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purchasing woodworking equipment

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  • purchasing woodworking equipment

    I am new to woodworking.I would like to purchase basic equipment to get started,for example a planer, jointer, sander, table saw, etc. I would like to know how much wood I can expect to plane and joint before wear and tear takes its toll on the equipment.

  • #2
    Emmitt---welcome to the forum and apparently, welcome to woodworking.

    One thing, first off, I'd like to say. You can start off with a minimal amount of tools and still produce useful pieces----you simply start off with simpiler projects. It's all too easy to overlook actual woodworking and to become a tool collector (which has it's fun points as well). What I'm trying to say, is that with some hand tools and hand power tools, you can still build some nice things----then as your budget and available space is available, you can start adding to your tools. But, you're much better off buying some quality beginners' tools than thinking you need a full shop full of cheap tools to stay within your budget.

    Not that I'm the perfect example, but it's taken years for me to acquire what is now a pretty decent complement of tools.

    As to large power tools, IMO, the first two on your list should be a table saw and jointer----again, get the best you can aford, but focus on just these two at first---there are fine substitutes for stationary tools like drill presses and band saws, etc., in a good collection of hand power tools.

    And on your question about how much wood you can cut/mill----first, depends on if you're just taking about blades and knives or the integrity of the tool. There's really no sound answer, since so much depends on the kind of wood, condition, etc. Other than on cheap tools, aside from sharpening blades, knives and occassionally replacing a belt, most of my tools are still going strong. Dulling blades depends entirly on what your cutting. Unrelated products, like MDF and Teak wood are norterious for prematurely dulling blades. If you're recycling old wood, trying to cut through a hidden nail can wipe out a blade or set of planer knives in a second.


    • #3
      Welcome, Emmitt!

      Dave offers some good advise. A small collection of good quality tools beats getting everything at once.

      I've been woodworking off and on for 25 years (or 40+ if you count helping dad and grand-dad, around the shop as a kid)and still don't have a planer or jointer, although I'd like to get both. No room and limited budget have limited large equipment purchases for my garage/shop. My jointer is an old 18" jointer plane, and my "planer" is a belt sander after joining boards. <G> I just make things that require 1/4, 1/2, or 3/4 wood.

      I'd add a router and table as high on the list of must-have tools.

      My stationary tools are a 10" table saw (the most used big tool in the shop), a 15" drill press, 14" band saw, an ancient 24" jig saw, and a large stationary router table. If I were doing it again, I'd forego the router stand and build the table into a table saw wing. I rarely use the jig saw, and it would be a toss up as to which is used most after the table saw; the drill or band saw.

      While considering large tools, you'll eventually want a large, sturdy workbench, preferably with a vise and stops, and with access all around. Mine used to sit right in the middle of the shop (and acted as an extended in-feed table for the table saw.) Now, with two cars in the garage, the tools are all shoved against the walls, and I can only get to one side of my bench. It makes it much harder to do projects when you can't get to them easily...

      Short version: buy good tools, and don't worry about tool wear.



      • #4
        It sounds like you are trying to determine if a jointer and planer can justify their cost (save enough money buying rough cut instead of S4S to pay for themselves). The answer is yes. You could save as much as 50 cents/bd. ft on the wood depending on where you live. If you spend $750 on a decent planer and jointer it could pay off with as little as 1500 bd. ft. of lumber. I've run at least that much on my Dewalt portable in the last 2 years and haven't even sharpened the blades yet. I ran mostly hickory, oak, and ash. A friend of mine recently bought a 5hp Powermatic and ran 4000 bd. ft of poplar to side his barn. I cost him only 45 cents/ft. even if he never uses it again. Quality, name brand stuff should easily last many thousands of board ft.

        On the flip side, those tools won't save you anything until you get into the 1000's of feet. I never owned either of them until I picked up some jobs that would justify it. You can buy wood already planed and do credible jointing with a good router and table. On that front, I agee with the previous posts. You can build a very functional table and fence yourself. I still use the one I built in a hurry one afternoon from scraps.


        • #5
          i learned something a long time ago in photography that holds true in woodworking (and most every aspect of life), that your camera is only as good as the lens you put on it and the person operating it!

          My shop consists of the ridgid ts3612, jp6010, and bs1400 (not yet set up). the first two i bought were the ts and the jointer. there are some blades today that you can do without a jointer in your shop if you want to spend the money.

          My advise is at a minimum, get a good table saw and invest in a quality blade. my choice is the CMT general. the only problem i have found with this blade is that it burns on miter cuts especially in hard woods! not long after i bought a CMT rip blade because i have been doing a lot of work with oak and poplar! the general will rip one or two pieces well but if a bunch of rips are needed the general does not cut it. I bought it before freud came out with their "glue line rip" blade. the only other blade i knew of at the time that claimed to cut with "no jointer needed" was the forrest blades and they were too rich for my blood.

          i guess my point is that you can probably get by with a table saw only, with a good blade, and a lot of patience for detail!

          i have e friend of mine that is a carpenter. he has been for a great many years. he does incredible work! i brought some wood to him one day (befoere my table saw) and asked him to rip them (i needed them more accurate than i could get with a circular saw). to my amazement he pulled out a bench top 10" master mechanic saw. it had a quality blade and he knew how to make his equipment do what he needed it to do. he proceeded to rip my lumber, and ill be damned if each board wasn't perfectly square and too the exact width i needed. i couldnt have done that on his saw and would not have been able to do better with my circular.

          by the way did i mention he freehanded it? no fence?

          ok...back to the topic at hand, i would buy the table saw and spend the money on a quality blade. that is where i would start.