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Woodworking Machines for Your Shop

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Woodworking machines are precise power tools that are typically far too large and heavy to be portable, which means that they're rarely found on a job site. Instead, these tools will be most likely confined to your wood shop. Fortunately, they're so useful that you'll be quite willing to build your fine woodworking projects in your wood shop and carry the projects to your final destination. While there are many additional woodworking machines not discussed in this article, the following are probably the most versatile fine woodworking machines that are designed primarily for use in the wood shop.

1. Table Saw

Table Saw
(c) 2008 Chris Baylor licensed to About.com, Inc.

The table saw is typically considered the centerpiece of the wood shop. Since so many tasks can be done on the table saw, it is often the one tool around which the woodshop is designed. To be considered a good table saw, the unit will need a large, heavy-duty table, a solid fence and a stout motor. Learn all of the specific features you should look for when purchasing a table saw.

2. Drill Press

Drill Press
(c) 2008 Chris Baylor licensed to About.com, Inc.

The drill press is a very versatile woodworking machine that, because of size issues, is typically only found in the woodshop. While it can be used to drill precise holes in stock in the traditional manner, you can also use it to bore holes at various angles, as an offset press, a drum sander and more. Learn how to choose (and use) a drill press for your wood shop.

3. Band Saw

Band Saw
(c) 2008 Chris Baylor licensed to About.com, Inc.
Of all woodworking tools, probably the easiest for cutting precise curves in stock is the band saw. In addition to cutting smooth curves, it is also ideal for resawing and cutting wide strips of stock. You can even use it to make some cuts that would typically be reserved for a radial arm saw or table saw. Learn the features to look for when purchasing a band saw for your wood shop.

4. Radial Arm Saw

Radial Arm Saw
(c) 2008 Chris Baylor licensed to About.com, Inc.
While many woodworkers eschew the radial arm saw for other choices, the radial arm saw can really provide some benefits that would take a number of tools to handle the tasks that could be accomplished with one good radial arm saw. Learn the features to look for should you choose to add a radial arm saw to your shop.

5. Jointer

Jointer
(c) 2008 Chris Baylor licensed to About.com, Inc.
The best power tool for milling a flat, even surface on one side of a board is a jointer. It is also probably the best woodworking machine for milling a second surface perfectly perpendicular to the first edge. Jointers come in various shapes and sizes, but all jointers are used for the same tasks. Learn what to look for when choosing a jointer for your wood shop.

6. Surface Planer

Surface Planer
(c) 2008 Chris Baylor licensed to About.com, Inc.
When boards are too thick, the best tool for planing them down to the proper thickness is the surface planer. This useful tool will rip an even layer of stock off of the surface of a board, allowing the woodworker to ease boards of any size down to the exact thickness needed for a project. Learn what to look for when buying a surface planer for your wood shop.

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