Tools for my workshop?

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Forum topic by Woodshead posted 09-20-2020 11:28 PM 344 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 86 days

09-20-2020 11:28 PM

Another Newbie here looking for advice on setting up a workshop in one half of my unfinished basement which is about 20×22 with a few lally columns in the middle (I’m thinking this space might not be big enough?). I’m looking for advise on buying power tools. Here’s what I have; an old table saw, a bench top drill press that’s very old, compound miter saw, small bench-top router with a few bits. Hand held tools include a belt sander, palm sander, cordless drills, skill saw, biscuit joiner and a hand full of clamps. I’m planning to build a set of folding Adirondack Chairs (yes, the one from Rockler). So I think I need a Band Saw (currently comparing Grizzly and Jet – trying to stay in the $1k price range) and a Bench-top Drum and belt sanders and all the accessories for these tools like sand-paper, blades, bits, etc… plus a dust collection system, lighting and electrical outlets and still have cash left over to replace those very old power tools when they die. Then a Jointer and Thickness Planer. I have about $5000 to spend on all of this but I don’t want to spend it foolishly and regret it later. I don’t have enough knowledge to shop for used power tools with any confidence. Any suggestions on what to look for (or stay away from) and what I really need vs what I think I need would be very much appreciated. Thanks in advance!!!

6 replies so far

View SMP's profile


2664 posts in 788 days

#1 posted 09-21-2020 02:58 AM

Well how do you feel about your table saw besides old? Does it have a good fence and miter etc? Riving knife or splitter?

View Aj2's profile


3414 posts in 2681 days

#2 posted 09-21-2020 03:46 AM

Woodworking is a very expensive craft or Hobby. One would think 5k is a good entry fee unfortunately it’s not.
I would like to suggest you visit a store near that has a bandsaw or Drum sander.
Before the internet we looked towards magazines I was fortunate to have a place near me that sold the first set of machines I bought.
So that’s what I recommend find a show room and pick one.

-- Aj

View Robert's profile


4048 posts in 2363 days

#3 posted 09-21-2020 10:40 AM

The foundation of ww’ing is hand tools. Focus on those, figure on $1k to build a decent set.

If space is an issue, you can do a lot with a good bandsaw.

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

View Sylvain's profile


1083 posts in 3382 days

#4 posted 09-22-2020 07:13 AM

Before spending a lot of money on machinery, consider the hand-tool route.
Visit the Paul Sellers web sites:

Nearly everything can be done with a limited set of hand tools.
Machinery is only good for very repetitive work or working with MDF.
Otherwise, time spent in setup and jig making is mostly lost time.

That being said, if there was only one machine to have, it is the band saw.

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View ibewjon's profile


2078 posts in 3676 days

#5 posted 09-22-2020 12:36 PM

Machinery is only good for mdf and very repetitive work? Sorry, but I want to build many projects for our home and for our children. Time is a big factor in my projects. Hand tools may be nice for you, but machines make my life easier and much more productive and enjoyable. And everything is one of a kind, no repetitive mass production in ny shop.

View drsurfrat's profile


152 posts in 69 days

#6 posted 09-22-2020 01:29 PM

I’m heavily weighted with hand tools, but that wasn’t what you asked about. I have only two big power tools, a table saw and band saw. Both were used and cheap. ($100 each) – I make the table saw work well because I have a really good, sharp blade. As stated, fence and miter are very important, but often something you can get independent of your saw. – My band saw is a disappointment. So, don’t get a small one. My working height is only 4 1/2”, so I can’t resaw anything useful. It has 14” wheels, and I haven’t needed a bigger throat than that. Also, the bushings don’t support the blade so I have a lot of wander, even with a new blade.

I like Aj2’s suggestion, get your hands on one physically in a showroom, maybe even find a showroom that does demonstrations.

O yea, with used equip, make sure they are modern enough -or modernized – to be safe (knee switch, functioning electrical insulation and fuses, etc)

-- Mike (near Boston) ... Laziness is the mother of invention, necessity is the mother of exhaustion - me

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