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Tool Purchasing Priorities

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  • Tool Purchasing Priorities

    Hi, Gang,

    Nice to stumble across you. I was trying to decide between a Ridgid TS2424 and a comparable Grizzly, but have decided to do the Ridgid, for the features vs. price, based upon y'alls experiences.

    I'm setting up a new shop in my garage, which is attached to my house. My plan is to purchase the TS 2424, the 13" Ridgid Planer and air filtration/dust control system. Those seem the highest priorities to me, as I have ready access to a lumber mill and am planning to build mission/arts & crafts style furniture, plus shelving, etc.

    I'm also thinking that I can adapt my Rotozip to be a plunge router, tho the accessory is $60+, so it would probably be just as well to purchase a router, but I'm not seeing a need for that with my immediate mission style projects.

    Any thoughts?

    Glad to meet you all...ain't technology wonderful?


  • #2
    Hello UberX,
    You might want to take a look at issue #153 of Fine Woodworking. It is there Tools&Shops edition. In it they list 5 essential power tools for starting a workshop. It probaly is not to everyone's liking but it is good information. I agree with the tablesaw and planer but don't bother with the Rotozip. Get yourself a good fixed base or plunge router. The router can be one of the most versatile tools in your shop so I don't think the Rotozip will serve too well working double duty. Hope this helps.

    Happy Sawdust



    • #3

      I agree with Greg. You'll get MUCH better results with an actual router rather than forcing a Rotozip into that role. The router is such an important tool that you'll want one designed for it's purposes. Making mission style furniture means you'll be using a lot of oak. For some routing processes you'll be making multiple passes to ensure clean cuts. I'd hate think of how many passes you'd have to make with a Rotozip. Plus, the RotoZip is so light and the base is so small compared to a heavier router with a solid base.
      I've got the DeWalt 621 of my most favorite tools in the shop. I also have a RotoZip (used twice, no offense meant to you RotoZip fans) and I can't imagine using it to in place of the DW621.

      Have fun. My wife is a big fan of Mission/Arts and Crafts style, and always makes it a point to mention those plans in my woodworking magazines.

      \"Last year we couldn\'t win at home.<BR>This year we can\'t win on the road.<BR>My failure as a coach is that I <BR>can\'t think of anyplace else to play.\"<BR> - Coach Harry Neale, Canucks


      • #4

        I agree with Gregg and NM will need the router. It is one of the most universal tools in the shop. You might want to make sure that you get a good one that can use both 1/2" and 1/4" collets. You will probably need a 1/2" bit for working with oak.

        Good luck to you,


        • #5
          Ditto on the router. The porter cable has served me well and the Depot has a set that includes both plunge and fixed base.

          Other priorities include a jointer, if you will be making table surfaces. There are always interim solutions for some of the larger tool purchases, like a circular or even hand saw for the chop saw, but the jointer is hard to substitute for and you will use it on almost every project.

          As far as the drill press and band saw, I have gotten away with the bench-top versions which are much cheaper and have done OK for the hobbiest.


          • #6
            I agree with the rest of the guys. A router is the second most important tool in a workshop (table saw first). I would suggest you get one of the combo units that feature a fixed and plunge base. I have the porter cable combo unit and it works great. If I had to do it again I would go with the variable speed bosch unit. There is nothing wrong with the PC unit but for $50 more you get a larger motor and variable speed. Well worth the price difference in my opinon. Depending on how much mission style furniture you will be doing you might want to put a dedicated mortiser on your list. It will save you a great bit of time. Good luck.