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Forum topic by jacob34 posted 03-15-2012 04:47 PM 1994 views 0 times favorited 32 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View jacob34's profile


465 posts in 3149 days

03-15-2012 04:47 PM

Am I the only one to have purchased a tool just because I wanted it and then never used it? I admittedly am new to woodworking and have not done many projects in the year since starting. I purchased a lathe, honestly because while working in a machine shop making plumbing and gas fittings on a Davenport spindle machine I really enjoyed working on the lathe making parts.

So when I decided to start my shop well my wife gave me the okay to start my shop I made a list of the bench top tools I “needed” on it was a wood lathe which was not needed in anyway for the projects I planned and plan to make so far, but I wanted it. I changed my list several times taking off and adding the wood lathe until the day of purchasing the actual tools for my shop. Now I admit I purchased the wood lathe knowing that it would sit to a certain degree and that had I not done so other tools could have been purchased that after a year I see would be handy and or a better quality tool for example I purchased a 9” band saw and am looking forward all ready to a bigger one.

Anyway I was wondering if this is a common affliction for woodworkers or if I just got caught up ignoring the focus I wanted to go with in my shop.

-- so a bear and a rabbit are sitting on a log

32 replies so far

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3856 days

#1 posted 03-15-2012 05:25 PM

Not just woodworkers.
I think there is an affliction some people have called pack.rat.itus.
i.e. Years ago I got into bicycling.
I couldn’t stop aquiring stuff till I had a complete range of bikes, tools, and related gear.
.. then it was hiking and camping
.... then it was kayaking
Now it’s woodworking.
But, I think I am not looking for anything else now.
Wodworking is completely fulfilling for me.
I realize I have way more to do than I could ever have time for.

View Bertha's profile


13588 posts in 3578 days

#2 posted 03-15-2012 05:26 PM

Do it all the time, brother. I’ve bought tools that I KNEW I wouldn’t use, lol.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View willie's profile


534 posts in 3339 days

#3 posted 03-15-2012 05:29 PM

If I got rid of the tools that didn’t get used on a regular basis, my shop would be empty. You’ll find yourself buying tools when you need them and when you can get a deal on them. When properly cared for, tools will not go bad sitting on the shelf. I have found that it’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it! I buy most of my tools used and spend a LOT less than new and generally get better tools. Unless it’s something you know youl’ll never use, buy when you can and look for the deals. You can never have too many tools!!!

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

View Domer's profile


252 posts in 4252 days

#4 posted 03-15-2012 05:31 PM

I am on my 4th table saw, 5th band saw and second planer. I wish I had bought better tools a long time ago. It just seems to be part of the deal.

There have been a few tools that I bought and had sit around but finally started using.

I can’t buy any more as I don’t have any room but if I had 10,000 sq ft, I think I would fill it up too.

It’s an obsession that only Formaldehyde will cure.


View pintodeluxe's profile


6211 posts in 3698 days

#5 posted 03-15-2012 05:31 PM

I changed the way I buy tools because of this. Now I focus on what I want to make, and buy the tools I need to accomplish that end. My wife is great at helping me with this. She will say…”How will that make the project look better?” If I can’t answer her, I probably don’t need the tool.


-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View jacob34's profile


465 posts in 3149 days

#6 posted 03-15-2012 06:04 PM

Pintodeluxe I am seriously excited one day to have a 14” bandsaw. And my wife is my common sense as well instead of asking how it will fit into the project she asks didn’t you buy something already that does that and if now what are all my tools for then.

Domer I think we are all locked into that we want as much as we can get and sacrifice quality or just simply cannot afford it.

Bertha like I said I did the same thing I knew the type of projects planned and that I wanted to do in the future and a wood lathe was not important to any of them and not used on 98% of them.

-- so a bear and a rabbit are sitting on a log

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5310 posts in 4846 days

#7 posted 03-15-2012 06:08 PM

ME? Never. Wanna buy a 1 gal. pancake compressor?

-- [email protected]

View Don W's profile

Don W

19726 posts in 3453 days

#8 posted 03-15-2012 06:26 PM

I’m with Bill. I need every one of those 9 #5 Stanley planes right along with the 100 plus other planes I have. And who doesn’t need 12 or so (really who’s counting) vintage braces. And I used that circular saw blade sharpener once. Really I did.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 3191 days

#9 posted 03-15-2012 08:24 PM

I can’t speak for everyone, mainly cause my wife says I’m an idiot, and the less I speak the better of I am, LOL. I buy 2 of everything, ( okay maybe I am an idiot). I have a fear that whatever I am using will die half way through the project. I have the same TS I’ve had for 20+ years, but I also have a bench top in case that dies suddenly bought them both around the same time, 3 routers, 8 cordless screw guns, 2 grinders, ( used 1 once in the last 15 years) the list goes on and on. I am a tool freak, I gotta have it whatever it is, do I need 20 hand planes? probably not.

One last thing if it looks cool I will invent a reason for buying it, my shop is 20 X 20 don’t need 2 16 gallon shop vacs but I got’em. I also buy top of the line, ( could be whim broke;-D) in the beginning I bought cheap tools and paid dearly for that mistake, never again. If you take anything away from this post take this, BUY GOOD TOOLS! Good saws, good chisels, marking equipment etc, you will thank me.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View wee3's profile


76 posts in 3157 days

#10 posted 03-15-2012 11:14 PM

Same as the above replies,got to have the newest gizmo,3 skilsaws,4 different drills,5 different hammers,for each task,but heres the catch ? i only have 2 hands.good luck.

-- BiLL @wee3

View getlostinwood's profile


224 posts in 3487 days

#11 posted 03-16-2012 12:37 AM

After working with cheap tools I cannot second the above enough. Buy tools that will last a lifetime and that will usually lead to older used tools. Best part is you will usually have to open them up a bit and this will teach you about your tools and let you build your shop with higher quality and dollar stretching.

-- The basis for optimism is shear terror

View Dusty56's profile


11859 posts in 4573 days

#12 posted 03-16-2012 12:52 AM

Craigslist is my friend…both for buying used and selling used equipment : )
I don’t NEED to have everything brand new and spit shined, although I have learned that quality tools are the way to go. The OLD IRON is the best iron : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Doss's profile


779 posts in 3150 days

#13 posted 03-16-2012 03:58 AM

I buy “extras” all the time. If I run across an awesome deal, I’ll buy it if only to resell it later… but then I end up storing it and never selling it (case in point, I have 3 exactly the same cordless hammer drills NIB).

I also buy oddities or things I think look good even if I have no intention of using it.

I have learned this from working on cars for so long; there will come a time when you need that thingamajig you didn’t buy and you’ll kick yourself for not buying it for a deal. I have extra sockets and wrenches that I use for nothing more than hitting with a hammer, welding together for a “special-use” tool, or just because I don’t feel like walking to my tool closet (I’ll keep extra ratchet sets and wrenches in my truckbox just so I don’t have to walk across the carport).

Is that lazy? Nah. It’s just being efficient at the expense of money and storage.

Buy what you want and maybe you’ll use it just one time… but that one time may make that purchase entirely worth it.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View RandyM68's profile


693 posts in 3203 days

#14 posted 03-16-2012 04:14 AM

Jacob, I use to run a Davenport, too, 15 or 20 years ago. And a bunch of other screw machines . I bought a wood lathe for home and I don’t really remember ever using it. I sold it to a guy at work years ago, and I don’t think he ever used it either. I buy tools all the time just because they are too cheap to pass up. I almost never buy anything new, I hit the pawn shops and thrift stores regularly. They all know me around here and a few even call me if they have some tools or furniture they think I might be interested in. You wouldn’t believe the stuff people get rid of. I love ‘em. I see stuff that people bought brand new and barely used, all the time. If the price is right, I’ll snap it up. even if I don’t know what I’ll use it for. How much do you want for that lathe?

-- I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you. I'm sorry,thanks.

View devann's profile


2250 posts in 3578 days

#15 posted 03-16-2012 06:25 AM

I’m the flip side of the coin Jake. Admittedly, being a tool tightwad I’ll never buy any tool unless it’s going to be putting $$ back in my pocket in short order. But I do have friends like you and sometimes they loan me a tool if it’s some minor task. Thank goodness for folks like you.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

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