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Forum topic by TopShelf posted 01-29-2013 12:53 PM 1328 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View TopShelf's profile


13 posts in 2220 days

01-29-2013 12:53 PM

Hi all,

First post here. Like so many others before me, new to the craft and looking to set up shop. I’ve worked construction since I was old enough to crawl and carry a hammer at the same time, understood that woodworking is a far cry from my previous experience. Hell, if someone gave me a measurement to the 1/16 my reply was “Dude, I’m not building a freaking piano here, 1/8’s are close enough…” Well, now I’m “building piano’s”.

First off what I’m looking to build: Built in bookcases/shelves, computer desks/work areas, stand alone bookcases and at some point a fine dining room table and a set of chairs. I will be doing this work in my own home, once I’m done I’d like to continue on and see about making some money doing the same type of work. I will not be doing this as a hobby, would like to set myself up to make income with these tools eventually.

Space: I’ve got a 3 car garage, absolutely must keep one open for break downs and regular maintenance, so looking at 1 and 1/2 garages that can be used. Would like to keep most everything on a mobile base. Power considerations aren’t that big of a deal, can install 220 wherever needed.

I’m looking to start out with the following:

A good table saw I figure is a must; looking at the Grizzly G1023RL.

A good jointer: looking at the Grizzly G0490X (like the idea of the spiral head, don’t want to spend time setting up and sharpening blades)

A good planer: Not sure what to do here. Would I be fine with a bench top like the Grizzly G0505 or better off with a stand alone deal like the G0453 PX or the G1037Z. Keeping in mind the blades, would I be better off with the G0505 with an upgraded cutter head or even the G1037Z with an upgraded cutter head?

A good 14” band saw: looking at the Grizzly G0555CP or LX. I’d love to be able to spend a little less here, just haven’t had time to research which saws have favorable reviews for less cost, opinions here welcomed.

A good drill press: looking at the Grizzly G7945 or G7946, like the radial capability. Again would like to spend as little as possible here keeping the radial capability, just haven’t had time to look around and would like opinions on other brands.

A good dust removal system. As stated earlier, 1 and 1/12 garages, would only be running one machine at a time, would like to keep unit as portable as possible, thinking something in the 1 1/2-2 HP range would suffice, need advice on size and brands.

A good router and basic table. Haven’t looked at these at all. Looking for advice on brands,

At some point once I’m done with the bookcase/shelves would like to get a Mortiser for the furniture/ table builds, but that is a little down the road.

I’m signed up at several other forums and am planning on reposting this to get as much advice as possible. So if you see this exact same post on other forums, it’s me looking for as many opinions as possible.

Ya’ll please bear with me as I will be asking tons of newbie questions here shortly as I move ahead with this.

Thank you for your replies

10 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5308 posts in 2764 days

#1 posted 01-29-2013 01:01 PM

I don’t disagree with any of your choices, I would stay with a stationary planer…and I like the spiral head. For the RT, gibe some thought to a Milwaukee 5625. The PC 7518 is/was the standard, but I think the Milwaukee is challenging it’s position. But for the DC, give this some more thought. You will find a wide range of opinions on DC, none of them wrong but all based on that person’s individual criteria. That criteria might be “I want to avoid sweeping the floor” on one end, to “I want to capture and contain every possible spec of dust” on the other. I tend toward the capture and contain end, so my suggestions would be very different from those at the other end. I would suggest a 3HP cyclone, and suggest you read a lot at the Bill Pentz site before you commit (start at the FAQ section). A DC system can be a sizable investment, probably more than any other single tool so give it some thought.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3137 days

#2 posted 01-29-2013 01:14 PM

Welcome to Lumberjocks. In addition to what you have selected you’ll want a chop saw a selection of the basic portable power tools and don’t forget the hand tools. You should buy the best tools that you can afford. You should also have at least two or three routers and use one of them to build a router table. On around the corner you might want a lathe and a morticing machine, a belt disc sander, and a spindle sander. Aren’t you going to have fun? I wish you well on your shop.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3241 days

#3 posted 01-29-2013 02:15 PM

Only thing I could add to this line of thought is, since you plan to do this as a profession, I would give serious thought to a SawStop table saw.

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3429 days

#4 posted 01-29-2013 02:29 PM

Routers – Milwaukee 5625 for table, Bosch 1617 combo for handheld, and a trim/laminate router (I love my DeWalt 611)

Dust Collection – it’s hard to beat the $150 2hp Harbor Freight version…at least until you figure something “better.” This way, you avoid the paralysis by analysis syndrome that is commonplace when contemplating DC systems.

Mortiser – You can use either drill press/forstner bits/chisels or router/chisel…I think this is an area where you can waste money if you aren’t careful. Many low end mortisers can’t hold up with hardwoods…which, I believe, is the reason many people use the other methods…many even opting to build their own router-based machines. I once used my father’s mortiser on oak and thought it was worthless…he only used it on pine, so he was less bothered by it than I was.

Hand tools – You will need them…good chisels and beater chisels, a good quality block plane, files/rasps, card scrapers, and hand saws (of many types). I consider bench planes as optional in a power tool world, but they can actually be better and faster in certain situations. I wouldn’t want to be without my smoothing and jack planes, in the very least. Good measuring and marking tools are also required.

Planer – It’s hard to beat the DeWalt 735, but if you need more capacity then stationary is the way to go. But since I got my Performax 22/44 thickness sander, it solidified my notion that I’ll never need a larger planer. The sander has become my MVP recently…and you’d have to pry it from my cold, dead hands! Something to think about.

Stationary Power Tools – It’s hard to go wrong with any of your choices, though many will argue to be careful with tools that aren’t made in the good oil’ USA. I have a friend with that exact same jointer who is on his 3rd motor…and he is Belgian, by nationality, so he has less bias than the rest of us red-neck Texans around here. ;)

Bonus Info – Sometimes I think I could be an a Incra salesman, but the amount of time their table saw fence/router fence have saved me is really difficult to quantify; it’s beyond imagination. When you consider your table saw and router table, I would give heavy thought to adding those tools. My Incra TSLS is the best tool in my shop. Additionally, stationary sanders shouldn’t be overlooked. I already mentioned a thickness sander, but the little Ridgid Spindle sander has become one of the best $200 I’ve ever spent on a tool.

-- jay,

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 2219 days

#5 posted 01-29-2013 02:47 PM

dust collection should be top priority no less than 2 hp
mine is 3 with a 14” impeller (watch out small kids and dogs)

never over look a good use machine. it looks like you have a pile of money to throw at it. they are all over CL. I have bought almost all my large machines used. it may take some time but there are tons of machines out there and most are better quality and easier serviceability than the new stuff.

800$ 3 hp powermatic cabinet saw left tilt and it has a full 3’ x 7’ cast top with a 54” t-square fence and mobile base also a new motor

225$ performax 25×2 dual drum sander
250$ parts to rebuild
ended up selling for 1100$ due to lack of use and large foot print

300$ 12” folley & bellsaw 5hp planer moulder

125$ 6” delta rockwell jointer 1/2 hp

275$ HF 14” band saw with 4 speed step pulley 1 hp (new)

75$ craftsmen stand up drill press 1/2 hp

75$ craftsmen 6×48 belt sander with 9” disk 3/4 hp

300$ I source all the bits and pieces to build a clear view type cyclone dust collector

happy hunting

View TopShelf's profile


13 posts in 2220 days

#6 posted 01-30-2013 12:31 PM

Thank you for the welcome and the replies. Great advice here. I have been poking around on CL for while, but there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot available in my area but will continue to keep an eye out.

Cosmic, I had thought about the Incra stuff. It just kills me that one would need an aftermarket fence on a tool that should be set up already to go. But is seems like no matter what brand, folks say to add an Incra.
Also on the Jointer, that’s kind of the first I’ve heard of folks having major problems with the motor like that. Is there another brand that you’d recommend that is more reliable?
My only hesitation with a bench top model planer is whether or not it will hold up to the amount of work that I plan on doing. Also, if it would hold up, are spiral heads available? Don’t care much for the upkeep on HSS blades, like the idea of the carbon.

Again, fellas thanks a million.

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 2783 days

#7 posted 01-30-2013 12:58 PM

Topshelf looks like you are on the right track when it comes to buying machinery, I’d focus on the main machinery at first and then venture into the other upgrades as needed, only thing that I can suggest is that if possible and applicable a stand-alone shop apposed to a garage but that’s only due to the sawdust generated.

I started off buying HF and have since weeded out most as precision is key and you’re not going to get that with the low end equipment as I’ve discovered during my time as a woodworker there’s a huge difference.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3556 days

#8 posted 01-30-2013 02:24 PM


Welcome to LJ’s. It looks like you’ve already done a lot of homework checking out equipment and you’ve had some real good advice from fellow woodworkers. I see some of your first projects on your list to build has a lot to do with sheet goods; built-in bookcases/shelves, computer desk/work areas, free standing bookcases and eventually doing some furniture. Also, you plan on starting out doing this more as a hobby for yourself but eventually move towards making a living/business from woodworking.

When selecting tools (power or hand), keep in mind, doing woodworking for yourself and doing woodworking for a living is a totally different story as far as type equipment you may use or need. The type of woodworking you plan on doing is very important also as to what you should invest in now and what to invest in later on. It’s easier to invest in tools as you determine what you really need from the daily use and the accuracy you will need and expect from each.

You will see working in a garage type shop is very restricting when it comes to handling sheet goods and long lengths of lumber. Building a table from solid stock will be a lot easier to manage then breaking down sheet goods for a big project like a set of bookcases or built-ins. You can do all that in your garage now, but when it comes time to making money from your woodworking, time spent processing lumber will play an important role and you may find your garage will limit you.

The more you get into woodworking, you will soon realize that you will have as much money, if not more invested in all the small tools and accessories needed as you will in the large machines you have. Leave room in your budget for that.

Good luck and keep us posted on your progress and hope to see some of your projects in the future.

-- John @

View TopShelf's profile


13 posts in 2220 days

#9 posted 01-31-2013 12:42 PM

Thanks folks. Some really good advice from you.
Huff, great advice. That is exactly what I’m trying to avoid is purchasing something that will be fine for light duty but won’t hold up down the road. That’s why I’m willing to spend now to save on an upgrade later. Just hoping that I’ve got everything nailed down.

I failed to mention sanders. I’m thinking about a good bench top combo rather than a floor/drum deal. I figure that I could get more use out of a combo and have $$ leftover to get a good hand held belt sander to do what I would need to do with the floor/drum deal. Thoughts on this?

Again, thanks a million..

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30221 posts in 2609 days

#10 posted 01-31-2013 12:55 PM

Welcome to LJ’s

Ask away. That’s how we gett to know you and visa versa. Once you spend much time on this site you’ll find yourself trying things you never thought you could. It’s really addictive. Looking forward to talking to you.

You have the right idea by focusing on a certain type of projects. Too many people try to do too many different things at once. You can and probably will venture into the other types of woodworking as time goes on.

Best of luck to you.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

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