Working in the New Shop – Upgrades – NSLL #4

I’d love to be able to sit here and say I get to spend other people’s money to outfit my shop, but it’s not true. I am not sponsored, I am not gifted things outside of my family. While this does mean that my wallet takes a hit each time I buy something, I’m also not beholden to use anyone’s products over any others. As such, I always choose what is best for me at the time based on need and price. Sometimes I spend more to get the best, sometimes I have to make do with a cheaper solution. I also am not stuck using something that doesn’t work, unless I can’t afford anything better.

I’ve done lists before where I went through all the tools I have now and talk about them, but this time I am just going to talk about things I have my eye on and why. This is in no particular order again except for how it comes to the top of my head.

Festool TSC 55

Here’s your trigger warning for Festool products if you are afflicted. One of the issues I have for the foreseeable future is the inability to break down sheet goods away from a power source. I was intrigued by Ryobi’s brushless 18v saw, and making an adapter to go on the Festool track, but then I remembered why I bought the TS55 (my first Festool) in the first place: my disappointment using a clamp and guide for the saw I had. I can cheap out and try to make something work, or spend the money and get something I know will do exactly what I need.

The TSC 55 also comes with a dust bag, so I can also use this outside on the table and not get dust all over the workpiece or myself when breaking down large sheet goods at home. This will also come with me to any set work I have to do at the church or theater.

I actually decided in the course of writing this to order one, along with two older clearance batteries. Looking forward to taking advantage. I did miss out on a really good deal that was posted just after I got the ship confirmation. Story of my life.

Festool 2700/3000 FS Rail

This goes along with the above, for being able to rip sheet goods in one pass. This is a bit of a luxury item, for as long as I am good with my marks I can get a pretty straight cut re-positioning the rail. This will also open up the ability to more efficiently use the sheet goods being able to make combination cuts instead of all crosscuts first. This rail will also be good for 5×5 baltic birch. The difference between the two is that the 3000 is better suited for 8′ rip cuts with the TS75, which may or may not eventually make it into the shop.

Festool HKC 55

More Festool. This one will be a luxury as well, but on the last set of stairs I did, I wasn’t happy with either my regular circular saw nor the TS55. As such, I’ll be upgrading at some point. This could be more of a long term prospect, depending on needs. Since I’ll already have a cordless TSC, I’ll be going with the cordless version of the HK as well. These can use the same rails as the TS, but getting the rails suited for this will be a necessity if this saw finds a home in the shop. If dealers are still doing it, I may pay the difference to get the next longest rail.

Laguna 14|12

I desperately need a new bandsaw, and this is as nice and in my theoretical price range as any. I need one that will actually resaw straight up and down so I don’t waste a ton of wood resawing. The Harbor Freight bandsaw has served it’s purpose, it’s time to upgrade. I might get $100 for the old one with the 6″ height extension. I need to stick with a 110v motor, and this is the best one I know of.

The Veritas Catalog

Going to replace pretty much the entire collection of what I have now with upgraded units from Lee Valley. I like when things match. Low angle block, low angle jack, bevel up jointer are all on the menu among others. I have to seriously upgrade my hand tool game to advance my skills and my abilities, and a lot of that has to do with better quality irons that hold an edge better. I have seen better results already with the router plane and shoulder plane I’ve purchased.

Festool Domino XL

Another in the “down the line” pickups. Will need this for the larger projects I have had on my to-do list forever, like a King bed frame. Luxury purchase. This could also play a role in the workbench build, but I’m not far along in my planning for that. This would also work for making doors, if ever I get into that situation.

New Jointer

My Craftsman 6-1/8″ jointer might need to be replaced due to the fence, and I can’t guarantee really any complete flatness of the tables either. I would like to increase capacity to 8″, but that will depend on if I am still in this shop due to both space and power requirements. The European combination machines look really sweet, but I would need permanent 220/240v power.

The other option is to just make do until I get a new shop by getting a really nice #7 Veritas and using it to follow up anything on the jointer. Or try and grind out the issue with the fence, but that could be expensive.

Festool Rotex 150

I need an aggressive sander, and using my 150/3 as one will eventually wear it out. Pretty simple, perhaps I can pick up a refurb one at some point. This uses the same paper I have, so no huge expense at least with consumables.

Disc/Belt Sander

Dead useful, and hopefully I can make a spot for a small one.

Likely next shop additions

New table saw/new miter saw

These are the lowest priority for me. The table saw will wait until I have a 220v hookup, as the next saw I buy I want to be my last. It will be a 3 or 5HP SawStop. I don’t know if I want a new miter saw or not. I’d like one with better dust collection, but I also know that I should see how something like the HKC works to see if I even need a miter saw in the future. The responsible thing for me to do is to be patient and see how everything plays out. It may be that I either keep what I have or not use one at all.

Wide Belt Sander

Sadly, will have to wait for the new shop, but I desperately want one.


Another one for the next shop file, I’ve seen quite a bit of intriguing stuff made with it, and it seems like it would be a great addition to the shop for truly custom stuff.

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