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When do I 'graduate' ?

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  • When do I 'graduate' ?

    Hello all -

    I'm very much enjoying woodworking - I've got a few projects under my belt, and looking forward to a lifetime more. I have a tool question - when do I cross over from buying God-awfully-expensive wood from big box stores, and get to start milling my own? I'd like to know what tools I need to make it. I have everything I "need" to build projects, but lumber is costing me an arm and a leg. I don't have a jointer, planer, or a bandsaw - if I get a jointer, is it pointless if I don't also have a planer? Or vice versa? Any other 'big' tools I need to buy/salvage rough lumber? The only big boys I have are the Ridgid TS2400 (love it love it love it) and the MS1095 (meh, not impressed).

    Also, if I have to make a choice, should I get a portable belt sander, or a benchtop disc/belt model?

    Thanks all for the help

  • #2
    Re: When do I 'graduate' ?

    Funny thing about hobbies, you get to decide when it's time to move to the next step.

    I would definately urge you to get a jointer and a planer. There are other methods to edge joint and face joint but a dedicated jointer is by far the most efficient. Once you have those two tools you'll find it much easier to deal with rough sawn lumber and can enjoy the savings of buying your lumber that way. Keep in mind that even rough lumber can get expensive. This is an expensive hobby.

    As far as the hand held belt sander vs the benchtop/floor standing belt/disc sanders are concerned, I'd wait on both until you figure out if either would be benifical for you. The planer can do many of the jobs that a hand held belt sander does and the belt/disc sanders are most commonly used on smaller pieces.
    I decided to change calling the bathroom the "John" and renamed it the "Jim". I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.


    • #3
      Re: When do I 'graduate' ?

      you never really graduate it is more like you evolve, only you know where you would like to be, only you know where you are heading. but you should get a band saw, joiner, and a planner, them look for a mill near you to get rough cut lumber, or you can get logs and have the mill cut them up for you into managable boards.
      9/11/01, never forget.


      • #4
        Re: When do I 'graduate' ?

        a jointer is used to straighten or to level a board, most people use them for gluing up lumber so that the edges are straight and there are not gaps in the glue joint,

        the planer is for thickness, and to plane a rough board, to smooth,

        there are lumber dealers that are out there, and some will give discounts when lager quantities of lumber are bought, 500 to 100 BF of lumber,

        there are some other mail order places as well, or if your back east there are some times saw mills that will sell direct,

        finding sources many times seem the hardest of all,

        but you more evolve in to more and more in my opinion, there are a lot of avenues to take in the process,

        like I built a saw mill and can saw my own lumber , dry it, and plane it in to usable lumber, but when you figure the labor in a small mill and the time, really lumber is not that badly priced if your not using industaral machinery for the processing,
        Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
        "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
        attributed to Samuel Johnson
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        • #5
          Re: When do I 'graduate' ?

          You can joint boards easily with a straight edge and router. First purchase should be a planer. Then decide if you need the jointer. I tried one and got rid of it. You mentioned "salvage wood" You MUST be real carful with used wood for nails and screws buried in it. Planer or jointer blade get real expensive when you hit metal pieces and with a router or table saw they can throw the metal pieces at you. Band saws come in handy, but are not nesc. for cabinet or furniture building. If you lived closer I would give you a Delta belt/disc sander, I got one of Ridgids OSS/Belt units. LOL
          info for all: --- "I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me."