Author Topic: Setting Up Shop - Stationary Power Tools  (Read 20 times)


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Setting Up Shop - Stationary Power Tools
« on: 06. April 2021, 13:54:20 »
In this article we're going to talk about the big guns; the tools that you see in all the TV shows and all the pictures of "serious" woodworking shops. I'm going to go though the list of stationary power tools that I think make up a basic shop. Again, if you're just starting out in woodworking and you're not sure exactly what kind of woodworking you want to do, don't go out and empty your savings account buying all these tools. The best advise that I got when I first started woodworking was, "buy tools as you need them". Tool companies do a great job making you think you couldn't possibly build anything without their latest and greatest tool. Talk to other woodworkers, join a woodworking guild in your area, visit on-line discussion groups on woodworking, (the best known is rec.woodworking), and see what others are saying about tools you're considering purchasing.

All the power tools that I'm about to mention have less expenses tools that will do the same job. So why do we even need these bigger more expensive stationary power tools? Speed, durability, and repeatable accuracy. Stationary power tools are built to do certain tasks faster, there built to do that same task over and over again, and they are built to cut wood as accurate on the first piece you send through them as the last piece. Let's take a look at our list.

Table saws: The first machine you'll probably want to invest in is a table saw. The table saw is the center piece for most shops. If you plan on building cabinets, furniture, doing home repair and remodeling, instrument building, architectural millwork, boat building, etc, this will be your workhorse. Buy the best you can afford. You need one that's has a flat table top, has a fence that's parallel to the blade, can accept a 3/4" dado blade, and the arbor that the blade goes on needs to be parallel to the miter gage slot (or at least be adjustable). The amount the fence can move away from the blade will determine how big a piece of wood the saw can cut. If you plan on cutting a lot of sheet goods (plywood) get at least a 50" fence.

There are three major types of table saws: Bench top, Contractor style and Cabinet style. Bench top saws naturally aren't stationary tools but I wanted to include them in this list because they have come a long way in the past several years. This saws used to be small and somewhat dangerous to use. Several manufactures have put beefier, safer, more portable, with larger cutting capacity than ever before. That being said I would still caution against buying one of this saws as a stationary tool in your shop. However if you need something that you can take with you to a job site, then this is the way to go.