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putri 07-16-2006 11:49 PM

Girl wants to start wood work, tools?
I want to start doing woodworking as a hobby. I want to make furniture, tables and organizers mostly, and as I get better a bed, dresser, etc. (but that's later). Lets say my first project is a table, something rectangle, not to fancy, maybe a little bevel. What do I need to get to start out with and how much of a budget do I need (for mid-range equipments, e.g. $300 miter saw)? Also, I'm 105 lbs 5'3" tall, can't have too heavy of an equipment. But, that girl in Trading Spaces seems to manage all her tools just fine, so I'm sure there are things for me. I mean I know I'll probably ruin a few pieces of wood before I get somewhat comfortable.

My husband wants to use the tools too for his projects (he'll be new too to woodworking) so it needs to work for both of us.


silenttracker 07-17-2006 01:18 AM

Girl wants to start wood work, tools?
Hmmm, basic tools for begining? A good miter saw-will last you for years, table saw/cabinet saw, band saw, scroll saw, belt sander, power hand sanders, router 2hp minimum, router bits, jig saw, drills, lathe, if you want to craft bowls and table legs, wood screw assortments, glues, pencils, different rulers, tapes, squares, angle gauges, lots of different size clamps, brad nailer, drill press, jointer, planner, Just a list to start with and collect as you go. First major expense would be a good table saw or cabinet saw. Then lots of books on jigs, joining, finishing, designing, drawer construction, basic woodworking, use of power tools, a place to set up shop, shop tools and cleaning, brushes, sandpaper, varnishes, paints, laquer, assortment of scrapers, planes, hammers, dust collection? etc. etc. Try to buy one or two major tools as you go, once a year and before you know it you'll have a full shop and then some!! As you gain experience you'll learn which tools are best to fit your needs. Don't buy cheap!! You'll just end up buying three to one good one. Some great names in my opinion are Delta, Jet, Grizzly, Hitachi, Makita, Dewalt, Porter Cable, and Bosch to name a few.

Table saw then books is how I started 10 years ago. Now I have a shop full and still going.....


MinConst 07-17-2006 07:19 AM

It's always nice to hear someone wanting to start building things. It is very rewarding to build something and step back and look at the finished product.
I would recommend you pick up some good hand tools to start with. An inexpensive miter saw will be limiting. A 10" saw will only gut 2x4s without some tweaking. A 10" slider will be much more versatile. But this is not a first purchase tool in my mind. As Mike stated a good TS is a good purchase. Even a circular saw will be good. Learn to respect tools and the wood you cut. Power tools are very helpful but demand respect or they will take your extremities.
So with all this said.
Drill, hand plane, circ saw, clamps, hammer, and whatever else you need to complete a project. Don't go buy thousands of $$ worth of tools that you may not use. Buy what you need and the rest will fall into place.
Remember TV is just that. The girl in Trading Places has a crew to help her. These TV shows are very deceiving.
Respect your tools Be safe! It is the most important thing to learn.

putri 07-17-2006 09:42 AM

Thank you so much!
I appreciate all the answers :thumbup:!!! I will print this page out and research all the tools mentioned, especially the table saw. I will first get a book and see what kind of tools are needed for the project I'm interested in and go from there. We have some of the little must haves that you mentioned (circular saw, brad nailer, power hand sander, router) but no big tools. Yeah, gues you're right on the TV... forgot about the crew. BUT, I think it'll still be a fun hobby and you get to see and feel the result (my current hobby is scrapbooking). So just like my scrapbooking (and I have TONS of tools), we'll buy tools gradually.

I'll have my husband show me how to use the tools. He's no woodworker (he's a mechanic at heart) but he knows how to use different power tools and he'll be able to show me how to operate and work with them safely. I have no intention of loosing any body parts so safety will be first.

On the miter saw, what is a good one to get? We were looking at this: DEWALT DW706 12" Double Bevel Compound Miter Saw at Amazon (I love reading Amazon's customer's reviews). The other one is a Makita (Makita LS1221 12" Compound Miter Saw Kit ); they both seem good for the price... not top of the line but maybe good till we're really good at this? Looked at the slider and they're at least $600. Wow, yes, probably not a first purchase since we're only thinking of $1500 for the initial purchases.

What's a good HP for a TS?

We have a 24x24 garage so that my husband can "fix" cars... might need to build a shop soon :p

billinak 07-17-2006 12:29 PM

I've found that the easiest way to do it is to decide on a project first, then buy the tools to do the project, that way you don't need a lot of money at one time and you don't end up with a lot of tools you don't need.

MinConst 07-17-2006 09:23 PM


Originally Posted by putri

On the miter saw,

I would recommend a 10" slider if you can't go with the 12". It will be a bit more than a straight cut but will give you much more options in dimensional lumber.

A 3/4 to 1 hp motor on a TS will suffice. Buy the best tools you can afford. For stationary tools like a TS that will set in a shop or garage go with a cast iron table from a reputable manufacturer. The better the tool the easier the task.

Good for you on the safety. :thumbup: It is the best thing to learn. You will love building things. The comment about the TV thing was only a comment and not to turn you off at all. You can do it! Probably better that the girl on TV.

putri 07-20-2006 02:46 PM

Didn't get turned off by the TV comment. It's no biggie. I think I will enjoy it. I'm looking forward to it. Hopefully this fall I can get started on something (which it'll probably take me till the end of next spring to finish). I will submit photos if I do get something together... even if it's butt ugly... ha ha ha... :laughing:

scorrpio 08-14-2006 03:39 PM

What's up with the miter saw anyway? Sure, they look cool in operation, but far as furnituremaking goes, they are of little use. They are a specialty tool for crosscutting long narrow lumber. Good for framing and for putting up various molding, and that's about it. For tables and such, the first tool you get should be a decent table saw.

As I said before, miter saws are good for framing and trim carpentry cause they are good at cutting long stock, and can be easily transported. But I wouldn't even use on in a woodworking shop. For all my crosscutting, I use a radial arm saw.

Woodworking also requires a massive patience. A single rushed cut will at best cost you a piece of wood. And at worst a piece of yourself.

Rehabber 08-14-2006 06:58 PM

for cutting sheet goods (and a lot of other stuff) instead of a table saw, check out an EZ SMART GUIDE:thumbsup: Just google e z smart guide and watch the video. Best single tool purchase I ever made:thumbup:

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