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Forum topic by XACX posted 11-19-2009 02:35 AM 2735 views 0 times favorited 50 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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26 posts in 3669 days

11-19-2009 02:35 AM

Hello Everybody,

I am so new to woodworking that I would still say that “I am thinking about getting into woodworking.” I have built a a couple of very basic bookshelves that require little more than a miter & circular saw, a brad nailer, some glue and clamps. I have been wanting to build my little girl a toy chest for quite some time now, and would like to get started on it soon, as she is about to have her 1st birthday.

My wife jus had her car backed into and in addition to getting it fixed I talked the offending ladie’s insurance company into giving me $750 for loss of value. I spent $150 on having some new door panels made for my IH Scout, and have $600 left.

I am trying to figure out what would be the best way to spend this small amount of cash. I was thinking about getting the:

Hitachi C10FL table saw and nothingelse
Ridgid R4511 table saw & Bosch 1617EVSPK Router
Cheapo Skil bench saw, Bosch Router and an asortment of tools

I have: Orbital sander, Belt sander, Miter saw, Circular saw, Dremel, and variuous clamps.

Any and all suggestion welcome. Thanks. B2

PS: Is there a “newbie” thread?

-- When life gives you lemons....Throw them at other people!

50 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117781 posts in 4135 days

#1 posted 11-19-2009 02:42 AM

Hi welcome to Ljs
The absolute must have tool for woodworking is a table saw. The best one I know of is a Ridgid in that price range. and then a router.

View XACX's profile


26 posts in 3669 days

#2 posted 11-19-2009 03:11 AM

Thanks Jim,

I actually think the new Model # for the Ridgid is the TS3660. HD has it on sale for 499 plus a 15% rebate and I think you get another 10% off if I were to open an HD Card. So that would put it at $400 and the Bosch Router is about $180. This seems like it would probably be my best bang for buck scenerio. THe Hitachi Saw looks pretty nice though. I am having trouble finding many options in this general price range. Sub $600 sems to be high quality worksite saws like the Bosch 4100 or cheaper Contractors saws. The Hitachi and Ridgid definitely seem to be the best of the this price range.

-- When life gives you lemons....Throw them at other people!

View drfixit's profile


318 posts in 3702 days

#3 posted 11-19-2009 03:21 AM

I have to agree with Jim on this one… and Ridgid tools have always done me very well. 90% of my stationary tools are Ridgid.

-- I GIVE UP!!!! I've cut this @!&*!% board 3 times.... its still too short!

View cstrang's profile


1832 posts in 3726 days

#4 posted 11-19-2009 03:39 AM

I echo the comments before me, go with the Ridgid, I am not a big fan of Hitachi tools, I think they are over priced for what they are, Ridgid makes good stuff.

-- A hammer dangling from a wall will bang and sound like work when the wind blows the right way.

View XACX's profile


26 posts in 3669 days

#5 posted 11-19-2009 03:40 AM

Good deal,

I have never dealt with Ridgid as we don’t really have a Home Depot close by, so most of my tools come from Sears, Lowes, and Fastenal. I do know that Consumer Reports loves all things Ridgid, and Consumer Reports has never let me down in the past. Oh, and I am not sure what the model# is as they don’t list them on the HD website, but it has the Granite top.

-- When life gives you lemons....Throw them at other people!

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18735 posts in 4234 days

#6 posted 11-19-2009 03:49 AM

Search on here for the thread about a granite top breaking. Welcome to LJ!!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 4105 days

#7 posted 11-19-2009 05:16 AM

I have the Ridgid 3660 and love it. Downside is poor dust collection but that can be dealt with adequately. It cuts everything I want, recently did a 8/4 butcher block with maple and walnut, cut like a champ. No regrets and probably comparable to saws in higher price brackets.

With that said, I would attempt to stay with a cast iron top like the 3660. I have never used the granite top but I have not heard great things so far. Some with granite tops would maybe disagree, but I am confident I am not going to break my cast iron top in my life time. My top can see some abuse from time to time and with granite I would be more cautious. Also, I use a magswitch featherboard, mostly on my shaper though, but from time to time I might use it with my 3660. That would not be possible on a granite top.

So, go for a 3660 or a comparable to that. You would likely need to get the 3660 used but well worth it. My best advise would be the Ridgid and a router and off of CL if you can be patient. I have 6 PC routers and all but one (that one off of CL) was bought on Ebay at great deals, they are a dime to a dozen and found cheap with shipping. PC is the biggest name for routers and should be your most flexible as most jigs and such are designed with PC routers in mind. If you buy right you will never loose, we could probably sell most or all our tools for a profit over what we have invested and we have bought quality.

Also, stay away from hitatchi TS and certainly not the skil bench saw.

-- .

View frostwood's profile


38 posts in 3745 days

#8 posted 11-19-2009 07:08 AM

I too would echo the Rigid 4511

-- With each new day, celebrate life. Love God with all of your heart. Share Jesus with those around you and make a positive impact on those you meet. Bob

View XACX's profile


26 posts in 3669 days

#9 posted 11-19-2009 02:39 PM

Thanks Everybody.

Hitachi doesn’t seem to be getting ayn love, but I have the middle of the road Miter saw and the Reciprocating saw and they were a great product for the price paid. Features are comparable to the upper end brands at 30% less. I like all I am hearing about Ridgid and definitely like the price, my only issue is that the closest HD is 30mins away.

-- When life gives you lemons....Throw them at other people!

View WhittleMeThis's profile


125 posts in 3931 days

#10 posted 11-19-2009 03:26 PM

I would look on craiglist / ebay local, for a used saw, you can often find a quality contact saw in near new condition going for $250, just my 02 cents

View NathanAllen's profile


376 posts in 3702 days

#11 posted 11-19-2009 03:54 PM

I echo Craigslist, look for one of the Emerson built Craftsman table saws, Ryobi BT3000/BT3100 or older style Ridgid. They typically sell in the $100-$200. Just make sure to power it up before loading it into your vehicle.

Depending on the condition you may need to purchase a new belt or rail, but in my opinion the limitations of a portable contractor saw outweighs the risk/reward of buying a used saw.

View James Austin's profile

James Austin

27 posts in 3738 days

#12 posted 11-19-2009 10:53 PM

Whatever you do, I wouldn’t spend all my money on a tablesaw, Better to buy a slightly lesser cost saw, a couple of better quality blades, and a quality router if you don’t have one…..

You can builder a lot of stuff with a tablesaw, a router, and a random orbit sander…...

-- Some people have a shop so they can build things, the rest of us build things so we can have a shop...

View PurpLev's profile


8553 posts in 4207 days

#13 posted 11-19-2009 11:09 PM

I’ll ad another vote for the Ridgid 4511 and Bosch router – both are excellent machines that will serve you well, and many years.

do prepare to spend more soon on some other tools though, as getting into this world requires you to stock up on some necessities. squares, marking tools, bits, blades, sharpening tools, and the likes

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View BlankMan's profile


1490 posts in 3911 days

#14 posted 11-19-2009 11:42 PM

Welcome XACX

I’m not a fan of the granite table tops, I too recall a thread about them breaking.

And I suggest a Porter-Cable router, the 690 series over the Bosch. I have Bosch, DeWalt, and PC routers from 1-1/4Hp to to 3-1/4HP and the PC 1-1/2HP & 1-3/4HP routers see the most use.

Don’t focus on the HP rating of these routes, it’s not true HP. When you get into the HP rating of these routers they’re all inflated. If that Bosch 2-1/4HP were truly 2-1/4HP it would draw about 20A and I’ll guarantee you it does not draw 20A. In fact it draws 12A so at best it’s a 1-1/2HP router. The PC 1-3/4HP draws 11A, so that 1 extra amp that the Bosch draws adds 1/2HP? Not.

You can pick up a 690/693 for around $133 and the combo kit with the plunge base for around $187.

I use the PC 690 series 1-1/2HP and 1-3/4HP routers the most and I find they have more then enough power. The PC 690 design is tried an true and has been around for many many years. In fact so much so that all the other manufacturers finally started copying the design, DeWalt, Bosch, Milwaukee, etc. And that includes the 1617EVS. I’d say go with the original.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 3926 days

#15 posted 11-19-2009 11:51 PM

I have mostly Ridgid stationary tools and PC routers. Stay completely away from anything Skil or Black and Decker.

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