the $1000 woodworking tool test

Messages
64
Location
Tennessee
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?

Why?

You may be interested to read how Marc Spagnuolo answered: http://thewoodwhisperer.com/?p=159

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

G
 

tod evans

Well-known member
Messages
4,993
Location
ozarks
garrett,
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
 

Frank Pellow

Member
Messages
2,332
Location
Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
garrett,
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.
 

scott spencer

Member
Messages
885
Location
Rochester
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.
 

Jeff Horton

Well-known member
Messages
4,268
Location
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.

Jeff
 

Per Swenson

Member
Messages
86
A razor knife

Straight edge

string

Pencil

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.:D

Per
 

Per Swenson

Member
Messages
86
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.

Per
 

Ian Abraham

Member
Messages
97
Location
New Zealand
Interesting thought experiment :huh:

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 :thumb: 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 :D

Cheers

Ian
 

John Dow

Former Member (at his request)
Messages
535
Speed square....

A friend of mine calls that the "squammer".

Handy, and somewhat indestructable.
 

Jim Hager

Well-known member
Messages
374
Location
N.E. Arkansas
I would say that I would have to use that as a loan origination fee to get started on buying the lot to build a building and stock it with stuff.
 
S

Steve Clardy

Guest
garrett,
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

Same here.
 

Alan DuBoff

Former Member (by the member's request)
Messages
711
Like others, I would get some hand tools. I would head to a local flea market or similar, finding a couple hand saws, chisels, a few hand planes, and such. I think I could do that with about $200 nicely.

I would setup a scary sharp system to keep the edges sharp, and spend $5 for a file to sharpen the saws.

I'd spend about $500 on wood, of various types, and save the rest of the money for more wood.
 

Allen Bookout

Member
Messages
902
Location
Punta Gorda, Florida
This is what I would buy to try to give me the most capability for $1000.

Basic EZ rail system from Rockler-$164
EZ sliding square/fence from Eurekazone-$70
Good circular saw-$148
This group would substitute for a tablesaw, edge jointer and mitersaw.

Add a good quality jigsaw (such as an older model Bosch) for curved cuts-$100.

DeWalt 621 router-$199 for edge treatments and dados, and on and on. Especially with shop made jigs.

Ridgid 5" ROS $70.
Ridgid 3/8th inch corded drill-$70.
Kreg Pocket Hole jig-$139.

Now we are at $962. I would spend the other $38 in this manner. Three piece Buck Bros. chisel set-$20, Stanley 24" carpenters square-$6, Husdy 6 in 1 screwdriver-$6 and an ecomomy Homedepot claw hammer-$8.

I did not consider bits, blades, sandpaper etc. as those are disposables and not tools. All prices were found on the internet and rounded up to the nearest dollar. I feel that the power tools are pretty good quality and not junk which would be a bad decision.
 
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Dixon Peer

Member
Messages
32
That's interesting, Per, about going to work with a free nail apron and hammer. When I started out, I took a Public Service bus to a job in Convent Station carrying my tools in a box I made. They consisted of a hand saw (ten point Sandvik), a six foot stick rule, a chalk line/box, and sixteen ounce straight claw hammer. There may have been a sixteen foot tape measure in there too, but I recall my father saying that I might be laughed off the job if I showed up with one of those.

This was a long time ago for most of the forum members...about nineteen sixty one or two.

Now, I bet your father has some good stories about the "olden days".
 

Ian Abraham

Member
Messages
97
Location
New Zealand
Ian,

What is a "Router Bridge"? I haven't heard that term before. :dunno:

Thanks,
-Sean
A router bridge is a jig for flatening large boards with your router. You set up straight rails on either side of your workpiece then mount the router in a 'bridge' between the rails. Then just run the router up/down and side/side over the workpiece. Works great for tabletop sized boards or big glueups that are too big for your planer and jointer.

It's the same theory as using an Ez-Smart and router to face joint, but just made out of plywood :thumb:

Cheers

Ian
 

Vaughn McMillan

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
32,266
Location
ABQ NM
Ian,

What is a "Router Bridge"? I haven't heard that term before. :dunno:

Thanks,
-Sean
Here's an example of a small one being used to flatten an end grain cutting board. It still needed sanding afterwards, but it gave me a good flat starting point. It's a simple four-sided frame to surround the piece, and a flat piece of plywood with the router mounted on it.

Router Bridge 3 600.jpg Router Bridge 5 600.jpg Router Bridge 6 600.jpg Router Bridge 7 600.jpg

You can get creative and come up with other variations of the same basic idea.
 

Ian Abraham

Member
Messages
97
Location
New Zealand
Yup, thats what I'm thinking of.

If you are on a budget you need to get a bit creative. But with that jig you can live without a jointer, or even a planer if need be. Completely planing a board is probably a bit slow, but it does work well with figured wood and end grain. And of course it works great for WIDE boards.

You will need to add a set of earmuffs and a good brush and shovel to your list though :D

Cheers

Ian
 
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