Tools, Tools, Tools! What do you use?

In preparation for my new X Carve arriving, I’ve been trying to get my workshop together with all the tools I’ll need for successful wood and acrylic projects, So far a table saw, files, drills, an assortment of bits and some clamps have been ordered. I already had a pretty decent assortment of hand tools. I’m curious what other fun toys you all ( especially some expert types ) use besides your cnc and computer.

Maybe list some ideas of things i may be overlooking.

A belt (or disc sander) works wonders for sanding off tabs.


Once you start buying tools the game is over. I started with a metal lathe 10 years ago and the illness quickly took hold. The X-carve had to go in the basement of the house cause I ran out of room everywhere else. I just got a 3D printer and have to say for rapid prototyping I think it’s going to be great. The PLA parts I have made in the past two days are surprisingly strong and accurate.


I’ve been doing woodworking for over 45 years so here is my experience. Yes a combination belt and disc sander is a must. I also found a bench-top drill press is extremely useful. I didn’t have a drill press for the longest time. Didn’t think I needed one. I use it about as often as any other tool. A decent counter top scroll saw can also be handy. Right now my girl friend has me making every kind of Halloween decoration imaginable with my X-Carve. Wishing you many successful projects.


No matter what we tell you to buy, it doesn’t help you. If you’re asking this question, you already have got the sickness of the woodworking like Shawn1 says. You will start buying things, even you never needed. Try to go easy. I start with Table Saw a year ago, still didn’t stop yet. Focus on what kind of production is most interesting to you, then you can see what you need for.
First is first, you need to take care of your health. Start with good dust collection, sanding is the most dusty job, try not to expose yourself to cloud of dust. Basic tools are, something to cut raw material to get ready to carve, buy safe table saw, circular saw, sanding station with wacuum, long running Dust Collector, ventilated area for painting, Safety equipment like Googles, breathing mask, name of some.


I started with a combo metal lathe,mill,drill some 20 years ago. That machine is long gone. In it’s place 2 metal lathes 2 milling machines 1 is CNC, 1 metal shaper, 1 horz milling machine (in pieces waiting to be rebuilt) 1 surface grinder, 1 drill press, 1 table saw, 1 scroll saw, 1 14" band saw, 1 horz metal band saw, 1 wood jointer, 1 wood planer, 1 router table and finally 1 highly modified X-Carve.

This is just the machines there is also lots of small stuff like cordless drills 3, hand routers 3, power miter boxes 2 etc.

I’m a toolaholic and there is not cure.



Rather than being a toolaholic, my suggestion is to plan projects, and to buy tools which will be useful in said projects.

That said, we did start a list of tools on the ShapeOko wiki:

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If I started listing all of the tools I have in my shop, I’d run out of room quickly. I’ve always dabbled with wood projects to some degree, then really got the bug around 1998. Since then, I have accumulated more than enough tools to build a lot of the furniture in our home. I’ve designed and built everything from a king-size platform bed down to keepsake boxes. I do a little turning - mostly pens, bottle stoppers and have even done a few thimbles. When I decided to add a CNC early this year, I got the Shapeoko 2 and have had a great time learning the ins and outs of CNC design and machining.

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lots of great suggestions here, and a super friendly forum. So rare these days. Thanks guys, belt Sander is definitely on the list now !


For a muti use sander this is an excellent value.

I don’t know about the ‘Deluxe’ model, but I’ve had an Xactasaw for over a decade (maybe they are all deluxe now). Mine has a 50 inch and came with a built in router lift in the extension table. I purchased the Jet custom roller base with the saw. Since then, I’ve added a Merlin splitter and an HTC outfeed roller table to it. I have absolutely NO complaints with it and it is only in the past couple years with the release of the built in riving knife that I’ve even had an “that would be nice” moment.

I did choose a left tilt option so that the work isn’t trapped between the blade and the fence when the blade is tilted. There are lots of opinions on which direction is best so do some studies of your own to decide which you would prefer.

My experience is that Jet is a stand up company and although I haven’t bought anything new for years, my shop is full of Jet equipment and I’ve never had a problem with any of it.

I’m not that serious woodworker myself. I have Dewalt contractor series under $250. If I pay that much for the Table saw, I would pay for this;

And no worries about finger bite.

If you haven’t got a Dremel or similar rotary tool, then it might be top of the list. Comes in handy for all sorts of work that connects to the X-Carve, like trimming tabs, sanding spots, getting rid of fuzz from a cut… plus it is pretty versatile around the house and shop, so not a 1 job tool.

Now, I’m not saying to buy this next one, but if money wasn’t an option, I know the JointMaker Pro v2 would be top of my list along with most of the other tools BridgeCity offers:



Yeah, I debated on mentioning the JointMaker Pro — almost bought one of them instead of a Shapeoko back when I started on all this stuff, and there are days when I really regret not going that route.

I love Bosch tools, and one way of saving some money is to buy the refurbished version from . I have a number of refurbs, and had no problems with any of them. You’re not just limited to Bosch though, I was able to get a refurbished floor nailer for when I put in a hardwood floor for cheaper than the local rental place wanted for a day or too rental !

i went with a craftsman Evolve 10" at 177.00 it had awesome reviews. With a limited budget and having already dropped near 3000 dollars on x carve related stuff it felt like a win.

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I purchased a 10 inch sliding compound miter saw a few months ago and it has quickly replaced by table saw as my goto tool for preparing material for use in the X-Carve. In my opinion is it much easier and quicker to make precise cuts.

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I found a used Craftsman 10" radial arm saw about 10 years ago and that is my primary cutting tool. I built a cabinet to put it on and replaced the table/surface and it still cuts like new.

Here is the cheaper alternative to have Table Saw.

That’s not me, I don’t sweat that much. :slight_smile:

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A radial arm saw is an excellent choice, I just did not have the room for it in my shop space.