Ep. 5 of 60 With 360 WoodWorking – Beginner Tool Purchases

60_5In this episode of 60 with 360WoodWorking, the 360 guys answer a question from a listener about what tools a beginner should buy.

Join the guys twice each month for 60 lively minutes of discussion on everything from tools to techniques to wood selection (and more). Chuck & Glen, and sometimes a surprise guest, all have their own opinions. Sometimes they agree and sometimes they don’t, but the conversation is always information packed and lots of fun.

If you have topics you’d like to hear covered in future episodes, click here to send an email to the guys. Better yet, give them a call and leave your question and contact info on the voicemail by dialing (513) 443-6651. You just might be included in a future episode.


Below you’ll find time-codes for each segment of the show. Listen all at once, or in small bites.

  • If you had $1500 to spend to get started woodworking, what would you buy and why?

    • 0:24 – Did Glen actually recommend a hand tool (that isn’t a Shinto rasp)?
  • Let’s break it down: What do you look for in a table saw?

    • 15:51 – Trunion, trunion, who’s got the trunion? Nah, that’s a fence.
  • How about chisels?

    • 28:16 – Oh, just buy ’em all (or not).
  • What’s the saw story?

    • 36:14 – Do I really need as many saws as Ron Herman?
  • The Plane, the plane!

    • 45:22 – This must be Fantasy Island, because I thought I heard Glen suggest…
  • How about a router?

    • 53:11 – Really, Glen talks routers again?
  • The little chipmakers.

    • 1:03:11 – It’s all grinding up wood, but some are better than others.
  • Skill Builder

    • 1:09:01 – Get some class.
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3 thoughts on “Ep. 5 of 60 With 360 WoodWorking – Beginner Tool Purchases

  1. Guys,
    As always I enjoyed this episode and listened to the end. However, as you said we are all intermediate woodworkers. I wonder how many people listen to your or any other woodworking podcast in order to make the first tool purchase. Over the years I have read many books and articles and listened to podcast that did guide me through my second level of tool purchases. My woodworking shop is now reasonably well stocked. I have a sliding mitersaw, sliding tables, jointer/planer, bandsaw, drill press, good dust collection and dust filter, a good collection of Festool products to include the small domino. My hand tools in crude Lie Nelson planes and a set of Narvex chisels. I am moving towards a good shop.
    I ask what are the next steps that improve or change your capabilities and performance. For example, I almost gave up on hand planes because my Stanley’s just did not work. I read an article about heavier blades and bought a Veritas blade for my Stanley block plane. It changed the plane so much that I almost immediately bought a Lie Nelson block plane. Same thing with my Bosch job site table saw. It was a noisy brute the just never cut accurately. My Jet sliding table table saw is very nice and took my woodworking to a new level. So what next?
    I don’t have router table. I made one from plywood with less than desirable out come. Due to space and total cost concerns I am now looking at a Hammer B3 Winner. It is a better table saw and also has a shaper that can be setup to use router bits. A bit extreme, but might be a good deal. I watched my neighbour buy a lathe two years ago. He fell hard as a turner (on lather number three now) and started an entire new line of wood working. The amount he has spent and the craft style change scare me. I think it would be nice to have some round legs here and there, but at what expense in terms of cost and learning? A drum sander or wide belt sander. Do they really beat out my Festool random orbital and why? I have my eye on the new Jet spindle sander. I am not sure why, it just seems like I need it. I also wonder if I need the larger Domino or if I should just get a mortising machine and get back to mortise and tenon joints? I also never got water stones to work and settled on diamond film on still plates supported by sandpaper for heavy work. Would a Tormax do something for me?
    I think you get the idea. My question is not what the basic tools are, but what is the next step forward. When is the tool purchase an improvement in capability and when is it just getting another cool tool in the workshop?
    I close with my bandsaw tale. I bought a Jet 10″ bandsaw. It was sort of fun at first but drifted horribly and the tension mechanism broke. I rigged a fix and found that most of the things I wanted to do over powered the saw and slowly it became just a waste of shop space. Last Christmas at the local Felder show I bought the N4400 Hammer band saw. It was really just hope that something good would result. It was terrifying for about a month. But when my neighbour stumbled on a free pile of beech trees and we where able to cut planks life started to change. After that I have learned to resaw planks, shape legs, etc. I now know why a bandsaw is often spoken of as the best shop saw. What else am I as an “intermediate” woodworker missing out on or just not understanding on the topic of tools?
    Maybe this can be another follow-on pod cast topic.

    1. Buddy,

      Great points (and stories) all. And you are right, this is a great set of topics for a follow-up episode (I’m thinking a 60w360 in November, how’s that sound?).

      And for the record, you’re looking at Felder/Hammer tools, which means you’re completely bypassing “Intermediate” and going straight to “Advanced.”

  2. Chuck,
    I do have a Jet JTS-600X-T table saw (sliding), a Jet JPT-260T Planner/Thicknesser, Jet DC-1100A dust collector, Jet Air Filtration AFS-1000B, and a large amount of Festool. I live in Germany so the models may not be familiar. I think / thought most of this is intermediate. My new Hammer B3 Winner should arrive just before Christmas. I have heard enough shaper stories to approach the shaper part with caution. I ordered the 5hp, 380v, 3 phase version. So I have power enough to hurt myself. I must say the power issue amuses me. Standard here 220v, high power is 380v, 3 phase. I have 36 amp and 16 amp outlets. Everyone of neighbours have high power in their garages.
    I enjoy your podcast. Maybe in a couple years when I retire I’ll time to come over for a class.

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