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Thread: First Post: Beginner woodworker questions.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    Detroit Suburbs
    Posts
    44

    First Post: Beginner woodworker questions.

    Happy New Years all!

    I've always wanted to get into woodworking, but as a career navy submariner I just never had the time or space for it. I'm out now, and I have lots of both and i'm a new first time homeowner with lots of projects to do. I've been reading a lot and watching a ton of youtube videos, and I've done a few simple projects. I made shelving units for my garage, a mud room bench/coat hanger, pantry built in shelves and a coffee table for the living room. They've turned out pretty well for my skill level and materials/tools. (Made the wife happy at least)

    Building the coffee table really sparked something in me, and I think furniture building might be something I'm really interested in learning more about. I'd really like to get to the point where I could make a reasonably refined dining room table. (One piece smooth finish) No interest in making a living from wood working, but it'd be nice if the hobby could pay for itself someday.

    I'm looking for some help with my next tool purchase. I'm not low budget, but I don't want to waste money on tools I don't really need yet.

    My current tools: Circular Saw, Miter Saw, Dremel, Osc Sander, Power drills, mechanics set (ratchets, etc), a few random chisels and punches, kreg set.

    I feel inclined to go for a table saw next, but I've read that some people find more use from a band saw. I'm not really picky, I just wasn't sure which one would be more useful given my goals. I'm not against hand tools either, but I blew out my shoulder in the Navy and so I'd like to use a little of both power and hand. I'm usually pretty sore after a few hours of working in the shop.

    I've been looking at the Grizzly G0833p, it seems like a reasonable compromise between power/features/affordability and portability (I'll have to move it in place when I need it). I also have a co-worker that is willing to sell me his old G1022 tablesaw and a G1182z 6" jointer for around 300 bucks for both. I haven't had a chance to look at it yet, but he takes good care of his tools. I know the G1022 is an older, contractor saw with a crappy fence, but for 150 bucks it might be a good start? My concern here was the lack of replacement part availability, and lack of riving knife. I understand some common sense can help avoid kickback and other issues, but it'd be nice to have some backup since i'm still learning.

    Just wanted to tap on some experience out there before I spent any more money, my wife only lets me have so much $ for new toys.

    Thanks!

    Phil
    Last edited by PHILIP MACHIN; 12-31-2019 at 11:19 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Mountain City, TN
    Posts
    479
    I would buy the Grizzly tablesaw and jointer. I started out with a 9" Delta tablesaw and 4" jointer I bought used. They were both small and under powered, but I got a lot of use out of them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    sykesville, maryland
    Posts
    429
    buy the best table saw you can afford. Even cabinet saws can be put on rolling stands. Then pick up a small used bandsaw later. Griz has always given me good luck. Just remember a good fence is going to cost upwards of $300 dollars. If you step up in capacity, the bigger tools require 220V. Just be prepared for that before you purchase.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Suffolk, Va.
    Posts
    106
    I would say get a table saw if your next project is going to be a dining table. The Grizzly deal looks pretty good and will get you started. If you stick with it you might need to upgrade your table saw down the road. You can buy lumber already finished 4 sides but if you really get into it you might need a planer later. Other than a table saw, if I were building a dining table, I would definitely want a pocket hole jig to attach the top (you can get table top attachment clips too) and maybe a doweling jig to attach the legs to the apron. You can also get brackets from Rockler to mount the legs so they are removable if needed. If you are going to have folding leafs you might want to invest in a set of self-centering hinge bits. You can buy decorative legs online or make your own. For a first project I would stick with tapered legs which you can do on the table saw with a little creativity. For joining the boards to make the top you will need either a doweling jig (DowelMax makes a nice one but there are many options out there) or a biscuit cutter - I prefer the doweling jig myself and I have both. Hope this helps.
    Michael Dilday
    Suffolk, Va.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Surry County, VA
    Posts
    1
    ^^^^What Michael said, and if you find you still want to expand, get into some hand tools, very exciting, however, like alcohol and drugs, they can become addicting, especially with the potential of your expanded time to devote to the craft

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Camas, Wa
    Posts
    3,631
    " but it'd be nice if the hobby could pay for itself someday"

    That is not how this hobby works


    "I don't want to waste money on tools I don't really need yet"

    You need all of them. That is how this hobby works.

    Carry on.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
    Posts
    8,884
    Quote Originally Posted by PHILIP MACHIN View Post
    ...I feel inclined to go for a table saw next, but I've read that some people find more use from a band saw. I'm not really picky, I just wasn't sure which one would be more useful given my goals. ...
    My most-used power tool is a bandsaw. But I also I have a large cabinet saw and don't use it much but when I need it it's so useful. (I'd rather spend my limited time woodturning than building furniture!)
    To avoid most of the hand work, a bandsaw and a hand plane can take the place of a table saw and jointer for preparing lumber for glueups for table tops and such. On the other hand, a cabinet shop down the hill doesn't even have a jointer - they glue up directly from their cabinet saw.

    If setting up a shop for general work I'd want:
    Good workbench
    Bandsaw
    Drill press
    Table saw
    Dust collector
    Lalthe

    If planning to work with rough-sawn lumber (can be a lot cheaper), also a
    Jointer
    Planer
    Optionally, a drum sander

    I first started building making things with a jig saw, drill, and orbital sander. The first big tool I got was was a radial arm saw which was great for ripping, crosscut, molding, sanding, and more. I built a lot of things with these tools, next adding a portable job-site table saw, lathe, and bandsaw. A tabletop planer let me buy rough wood from the sawmill - I carried it outside to plane. Years later I have my own sawmill and everything else and more but still use the same portable planer.

    JKJ

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Greater Manor Metroplex, TX
    Posts
    213
    Quote Originally Posted by Cary Falk View Post
    " but it'd be nice if the hobby could pay for itself someday"

    That is not how this hobby works


    "I don't want to waste money on tools I don't really need yet"

    You need all of them. That is how this hobby works.

    Carry on.
    What Cary said.

    I am with the "buy the best table saw you can afford/will fit the space". I had a cheap job site for the first few years and was nothing but frustration and I almost gave up--I was constantly fighting the tool. Upgrading to a cabinet saw reinvigorated my interest int he hobby.

    The combo from your co-worker may be worth it just for the jointer alone, so long as you are aware you may be itching to replace the table saw very soon after purchase.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    NE Iowa
    Posts
    514
    I suppose I'm the contrarian here, but if I were starting with an empty shop, I'd spend first on a good, steel backed bandsaw - probably 14", but 18" if I could swing it - and a jointer - 6" will do for starters, but again, bigger if you can swing it.. Those two, with some well chosen hand tools would get me through the vast majority of "straight, solid wood" projects I can think of.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    Detroit Suburbs
    Posts
    44
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Demuth View Post
    Those two, with some well chosen hand tools would get me through the vast majority of "straight, solid wood" projects I can think of.
    What would be some good suggestions for a place to start with hand tools? It looks like they can get pretty expensive too. I've seen a few planes in the box stores, but i'm guessing they are probably crap.

    " but it'd be nice if the hobby could pay for itself someday"

    That is not how this hobby works


    "I don't want to waste money on tools I don't really need yet"

    You need all of them. That is how this hobby works.

    Carry on.


    Yea, I had someone offer me some money for one of the coffee tables I made. So there was a brief glimmer of hope. But, looking at some of the prices on these tools I can see where that'd quickly eliminate itself.

    Still have some thinking to do. Bandsaw vs Tablesaw, and new vs used. I feel inclined to exercise the "buy the best I can get to start with" mentality. I already feel like I've been bitten by the bug, and owning a house I'm sure there will always be a reason to have it.

    Thanks for the feedback.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Mason-Darnell View Post
    What Cary said.

    I am with the "buy the best table saw you can afford/will fit the space". I had a cheap job site for the first few years and was nothing but frustration and I almost gave up--I was constantly fighting the tool. Upgrading to a cabinet saw reinvigorated my interest int he hobby.
    You definitely need a SawStop. Go on Youtube and search for "Sawstop wiener", and show it to your wife. No schnitzel, shylock! :^) If you want something to pay for itself, there you go.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    310
    I am going to be a bit more contrarian than most.
    1. Go take some classes so you can figure out how you enjoy working
    2. Join a local woodworking club if there is one around. You gain by seeing what folks are doing, and in my experience are very supportive of new woodworkers. (Online stuff can be helpful, but it is not the same as seeing things in person and getting some hands on time)
    You will have a much better feel for the tooling direction to pursue

    John
    Last edited by John Stankus; 01-01-2020 at 6:36 PM.

  13. #13
    Lots of good advice here and I have nothing new to add. I just wanted to say welcome to the hobby and to SMC. These are great people who will be glad to help you learn.

    And thank you for your Navy service. We have a lot of respect for Veterans here (as you'll find out).

    Happy New Year!
    Fred
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Alberta
    Posts
    1,281
    Lots of good advice on here. So many things to buy when you are starting out. I like the good bandsaw/jointer idea. As for basic hand tools ,a set of four quality chisels like the old Marples or current Narex. A Starret combination square probably 12''. Some clamps will be needed,if you can find the deal at Lowes or somewhere with four "f" sliding clamps. Next would be four pipe clamps about 36''.Also a couple planes,I started with a #5 jack plane and a block plane. Look for an old Stanley for the #5 and for a good block at a reasonable price a Stanley 60 1/2 made in England can be purchased from Lee Valley for about $60. This will get you started. As one of your first projects make a wooden mallet. My power tool advice would be to buy used. Way cheaper and there are a lot of real good machines out there,also if you have an oops and buy a machine you do not use or not enough machine it is easier to resell and recoup most or all of what you paid. The deal for the Grizzly stuff from your friend sounds decent. Good luck.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Hayes, Virginia
    Posts
    13,397
    Philip,

    You might consider purchasing a track saw and possibly a 22 or 24 inch band saw. Nothing in the world like a really good band saw, I retired my table saw a couple of years ago when I started to lose the grip is my hands. I did the band saw dance many times buying larger saws every few years until I finally purchased my Felder 610. This is all to common with woodworkers but if I had the means to buy the big band saw first I would have saved a lot of money and enjoyed the band saw much more through the years.

    Just my 2cents

    Welcome to SawMill Creek.
    Fair Winds and Following Seas my friend.

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