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Thread: Help me spend birthday present money..

  1. #1

    Help me spend birthday present money..

    Thought this might suit here…

    Just had a 40th birthday and was given $5000 to buy whatever I want.


    I have a few hobbies, star and bird watching, shooting, music, books and woodworking.
    And I feel I only lack woodworking items. The rest is covered.
    I use handtools 99.8%..

    And as the shop area we built went from 360sq.ft for only my use, to 226sq.ft, to now maybe 114sq.ft (I still have option of assembly in 226sq.ft room, but feel room layout may be better for me in 114sq.ft. Not quite decided yet. So garage split into 3 rooms, approx, 100, 114, 226. The smallest room is storage, and where I’ll put my few power tools for rough dimensioning.

    I have some power tools from when we built house. A miter saw, tracksaw, jigsaw, vacum, and MIGHT get a hand held planer, for the times I come across free/cheap lumber and it needs to get quickly ’’adjusted’’.


    So all that back story filled out… my wife would prefer me to get a BIG present, instead of lots of smaller ones. But not particularly easy… and its a priority that it lasts a long time in my woood hobbying career.

    The only two things I can think of quickly, is
    - Tormek T-8 50th anniversary edition ($650+++) (with 50 year warranty) for many of my varied sharpeing needs.
    - Sjøberg Elite 2000 workbench, ($1500) without cabinets and build cabinets myself. (But a bit conserned about racking, as in nearly half of videos I have seen of it, it moves when people push it)
    - Clamps are needed, and nothing says how you feel about someone, as when you gift then clamps…


    So a question could be…
    If you where to start out again, knowing what you know, what would you spend $5000 on, that you knew would last and give pleasure in use.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    MA
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    2,236
    tbh I couldnt spend it.

    The workbench came to mind before I saw it was already on your list. Or nice hardware and lumber to build your own. That is the single greatest lasting major piece I can think of for hand tool user.

    Or some 'fancy' wood - and again make something from that that you can see/touch on a regular basis.

    Or a class. I have never done it, but a week long woodworking class leaves an experience and skill to take with you. Maybe you can combine it in a way your wife can go with and share the trip during off hours.

    Any upgrade to teh working space (AC if not already there)

    Else upgrading all your planes and chisels and saws is an obvious path but little items... maybe combining all at once makes it a big item? There are members here that have small spaces in apartments that do quite well. A complete setup/outfit for the space could be nice - it means specific space design combined with the type of project you want to do.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Kraakenes View Post
    - Sjøberg Elite 2000 workbench, ($1500) without cabinets and build cabinets myself. (But a bit conserned about racking, as in nearly half of videos I have seen of it, it moves when people push it)
    Build and install the cabinets; attach to the table's frame; load them up

    Racking problem solved
    When I started woodworking, I didn't know squat. I have progressed in 30 years - now I do know squat.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
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    I was going to say the Benchcrafted hardware and the lumber for the Roubo...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Northeastern OK
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    A wood lathe plus needed accessories (scroll chuck or two, a couple bowl gouges, a spindle gouge, a couple scrapers, parting tool, and a sharpening setup) will use up your $5000 plus fit well within your very modest space.

  6. #6
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    My Tormek got used so little it is now in an outbuilding somewhere. So many quicker ways to get back to work. A workbench I would make as I would with other shop fixtures. Spending money on a hand tool shop just to try to spend it can be tough. I would bank it and draw on it as the needs come up. That way I would get things I really need and not things I think I need like the wet sharpener or a miter saw. A large bandsaw can be a boon even in a hand tool shop. A vacuum press setup is also an idea.
    "A hen is only an egg's way of making another egg".


    – Samuel Butler

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    So Cal
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    I vote for a work bench.
    One you can sit at so no cabinets or storage underneath
    Good Luck
    Aj

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    Millstone, NJ
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    Congrats on making it to 40. At this point in life they say you get into grilling or ww1&2 history.

    I suggest a good smoker and start listening to Dan Carlins Hardcore history on WW1 this will leave you $3500

    If you shoot alot it is cheaper to reload so investing into that May not save you money but allow you to shoot more for the money you spend

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    Houston
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    I vote for the workbench.

    Buying the wood and hardware makes for a satisfying project, and if you are being forced to spend the $$ you won’t be tempted to skimp on the wood like I did. You can size it to fit your work space.

    Lie Nielsen has a really nice looking workbench but out of stock at the moment. It is a little longer than the one you are considering. I haven’t seen it in person but it looks sturdy.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    San Francisco, CA
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    Trying to build stuff in 100 sq ft is difficult. I'd put the $5K into creating more shop space.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Whidbey Island, WA
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    Pick the project first, then buy the tools to make it.
    JonathanJungDesign.com

  12. #12
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    Dec 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by George Yetka View Post
    Congrats on making it to 40. At this point in life they say you get into grilling or ww1&2 history.

    I suggest a good smoker and start listening to Dan Carlins Hardcore history on WW1 this will leave you $3500

    If you shoot alot it is cheaper to reload so investing into that May not save you money but allow you to shoot more for the money you spend
    ...and build a bench
    ~mike

    happy in my mud hut

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    Fairlawn, OH
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    5 grand and you don't know what to do with it? Sounds like a first world problem. SMH.

  14. #14
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    Mar 2018
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    I'm not a high-end hand tool user myself, but I think there are some planes and things that are in the upper 3 digits if not higher, if getting rid of money fast for things that fit in a small space is a goal.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
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    Maryland
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    Given the space constrains I'd consider a workbench and a small portable benchtop planer(makita?) that can be relatively easily taken outside for doing bulk stock removal then tucked away when stored.

    If you have the space a nice resaw bandsaw
    Hobbyist woodworker
    Maryland

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