplish.
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If you use solid wood, a planer will add a capability that you don't currently have….DC is a natural addition after using a planer (aka chip spewing monster!).
You might want to build it, but I would suggest a workbench. It' hard to do anything without it. I doesn't have to be elaborate, just sturdy.
I agree with the other posts about the dust collector, I never thought I really needed one and thought it would be hassle hooking and moving around from machine to machine in my shop, but after I had one for awhile I hooked up a small run of PVC so certain machines could be permanently hooked up, now I can't even imagine not having a dust collector in my shop.

But there are always different tools that you want or think you need, then there are the tools that you already have but want to upgrade to better ones. Also as already mentioned a router table is a big asset in a woodshop and you can build some very nice ones with the tools you already have.

The main thing is have fun and work safely.
When I was in the situation (garage workshop), I bought a router table. I have been happy with it, and would suggest the same.

Still, dust collection would be a wise investment at this phase. I've made do with excellent dust masks/respirators but they do get tiresome. Not that I'd necessarily abandon them with dust collection…
Go to my workshop and forum "New Shop Equipment & floor plan". You can see what equipment I have and what I plan on buying yet. I would say up grade table saw or dust collection, band saw or jointer, router table, spindle/edge sander, drill press and a planer sooner if you plan on buying solid stock in larger quanities (100+ bd ft) at one time. Everybody well have many different ideas but here is my thoughts. Good luck on equiping your new shop.

God Bless
How about a nice 14" bandsaw…I'd be willing to store it for you until you need it LOL!

I usually buy tools as the need arises for them, or I sort of follow advice I was given a long time ago; "If you need the tool three times, buy it after the third need". It was told to me a little more elegantly but that is the jist of it.
As others have said it really depends on what type of projects you do and what type of wood you buy. If you buy a lot of rough hardwood, I would have to say a planer. If it doesn't save you that much to buy rough wood and you buy good S3S then I would say a jointer. My 1st major purchase after the table saw was a jointer becasue I did and still do a lot of wook with solid wood. You can't beat a jointer for the edge it makes when glueing up panels. You can get a glue joint edge from a table saw but the cut has to be perfect. It you are like me you run it throught the table saw then right over to the jointer, no messing around haveing to cut again. On the other hand you can joint on the router table if you are careful, so that may be an option. It is my belief that unless you buy a lot of rough wood a planer is not needed. Most will disagree but for me it only saves .10 a bd ft to buy rough. Then I have to get out my planer and go at it. I really hate planing so much wood it is time consuming and really serves no purpose. But if you can get a good discount $.50 a bd ft then it makes sense for a planer. As far as face jointing I very little of that because the stock I buy is good and the good hardwood will come out flat when through the planer. The only trouble I have is with softwood (poplar,cedar,pine,fir) flatening out when it goes through the planer and then springing back to the odd shape. The only time I have trouble with wood like that is if I but it from one of the BORG's. Most of the time the wood I get from the mill is flat and no need to fave face joint. So after my long explaination I would buy a jointer and then build a router table.
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All good suggestions….My choices as to whats been said so far would be 1) Bandsaw and router at the same time 2) Dust collector 3) Planner 4) Drill Press 5) Upgraded table saw 6) Clamps 7) Clamps 8) Clamps 9) Clamps 10) more clamps 11) Jointer

Things that go with out saying
1)Work bench
3)Small air compressor
There was a previous thread that went over the same stuff. I remember lots of opinions were laid out. Hope it helps:
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