Starting to get serious about it, which tool next?

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Forum topic by HardKnockCarpentry posted 01-06-2019 09:22 PM 1583 views 0 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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21 posts in 1023 days

01-06-2019 09:22 PM

Just starting the birth of my woodshop, working at turning it in to a little evening / weekend business. I already have a lot of tools, as I used to be a trim carpenter. Problem is, I don’t have a lot of actual shop tools. I have a DeWalt Portable table saw, that I built an outfeed table for, and built a seperate table for it, so I could move it around, as space is currently somewhat of an issue. I have a miter saw, that I also built legs and a table for it, along the side wall. I’m currently looking to build cabinets, built ins, mantles, and some home decor / furniture. Haven’t really found / decided upon a niche yet. For doing these projects, I’m missing several shop tools. Currently saving my money from my work, to buy tools. I’m currently torn between a planer, router lift, or maybe something else. Any ideas, thoughts, suggestions? Thanks in advance for any answers I get.

24 replies so far

View AlaskaGuy's profile


6748 posts in 3557 days

#1 posted 01-06-2019 09:36 PM


A decent table saw, 8’ jointer, Planer, and a band saw. To my way of thinking these are tool you are going to need to efficiently ready your sock to do project with. I say 8’’ (or larger) jointer because you said the word business. If you want to make a buck you don’t what to spend valuable time doing all the “work a rounds) to jointing stock.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View HardKnockCarpentry's profile


21 posts in 1023 days

#2 posted 01-06-2019 09:53 PM

Thank you for the quick reply. Yeah, I have a decent table saw already. I didn’t even think about a jointer. I think I’m going to do planer next. Looking at that DeWalt one, the higher end one. I’ll have to keep my eye out for a jointer. Amazon has the Planer and a Delta 6” benchtop jointer for just under $1k.

View jutsFL's profile


198 posts in 1089 days

#3 posted 01-06-2019 10:42 PM

As above, the jointer and planer were a game changer for me. At this point, I really dont know how id get by without them, as I am definitely mot a master of hand tools. The difference in work is nothing short of amazing between the before and after for me (with the two machines). Id love to venture into the bandsaw world , and have frequently run into situations lately where I could have used one (mainly for resaws) – alas I have no room until the wife and I love.

-- I've quickly learned that being a woodworker isn't about making flawless work, rather it's fixing all the mistakes you made so that it appears flawless to others! Jay - FL

View Turns4wood's profile


53 posts in 1030 days

#4 posted 01-06-2019 11:29 PM

Planer jointer jointer first I made the mistake and did it planner first

-- Nothing better than sawdust on the floor

View jutsFL's profile


198 posts in 1089 days

#5 posted 01-07-2019 12:19 AM

I re-read my post and chuckled a bit… Apparently I cant edit it now, but it should have read – “until the wife and I move.” LOL

-- I've quickly learned that being a woodworker isn't about making flawless work, rather it's fixing all the mistakes you made so that it appears flawless to others! Jay - FL

View HardKnockCarpentry's profile


21 posts in 1023 days

#6 posted 01-07-2019 12:40 AM

Would a 6” jointer suffice for now? As I said above, Amazon has the planer and jointer that would fit well in my shop, in a package deal, for $933. That’s for the Delta Power Tools 37-071 6 Inch MIDI-Bench Jointer, and DEWALT DW735X Two-Speed Thickness Planer Package, 13-Inch. Seems like a decent deal. Also want to pickup a router lift at some point, but that can wait until the absolute necessary tools are sitting in the shop.

View EdDantes's profile


74 posts in 1158 days

#7 posted 01-07-2019 12:48 AM

Many people like the 735/735X as an entry level planer. And I can’t speak to the jointer model, but if you’re willing to spend $1k, I’d rather start with a 15” 4 post planer (like the Grizzly G0815). You can get by without a jointer by using a planer sled and then squaring edges with your table saw. Then make the next purchase an 8” jointer. Alternatively, if space is a consideration, save up and then buy a combo jointer/planer and sell the 15” planer to cover part of the expense.

View TungOil's profile


1384 posts in 1743 days

#8 posted 01-07-2019 12:50 AM

The 735 is a nice, but light duty planer. It will get you by for a few years. Skip any bench top jointer if you plan to do this for a living. You’d be better off finding a decent used Powermatic or delta 8” jointer on CL. Actually, same goes for the planer, look for a used 15” PM or something similar. Put them on wheels if space is an issue.

If you really plan to make cabinets for $$$, consider a shaper for making doors as well, or just outsource them to Conestoga like most other commercial shops.

-- 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 HardKnockCarpentry's profile


21 posts in 1023 days

#9 posted 01-07-2019 12:54 AM

I 100% plan on doing this for a living, in a couple / few years, once I can get the shop / tools built up. As I stated above, I have basic tools, as I did trim carpentry, and built-in / carbinet work, for a company, that had their own shop. Currently doing other work, and this on the side, but eventually want this to turn into my company, and feed itself and my family.

I really appreciate all the insight and help so far guys, thank you very much.

View WoodenDreams's profile


1433 posts in 1158 days

#10 posted 01-07-2019 05:33 AM

Have you put on paper the tool wish list, or possible floor plan. A ring binder folder & note book will help keep track of your wish list and plans. Do you want your equipment to be stationary or use casters to move around….. Workbench, Planer, router table (build your own or buy, hold off on the router lift for now), jointer, Edge sander, spindle sander, drill press, band saw, Irwin Quick Grip clamps and F clamps (6”,12”,24”,36”), bar clamps or U clamps (24”,36”,48”) the aluminum U clamps are lighter than the bar clamps, so easier to use. Dust collection, Air filtration system. My shop is also small, but a effective workshop. .. Ordering free catalogs from different suppliers will give you some ideas on tools and equipment (Rockler, Grizzly, Woodcraft, Stan Houston, etc.)

View Robert's profile


4747 posts in 2728 days

#11 posted 01-07-2019 02:43 PM

IMO your first priority is a better table saw. Minimum 1 3/4 HP. Once you start doing a lot of cabinet work, you’re going to find the limitations of a jobsite saw pretty fast. The motors just aren’t made for continuous loads. Also, most dado sets can’t (shouldn’t) be used in a jobsite saw, which is really a necessity for cabinet work.

I think a good rule of thumb is “if there are no belts or cast iron, don’t buy it” What I’m saying is if the machine doesn’t have a true induction motor, it is not going to be built as well or last as long. You’ll find the cheaper table saws are made of stamped metal and the trunnions are inferior, too.

That said, there are some decent machines out there the you can start out with.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View JCamp's profile


1429 posts in 1798 days

#12 posted 01-07-2019 03:37 PM

To me you can get around your need for a planner if you buy the wood already surfaced. And you can get around the need for a jointer a few different ways as well…... this is my personal opinion but I think I’d make some projects and buy a new table saw, then sell the old saw and use that money on your next tool purchase….. a good router/shaper, planner, jointer or bandsaw would be on the short list. I’d suggest paying for all these with the money you make from what you sell opposed to ever taking out a loan or borrowing money btw.

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

View muleskinner's profile


941 posts in 3684 days

#13 posted 01-07-2019 04:35 PM

Start building something. You’ll figure out what you need next.

-- Visualize whirled peas

View BlueRidgeDog's profile


884 posts in 1027 days

#14 posted 01-07-2019 04:54 PM

You describe a desire to make cabinets. For that a solid table saw is the first essential item. The next item for cabinets, assuming you are buying 4S lumber, is a shaper or router table for making door panels. After that you will want to switch to rough sawn wood for your face frames (if used) and drawer and cabinet doors, so you will need a joiner and planner at the same time. You can limp along with a cheap benchtop bandsaw and drill press, but those will likely be the last items you buy.

View Sawdust2012's profile


298 posts in 2960 days

#15 posted 01-07-2019 09:27 PM

I have worked with that DW table saw and the 734 planer. They are both respectable portable machines. I recently got a Laguna Fusion, and the difference in quality was instantly palpable. If you are going to do this for a living, bigger, better tools will be far cheaper in the long run. Get an 8” grizzly jointer and a big planer. You’ll save money on raw material over the long haul. The bigger jointer and planer will allow you to complete work far more efficiently. That is the only way to increase revenue, because time is inherently limited. Pick them up gently used, so you don’t set yourself on an unsustainable cost of goods sold platform. I just don’t see the DW saw handling commercial work for long.

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