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  • Building My Shop - What Should The Next Tool Be?

    I have long dabbled in woodworking but have never committed to it. Early this year I purchased a TS3660 at a bargain price from HD. I also have on order a Bench Dog router extension table under which I will mount a new Milwaukee 5625 3 1/4 HP router. This is the extent of my big shop tools (have a cheap 10" mitre saw, circular saw, Ridgid 2 1/4 router, drills).

    Setting aside dust collection for now -- im still punking around with a shop vac -- what would be the next tool you would add to this combination? Im struggling with the idea of a nice dovetail or M/T jig (e.g., Super FMT or Omnijig) or another power tool. Drill press? Band Saw? Jointer? Planer? Sander? After making a table and low budget chest, I really do want to jump in and start making some cabinets/furniture.

    Im getting a $500 HD gift card after turning AMEX points. That is basically the limit of my budget. Your thoughts are appreciated.

    Matt

  • #2
    Re: Building My Shop - What Should The Next Tool Be?

    Drill press for sure.
    What kind of air do you have?nail guns? Ridgid had a compressor with 2 nail guns for 2 and change not very long ago

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    • #3
      Re: Building My Shop - What Should The Next Tool Be?

      I have an old 20 Gallon Campbell Husfield Compressor that I have had for 15 years. I keep it out in my shed. Have a brad nailer and a framing nailer. Nothing inbetween. Was considering the PC 3-gun combo / comrpessor at HD but was wondering if I would be satisifed with that compressor.

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      • #4
        Re: Building My Shop - What Should The Next Tool Be?

        My opinion,

        get the tool that will help you with your next project,
        IF cabinets are the project, what are you wanting to do with them that you do not have the tools or tooling to do now,
        dovetail drawers?
        a Kreg jig or biscuit cutter, for assembly of the fronts,
        Shaper and cutters for making panel doors,

        if your next project was a rocking chair, maybe a band saw.

        yes it is nice to just buy to complete a dream shop, but if you do not have projects that use the tools, then why the tools.

        years ago when I was a kid, I wanted a wood lath, I bought a "Gil Bilt" kit, and made a wood lath, I so wanted it I dreamed it drew it out and I just knew that was my next tool,
        I finally got it and built it and turned out about half dozen candle holders, and have hardly turned it on the last 45+ years, I just have so few projects that need a wood lath, and I still have a dream to build a nice super duty one, why I really do not know, but I have collected 10" channel iron for the bed and have plans for the head stock and how to fix it so I an turn out board, with it and use a "free standing rest that one would stand on it base for extra stability, and be able to turn a table top or some thing up to 4 to 5 foot across, It is a dream, I do not even know if I would ever us it,

        but when I added my shaper to my shop I had a bunch of special panel doors I needed to make, and when I added my drill press, I had a project that took a lot of need for straight holes, the same for most of my other tools I had a projected need and I bought a tool that would fill that need,

        If you have a dream and can afford it get it, but if you have a need get a tool that will fill that need, that is what I would focus on, you may not have the same problem I have but I seem to have more tool wants than wallet filler.

        people develop a way of doing things, and usually there are many ways to accomplish some thing, so I would figure out the project, and then figure out how you want to accomplish it, and add to fulfill that need,
        for example when I built my first set of cabinets I used lap joints for the face frames, just a table saw and a wood chisel,
        the laps I felt were to time consuming even with a dado head,
        then I went to dowels, first had a hand type doweling jig, then I bought a foot powered twin head doweling machine (it worked well but lacked accuracy IMO), the Kreg jig I think is a good compromise between strength and accuracy and speed, for non heirloom type projects,
        now I use the Kreg Jig

        I want a hollow chisel mortise, some time for the Heirloom type projects, but have not parted with the $$ to achieve that, as I have other methods to make it work, but maybe some day.

        good luck with your choice,

        yes I do buy some dream tools from time to time, but for the most part I buy tools that will be used and will help me accomplish or add to my skills,
        Last edited by BHD; 11-27-2009, 07:08 PM.
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        • #5
          Re: Building My Shop - What Should The Next Tool Be?

          Originally posted by BHD View Post
          My opinion,

          get the tool that will help you with your next project,
          That is what I have done and it works great. But if you just have to get another tool with no project in mind get a good 3 knive planer. I bought one this year and being able to buy lumber rough has saved me the cost in just one project. If you get one, get a duel speed. I bought the Craftsman 13 1/2", 3 knive, two speed with digital readout (not worth it, battery powered and it eats power). I then bought a cheap drill press for $79 that works great for drilling mortises. (I just did a living room set that had over 150 mortises).

          Good Luck
          Charles

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          • #6
            Re: Building My Shop - What Should The Next Tool Be?

            Thanks. I take it you rate the craftsman planer ahead of the Ridgid? I think the ridgid is just two knives.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Building My Shop - What Should The Next Tool Be?

              the ridgid 13" planer is a 3 cutter head machine:

              http://www.ridgid.com/Tools/R4330-Th...r/EN/index.htm

              i have a 13" craftsman pro that i got on clearance for $120 that is a 2 blade cutter head machine:

              http://www.managemyhome.com/mmh/lis_...M/L0408455.pdf


              works just fine and is made by the same company (colovos co. ) that makes this for grizzly:

              http://www.grizzly.com/images/manuals/g0689_m.pdf

              only diffeence is the location of the height scale and the absense of the power height adjuster that's on the craftsman. planers are primarily useful if working with resawn or non-dimensional lumber. if that's the direction your woodworking is heading (furniture from rough sawn material), then a jointer and a planer will make life quite a bit easier. so, in a way , i agree with BHD.
              there's a solution to every problem.....you just have to be willing to find it.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Building My Shop - What Should The Next Tool Be?

                Thanks Much. I think my next project is to fix up a kitchen in another house I am renting. I need to make a custom sink base to fit a tight spot so I can also get in an 18" dishwasher next to it. Because of that, I am going ahead doing all new cabinets. Basically a sink base, over the fridge wall cabinent, another base of 36", wall cabinet over that, and then a custom shallow depth base and wall cabinet to fit on one of the walls. I think I can get most of this done with my TS, router table, and Kreg pocket hole jig.

                A drill press would be nice to do interior holes for adjustable shelves. Although I could go the pocket hole route with the drawers I may also try to do them with dovetails.

                So it seems that maybe a drill press and dovetail jig are in the works. How to spread costs across these two assuming $500 to spend.

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                • #9
                  Re: Building My Shop - What Should The Next Tool Be?

                  You state that your occupation is "attorney". What would you do if you were asked to defend a cabinetmaker in a malpractice suit? I assume you would find out everything about that occupation, what tools they use for respective projects, what are common practices etc. Now you want to be a cabinetmaker--wouldn't you do the same? Take a short course at a tech school on cabinet making or visit a cabinet shop and use your lawyer skills to find out what you need to know. The "next tool question will answer itself.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Building My Shop - What Should The Next Tool Be?

                    The order of this list will be debated but I think I would make my big tool purchases (from the list you provided) in this order or close to it.

                    Jointer?
                    Band Saw? (Use a good sabre saw until you get a BS)
                    Planer? (Needs Dust Collection or you'll be drowning in chips)
                    Drill press? (w/Mortising Attachment)
                    Sander? (Need DC for most stationary sanders)
                    ---------------
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                    • #11
                      Re: Building My Shop - What Should The Next Tool Be?

                      Thanks Bob. Thats helpful.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Building My Shop - What Should The Next Tool Be?

                        That would depend on what tools you already have.

                        Dust collection would be the first thing to consider. DC and a air filtration unit.

                        Clamps, more clamps and just to be safe, get a few more clamps.

                        As for power tools, that will depend on what you plan on building. Some folks, many if not most, consider the table saw the workhorse of the shop. Others will claim the bandsaw is equally versatile.

                        Then of course there is that whole budget quagmire.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Building My Shop - What Should The Next Tool Be?

                          [QUOTE=SpiffPeters;264889]That would depend on what tools you already have.
                          Clamps, more clamps and just to be safe, get a few more clamps.QUOTE]


                          When I first started woodworking I thought I had bought enough clamps. Nope......went out and bought more and next project not enough.........was looking for more and at a garage sale found 10 Pony 3/4" pipe clamps with 4' and 8' pipe for $40. Just finished a mission living room furniture project and need more clamps.
                          Last edited by NW Diver; 12-04-2009, 06:21 PM.
                          Charles

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                          • #14
                            Re: Building My Shop - What Should The Next Tool Be?

                            Kreg jig for face frames. Not near as good as mortise and tenon (my opinion, some swear by pocket screws) but much faster.

                            A decent dovetail jig. Dovetail drawers are a traditional hallmark of quality woodworking,. Check out the MLCS plate jigs... not much $$. Leigh and Omnijig are great but *phew* expensive.

                            Two automotive quality spray guns. A finish gun (high end - SATA, DeVilbiss, Binks, Sharpe) and a "detail" or "jamb" gun. Add a water separator, new hose (with no oil in it!!) and a good respirator. Spend some time learning to spray. Waaaaaay faster than wet-sanding and hand-rubbing, and that will matter a lot on your kitchen project.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Building My Shop - What Should The Next Tool Be?

                              Well, how could anyone survive without an air compressor??? get one bigger than you need... you won't be disappointed. Then you should get a decent finish nailer. A drill press is basic. Get some decent drill bits and sanding drums. Paint guns are great but wouldn't be my priority... A dado set for your table saw...

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