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Fill your workshop with new/used tools challenge!

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Basschair, Apr 19, 2005.

  1. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    This is going to help me out tremendously, so please take it seriously! Here's the situation: knowing what you know now about building basses, please list any and all tools you would choose to purchase (either new or used) to fill out your shop. Assume you already have some basic tools (hammers, screw drivers, a bench).

    -you'll want to build multiple basses, so you want tools that will last!
    -you have $1,500 to spend, with a little leeway
    -it's a garage workshop, so you want to keep it clean and hazard-free (keep the air clean)
    -some tools are hard to find used (nice planes and such)...keep that in mind.
    - this is for tools, both hand and power...assume you already have wood
    -when possible, use specific brands or at least the make of a tool (ie...not just "plane" but "block plane with a low angle")
    Okay! Get started!
  2. budman

    budman Commercial User

    Oct 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Owner/builder of LeCompte Electric Bass
    If you're just talking power tools, at a bare minimum and at $1500 I'd say a good router, thickness planer, oscillating spindle sander, a small bandsaw, a DA sander and a jointer if you can squeeze on in.
  3. andvari7


    Aug 28, 2004
    Router with decent speed and HP - P-C has a decent one for $240
    Bandsaw (not a huge one) - Heck, I can get this for free!
    Belt sander - See above
    Drill Press - I have two at my disposal
    Carbide blades, bits, etc. - Here's where the money gets spent


    Quality chisels
    Radius blocks
    Clamps (lots of clamps)
    Very flat hand plane
    Taps and dies (for the rods)

    The best ventilation system possible with my budget. I can do my sanding outside on a windy day.

    That should be about $1500.
  4. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    A router (~$250), a band saw(~$400), a random oribital(~$100), and a drill press (~$150) are pretty much mandatory. You can generally pay extra and get your lumber dressed, so the planer and jointer are optional but very handy. Keep in mind if you are going to do neck-throughs or if you will do any laminating yourself, you may need the jointer or a decent hand plane and a lot of patience.

    Clamps are an absolute necessity and do not skimp on crappy ones. I use Wetzler bar clamps, and they are very strong and well made.

    Bits and blades and abrasives and materials for benches will also take a significiant bite out of your budget, so do not forget those.

    You will want a dust collector ($200 min) and good ductwork to collect dust at the source. If you can exhaust and/or collect out of the garage (i.e. outside), that is much preferred. If you will be working in colder months with the garage closed in, and air filter is recommended.
  5. M_A_T_T


    Mar 4, 2004
    Definately get a shop vac. I have two Shop-Vac brand shop vacs, and a Shop-Vac air cleaner.

    I just relized $1500US = $1875CDN, which sounds alot better. I'll give this more thought and be back.
  6. Mudfuzz


    Apr 3, 2004
    +1 + a good set of chisels, a handplane and at least half you weight in clamps. Also a table saw is a nice thing to have if you want to do a lot of laminated necks, and a lot of fretboards.
  7. teej

    teej Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    - 15" Drill press
    - Plunge router (I want a Hitachi)
    - Shop-Vac (the most powerful one you can get)
    - Rasps, chisels, hand planes, maybe a spokeshave
    - Bandsaw
    - Good clamps (metal! not the plastic quick set kind)
  8. budman

    budman Commercial User

    Oct 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Owner/builder of LeCompte Electric Bass
    ...and an air compressor.
  9. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
  10. Skorzen


    Mar 15, 2002
    Springfield MA
    The best advice I can give is check classifieds and auctions in your area.

    I was able to buy at auction:

    Performax dual drum 25" sander $300!!!
    Laguna 16" BS $500 (there was a Minimax 18" saw that needed some work that in hindsight I wish I had bought it went for about $200, probably needed about $300 in parts to be tip top)
    About 15 or so Jorganson style clamps $50

    Through classifieds:
    Porter cable 1 1/2 Router $50
    Delta 15" drill press $100

    I am sure I am forgetting things here but that just gives you an idea of what kind of deals are out there.

    Something I did buy new is a Li Nielson(sp?) handplane it might not be one of the more neccessary tools, but it sure is nice. Also the Jabanese Backsaw for fret slotting it is a ryoba I think, the style with the ridged back anyway.
  11. My post will come as only a single line of advice...

    When making major tool purchases, make every effort to buy tools that will perform a minimum of (2) completely different and seperate tasks.
  12. Scott French

    Scott French Dude

    May 12, 2004
    Grass Valley, CA
    A 15" bandsaw, a 6" jointer, a 15" thickness planer, a machinist's straightedge, and some bar clamps. You can get it all from Grizzly. Now you can cut the wood to rough size, mill it, and glue it up. Keep saving!
  13. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    Would these clamps in the pic suffice? I found a decent deal on them, though I plan on continuing to look around.
  14. Bassic83


    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    Those look OK to me.
  15. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca

    They do look a little "plastic-y", tonka truckish, but they are Jorgensen cabinet maker clamps, so I thought the quality would be pretty good...I'll keep looking.

    How about these:
  16. M_A_T_T


    Mar 4, 2004
    I use C-clamps & F-clamps. I have 27 C-clamps going from 3" - 6", and 33 F-clamps ranging from 18" - 24". Also, I only buy clamps when they go on sale, usually for half price, so I get more for my money. :)
  17. Scott French

    Scott French Dude

    May 12, 2004
    Grass Valley, CA
    For big things I use pipe clamps... the orange brand (I have.... 7). For everything else I use cam clamps... 6" I think. Couldn't live without them.

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