Looking beyond the new shop

I am loving my new shop already, even though it isn’t quite done yet. It has been a significant expense to take care of this year though. It has seriously delayed the purchase of a new vehicle that I will need soon. Fifteen years old and some mechanical issues doesn’t bode well long term.

It also means that there have been some tool upgrades that haven’t happened either. I’m very happy with what I have, but there are some tools that were never meant to be permanent pieces that I have been considering replacements for. There are tools to be replaced, and some small holes in my arsenal that I hope to fill. I’ve done this sort of thing before on other occasions when content is low, and with the attic insulation on hold while I take care of a couple household chores, I figure I’d fill some space again while I watch the World Series.

Table Saw. I have a Delta 36-725 that I’m very happy with, outside of dust collection. The saw isn’t closed up, so there’s quite a bit that falls out the bottom thanks to the shroud around the blade. I’m hoping to modify the base so that I can close off the rear port and collect dust closer to the floor. I have no plans to upgrade to another 110v saw. I will save my upgrade for a 220v SawStop if I am ever in that position. I suppose at some point I could buy the 100v SawStop, but I’d rather not.

Routers. I am pleased with my two Festool handheld routers, and my Triton 3.25HP in the table. I do hope for a bit of an upgrade to the table, with a new top and an insert upgrade to Incra. If that includes an upgrade to a lift as well, so be it. I do need to replace my Ryobi battery-operated trim router. Or at least relegate that to needs that don’t have a power supply. Looking at getting the 611PK Dewalt that I briefly had before I returned. Long story. And while I’d like to grab a OF2200 for those beast mode handheld needs, I really don’t need it.

Bandsaw. My Harbor Freight version, even with the riser, is not a serious tool. It works well enough to keep its place, but no more. I see the Laguna 14 series bandsaws in the shops from time to time and they look really nice. I want something that can handle resawing, for as much as 110v will allow. Something with quick release tension, a better dust collection port, and much better QA. This is my priority as far as major tools go.

Planer. I love my Dewalt 735. I may upgrade to a spiral head at some point, but that’s it. I don’t see me getting anything else unless this breaks or I move to more of a production-style shop where I need 15″ capacity.

Jointer. I’m not real pleased with the jointer, mainly for how much room it takes up. I also will need to dial it in very well before I use it next, to make sure the tables aren’t warped. I kept having just a little bit of issue getting boards straight before, but it could be that things moved on me. If the tool itself is solid, then it can stick around. I would like more capacity, but I’m sure that will have to wait for a bigger shop. I’ll try to make this work.

Miter Saw. I do like my Hitachi C12RSH, but can’t help but feel it is not doing me any favors. Dust collection is horrific, and I’m not convinced of the accuracy. This is another tool that needs to make sure is dialed in, and if it’s something where I have to dial it in each time I switch angles I will replace it. Likely with a Festool Kapex, even though I’m aware of the motor issues.

WorkbenchI will be upgrading my bench at some point in the next few years, to one with a harder, more durable wood. I will also incorporate storage features and finally get a face vise in the deal.

Drill Press. I have no complaints about my floor model Ridgid DP1500. I see no real reason to upgrade.

Dust Collection. This is my big upgrade for 2017. I went from the vac and a separator to a 2HP (claimed) extractor upstairs. I will make some mods to it over time, but this is what I wanted.

Air Compressor. I may upgrade this to a larger unit, I may not. Now that the compressor is upstairs and I’ve addressed almost all the leak points, the unit doesn’t cut on near as much. I may need more capacity if I go with a cheap HVLP instead of a turbine, but for most of what I do it should be fine. Will know more once the ceiling is closed up and I see how loud it still is.

Hand Tools. Easily the category that can land me in big trouble, there is so much of what I have that I want to upgrade. I want to replace all my planes with Veritas ones. I need a couple of spokeshaves and cabinet scrapers. I could write a whole article about this one, and might. So, to be continued elsewhere…

Power Hand Tools. Thankfully this list isn’t as long as the one above, but it’s pretty expensive for the things I do want to fill in. My oscillating tool could use an upgrade at some point, perhaps to a Fein. I need a rotary sander, and that will likely be the Rotex RO150. The cordless TS55 would be great to have if a truck isn’t an option soon, but otherwise I’m good there. I think at some point the bigger Domino will have to join the DF500 in my collection, because I want to build stuff like bed frames. The Festool rails aren’t really in this section, but I do need the long one to rip sheet goods with. I’d like to upgrade my rough cut circular saw to something better, perhaps cordless, to replace the two I have now. Perhaps that’s a job for the Festool dealer as well. One other sander is on my radar, the RTS. So perhaps five more systainers at the outside most to account for.

Workshop. You may have heard this is being taken care of already.



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