Seeking input

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  • Seeking input

    Hi, new to woodworking, and planning a workshop for my basement. I am at the stage where I don't even know, what I don't know. Gave up the boat, and chasing striped bass when I got married 13 years ago (needed the money for a down payment on the townhouse). Only hobby for the past 13 years has been metal detecting. I have bought a Shopsmith (my work shop is in my townhouse basement, and the available space is just 13 feet by 15 feet, so stand alone machines aren't really a strong option). I'm hoping that by spring the workshop is built, and I'm making projects. Right now I'm planning out the workshop in my head, and looking forwards to building it. I am an electrician, so powering everything is the only aspect of this I feel quite comfortable/knowledgable about. Artie

  • #2
    Welcome Artie, Ask any questions you have and I'm sure someone here knows the answer. I also have a Shosmith Mark V 510 that I've had a little over a year.
    An ethical man knows the right thing to do.
    A moral man does it.


    • #3
      Welcome Artie. Since you don't have room for lots of stand alone tools, the one go-to tool being a stand alone - is a table saw. On the other hand, while Track Saws don't have the versatility of Table Saws, they do allow options that TS and even the Shopsmith's don't - portability to where it is needed. A few here have ditched their TS in favor of a good track saw. I personally do numerous small and dedicated cuts that can't be done on a track saw.

      For several years, I managed without at table saw, but had a 12 inch band saw and a good circular saw, along with a router and palm sander for some years before getting a TS.

      While the Shopsmith will give you options for several major tools, for some people it becomes tiresome changing it out when a projects requires, a TS, Sander, lathe, etc. Stand alone tools sure help in this case.

      Getting started into woodworking, some smaller tools are as mentioned above, - a good router, - start with a 1/2 inch, as you can use them with 1/4 bits. A good sander is a help, along with a good drill. Getting the lest expensive least quality tool hurts in the long run, but you being an electrician know that already. OH, get a good rule and a good square.

      After that, the tools and needs are determined by what you want to make, and that varies from individual to individual.
      Last edited by leehljp; 12-14-2016, 09:24 AM.
      Hank Lee

      Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!


      • #4
        Hi Artie:

        I spent 33 years in a town house and made all kinds of stuff for myself and others. In the half of the basement that was mine was a BT3000 and a bench top drill press along with a work table and bench for hand tool storage. Sheet goods were cut in the garage with various tools until I got the Makita track saw a few years ago. The assembly was always in the basement where it was warmer.

        I have since moved to the retirement ranch and got more space for tools as a result. I had a handyman business for 20 years that allowed me to have many portable power tools. The only two items I added was a planer and stationary miter saw.

        Good luck!


        • #5
          I would ditto the comment about needing a stand-alone table saw. The SS isn't a viable table saw IMHO. It has a tiny table and the blade doesn't tilt. Other than that it can be passable for the other tools it offers. I have a good friend that makes some pretty awesome things with one.

          I've seen some videos where a track saw is used in place of a TS, but I just don't see it. I could see having a track saw as an option, but not as a TS replacement.

          Good luck and have fun!


          • #6
            Another thing to put up high on your list of don't know about...... dust control. Starting off fresh you might as well nip it in the bud. Get tools that have dust control features built in. Get a dust collector sys with hepa filters.


            • #7
              Mass resident here.

              I also have my shop in the corner of my basement (probably 10x8), but it is adjacent to a slightly more opened area. Depends on what you want to make, having an open area for assembly will be very important. You could make due by having all your benches and tools set up at the same height, throw a 4x8 over them to create an assembly table when needed.

              If I am to start over again, I would have: a small table saw, tabletop drill press, tabletop band saw, a power rotating sander, a decent shop vac with a cyclonic separator, a palm hand plane, a slightly bigger hand plane, and a sturdy work bench with area for small tools. You could create a poor man tracksaw with a circular saw as well. That will allow you to break down large sheet prior to getting it into the shop. You CANNOT really rip an 8' board/sheet in that space. The drill press and band saw could be on a single flipping stand. The work bench and table saw would be at the same height. I still could do that, but once I have things in my space it became harder for me to let things go or even attempt to do the work.

              Good luck.


              • #8
                You would think having been in construction, I would know how slow work on the homestead goes LOL. I have finally gotten the basement cleaned up (read gotten rid of 14 years of crap), and have built mobile shelving to consolidate space, and have just this week started assembling the Shopsmith. The fun part is gonna be building the workshop, I have so many ideas floating through the noggin, it's a wonder I get anything done at work. I would like to thank everyone who responded for their wishes and opinions. I would agree that a separate table saw would be best, just gotta go forward with what I have and see if adding one is possible (mostly space issues, but probably even a good contractor's saw would work. I did buy the dust collector that SS makes, and I'm thinking of adding a ceiling mounted air cleaner unit (gotta do what I can to keep the Missus happy) Hopefully it's a lot of fun and learning from here on out. Thanks all.