Shop musings and stuff

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by builtinbkyn posted 01-20-2019 05:15 AM 646 reads 0 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

It’s been a while since I did an update on the shop. There’s been an awful lot of things that have demanded my attention for the past six months or so – mostly projects around the house and some family obligations back in NY. But I did from time to time, steal some shop time just to keep my sanity.

A few months back I picked up a 12” minimax combo machine. Though it hasn’t gotten much use because of the aforementioned, the few times I did get to use it, I found it to be a worthy machine. It has plenty of power – motor rated at near 5hp – and a spiral cutter. It yields excellent results both in jointing as well as planing. After milling a long slab of walnut, I realized I wanted bed extenders, as long heavy boards proved to be an issue. SCM doesn’t offer any, but Hammer/Felder do. So I ordered two of the heavy extruded aluminum extenders they sell and the mounting brackets they require. After receiving them I discovered the Minimax could not accommodate their brackets because the profile of the bed is different than the Hammer. So I needed to fabricate something that would work. I picked up. some 5/8” thick aluminum bar stock which proved to work well. The bed is now 94”. A definite improvement. The extenders can be installed/removed without tools and I can mount them on my Hammer bandsaw when needed.

After the mod to the Minimax I realized I needed to move a few pieces of equipment – bandsaw, router table and drum sander – to provide better work flow and space around the machines. This required relocating some of the hard pipe for the DC. Ah what’s a day or so of working in the shop, but not woodworking? But overall, this was a worthwhile endeavor. I can see there will be better workflow around the shop.

Aside from some woodworking I needed to do for the house – mainly base moldings and other various trim items, I managed to make a few small projects and pens as gifts for Christmas.

I have some larger projects planned and the horizon is getting nearer :)

Is it just me or does it seem that many companies seem to care less and less about the product they put out? For instance, the cheese knife set I purchased from Rockler – I had to remove all of the threaded studs and tap new holes. The studs appeared to have been force fit and none of them were inline with the blade – meaning the handles would mount crookedly. Is that really a word? Spell check thinks so. Just added complexity and time to a simple project.

The bigger issue I encountered and pretty much have to live with is the extension tables on the Minimax. They aren’t really flat. I discovered this while leveling them to the bed. The extensions are derived form some existing extruded section meant for other purposes. At least that’s what the Hammer rep seemed to imply on the phone when I brought this issue to their attention. You can see in the pics below that the center part of the extrusion is higher than the two flanking sides. It’s measurably higher – about 1/32nd or a bit less. To me, this had to be a defect, but the Hammer rep said “they’re all like that”. So I have a few options. Send them back and look for another alternative. Flatten them myself which will remove the anodized finish. Or do what I’ve done so far – drop the extension down to overcome the difference between the center and the sides. In actuality, it’s not an issue during operation, but for their intended use and their cost, this isn’t what I expected. Here’s what it looked like before I moved them.

OK rant over. I’m just happy to be woodworking :)

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

20 comments so far

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1885 posts in 2234 days

#1 posted 01-20-2019 01:34 PM

That is a beautiful shop! Hope to have some machines like that some day

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View PCDub's profile


112 posts in 508 days

#2 posted 01-20-2019 02:20 PM

[quote] Is it just me or does it seem that many companies seem to care less and less about the product they put out? For instance, the cheese knife set I purchased from Rockler – I had to remove all of the threaded studs and tap new holes. The studs appeared to have been force fit and none of them were inline with the blade – meaning the handles would mount crookedly.[/quote]

Yes—I have purchased some of the kits (pizza cutter, coffee scoop, etc. from various vendors) in which the finish was truly awful—“flashing” from the mold needed to be filed off from visible surfaces, etc. What?!

View GR8HUNTER's profile


5541 posts in 977 days

#3 posted 01-20-2019 02:55 PM

Welcome back Bill its GR8 to see you at least having some shop time :<))))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View theoldfart's profile


10420 posts in 2715 days

#4 posted 01-20-2019 03:48 PM

Bill, that’s quite the shop. Glad your making sawdust again.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View builtinbkyn's profile


2790 posts in 1205 days

#5 posted 01-20-2019 04:56 PM

Hey thanks guys. It’s been kind of frustrating knowing I have some furniture ideas I want to have a go at and not have had the time to really dive in. The work in/on the house took precedent and so did things back in NY. I am in the home stretch until Spring when I’l have to address some stuff outside. But I think I can move ahead now on some furniture builds with a clear head.

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View bearkatwood's profile (online now)


1710 posts in 1276 days

#6 posted 01-20-2019 05:20 PM

Looks like you are having some fun, the shop is turning out beautiful, but I can only imagine how you must miss those windows.
I do ;) Ranting helps sometimes, if you think the reason they are in business is to produce a good product, you are looking at the equation from the wrong angle at the outset. It is scary, but it is like this in most restaurants as well. If you think their purpose is to provide you with a healthy nutritious meal, again you just got suckered. Very few people or companies are interested in producing something well for the sake of doing it well, we should all strive for this end, but sadly the almighty dollar, euro, franc, ruble, peso or pound, heck even the barter system drives us to make decisions about the goods and services we acquire or use. This sometimes.. most times dictates that we think with thrift in mind if we are to purchase what we need to do business AND EAT. In our society it is not discouraged to produce an overpriced quickly produced POS just to make a quick buck. Dollar stores are the poster child for this, but this work/business ethic resonates up the stream to the very height of production where even the best thought of companies can basically get away with murder (DUPONT “teflon” comes to mind) to increase the profit margin and get rich off the proletariat. This is a large part of why I have enjoyed the opportunity to purchase through the fine craftsmen/women I have found through instagram and youtube. There are many people out there with a love of craft and making something well who can be substitutes for the soulless corporations that dominate our economic decisions. OK, my addition to your rant is done, thanks for the platform my friend. I do miss looking through your windows though.

-- Brian Noel

View Jerry's profile


2947 posts in 1912 days

#7 posted 01-20-2019 06:45 PM

You know, when I see your shop it breaks my heart that you have so little to work with, it must be terrible to be so impoverished.

Honestly, you should be exceedingly proud of that shop, it represents so much hard work and commiment.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be.

View anthm27's profile


589 posts in 1374 days

#8 posted 01-21-2019 12:31 AM

Morning Bill,
New shop looking absolutely brilliant and immaculate as usual. Fantastic, I wonder if you miss the old shop at Brooklyn?

View EarlS's profile


2286 posts in 2612 days

#9 posted 01-21-2019 12:44 AM

Wow!!!! I have shop envy SOOOOOO bad. Thanks for the long winded post ;+P Great pictures and write up. Can’t wait to see what you make with that sexy beast.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View BB1's profile


1278 posts in 1112 days

#10 posted 01-21-2019 03:19 AM

Enjoy some time in your shop. Look forward to seeing your furniture projects.

View builtinbkyn's profile


2790 posts in 1205 days

#11 posted 01-21-2019 04:44 AM

Brian that looks almost looks like a rant lol Yeah I miss the windows for sure. I miss the high ceiling and the old industrial floor planks. I don’t miss the traffic getting to and from and I don’t miss driving around the block multiple times searching out a parking space. I do love having the ability to go down to the shop in the morning in my slippers with a cup of coffee :)

Jerry a good portion of the shop’s existence originated in the old one in Brooklyn. But yeah it’s what I wanted from the start.

Anthony see above lol It’s probably morning where you are so good day buddy ;)

Earl and BB I hope I can do the place some justice :)

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View Andre's profile


2428 posts in 2070 days

#12 posted 01-21-2019 07:22 AM

Well I can walk to my shop in slippers(birkenstocks actually) in the summer, snowshoes at the moment! Also about a 1/4 of that size? Very Nice, now get busy! Love the Pen boxes, have made a few different styles just for fun, first one the wife says looks too much like a coffin?

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View HokieKen's profile


8124 posts in 1403 days

#13 posted 01-21-2019 02:29 PM

Dang it’s good to see you’ve been at it Bill :-)) Been wondering how things were in NY and Pittsburgh. The shop is one of the nicest home shops I’ve ever seen. You did an incredible job in there in everything from layout to tool selection. I remember when you were debating on whether to use the garage or that space for your shop. I thought you chose wrong. Boy was I wrong! Good to see ya man!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View GR8HUNTER's profile


5541 posts in 977 days

#14 posted 01-21-2019 02:51 PM

oh BTW ….. hows my buddy Willy doing i didnt see him posing in any pics :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View builtinbkyn's profile


2790 posts in 1205 days

#15 posted 01-21-2019 03:01 PM

Andre, the only thing I didn’t make was the pen box. It’s from Rockler. I picked up a few when I was there to purchase the pen sets. I have a bag full of those little hinges and have used them to make pen boxes, but the boxes they had were own sale for a few bucks and I figured what the heck, they’ll save me some time. I do plan on getting busy in the shop today ;)

Thanks Kenny. Man I’m glad I didn’t do the garage thing. It’s 9 degrees out and the garage is maybe 10 degrees warmer. Nice and toasty here in the shop this morning.

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

showing 1 through 15 of 20 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics