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What tools to get rid of for someone switching to turning

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Jan 23, 2020
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I set up yet another shop in our last house with the intent of building furniture and general woodworking. Then, I got the turning bug and have not built furniture since moving to our new house. My two car garage is clogged with some machinery that I don't really use for turning. Such as a Powermatic long bed 8 inch jointer (pj882),
a 16" Jet planer, and a large chop saw station. I am getting older, so I don't see myself building furniture again.
I'm wondering if I'd be better off selling these items and getting a better bandsaw, or maybe something more to do with turning?
Do you long time turners find yourself not using machines like these?
 
Joined
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Bay Settlement, WI
I have been thinking the same thing! I cannot remember the last time I used my hollow chisel mortiser, and since I got my drum sander my planer has just been gathering dust.
 
Joined
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I am going to be doing more flat work in the coming years. Need to furnish my new house and shop. I only do one show any more, and hopefully they will have it next summer.... Stopped making furniture for sale some years ago. I am a terrible salesman, and customers seemed to want Ikea prices for solid wood furniture.

"I ain't gonna retire until my birth certificate expires." From my dad, who is now 99 and still goes in to work...

robo hippy
 
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La Grange, IL
Dunno. I bought a huge Sawstop ICS used because it was a steal. I don't use it much, but I do some. The joke is:
"What's your work flow?"
"Well, I usually go around the left"
"The left?"
"Yeah, I usually walk around the left side of the table saw to get to the lathe. The right side is shorter, but the left is more direct."

Still, I use it some and the sliding compound miter saw a lot.

I suggest an experiment. Unplug the machines that you think you don't need, then do whatever woodworking you want, plugging them in if needed. At the end of, say, 6 months anything that's still unplugged can go. Could do the same with hand tools, put them in a box and sell anything still in the box in 6 months.
 
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Montfort, Wisconsin
Sort of depends on what sort of turning you'll be doing too I think. Segmenting, you'll want a solid table saw IMO, other than that I don't use mine anymore at all. I have a router table attached to the table saw and I keep thinking about all the space I could save by selling it. I did sell my larger planer and belt sander and bought smaller table top models. While they're not as substantial they work for the smaller pieces I do. Always nice to find a good home for your tools too. Feels good to help a younger person get started without a huge investment on their part. I think Roger has a great list of tools you'd miss if you didn't have them. Think of scale too, how big of projects will you be working on. You can scale your tools to that. Several large worktops really come in handy.
 
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I sold my 20" planer, and 6" jointer.....but, they would come in really handy if I were still doing laminated bowls and cutting boards!

All depends on what you want to make. :)

My basic shop includes lathe, two grinders, table saw, 6x48 belt and 12" disc sander, drill press, buffing machine, compressor, and band saw...

The Mr. Coffee is an essential part of the routine, it seems! :)

-----odie-----
 
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I took about a 15 year break from furniture making. Now I started up flat work again since selling turnings is so incredibly hard to do these days. Sure glad I kept the machinery.
 
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I’m keepng all my flatwork machines, and my 3 lathes too. Actually, I’m toying with getting a new Robust American Beauty to add to my arsenal. That will be when I relocate to a bigger shop/studio.
 

hockenbery

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I set up yet another shop in our last house with the intent of building furniture and general woodworking. Then, I got the turning bug and have not built furniture since moving to our new house. My two car garage is clogged with some machinery that I don't really use for turning. Such as a Powermatic long bed 8 inch jointer (pj882),
a 16" Jet planer, and a large chop saw station. I am getting older, so I don't see myself building furniture again.
I'm wondering if I'd be better off selling these items and getting a better bandsaw, or maybe something more to do with turning?
Do you long time turners find yourself not using machines like these?
Depends on what direction you take in turning.

if you are likely to do segmented or stave construction or pedestal tables or anything where you glue stuff up a jointer and planer can get a lot of work.


for My work a Bandsaw is a must. Drill press is handy. Table-saw once in a while.
I mostly turn green wood - hollow forms and NE bowls. I also do some ornaments and seed jars - tablesaw does a nice prep on these but the bandsaw is acceptable.
 
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Brandon, MS
Like everyone else I no longer do furniture regularly; except for the wife --rare. Mitre saw for sometime building shelves or cabinet for shop. Planer ok not often but to flatten or reduce thickness for shelves and cabinet or jigs. Ok that large router table on wheels may be the first to go and make a tabletop model.

Ok i am a toolaholic . I am addicted to tools like the 25 hand planes in my collection of which I use occasionally only 4 or maybe 5. Pathetic isn't it?
 
Joined
Jul 24, 2008
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Montfort, Wisconsin
Good point about keeping your tools. You'll never replace them without spending a fortune. Only you know your circumstance and how much gas is left in the tank. I gave my planer to a friend from church. Now if I need something done I take it to him and he does it. Makes me wonder why I didn't do that sooner.
 
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Lebanon, Missouri
Never used a power jointer or chop saw to make furniture, I would think they could go. You dont mention a table saw, which is handy to have for various projects, and necessary for segmenting. The planer would be necessary for prepping material for segmenting. While I havent made furniture for several years, my planer, TS, and hand plane collection are staying - I use them occasionally for various non turning projects.
 
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Erie, PA
My flat woodworking area is 33' X 33' and I had my 1st lathe in there. Lathes being lathes I soon added a 24' X 36' addition for woodturning. Turning being turning soon my flat wood working area became a depository for turning wood. As I explained to folks as they would go through to get to the turning area that there was 2 table saws and a myriad of wood working tools in there some place. Well after years of not knowing where anything was my wife decided it was time to find the tools (she wants a few things made :)). So after a few weeks I now have access again to all my wood working machinery and have no excuse not to get made what she needs:rolleyes:.
 
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Torrance, CA
Like Gerry says, some tools become passé because of other tools; I always try to maintain all possibilities for building things. Someone always needs help building something; I’m always ready to help! It’s a match made in Heaven!! I think that’s why there is that corner way over there; stick em out of the way!!
 
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Kentucky
My flat woodworking area is 33' X 33' and I had my 1st lathe in there. Lathes being lathes I soon added a 24' X 36' addition for woodturning.
The area of your shop is just barely less than the area of the entire lot with a freestanding house, garage, and shared driveway which I owned years ago in Toronto. My shop area back then, for stained glass work, was about 5x7 if that. I currently have much more space than that, but most power tools are on bases with wheels. Only the lathe is big and heavy enough to have to stay in place.

As to the original question -- if there is space to tuck the less-used tools away, I would keep then. E.g., I have a jointer which I rarely use, but it is very handy occasionally.
 
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Gainesville, VA
After using it as just as an expensive junk table for about an eternity...I got rid of my table saw. I'm about to treat my joiner and chop saw in the same fashion.
 
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Dec 5, 2015
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Seattle, WA
I wouldn't sell any of them. Think of your tools as variations of rotating cutters with different configurations. Table saws do very well in turning, My business built several expensive pool cue shaft turning machines based on table saws as the cutting portion of the machine. Those machines would go from square to sanding ready blanks in a single pass.

Buy a copy of the vintage Delta publication "Getting the Most Out of Your Table Saw". Used book dealers usually have them. You might be surprised about the turning work that can be done on a table saw.

I've used my Unisaw as a tilting spindle shaper to make rosettes for old home restorations. Even shallow fruit bowls. A few simple jigs is all it takes.

My point here is use your imagination.
 
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Canton, GA
I retired moved into a smaller place, and I sold my table saw, router and table, scroll saw, and radial arm saw.

I kept my lathe, compound miter saw and band saw. I also kept a mini lathe that I use for buffing, but it may be going soon due to my limited space.

I’m not going to do any more flat work and I have no interest in segmenting and I’m only going to turn and golf. So, I got rid of the "extra" stuff.
 
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Better to have and not need, than to need and not have.

Bob......Yeah, that's right, but for many of us, including me, it's a matter of using the shop space to the best advantage. When shop space is limited, getting rid of tools not used, or seldom used, isn't really a matter of choice.......at some point, it becomes a necessity! :)

-----odie-----
 
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
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Shingletown CA
I think I'll sell the bigger planer and half of the hand planes, and possibly the old bandsaw; then I can get a nice 24" powermatic bandsaw. Of course I should run a subpanel first. Since I have no 220 in the new garage.
 
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I guess one alternative would be to find a tool library some where. There are two local community center wood shops in my area, so if I sold all of my tools, I could go there for some projects. Only problem would be that every one can come in and use the tools, so they are not always kept at 'peak performance' levels.

robo hippy
 
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Bob......Yeah, that's right, but for many of us, including me, it's a matter of using the shop space to the best advantage. When shop space is limited, getting rid of tools not used, or seldom used, isn't really a matter of choice.......at some point, it becomes a necessity! :)

-----odie-----
I'm 75 , I retired at 57. Used to carve duck decoys and turned bowls etc.. Thought I wanted to build, don't like angles. Stuck with turning, have given several lathes away to beginners, still have 4 .Someone else will get to do the next downsizing.
 
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I guess one alternative would be to find a tool library some where. There are two local community center wood shops in my area, so if I sold all of my tools, I could go there for some projects. Only problem would be that every one can come in and use the tools, so they are not always kept at 'peak performance' levels.

robo hippy
I use our local well equipped Senior Center shop just as Reed describes. Also as Reed describes, the other users don't always know how to properly use the tools, don't do maintenance, and don't seem to have any concept of sharp. I generally take my own saw blades and router bits. Still, I have access to a Powermatic drill press and a Powermatic planer and a Powermatic jointer and several large Jet sanders that I never would if I had only my own shop. Normally, I'm the only one there when I go, or maybe one other user. One other problem is that they're open only M-F, only til 4 pm, and closed on about 17 holidays.
 
Joined
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Sykesville, Maryland
As long as there is space, keep every tool you can. I already told my kids that they will have to deal with my collection upon my demise. More tools, more tools, more tools! When I move in a few years I may sell my mortiser because I can always cut by hand. But that's it. Everything else stays..... and then some.
 
Joined
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Lummi Island, WA
Retired and moved north to build a small shop several years ago. While I turn mostly, the shop also needs to be able to do double duty with nearly continuous remodeling and house projects that always seem to be looming. Gave up furniture for the most part when we moved, so the planer and joiner were sold, then replaced with benchtop models to save space.
The shop is 24 x 24 and houses a full-size lathe, tablesaw with router table built into the wing, bandsaw, drill press, dust collector system is built into ther crawl space below. There's a chop saw on a collapsible base that's easily moved. The tablesaw is butted up to a 5' x 7' outfeed/assembly/work table and is on a mobile base as is the bandsaw. The benchtop jointer and the planer are mounted to small worktops on mobile bases. Everything except te lathe (and I do have a wheel set for it if needed) is able to easily move out of the way.
It's a nearly perfect situation - perfection would be having enough storage space for all the stuff that I just don't think it's wise to throw away...
 
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
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Shingletown CA
I think I might hang on to the planer and jointer for a year or so. You never know, I might start feeling better and want to make some shaker furniture or something. I want to thank you all for your advice! It's hard to make up one's mind when you don't have any friends after moving.
 
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