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STL 59: No Such Thing as Too Many Tools

comments (6) May 16th, 2014 in blogs

thumbs up 9 users recommend

This week on Shop Talk Live, FWW contributing editor Roland Johnson pops in to answer your questions on power tools and machinery. - CLICK TO ENLARGE

This week on Shop Talk Live, FWW contributing editor Roland Johnson pops in to answer your questions on power tools and machinery.

Shop Talk Live 59: No Such Thing as Too Many Tools

This week on Shop Talk Live, contributing editor Roland Johnson--a self-described tool junkie--stops by to answer your power tool and machinery questions.

Plus, a listener scolds us for poo-pooing all that marketing talk for fancy Japanese chisels made from old anchor chains. Listen and learn!



Every two weeks, a team of Fine Woodworking staffers answer questions from readers on Shop Talk Live, Fine Woodworking's biweekly podcast. Send your woodworking questions to for consideration in the regular broadcast!


Also on iTunes Click on the link at left to listen to the podcast, or catch it in iTunes. Remember, our continued existence relies upon listener support. So if you enjoy the show, be sure to leave us a five-star rating and maybe even a nice comment on our iTunes page. And don't forget to send in your woodworking questions to



Matt Kenney
Senior editor

Roland Johnson
Contributing editor

Ed Pirnik
Senior web producer



Listen to Previous Episodes

posted in: blogs, podcast, roland johnson

Comments (6)

MuskokaLayne MuskokaLayne writes: Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the podcast with Roland as a guest. He brought humour, knowledge and great advice to his first visit to the show - look forward to hearing him on future episodes. Keep up the great work!
Posted: 7:53 am on May 23rd

BStev BStev writes: Wait, I'm supposed to be building stuff with these tools? I thought I was just collecting them for posterity.

Nicely said Matt, spend some time making stuff and you'll quickly figure out what tools you need/want. But you can a whole bunch with almost nothing.

Posted: 7:52 pm on May 20th

MKenney MKenney writes: We did miss that the PM 87 runs at speeds fast enough for wood. However, even knowing that, I still wouldn't recommend it as a first bandsaw for someone just getting into the craft, or someone, like the person who asked the question, who hasn't even begun to pursue woodworking in earnest. The vast majority of the folks who do woodworking today--folks who have shops in the garages, do it as a hobby, etc.--simply do not need a 20 in. bandsaw, regardless of how heavy it is, how well made it is, and lovely an example of old iron it is. I know some excellent furniture makers who do astounding work with 14 in. bandsaws.

In the end the gentleman who asked the question and anyone else in his position should do exactly what we advised. Start building things before you begin to buy big pieces of machinery. Knowledge, skill, and experience are far more valuable tools than any piece of machinery.
Posted: 2:58 pm on May 20th

billg71 billg71 writes: Hey, Roland, don't apologize to me, Ernesto is the one all of you need to give the info to. Hopefully he hasn't dumped that bandsaw for a 12" Shop Fox by now.

"Open mouth, insert foot, chew vigorously" is nothing new to me, I've done it hundreds(realistically maybe thousands) of time in my 60 years on this planet but you guys are in an exceptional position: you're talking to a large audience from a position of authority with the full weight and measure of the FWW name backing you up. It took me literally 45 seconds on my iPhone while driving to get the specs, obviously none of the rest of the team bothered to make the effort either.

Asa probably would've picked up on it, he has experience in a machine shop. You all read "metal bandsaw" and turned off any need to research further. I'm not hammering on you in particular but I've worked around a lot of metal-cutting floor saws and I can't remember one that didn't have at least two speeds(low and high), that's what drew my attention and sent me to Google.

So how about someone on the staff sends Ernesto a correction? And maybe put it in the next podcast so the rest of your listeners don't stay misinformed?

Reading the reviews in iTunes, it seems a lot of people rely on you guys for accurate info. Authority comes with responsibility. That's all I have to say.

(you can call me)Bill

Posted: 6:47 pm on May 19th

woodheat woodheat writes: Billg71, my apologies on the Powermatic 87 miss, I didn't get a chance to review the questions before the podcast and simply missed that is was an 87. Of course a blade speed of 4600 is sufficient for woodcutting, making the 87 a good woodcutting saw, but some older metal cutting saws have much lower max. speed which puts them out of the running as a good woodcutting saw, and I assumed.... As I mentioned in the podcast a blade speed in the three to four thousand fpm range is ideal, and obviously the 87 meets that spec. Sorry for the miss. The fact still remains that a slow saw is not an efficient woodcutter.
Posted: 11:53 am on May 19th

billg71 billg71 writes: Wow, first question of the podcast and you totally blew it, told poor Ernesto to get rid of a Powermatic 87 and buy a bandsaw made for wood. Really?

30 seconds on Google would have gotten you the specs on the 87, it's a 20" model, 12" resaw capacity, with continuously variable cutting speed from 40-4,600 sfpm.. Most woodworkers would die to have in their shop if they had room and could move it.

So much for "expert" opinions.
Posted: 3:40 pm on May 17th

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Fine Woodworking magzine's biweekly podcast, Shop Talk Live, allows editors, authors, and special guests to answer your woodworking questions and connect with the online woodworking community.