I just replaced a shop that was lost in a flood, the first things I purchased were 10" table saw, 10" combination miter saw, dust collection system, air compressor and (2) cordless 18V drills. I like two drills to save time and avoid a lot of bit change out. Working in a garage will mean you are dealing with lots of dust, don't skimp on the dust collection and ventilation. Like they say, Buy a filter or be a filter. good luck, have fun.
I am new this forum, but not new to woodworking at all. As far as the choices, If I had to replace all of the stuff in my shop, I would think about what I use most when I first started. So, with that in mind, space. Do you have enough, or do you have to make sure things store out of the way? That being said, look at where you are going to put your stuff when you are not using it. If you are going to be mainly working on larger projects without a lot of space for a table saw, a good circular saw, with good selection of blades can do a lot of things for you. I built a set of 6'x3'x2'deep shelving units with basic hand tools, a dado blade set, some masking tape, a biscuit joiner, pocket screw set, and a sliding compound miter saw. So before you start thinking about tools, think about build space, storage of tools, assembly area and so on. If I had it to do over again, two of the biggest things I would change are I would cover the walls of the garage with peg board to allow for multiple tool storage options, and build my dust collector system first. Yes, I said build it. My dust collector is the squirrel cage and motor assembly for a two room apartment sized AC unit, boxed, with five filter inlet. Starting at the largest filter to catch big particle (which can be vacuumed off and the filter reused) through three replaceable filters of various density, and on to a washable HEPA filter gold. When I use this,it changes the air in my entire three car garage about 7 times a minute or so, and because of the filters I do not have to vent to the outside. Next, drills, you will need to make holes, and if you can afford to buy a good Makita set that has a drill/driver and an impact, then do so. If not, purchase two corded drills (much cheaper) one for pilot holes, one with a screw bit for attachment, this does save time. Secondly, if your going to rip large pieces down with a skil saw, and then need to make other cuts, a sliding compound miter saw 12" is a priceless addition, and will allow you to make many cuts, without the need to drag out the table saw. Spend the money on good tools once, so you do not have to buy them three times over. An air compressor can be used for a lot of different things, from spraying off of dust to running an HVLP sprayer, so a compressor should be on the short list, the tools can be picked up as projects call for them. Clamps, good old fashioned bar clamps are easy to buy the pieces to make your own, and then you can buy longer bars as needed for projects, and just change the hardware over. I get the biggest bar clamps I can find (don't recall the size), and then all I have to do is buy extra pipe when I need longer clamps. A good sander is nice, and unless you love hand sanding a needed addition. I have several, palm sized, and a belt sander. A jointer, although not used as often can also be a very nice addition and will allow you to make edge joints as well. A planer is another nice tool, but if you're working mainly with sawmill lumber not necessary at this time. Another thing I would consider in the top five is a good router and our router table combo. You can do so many things with these two pieces combined or together that they are indispensable. So thats my list of some of the first things I would buy. The best suggestion, make sure you have clean power to your garage. Run an additional box off of a circuit into a junction box inside your garage, so you are not blowing out the house everytime you turn something on. Try a table saw, and dust collector at the same time, and in most garages you will blow the circuit, and generally take out the kitchen as well, plus dirty power is hard on tools. Then look at storage, i.e. peg board. I leave the bottom one inch open at the floor level to be able to get cobwebs and dust out. Then look at the first three projects you want to do, figure out what tools would make your life easier for the first project, and the next and so on. Before long you will have completed several projects, have a good selection of tools, and know where you want to go next in your purchases.
It would largely depend on what you specifically plan to build but generally speaking these would be my recommendations for your next five tools:
1. Table Saw
2. Miter Saw
3. Cordless Drill
5. Pocket Hole Jig
Instead of pre-planning which tools to buy, first starting out, figure out what you are going to build. Either with a commercial plan or one you design yourself, you need a material list, in order to complete said project. Then along with the material list, make a list of the tools needed to construct the project. That is where books, magazines, with specific projects, where you want to get started.
How much woodworking experience do you have? There are many different directions of woodworking. Are you interested in building large cabinets or fine furniture projects, home improvements, small boxes, wooden toys for the kids in your family, outdoor projects, such as patio furniture, gazebos, fences and gates or are you leaning toward turning pens and pencils, turning bowls, wooden vessels or candlesticks. Is it building dog houses, cat scratching posts or Queen Anne Highboys.
To tell you the truth, I am very leery of advising a newbee to buy ANY kind of machinery or power tools, if they have zero experience. My guess is if you have to ask what tools to buy, you probably have little if any experience. So, my
advise is to start with learning by reading or better yet, find somebody to show you the ropes, before buying anything. Start with simple projects that can be done with hand tools or easy to learn portable power tools that you can't hurt yourself or anyone around you. Kids are always hanging around because they
want to "Help", but in reality, the power tools facinate them and they have no fear.
Woodworking power tools are about the most dangerous, of any other trade, mainly because they cut wood and blades and bits have to spin at a high rate speed in order to get fast clean cuts. Don't make out a list of tools simply to fill your garage. Start buying tools as you need them. Not only is it cheaper, but you may find that an expensive tool you could not live without will simply gather dust. Each person on this forum not only builds different projects, than the next guy, but they also use different techniques to accomplish the same thing. A lot of the time, there are no right or wrong techniques, just different ways to learn the same result.
You have a circular and jig saw. Get yourself a straight edge, measuring and marking tools, hand plane and some sandpaper. Then buy some material and go for it. Probably your best bet is to construct a sufficient work surface and storage, for your new hand tools.
"A Legend in His own Mind."
Last edited by woodchuck1954; 10-25-2012 at 07:23 AM.
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