well first of all i just want this as a hobby, so no i do not need "professional" grade heavy duty equipment. What i need is:

Router < 100 usd
Hand planer <50 usd
Spokeshave <50 usd
maybe a bandsaw if a decent one can be had for <125 usd
and possibly a drill press if one can be had for <125 usd

Looking around on sites i have seen plenty of these tools in these price ranges, but i have no idea at all what is good, so hopefully one of you guys that knows your stuff can help me out.

A spokeshave should not cost 50 bucks, that's god awful. I picked mine up for around $20, it's a Stanley.

Don't skimp too much, and buy used. Try your local craigslist for the router, bandsaw, and drill press. I don't know if you know, but North East Ohio is part of the rust belt, you'll be able to find something. I live near Akron, and there is always a surplus of tools around here. For a drill press, google HGR Surplus.

Also, you don't really need a band saw in my opinion. I've built a few guitars without a bandsaw. I just use a router with a template.

I don't know where in North East Ohio you are, but check out Keim Lumber. They have everything.
alright thanks. I'll check those out.

I'm in Brunswick (northern Medina county) btw

*oh and i mean the < as less-than not an arrow. lol
Last edited by yanko693 at Aug 14, 2009,
For a router, I think that a good one is worth the money. Some of the cheaper routers have issues with the bit height creeping up. This is obviously not acceptable when routing a neck pocket. They also have better bearings and are easier to use since a router bit can spin at 25,000 rpms. I started with a Ryobi and quickly purchased a Freud and now also own a Bosh fixed and a Bosch plunge/fixed kit. Wish I did not waste the money on the ryobi.

I would look on craig's list for a dewalt or bosch plunge router. You may also want a kit that has 2 bases, one a plunge and one fixed. I like the fixed base for routing aound the body template but the plunge base is good for pickup cavities. Before you buy anything off of Craig's list, check the price of a new one on Amazon. I have seen many used tools selling for more than a new one.

Also, try to get one that has a 1/2 collet and a 1/4 collet. The 1/2 collet does a better job at absorbing vibration and 1/2 bits are unlikely to break. Variable speed is also nice since you can use larger diameter bits without hurting yourself.

Amazon has this nice kit for $145:
Hitachi KM12VC 11 Amp 2-1/4-Horsepower Plunge and Fixed Base Variable Speed Router Kit with 1/4-Inch and 1/2-Inch Collets

FOr a handplane, I would do a search on google about handplane setup. The only handplane that is really ready to use right out of the box are the Lie-Nielsens, but some of those are over $300. Also, you will need to sharpen the blade. I love the scary sharp sandpaper method (not my name but using it will help you google it). Stupid name but you can shave with a hand plane blade after doing it. If you have a swap meet near you, you should go to that and get an old stanley plane for next to nothing. SInce virtually any plane will need to be set up anyway, an old one makes as much sense as a new one. It may actually require less tweaking to get it to be fun to use instead of a struggle.

For a drill press, make sure that the throat is deep enough so that it can reach the middle of the body so you can drill you bridge post holes. Most of the HArbor freight $50 ones are too shallow to do this.

I hou don't have a B&D workmate, get one or something like it. They are great as evidenced by the fact that they are in alot of Metalhead_28's build pictures.

Hope this helps.