Advise on these used tools in paper...

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Bassmanbob, Sep 4, 2003.

  1. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    I look in the paper every day for used instruments. Since I've developed an interest in making basses, I now also look for used tools. I came across this in the paper, called him and I'm going to look at it this afternoon. He says he's an 85 year old guy who can't do his woodworking anymore, is getting ready to move and just wants to get rid of everything for $1,500.00. He states that it's in fairly new condition and it's worth about $3,000- $4,000. Please let me know if this would be a good deal, and what I would really use. If I don't need some of this stuff, I could also sell some of it myself. Here's the list:
    *10" Craftsman Table saw
    *6" Grizzley Drill Press
    *Sears 3-wheel band saw
    *Hawk Adj. Router Table w/ Porter cable router & bits
    *Sears Hand Router
    *Delta 12-1/2" Planer
    *16" Scroll Saw
    *Sears 10" Miter Saw
    *Rigid 4" Oscillating Belt & Spinder Sander
    *Sears 5hp Shop Vac
    *Sears 3" Belt Sander
    *Sears 7-1/4" Circ. Saw
    *Dremel Hand Grinder
    *Delta 6" Bench Grinder
    *Set of Forester Bits 1/4"- 2" diameter
    *12 each assort. E-Z Grip Clamps 6" to 48"
    *Misc. Hand Tools

    What do you guys think? It sounds good to me, but I don't know about the quality of these brands of tools. I want to buy quality instead of quantity, but I'm not looking to spend my life savings to get it. :confused:
  2. mslatter


    Apr 8, 2003
    I'm torn.

    On the plus side:
    - It's a good price if they're in good shape.
    - They're probably already set up.
    - You get a full shop in one purchase.
    - You can probably recoup your investment, if you decide not to stick with it.

    On the down side:
    - You might not get manuals.
    - This is all consumer-grade stuff. There's no gem in the group, and you'll probably replace them all eventually if you stick with it.
    - It takes a long time to become proficient (and safe) on some tools, so you'll have a lot to learn. Maybe too much.
    - You'll still want a jointer. I'd look seriously at the Bridgewood and Yorkcraft line. Good bang for the buck.

    Which of the tool you'll use:
    * 10" Craftsman Table saw - not much, but keep it. You'll never do other woodworking without it.
    *6" Grizzley Drill Press - Yes.
    *Sears 3-wheel band saw - Yes.
    *Hawk Adj. Router Table w/ Porter cable router & bits - Yes.
    *Sears Hand Router - Yes.
    *Delta 12-1/2" Planer - Only if you're buying rough wood.
    *16" Scroll Saw - Probably not.
    *Sears 10" Miter Saw - No.
    *Rigid 4" Oscillating Belt & Spinder Sander - Yes.
    *Sears 5hp Shop Vac - Yes.
    *Sears 3" Belt Sander - Possibly, but be careful. A belt sander is a very efficient wood-ruiner.
    *Sears 7-1/4" Circ. Saw - No.
    *Dremel Hand Grinder - Possibly, for carving, but practice on scrap first.
    *Delta 6" Bench Grinder - No.
    *Set of Forester Bits 1/4"- 2" diameter - Yes (and it's Forstner)
    *12 each assort. E-Z Grip Clamps 6" to 48" - Yes.
    *Misc. Hand Tools - Yes.

    Like I said, I'm torn, so this isn't a strong recommendation, but, putting myself in your shoes, I'd go for it. Even if some, or even the majority, of the tools are subpar, you'll have fun learning with them. And one of the things you'll learn is why a tool is or isn't good, and what to look for when the time comes to replace it.

    Good luck, and be safe!
  3. Tiny Tim

    Tiny Tim

    Jul 8, 2002
    Salem, Oregon
    I would add a yes to the bench grinder for sharpening flat back tools ( planes,spoke shave, chisels) and a jointer would be on the add list.
  4. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    OK. I saw the tools tonight. I've been going back and forth about getting them. I've decided that I'm not going to buy anything I don't want. So either he will sell me the items I'm interested in or I'll go elsewhere. The tools look fairly new (within 2 years old) and not used much. They've been well cared for and he has manuals.
    This is what I want:
    Item / New / What I'll pay
    *Table top drill press $100 / 50
    *Sears Band saw $125 / 60
    *Router table w/router $350 / 175
    *Hand router $100 / 50
    *Delta Planer $350 / 175
    *Belt & spindle sander $350 / 175
    *shop vac $75 / 45
    *Bench Grinder $60 / 30
    *12 clamps (E-Z) $160 / 50
    Forstner bits ??? / ???
    Router bits ??? / ???
    Total $1670 / $810

    What do you think of my prices? They're about half price of new. You guys also mentioned a jointer. Is that for the Headstock/neck area? He has a handheld biscuit jointer. Do I want that?

    Thanks for all of your collective help. Bob
  5. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Your prices look more realistic than his do. Personally, I would take the $800 and buy:

    a new porter-cable 693 w/plunge base
    a benchtop jointer
    a benchtop band saw
    a half dozen bar clamps and a half dozen C-clamps
    shop vac
    random orbital
    benchtop drillpress

    bits as needed.

    It would take some savvy to get all these tools for $800. The router is about $200, but it's a good router and well worth it. Look at Grizzly's low end for the drill press, band saw, and possibly the jointer. Used is also a good way to go, but I am not big on Sears/Craftsman stuff of the last 20 years.

    The jointer will be used for truing surfaces. This is not the same as a biscuit jointer. Anwhere something needs to be straight and/or there is a butt joint will need to go over the jointer.
  6. mslatter


    Apr 8, 2003
    The prices are good, if he'll break up the lot. I was thinking maybe the spindle sander was a bit much, since Ryobi came out with a very decent model at $100 new.

    The jointer is used to do two things: put a perfectly flat face on a piece of wood, and put a perfectly square edge relative to that face. This is important anytime you want to edge join two pieces of wood, as you would do with multi-piece bodies or laminated necks, or anything you want to face join two relatively narrow pieces, as you do when you mount a fingerboard to a neck. It's also critical for general woodworking, as the first face you plane becomes the reference to all other measurements. Even if you buy wood that's been carefully milled (which IME depends on how much beer the millworker had for breakfast that morning...) you may pick the wood up a day or decade later and find it's moved on you. Sometimes carving wood releases internal tensions, causing it to move, and ruining the perfectly flat surface you paid to have milled. A shallow pass or two on a properly tuned jointer makes those problems disappear.

    The other good thing about having milling tools is that you can buy rough lumber. Not only is it cheaper, but you can often find some real nice pieces, since it's not picked over by the other hobbyists. God love 'em, but the pen-turners do snatch up a lot of beautiful cocobolo. You can also salvage lumber (turn a barn into a bass?) which is increasingly attractive in these days of fast growth timber and dwindling supplies. At some point, you'll turn the corner between buying lumber for a project and buying wood because you like it, and figuring out what to do with it later. And you'll find that cars really do belong outside, not in the garage.

    You won't need a biscuit joiner for doing bass bodies. Simple edge gluing is more than adequate.

    Man, I talk too much. :) Understand, I'm not an experienced bass builder, just an intermediate home woodworker. But I'm working to change that.