Need good solid advice


Mzdadoc
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Hello everyone,

 

Just got my yearly year end bonus and the bills are paid, cards paid off, and presents bought with cash not credit.

There's some left over so here's where the advice comes in. I'm not to the caliber most of you are and not in my shop as much as you are either. I know and sometimes believe buy as much as you can afford but I'm trying to be practical. 

I could get a nice new jointer but I'm leaning towards keeping my Craigslist special Jet 6" and buying Shelix heads for my jointer and planer. I could easily see buying a great new tool but I'm just not there yet to justify the cost. At my pace it's going to be a while. It's therapy for me and is it wrong to improve what I have and buy lumber to actually make something I'd want to show all of you?

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Assuming you have all the basics, all you can do is thing thru your workflow and figure out what would make your projects flow better?  Maybe it is that jointer, maybe it's a domino, maybe it's improved sanders, maybe its shop improvements..  Really, only you can answer that.

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You can getty good advise or you can get solid advise, but you can't get either of them here. 

 

But seriously,  your attitude Is partially flawed.  It's not about getting better than your tools. Only time and practice will increase your skill, but some things make your work faster and safer. A dust collector is one of those things. 

Not buying a dc because you can't get a perfect one makes no sense.

It's like not having a car because you can't drive a vette.

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Sounds to me like your at a place where you feel guilty having nice tools because you don't think your project quality is up to snuff.  Just to be blunt..  Get over it.  Eventually, your abilities will catch up and then you'll be mad at yourself for not investing in the tools.  It's a dual edge sword. 

If you don't have the dust collection yet then, that's where I'd go.  The CV is awesome but, with the pipe, it's also very expensive.  So, start smaller.  I've been running a Grizz for years.  I'm just on the verge of upgrading mine.  The dust collection in the shop was a real game changer for me.  Suddenly, I enjoyed going to the shop more because I could breath without a respirator and clean up was much faster.  Plus, having a smaller system with flex pipe has allowed me to change my shop around multiple times and figure out exactly where everything lives before plunking down the cash on the expensive system.

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Agreed DC for now with flex hose. Move from machine to machine until you work out a more permanent work flow. Then get it piped up in a more permanent manner at your leisure and when sufficient funds arrive.

I always advocate keeping lungs clean - what price your health. If you have any left over get a suspended air cleaner (good so that visitors to the shop don't breathe in that fine invisible dust) and a powered respirator - I have the Trend Airshield Pro and it is awesome.

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Its time I stop buying tools better than me and start becoming better than my tools. 

That's your answer then - you don't need more tools.  Instead ... spend the cash to upgrade the lumber you're using. No easier way to improve the finished product than to use better materials.

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I would think about the part of woodworking I like least and then spend the money to make that part suck less. For instance, I think cleaning up with a shop vac is miserable, as is emptying it out every time I'm in the shop, so for me a dust collector is next. You need to buy what will make your life easier in the most noticeable way. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Hold onto the cash for now and start a project.  You'll figure out right quick what you need.

Alternatively, if you're dying to spend the money right now, you will have to address the DC issue sooner or later.

As for Byrd heads, consider upgrading the planer but don't waste the money on a new head for a 6" jointer.  That's a machine that you're likely to upgrade later and you won't get your money back out of it when you do (ask Cliff how I know that).  Also, shelix heads on jointers are 99% about convenience and not about quality of cut since all the boards go through your planer anyway.

Most importantly...go build something.  Skills don't improve without practice, and there's no bigger waste of money that I can think of than a dark room filled with quiet machines.

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Thank you very much for all the replies! I got what I asked for which is solid advice. I can honestly say I've taken a little out of every one. The truth is I do have everything I need. My Rockler hang on the wall DC works fine for now. I have a filter system hanging on the wall and a great respirator if things get too heavy. 

 

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Thank you very much for all the replies! I got what I asked for which is solid advise. I can honestly say I've taken a little out of every one. The truth is I do have everything I need. My Rockler hang on the wall DC works fine for now. I have a filter system hanging on the wall and a great respirator if things get too heavy. 

As a guy who started with the dust rite, the truth is, you don't know what your missing. After about a 4'run in flex tube it becomes Soo ineffective. I thought I was good, until I got an actual DC..

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