One thing I have learned is that having a tool in a particular category does not mean that you have a woodworker ready one.
For example, I have been given or inherited the following tools:
- Craftsman miter saw -- this saw was so worn, the play made an accurate cut impossible. I gave this one away.
- Skill Worm drive circular saw -- this saw has built many houses and taken a beating, nothing is at 90 degrees anymore. Plus it only takes 6 1/2 inch blades and is very heavy I am selling this.
- Delta Benchtop drill press -- this thing is so not straight, that you can see the bit wobble with the naked eye. I tried removing the chuck and cleaning it and tried to knock it back into place but, no good. I need to sell this.
- Craftsman 1/3 HP router -- This thing only had a 1/4" collet, and the base had play in it. The part that immobilized the collet to remove loosen the nut broke off. I gave this away
- Craftsman 5 in grinder -- Being only 5 in wheels, you cant buy replacements. The hard wheels in this would only burn a chisel or plane blade. I sold for $10
- Craftsman 10" table saw -- this is fine for light home remodel but with a thin aluminum fence and non standard miter slots this thing was not made for precision. I sold it for $100
- Black and Decker Jig Saw -- what an awful tool. The blade deflects terribly to the point that you get a random bevel on every cut. I gave this one away.
I have started down the purchasing path and have already messed up some:
I bought a Lie-Nielsen Low Angle Block plane but the one without the adjustable mouth. Oops!
I thought that I could get by with just a shop vac for dust collection and got the Dust Deputy to keep the filter clean. What I have found is this is fine for sanders, hand held routing, biscuit joiners and other small things.
So far I have purchased the following based upon budget and reviews:
- Dewalt Random Orbit Sander -- works fine for a ROS
- Bailey/Stanley #4 with corrugated sole -- I tuned this up and it works really good. Very little rust was on it. The blade was in great shape. Everything flattened out nicely.
- Ryobi belt sander that is a knock off of the Bosch model -- I like the low profile design that works well upside down and has plenty of power.
- Porter-Cable Biscuit Joiner -- works great and is easy to use.
- Kreg R3 -- not as fancy as the K3/K4 but does the job, I am not a production shop so I speed is not everything.
- Veritas Mk2 honing Guide -- Works great
- Rigid 6" Jointer -- Works real well
- Rigid 13" planer -- I am very pleased with this, the preset depth gauge for dialing into common dimensions and the lack of snipe make me happy
- Worksharp 3000 -- I tried the sandpaper method and the oilstones I inherited and they were real slow. With all the chisels I inherited, I wanted something to get me close to sharp faster. I am pleased with this tool. However, I plan on adding an 8,000 waterstone to finish the job.
- Rigid 10" Compound Miter Saw -- does its job, I skipped the laser attachment.
- Rigid 2 HP router -- Overall I like this router, it is light, the soft start makes it smooth. And having dual bases and compatibility with Porter-Cable Accessories are winners. My complaints are:
- The Magnesium tends to tarnish and whatever is forming on it makes it harder to move the base in relation to the motor.
- The plunge adjustment is awkward, would be better to have it built into one of the grips.
Penn State Dust Collector 1 1/2 horsepower Dust Destroyer, I was impressed by how quite this is and it runs on 110 power. The bag is a 1 micron.
Saw Stop Contractor model with the cast iron wings, professional fence and 52 capacity -- A well made saw that will meet my needs and if my fingers ever touch the spinning blade I could never forgive myself for not having a SawStop
Bandsaw - Grizzly G0457 14" band saw -- great reviews and a lot of band saw for the money
Dust Filter -- Jet AFS-1000B -- got a 1 micron filter and remote and not too pricey
Drill Press -- Rigid 15" Floor Drill press -- another review winner for accuracy and economy
I will try and post some pics and reviews in the future