Finally have a shop space... now what?

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Forum topic by TK76 posted 12-22-2016 05:42 PM 1469 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 1527 days

12-22-2016 05:42 PM

Hello everyone.This is my first post on the forum. I finally bought a house that has a 2000 sq ft barn and I plan to use this space as a woodworking shop. My plan is too get the tools i need in the most beneficial order. My biggest debate in my head right now is between getting either a track saw now for breaking down sheet goods or rather wait until I can afford a higher end table saw. I have looked through and read many articles about this and never seen a true answer. At the moment I do have a 12 dual bevel sliding miter saw. My project goals right now are to build some very nice new kitchen cabinets for the new “old house” Later tasks like copying and replacing trim on the outside of the house which is a big Queen Anne. Any advice on tools to get and in which order to get will be greatly appreciated. I’m coming from an automotive service background so spending money on the tools that perform and last isn’t a problem, but buying tools over and over because of buying the wrong tool for the job or buying sub par tools sucks.

17 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6826 posts in 3499 days

#1 posted 12-22-2016 06:22 PM

It will depend on what you plan on doing (long term). But almost always, the centerpiece of any woodworking shop is the table saw. That said, it’s hard to beat a good track saw for breaking down sheet goods….they can be cut right to the finished size. But with a table saw, you can rough cut the sheet stock with a (much) cheaper circ saw, then trim the pieces up to finished size on the table saw. I would use 2 alternating criteria to acquire tools. the first would be to get them as the next job approaching needs them. the second one would be to keep a list of what you want long term, and snatch them up as used good quality tools become available. Also be thinkign about your shop area. A bran might not have some of the comforts you’ll need, like adequate electric, heat, lighting, etc, Those are just as important as the tools. Congrats on your house, I think you’ll enjoy what’s facing you!

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Rob_s's profile


257 posts in 1628 days

#2 posted 12-22-2016 06:25 PM

the power issues are going to be your first order of business. Need to figure out what you have out there currently, and then sort out where you need or want to go.

To hear some guys here tell it if you don’t have a 220v table saw, dust collector, band saw, and drill press then you’re “doing it wrong”. That’s potentially four 20 amp 220v circuits, not to mention what you may need for lights, etc.. You could possibly get away with two 220v if you put the dust collector on one and all the other tools on the other with the idea that there’s only one you and you’re not going to be drilling and bandsawing at the same time.


View waho6o9's profile


8996 posts in 3583 days

#3 posted 12-22-2016 06:43 PM

Welcome to LumberJocks TK76!

You’ll need a workbench and this one rocks, as do many others on LumberJocks:

View bigblockyeti's profile


7079 posts in 2727 days

#4 posted 12-22-2016 07:06 PM

If you already have a 12” mitersaw, a cutting station for that would be a good starter project. A tablesaw would be my recommendation but I already have one and I think it would be very beneficial to get a track saw so that one could go either way. As previously mentioned, you need to figure out what you want to do first as projects go and get the tools to make that easier, add tools as you want/need them in the future.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View TK76's profile


4 posts in 1527 days

#5 posted 12-22-2016 07:10 PM

Currently I have a single phase 200 AMP service with a square d 200 amp panel. Only using 3 breakers at the moment 3 120V 15 AMP circuits 1 for over head lighting LEDS and the other 2 are used for a branch on the left for outlets and a branch on the right for outlets.

View TK76's profile


4 posts in 1527 days

#6 posted 12-22-2016 07:12 PM

My first priority for projects is to build new kitchen cabinets and remodel my kitchen.

View MrUnix's profile


8406 posts in 3205 days

#7 posted 12-22-2016 07:13 PM

Most people consider the table saw as the central tool in their shop, as Fred mentioned. Between it and a circular saw to break down sheet goods, you will be well on your way… you already have the SCMS for doing weird angle cuts on trim and fascia boards. Once you are up and running, just keep an eye out for deals on the other tools you might need, like a jointer, planer, band saw, etc… the best deals show up when you don’t have a need (yet) :-)


PS: Cabinet saws are called that for a reason…

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Woodmaster1's profile


1654 posts in 3593 days

#8 posted 12-22-2016 07:31 PM

I have 1/2 the space you have. You should eventually have a great shop but you will always want more space. A tablesaw would be something to get first. You can use a circular saw with a jig to break down plywood. Why spend money on a track saw. $800 + tracksaw or $16 on a sheet of hardboard.

View 000's profile


2859 posts in 1905 days

#9 posted 12-22-2016 07:39 PM

Table saw, Air Compressor (biggest you can afford).
18 gauge pin nail Gun/Staple Gun, Router and bits,
Some bar and hand clamps.
A jig saw, Belt and orbital sander.
Kreg Jig or a Doweling jig, or a biscuit joiner (which I prefer) to make face frames.
Cheap spray gun for finishing (for a start).
Acquire other tools as you need them.

View bobasaurus's profile


3711 posts in 4190 days

#10 posted 12-22-2016 08:23 PM

Power, insulation, and lighting in the shop should be your first concern. If you go the hand tool route, a super sturdy workbench is a must (pretty important for most wodworking, in fact). It would be very hard to live without my bandsaw as well. For bigger stock, the jointer and planer are a godsend. And for perfect ripping and crosscutting, a table saw is hard to beat.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View TK76's profile


4 posts in 1527 days

#11 posted 12-22-2016 08:28 PM

Thank you guys for your input on all of this. So I’m going to wait a few weeks and then dive in to a descent table saw. I’m leaning toward a JET Deluxe Exacta. My main reason for considering a track saw was that I’m usually on my own when it comes to stuff like this. I’ve moved plenty of 3/4 plywood, but have zero experience breaking it down into smaller pieces with something more precise that a circular saw. I tried a jig made by Kreg for this, but absolutely hated it. I’m thinking that as long as I ad in an outfield support then I will be ok. I’d just like to avoid getting a sheet of plywood in the chin.

View Rob_s's profile


257 posts in 1628 days

#12 posted 12-22-2016 09:01 PM

for breaking down plywood, especially with the amount of space you have, you can set up a breakdown table with a sheet of foam over top of it that you can use a circular saw and a guide board on.


View Rob_s's profile


257 posts in 1628 days

#13 posted 12-22-2016 09:07 PM

Currently I have a single phase 200 AMP service with a square d 200 amp panel. Only using 3 breakers at the moment 3 120V 15 AMP circuits 1 for over head lighting LEDS and the other 2 are used for a branch on the left for outlets and a branch on the right for outlets.

- TK76

That should do you well good. A 200 amp service will go a long, long way. Should give you plenty of room to expand as you go.


View JayT's profile


6419 posts in 3217 days

#14 posted 12-22-2016 09:23 PM

Agree with the others about plywood and the table saw. Break it down slightly oversize with a circular saw and clean it up on a table saw where you are maneuvering smaller pieces. Even with outboard support, managing full sheets is a PITA and it’s very difficult to get straight and accurate cuts. Unless you want to spring for a many thousand dollar sliding table saw like the commercial shops, the two step process will give you the best results.

I envy you the shop, that’s a huge size (though you will be surprised how fast it fills up). One thing I haven’t seen mentioned is to take part of that shop and create a finishing room that is sealed off from the dust producing areas, preferably with a dead space in between and couble doors on both sides of the dead space—one set to the shop, one set ot the finishing space. That space could be used for finish storage or office/design area or something else, but that would be the best way to try and keep dust out of your finishes. With that setup you’d be able to spray the cabinets and get really good results.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View jm8's profile


69 posts in 3318 days

#15 posted 12-22-2016 11:31 PM

All great advice. Don’t forget the clamps. The saying you can never have enough clamps is so true.
Congrats on your new house. I hope you have many hours working in your shop


-- Joe from Western Ma.... Peace to all

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