Trying to build my first Garage woodshop

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Forum topic by AstroEd posted 05-25-2017 08:24 PM 2575 views 1 time favorited 42 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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45 posts in 1345 days

05-25-2017 08:24 PM

Hi folks I am Edward 53 years old this September. Am trying to use a section of my 19’ x 21’ 2 car garage about 6.5’ wide using benchtop sanders, jointers and planers for a hobbyist/ craft woodshop to LEARN how to make small decorative boxes, wood burning projects, small signs and such. I am a bored medically unemployed fellow looking for something to do.

My budget is very low $2,000-$3,000 to get what I can at current then save for the next tool(s).

Currently I only have 3 110v outlets in Garage and was told to add a sub breaker box and upgrade the power coming into the current box from 100 breaker to 200 and 1-2 240v outlets wil cost $3,000 (that’s more than I have to spend on tools at this time so not sure if I should do that first and wait several more years to buy tools or use just 110v one machine on at a time.

I am just starting to buy my shop tools and am waiting for the Grizzly tent sale on the 3rd near me to get a few things.
I keep getting suggestions to by used (Vintage) items I know it’s an option so please just make suggestions based on new or used (If in the Grizzly outlet) Grizzly tools. Mainly due to the fact I can pick up here and save shipping.

1. I have a lightly used Dewalt DW744 Free I was hoping to use until I save for a Grizzly
G0715P $895 or G0771Z $775 but I seem to get suggested a lot to pick up a Grizzly
G1023 $1,375-$1,655 instead (But never told if I should get the RL, RLW, RLWX, or RLX but I do not have 240v hook ups yet)

Hoping to get either at the Grizzly tent sale or save for over time but not sure what to get first…

2. Bandsaw G0555X $795 desired it will seewhats on sale.

3. Drill press G0794 $450 desired for the digital readout and Laser alignment G7944 $420 same as above minus DRO and Laser Or G7943 $295 Desktop version of the G7944 to save space but sacrifice size of projects I can do?

4. Jointer G0821 6” $385 (benchtop should be ok for the small crafts I hope to start with) or G0490XW 8” $1,350(suggested by Grizzly salesman)

5. Plainer Dewalt 13” T2222 $649.95 desired for benchtop G0453ZW $1,895 Suggested by salesman due to spiral cutting head

6. Router and Table I have no clue what to get that’s best bang for the buck. I want to us for shaping edges of wood burning projects and text at least until I save for a small CNC router and Laser engraver.

7. Scroll Saw picked up a Ryobi 16” $99 to learn on but might return for fear of low quality. Dewalt DW788 20” $499.95 with stand and light (20%? Off in tent sale) desired Seyco ST-21 21” $929 Dream Scroll Saw.

8. No clue what else to get. I already bought a few things at Home Depot and Harbor freight like
72” workbench (wobbles not happy with having to shim it level). Might get Grizzly T10157 60”x30 workbench.
Husky 20 gal. Air compressor, harbor freight 18 & 23 guage nailers,
Drill and driver set, circular saw, extra battery and charger, orbital sander, oscillating belt/spindle sander, and various accessories like glue, sandpaper, wrenches,and such. Not sure what all I need.

I want to do more stuff like this and learn new things.

-- I measured twice now where is my Saw?

42 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10930 posts in 4618 days

#1 posted 05-25-2017 09:07 PM

The stuff you’re thinking about getting will
set you up for furniture and cabinetmaking
but that’s not necessary for making boxes
and small things.

If you’re not out to build cabinetry for your
home or for clients you might not need the
capacity to process large panels of plywood.

For working solid wood the 3 most important
machines, imo, are the planer, jointer and
band saw. Then drill press, router table
and table saw. A bench top drill press is
fine and a router table is easy to make from
a scrap of melamine or a sink cutout. If
not making cabinets large rip and crosscut
capacity on the table saw isn’t needed. I’d
say the one you have will be fine.

A 6” jointer, a 13” planer and a 14” band saw
can all run on the 110v power you have.

View 01ntrain's profile


259 posts in 2040 days

#2 posted 05-25-2017 09:15 PM

Don’t underestimate the value of used tools. But, since you have a Grizzly in the same town, I can imagine that it’s hard not to just buy the new one, or one from their excellent tent sales. Wish it was around when I lived there. OP Hardwoods used to be an excellent place to shop for hardwood lumber and plywood. I’m wondering if it’s still there?

View Hockey's profile


182 posts in 1382 days

#3 posted 05-25-2017 09:24 PM

Edward, have you considered a used Shopsmith, the 5 in one tool that many have started on. That was my first woodworking piece of machinery (still have it, and in fact just used the accesory bandsaw on it it about 30 minutes ago), and from there, I decided what else I needed (I got a separate Delta contractor’stable saw and an Enlon jointer in addition to the Shopsmith). Some people only have the Shopmith, and do not feel the need to supplement it with other machinery. If you are not familiar with the Shopsmith, it is a table saw, a drill press, a horizontal bore, a disc sander and a lathe in the basic form. You can visit the Shopsmith website for demonstration videos and details.

The Shopsmith would be perfect for limited space. As I understand your post, your portion of the space is only about 6.5 feet wide. You can get them used in good condition for very little money. I’ve seen them as low as $200. A good set up with an additional bandsaw attachment might go for around $500. For under $1000. you can get even more attachments like a belt sander, jointer or strip sander, all made by Shopsmith. Of course, you could always buy new.

On the other hand, if you have the room for them, nothing wrong with stand alone machinery. Grizzly is a fine choice.

View gargey's profile


1013 posts in 1745 days

#4 posted 05-25-2017 09:25 PM

I want a jointer and a bandsaw.

That would be awesome.

But my wife thinks garages should involve cars sometimes.

View LittleShaver's profile


713 posts in 1589 days

#5 posted 05-25-2017 09:54 PM

I’ve moved my shop around the country about 5 times. Sometimes as small as yours, sometimes much larger. As I’m not done moving yet, I keep all my tools at 110V. Can’t see upgrading the electrical system in a place I’ll sell in 4 or 5 years. What I have learned is that a couple of outlets on different circuits is adequate. I was using my shop vac for dust collection off my table saw for a while and quickly learned that they had to be on different circuits or I’d trip breakers. In one of my shops, that meant I had to run an extension cord into the kitchen to catch a separate circuit outlet when I needed to run the saw.
Other than that, a one man hobby shop rarely uses more than one corded tool at a time.
Resign yourself to the fact that you’ll never have a fully set up shop and start making sawdust. Accumulate tools as you need them. I’m moving more to hand tools these days. It’s a much more peaceful process that way.

-- Sawdust Maker

View AstroEd's profile


45 posts in 1345 days

#6 posted 05-25-2017 11:05 PM

OP hardwoods is still going strong, I recently went there to buy some wood carving supplies only to discover I did not care for wood carving as much as wood burning.

-- I measured twice now where is my Saw?

View tmasondarnell's profile


144 posts in 2759 days

#7 posted 05-25-2017 11:07 PM

Well, I will jump in.

I am just a hobbyist and build small boxes.

IMHO, I would hold off on the drill press and the scroll saw. You can go a very long time without either of them.

Buy your table saw, jointer and planer as your first tools (if you have $ left, then get the band saw). I have gone a very long way with only those three big tools (+ the Harbor Freight DC)

Get a 6 or 8 inch planer. While the width may not be as critical, the length of the planer beds is. If you think about a basic 9×5 box with continuous grain on the sides, you will need to take they out of a 36” board (at least). That board will be much easier to join on a jointer with a longer infeed and out feed bed than the small 4” table top unit.

Buy a decent router.

Get the mobile bases and put everything you can on wheels.

For a work bench, I would suggest building using the process the wood whisper used for the out feed table:

It is out of plywood you can get at the BORG and I have built two that are rock solid (at least for small projects).

View Rich's profile


6392 posts in 1559 days

#8 posted 05-25-2017 11:37 PM

I want a jointer and a bandsaw.

That would be awesome.

But my wife thinks garages should involve cars sometimes.

- gargey

My ex-wife thought the same thing.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View bbasiaga's profile


1259 posts in 2965 days

#9 posted 05-26-2017 03:58 PM

If you are making small projects you probably won’t work with thick or wide stock very often. So don’t worry about a 220V table saw or anything else. A 1.5hp model will do you fine.

For a jointer, the grizzly 6” bench top served me very well for years in projects up to the size of a small coffee table. I think it was less than 300 bucks at the time. If you can find a floor standing 6” model for near the same price, and you have the floor space, I would do that. Lots of people find them on Craigslist, but I was never that lucky.

The DW744 planer, or any lunchbox type will do as well. More expensive machines may be wider, but you don’t need the with for what you plan to build.

A standard 14” bandsaw would be good too. I have the Shop Fox version of the Grizzly 555 series. I have seen them new for less than 600 bucks if you have a Shopfox outlet near by.

Get a good router set, one with a plunge base and fixed base, and then make your own router table. It’s not hard to make a simple one.

I agree drill presses are nice, but optional. Honestly, I would start with the Harbor Freight bench top type. 80 bucks and you can find a coupon. One served me great for years. I built the telescope in my projects with it. I have a laser on my newer craftsman, but it goes unused the vast majority of the time. Also not sure I can see the need for a digital readout.

Hope those thoughts help.

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View Holbs's profile


2373 posts in 2999 days

#10 posted 05-26-2017 04:04 PM

You could easily purchase all of those items 50%-75% cheaper via craigslist and even more so at local auctions.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

View rodneywt1180b's profile


185 posts in 1356 days

#11 posted 05-26-2017 04:38 PM

If you’re mechanically inclined at all used tools are a great value. Most of my shop is vintage machines that I restored.
The used ShopSmith one guy above me mentioned is also a good investment. I’ve never used mine as a tablesaw but I love the drill press feature and disk sander plus they’re ok lathes. Being a multi tool there are some trade offs but overall they’re well designed and well built tools.
If all you’re interested in is smaller projects it’s worth considering going with mostly hand tools with a band saw.

I recommend building your own work bench. It’s actually one of the most important tools in a shop. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just sturdy and flat. Solid core doors make good bench tops.

-- Rodney, Centralia, WA, USA

View Carloz's profile


1147 posts in 1561 days

#12 posted 05-26-2017 05:15 PM

If you are making small projects you probably won t work with thick or wide stock very often. So don t worry about a 220V table saw or anything else. A 1.5hp model will do you fine.
- bbasiaga

It is not about power. Good cabinet saws rarely come in less than 3HP. 1.5 HP saws usually come in hybrid setups, which has many shortcomings besides the power.

View bbasiaga's profile


1259 posts in 2965 days

#13 posted 05-26-2017 07:32 PM

I’d still argue that for cutting up to 8/4 stock a hybrid type saw in the 500 buck range is fully serviceable. I only upgraded my portable saw when my projects got bigger and heavier, and I needed a Dado stack.

3hp cabinet saw us much nicer, but overkill for a guy starting out and on a budget. Just my opinion.


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View Rich's profile


6392 posts in 1559 days

#14 posted 05-26-2017 08:38 PM

I know, Brian. I sure wish someone had told me I couldn’t rip 8/4 boards with a 1-3/4 hp saw before I went and built those exterior doors using it.

It’s been discussed on here often, but a thin kerf 24 tooth rip blade will enable all but the weakest saws to cut 8/4 hardwood effortlessly.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View gargey's profile


1013 posts in 1745 days

#15 posted 05-26-2017 08:57 PM

Believe it or not, I’ve heard it can even be done with a hand saw.

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