Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 28

Thread: the $1000 woodworking tool test

  1. #1

    the $1000 woodworking tool test

    THIS IS NOT A CONTEST... I hope the title isn't misleading... let me know if you think it is.

    This IS a way to get you thinking about what your most important tools are, which will in turn give you some insights into yourself as a woodworker.

    Here's the hypothetical scenario:
    1) You have no tools. Zilch. Zero. Not even a pocket knife.
    2) You have $1000 tool budget for a YEAR.

    How would you spend your $1000?


    You may be interested to read how Marc Spagnuolo answered:

    I look forward to hearing how you'd outfit your woodshop with only $1000...

    I'm the editor of

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    this is simple.......the entire budget would go toward lay-out and hand tools.....i wouldn`t spend a nickel on power tools...that way in a barren shop i could still build and i wouldn`t throw my money away on cheap,make-do type of power tools......tod
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  3. #3
    this answer shifted my perspective - thanks Tod.
    I'm the editor of

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
    Quote Originally Posted by tod evans View Post
    this is simple.......the entire budget would go toward lay-out and hand tools.....i wouldn`t spend a nickel on power tools...that way in a barren shop i could still build and i wouldn`t throw my money away on cheap,make-do type of power tools......tod
    With two exceptions I agree with Tod. The two power tools that I would buy would be an electric (not battery) powered drill and a jig saw. They would probably both be Bosch.
    Cheers, Frank

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    basic router and a few bits, good used contractor saw with a decent GP or combo blade, a planer w/cutterhead lock and shopmade sled, cordless drill, jigsaw, small used block plane, some HF Pittsburg bar clamps, basic Kreg pocket hole jig, sandpaper, combo square, tape measure. If I go over $1k, I'll think up some justification pretty quick, but I think I could get those items pretty close. . The router is one of the most versatile tools I own. I could build a simple shopmade router table for next to nothing. I use my TS alot and wouldn't want to do without one. The surface can be covered with a $10 piece of hardboard and can double as an assembly table. I'd still want a basic bench of some sort...road finds might dictate what I use. I'd probably want a shop vac in short order too. I'm pretty frugal between garage sales, sales, and road finds, so there'd eventually be a few unlisted jigs, helpers, and misc stuff.
    Got Wood?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    The Heart of Dixie
    Tod said what I was thinking. That's the sure fire way to be able to set up and produce something.

    Another way is older used tools. With some careful shopping I could pick up an old tablesaw and a drill press and refurbish them and still have cash left to add some hand tools. I would out hold for the cosmetically ugly and just refurbish and repair them. You can get some real deals that way. I believe I could set up a decent shop on $1000 with some patience and a little luck. And of course a lot of my labor.

    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

  7. #7
    A razor knife

    Straight edge



    Japanese handsaw

    Speed square

    circular saw

    Chisel (s)

    Drill, or bit and brace.

    Rabbet plane.

    sanvik scraper.

    Business cards.

    coping saw.

    Stanley #4 style plane

    Put the left over money in the bank and keep working

    like a mad man till you can get a piece of land and shop space like Tod.


  8. #8
    I must add that when I was young (er)

    and decided I wanted to build houses.

    I went to work, I kid you not,

    with a hammer a free nail apron, tape measure, knife, and a ball of string.

    But my wages instead of over the bar rail at clancys went

    right back in to my company of the day.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    New Zealand
    Interesting thought experiment

    Top of my list would have to be a thickness planer, if you are on a budget you aren't going to be getting that expensive pre surfaced wood are you.

    A reasonable router and a set of bits for it.

    A reasonable jigsaw with selection of blades.

    A sander

    Drills, probably a corded one and a cheaper 'screwdriver' size cordless.

    A small toolbox of hand tools, ruler, square, chisels, pencil, hammer, knife, handsaw, sandpaper and some cheap clamps.

    A small bandsaw, if I could fit it in the budget. I could make do with the jigsaw if need be, but I do like my bandsaw.

    Then a good session of jig building to build a workbench, planer sled, router table, router bridge, M&T and dovetail jigs for the router etc.

    Actually I guess I've just basically described what I have in the shed already A table saw and jointer would be nice, but I can live without them. If I get another $1000 to play with I'd go with a chainsaw sawmill. Then my wood is basically free



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Speed square....

    A friend of mine calls that the "squammer".

    Handy, and somewhat indestructable.

Similar Threads

  1. My message to woodworking tool retailers
    By Rob Keeble in forum Off Topic Discussion
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 05-30-2015, 09:19 PM
  2. Sort of a Woodworking Tool…. Phtotgraph your work
    By Phil Stivers in forum Classified Ads
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-12-2014, 03:37 AM
  3. Ever heard of Arduino no no its not a new woodworking tool
    By Rob Keeble in forum Off Topic Discussion
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11-27-2013, 03:35 PM
  4. The beginnings of my Fine Woodworking Tool cabinet
    By Rob Keeble in forum Flatwork Project Showcase
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 10-28-2013, 06:14 PM
  5. Dumbest use of a woodworking tool.
    By Jesse Cloud in forum General Woodworking Q&A
    Replies: 38
    Last Post: 03-25-2007, 11:06 AM


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts