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Message started by pumpkin on Jul 15th, 2008 at 4:36pm

Title: Workshop power tools for uke building?
Post by pumpkin on Jul 15th, 2008 at 4:36pm
I am looking into purchasing some shop tools for uke building. I was really only planning on building ukes and don't have a lot of space and was wondering if anyone out uses smaller power tools such a "table top table saw", "table top drill press", "table top planer" or a "small sanding station"? I know many companies make such things. I was looking thru "Grizzly Industrial's" catalog www.grizzly.com. Besides being smaller and taking up less space, the tools are quite a bit cheaper. Can anyone comment on this? Is the quality on these smaller tools any good?

Title: Re: Workshop power tools for uke building?
Post by dochughes on Jul 16th, 2008 at 2:47am
I'm no kind of an expert - I can only speak from my own experience, so what I have to say isn't worth a whole lot - but I bought the Grizzly G7943 Bench Top Drill Press before starting my first uke last fall, and I've been very happy with it.  Like you, I have limited shop space, and this drill press has worked out nicely.  I debated between that one and the H0626 Oscillating Drill Press, but I think I'm happy with the one I got.

My next purchase will be a band saw, and in a recent woodworking magazine I received they tested bands saws under $550, and remarkably, it was the Grizzly G0555 Ultimate 14 Inch Bandsaw that was chosen best overall.  This is not a benchtop model, but from what I've read, benchtop bandsaws are significantly inferior to floor-standing models.

I'm in just about the same boat as you, Ryan, so I thought the route that I'm going might be of interest to you.  

As far as a table saw is concerned, I've got a very nice Craftsman contractor's floor-standing model that I've have for a number of years, and it works very nicely for me.  In my opinion, and others may disagree, the table saw is such a workhorse in any woodworking shop, I'd try to get as good a model as you can afford and have space for.  I use mine for everything, and even then, with every jig I build I increase it's function.  With that said, I do believe that DeWalt makes a couple of pretty nice benctop and compact table saws.

For whatever it's worth :).

Title: Re: Workshop power tools for uke building?
Post by unkabob on Jul 16th, 2008 at 10:51am
For what little value my opinion may be worth,

I will only build a few ukuleles so I am doing it on the cheap. Cheap tools do a crummy job and make every step more dificult and time-consuming.

If you buy a bandsaw,get one that can be extended for cutting soundboards and backs (resawing).

Check a drill-press for center and square. Its important.

Check out where the sawdust goes from a table-saw. Is it going to blow in your face while you are cutting, mine does. This could cost you fingers.

Just my opinion.


Title: Re: Workshop power tools for uke building?
Post by achock on Jul 17th, 2008 at 10:17pm
It's best to check the reviews on the indevidual tool you're looking for.  The overall quality of Grizzly’s tools gets very high reviews.  In fact I use our Grizzly surface sander just about every day, and have been for the last two going on three years with no problems.  

Grizzly doesn't actually make any of its tools.  The majority of their tools are imported from overseas.  That’s not good or bad in my opinion, they have good customer support and tho they may have had a questionable rep for quality many years ago....that was many years ago!  :)

Another great source for table-top tools is:


The table-top saw has been a favorite for fretboard work.
You can get hard-to-find items like thin kerf saw blades here.

Title: Re: Workshop power tools for uke building?
Post by pumpkin on Jul 17th, 2008 at 11:49pm
I have Micromarks catalog and will have to check out the specs on the table saw and their drill pressess.

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