Scooby

Need advice to start my woodworking journey

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Hello everyone,

I will be moving into a new construction house soon. The house has a 2-car garage (19'x18' and 8' height)  that I plan to setup a workshop  and start my woodworking journey. As a beginner, there is a lot of information to take on and by no means my reading, self-learning for the last few months will be enough for the planning. Below are some of my questions:

  1. The garage has a water heater and the summer is very hot in southern Texas. Does it have any effects on  working in the workshop and  wood storage  since the garage  is not temperature controlled. I plan to use the workshop with the  garage door closed after work and during the weekend. 
  2. I  have got my eye on the Delta 36 - 725 T2 ($600) hybrid table saw and consider it a long term investment rather than job-site saws. Do you think it's a good choice for under $700 saw and for beginner? I try to invest in the table saw while keeping other tools on tight budget. Any recommendations for other tools  and brands that I should buy?
  3. For the dust control, I plan to purchase the Rigid 14 Gal. 6.0-Peak HP NXT . I will hook it with some DIY dust separator in this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WnitgYFnE0. Do you think those two are good enough to keep the garage clean?
  4. I will practice my skills on soft wood and plywood first to build the workbench, jigs,  storage cabinet and hanging rack in the garage and then some other stuff in the backyard  like planter, raised bed garden, trellis, swing, etc. Do you think pine, cedar and plywood are good enough for those purposes? 
  5. Once I am comfortable with tools, I plan to build dining table and some other tables, shelves around the house with hard wood. There will be a lot of edge gluing to make large board but I dont want to buy jointer/planner.  Do you think the table saw and router are good enough to make the wood piece flat before and after gluing?  I saw people use the router to flatten out the board after gluing.
  6. I have limited build (5'3") and never drive a truck before. Please don't laugh :) . I wonder if I can mange to complete those  building plans by myself.  I still can't figure out the easy and cheap way to buy wood from the store and drive home. My SUV is so small for those 10ft boards.

Overall, I want to start my woodworking journey as a hobbyist and enjoy building things around the house.  I just don't know if my planning are too ambitious for a guy like me with zero experience but tons of enthusiasm. I wonder how long will it take before I can build furniture with hardwood. Thanks in advance!!!

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1 hour ago, Scooby said:

I  have got my eye on the Delta 36 - 725 T2 ($600) hybrid table saw and consider it a long term investment rather than job-site saws. Do you think it's a good choice for under $700 saw and for beginner? I try to invest in the table saw while keeping other tools on tight budget. Any recommendations for other tools  and brands that I should buy?

I think you will get more positive reviews around here on this Ridgid Table Saw  then the Delta you mentioned above.

 

1 hour ago, Scooby said:

I has limited build (5'3") and never drive a truck before. Please don't laugh :) . I wonder if I can mange to complete those  building plans by myself.  I still can't figure out the easy and cheap way to buy wood from the store and drive home. My SUV is so small for those 10ft boards.

Get a battery operated Circular saw like this Battery operated Circular Saw   and carry it in your vehicle so you can cut lumber down to size that will fit in the car. 

And Welcome to the forum Scooby

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 I have the older version of the Delta saw (36-725) and I love it. I have read mixed reviews on then 36-725-T2. They seem to be having motor issue. That being said that was the same complaint on the 36-725 when it first cam out but is was fixed. I bought mine after the motor issue was resolved.

Does your SUV have a roof rails or a roof rack? If it only has rails you can get crass bars and put wood on the roof.

Jeremy  

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26 minutes ago, rainjer said:

 I have the older version of the Delta saw (36-725) and I love it. I have read mixed reviews on then 36-725-T2. They seem to be having motor issue. That being said that was the same complaint on the 36-725 when it first cam out but is was fixed. I bought mine after the motor issue was resolved.

Does your SUV have a roof rails or a roof rack? If it only has rails you can get crass bars and put wood on the roof.

Hi Jeremy,

Thanks for your info. I would love to purchase the 36-725 too but it was discontinued unfortunately. 

My Mazda CX5 does not have roof rack. I may look into that option. Other than the installation cost, I wonder how much weight can I put on top of the car. Those wood boards seems kind of heavy.

Thanks.

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Scooby, welcome to the forum. Where in So. Texas are you?

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2 minutes ago, Coop said:

Scooby, welcome to the forum. Where in So. Texas are you?

Hi Coop,

I live in College Station which is a small town between Houston and Austin. 

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Just now, Scooby said:

College Station

Texas A & M country.

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My granddaughter lives in College Station from Sept. to May. 

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I live in Florida. Summers last 5 or 6 months. In the summer I only get in my shop very early, the coolest part of the day. My loudest tool is my thickness planer and I must wait until 8 am per agreement with neighbors. By 9:30 I am out of the shop. Your first project is to build a workbench. Start online and find one you want to build. The bench is needed for your second project and many more...

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14 minutes ago, curlyoak said:

My loudest tool is my thickness planer and I must wait until 8 am per agreement with neighbors. ...Your first project is to build a workbench....The bench is needed for your second project and many more...

Hi Curlyoak,

Thanks for your advice. Definitely the workbench is my first project. Do you think I can manage it without the planer? I dont think I will get a planer/jointer any time soon.

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Hi Scooby, and welcome. I hope we can offer some helpful advice to get you started off on the right foot.

Regarding tools, these are MY opinions, so take them as you like.

Personally, I find my tablesaw to be critical to most projects, but I would invest even more in a planer. Why? Because even pre-milled lumber moves, especially when stored in an uncontrolled environment. Making the wood flat and even is easiest with a planer AND a jointer, but there are lots of tricks to use only the jointer. All of which are much faster than using a router sled! 

My advice would be to do your best on the tablesaw, shop used if necessary, and save toward the planer and jointer as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, a couple hundred $$ can net you a decent jack plane and a diamond plate to keep it sharp. Learn to use those, and your expensive machine worries will be much less urgent.

As for materials, don't take it for granted that home center softwood is cheaper or easier to use. You pay for that smooth surface, the 'craft boards' that most places carry are considerably more expensive than the equivalent boards from a mill.

For transport, look into a trailer hitch. Probably no more expensive than a roof rack, and gives a lot more options. And you can always rent a pickup for the day if the SUV just won't cut it.

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Really simple workbench:

 

Slightly less simple, but easier to work at bench:

No affiliation with this guy, but his "Woodworking for Humans" videos are just the ticket for someone starting out on a limited budget.

 

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@Scooby, I highly recommend you take @Coop up on that offer. He is a skilled woodworker, and a fine gentleman, to boot. That is, if you can catch him on a day off from that job he refuses to retire from. What are you down to now, Ken? Half a day on odd-numbered Thursdays? :lol:

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Looks like the experienced members have things covered pretty well all is good advice.

I'll just add start small and add tools as you need them.

For lumber I like to suggest a small trailer. The little 4x8 utility trailers that can be found for dirt cheap will haul a lot of lumber and don't take up much space. I want to say there are folding trailers out there as well. Trailers are useful for more than just lumber hauling as well.

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@JohnG,

Thanks a lot for you input. I will definitely look into that. The insight info you have from the CX-5 is amazing! For the planer, my quick search points to this $700 Makita 2012NB 12-Inch Planer (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000051ZOO/?ref=idea_lv_dp_ov_d). Do you think it is a good one to start with? I like the ablility to keep it down to 83dB but not sure it's even possible haha. I will need to save up for a few months and will get it later during sale events. For now, I will invest on table saw and other tools in the shop.

@Coop,

 I will definitely visit your workshop when I have a chance. Once in a while, I drive to Bellaire during the weekend to get some Asian food. Indeed, I graduated from OU  before working for A&M. It's a nice surprise to see someone making  frequent trip between Houston and OKC.

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8 minutes ago, Scooby said:

@JohnG,

Thanks a lot for you input. I will definitely look into that. The insight info you have from the CX-5 is amazing! For the planer, my quick search points to this $700 Makita 2012NB 12-Inch Planer (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000051ZOO/?ref=idea_lv_dp_ov_d). Do you think it is a good one to start with? I like the ablility to keep it down to 83dB but not sure it's even possible haha. I will need to save up for a few months and will get it later during sale events. For now, I will invest on table saw and other tools in the shop.

@Coop,

 I will definitely visit your workshop when I have a chance. Once in a while, I drive to Bellaire during the weekend to get some Asian food. Indeed, I graduated from OU  before working for A&M. It's a nice surprise to see someone making  frequent trip between Houston and OKC.

I have the Ridgid and have been satisfied with it: https://www.homedepot.com/p/RIDGID-13-in-Thickness-Corded-Planer-R4331/100634358

The DW735 is the "gold standard" of lunchbox planers: https://www.homedepot.com/p/DEWALT-15-Amp-Corded-13-in-Planer-DW735/100011483?MERCH=REC-_-pipsem-_-100634358-_-100011483-_-N

You could also try the WEN: https://www.amazon.com/WEN-6552T-3-Blade-Benchtop-Thickness/dp/B07KL4L9KM/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=wen+planer&qid=1589983550&sr=8-1

or the Harbor Freight special: https://www.harborfreight.com/15-amp-12-12-in-portable-thickness-planer-63445.html

It looks like the prices have gone up a bit since I was looking at them. You can probably find them cheaper online if you hunt around and watch the prices, and can also check Craigslist and similar. I think the Ridgid was $399 when I bought it, and the box was beat up so they gave me 10% off.

All lunchbox planers are LOUD. Some people wear foam ear plugs and over ear muffs both while using them.

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Scooby,

I have the Ridgid R4512 and like it but people have had issues. There's a new version out now and I've seen some strange reviews. If you have Facebook check out the Ridgid R4512 owner's Facebook group for lots of reviews and tips.

I bought the Ridgid planer from here. They go on sale for 25-30% fairly often. https://www.directtoolsoutlet.com/Brands/RIDGID/RIDGID-15-Amp-Corded-13-In-Planer-with-3-Blade-Cutterhead/p/ZRR4331

Set up a Craiglist notification for whatever tools you're looking for and watch out on Facebook marketplace or whatever local board is best.

I would definitely take Coop up on his offer. That would speed up your learning curve quite a bit.

If you don't have a place for a trailer you can usually find a place to deliver wood or rent a truck from uHaul, Home Depot, Turo, etc. I think the CX-5 limits board length to just under 8' but it's been a while since I've used ours to get some. A simple hand saw can break boards down in the parking lot to a size that fits unless you're working on a big project.

Don't be afraid to jump in and start building furniture with hardwood. Rarely do you screw up and have to get rid of the whole project. Also, the majority of people don't notice details or mistakes. There are some great in-depth furniture videos out there but www.thewoodwhispererguild.com has some great ones.

Not saying follow this 100% but I think it's an interesting concept showing you some things you can build along the way. https://www.woodmagazine.com/workshop/idea-shop-6?page=1 

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26 minutes ago, wtnhighlander said:

+1 on the CL and FB Marketplace shopping. I snagged my tablesaw, small dust collector, AND a DW735 planer for a total of $500. Been using them all for a bit more than 3 years, and am quite satisfied.

Wow, that was very good deal!!! I will definitely try my luck on FB and CL.

Thanks.

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On 5/19/2020 at 9:11 PM, wtnhighlander said:

Making the wood flat and even is easiest with a planer AND a jointer, but there are lots of tricks to use only the jointer. All of which are much faster than using a router sled

This advice is the difference between struggling or getting it done with confidence. For me, the starting point of most projects is my jointer. If you have a budget then consider a 6" jointer. If you buy used make sure it is in working order. You don't need a rebuild project at your beginnings. A jointer is critical to dress lumber. Dressing is taking rough lumber and making it ready to use. This is like building a foundation of a building. If everything is square, level, and plumb then it makes it easy to build. Otherwise you are compensating till it is done. Same as dressing wood. I'm sure there is lots written about dressing wood an a beginner should do some research on the subject. Good luck!

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7 minutes ago, curlyoak said:

I once was 5' 5". I'm old and I shrunk to 5' 3". Your size doesn't matter. To exaggerate look at Stone Henge. Done by humans much smaller than the stones. The tree that was the source of the lumber you use is much too big for humans to manage without mechanical advantage. And that comes from the brain. With a strong brain you can do amazing things. Oh, I drive a truck...

At this point, my approach will be to install a trailer hitch for my CX5 and rent a trailer whenever I want to shop for wood. I will also bring a cordless circular with me just in case. Not sure when will I have a chance to drive a truck :D.

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