In the beginning you will not want to invest a lot of money in buying new power tools. It is recommended that when you first start a woodworking business, try to use what you have without a major investment in new purchases of any kind. Take stock of what you already have and weigh that against what you need.
Many sources will tell you that you need to purchase industrial grade power tools to perform professional woodworking jobs. This is not necessarily true.
Consumer grade power tools will serve the purpose just as well in the beginning. Keep two things in mind though. Number one, consumer tools will probably not stand rigorous use if you start getting a lot of work. If they fail, it is better to buy a new industrial grade power tool rather than get it repaired.
The reason is that the use of a consumer tool for commercial purpose voids it's guaranty in the first place. And the cost of repair is not worth it as the tool is likely to fail again even quicker than before. If you still cannot afford an industrial grade unit buy a consumer version but of a heavy duty make.
The second thing that you need to remember about using consumer power tools is that some tools behave better than others. While you may find that cheaper routers serve you well enough, another tool such as a belt sander just does not perform as required till you upgrade to a commercial version.
Important tip to use consumer tools for commercial purpose.
This is a simple tip that you can implement to make your consumer grade power tools work almost as well as commercial tools and last much longer than usual.
You can do this by using high quality accessories. For example, use carbide bits for your routers instead of stainless steel. The carbide bits cost more but are also much more resilient, stay sharp for much longer and cut with a lot more ease and accuracy. The result is that the motor of router undergoes much less strain and lasts much longer. The same goes for the blades that you use for your power saws. By using high-grade accessories on your power tools you can get high precision and durability that almost matches that of professional woodworking tools.
Essential Power Tools.
A Table Saw.
A table saw is likely to be the first large machine tool that every woodworker aspires to get for their wood shop. A table saw is where your initial and major cutting is going to happen. And it’s really versatile. A table saw is up for meeting a lot of your major cutting needs.
Some people buy just the saw, and not the table. They prefer to make that themselves to either save money or because they have a custom requirement. That is completely up to you as you get some great options for ready made tables along with the saw as well. The recommended width including the dimensions of the table saw is about eight by eight.
Set aside a budget for a good quality table saw as it is going to be a primary power tool in your shop.
Other kind of saw that are heavily used are:
- Hand-held circular saw. With straight edges guide a circular saw can be used to cut large sheets as well. You might find this a cheaper and more versatile option to installing a table saw.
- Sliding compound mitre saw. A sliding compound mitre saw can easily become the central tool in your workshop. It performs the function of the radial arm saw and a mitre saw. It is possible to get the kind of cuts you require with a great deal of speed, ease and accuracy. If you have the budget for it, get a high-grade sliding compound mitre saw as you will find yourself using it a lot.
A Powerful Router
The other important power tool that belongs in a woodshop is a router. You can really step up the standard of your woodworking with the use of a router. It allows you to make cuts and do the kinds of trimmings easily that would either not be possible or take up a large amount of time. The different kind of bits for a router can be used to do many jobs really fast like making dovetail joints, bevelling edges etc.
Since a router is a very versatile and important tool in a woodshop, buy one as powerful as you can afford. It will pay itself off in no time. As always, you should go for carbide bits for your router as they will stay sharp much longer, give you better cuts and cut down the wear and tear on the router machinery.
The other power tools of note to have in your woodshop are:
A mitre saw.
If you buy a compound mitre saw it can cut at precise angles and depth. It’s not an essential because you can you can do the same work with a table and circular saw. It just makes the work more accurate with a greater degree of ease. Get this saw if you want to speed up your precision cutting work.
A jigsaw is a portable and hand held version of a band saw, just like a circular saw is that of a table saw. It has fine closely placed teeth and is used mostly to cut in curves or to get a finer cut. It is a smaller and more affordable version of a band saw, and more portable. The portability factor might be important for you, but if it isn’t, and you do a lot of fine cutting of shapes and patterns, definitely put a band saw high up on your list.
A belt and orbital sander.
Almost all wood projects will need some sanding before they can be considered finished. But thats not all that a sander it used for. A powerful sander can actually take off a lot of wood. Therefore they are also used for giving shape like rounding the corners and shaping the edges. They are also used to smoothen and even out the surface of wood, either before or after project construction. Usually sanding is the step right before putting on a finish or polish on the project.
A powerful drill.
There are all kinds of power drill. There is the handheld kind and there is the table top kind with a base and a motor. The table top kind are powerful and fast. If you are going to be doing a lot of work with any kind of a drilling bit, the table top model is the one to go for.
A planer evens out the surfaces of boards. It works hand in hand with a jointer and is irreplaceable if you are building large surfaces like table tops. It can also help you make good use of smaller board pieces by evening them out to be joined. Cabinets, stools, chairs, tables and all kinds of furniture building will go a lot better and faster with a planer in the wood-shop.