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Priorities of Next Tool Selection: Advice Needed

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Forum topic by KettleWorkshop posted 06-08-2019 06:28 PM 564 views 0 times favorited 32 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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KettleWorkshop

39 posts in 36 days


06-08-2019 06:28 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Alright folks, I need some help from some of you with more..uhh..full featured workshops; tools wise.

I am talking about the big tools. I do have more than a few, but there are plenty that I am missing.

Here is what I currently have:
  • Table Saw
  • Compound Sliding Miter Saw
  • Router (Plunge)
  • Jigsaw
  • Circular Saw
  • Brad Nailer w/ Compressor
  • Orbital Sander

I have other tools like drills and such, but that’s less the point. The issue, and point of the post is as follows. I am looking to add to my capabilities in the shop. Filling out major holes in capability, created by specific benefits/actions of a specific tool, is a top priority as I rebuild my workshop.

Tools I know I am missing:
  • Planer or Drum Sander
  • Benchtop Disc/Belt Sander
  • Drill Press
  • Band Saw
  • Jointer

So my question is this. Which of those should be a priority? Which will provide the biggest increase in capability of the workshop.

Some info.
  • I don’t really use any rough lumber. Mostly everything I currently work with is plywood or dimensional lumber. So I really dont see a need for the jointer or planer/drum sander. But I can be convinced otherwise.
  • I currently have a Milescraft Drill Guide that works really well to ensure straight holes are drilled. Of course, a drill press is still an entirely different beast and I get that.
  • Im not looking for specific brand/models recommendations. Just general ones per tool type. But feel free to specify something like a Benchtop Drill Press vs a Free Standing Drill Press. Or something like the benefits of an 8” vs 6” Jointer.

Thanks for what I am sure will be very useful information as I am completely torn on which way to proceed.

-- If you don't throw out the original design at least 2 times, you aren't finding all the imperfections.


32 replies so far

View Knockonit's profile

Knockonit

574 posts in 597 days


#1 posted 06-08-2019 06:40 PM

lot of it imo depends on the type of projects you lean towards, some projects take every tool in the joint, and others only specific, might narrow down options some
best of luck
Rj in az

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

5414 posts in 2746 days


#2 posted 06-08-2019 07:00 PM

Either the planer or drill press, I couldn’t live without either one, followed closely by the band saw.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View KettleWorkshop's profile

KettleWorkshop

39 posts in 36 days


#3 posted 06-08-2019 07:35 PM

@Knockonit: Good call. Mostly right now shop projects. I have plans to do some small builds like a dog bowl holder, toilet paper holder, but also some larger builds like a built in window bench. Maybe an entertainment center after all of that.

@Bondogaposis: What benefit does the planner have other than rough lumber? If I need a piece of Dimeonsional to be a specific size (in either dimeonsion) I have found zero problems so far cutting them to that size with my Table saw. I routinely knock 2×4’s down to 1 1/4” and 3 1/4” size to remove the rounded edged and make it true size. As for the drill press; what benefits do you find it gives you over the ability to simply drill a straight hole?

Thanks gents!

-- If you don't throw out the original design at least 2 times, you aren't finding all the imperfections.

View bigJohninvegas's profile

bigJohninvegas

612 posts in 1857 days


#4 posted 06-08-2019 08:44 PM

Tough question to answer for someone else’s tool needs. So the first thing that came to mind as I read your post, was a planer. Then as I read on, you went into more detail about the work you do.
Still, I have to go with a planer. I get a lot of rough, but also s2s lumber. Any panel you glue up needs to be surfaced. So most definitely a planer.
That I feel would expand the capability of your shop the most.

-- John

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

7388 posts in 2594 days


#5 posted 06-08-2019 08:53 PM

Buy ‘em as you need ‘em… there is no way we can predict what project you will be doing next or what will make it easier – only you can do that.

Cheers,
Brad

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

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

2876 posts in 969 days


#6 posted 06-08-2019 09:03 PM

You say the type of wood you use, but nothing of projects you make, or would like to graduate into. I would have an issue not having a band saw. I also would like a drill press, but mostly I would want to get out of all plywood, and start using some incredible hardwoods, there are so many. Even if you buy semi prepped stock, the jointer planer combo fills out most workshops.

As suggested already it really does depend on what YOU do, want to do. I’d agree wait until you can’t do something without a ??????? Till then spend your time planning on what you will do next.

-- Think safe, be safe

View SMP's profile

SMP

1058 posts in 301 days


#7 posted 06-08-2019 09:14 PM



Either the planer or drill press, I couldn t live without either one, followed closely by the band saw.

- bondogaposis

To demonstrate how personal the choices are, I have never owned a bandsaw. And my drill press i very rarely use on wood, but use often on metal(even yesterday). Depends on what you make, joinery, and what you are used to.

View ibewjon's profile

ibewjon

604 posts in 3188 days


#8 posted 06-08-2019 09:51 PM

If you are ripping lumber, then a jointer would be high on the list. 8 is nice but harder to find used, 6 will get you started. How to you finish the faces of the 2×4’s after ripping?

View KettleWorkshop's profile

KettleWorkshop

39 posts in 36 days


#9 posted 06-08-2019 11:09 PM

Thanks again for all the feedback.

The idea of waiting until I cant do something with what I have to get the tool to make it possible is appealing and makes good sense.

As for the questions about what kind of projects I do; apologies. My blog has some of the stuff I am currently working on. Other stuff, not on there, are a custom pantry I made when I moved into my house a few years ago. I hate that white wiring shelving.

The pantry was mostly 1”x12” dimeonsional. Along with some plywood.

As for what I want to graduate into, project wise, I don’t really know beyond the projects currently in mind of a the built-in window bench and entertainment center. Maybe some custom organizers for my new kitchen. I am one of those that sees something, gets interesting in the idea, and go from there. Or something has to come up, a need has to be present, and then go from there.


Tough question to answer for someone else s tool needs. So the first thing that came to mind as I read your post, was a planer. Then as I read on, you went into more detail about the work you do.
Still, I have to go with a planer. I get a lot of rough, but also s2s lumber. Any panel you glue up needs to be surfaced. So most definitely a planer.
That I feel would expand the capability of your shop the most.
- bigJohninvegas

I see you point here and I fully recognize the benefit in that case, especially with rough lumber.


Even if you buy semi prepped stock, the jointer planer combo fills out most workshops.
- therealSteveN

That brings up an interesting concept; the combo unit. Everything I have seen says that a combo jointer/planer really doesn’t do either well (until you get into the really giant units).

That actually brings up something I forgot. Floor space is at a premium. Half of a 2 car garage. Everything has to store in that space. I can use the full garage for work but a car needs to be able to park in there..usually.

-- If you don't throw out the original design at least 2 times, you aren't finding all the imperfections.

View KettleWorkshop's profile

KettleWorkshop

39 posts in 36 days


#10 posted 06-08-2019 11:23 PM


If you are ripping lumber, then a jointer would be high on the list. 8 is nice but harder to find used, 6 will get you started. How to you finish the faces of the 2×4 s after ripping?

- ibewjon

After ripping the 2×4’s to be actually square (taking 1/8” off each side does that nicely) then I hit it with a random orbital sander to get it smooth and remove any saw marks. Then I run a digital caliper over it to find anyplace that might be needing more attention.

-- If you don't throw out the original design at least 2 times, you aren't finding all the imperfections.

View ibewjon's profile

ibewjon

604 posts in 3188 days


#11 posted 06-08-2019 11:32 PM

A jointer would speed that up alot.

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12815 posts in 2775 days


#12 posted 06-08-2019 11:36 PM

What Brad said, pick a project and buy the tools to complete it.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View KettleWorkshop's profile

KettleWorkshop

39 posts in 36 days


#13 posted 06-09-2019 12:14 AM

Thats two know with the “pick a project and buy the tools”. Starting to feel thats the right answer.

Anyone mind answering about the drill press though? Maybe I am just uninformed as to what benefits they usually have over a good drill guide for straight/angled holes.

Thanks fellas again, great info.

-- If you don't throw out the original design at least 2 times, you aren't finding all the imperfections.

View ibewjon's profile

ibewjon

604 posts in 3188 days


#14 posted 06-09-2019 12:59 AM

A drill press can be used as a drum sander or mortiser with proper attachments.

View torus's profile

torus

283 posts in 808 days


#15 posted 06-09-2019 01:23 AM



...
I am one of those that sees something, gets interesting in the idea, and go from there. Or something has to come up, a need has to be present, and then go from there.
...

Drill press is very useful for all home projects, not only woodworking.
And yes, I use a project as an excuse to by a tool ))

-- "It's getting better..." - put this on my RIP stone!

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