@Mike. @minorhero Beginning projects are more carpentry than woodworking - shelves for the garage, some simple storage cabinets (also for the garage). I would like to get good enough at woodworking to do things like the blanket chests Eric is currently journaling, a large display cabinet for my wife's "collectables", a chest of drawers for my son so pretty substantial furniture.
As far as other equipment in my garage I am a little light. I currently have 10-inch Ridgid miter saw, a Bosch 16171 2 1/4 hp router, a Ryobi benchtop drill press, a DeWalt circular saw and a couple of PC nail guns . I am REALLY lacking in hand tools apart from a decent rachet set. I can make do with the DeWalt until I save enough for the table saw - or find a good deal, but I have a feeling it is going to get old.
Mechanical ability - not a lot. Ability to learn, I would say pretty good. Ability to work and think 3-D...yeah I got that down. Live and work in central TN. Lots of big cities within a couple hours drive but not much until you get to those big cities. I am looking online as well so if I see the great deal I can of course snap it up, but if forced to buy new I want to make sure I am looking at a good machine.
@JosephThomas I looked at that machine for a good bit as well and like you said I am aware of the trunnion issue (which is one of the things scaring me away - our closest HD is a 90 minute drive and I do not want to make it multiple times for faulty equipment)