Returning to Woodworking - advice please

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busta999

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Advice please

I am returning to woodworking after a nearly 30 year break, lost all my tools and finally buying a home and will have space and time to start a workshop again.

Hobbyist who lost all my woodworking tools 20+ years ago

Looking for some advice, trying work out budget, I guess initially I can get £500 to start then another £500 in a few months, not even sure if this is viable.

What tools table, mitre saws, router anything else?

Buying a house and will have a garage/ workshop where I can woodwork again.

Will need all new equipment, initially for updating the house, then back to making furniture, predominately real wood trunks etc. I like doing joinery and make boxes without screws or nails go figure, it relaxes me!

Would expect a mix of sheet material or real wood around the house.

Maximum size and length being to cut , skirting boards, wainscotting, decking, fences etc.

I am starting from scratch, so don’t have any tools apart from hand held power drills etc.

Not sure if I need a sliding table.

Ok with second hand, but unsure how to determine a good from a bad table saw.

Ok buying from Ali Express, no rush on this, we’ll at least another 2-3 months before I need anything.



I have a whole garage to use as a workshop.
 

Droogs

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Hi and welcome. First post, big ask and will draw a lot of opposing ideas. To me from what you say, you will be a hybrid woodworker rather than all hand tool or power tool user. I would suggest you have a ponder as to what you will be looking to make initially, would it be stuff for the house with mixed materials? If so look to get things that will enable you to do that first and then add tools when the need arises. given the cost of things these days it will probably make more sense to look at getting some form of track saw, all expensive but a cheaper tool such as from Lidl etc will get you up and running leaving some money to get a SCMS type chop saw. For most of what you will be doing initially one of the smaller bladed machines such as the little Bosch GCM8 series will do the majority of what you need. With those 2 tools the vast majority of sheet work can be done. Also consider there are many ways to make a pile of sawdust and have the same end result. The most versatile power tool is probably the router. You can make every joint using one and also size and shape wood with it (using jigs when needed), albeit much more slowly than with a dedicated machine for each task. those 3 tools would be my recommendation to get as an initial outlay regarding power tools. With the router I would suggest getting a decent powered 1/2" machine (at least 1400W) and also a smaller "palm router" for trimming etc as the big machines can be very tiresome to use.

Also get a decent basic set of hand tools. No need to go for the most expensive but do get the best you can. Cover the basic tools with decent kit and it will last you for a good long while. For chisels, bang for buck Narex have a good range of sizes and quality but the 4 piece set from Aldi for a tenner will cover the main sizes you need. Empire have some good squares for the price at hombase/B&Q, for saws look to japenese pull saws if you are not any good with westen style ones as they tend to be better keeping true to the line by being pulled rather than pushed and are a bit easier to master than the traditional push saw. A double sided ryoba will cover most of your needs and the other specialist types can be added later. Planes are a minefield on here, but as a starting point a #5 and a block plane will be ideal to get you going. Regarding make just see what you can afford. Prices have risen sharply over the last few years but there are still plenty of 2nd hand Stanley and Records out there but if you want new then Quengsheng or wood river are popular for the price.

Overall as I say think about what you will look to make over the next 24 months and get what you need for that and then consider expanding.

hth
 

recipio

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Woodworking is either crosscutting, ripping or breaking down sheet goods. For that budget I'd start with a good mitre saw then look at a secondhand table saw. It soon becomes an obsession and it's always better to save up for a quality tool and resist Chinese rubbish.
 

D_W

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I really don't know what you can do with 500 pounds, but whatever it is, I'd make it portable and hand held. To spend it on something like very low quality table saws and miter saws is a money loser in the long run and you're out money plus you have a useless tool if you still have it.

I'd go another direction - I'd get a good quality site circular saw and create something out of sheet goods (battens, etc) that will allow you to rip and crosscut cleanly, straight and square. Get a circular saw that works well with a chip guard to get decent cut quality and choose a blade on the slower/finer side (doesn't have to be some high dollar blade, just a finish work blade) and go from there.

AT least when you're done, you'll still have decent portable tools.

As far as what you want to do, if you're not turning out boring middling quality stuff, you could also work entirely by hand, but the learning curve would be steep at first.

Save some of your money for a decent thicknesser and don't blow all of it on a mediocre table saw and miter saw.
 

Fitzroy

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my machinery journey over the last 5 years, all gumtree purchases with lots of looking and waiting for good deals, all second hand in varying states of repair. Always confirmed working before purchase.
- small tyzack tablesaw £80 (sold for £80)
- graphton pillar drill £50 (sold for £40)
- Elu bandsaw £75 (sold for £50)
- bosch router £30 (sold for £20)
- Makita mitre saw £100
- Dewalt 1150 planer thicknesser £250 (still have)
- Kity 618 table saw £200 (sold for £200)
- Triton router and router table £150
- Wadkin BFT9 surface planer £200 + £100 for VFD as 3 phase (still have)
- Fobco Star pillar drill £150 (still have)
- Wadkin AGS10 table saw £250 (still have)
- Startrite 352 bandsaw - £300 + £100 for VFD as 3 phase (still have)
- Sedgwick morticer £250 + £100 for VFD as 3 phase (still have)

At the start I did not have the confidence or space to shell out on big tools so I looked for older smaller stuff on gumtree, got confident using it, realised what functionality was missing and sold it on and upgraded. I think tool prices have increased but with some patience or asking around bargains can be had.

As others have said, for breaking down sheet goods I have a track saw. I also have a small selection of saws(3), planes(4), chisels(5) and other hand tools.

Welcome to the site and Goodluck.

Fitz
 

Terry - Somerset

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With a limited budget and initially a house to update/improve or renovate you are not into fine woodworking.

My guess would be that the bulk of work needs basic hand tools - saws, screwdrivers, drills, plane, ruler/tape, square, hammers etc. Don't buy the cheapest unless you want chocolate screwdrivers etc, but there is no need to spend a lot.

The other needs are likely to be:
  • cutting sheet goods for which a track saw will be very useful
  • mitre saw for skirting, flooring, framework etc
I would not spend more than ~£100 on each of these - they will be entirely adequate for house improvement use.

Personally I would buy new from a decent source - eg: DIY sheds, Screwfix, Toolstation where they should uphold any warranty. S/H is possible but you risk wasting time, spending money on lemons, with no warranty.

Final point is you will need some kind of bench and work holding. A couple of cheap "workmates" may suffice with a MDF or plywood "top".
 

Bingy man

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Greetings- I was fortunate in that I had an extensive range of hand and power tools due to my work as a gas engineer and the work I’ve done for friends and family since I was young what I didn’t have was the larger machines to assist me to get consistent results. You are in the right place for help and advise from fellow woodworkers of all abilities. My own view would be to consider your garage size and condition- does it req any maintenance or updating to suit your needs . Consider also heating and imo most important is security. There has been some very good and informative posts on security and marking your tools . Wether you purchase new or 2nd hand tools and machines . Personally I would start with these areas ( unless already covered) and then I’d consider as others have said what type of woodwork you intend doing and what tools you need to achieve it . At age 14 my main woodworking kit was a black and decker drill with a circular saw attachment and a load of hand tools purchased at a local auction and these kept me going for years but I always added more at every opportunity. Good luck and enjoy .
 

busta999

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Woodworking is either crosscutting, ripping or breaking down sheet goods. For that budget I'd start with a good mitre saw then look at a secondhand table saw. It soon becomes an obsession and it's always better to save up for a quality tool and resist Chinese rubbish.
Thank you for responding, looking a Bosch Mitre saw right now!

again thanks for responding!
 

busta999

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I really don't know what you can do with 500 pounds, but whatever it is, I'd make it portable and hand held. To spend it on something like very low quality table saws and miter saws is a money loser in the long run and you're out money plus you have a useless tool if you still have it.

I'd go another direction - I'd get a good quality site circular saw and create something out of sheet goods (battens, etc) that will allow you to rip and crosscut cleanly, straight and square. Get a circular saw that works well with a chip guard to get decent cut quality and choose a blade on the slower/finer side (doesn't have to be some high dollar blade, just a finish work blade) and go from there.

AT least when you're done, you'll still have decent portable tools.

As far as what you want to do, if you're not turning out boring middling quality stuff, you could also work entirely by hand, but the learning curve would be steep at first.

Save some of your money for a decent thicknesser and don't blow all of it on a mediocre table saw and miter saw.
Thanks for the ideas, I am on a journey here and given, decking, fencing, shelving etc a good Bosch seems like a starting point.

I am often in Harrisburg, have family there :)
 

busta999

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With a limited budget and initially a house to update/improve or renovate you are not into fine woodworking.

My guess would be that the bulk of work needs basic hand tools - saws, screwdrivers, drills, plane, ruler/tape, square, hammers etc. Don't buy the cheapest unless you want chocolate screwdrivers etc, but there is no need to spend a lot.

The other needs are likely to be:
  • cutting sheet goods for which a track saw will be very useful
  • mitre saw for skirting, flooring, framework etc
I would not spend more than ~£100 on each of these - they will be entirely adequate for house improvement use.

Personally I would buy new from a decent source - eg: DIY sheds, Screwfix, Toolstation where they should uphold any warranty. S/H is possible but you risk wasting time, spending money on lemons, with no warranty.

Final point is you will need some kind of bench and work holding. A couple of cheap "workmates" may suffice with a MDF or plywood "top".
Thanks, pretty much about to pull the trigger on a Bosch to get me started.
 

busta999

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Greetings- I was fortunate in that I had an extensive range of hand and power tools due to my work as a gas engineer and the work I’ve done for friends and family since I was young what I didn’t have was the larger machines to assist me to get consistent results. You are in the right place for help and advise from fellow woodworkers of all abilities. My own view would be to consider your garage size and condition- does it req any maintenance or updating to suit your needs . Consider also heating and imo most important is security. There has been some very good and informative posts on security and marking your tools . Wether you purchase new or 2nd hand tools and machines . Personally I would start with these areas ( unless already covered) and then I’d consider as others have said what type of woodwork you intend doing and what tools you need to achieve it . At age 14 my main woodworking kit was a black and decker drill with a circular saw attachment and a load of hand tools purchased at a local auction and these kept me going for years but I always added more at every opportunity. Good luck and enjoy .
Thanks I got a lot of great advice !!
 

D_W

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Thanks for the ideas, I am on a journey here and given, decking, fencing, shelving etc a good Bosch seems like a starting point.

I am often in Harrisburg, have family there :)

I grew up fairly close to there, but grew up in a family (two kids first generation off of the farm, but went to college got married - that was my parents) who made me believe that going 20 miles away was something that you planned long in advance.

So we were in Harrisburg (which was more like 35) about once every two years.

Interesting place in the USA to end up in vs. places like Philadelphia, New York, etc.
 

Jameshow

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my machinery journey over the last 5 years, all gumtree purchases with lots of looking and waiting for good deals, all second hand in varying states of repair. Always confirmed working before purchase.
- small tyzack tablesaw £80 (sold for £80)
- graphton pillar drill £50 (sold for £40)
- Elu bandsaw £75 (sold for £50)
- bosch router £30 (sold for £20)
- Makita mitre saw £100
- Dewalt 1150 planer thicknesser £250 (still have)
- Kity 618 table saw £200 (sold for £200)
- Triton router and router table £150
- Wadkin BFT9 surface planer £200 + £100 for VFD as 3 phase (still have)
- Fobco Star pillar drill £150 (still have)
- Wadkin AGS10 table saw £250 (still have)
- Startrite 352 bandsaw - £300 + £100 for VFD as 3 phase (still have)
- Sedgwick morticer £250 + £100 for VFD as 3 phase (still have)

At the start I did not have the confidence or space to shell out on big tools so I looked for older smaller stuff on gumtree, got confident using it, realised what functionality was missing and sold it on and upgraded. I think tool prices have increased but with some patience or asking around bargains can be had.

As others have said, for breaking down sheet goods I have a track saw. I also have a small selection of saws(3), planes(4), chisels(5) and other hand tools.

Welcome to the site and Goodluck.

Fitz
You got any share recommendations whilst your here!!!
 

TRITON

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Thanks, pretty much about to pull the trigger on a Bosch to get me started.

Ahh ,the joys of a single bevel.

AGGGHHHHHHHH I BLOODY CHECKED IT TWICE 🤬

12" Minimum size bandsaw is invaluable.
Tracksaw ok, handy for sheet, but not so for solid timber, especially narrow stock.
 
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busta999

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I grew up fairly close to there, but grew up in a family (two kids first generation off of the farm, but went to college got married - that was my parents) who made me believe that going 20 miles away was something that you planned long in advance.

So we were in Harrisburg (which was more like 35) about once every two years.

Interesting place in the USA to end up in vs. places like Philadelphia, New York, etc.
My daughter in law grew up in Paradise PA, they live outside Harrisburg now.
 

busta999

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Ahh ,the joys of a single bevel.

AGGGHHHHHHHH I BLOODY CHECKED IT TWICE 🤬

12" Minimum size bandsaw is invaluable.
Tracksaw ok, handy for sheeet, but not so for solid timber, especially thin stock.
I noticed the Bosch has frequently dropped in price so put an alert on it.

problems with single bevel?
 

TRITON

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I noticed the Bosch has frequently dropped in price so put an alert on it.

problems with single bevel?

Its always cutting mitres, especially for a picture frame. Both obviously need to be in the opposite direction, but with single mitre you need to turn over the piece to orientate the 2nd mitre, and this is where the problem lies. Occasionally you fail to get that right so have both going in the same direction totally ruining that component.
With the double bevel you change the direction of the cut,not turn the piece over, so its far easier to make the cut, but also to have the drawn line on the same side when marking out
 
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Doug71

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problems with single bevel?

It's if you are cutting something like skirting board you can't always cut from the face of the wood that you want to or have the board hanging over the side of the saw that is most convenient. Depending what you do it's not a big problem, it's just a bit slower and can take a bit more marking out and thinking about..........especially when cutting compound mitres 🤔
 

D_W

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My daughter in law grew up in Paradise PA, they live outside Harrisburg now.

Ahhh, perfect pennsylvania experience - you get to be in the eastern part of the state (where people can be a bit blunt) and eat at places where amish and mennonites might go.
 
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