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SimonSays

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Hi - I've been using the forum for quite some time to read advice on buying used tools., So, thanks for that! Apologies for the long lead-in to my questions, below, but I guess the background will be helpful.

I'm an amateur with limited skills but keen to learn. I'm fortunate to have a decent amount of space in side and around a garage at home to use as a workshop (as well as storing mowers, motorbikes and years of clutter).

My ethos on buying tools so far has been buy used and better quality rather than new and buy above my skill level so that I can grow, or more easily sell tools on if they turn out to be better than me, or not right at all.

Over the last 5 years or so, I've bought:

DeWalt 743N table/chop saw combo that I used with roller stands to extend stock capability. I actually bought this when space was more of a premium, thus the combo;

Record Power CL4 lathe with a variable speed control box retro-fitted - I had a real hankering to try turning for fun... and it is! I have made some bowls and things that I was very pleased with... as well as sending some pieces flying around workshop with poor chisel technique :( ;

Collection of DeWalt 18V battery tools - mainly for general DIY, but I've got a jigsaw and a skill saw that would be useful in woodworking, perhaps;

Two DeWalt routers - a 625 that I plan to mount into a table setup and a smaller 1/4" collet one (can't recall model) that I've used a few times hand held. I've ordered a Trend CRT MkIII table to fit the 625 into as I can't find anything old/nearby that looks suitable and I have a job to do that means I'd rather make a table as a later project;

A Scheppach low speed 8 or 9" water-bath bench grinder (bought for lathe chisels) and an old Record Power high speed 2x 6" bench grinder (inherited);

At the end of a house renovation, I have wanted to do some nice detailing work myself, so my first task is to fit some oak threshold boards into some deep victorian doorways. I've bought sawn stock as I want to do the sizing and finishing myself.

I think the essential tools I need now are a planer/thicknesser to size and plane my boards. I plan to use the DW625 and table set up to cut chamfers and rabbets in the thresholds to finish and fit. My widest threshold is 250mm so I need 10" thicknessing capability.

I guess I don't *need* the planer right now but it would be helpful for any future jointing, I guess?

I also have a hankering for a bandsaw (not least so I can make end cheeks for a collection of synthesisers!)

To my actual question!

I'm eyeing a few items on eBay - do these feel right for my needs? A couple look over-priced (often a problem when buying in Surrey!) - I don't mind driving for a good deal...

And - am I buying the right things, or have I over-looked more essential kit (sorry, I can't post links yet)?

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P/T options

Elu EPT1161 Thickness Planer (prob going for ~£350)
DEWALT PLANER THICKNESSER DW 1150 (prob going to sell for ~£300)
Dewalt DW733S Planer Thicknesser 240V not DEWD273000 (asking £420 with no offers!) - looks like the yellow branded version of the DW1150?
Planer/thicknesser Elu EPT 1151 (5 days to run, £65 offered)
Scheppach HMS1070 10" Planer Thicknesser (£375 or offers)

Bandsaw

INCA 342.186 Bandsaw Euro 260 (£360 asked, no offers) - this one is almost next door... I wrote and offered £200 based on thoughts elsewhere on this forum
Startrite 301S wood working bandsaw (£100, no bids yet)

---

Thanks for reading all this! Any advice gratefully received...

Simon
 

MikeG.

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SimonSays":13355fhs said:
........am I buying the right things, or have I over-looked more essential kit?.......
Welcome to the forum, Simon.

There's not a single mention of handtools in there. They're the basis of all woodworking. Oh, and they're rebates over here. You've been visiting too many US sites!
 

SimonSays

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Thanks, Mike - yes, I probably have! Rebates it is.

I have a lot of hand tool as well, although they have mostly been acquired for DIY rather than woodworking. Aside from a good set of turning chisels, I have saws of most descriptions (incl. a super-useful Ryoba), general use chisels (Draper Expert type quality... undoubtedly NOT actually expert!), good drill bits varying from standard wood bits to spades and Forstners.

Anything that can also be considered a mechanic's tool, I will almost certainly have decent quality of - screwdrivers, spanners, sockets, etc. etc. - owing to motorbikes and a self-built Caterham 7 a few years ago.

I'm sure I'm lacking lots (planes, for a start) but I've not ONLY got power tools.
 

GrahamF

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Unless I'm mistaken, the Scheppach planer thicknesser you list looks like similar cheap clones (Erbauer, Charnwood, etc.) many of which have table problems and no adjustment to get them co-planar.
 

Cheshirechappie

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Hello Simon, and welcome!

A couple of other priority items (if you haven't already sorted them) are a bench, and tolerably organised storage for tools, cramps and the sundries that tend to accumulate (nails, screws, finishes, glues, sandpaper stocks, that sort of thing), and for wood stocks; you may buy in timber as it's required for jobs, but 'useful offcuts' will accumulate, trust me!

A bench doesn't have to be fancy, but rigid and heavy really do help. Use whatever materials are readily available and not too pricey (joinery grade PAR softwood would save the bother of planing up sawn stock if you don't mind springing for the extra), and it can be held together with nails, screws, bolts or whatever - save fancy joints for the Mark 2 'lifetime' bench! A face vice is a very useful attachment; there are all sorts of other gizmos which can be applied according to taste, but starting simple is probably best.

The last suggestion is to keep some space clear. It makes a big difference if you're refurbishing a door or assembling a chest of drawers, to be able to work all round it, or to able to move the bench away from the wall on occasions for access all round a job. The less space you have for workshop activities, the more important this is. Don't ask me how I know that.....
 

powertools

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Hi and welcome.
The only item on your list I can comment on is the Inca bandsaw.
I think I have seen the one you are talking about on ebay and I own the older version of the same saw and I would recommend it to anybody but I think the £200 you have offered is about right. I would also ask if it has a fence and mitre guide as neither are shown and I would want both.
 

Deadeye

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Hi Simon

A bit nervous commenting, as I'm pretty new myself but have come up the learning curve fairly fast.
Also, I get that you want to buy a new toy, not necessarily pursue a full apprenticeship!

My experience and comments:
- I had a bunch of old tools from my late father and father-in-law. Almost all hand tools. It was tempting to keep them but I didn't need over 50 screwdrivers and the one thing you cannot buy is space so prize that. Of those tools, the things you will need lots of are clamps. Somone has mentioned planes. You can do an awful lot with a #4 plane! I've resisted being drawn into the bewildering world of a multitude of planes. I have a big one to smooth, a medium one to, well, smooth, and a small one to, well, you get the idea. I'm still learnign to sharpen them just right and use them well. I had a crappy corded drill too.
- The first thing I actually bought was a second hand dust extractor and made a cyclone for it. The one thing you can't buy is your health etc.
- Then I got a saw, and ear defenders. You've done this, albeit differently (I don't have a chop saw)
- Then I got a router. Invaluable. With that and a saw and a workmate I made my first bench - ply top, solid frame and lots of drawers. The drawers get visibly better left to right as I got more skilled. It's no masterpiece but I love it. And I bought an old vice.
- About that time I also bought a jigsaw and cordless drill. Both Milwaukee - which was the only marque I could find that boasted metal gearing rather than nylon. In general I've tried to buy decent stuff slowly. I've bought those new as I htink second hand can hide problems in things like jigsaws.
- Somewhere along this I was given a course - 3 days. Really helped with planing/sharpening and basic joinery. That prompted spending a bit of money on - a decent straight edge, some calipers, a decent square, a marking gauge, a decent pencil(!) and those sorts of bits.
- On advice here I got Fisch drill bits (lip and spur), Torx screws, and Freud sawblade. All of which were *visibily* better even to my eye.
- most of the things I was making around now were jigs and workshop storage and so on, and some relatively simple boxes (sewing, jewelry). Tinkering with designs from the internet.
- Also about that time (?9 months ago) I drew up a list of target bits of kit and brands. Then just kept a lookout on ebay for any reasonable deals. The first to come up was a Pillar drill. I got aMeddings, but would have gone for a Fobco too (again advice here). It works fine, but I am aiming to strip down and rebuild. partly to be pretty and partly because I like learnign stuff and it seems the easier end of the rebuild spectrum.
- I bought an Axminster planer/thicknesser new... probably the one I regret. It won't take a spiral block and I wish I'd waited and saved or bought two separate machines.
- The P/T and course helped a lot though in doing my first project "for indoors" - a blanket box. That also took me into buying some decent timber. I probably wasted a ludicrous amount but, as I say, for me it's as much a journey as a destination.
- I have not long ago bought a bandsaw (Record Power, second hand) because it seemed that most of the deficiencies/problems can be fettled out. I would say that whilst Inca is very well regarded as a brand, spares can be scarce or unavailable. They are expensive, but hold value.
- The one thing I bought not on my list was a very old floor-standing belt sander at my kids' school jumble sale!

Currently on my list is more clamps, a wider selection of timber, a router plane and a hand held cut-off saw. Luxuries would be a second router (the one I have is in the table and also a bit big for trimming etc by hand) and maybe a power mitre saw (though the table saw sled and angles jig seems fine). I'm designing a bed frame and want to do a matching bookcase, so that'll keep me busy for the foreseeable future. In the longer term I'd love to learn about chairs. My other BIG knowledge gap is finishes. I can't beeswax everything!

tl;dr Make sure you can get spares. Buy a P/T that will take a spiral block in future. Save up for the one you want - be patient. I'd probably go bandsaw before planer because you can flatten things with planes and that is a good skill to have.
 

Stanleymonkey

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Welcome to the forum,

Sounds like you have a nice workshop set up down there - lucky man!

I didn't see a pillar drill mentioned (maybe it was). It will make a huge difference.

+1 for a decent bench and vice set up as well. Don't have any experience with planers so can't help much there.

Good luck
 

SimonSays

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Wow - a load of great help here!

GrahamF":3iu0gmvj said:
Unless I'm mistaken, the Scheppach planer thicknesser you list looks like similar cheap clones (Erbauer, Charnwood, etc.) many of which have table problems and no adjustment to get them co-planar.
Thanks, Graham - I've removed it from the list.

Cheshirechappie":3iu0gmvj said:
A couple of other priority items (if you haven't already sorted them) are a bench, and tolerably organised storage for tools, cramps and the sundries that tend to accumulate (nails, screws, finishes, glues, sandpaper stocks, that sort of thing), and for wood stocks; you may buy in timber as it's required for jobs, but 'useful offcuts' will accumulate, trust me!
I have my Grandad's old bench - it's like me: not that pretty but very functional :) And I had forgotten about clamps/cramps! I've got one or two random items but I've seen examples of people using over a hundred :D on a single piece so I certainly need more. Is Alu OK for sash clamps? Will Silverline do as a start for either?

powertools":3iu0gmvj said:
I think I have seen the one you are talking about on ebay and I own the older version of the same saw and I would recommend it to anybody but I think the £200 you have offered is about right. I would also ask if it has a fence and mitre guide as neither are shown and I would want both.
You're absolutely right - and I hadn't spotted the lack of fence and guide! I'll go back and ask.

@Deadeye - sounds like we're at different points on the same path. Everything in your notes is useful! I can guess but I don't know what a "spiral block" is (twisted stock?) so there's more research in me yet. I'm an impulsive type so I may have to break my router to stop me buying what I've seen but wait-and-buy-better is what I'm trying to achieve.

Stanleymonkey":3iu0gmvj said:
I didn't see a pillar drill mentioned (maybe it was). It will make a huge difference.
You're right... I didn't mention but I do have a small/basic one (can't recall brand but it's a rebadged generic that I acquired with this house about 2 yrs ago. It will want upgrading at some point but it's better than trying to brace a DeWalt 18V upright for now!

I'm going to do a proper clearout in the garage/workshop this weekend, and arrange what I've got into some usable pattern. Face vice onto bench is next and buying clamps/cramps. In the meantime, I'm watching stuff on eBay with a few days to run.

Thank you all!
 

AJB Temple

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My thoughts: It's easy to spend out on a lot of machinery, but unless you are doing large projects, I would resist the temptation until you have some hand dimensioning skills.

For your threshold job, you can hand plane those in an hour. You could use a hand held electric planer for rough dimensioning then finish with a hand plane.

A P/T takes up a lot of space in a garage type workshop. It's not the machine so much as the space around it that you need for infeed and outfeed. And these things create an enormous amount of dust and waste. You cannot really operate a P/T efficiently without extraction. I have a big cyclone set up but any decent extractor takes up a fair amount of space.

If you are planning to do lots of serious woodwork and want a bandsaw, the small ones are very limiting. It's not just the throat size, it's the ability to tension a wide blade sufficiently to deal with chunky oak etc.
 

SimonSays

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Thanks for all the above... and a bit of an update.

First things, first, after 2.5 yrs I cleared the "garage" (it's actually an old commercial poultry shed) and lo-and-behold I have a pretty decent workshop space. Two old, solid dining tables used as workbenches, plus the actual workbench I inherited give decent surface space. I'm sure I'll have to move some things around but the heavy stuff (lathe, bandsaw) can live permanently in one place.

AJB Temple":llagte9i said:
My thoughts: It's easy to spend out on a lot of machinery, but unless you are doing large projects, I would resist the temptation until you have some hand dimensioning skills.

For your threshold job, you can hand plane those in an hour. You could use a hand held electric planer for rough dimensioning then finish with a hand plane.
I took your advice... I let the PTs go (everything I was watching went for £300+) and bought a No 5 jack plane and a No 4 smoothing plane. An Irwin Record (#5) and a Magnusson (#4). Not the best, but neither am I! I've got a DW power plane already. We'll see how I get on planing to thickness and surface.

I spent the money on a Kity 613 bandsaw after a of looking and research - I'm a bit short on headroom in the 'shop so although identified a couple of Startrite 352s as my "ultimate" (£550-600 on eBay) I've spent a lot less on the Kity (collect today) and it's way more movable if needs be. It'll probably be better than me for some time to come.

If I end up wanting to join stock for a tabletop, for example, I'm still going to be tempted by a PT - or a jointer, at least - I don't have dust extraction yet but I've researched how to build a cyclone system off the back of my 1000W shop Vac. Some 240V extractors seem to go for low £££ as well (I missed a cheap Woova 4.0 that was local, annoyingly). If I get good with the planes in the meantime, I may never want it!

Getting the garage cleared was the biggest step - since doing that, I've reinforced the main doors with ripped down scaffold boards turned into Z bracing, got both motorbikes and mech tools into a space where I can work on them, turned a couple of things on the lathe and made a start on the thresholds. Best progress in years!
 

deema

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I wouldn’t buy any of those you have listed! I wouldn’t buy a Bandsaw unless you specifically have projects you must have a band saw for. I put the money 8bto the very best P/T you can afford.
I would instead look for a Sedgwick PT (10”) or MB planner thicknesser (12”) preferably with a Tersa head. The green painted machines are the oldest models and most have the ‘shorter’ beds. The next generation came in dark blue base and a light blue top. These all have the longer beds. The most modern have a blue base and white uppers.

P/T are troublesome machines to setup and run unless they are built extremely well. The Sedgwick machines are the cheapest ‘industrial’ build quality machines still made and will last you a lifetime without you ever thinking you need to upgrade. (Unless you want a wider cut).

If your practical a Wadkin BAOS or the small Dominion are also really excellent machines. However, most are 3ph and need either adapting or a Transwave (or similar) to generate the 3ph. Both have the ‘shorter’ beds. Anything missing or broken you will need to make or have made.

Longer beds are best for straightening. In fact the longer the beds the better.
 

memzey

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deema":sszbhe6r said:
I wouldn’t buy any of those you have listed! I wouldn’t buy a Bandsaw unless you specifically have projects you must have a band saw for. I put the money 8bto the very best P/T you can afford.
I would instead look for a Sedgwick PT (10”) or MB planner thicknesser (12”) preferably with a Tersa head. The green painted machines are the oldest models and most have the ‘shorter’ beds. The next generation came in dark blue base and a light blue top. These all have the longer beds. The most modern have a blue base and white uppers.

P/T are troublesome machines to setup and run unless they are built extremely well. The Sedgwick machines are the cheapest ‘industrial’ build quality machines still made and will last you a lifetime without you ever thinking you need to upgrade. (Unless you want a wider cut).

If your practical a Wadkin BAOS or the small Dominion are also really excellent machines. However, most are 3ph and need either adapting or a Transwave (or similar) to generate the 3ph. Both have the ‘shorter’ beds. Anything missing or broken you will need to make or have made.

Longer beds are best for straightening. In fact the longer the beds the better.
Agree with deema above.

Getting a good quality planer thicknesser (Sedgwick MB in my case) helped deliver a significant step change in my own woodworking. It’s not that I could make things I previously could not rather, it meant that one of the most time consuming and laborious tasks (thicknessing) was largely automated. This meant that I could free up more precious shed time for doing the interesting things like joints. I suspect most amateurs will experience something similar when moving from hand tools only to machine assisted woodworking.
 

SimonSays

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Thanks both - these sound like pretty serious PTs! Might be outside my budget, although I agree with the buy right, buy once ethos.

I wanted the bandsaw for cutting round blanks for turning, for cutting smaller, shaped items (end cheeks for synthesisers is one example) where I would the alternative would be rough shaping and a lot of sanding, and tenons for outdoor furniture. With an additional £15 for a new Tuff Saw blade (£165 for the saw), I'm prepared to give the Kity a go and move it on if it isn't right or I don't use it sufficiently.

As an interesting bonus, I brought a bag of old but good quality planes back from the Kity seller. Need some cleaning and sharpening (possibly some sole grinding), but cost me nothing.
 

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