Returning to the hobby


Harry1962
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Hello All,

I'm new to the forum. I've been doing construction,remodeling and repair for 30+ years but left the "recreational" aspects of woodworking 20 years ago. I am retired now and only do work for family and friends. I need to replace specialized tools I have sold or given away over the past two decades. I am searching the net looking for a good reliable distributor. I am discovering most have inadequate customer service ratings. So..... I'm looking for recommendations for a source. TIA for any and all assistance.

 

Harry

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Welcome.

Hopefully Harry checks back in.  The tool (and other product) world today is very different.  I would no sooner go to a Jet, Powermatic or Minimax dealer for "everything" than I would shop only at Costco.  With the pressures of off-shore competition USA made machines have all but disappeared.  Each maker or brand seems to have their few "best of breed" machines based on quality, customer service, price . . . or a combination of the three.

Lots of folks on here with lots of varied experiences.  This let's you get a tremendous amount of input (and some strong opinions) very quickly.  Target items as individual decisions, gather what everyone and anyone has to say, sort it down to the things that matter to you and make your decisions.  IMHO, single-sourcing is not the most effective way to acquire what you're after. it that is what you were looking for.

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8 minutes ago, gee-dub said:

Welcome.

Hopefully Harry checks back in.  The tool (and other product) world today is very different.  I would no sooner go to a Jet, Powermatic or Minimax dealer for "everything" than I would shop only at Costco.  With the pressures of off-shore competition USA made machines have all but disappeared.  Each maker or brand seems to have their few "best of breed" machines based on quality, customer service, price . . . or a combination of the three.

Lots of folks on here with lots of varied experiences.  This let's you get a tremendous amount of input (and some strong opinions) very quickly.  Target items as individual decisions, gather what everyone and anyone has to say, sort it down to the things that matter to you and make your decisions.  IMHO, single-sourcing is not the most effective way to acquire what you're after. it that is what you were looking for.

Well said!

Welcome Harry!

I would add that early in my woodworking journey I purchased tools well just becuase its what I thought I needed or I saw a review or becuase my friend had it, etc. Now I buy tools based on the upcoming project. I decide what I will be working on, whether I have the tool needed, if not do I have a tool that will work or is it time to purchase something. My ultimate goal is to build amazing things not collect tools, in my current flow that is just a happy by product :) 

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Thank you for the great input. My current tool arsenal is primarily contractor/job site equipment. I still use them of course but I am in the process of setting up a shop (which in itself I'm finding great fun). I've cleared out a building (more of a shed) that was once used for storage and upgrading it. I wanted a cabinet saw for its advantages and as recommended above, plan to purchase only what I truly need. My son and I are about 80% complete on a complete down to the stud remodel of a 1960s 1800 sq ft house. I plan to build custom cabinets for his house and want to purchase the equipment that will lend to the highest quality of the job. Please let me know any recommendations on where to purchase table routers and dovetail jigs. Thanks

 

Harry

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Steering away from table saws I think a nice plunge router with a table is going to be worth its weight in gold for any new shop.  I have the 2.25hp variable speed Bosch which is just behind the table saw in its daily use.    

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I'll assume raised panels in the doors of the cabinets you mention.  A 2-1/4 HP router will do it but, something like a Milwaukee 5625 in a table may be better suited.  A router table can be as simple or as complex as you desire.  This is discussed on Fine Woodworking in one of their Shop Talk Live broadcasts.  Scales on the table and a good fence are great for repeatability but, a piece of milled hardwood clamped at one end and pivoting at the other will do as well.  The point being that you can learn a lot about what you want from a router table setup without spending a lot to get the job done.

As to where to purchase once you know what you are after . . . are there Rockler or Woodcraft stores in your locale?  This would let you put your hands on some choices.  These and other "woodworking stores" can generally provide tables from benchtop to "costs more than a shaper" models.  I am in the middle with a commercial table, fence and lift on a shop made cabinet.  Router tables are certainly one of the more often "buy or build" conversation items.  My "buy or build" decisions are often made based on the time I have to build.  If it's leisurely, I build.  If it's a commission/deadline requirement I often buy.

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