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Thread: Selecting Primary tools

  1. #1

    Selecting Primary tools

    In getting ready to make a move on several tool purchases, I wanted to get some guidance in buying both a Planer and if necessary, a joiner.

    Having a small shop (12x16) I'm almost forced to go with Benchtop Models. I've seen positive comments on Grizzly, Rigid, etc. I am setting up my Router station and also understand you can utilize this as a Dual/Purpose unit to function as a joiner. Since I am just getting into W/W, would appreciate all recommendations and/or feedback.

    Thanks,

    Bruce N.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Tokyo Japan
    Posts
    15,809
    Hi Bruce,

    12' x 16' is rather small, my shop is about 4.3m x 7.1m (14' x 23') but I've got the added handicap of being under ground with only a "Hatch" entrance.

    Do you have the added option of opening a door and rolling some tools outside, on a nice day?

    If you plan on buying rough lumber and dressing it, you will need both a planer and a jointer. What kind of work are you thinking of doing? A good 6" jointer and a lunchbox style planer should do most of what you would want to do. I'd think a 12" lunchbox planer would be easy enough to deal with, when in use, put it on top of your table/workbench, when not in use, under the workbench or on a shelf. The jointer can be set up to slid under a table or bench along a wall, so it is out of the way when not in use.

    What do you mean about that Router as a jointer? I've seen some set ups that use a long router bit as an edge jointer, but honestly, I'd not bother with that, if you have a half decent tablesaw, and a good blade, you can make cuts that will be just fine for glue ups.

    Do you have a tablesaw, or a bandsaw?

    Best of luck, we will try to answer any of your questions, and to help us help you, pics of your shop would be good.

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    The Heart of Dixie
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    4,268
    My best advice is buy used. Shop smart and you get a lot more bang for the buck.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    30,020
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Horton View Post
    My best advice is buy used. Shop smart and you get a lot more bang for the buck.
    Although I agree with you, on the other hand, when I was new to woodworking, I didn't really know many of the differences between classic machinery and old junk. For the uneducated, sometimes new can be a better starting point. There is a lot of good used stuff available, but there's also a fair amount that needs some work, and if you don't know what you're doing, that work might be more than a newcomer is capable of doing.

    Bruce, I've got a 12" Delta lunchbox planer and a 6" Grizzly jointer. Both are about the lowest end of their categories bit still decent enough to do what little planing and jointing I need to do. I very seldom buy rough lumber (it's not easy to find in my area), so I don't do a lot of planing, and the vast majority of my "jointing" prior to glue-ups is done on the tablesaw.

    What sort of projects do you have in mind? That can play a big part in the decision-making process.

    Oh, and welcome aboard. Don't hesitate to ask any questions. We may answer them with more questions, but it's all about the learning...for all of us.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Rochester
    Posts
    846
    Hi Bruce - You'll find that all the big names have some very good tools, but also some clunkers. Buying on brand name alone isn't a sure way to get the best tool. It's best to research each of the critical tools on their own merits regardless of name, then make an informed decision.

    Benchtop tools are typically a bit of a compromise compared to the stationary floor standing equivalents, but are often a necessary evil in a small shop. I find my benchtop planer, benchtop DP, and benchtop sander to all be plenty adequate for a home shop. I much prefer a floor standing TS and jointer if possible.

    Regarding using a router as a jointer. A router or even a TS is fine for "edge" jointing but neither will flatten the face of a board, which is one of the jointer's primary functions. Handplanes or a thickness planer with a sled jig can also flatten a face. Good luck!
    Got Wood?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Lakeport NY and/or the nearest hotel
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    Bruce,
    I'm in an only slightly larger shop than yours, at 12x20. I still need to buy a jointer, but I've got my sights set on either a classic craftsman, or if I were to buy new, the Ridgid 6". The footprint isn't that large at all, and even if you get a benchtop unit I bet you'll just leave it set up on a stand somewhere, at that point the stand alone is just about the same size.

    As for the planer, I've got a Dewalt Lunchbox DW734 myself, but I've also used the Ridgid planer, and both have given excellent results.
    -Ned

  7. #7

    Thanks for the Feedback

    Appreciate everyones input.I'm leaning towards Grizzly units. Living in Md I can go to PA and save shipping costs.

    I don't have a T/S yet. I have an excellent 10" Craftsman RAS and 12" Dewalt Mitre Box. Been looking at Ryobi,Rigid, and Hatachi (BTS) Can't afford a nice stationary at the moment and space is an issue there as well. I am able to set-up directly outside my basement shop in good weather.

    Start-up Projects I am planning are primarily attempting my Novice hand at building simple Shaker type Jelly Cupboard,Dry Sink, and building some outdoor type furn such as; Adirondack chairs, Wood/Tile table, and possibly try some modern Parsons type laminated units.

    I have access to a local sawyer and can buy rough cut-offs or Slab wood (Red/White) Oak Having recently used this for Exterior cover on a wood shed, I would bend #12 nails trying to shoot thru the Oak with a P/C 350 Framing nailer. I was blown away at how hard the wood is compared to framinf lumber and 1-by.

    I'm assuming that's why you guys typically use M/Tenon and the many joints, as well as glue-up?? Although I'm a fairly accomplished builder having built our home from ground-up this seems to be a whole different World. These forums are a tremendous help for beginners as the techniques, jigs, and assembly process is an art in itself!!

    Thanks
    Bruce N.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Rochester
    Posts
    846
    Bruce - Attached is a floor plan of my layout that shows an area of ~11x19'. That space houses a Shop Fox cabinet saw with 36" rip, and a built in router table and outfeed table, a 6" Grizzly jointer, 65" workbench, Grizzly G1029 DC, 13" HF DP, 12" Craftsman BS, 13" Delta Planer, a Ridgid bench sander, lumber storage, shop vac, tool bench and storage. It's tight, but it works fairly well. Everything is on wheels. I could shrink the outfeed table a bit to save some space, and the tool bench is a bit larger than I need.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Got Wood?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    WNY, Buffalo Area
    Posts
    873
    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Niceley View Post
    In getting ready to make a move on several tool purchases, I wanted to get some guidance in buying both a Planer and if necessary, a joiner.

    Having a small shop (12x16) I'm almost forced to go with Benchtop Models. I've seen positive comments on Grizzly, Rigid, etc. I am setting up my Router station and also understand you can utilize this as a Dual/Purpose unit to function as a joiner. Since I am just getting into W/W, would appreciate all recommendations and/or feedback.

    Thanks,

    Bruce N.
    Bruce,

    I have a 13in Delta "lunch box" planer and the Ridgid 6in jointer. I have been happy with both of these tools. I have the jointer on a mobile base. I think for a smaller shop mobile bases are the way to go.

    As far as the lunch box planers Dewalt, Delta (13in), and Ridgid all get high marks. Rarely have I heard anyone complain about their jointer. However some factors that make a difference are: bed length (longer is better), width (6in, 8in +), cutter head/number of knives.

    You also mentioned joinery that people use. Mortice & tenon is common, but not the only option by any means. It really depend on what you are making, and what you are comfortable doing. If you are just making a face frame for a cabinet you could use biscuits (they don't add much strength, but help keep the pieces aligned during glue up.), mortice and tenon, loose tenon, pocket hole/screws & glue, half lap, dowels, dominos, and I'm sure there are more I'm missing.

    So I guess what I am saying is that there are lots of options when it comes to how you join to pieces of wood.

    I hope this helps!
    We create with our hands in wood what our mind sees in thought.
    Disclosure: Formerly was a part-time sales person & instructor at WoodCraft in Buffalo, NY.
    www.tinyurl.com/thewoodshoppe

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    583
    Bruce,
    Where are you located? I've got a 1940's Craftsman jointer to be had for $50. It's the smaller one - 4-3/8" knives. I replaced the bearings, sharpened the knives, cleaned it up, and bought a spare set of Amana HSS knives for it. I have a sharpening jig for the knives and a setting jig for mounting them. I test ran it once, but never put it into real service because i stumbled across my 10" Inca right at that time.
    The Craftsman is in good, useable shape and comes with a 1/2 hp totally enclosed motor with the appropriate pulleys, but no stand. You'll also want to adjust the outfeed table flat with the infeed table (3 screw adjustments on the bottom side).
    If you live near St. Louis you can come by to take a look. If you live near Terre Haute, Indiana or Wooster, Ohio i can ferry it to you around the new year.

    I run my rough stock over the jointer first to straighten an edge and flatten one face. Then i use the planer to get it to thickness (without a jig, the planer won't flatten the stock, just take it down to thickness, maintaining whatever warp or twist might be in the board). If i had to get by with one machine or the other, i think i'd use a jig on the table saw for ripping warped / bent boards (then use a hand plane to clean up the saw marks), and use a jig on the planer for flattening stock. It would be cumbersome and time consuming, but i could get where i needed to be without a ton of hand planing.

    The other option mentioned is to flatten rough stock with hand planes. I like doing this, and it's not as difficult as it sounds, but there is a learning curve if you aren't yet comfortable with hand planes or have the correct tools for the job (jack, jointer, and smoother - usually in that order)

    There are several ways to skin the cat - most woodworkers will suggest that a jointer is more indespensible than a planer for getting flat, striaght stock.

    Paul Hubbman

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