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Suggested/Recommended Kreg Equipment Purchase List(s) and Shop Layout(s)

I have performed many various woodworking projects and the old fashioned way. It is a pain in the......... Before I drop down some change on these advanced Kreg woodworking systems and equipment. I would like to get suggestions from Kreg personnel and private end users regarding what can you get for what $change$ and what would be the suggested shop layout. I know that all of this depends on what an individual's woodworking intentions are. Keeping this generic and not geared to my particular woodworking intentions and skill level; this thread may help others in thier purchasing of Kreg products. Below are some of my thoughts regarding the different woodworking system levels.

Beginner: <$100 Kreg equipment investment
1) conduct activities in garage or on a basic portable table
2) make repairs, build real basic stuff using typical other hand tooling

Beginner Plus: <$200 Kreg equipment investment
1) conduct activities in garage on vairous sized tables using typical shop tooling or on a basic portable table(s); minimal space and storage requirements
2) make repairs, build more sophisticated plans using common power tools

Intermidiate: <$500 Kreg equipment investment
1) conduct activities in dedicated shop workspace on vairous sized specialty tables using typical shop tooling : including but not limited to: typical table saw, typical miter saw
2) make repairs, build more sophisticated plans some Kreg tabletop equipment

Intermidiate Plus: <$1000 Kreg equipment investment
1) conduct activities in dedicated shop workspace on vairous Kreg recommended 4' x8' specialty tables (Probably built with Kreg 's suggested plans for shop tables and using Kreg tooling and hardware: including but not limited to: table saw, miter saw, router table -some of these dedicated Kreg equipment)
2) capable of occastional light commercial production; build more sophisticated plans (fancy hardwood kitchen cabinets with hardware, closet systems, etc.) using some Kreg storebought and stand alone equipment

Advanced: <$? How much change does the part time, weekender woodworker, hobby builder need to spend to be able to product just about anything? What investment does it really take to build nice kitchen cabinets for yourself and your friends and maybe for occasional retail customers? Bear in mind this is not going to the commercial level or with maybe with only 1 piece of Kreg commercial jig equipment (which piece?). What is the perfect shop layout? How much floorspace do you need? Where should the equipment be ideally placed on the shop floor? Kreg equipment investment profile?


Commercial: Commercial would be another level to this thread. Let's keep this thread to these skill levels and the hobby or weekend woodworker.

You do not have to respond to all woodworking skill levels. Tell me what Kreg and other tools you have and where you use them. What you wish you would have done differently. What would be ideal for your situation. What you plan to do about it. What would be your next purchase to make your situation better.

-Thanks

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I'll take a shot at the first couple! I love planning how to spend money I don't have! :)

Beginner: <$100 Kreg equipment investment
$45 - Kreg Jig Jr.
$22 - Face Clamp
$29 - Screw Kit

Beginner Plus: <$200 Kreg equipment investment
$100 - Kreg Jig
$29 - Screw Kit
$28 - Right Angle Clamp
$30 - Quick Change System

Intermidiate: <$500 Kreg equipment investment
$140 - Kreg Jig Master System
$29 - Screw Kit
$27 - 1,000 SML-F125 Screws
$60 - 2,000 SML-C250 Screws
$30 - Quick Change System
$28 - Right Angle Clamp
$40 - XL Face Clamp (10" reach)
$30 - Bench Klamp
$24 - 2 Klamp Plates
$45 - Klamp Trak
$50 - Micro Pocket Drill Guide
Thanks Derek!

We're off to a good start! If you went with the intermediate investment, can you elaborate on what work tables you would build & use? For example: Would you build the one or two of work bench/table(s) included in the provided plans with modifications to fit some of the Kreg equipment including but not limited to: bench klamp, klamp plates and/or guides?

Does anyone have plan(s) for these modifications (specifically, looking for "user" proven work table(s))? Should you modify the orginal plan dimension say 2'x4' work surface to become a 4'x8' work surface? Due to the 4'x8' table doesn't really cost that much more in materials; however, you can build woodworking items 300% faster and more efficiently.
I have made do for a long time on doing things the hard way because of budget limits, but by far the best money I have ever spent was for the Kreg router top and stand ($500.00) approx. Now there is no limit except for my imagination to what to do next. It is one of my prizeed pocessions now.

Dale Brown said:
Thanks Derek!

We're off to a good start! If you went with the intermediate investment, can you elaborate on what work tables you would build & use? For example: Would you build the one or two of work bench/table(s) included in the provided plans with modifications to fit some of the Kreg equipment including but not limited to: bench klamp, klamp plates and/or guides?

Does anyone have plan(s) for these modifications (specifically, looking for "user" proven work table(s))? Should you modify the orginal plan dimension say 2'x4' work surface to become a 4'x8' work surface? Due to the 4'x8' table doesn't really cost that much more in materials; however, you can build woodworking items 300% faster and more efficiently.
Dale Brown said:
Thanks Derek!

We're off to a good start! If you went with the intermediate investment, can you elaborate on what work tables you would build & use? For example: Would you build the one or two of work bench/table(s) included in the provided plans with modifications to fit some of the Kreg equipment including but not limited to: bench klamp, klamp plates and/or guides?

Does anyone have plan(s) for these modifications (specifically, looking for "user" proven work table(s))? Should you modify the orginal plan dimension say 2'x4' work surface to become a 4'x8' work surface? Due to the 4'x8' table doesn't really cost that much more in materials; however, you can build woodworking items 300% faster and more efficiently.

Phillip made a lot of great points regarding other tools you may need... it's hard to answer this question thoroughly because the answer varies depending on your unique situation. The size of your shop, the types of projects you want to build, your skill level, etc. Are you starting with some tools already, or starting from scratch? Do you have a skill saw? Do you have a miter saw? If not, those would be your first purchases.

However, if you make a few assumptions, and you want to go with the intermediate investment you listed above... making the assumption that you already own a few saws, etc. I would go with what I listed earlier and build those Klamp System components into a workbench. the Kreg workbench is good, but very simple, and relatively small. You can change up the plans to make it larger, and add features like edgebanding, etc. to make it last longer. You may also want to attach a vice, etc.

I think the most important thing to think about when starting out is that you'll need some saws, a Kreg Jig, and a very good workbench that's large enough to construct your project. I'd say if you have the space, build it larger!!! In any event, it might be worth posting more here about your specific situation so we can give more appropriate advice. Until then, good luck!
Hey thanks for the replies!

I will get more detialed with my particular situation. I have about 300 sf of 4000 sf of shop space currently available in my shop. I have most hand tools, a miter saw, large drill press, some crappy tables made from old solid office doors. I am not geared toward woodworking rather metalworking. I am buildling a new all metal house within the next year. Yes, I have built a house before. This one is very unique as it is built on a steep slope on concrete caissons followed by all steel structure. I would like to build the kitchen, laundry, garage & office cabinets and other household (square) wood items and cabinets myself as they are a large expense basic to intermediate cabinetry (smooth doors - nothing fancy). The large retail stores and some custom cabinet makers are quoting me $200 per linear feet (without surfaces) and costing around $17K. I will have time to build the cabinets. I'll start with the garage cabinets...and work my way up. My budget is to flow from intermediate to advanced projects and tooling. I want to plan as planning is everything. Planning my equipment purchase and shop space in stages. I have to go now. I will update these comments later. Again thanks for the replies!
Hey Phillip,

Thanks for the advise! Can you elaborate a little on building cabinets? I would rather watch a DVD and not read a book. I can still buy a book and for reference while at my shop; however, I would rather watch someone provided instruction first.

I would also appreciate it if you can elaborate some on choosing a router table. You mentioned the Kreg has a dial setting feature. Are there other features worth mentioning and on other routers. Can you suggest a feature list and in order of importance. Should the router table be a certain size. I'm really hung up on this table size thing and including work tables, router tables, miter saw table(s) and/or extensions, etc; however, I'm still waiting on someone to comment. What do your tables look like? Photos? What would you do differently?

Phillip - I appreciate all of your comments....I don't think you have offended anyone. This is just an opinionated discussion on a forum. We are all adults here, and you are entitled to your opinion(s).

Phillip said:
That helps considerably! Knowing what your goals are and what your skill level is makes a big difference.
First and foremost, you are planning on cabinetry, which plus molding are the most expensive parts of woodworking. Kreg has some good instruction books and DVD's on cabinetry and the pocket screw jig. Cheap and easy to follow. If you wish to do more involved work I recommend "Building Your Own Kitchen Cabinets" by Jere Cary and "The Complete Kitchen Cabinetmaker" by Robert Lang. Those books will help you considerably. On the harder stuff to do, the decorative end of things get Danny Proulx's "Cabinet Doors and Drawers" at that point you have the important bases covered. Yes there are more books and they are good, but at this time you did not mention furniture and many of the other books cover that end as well. Depending on you need to "fuss" with the set up Bill Hylton's books on the router are good. Personally I do not like making do, I am never happy with the result. I would suggest getting the Kreg router table and some bits as early in the game as possible. Learning curve on the router is much longer and steeper than the pocket screw. However, using a well planned dial in the numbers system like the Kreg is worth a bunch. I have an Incra LS Super System, but I do furniture and cabinets, plus I want to get stuff together, not spend an hour setting up each cut so I can save a few bucks on a decent router set up. As you work add the clamps. I say this pattern only because I bought stuff I never used. After you learn what appeals to you and learn how work flows in your shop, then you will understand what you are ordering and what should work. There may be one or two things you want that none of us use, I have some of those type tools, everyone does. I would also go with the Kreg Master set up first like Derek suggested for Intermediate. The Master kit is pretty full and you will have enough to get you moving, and then you can add. Whether you wish to build you Klamp Table or buy the Kreg table is up to you. I personally would buy the Kreg premade, only because I want to start in on projects not fuss with them. I hope that helps.

PS: I have a very different perspective, and I hope I have offended no one. My opinions can be strong, and I get a a little blunt. I mean no disrespect to anyone's opinion. I have been in a battle with terminal cancer for the last 5 years. I have been holding my own but that could change any day. My life has been on a time deadline and playing with stuff or fooling around building a jig, or spending time setting one up is not for me. If that is the thing you like then go for it.

Dale Brown said:
Hey thanks for the replies!
I will get more detialed with my particular situation. I have about 300 sf of 4000 sf of shop space currently available in my shop. I have most hand tools, a miter saw, large drill press, some crappy tables made from old solid office doors. I am not geared toward woodworking rather metalworking. I am buildling a new all metal house within the next year. Yes, I have built a house before. This one is very unique as it is built on a steep slope on concrete caissons followed by all steel structure. I would like to build the kitchen, laundry, garage & office cabinets and other household (square) wood items and cabinets myself as they are a large expense basic to intermediate cabinetry (smooth doors - nothing fancy). The large retail stores and some custom cabinet makers are quoting me $200 per linear feet (without surfaces) and costing around $17K. I will have time to build the cabinets. I'll start with the garage cabinets...and work my way up. My budget is to flow from intermediate to advanced projects and tooling. I want to plan as planning is everything. Planning my equipment purchase and shop space in stages. I have to go now. I will update these comments later. Again thanks for the replies!
Dale:

I probably speak for the vast majority of woodworkers when I say we all wish we had the space, money, time, and materials
to have a huge, warm shop, great lighting, unlimited power tools, and three lifetimes.

I build a host of different things, mostly in response to household needs. This, at present, includes a full kitchen restore, even
including 51 new floor joists. The cabinets were preceeded by drywall, plumbing, electrical, and subfloor, all of which my wife
and I have done. The base cabinet is shaped like the letter 'J', is framed with spruce, clad in maple plywood, and faceframed
with red oak. The countertop is edge laminated rock maple, and is compensated for seasonal expansion. The drawers are
birch, with 1/2" bottoms, fourteen in all, and there is much more work to go. Interestingly, I have never owned a proper shop, although I have dreamt of such for thirty-five years.

In my observation of human nature, I have seen that those who say they will begin a vocation or hobby "when they get a shop"
are doomed to never untertake much of anything. And those with a motivation to do what they can with what they can muster
up, produce fairly constantly throughout their life. We have a couple of acres, and there would be room for a building, but it seems that other circumstances have always pulled this out of reach. We have a cabinet saw, thickness planer, long-bed jointer,
router table, twelve inch sliding mitre saw, drill press, and most of the other power tools that a person might want, and this has taken the full thirty-five years to accumulate. When work needs doing, I have to move some furniture out of the way, set up
the tools, do the job, then blow clean what I've used, oil it, and put it back where it belongs.

In all, I believe that if you intend to do something, you will, and more and more you will stop finding excuses for inactivity. If I had
the perfect shop, which I've mentally designed a thousand times, I am not totally convinced I would be any better at what I do, but I think I would sure be happy with the environment. For anyone, at any skill level, I would encourage them to buy as much as possible of the equipment and supplies they will use, grow and expand their expectations of themselves with the comfort of having at hand the means to see a project through, and plan happily towards the next purchase, something like gardeners do with their seed catalogues. But keep pace with your growing inventory by producing things. When I die, which hopefully will be from old age and not multiple gunshot wounds, others will inherit a beautiful collection of good and useful things, with which they might challenge themselves to also expand the satisfaction of working with their hearts, minds, and hands.

I know you were not looking specifically for this type of answer, but there it is.

Regards,
Art
Thanks for the information! I'll start checking into the DVD's and reference books.

I've downloaded a new version of Google Sketchup.

I have read some of the other forum comments, and I am probably missing this all together.....but, is there a particular location (website or forum, etc) to look for plans and specifically for the Kreg tooling? Any further words from Kreg on their production of some more plans?

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