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Power Tool Web Sites

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Bassmanbob, Nov 14, 2003.

  1. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    Does anybody know of any good objective power tool web sites? I would like to start building templates and eventually a prototype bass after the New Year, but I am unfamiliar with which tools are better quality than others.

    I want good quality tools that won't put me in the poor house. Some objective opinions would be great. My objective is to build a couple basses a year as an additional hobby.

    Moderators: Please leave this under Luthier's Corner and not Misc. as this does relate to building basses. Thank you.
  2. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    Other than a bunch of really good hand tools that I won't list here (as that is not the topic you've asked about), here is my take on some good basic power tools you'll need:

    - Band Saw
    - Routers
    - Sabre saw
    - Oscillating belt / spindle sander
    - jointer
    - planer
    - drill press
    - sabre saw

    I decided on a craftsman drill press. I also have a 1/2 sheet sander that will do either in line or orbital pattern sanding. I use it for initial rough sanding of a body blank, then hand block sand after that.

    Grizzly has some great deals on planers, jointers, and band saws. Just about the best bang for the buck I've seen, especially their G0513 17" model.

  3. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    Thanks BK!
  4. schuyler


    Aug 5, 2003
    Atlanta, GA
    my experience is that *good* quality tools will put you in the poor house.

    after breaking many tools in my line of work (we're very, very hard on our tools... thick, massive pieces of lumber), i've come to a few conclusions:

    1. the most expensive is not necessarily the best.
    2. the cheapest is typically the worst.
    3. brand names mean very little. i love some delta tools, hate others. ditto for almost every brand i've used.
    4. older used tools represent the best bargains to be had, as the quality is typically better than that available today, and the cost is usually less than a new one. of course, this assumes they are in good working order.
    5. the blade often makes more difference on the quality of cut than the machine. buy the best blades you can afford.

    another option you may want to consider for the jointing/planing aspect is to have a local cabinet shop or lumberyard run the wood for you. the place where i get most of my wood only charges about 25 cents/board foot for planing both sides parallel. which is much cheaper than $800 for a decent jointer and a planer. and a $40 portable drill guide can serve in place of a $300 drill press, given some skill and imagination.

    of course, if you don't mind spending the cash, having the machines in your own shop is wonderful.

    my approach has been to get by with what i can on the big machines, and put the money into hand tools, where there is a much greater difference in the performance of cheap and expensive tools.