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Novice Woodworker - What order should I buy the following tools?

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Forum topic by chipmafia posted 01-29-2020 02:39 PM 1256 views 0 times favorited 32 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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chipmafia

8 posts in 312 days


01-29-2020 02:39 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I’m a novice woodworker with about one year of experience. I have learned from folks like Steve Ramsey (through his online courses) and I watch several other woodworkers on YouTube. I have a half-carport+shed workshop that has to be portable (on casters). My goals for my shop are to build nice furniture for people, but for it to be a side gig – not a full-time profession. My current setup includes:

Various hand power tools (circluar saw, orbital sander, drill and impact driver, jigsaw, belt sander)
Table saw (Dewalt 7480)
Miter Saw (Kobalt 7.25 sliding)
Router w Table (Bosch 1617)

I’m thinking I would eventually like to add the following things:
Spindle Sander
Disc Sander
Bandsaw
Jointer
Planer
Drill Press

I’m having trouble deciding which order I want to save up for them. I don’t have the means to buy more than one every 6 months or so. I mostly use Lowes pine, plywood, or S3S hardwood from a local mill.

What are your recommendations for me?


32 replies so far

View Andre's profile

Andre

3254 posts in 2490 days


#1 posted 01-29-2020 02:49 PM

Chisels (Stanley S/W good to start with), hand planes (start with a 60 1/2 or a LN 102) and sharpening system. IMHO

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

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chipmafia

8 posts in 312 days


#2 posted 01-29-2020 02:52 PM



Chisels (Stanley S/W good to start with), hand planes (start with a 60 1/2 or a LN 102) and sharpening system. IMHO

- Andre

Sorry – guess I should have added those things to my list! I have a set of chisels and sharpening system. I also have a block plane. I probably want to get a jack plane and smoothing plane as well – but plan to do most of that using power tools.

View CWWoodworking's profile

CWWoodworking

676 posts in 863 days


#3 posted 01-29-2020 03:00 PM

if Your gonna make furniture for money, I think flattening glued up panels. How are you doing that in a time frame that makes money?

People like nice finishes, how are you finishing?

If you buy lumber pre-dressed, no need for a jointer, to a lesser extent a planer.

If you use a lot of plywood, how are you processing panels efficiently?

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chipmafia

8 posts in 312 days


#4 posted 01-29-2020 03:02 PM



if Your gonna make furniture for money, I think flattening glued up panels. How are you doing that in a time frame that makes money?

People like nice finishes, how are you finishing?

If you buy lumber pre-dressed, no need for a jointer, to a lesser extent a planer.

If you use a lot of plywood, how are you processing panels efficiently?

- CWWoodworking

Because of my novice level, I don’t really have categories to answer your questions. I’d love to hear your input on the subject. I mostly make sure my panels are smooth during the glue up, and fix issues with the sander.

View Rich1955's profile

Rich1955

95 posts in 75 days


#5 posted 01-29-2020 03:10 PM

I think you have to look at what type of joinery you want to do. If your going to use mortise and tenon, or dovetail, I would suggest a good set of chisel’s ( Stanley Sweetheart chisels are a good choice) but like any other cutting tool, you’ll have to spend time sharpening them, so a good set of stones will be required. Always remember to flatten and polish the back of the chisel’s first otherwise it will never get sharp. I learned woodworking with mostly hand tools before i bought machines. I feel it improved my woodworking, and gave me the skill to make better furniture. Im by no means a professional woodworker, but my father was, and he produced some of the best pieces i’ve ever seen. Good luck, and looking to see some of your projects in the future!

-- Rich

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

8795 posts in 2834 days


#6 posted 01-29-2020 03:16 PM


I m thinking I would eventually like to add the following things:
Spindle Sander
Disc Sander
Bandsaw
Jointer
Planer
Drill Press

I m having trouble deciding which order I want to save up for them. I don t have the means to buy more than one every 6 months or so. I mostly use Lowes pine, plywood, or S3S hardwood from a local mill.

What are your recommendations for me?

- chipmafia

In order:

Planer
Bandsaw
Jointer
Drill Press
Spindle Sander
Disc Sander

Getting a planer lets you buy rough stock which is cheaper and will save you money in the long run. Plus you aren’t limited to 3/4” boards. You can make a planer sled to get by without a jointer for a while. Then Bandsaw so you can cut curves and resaw. Get a minimum 14” size. And a riser block if you plan to resaw. Then Jointer so you can easier make boards flat and one square edge. Even buying presurfaced lumber isn’t always flat/square.

I would also add a better table saw in there, probably after getting a jointer. While the dewalt is a nice jobsite saw, it’s still a jobsite saw.

Pick up a cheap handplane for flattening panel glue ups. Takes forever with a sander, but a #5 for $20-50 will do the job quickly and leave you with a true flat surface.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View them700project's profile

them700project

236 posts in 1703 days


#7 posted 01-29-2020 03:17 PM

Clamps
Planer
Clamps
Bandsaw
Clamps
Jointer
Clamps
Drill Press
Clamps

Sanders may never be needed(they are nice to have but can be skipped

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chipmafia

8 posts in 312 days


#8 posted 01-29-2020 03:21 PM

Thank you all for your advice regarding hand tools. I have started to dabble in that, and I’ve enjoyed it. About the most complicated joinery I’ve tried is dados and half-laps, but I’ll be learning more as I go.

Any advice regarding the next power tool I should purchase from the list of tools I gave above. I’m leaning toward a bandsaw.

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

8795 posts in 2834 days


#9 posted 01-29-2020 03:23 PM



Thank you all for your advice regarding hand tools. I have started to dabble in that, and I ve enjoyed it. About the most complicated joinery I ve tried is dados and half-laps, but I ll be learning more as I go.

Any advice regarding the next power tool I should purchase from the list of tools I gave above. I m leaning toward a bandsaw.

- chipmafia

Planer. You can pick up a cheap used jigsaw for curves if needed to get you by for a bit. Nothing else will reduce thickness like a planer does.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

1049 posts in 1272 days


#10 posted 01-29-2020 03:28 PM

Buy as you need. Except for the TS, buy a cheap tool first, if it breaks, buy better. If it doesn’t break, its good enough.

Every woodworkers tool requirements vary based on what they are attempting to build and their skills. Build what you can, when you need a tool, buy it. Don’t spend your money on what others say you need, buy what you actually need. Soon you will find that you have what you need for what you actually do.

We had a thread here not too long ago about spending on the order of $10,000 on the shop. Many figured they had spent wayyyy more than that over the years.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View CWWoodworking's profile

CWWoodworking

676 posts in 863 days


#11 posted 01-29-2020 03:45 PM

I guess it depends on if you actually want to make money or just pass the time. Nothing wrong with either.

Randomly buying tools without a purpose is expensive. I made a ton of bad purchases over the years because I read various magazines or websites that said you HAVE to have this or that.

To give you an example-I don’t do mortise and tenon for the most part and card scraping/hand sanding a panel flat sounds like mid evil torcher. So me going out and buying nice chisels, planes, and sharpening station wouldn’t make sense.

Try to envision joinery and processes you see yourself doing and buy accordingly.

View sansoo22's profile

sansoo22

625 posts in 339 days


#12 posted 01-29-2020 04:25 PM

I prefer to buy used tools whenever I can. The downside to the used market is sometimes you can’t find what you need and buy something you don’t have an immediate need for because its a banger of a deal. I got my band saw before a planer because it was a really sweet deal. Instead of letting it just sit I changed my focus and found a project to use the band saw on that would challenge my skills at the time.

While the Dewalt makes one heck of a job site saw (i own the 7491RS) you may quickly find out its not up to task for large furniture projects. The table footprint and length of the fence limit accuracy for larger/longer stock. The table saw is the center piece of any good shop. Im saving to ditch my job site saw now. I needed for travel when i got it so it wasnt a bad buy but now i need a bigger beefier saw for furniture making.

I would also recommend some wood worker “soul searching” as CWWoodworking pointed out above. Getting into to both machinery and hand tools can be quite expensive. Trust me and my wallet on this one. I LOVE planes, chisels, scrapers, and plenty of other hand tools but they can add up QUICK.

That being said I think every wood worker should own a block, a 4 and a 5 size plane. Where i differ is don’t buy your first bench plane cheap. You don’t need to spend a ton but buying a well tuned 4 or 5 from someone on the forums that specializes in that will give you a great start. From there you can buy the next one cheap and tune it yourself if you want.

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chipmafia

8 posts in 312 days


#13 posted 01-29-2020 04:27 PM

The jobsite saw is also something I want to upgrade, but it’ll have to wait till I have a dedicated space. I currently share my space with the outdoors and two cars. The saw is in a closet/shed, but a bigger saw would lose that portability.

When I upgrade the tablesaw, I want to buy my last one.

View sansoo22's profile

sansoo22

625 posts in 339 days


#14 posted 01-29-2020 04:56 PM

For the DeWalt you may consider adding something like an 80/20 extruded aluminum fence that can be easily removed for storage.

Here is a project posting a fellow LJ member did about adding an auxiliary fence to a DW745 https://www.lumberjocks.com/projects/171410. I think the 7480 has a similar fence design so it should apply.

I like the 80/20 aluminum extrusion because its exactly an inch wide so if you’re doing long rips you simply add an inch when setting the fence and make your cut. I will be doing this same upgrade on my 7491 if I don’t find a suitable replacement within my budget soon.

View 4yanks's profile

4yanks

4 posts in 3030 days


#15 posted 01-29-2020 10:08 PM

If I was you I would get them in this order:
Jointer
Planer
Bandsaw
Drill Press
Spindle Sander
Disc Sander

IMO a planer without a jointer (power or hand plane) has limited utility. A planer makes surfaces that are parallel to each other, without being flattened first those parallel surfaces will be just as warped as the rough sawn stock that went in it. A jointer and planer together allow you to make stock 4 squared, which is pretty important in furniture making.

-- Willie, Morehead City, NC

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