Starting my shop

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Forum topic by McGriff posted 03-08-2017 02:33 AM 1455 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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35 posts in 1465 days

03-08-2017 02:33 AM

As the topic states, I am starting my hobby woodworking shop. I already have a sliding miter saw, but that has limited use. I made a couple of items with cheap wood from the local big box, but nothing spectacular. I have read many articles/posts here and on other sites, watched videos on youtube and discovered Stumpy Nubs, before realizing he has posted here. I really want to get started doing more woodworking, but I’m not the hand tool kind of guy. I’ll use them, but I need to plug some stuff in.

I have been looking at this for months and finally I am ready to start buying. With budget and minimum tools needed to meet my OCD nature, I have decided on the following three types of tools.

1. Table Saw: considering Grizzly G0771Z or G0715P
2. Planer: Dewalt DW735 or DW734
3. Router: Bosch 1617EVSPK

For the Table Saw, both are capable of 110/120 volts, which is what I have right now. I have 12 gauge wire with a 20 amp breaker in the garage right now, and that’s where I am going to work. While I would go used, I want safety features, reliability and most Craigslisters live in a fantasy land of high priced junk. I am concerned about table mounted vs cabinet mounted trunions. I know some on this site have stated that it doesn’t matter because you don’t have to adjust things too often, but I still worry about a more difficult step in the process. I’m sure some used would be ok, but I don’t know what they are. I don’t have the money for a Sawstop. I will upgrade my service in the garage later, but it’s not quite the right time.

I need the planer. I can buy rough cut lumber from the local mill and I don’t want to pay someone else to plane my wood and getting it down to the right thickness is something I wan’t to make sure I have control over. I guess my question on this would be, “is it needed to go up to the 735?” I have a discount code for Acme tools that would get me the 735X combo for $585 or the 734 for $360 delivered. If someone has a better idea, I would love to know. Though, I do have to stick with a bench top planer for now.

I’m pretty sure I am going to stick with the bosch I listed above. Right now I could get that combo for $170 delivered. Once I build my router table, it will spend a lot of time in there, unless I drag it out and toss it in the plunge base. If someone has a better router combo, I would love to hear about it.

I decided not to get the Jointer, for now, because it doesn’t fit the budget and I can make use of my OCD/jigs/TS/planer/router to get things square. When I have enough cash, I will buy a jointer. I can only justify so much expenditure as my GF knows I am also prepping to buy an engagement ring. If she thinks I’m spending that money, I could be in danger.

If anyone has any thoughts or suggestions, I would love to discuss them. I also have enough money put aside to buy equipment for setting up the saw, dial indicator and other items. I have several articles saved that discuss which items to get and keep.

I’m sure I will remember other things as I go. Like the fact that I plan on using a lot of the plans at Ill only get one set of plans at a time to see how much the make your own stuff actually costs to put together.

Oh yeah, I plan on making furniture around the house and graduate to other things as I get better. I have a bed frame to build, some end tables, several console tables, a new kitchen table and butcher block Island top way down the road. Yes I plan on buying a number of clamps, including 3/4 inch pipe clamps.

I have read posts here and other places about Harbor freight gems and plan on using them and their coupons to get some other items cheaper. I only have a shop vac for now, but will upgrade my dust collection down the road. I will be wearing a respirator and the other protection needed. And as to craigslist location, I live outside of Reading PA and use that and the surrounding location to look for used items.

I also have a compressor, some work benches I cobbled together and plan on building a beefier bench with outfeed tables.

Thanks for any comments or advice, and sorry for the rambling.

20 replies so far

View firefighterontheside's profile


21361 posts in 2870 days

#1 posted 03-08-2017 02:51 AM

I would go with the 715 strictly because of the fence.
The 734 is basically the same as my 733, but with 3 knives. With both the 734 and 735 the knives are not sharpenable. I cannot get the 735 because of room, so if my 17 year old 733 ever konks out, it will be the 734 for me. Also, if you have to lift the planer, the 735 is very heavy.
I’m sure the Bosch is fine. Is it a kit with fixed and plunge bases. This is nice, especially if you want to mount it under a table.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View McGriff's profile


35 posts in 1465 days

#2 posted 03-08-2017 03:50 AM

Thanks Bill. I was mainly thinking 735 for the power and clean planed surfaces. The blower may make up for limited dust collection as well. Though, I considered the 734 just to have more cash for accessories.

View Rrrandy's profile


212 posts in 1493 days

#3 posted 03-08-2017 04:12 AM

Here’s the correct way to setup a shop. At least one of each to get you started. :)

-- Y'all need to locate a sense of humor. Borrow one if you can't find yours...

View TungOil's profile


1383 posts in 1509 days

#4 posted 03-08-2017 04:15 AM

Buy the ring first. Trust me.

I’ve got a planer and a dust collector for sale, could get you started and save you some cash for a bigger ring. I’m in Bucks County, about an hour from reading. PM me if you are interested.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

View Andybb's profile


3168 posts in 1617 days

#5 posted 03-08-2017 05:29 AM

I have that Bosch. Bought it along with a Bosch compound miter saw. I have had my Bosch for 10 years but rarely used it until recently 2-3 years, when I did what you are doing and setting up my shop.

An incremental long term plan router setup suggestion..from recent personal experience …

1. Get a router lift (used if available) and leave a router (used if available) in it in an extension on your Grizzly TS. The Bosch is great but is a PITA to adjust, especially from the underside of the table and is a beast to throw around in the plunge base for stuff like trim and inlays. Leave it in the lift, build a fence and also get a 1/2” collet for it. For furniture you are going to need it. My Craigslist $100 Woodpecker lift adjusts 1/32” with one turn of the crank with 32 increments which I think works out to 1/1024”. At least consider this to start. You could get a used router from Craigslist, put it under the table and save the $.

2. Get a trim router. Someone suggested I look at a Dewalt. (used if available) I was a Bosch guy but I really love my Dewalt trim router. Easy infinite adjustments, variable speed, built in light, one wrench collet. Get the dust collector.

3. I use a dirt cheap Harbor Freight palm router that has a round-over bit that lives in it.

For me it was all about workflow. Not saying you should do it all at once but hindsight being 20/10 it’s a suggestion I would consider.

My shop vac dust system with my DIY 2 bucket cyclone and blast gates works great.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View Steve's profile


57 posts in 1472 days

#6 posted 03-08-2017 02:21 PM

I wholeheartedly second the suggestion to put a large router in a router lift and get a Dewalt trim router. Making adjustments under a table is a HUGE pain. Once you get a lift you will wonder why you waited so long. It also really won’t matter as much what brand of router you get (Craigslist) as long as its a decent one since its always in the lift.

The trim router is awesome. Its light, variable speed, and very easy to move from a standard base to a plunge base.

I really like the 735. If you can swing it I would try to. I have mine mounted on a rolling stand that is the exact height of my table saw. I use the table saw as an extension of my out feed table.

I also would suggest a Dust Deputy for your shop-vac for a start. It will amaze you at how much dust it collects.

Good luck and have fun!

View McGriff's profile


35 posts in 1465 days

#7 posted 03-08-2017 02:38 PM

Rrrandy: I would love to buy Powermatic, but I would be limited in what I could get. I figure I can get enough to work now, and buy one too notch tool at a time after that.

TungOil: thanks. I’ll pm you. Bas to the ring, I know what she wants already. She “accidentally” left a picture open in her web browser… half a dozen times. We arent kids either, so the topic has been discussed. I spent the money I would have put towards this stuff on her last year of nursing school and she wants me to get the tools first.

Andybb: I’ll look into all of that. I was considering building stumpy’s table, fence and lift designs. Great idea about a used router in the table. Definitely will taje a trip to HF.

Steve_c: I’ll look up the dust deputy today. I will also begin looking at CL again with a wider travel radius for routers and other items. Thanks.

Thanks for the responses. I tend towards anxiety and over thinking, which never feels like enough.

Looks like I can’t send pm yet. Iwill have to make 2 more posts. TungOil, if you see this I will message you. Ill find a couple of the topics I considered asking a questiin in and get my posts up.

View TungOil's profile


1383 posts in 1509 days

#8 posted 03-08-2017 05:55 PM

I spent the money I would have put towards this stuff on her last year of nursing school and she wants me to get the tools first.

well played! I did get your PM.

regarding the Bosch router, I think you are making a good choice for a first router. Bosch makes a good quality tool and that router will fit most of the router lifts available for future expansion. getting the plunge base is very useful. You can do most of what you are likely to do with that too l(except raise panels, you will need more hp for that and a router table). A laminate trim router is handy for really light work but you can make the 1617 work for most of those applications for now.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

View Dustin's profile


707 posts in 1754 days

#9 posted 03-08-2017 07:12 PM

I’m a big fan of my 1617, too. I keep the fixed base mounted under the router table I have secured to my table saw, and use the plunge base otherwise. I don’t find the under-table adjustments to be too finnicky, but getting the router in the base can be a bit of a pain at times (usually a non-issue).

I have no reason to doubt TungOil when he says you want more hp for raised panels, but I have used my 1617 to do them, taking it in a few lighter passes rather than a couple of large ones. If I had the cash lying around, I’d probably pop in one of those Triton 3.25hp beasts under there (I think I’d be nervous using a router that large by hand anyways).

As for the planer, I have the 734, and a buddy of mine has the 735. I can’t really tell an appreciable difference between the finish his put on wood (even at the “finished surface” speed) and the one mine leaves. Not to mention, the 735 will make you feel like you’re living near the airport, so I hope you have forgiving neighbors. By no means is it inferior to the 734, I just think of it like going to shop for a safe family vehicle and ending up buying a tank. And even with a weaker DC (I have the HF model run through a trash can separator and vented outdoors), it does a great job clearing the shavings and dust from the planer. And the difference in cost you’re looking at between the two is enough to snag a nice Wynn filter (if you don’t plan to exhaust outdoors) and some DC accessories. I recently picked up the dust right quick fittings and expandable hose from Rockler, and they’re great.

Anyhow, congrats on the new shop, and be sure to keep us updated!

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

View Andybb's profile


3168 posts in 1617 days

#10 posted 03-08-2017 07:17 PM

Andybb: I ll look into all of that. I was considering building stumpy s table, fence and lift designs. Great idea about a used router in the table. Definitely will taje a trip to HF.

Thanks for the responses. I tend towards anxiety and over thinking, which never feels like enough.
- McGriff

I built the Stumpy lift first. It was a fun project and got the job done but my Woodpecker lift is like a fine surgical tool that is built like a tank.

I know EXACTLY what you mean re anxiety, OCD, over thinking & over building.

Good luck.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View BenjaminNY's profile


136 posts in 2416 days

#11 posted 03-08-2017 09:23 PM

Those are three good tools to start. Make sure the router can plunge if possible.

I have the 734 and it works really well. Wish it had an insertl style head but the disposable knives are not hard to change.

View McGriff's profile


35 posts in 1465 days

#12 posted 03-08-2017 11:07 PM

Thanks for the info. I think I keep looking at the 735 because it’s one of the beefiest before going up to the next level of Planers. Something a little less pricey could give me room for a better dust collection system. I think I will let the 735 go for now, think a little cheaper and put the money elsewhere.

I will probably do the stumpy lift and then his table design. I have 1’ x 1’ piece of corian that is flat. It isn’t entirely square so I will have to cut it.

If I could find a decent router, on CL around here, I would throw it in the table and go with a lighter one, but I figure I can live with removing it now and again. the Router has a fixed and Plunge base with the package.

If I can swing the dust collection upgrade, the only thing I would like to have from the start would be a drill press. Now, I will need to run an industrial extension cord to my shop to run either the dust collection or the saw. Trenching my yard, running conduit and putting in a sub panel may not be possible right now. I am still checking on the permit requirements in my area.

View MT_Stringer's profile


3183 posts in 4245 days

#13 posted 03-08-2017 11:27 PM

Just a retired guy having a lot of fun.
I have the Grizz 1023RTLW and love it.

DW734 because I didn’t have the money for the 7835 5 years ago. No problems encountered. The blades are reversible, then chunk them and get another set. I am on only my second set.

I have 2 of the 1617 kits…and a Triton 3 1/4 hp router.

And a used Jet 6 inch jointer.

And a Harbor Freight 2hp dust collector.

The tools you are thinking about will work well for you.
good luck.

Yep. All in a one car garage! :-)

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View McGriff's profile


35 posts in 1465 days

#14 posted 03-09-2017 12:01 AM

Nice stuff MT_Stringer. I need to make a real workbench. I also have a ton of my mother’s stuff in my garage. I need to build decent shelves for everything, but it’s a roomy 2 car garage. As long as I can move things around, I should be able to make it work.

View mapdude's profile


3 posts in 1462 days

#15 posted 03-09-2017 03:26 AM

I filled my shop with a ton of “lightly” used tool off of eBay, etc. Routers (Bosch, Dewault), air nailers (Porter Cable), impact and drill drivers (Bosch, Milwaukee), sawzall (Dewault), sanders (Bosch), jig saw (Bosch). I have the Dewault 734 planer, Rigid table saw, drill press, band saw, and jointer, and a ShopFox mortiser. Some picked up local on Craigslist, some off the internet (always a deal on sale). Just take your time and pounce when you find them. Picked up a Dewault compact router with 2 bases and a few bits in a deal on Amazon for $99. Picked up a essentially new in the box Porter Cable dovetail jig for $60 on Craigslist.

Granted, I been at this for, I guess, 10 years now, but I got a 2 car garage so full that the cars are permanently outside now. Point is, good quality tools that are lightly used can save you a TON of $$. You just have to be patient.

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