BDY33

Absolute beginner, becoming frustrated

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This is one of the great woodworking forums I came across and I think one of the biggest reasons is that even a beginner in the field receive much attention and BDY33 is one of these examples. 

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1 hour ago, Ben86 said:

This is one of the great woodworking forums I came across and I think one of the biggest reasons is that even a beginner in the field receive much attention and BDY33 is one of these examples. 

Good deal! Welcome!

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Welcome to the forums J, what are you struggling with?  Pretty good folks here that are always willing to help out.

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6 minutes ago, TIODS said:

Welcome to the forums J, what are you struggling with?  Pretty good folks here that are always willing to help out.

Hi Tiods:

I am fairly new and understand why you would need a planer, the questions i have regarding jointers is most beginner models are 6", yet most of the decent rough lumber is going to be wider. I have a nice hand planer and certainly know how to use a square and level/straight edge.  Not sure how helpful a 6" jointer will be?

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That's a bit of a loaded question, especially with me tossing my 2 cents worth in ;)

Most here are going to tell you to not buy anything less than an 8 inch jointer.  There's absolutely nothing wrong with an 8" jointer as long as it's within your budget.  Considering the difference in pricing between a 6" and and 8" jointer, I personally think it's a waste of money for 2 additional inches.

I've had a 6" jointer in my shop for many years and really wouldn't want to live without it.  For most of what I build, it more than enough.  If/when I need something wider, which is a rare occasion, I have a drum sander, planer, and hand planes that get the job done.  Yes, sometimes I have to throw together a quickie sled to use the planer or drum sander but, that's an easy trade off for me considering the price tag on an 8" jointer.  Also, if I'm over 6 inches, chances are that I'm also over 8 inches so would need to find the same solutions anyway.  So, unless you're going to go really big, why wast the money?

The next big question comes down to cutter heads.  Do you get a helical head or straight knives?  Really, this depends on what you're working with.  If you're working with a lot of figured woods, then the helical head is the way to go.  If you're just looking to make lumber flat and reduce thickness then, the helical head is another waste of money.  For the record, I have straight knives on my jointer.

So, in the end, it really depends on what you're building.  All of us here can toss our opinions at you and most will have logical reasons behind their opinions - see my rambling above - but, really, only you can answer that question.

 

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I have an 8 inch jointer, very, very, very new.  I was in need of replacing a very small very old 6 inch jointer and until about a day or two before my purchase, was going to buy another 6 inch jointer but with longer beds.  At the last minute I decided to go with an 8 inch, only because I had the money, I bought it on sale, and decided what the heck.  Having said all of that, I agree with everything said above.

 

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31 minutes ago, TIODS said:

That's a bit of a loaded question, especially with me tossing my 2 cents worth in ;)

Most here are going to tell you to not buy anything less than an 8 inch jointer.  There's absolutely nothing wrong with an 8" jointer as long as it's within your budget.  Considering the difference in pricing between a 6" and and 8" jointer, I personally think it's a waste of money for 2 additional inches.

I've had a 6" jointer in my shop for many years and really wouldn't want to live without it.  For most of what I build, it more than enough.  If/when I need something wider, which is a rare occasion, I have a drum sander, planer, and hand planes that get the job done.  Yes, sometimes I have to throw together a quickie sled to use the planer or drum sander but, that's an easy trade off for me considering the price tag on an 8" jointer.  Also, if I'm over 6 inches, chances are that I'm also over 8 inches so would need to find the same solutions anyway.  So, unless you're going to go really big, why wast the money?

The next big question comes down to cutter heads.  Do you get a helical head or straight knives?  Really, this depends on what you're working with.  If you're working with a lot of figured woods, then the helical head is the way to go.  If you're just looking to make lumber flat and reduce thickness then, the helical head is another waste of money.  For the record, I have straight knives on my jointer.

So, in the end, it really depends on what you're building.  All of us here can toss our opinions at you and most will have logical reasons behind their opinions - see my rambling above - but, really, only you can answer that question.

 

 

16 minutes ago, Chet said:

I have an 8 inch jointer, very, very, very new.  I was in need of replacing a very small very old 6 inch jointer and until about a day or two before my purchase, was going to buy another 6 inch jointer but with longer beds.  At the last minute I decided to go with an 8 inch, only because I had the money, I bought it on sale, and decided what the heck.  Having said all of that, I agree with everything said above.

 

Very helpful, thank you both.

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Good advice/feedback above.  I'm mostly in their camp - I have a 6" jointer and it's been great for 99+% of what I've wanted to do for many years.  Some of the (moderately) wider boards I've used I managed through one of several methods - hand plane to "mostly" remove twist etc and then ran through my planer; a planer sled; or removed the guard and jointed most of the face on the jointer, then put that mostly jointed face on a piece of MDF and ran it through my planer.  You can definitely get by with a 6" planer.  If one comes up that's in your budget though, an 8" could be nice because of the longer tables.  All depends on what you're planning on building.

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We definitely have similar stories. I’m mid life myself and always wanted to take up wood working but never had space. I have fond memories of my grandfather always being in his shop and making things for everyone. Unfortunately, lost him last year just as I was starting to start building a shop. 

 

I had had similar frustrations with flat and square and accuracy... I really had no one to teach me so I turned to you tube. I’ve watched soooo many how to’s. But, I still lacked any confidence. Knowledge but fear of failure and where to start???

 

I really got started by my wife. She has a “vintage” habit/collector, she knew I wanted to wood work and ran across a vintage Craftsman band Saw for $20. Had no motor but was solid machine! I was off and running! There’s a lot of satisfaction from finding vintage machines and bringing them back to life! Plus, building bases, stands, stations etc. is building skills and confidence. I have been collecting both hand and power tools for awhile now and have a pretty impressive collection of tools. Almost nothing I own has a piece of plastic. Solid. Also learn a lot about your tools this way

 

heres a list of some of my finds:

10” table saw $50 

tabletop tilt table Saw $20 (valuable)

8” tablesaw $45 yes 3 table saws. I’m turning 1 into disc sander and 1 into designated sled

Dewalt radial arm saw free (got lucky)

6” jointer free ( rescue from dark corner of my cousins garage

my only piece that has plastic is an eBay Ridgid planer

 

Anyhow, there are a lot of deals out there. Quality machines. I just finished my dust collector. Steel drum, big box store 1hp dust extraction, and dust deputy. $140 total. Oops some hose and fittings maybe another $50 or so. But turned out great. Hang in there! I know the feeling of being frustrated, overwhelmed and where to start. I’m more excited now then ever. Wish I had more time. 

Heres a look at my dust collection unit.  

9C9B0E27-5CB8-40C2-90BB-8ADCCF1B7DEF.jpeg

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That's quite a hybrid  dust collector ! It gave me great pride to give my old Craftsman tablesaw to my Grandfather after I bought my first Unisaw. He was proud that I had learned so much from him as a teen that I was able to teach him a few things in my twenties. He made the cocobolo chain that's on my profile. Those are precious memories to me. Sorry you lost your grandfather, I still miss mine after 30 years. But I know they are proud that we are carrying on the tradition !

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On 2/8/2013 at 9:10 AM, calmari said:

I feel your pain, but don't let it affect your drive to want to work wood.  I started at the same point that you are at now, and while I'm still a beginner I've slowly managed to build up a decent kit of tools over the past couple of years.  I also started out in part of a garage and had to pack/un-pack everything when I wanted to build.  My table saw was the crappy $100 Ryobi portable from HD that (as I found out) didnt even cut square.  Yeah all that stuff is great, but you don't NEED it to get started, and especially not at that price point.  I don't know if you've watched any of Steve Ramsey's Woodworking for Mere Mortals videos over at http://www.woodworkingformeremortals.com/ , but Steve has put together some great stuff, without high-end equipment.

 

Unless you are doing all hand tool work, I think that a table saw is pretty important and very versatile.  You can get by with using a circular saw for many things, but the ultimately there are things you can't do.  My wife goes to Ana White's http://ana-white.com/  and likes a lot of her plans and the most high-tech tool she uses is a miter saw, so it can be done.  A few suggestions:

 

- Craigslist - Most of my tools I got off CL, stuff that was barely used for less than half the price of new.

- Dust collection -  Get a dust deputy (the basic model around $40 - just the cyclone) or build a Thein seperator and use a shop vac

- Go mobile - As you get tools build/buy mobile bases for them so that you can maybe move things out into the driveway

☝️☝️this is exactly who I was going to recommend as well.  Steve has some beautiful projects with mom minimal spending in mind. I even signed up for his weekend course. I understand as well. It's hard not to get hung up on feeling like you need all of these tools for you to get started but, I felt the same way. Over the past 3 years though, I have gotten to a good "hyvrid" position as a diy/woodworker.... but honestly, if you get two good metal speed squares, a good hand saw(& mthan iter box) and a good plane, you'd be surprised at how versatile those tools could be. Keep onmind, people built entire house and 2 story barns with the same or less ,back in the day. Keep your head up, and dont ost the "shiny consumer" industry make you think you cant be or get creative!! Best ofluck, and cheers,

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Also a beginner. I've taken advantage of used tools. The folks buying the high end tools are often upgrading from tools still have a lot of life and have been taken care of. There are also people that bought a tool for a project or two without any intension of becoming a woodworking hobbyist. My local Woodcraft store has an annual "swap". Used tools stores. And obviously the internet and Craig's list have been good sources. Bought my Sawstop Jobsite saw new, but jointers, planer, router and router table, hand planes, etc all used. Saved a bunch and haven't "outgrown" any tools yet.

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I’ve been piecing my shop together with used stuff from Facebook marketplace and letgo. I don’t pass by a yard sale without perusing the tools and I have rockler and woodcraft email me anytime there’s a sale on clamps. With a little leg work and some time I was able to get for under 600$ collectively.

1: a delta 10” contractor grade table saw with router table extension wing

2: delta 3 wheel bandsaw (please don’t make fun of me it was free)

3: assorted routers. I mean like 4 of them.

4: a Rockwell jawhorse. I suggest it to anyone that doesn’t have a lot of space in their shop the things pretty versatile.

and if you join local woodworking groups theirs always someone upgrading something that would love to offset the cost by selling you their old one.

this didn’t happen overnight but hey it was cheap.

 

 

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I’m sure this has been said already but you can always check the used tool market on Craigslist. You can find some pretty sweet deals if you keep your eyes peeled. I just recently snagged a grizzly table saw that would have cost me over $2000 after shipping, for $350. 

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I second Dodgeram on the Ridgid table saw. I bought a nice dewalt portable and with its rack and pinion fence and a good Freud blade it was pretty good. Just not quite good enough. Not wasted money but now a TS collecting dust on a shelf. The Rdgid cost $550 and will probably do me fine for the rest of my days. 

Mit took me ages to collect everything but after the dewalt ts I bought a small dewalt router with the plunge and regular bases. Less than $200 on Amazon. Then a few router bits. 

I built my workbench while working on a rickety foldable picnic table. Added a couple of bench vices. Drilled some dog holes, and it’s still working (although another one is somewhere in my future). 

I bought my DW734 planer next. It was almost half the cost of the 735 and as far as I can tell just a fine job. But with the planer comes the requirement for a dust collector. Harbor Freight $160 new, and later on a Wynn nano filter for $200. I’ll add a cyclone someday. 

This year for my 60th birthday I splurged on a Laguna 1412 bandsaw, and wow that’s a great thing to have. But all this has taken 3-4 years. 

There are hand tools and then there are great hand tools. Bought some Kobalt hand planes at Lowe’s, don’t do it! Bought one Lie-Nielsen hand plane for what seemed like a lot of money but it’s like the difference between driving an old truck and a sports car. 

Study, budget, choose wisely. Spend time on forums like this. It’s a great hobby and watching family use the things you’ve made brings satisfaction you can’t measure in dollars. 

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I understand your frustration. It isn't cheap but doesn't have to be expensive either. 

Check around on craigslist. Search on YouTube for how to set up a shop on the cheap.

Try to budget for one tool per paycheck and buy used. 

If you end up loving it and want to stick with it for the long haul you can upgrade later.

 

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