What Tool to Buy Next? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 08:36 AM Thread Starter
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Default What Tool to Buy Next?

I know what you're going to say. "What kind of work do you plan on doing?" I like to get a new tool and see what I can do with it. I'm more interested in building up my skill-set than working any one specific project. Which do you think would be the most fun to experiement with and also which do you think gets the most use on your shop? So far I have a fairly small collection: circular saw, jigsaw, router, oscillating tool, dremel, miter saw. Some that I've had my eye on are drill press, band saw, scrollsaw, table saw.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 09:17 AM
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a Table Saw is always first on my list. It is the most verstile tool in the shop

Learning is an exciting adventure
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 09:36 AM
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It will depend a lot on what you will be making, but I'll put your "want" list in order if you will be doing the more common woodworking projects, like furniture making. If your budget is tight you may find that buying these new is not possible. If this is the case, don't settle for the cheapest poorly made tool that you can find. Instead, look for a good condition used tool. It may take more time to find the right one, and you may need to do some minor repairs, but you will have a much better and larger tool that will be safer and more accurate in the end.

OK, this is the order that I would buy the tools in "your want list".

First should be a good table saw because you will find that you will use it more than any other power tool in your shop. Buy a 10 inch "Contractor saw", a "hybrid saw" or a "cabinet saw" with a 1 1/2 hp or larger motor. Avoid buying the benchtop saws because in most cases these saws are under powered and not accurate enough for good woodworking. A good accurate table saw is safer and makes a big difference in the satisfaction level of your woodworking.

The drill press should come next because you will need straight holes and you can add an edge sanding drum. A benchtop 14" or larger size should handle most of your needs for a while, unless you get into lamp making, but it should have a 1/2 hp or larger motor.

Third would be a bandsaw. It should be a 12" or larger model with a 1/2 hp or larger motor as the smaller bandsaws are not accurate and do not hold up well.

Last should be a scroll saw, unless you plan on doing a large amount of intricate circle and arc cutting in thin (1/2" or less) wood for a special project. These are great fun tools if this is the type of woodworking that you want to do, but it will gather dust (like mine) most of the time if you have other interests. They are very handy for making router templates though.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 09:56 AM Thread Starter
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Charley - That's exactly what I was looking for. I guess I'll be saving up for a decent table saw for a while. Those are beyond expensive. Thanks for the info.

Last edited by kawisser; 02-07-2012 at 10:01 AM.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 10:28 AM
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Get a band saw so you can get irregular shapes and re saw with it.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 11:33 AM
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Table saw - heartbeat of the shop. A good one can be had for less than you think used.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 11:37 AM
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You won't find anything more challenging than a wood lathe....and more fun.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 12:26 PM
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Well...IMHO...we bought a Ryobi 7.25" miter saw last month. Why? More accurate cuts and soft start. All our 10" compound miter saws jump start and can be tough to get real accurate cuts with.

The 7.25" world of blades available everywhere is a help. Cheaper, too.

For cabinet face frame work, we do everything on that new Ryobi.

IMHO
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 12:35 PM
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Look on craigslist for used table saws. There are a ton of Craftsman contractor saws (cast iron top, belt driven, on a set of legs) out there that were built by Emerson and are good machines. I bought one a couple years ago, put a new fence on it, and have been very happy with it.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 02:32 PM
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Kevin, there is no substitute for a table saw. With a couple of easy to build jigs you will find it invaluable for your projects.

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