Hello all. I am about to move out of my small apartment into a house that will allow me the woodshop I have always dreamed of. I have a few tools (drills, circular saw, chisels) and am looking for some advice. I would eventually like a full shop with all major power tools, but this will come with time as I make purchases as cash allows. Please give me suggestions on what order I should buy major power tools in. I was thinking on a good used contractors table saw first. My goal is to make things like bookcases, benches, chairs and such.
Here's my advice from years of "setting up" my shop. Yes, a table saw is probably first. Think about the processes and wood types you'll use. If you'll be building with hardwoods vs plywood, then a planer is probably next. I'd suggest a dust collector system with the planer unless you'll be using it out in the driveway. They throw out tons of shavings and lots of dust.
From there it gets more difficult. We all use our bandsaw, jointer, drill press and disk/belt sanders and some have scrollsaws, drum sanders, oscillating spindles sanders and more.
Don't forget hand tools such as portable drill, jig saw, hand planes, pocket hole jigs and the multitude of other hand tools available. What you NEED depends on what you're building.
But the best advise is buy GOOD tools....don't be tempted by the low prices of some. Don't be thinking you can buy two cheap tools instead of one good tool for the same price. you'll be unhappy and need to replace the "cheap" ones to do quality work. Of course check out various suppliers for the best price, but if possible, buy local from a reputable dealer who can provide you the help and assistance you need in using the tool, and replacing anything not working right during the warranty. That is worth a few dollars more.
Have fun with the purchasing decisions, enjoy every new beauty you add to your shop. Take care of it, work safely, and you'll have the time of your life! There's nothing like the pride you'll have from a well done woodworking project.
I agree whole hardley with what ##### said. Take your time and do a little research before buying. Look at some of the fourms on different woodworking web pages to get information. It has helped me a lot. Also reliaze that it may take several years to get the tools you want. Start with the basics, a good tablesaw is a must. Some basic hand tools and then look at what you want to do. A router is a very versital tool also. There are plenty of books available both from catalogs and also at the library that will help you learn new tricks with your tools. Half the fun is learning something new to use your tools for.
Good luck in your new shop, be safe and have lots of fun.
I'll agree with the first two guys, with a few minor additions. When you get your tablesaw, used or new, before cutting anything take the time to make sure the blade is parallel with the fence and with the miter slots. As for getting a planer, I would go for a jointer first, so you can glue up boards edgewise. I personally don't have a planer and really have yet to need one, since it's easy to buy wood that's already planed. Don't forget clamps too. Bar clamps, pipe clamps, and those handy spring loaded clothespin type puppies. Get yourself a decent random orbit sander too. They do amazing things.
The reason for a planner is not just to plane wood. Yes, you can buy wood that is serfaced, but if you check out that wood you will find that 90% of the time they are not the same thickness. When you are making joints most of the techniques you use depend on finding the center of the wood. Mortise, dowels, bisckets whatever. When all your stock is the same thickness the rest of the job goes very quick. A jointer makes the wood flat, you joint before you plane so that the wood no longer has cup, warp or twist. I just makes life a whole lot easer.
The advice you have gotten so far is great. Table saw is the most important. The key areas in a table saw is the fence. Can it be set accuratly. Motor size. Can you cust 8/4 oak ? Take your time look around. There is a world of fun to be found in woodworking.
I fully agree with the previous posts. Spend the extra money on fewer quality stationary tools. As you become proficient and comfortable with the tools you own you will have a more educated idea of the tools you really need. Dont forget a large amount of your budget will go for jigs, accessories, bits, clamps etc. I would also not skimp on a good router table. We all dont have the budget for the single purpose specialty tools some have so a good router set up and assortment of quality bits and jigs will allow you to make those projects that seemed to complicated in the beginning. Good luck and remember....have fun!
I don't think it matters which tool you buy after your table saw, but each one of these fellows said something that needs repeating. Buy good tools. Do without until you can buy a good one. It doesn't have to be gold plated, but each one of us has a pile of junk tools that we thought were deals. If it is a hammer, buy a good solid hammer. You are in for the most satisfying time of your life. Don't be in a hurry, the real fun is in the wanting and dreaming about the tool and what you can do with it. Each project is harder than it looks and each completed project will give you more satisfaction than you expect. Be safe and don't be your own worse critic. I wish you as much fun as I have had.