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What SHOULD be my next piece of equipment   ?   I have : Table saw, circular saw, router, miter saw, various drills and drivers,palm sander,angle grinder, jigsaw, Kreg kit and a few clamps.  My space is limited and so is my time as I still work a many as 50 hours at 56 years of age and still love what i do so no slowing down for me yet.  


I was thinking maybe a combination sander 4inch belt 6inch wheel type?  Bench top drill press? Going to build another heavier bench soon to use for heavier equipment operations'

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  Hi - Rick. I'm an advocate of letting the project dictate the tooling. Once you've got the basics, and it looks like you have, start building stuff. Then you can buy as you need to. I confess though, as soon as I got a router I decided that the router table was next.

Ken and Bill - take a look at the Dewalt track saw clamps. A little spendy but hold well with no worries about torqueing. Not sure if they fit in the Rockler track though, I can check if your interested. They fit both the Eureka Zone and the Makita track saw tracks.

Hi John,

Thanks for your inputs.

I've looked at the DeWalt track saw clamps, as well as Makita and Festool;

however, I chose to use an alternate style clamp.



 You should asked yourself what do I need most or what am I going to use this next tool on?  You should make your next tool selection one that you need or you could use while doing projects. I use these questions to myself when I need to buy a tool. I also make a list of what I have and if I need to upgrade to a better tool. I also asked myself if I have room for this tool. These are the questions and ideas that I use when buying my next tool or anything for the shop.

Great input all thank you.  I have to confess I am focused on getting married again next month at 56 years of age to a wonderful woman who already has a wish list of builds for me to choose from.  LOL>  My first order of buis will be to set up my table saw and make zero clearance throat plates for a couple different blades.  Once that is done I will start getting ready to build a book shelf out of oak to flank the fireplace and balance out one on the other side.  I will use the existing as my basic plan and try and match finishes.  Matching finishes worries me more than building it.  I think my next purchase will be either a belt disc sander or drill press.  How does the Kreg shelf jig work for you all who have it?  

Picked up a orbital sander Makita brand at HD today.  LOL.  Think the drill press is next but not for awhile. 


To echo what several others have said, I would think seriously about a thickness planer as a future purchase. I can tell you that my woodworking world opened up significantly when I could purchase any wood and smoothly surface it to the thickness I needed. The variety of wood available is staggering when you have the ability to surface it yourself. Before having a planer, I was limited to available thicknesses of pre-surfaced woods. After a table saw and router, getting a planer was a game-changer for me. I have the DeWalt 735 13 in model, and it might be my favorite tool in the shop!

I appreciate all the input.  I am torn between a drill press and router table.  Both benchtop units because of space. Any thoughts on Skills 900 series and Bosch bench top units for router tables? 


My choice is the Bosch model.

The enclosed cabinet is advantageous---

it collects the chips from the underside of the top.

A vac system can be attached, so as to collect chips from both the top and underside of the work surface. 

The base has features to secure, bolt or clamp, the unit to a work-stand.

A receptable, located on the inside of the cabinet, for plugging in the router and vac, so that

both tools are activated thru the switch on the cabinet front.

A nice feature to have, so the vac is activated when the router is turned on.

The cabinet can also house associated tools, such as:

feather boards, push blocks, router wrenches, router bit storage case, just to name a few.

I've seen the Bosch model displayed at the Lowes stores.


Check out the compact size router table Kreg Tools offers.

Very nice unit---sturdy metal frame.

The open frame can be enclosed, so as to make it a cabinet style.

1/4" pw or hardboard can be used to construct the sides and back, 1/2" pw for an interior bottom panel, and a 3/4" thick door fitted on the front.

Suggest making the door from MDF (less warpage than pw).

When enclosing the frontal area, leave a 1" gap along the top, above the door.

Inlet air-flow is needed into the enclosed area, for motor and dust extraction, when the vac is hooked up at the rear of the unit.

Make a hole in the back of the cabinet, the edge being 1" up from the bottom panel, to accomodate the vac hose fitting, and a 

1/2 x 1" slot, tangent to the hole for the vac.  The 1/2 x 1 slot to accomodate the cords, routed thru the rear of the unit.


Rick wrote:

>>>...Any thoughts on Skills 900 series and Bosch bench top units for router tables? /p>

Thanks Ken.  I started looking at all the things that can be accomplished with my plunge router if I had a table to fully utilize it.  Seems like this would be one of those must have or really need tools.  Also I am wanting to make some zero clearance plates for the saw and a router table would simplify and get me into the patterning concept.

I am planning on adding a router table if the weather ever warms up enough in these parts to get me going.  I am looking at the Bosch.  I would like to mount it to a mobile work station as a designated work area just for routing.   I could be wrong Rick but I think you would want to mount a fixed router to the table.   A plunge router for free hand work.  My router now is both fixed and plunge but plan on a separate heavier motor for the table.   All in good time :)

Thank you for your thank you, Rick.

If you have a fixed base, for your router, you can install it in the router table,

and use your plunge base for your hand-routing operations.

Pattern routing can be accomplished using a hand-held router.

Cut your insert blanks on the table saw, and use a pattern bit, in the router, to finish the perimeter edge.

A hand-held router with a pattern bit, or with a bit and guide bushing and a template,

can be used to accomplish many tasks.

A drill-press is another very useful tool---mine is always at the ready and used frequently.

My bench-top model---can be transported to a job-site and mounted on a stand/base.

A router, with a fixed base, can be used for hand-held routing operations.

Depth adjustments are accomplished by the adjusting feature, that is intergral with the router base.

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