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Mar 29, 2020, 03:24 PM
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new workshop

Hello everyone,

I am moving and have finally got myself a 25 sqm of warm space to make a real shop for me. I have been recently building a lot of model planes on my small table and basically been working with the Proxxon multi tool and a wast assortment of handheld tools of different kind.

I am thinking of buying some basic machines like a band saw, table top saw and a belt sander for example. Now as I am making purchases and have a litle bit of budget aswell I would like to have some sort of unity and would prefer some well known brand of tools. It is not mandatory but good quality is. What would you recommend? A product line or a individual tool, anything is appreciated. Any opinion is welcome, and a link to a good product is a big plus

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Mar 29, 2020, 03:48 PM
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You must be the first to have a bit of a budget. I seem to use my lathe more than anything lately. Then the Xacto knife, bandsaw and belt sander I have two bandsaws but the metal cutting one seems to get more use, and the scroll saw just sits. I guess it depends on what you make, ribs or motor parts. I always look for used good quality tools. Then if you get tired of them, you can dump them for what you paid pretty much. As an example, my tabletop bandsaw cost me $35 as well as my little drill press. The bigger bandsaw and belt/disc sander were new and were a bit more money. $300 and $120. The Chinesium ballasts went out on the drill presses and belt sander as well as a used table saw. Cheap fix, but inconvenient.
Last edited by aspeed; Mar 29, 2020 at 04:05 PM.
Mar 29, 2020, 08:20 PM
Registered User
You’ll use the power tools you mentioned more than you can imagine. A combo disk/belt bench sander makes fitting parts perfectly easy. I’ve had a table saw for decades; added an X-Acto table saw a few years ago and love it. Bought the bandsaw in the early ‘90s, still using it. If you can find older Delta tools they’re worth taking a look. I would rather have good old tools than new “just ok” tools. Agree with Aspeed about the lathe and scroll saw. I sold my lathe when we moved a few months ago but shopping for a replacement. Bought a heavy cast iron 20” scroll saw recently because it was a bargain in a package deal. It’s a big improvement over the lightweight stamped steel an cast aluminum one I had but still probably won’t get lots of use. I really like having a drill press. Don’t go too small if you get one. The ability to precisely locate holes and drill them squarely is huge. Good lighting is the best tool.
Mar 29, 2020, 10:41 PM
Never too light
I have a cheap 10" bandsaw that gets a lot of use, also a very cheap Harbor Freight belt sander. I also like having a drill press. Scroll saw doesn't get much use.

I also have all 3 of Jim Byrnes products - the tablesaw, the disc sander, and the thickness sander. I use them constantly, to a fault! My favorite, because it does something nothing else can, is the thickness sander. You can create ultra-thin sheets of anything you want or carefully(!) run the side of a fuselage or tail part through it and get an impeccable look to joints. If you get a Byrnes saw I would recommend the extra large version which isn't advertised (wish I had).

What's missing? Well I would love a giant circular sander and a spindle sander (I think some go to 1/4" instead of just 1/2" diameter). But I have too many sanders already!
Mar 31, 2020, 01:04 PM
springer's Avatar
My experience with modern tools is that Ryobi brand is the best bang for the buck. I have had three of their cordless drills over the last 40 years or so. They last 10+ years in fairly typical handyman use (house additions, work shop builds, etc). Good price, not the most durable in reviews, but I could buy two for less than one Dewalt or Milwaukee. They also have kept their connectors the same, so one can run old ni-cad or new lithium packs in all tools. I have several other power tools by them and they have all given great service too. I would recommend them for stationary tools too. On the other hand, I have collected most all my wood shop tools piece by piece over the years. 9" Craftsman table saw bought new in 1973. Radial drill press and disc/belt sander I got online at same time; they are "American tools" the ones that used to be in ads on back pages of Popular Mechanics. The drill press was $15 and the sander about the same by mail order. Really cheap basic tools, but they have lasted and been trouble free. My bandsaw is a harbor freight knockoff of an older Delta saw. Basic, but solid. My metal lathe is a 6" Craftsman AA lathe I got for $150 at a local flea market - it needed some restoration, but is fine for small parts and light cuts. My wood lathe is also 30's vintage craftsman 9" a friend gave me when he upgraded to a 14" throw lathe. The upshot is you may be able to get good used tools , the older the better- heavier and simple to work with and on. This last summer I picked up a harbor freight bench drill press at an estate sale for $20. I use it in my plane room inside the house while the rest live out in the shop. You are about to go on another adventure hunting for tools! Enjoy!
Mar 31, 2020, 03:01 PM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
That's pretty roomy but not gobs of room. If you want a table saw and you will use the saw for breaking down full panels and some longer dimensional wood then you WILL want an outfeed table to support the work. And that outfeed table can double as an assembly bench for wood projects or a good place for fully assembled models for working around them with the need for only moving it a few times. You might also want to plan on that outfeed island to be more than just a table.

Like if dust control will be important to you a section of the top could be done in pegboard which connects with a strong fan pulling air through a HEPA rated filter to filter dust from the air and as a sanding table for working on models and wood projects. If your shop is part of the house this could be a SUPER nice and perhaps even a critical feature to maintain domestic bliss. And if nothing more it sure is nice to not work in a cloud of dust which very likely has a bad long term effect.

Along with a possible dust collection feature you might want to include drawers or shelving in this work island/outfeed table. Few tools are as valuable as well organized and easily accessible storage. Along with that I'd suggest that to make life easy for yourself by using kitchen cabinets and counter units for some of the work and storage. Regular wall cabinets above the work surfaces are a great place to store a lot of things and the lower side is a great place to install work lighting so you're not working in your own shadow all the time.

A small table top bandsaw is also a VERY handy saw to use for both model building and wood work. Bigger is better of course. But if you go that route I'd suggest you set it up so the base sets the table height at or just under the height of the main work island. And if set at the same height it can help you for holding up longer parts for the bandsaw.

Will you have any other wood working stationary tools you're considering?

With the table saw positioned such that the blade is pretty well in the middle of the floor area to allow for handling and feeding full panels you can add work benches or storage around the edges.
Apr 01, 2020, 02:09 PM
Registered User
Originally Posted by Olli-Matti
Hello everyone,

I am moving and have finally got myself a 25 sqm of warm space to make a real shop for me. I have been recently building a lot of model planes on my small table and basically been working with the Proxxon multi tool and a wast assortment of handheld tools of different kind.

I am thinking of buying some basic machines like a band saw, table top saw and a belt sander for example. Now as I am making purchases and have a litle bit of budget aswell I would like to have some sort of unity and would prefer some well known brand of tools. It is not mandatory but good quality is. What would you recommend? A product line or a individual tool, anything is appreciated. Any opinion is welcome, and a link to a good product is a big plus

Please tell us more..... is this a dedicated model airplane workshop or is this also your handyman/woodworking workshop; makes a big difference
What kind of models.... small (60" span and under) or giant (80" span and over)
I assume you are building from kits/plans and not only assembling almost ready to fly models

Please research and decide first on issues of
- workshop layout
-illumination (a lot, we are doing "sewing" level work and your eyes will not get better over time)
- insulation
-electrical power and electrical outlets
-double panel entrance doors (if this option still open to you - less hanger rash with big models)

There is no brand line of machinery, in my opinion, that makes the best quality/value machine in every category.

Also be aware of the utility/skill satisfaction in using quality handtools……… a handheld portable machine planer is junk compared to a good quality "manual" woodworking block or razor plane.

Do consider these issues and what uses you will be your workshop to ...….. buying machines without thinking thru your needs and doing research/asking questions on what machines are good for what purpose will lead to buyer's remorse/unused machines that just take up space.

Do read threads in this subcategory where people argue for/against the usefulness of various machines, eg. bandsaw vs. scroll saw.

The woodworking forums have good threads on setting up a woodworking workshop, which may help. There are a few on this subject - layout of dedicated model workshops - in this category, also.

best wishes

Michael in Ontario, Canada
Last edited by 2michaely; Apr 01, 2020 at 05:20 PM.
Apr 02, 2020, 02:55 AM
Registered User
Thread OP
Yes, great answers so far and very helpful! Thank you guys.

As Michael said I need to clarify my needs a bit. But also so this can serve also other peoples purpose all opinions and points are wellcome.

-I am currently making this space solely to model building so no need for heavier handyman/woodworking equipment.
-I have flown and built also giant scale previously but have moved towards FF and smaller models mainly because space restrictions.
- Up to this day I have managed pretty complex builds with just a dremel tool and a wast assortment of handheld tools so I am thinking of starting out
with just moderate amount of machines. I am thinking of bandsaw and table top saw and maybe a belt sander.
- I have recently grown interest in metal works and do know that that is an area I need the most practise as a modeller. A metal lathe is a machine I would like to learn and try
- I do like painting and have a couple of compressors and a airbrush and a spray gun and tend to use them reqularly during the builds. So the dust and particle filtering and possibly small paint booth / paint curtains are of interest.

Apr 02, 2020, 09:51 AM
Registered User
On my last major move, I was going to sell my regular full size lathe and mill and just get one of these. Turned out that no one wanted my stuff for even $1,000 so I just brought it here. Prices have since gone up a bit since. A 3 hour drive with one ton of each machine. I do still like them though. The Smithy is fairly good from what I have heard. Not sure if the European plugs would work on these. Here it is 60 hz not 50. I have discovered that while the wife insisted on a kitchen downstairs and I really hated the idea; kitchens are really good for an airplane model shop. Stove, fridge for beer, glues and paint, hood vent for painting, sink for cleaning and rinsing parts, cupboards and arborite countertops for building. I wax the countertops with release agent so the glue doesn't stick. Unfortunately she takes over everything but I sneak over once in a while.
Apr 02, 2020, 02:23 PM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
Over the years I've looked at a lot of combo lathe and mills. I never found one that pushed all the proper buttons. They ended up always being the bad of both things with little of the good. I'd strongly suggest a separate lathe and mill.

For a small shop where the focus is on model airplanes we can manage with a pretty small lathe. Something along the line of a Sherline or Taig would be great for making engine parts, doing your own landing gear projects and even doing some proper small scale model engines. In short a pretty nice option if it will be used just as a support tool for model airplane use and you're interested in "table top machining" of smaller projects.

Or perhaps one of the 7x sizes. But if you opt for a 7x something size lathe go with at least the 12" bed. And better yet would be the version with the 14" bed. Otherwise you can easily run out of room along the bed for the chuck on the head stock, the item being worked on, a reasonable size of drill like 3/8" or 10mm and a chuck for the drill on the tail stock. That's when a couple of extra inches really comes in handy. Just be aware and do some searching around about the 7xN series of mini lathes.

The mini lathes are a bit rough right out of the box. But there is a wide variety of upgrades you can buy and perform to make them a lot more capable of heavier cuts and more consistent precision. And literally dozens of great channels on YT dedicated to improving and using the mini lathes.

An absolutely lovely size which would need little or no "improvements" for a slightly bigger and more serious hobby lathe for doing anything related to model airplanes and a wide array of metal working projects would be a 10x22 or 10x24 inch size lathe such as THIS ONE.

And of course after you make a bunch of round things on the lathe you will want to make some flat and square things. And that's where a bench top mill comes in. A nice size to go with a mini lathe or the 10x22 would be something LIKE THIS MILL.
Apr 04, 2020, 09:09 AM
Registered User

I am thinking of bandsaw and table top saw and maybe a belt sander.


a scrollsaw has more utility than a bandsaw in that the scrollsaw can do interior cuts without having to saw thru the perimeter of an model structure piece such as fuselage former. (but a bandsaw has a nice hum vs. the sewing machine sound of scroll saw - smiley)

Table saw:
the ONLY model work my tricked out tablesaw does is sawing identical dimensioned wing spars (along with thickness planer if needed for prior machining one dimension). People sometimes say a tablesaw is useful for "breaking down" larger panels - but this can be down with handsaws and a scroll or bandsaw with much less waste.
(But I suspect CGordon's suggestion of the special order extra large Byrnes tablesaw would be a marvel of a tabletop table saw - smiley)

Belt Sander:
certainly not a hand held belt sander; much too awkward to manipulate. A table top stationary circular sander with a small platform on which you can stabilize the workpiece to be trim sanded is more accurate than a similar tabletop belt sander.
But there are generic (many different house brands exist) combined tabletop 6 or 8" circular sander/36"x4" belt sanders - I have one and it works well. Most have a dust collection take off (to a shop vac) only the belt sander part but a few also have the dust collection take off to include the circular sander part.

Dust collection and air filtration:
Unless you get into a thickness planer (for machining large/uneven wood stock into one flat dimension), a shop vacuum cleaner connection should be fine for dust collection as wood particles are created.
Very small particles that remain suspended in the air - or stirred up as you move in the workshop - are dealt with by air filtration. There are rectangular box air filtration units with multiple layers of increasing fine filtration screens, that you suspend from the ceiling. Some have used cheap 20" square box fans with furnace filters stuck to the input side of the fan box as an air filter.

good luck

Michael in Ontario, Canada
Apr 04, 2020, 01:48 PM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
If dust bothers you then ANY sort of power sander is an instant reason why you'll want some manner of dust collection.

I normally laugh at them in terms of bigger work but for model building the small 1x30" belt sanders that commonly also have a 5" disc would be marvelous.… but only if the sanding dust can be controlled....

I've personally come to terms with my scroll saw thanks to a supply of really good Olson blades. Before that I was ready to chuck it into the dump. But by far my favorite for a wider mix of wood and model work is a bandsaw. But for model building only I'd grudgingly go with a good mid price variable speed scroll saw and a small array of Olson blades to suit the sort of cutting being done. Variable because aircraft plywood at high stroke rates tends to dull the blades rather quickly.

Now if you're building some of your furniture I'd suggest a sanding station along the lines that I went for. This is a table top of 1/4" pegboard over a cavity with a good filter that connects with a high volume low velocity fan. I went overkill with a 24 x 36 area drawing down into two cleanable HEPA rated filters using an old furnace fan as the moving source. Granted it works fantastically... but I likely could have got away with a little less air movement. Like a big box fan built into a table with a similar size small particle filter over an 18x18 piece of pegboard.

On the other hand if I had a 1x30 belt sander for model work and just rested it on my sanding station with the motor running it would draw away all the dust neatly. I would simply leave it running for a minute or so after the sanding is done to also scrub the shop air.
Feb 17, 2021, 02:22 PM
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Thread OP


It’s been almost a year now and a lot has been done to and in my work shop. It’s not finished by all means but on a good start.

I did indeed get me a metal lathe and really have liked metal working a lot. I did even manage to build my forst model diesel engine some couple of months ago.

I took some pictures from the entrance of the shop tp give you guys an idea of whats going on
Feb 18, 2021, 02:27 PM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
The shop looks absolutely grand ! ! !

The metal shop corner is neatly set up and by golly you can't go wrong at all with any of the Emco Compact series. Those are fantastic lathes! And the mill looks like a perfect match.

The space looks very nicely organized too. I like the way you've used the space. Still got a "clutter corner" or two but as you'll likely agree shops are never "finished". There's always that last bit that needs finishing off. And as we change how we work modifications to be done. But that's part of the fun.

As for the engine? Did you have a build thread on that which I missed? It came out great looking. How's it for running? Being a piston port I'm guessing it's probably a nice sport engine with no pretensions towards winning any races. But it must be fun to run. Have you built a model for it yet?
Feb 19, 2021, 05:36 AM
Registered User
Thread OP

Boll Aero 18

Thanks Bruce!

I didn't do a build thread as this was my first engine build and I really wasn't sure if it is going to be a success or not (having built only machinist hammer and some other little parts before while learning to use the lathe and a mill). There was so much to learn and figure out that I am still a little exhausted but glad it turned out ok Been also very happy with the Emco C8 that I luckily found nearby. I did pay a little overprice for it as it didn't have much accessories but have been tuning and upgrading and buying a lot of tooling for it (a vfd and a 3-phase motor and multifix style qctp the most significant ones). I have been looking the lathe market in Finland very closely now for a year but have not seen another Compact 8 for sale in that time.. There must be some of them but not too many around I guess over here.

I have a video clip of the engine running and there are some pictures of the build aswell in the beginning and at the end. The engine is Boll Aero 18 that is quite popular beginners project and as you said it won't definately win speed competitions It turns 9x5 propeller that I got on at around 5400rpms. I have executed some breaking in and the engine has now ran 15 times all togehter. I plan to try and fly it at summer. I have an enlarged Vic Smeed Coquette that is almost finishde that could be of suitable size. Definately going to try and make a flight with it but otherwise it's going to stay as a display engine mostly.

the vid:
Boll Aero 18 model diesel engine build by OMK (5 min 40 sec)

Next up I'll get the sink plumped and working to have access to water and rinsing equipments. My daughters also love to paint with water colors so that is good for that too. I am also thinking of some sort of curtain / rail system in the ceiling for a light paint booth and the air filtration system is on the menu aswell. The table in the midle is on rolling lockable wheels and can easily be moved around when needed. So far so good.


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