Tool Advice please!


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I have an empty shop and am going to get into woodworking and metal working soon.  I am not sure which direction makes the most sense for a couple of tool options and would love some opinion's.  This is a hobby shop not a business.   

1. Replace my old 1980's Craftsman Table saw with a new Grizzly 1023RL cabinet saw, or upgrade my old table-saw with either an Incra TS-LS Fence System.

2. Purchase a Festool MFT/3 with rail and miter/routing guide, or go with the Incra 28" x 32"  28" x 32" Wonder Fence Joinery package, Routing Table, lift,  and dust collection and as an add on to a table saw? 

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I built my home about 7 years ago with an unfinished 4 car garage and a 1780' sq. ft.  unfinished basement.  I am doing a partial finish to the basement basically two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a studio for music recording.   I will be making my own cabinets, a new studio desk, and Murphy bed.   The garage will be next which would include cabinets, shelving and new bench.  Then adding a kitchen to the basement and some Home Theater cabinetry.   Once the basement and the garage is finished the next items will be toying projects like furniture, and artifacts. 

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25 minutes ago, Gary Karczewski said:

 

Oh yeah. I forgot about the router extension on the MFT. That would be much different than the Incra setup, but it has my vote since you would also have the MFT. Don't forget you need the Festool tracsaw and dust collector to make the most of out the MFT which escalates costs quickly.

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41 minutes ago, Gary Karczewski said:

I built my home about 7 years ago with an unfinished 4 car garage and a 1780' sq. ft.  unfinished basement.  I am doing a partial finish to the basement basically two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a studio for music recording.   I will be making my own cabinets, a new studio desk, and Murphy bed.   The garage will be next which would include cabinets, shelving and new bench.  Then adding a kitchen to the basement and some Home Theater cabinetry.   Once the basement and the garage is finished the next items will be toying projects like furniture, and artifacts. 

Based on this I would be really tempted to go with an MFT because it could be brought to where the cabinets are going and I could build them on site. Given where it appears you are at with tool accumulation I would probably not spring for an Incra fence not because they are not good but rather that money could be spent on other acquisitions that will be helpful to  make cabinetry, Router , bits, etc. 

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56 minutes ago, mat60 said:

Will the woodworking and metal working be in a different area Gary?  I hate using my wood shop for anything but that.    Welcome to the forums also.

 No it would be in the same shop this is hobby so no real concern combining both skills in one place for me.   I will be making a MFT welding table which would roll and also could fasten to a MFT type table if necessary for more work space.  Thank you for the welcome!

 

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26 minutes ago, pkinneb said:

Based on this I would be really tempted to go with an MFT because it could be brought to where the cabinets are going and I could build them on site. Given where it appears you are at with tool accumulation I would probably not spring for an Incra fence not because they are not good but rather that money could be spent on other acquisitions that will be helpful to  make cabinetry, Router , bits, etc. 

Good points.  Well most of the cabinets will be built in the shop as per fabrication then just moved to the basement when needed.   I don't plan on any need to do any projects away from my home.  The MFT leads to a bunch of other Festool Tools which I understand are great but I already own a router and am looking for ease of use and bang for buck solutions.  I like the idea of incorporating a router table into a table saw.

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49 minutes ago, pkinneb said:

Based on this I would be really tempted to go with an MFT because it could be brought to where the cabinets are going and I could build them on site. Given where it appears you are at with tool accumulation I would probably not spring for an Incra fence not because they are not good but rather that money could be spent on other acquisitions that will be helpful to  make cabinetry, Router , bits, etc. 

Good points thank you.  I think I will go for a new saw for now.  Add a router table solution to the saw later.  That being said probably wouldn't need to go Festool. 

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I'd definitely start with the table saw - It's the center of most shops for a reason!

Chop saw is pretty handy for construction and trim carpentry. If you are planning on all the work listed above, make sure to get a good one (I recommend the kapex).

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52 minutes ago, Eric. said:

If you're starting from scratch keep the core tool list in mind:

Table saw, bandsaw, jointer, planer, router table.

Starting with the table saw probably makes the most sense, then I'd build a router table.  Then add the jointer and planer together and finally add the bandsaw.  That would be for flatwork anyway...if you had a bunch of projects with curves involved or you needed to do resawing, bump the bandsaw in priority.

Core tools should be purchased before convenience and efficiency tools like an MFT or a drum sander.  They're great to have but you're doing things backwards if you buy them before you have The Big Five.

Youd go router table before jointer, planer, bandsaw? Hand held router i can see, but my priority since buying a table saw has been getting flat, straight material to work with. Ive built a hokey little router table to get me by, but I could definitely get by without a badass router table until after i invest in the jointer, planer, bandsaw.

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4 minutes ago, woodbutcher said:

Youd go router table before jointer, planer, bandsaw? Hand held router i can see, but my priority since buying a table saw has been getting flat, straight material to work with. Ive built a hokey little router table to get me by, but I could definitely get by without a badass router table until after i invest in the jointer, planer, bandsaw.

I put my router table in my table saw (cast iron extension wing), and I love it. Full table to work with, and an awesome fence to boot!

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9 minutes ago, woodbutcher said:

Youd go router table before jointer, planer, bandsaw? Hand held router i can see, but my priority since buying a table saw has been getting flat, straight material to work with. Ive built a hokey little router table to get me by, but I could definitely get by without a badass router table until after i invest in the jointer, planer, bandsaw.

It's a perfectly logical argument to add the jointer and planer before the router table, but they are a much more significant expense so I think it's reasonable to add the RT first just so you knock out one of the core tools right away.  In the meantime you can continue to work with S3S material which, while not ideal, is an option.

But yeah...if money is no object, I would prioritize the jointer and planer in the context of importance for sure...they just happen to be way more expensive to acquire than a router table, which can be done for fairly cheap (or not if you want a badass setup).

If you have a table saw the bandsaw isn't really needed until you want to start doing curves and resawing.  It's obviously a critical core tool but I think curves and resawing tend to happen more as you progress as a woodworker, and often beginners don't need those capabilities right at the start.  Even without a bandsaw you can build a boatload of shop furniture and a workbench to get the shop more functional and some projects under your belt, and in the meantime save up for the bandsaw so you have it when you're ready to graduate to more complicated projects.

It's all subjective and everyone's needs are different, but those are my thoughts for someone who wants to build in a similar way to how I build.

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8 minutes ago, Eric. said:

It's a perfectly logical argument to add the jointer and planer before the router table, but they are a much more significant expense so I think it's reasonable to add the RT first just so you knock out one of the core tools right away.  In the meantime you can continue to work with S3S material which, while not ideal, is an option.

But yeah...if money is no object, I would prioritize the jointer and planer in the context of importance for sure...they just happen to be way more expensive to acquire than a router table, which can be done for fairly cheap (or not if you want a badass setup).

If you have a table saw the bandsaw isn't really needed until you want to start doing curves and resawing.  It's obviously a critical core tool but I think curves and resawing tends to happen more as you progress as a woodworker, and often beginners don't need those capabilities right at the start.  Even without a bandsaw you can build a boatload of shop furniture and a workbench to get the shop more functional and some projects under your belt, and in the meantime save up for the bandsaw so you have it when you're ready to graduate to more complicated projects.

It's all subjective and everyone's needs are different, but those are my thoughts for someone who wants to build in a similar way that I build.

Great points.

And alot of what you acquire and when depends on if you are buying all new stuff, or are looking at the used market too. If you want everything new, you can lay out a plan of what you want next and go by that. If you are like me, and arent afraid of buying something used, you kind of just buy whatever comes up for sale next. 

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22 hours ago, Eric. said:

If you're starting from scratch keep the core tool list in mind:

Table saw, bandsaw, jointer, planer, router table.

Starting with the table saw probably makes the most sense, then I'd build a router table.  Then add the jointer and planer together and finally add the bandsaw.  That would be for flatwork anyway...if you had a bunch of projects with curves involved or you needed to do resawing, bump the bandsaw in priority.

Core tools should be purchased before convenience and efficiency tools like an MFT or a drum sander.  They're great to have but you're doing things backwards if you buy them before you have The Big Five.

Thank you great points.  I don't have a good table saw so I would start there.  Question your thoughts on Track Saws.  Can they really replace a table saw as mentioned in many Festool posts?  I was thinking of just using my circular saw with a great straight edge guide and making these cuts outside of the shop for now then using a tables saw for fine tuning with finish cuts.   Thoughts?

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3 minutes ago, Gary Karczewski said:

Thank you great points.  I don't have a good table saw so I would start there.  Question your thoughts on Track Saws.  Can they really replace a table saw as mentioned in many Festool posts?  I was thinking of just using my circular saw with a great straight edge guide and making these cuts outside of the shop for now then using a tables saw for fine tuning with finish cuts.   Thoughts?

Tracksaws can do some things that table saws do, but not everything.  I use the table saw for a ton of joinery, and that is usually difficult or impossible with a tracksaw.  Can't use a dado stack in a tracksaw.  A tracksaw is almost worthless for small parts.  A table saw with a crosscut sled is an enormously versatile machine.  A tracksaw is great for crosscuts on panels and to a lesser extent, rips.  The table saw is the logical first tool in almost any shop.

The people who say a tracksaw can replace a table saw are Festool crackheads.  I have a tracksaw but it ain't even close to a replacement.  It's a supplementary tool.  If you work exclusively with sheet goods it's a slightly better argument.

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44 minutes ago, Gary Karczewski said:

Did you opt for the router table wing and do you use a riser or drill in for a riser tool?

I have the cast iron wing from general international, which fits my saw perfectly. Bench dog also make one.

I don't feel the need for a lift, and just reach down to adjust the router. The plunge router has a great adjustment built in.

I'll snap some pics shortly.

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