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Alex Cheng

Budget power tools

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Hi!

 

starting to set up shop!

Anyone have recommendations for budget equipment?

I'm thinking of getting a scroll/bandsaw and hydraulic press, and eventually, a powerhammer

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I would be careful with budget/home built power equipment. Generally, you get what you pay for and malfunctioning power equipment can mess you up. One maker with a homemade power hammer had the linkage break and throw a bright hot piece of steel at him that he was forge welding. He had to get skin grafts to close the wound and was out of work for months. Could he have had the accident with a commercially made power hammer? It's possible but less likely. Also some of those old used mechanical power hammers can kill when their linkages give if you don't have a safety shield in place, even then you may end up having to go back into the house to change drawers.

 

The big thing is that if you are trying to build/rebuild a piece of equipment you have to have the knowledge of what you are doing.

 

Doug

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Be aware that much equipment like power hammers, presses, full size bandsaws etc. largely only make the work faster and more effficient. At the newbie stage the only really expensive piece of equipment you need is a good anvil; any one of the tops smiths you see here can very likely recreate some of their best work with medieval tooling and a lot of extra time and perseverance. If you've got a budget, get tools one by one and only upgrade when you're pushed to put work out faster

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Thanks for the advice!

I think I'm convinced to hold out on buying the heavy machinery for now

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My priority in knife making would be to get a high quality grinder. I purchased a grizzly to start out with, and wished i would have went ahead and got the real deal... cuz i still need a variable speed grinder with some attachments to streamline my process. The grizzly is great for the money but I feel like the extra 1500$ would have been worth it to spend on a KMG or something. My current grinding operation includes alot of other tools, a palm sander for when im working on woods or micarta so it doesnt burn, a drill press mandrel drum sander and etc etc.

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When it comes to tools you get what you pay for!

 

You can build a knife without any power tools but I must admit they make it easier.

 

So save your money and purchase a quality tool. Sometimes you can find a deal on a used tool, but you have to know what you are purchasing, whether the tools are quality tools to begin with!

 

In this throw away world we live in now, sometimes you have to spend big bucks to get the quality tool, but once you use a quality tool you will see the difference!

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