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Starting from scratch

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  • Starting from scratch

    I just graduated from college and I am currently seeking a job in the carpentry field. I am looking to make a shop for myself. To do some cabinetry and furniture making. Only thing holding me back is money and space. I am living with my parents right now and only place to work is in our single car garage which my mom parks her car.

    What tools would help me get started and don't take up to much space. Have a few tools now and looking at others.

  • #2
    Perhaps you should start with your hand tools. If you plan on making a living with them don't go cheep even thou you may be able to get 2 cheep tools for the price of 1 good tool. The one good tool will last a lifetime and produce better more consistant results, the same holds true for powered hand tools except I wouldn't expect them to last a lifetime but they will last many times longer than a cheep tool.

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    • #3
      Along the lines of what wbrooks was saying, if you plan on making your living with tools, stay away from the cheap bargin basement variety as their performance will disappoint you and end up costing you more in the long run.

      To start out, you might want to consider purchasing your lumber at a big box instead of a mill. By doing that, you could very easily build some nice cabinets with just a straight edge cutting jig, circular saw, drill/driver, and a random orbital sander. Throw in a couple of saw horses and a piece of ply for a workbench and you're ready to go.

      The key to buying any tool is reaearch. No mfg. offers the best of every tool available. If you compare many brands based on your needs, wants, and budget and purchase accordingly you'll end up very satisfied with all your tools. As an example of diversity, in my shop I have tools made by Bostitch,Campbell Hausfeld, Craftsman, Delta, DeWalt, Freud, Harbor Freight, Jet, Makita, Milwaukee, Porter-Cable, and Ridgid to name just a few.
      Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

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      • #4
        I have a small collection or hand tools now which I needed for school. Also I have received some powers tools from family and friends. Currently I have a DeWalt 18 volt drill/driver and a reciprocating saw, Porter-cable router and circular saw, Craftsman table saw and belt sander, GNC miter box. I have a nice little collection and have some graduation money burning in my pocket and I love my tools just wondering what else you experts would recommend getting. I currently have to put my table saw from the shed when ever I want to do any thing and the miter box is setting in the corner of our basement. I am thinking about getting the ridgid 18V Cordless Hand Planer. I was able to test this out at the International Builders show in Orlando, Florida and I really liked it.

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        • #5
          Hand held planer for rough carpentry work - OK
          Hand held planer for woodworking projects - Not OK
          Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

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          • #6
            I agree BD. I have an old craftsman that I thought was a necessary tool many years ago (necessary used to be determined mainly by what ever was 1/2 price in the sears flyer [img]redface.gif[/img] )
            I have found little use for it but it is handy for certain rough jobs. If you really want one you may want to consider a 110V model as when I do use mine it is used to hog off material and works very hard which would kill batteries. ANother thing you may want to avoid is getting too many different brands to battery tools. Although no one manufacturer has all the best tools there is something to be said for having the same battery for all your tools and only 1 charger model on your workbench.

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            • #7
              Going right along with wbrooks, a tool like a hand planer is not used frequently and you just might lose battery life from lack of use. Especially, as he notes, if the battery isn't common to another tool which gets used on a more frequent basis. Even with that, companies change batteries - Makita anyone - and you end up with a nice tool and no battery - or, at least, hard to come by and expensive (Maki... never mind). Drills contractors' portable table saw and circular saws will be your money makers in the power tool department. Be sure that you have a 1/2" drive for use with larger hole cutting saws that use the larger arbor.
              Later,
              Chiz

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              • #8
                i too have recently started out. I started with a craftsman radial arm saw for many of my woodworking projects. With it I can rip, crooscut, miter, bevel, as well as a host of other things. you may be able to shove it up against a wall in the garage and still fit ma's car in. Radial arm saws have fallen out of favor in the past years, mainly because more specialized tools can do a better job easier ( after a while you get tired of reconfiguring your equipment all the time) but as far as giving you an everything in one package that would be my suggestion. you should be able to find a decent old saw for about $200 or so, just make sure you follow some serious safety precautions as it will be a whole different tool to use and you will need to rethink from time to time.

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