All avid woodworkers aspire to build their own shop replete of all the essentials from basic hand tools and power tools to huge woodworking equipment. The more extensive is the collection of tools, the more varied are the types of projects that can be handled. Some of these tools include different types of saws, drills, hammers, chisels, and planers. For details on the best electric hand planers, you can scope out the Internet. Some of these pieces, however, are quite pricey, which makes building the collection a tad difficult. Thus, enthusiastic woodworkers are tempted to buy used woodworking machines. One must handle such situation with caution, lest one ends up spending more than buying a brand new unit.
To make sure that the used equipment intended to be acquired is still in good working condition, here are some tips to consider:
- It is good to inspect for yourself the actual equipment in person.
If you feel that you have inadequate skill in assessing the soundness of the equipment, find someone who can. Buying online runs the risk of paying for something you have not personally inspected. The only exception to this rule is if you are buying from an established dealer with a good reputation and acceptable return policy or warranty. If buying from a private seller, make sure that the unit has been thoroughly examined before money change hands.
- Buying reconditioned unit is the closest thing to brand new equipment.
Make sure that the motor has been disassembled and the worn out parts replaced. It must also include an inspection of the wiring system and the switches. If professional reconditioning has been done, the performance of the equipment must be comparable to a brand new one. Usually, these items sold by credible suppliers also come with a warranty. The inspection must primarily focus on the motor preferably done by a professional. If you must do it on your own, run the motor; listen to its sound if there are unnatural or abnormal sounds. Check the casing of the motor; it must be warm to the touch but not hot. If it is very hot, it indicates future potential troubles.
- Check the maintenance records if the service records suggest good maintenance.
If the record reveals irregular services, it indicates carelessness and the woodworking equipment is more likely to exhibit more problems than what is claimed by the seller. Bear in mind that wood dusts and oil tend to compromise the motor of the equipment and thus requires diligent maintenance for it to last.
- It is always ideal to know the identity of the previous owner and the manner the equipment was used.
For instance, a younger machine or a newer model that is used 24/7 on a production area can be older than an 8-year old model that is being used by a hobbyist in his shop. If the identity is known, try getting the serial number and presenting it to the manufacturer who may have records of the buyer to get an idea as to its manner of use. The age and quality of machines depend to a large extent on the extensiveness of use.
It is logical to start collecting the basic tools and the equipment later as one improves the skill level. When buying tools, it is always important not to compromise quality to cost. When the budget is small, one can consider buying used woodworking equipment with a reputable brand or from a credible seller of used woodworking tools. If you can apply these six tips, you stand a chance of being able to buy a good second-hand can last for quite a long time.