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Our Shops and Shop Projects

Mobile Tablesaw Base, Part 1

Here’s the start of my mobile tablesaw base. I’m riffing off of this design.

Started by dismantling the saw, as is my habit.

Tablesaw Mobile base 1 Read more

Goodbye, old friend

Well, I finally had to throw in the towel on my old, second-hand, auction-bought tablesaw. It was my first tablesaw, and I hoped it would be my second-to-last tablesaw, too. My goal was to make it last until I bought “The Last Saw I’d Ever Own.” You know: the 3HP, 52-inch capacity cabinet saw that would have to be dropped in place by crane and not moved again until 2 weeks after my funeral. Read more

And now we turn our attention to the ceiling

The warm weather continues. The garage-shop reorg marches on. This time, we turn our attention to the ceiling.

New lights to brighten things up:

Ceiling 1 Read more

It gets worse before it gets better

So my virtual shop took one step closer to reality, this weekend. Step 1 was the lumber rack. Step 2 is to build shelving on the opposite wall so that I could house everything that isn’t woodworking related. After -20° weather had me trapped indoors and going a bit stir-crazy, we finally had a couple weekends warm enough to get out in the garage. In fact, a few of the days were downright pleasant, melting much of the snow away.

So, the plan: sturdy, built-in, floor-to-ceiling shelves in the 15″ strip of space between wall and garage door. Unfortunately, before I could do that, I had to vamoose the little pine slat shelves that were holding garage junk. These shelves have traveled with us since college days. They are now bound for the basement where they will hold basement junk rather than garage junk.

So, before things get better, they got much, much worse:

Shop Shelves 1 Read more

Shop Progress

Well, you’ve seen the jam-packed shop, and the virtual shop. Here’s a progress report on the actual shop:

I’ve been picking away at it slowly as I wait for the truck to warm up in the morning. (Craig, when I’m late for carpooling, this is my excuse.)

But I managed to make some good leaps over the weekend. I’m tackling storage first. Mostly because I need some room to walk in order to get any other serious organization done. So, I got rid of some stuff that needed getting-rid-of. And I built a very sturdy lumber rack (You can find the simple plans in WOOD’s Best-Ever Woodworking Jigs, Homemade Tools & Shop Organizers pub. BEWJHTSO, for short).

Shop Reorganization 1 Read more

The coffee timer in action

In my last post I outlined the on/off switch I made from an old coffee timer. Last weekend, I had a chance to try it out. It fulfills its intended purpose, providing an easy-to-reach on/off switch, perfectly. And there’s the benefit of having an easy-to-read digital clock in the shop.

There was one thing I did not anticipate, however. After 2 hours, it automatically shuts off. A smart function for a coffee pot. Not so much for the stereo. So I’ve taken to just plugging and unplugging the stereo directly from the wall receptacle.  And the timer? It will serve nicely as a clock until something presents itself that needs to shut off after 2 hours. Air compressor perhaps?

Craig

Maybe I’ve had too much coffee

One of the final loose ends in my shop reorganization was finding a place for the stereo. It’s three stacked components, an old garage-sale find, but it works and allows me to plug in my iPod. The only suitable spot I could find was on top of my wall cabinets. I can j-u-s-t reach the volume control, but not the power switch. So I decided I needed an on/off switch that was easier to reach. Hmmm, how to do this creatively without spending any money? Digging through my junk drawer produced a switch and timer salvaged from an old coffee maker (see, I knew I’d find a use for it), and a female replacement plug for an electrical cord. The scrap bin yielded some mahogany. After milling the lumber to size, cutting box joints, and mounting the electronics, here’s what I had. Read more

Virtual Shop

So, I was exploring Sketchup’s 3D warehouse — a library of models that you can download for your personal use — and found a nice little collection of woodworking tools posted there.

Though none of the models represented the exact tools I have, they are close enough that I can do a rough layout of my garage/shop. (A recent move leaves me with a blank slate for a shop. I’ve yet to get organized, but I’ve made a little progress since this entry.)

The nice thing about doing a shop layout in Sketchup is that it is much easier to visualize the results than it was with the little gridded paper and the xeroxed tool icons.

Sketchup Shop 1 Read more

Some quality time

My 10-year-old daughter joined me in the shop Sunday. I wasn’t her first choice, though: she’d done her chores in the house, wasn’t in a TV-watching mood, and none of her friends were around to play. So she decided to see what kind of help Dad needed. Read more

Completed cabinet

Well, it’s finally complete! My step-back cabinet is finally done. First, here’s a shot of the drawer that had to be grooved to accommodate the over-thick drawer slides:

Drawer slide

Drawer slide

As you can see, I got the drawer fronts on and the pulls installed. Here’s the finished cabinet:

Completed step-back cabinet

Completed step-back cabinet

So far it’s swallowed a dovetail jig with three templates, two router kits and associated accessories, air nailers, various jigs, hardware and more. I haven’t devoted a lot of time to putting stuff where it works best, but at least it’s out of the boxes that were scattered all about.

Now I’m in the process of designing a TV stand. It’s my first real effort with Sketchup, so I work a bit, get stumped, poke around the on-line tutorials, then try some more.  I’ll post some sketches in progress.

Craig

 
 
 
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