Setting up dedicated woodworking shop #3: Tool Gloats and Pickett's Charge

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Blog entry by Scott Wigginton posted 03-05-2009 07:20 AM 14580 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Brightening things up. Part 3 of Setting up dedicated woodworking shop series Part 4: Nature abhors a vacuum »

Attacking the Center

I’ve been sneaking in a few shop hours a night and finally went after the clutter in the middle of the shop ala Gen. Longstreet. This unveiled several potential gloat-worthy tools so here we go…

Gotta get my Gloat in

My Father in Law has a good friend who is slowly moving back to Mississippi and is unloading some excess tools. First thing I got from him was this 80s Craftsman shaper of which he is the original owner, only ran it 2-3 times, is in near mint condition, and threw in 12-15 cutter heads, all for $100

He also gave me four 24” and two 48” pipe clamps and lots of lumber (cherry, walnut, maple) but I don’t have any pics so y’all will think it a dubious claim at best!

Trolling Craigslist

I also found a workbench on CL (White Gate brand). I’ve been using a craftsman workbench with MDF top and drawers underneath but there is limited clamping ability, no vise, and no dog holes. The new bench is a bit lightweight, has a veneer top, front and end lightweight vise, dog holes and dogs included, and just needs some scrap 1/2 to rebuild the doors and shelf. I got it for $40 which is as much as two cheap vises will run at HF/Lowes.

One of my main goals in cleaning the center was to get this thing free and under its designated window. Now if only I coulda kept the clutter from following it around, but that’ll ease up once I put in a cleat storage system (i hope)

Tonight’s Gloat

Tonight I secured a tool I’ve been looking for since Black Friday 2007. Tis a shame it had to come at the misfortune of a friend at church and fellow woodworker who had to sell his business. His new boss bought most of his tools but didn’t need a compressor and I’ve been stuck with a budget that couldn’t get past the Craftsman 30 gallon ones. Here his dilemma solved my problem, 60 gallon Porter Cable with a mostly new DeWalt motor for $250.

I’m getting the info on the DW motor on Sat, but the old PC motor was 7HP with 12.3 SCFM at 90psi and I don’t think he’d have gone much smaller. This has been a badly needed upgrade because in addition to woodworking we have two large tractors that I badly need a good impact driver for the > 1” bolts (especially on the ‘39 Ford which have decades of paint and rust which have caused countless busted knuckles)

Working on some Machinery

In addition to moving things around I also got doing some important mods to my Grizzly G0490. I aligned the motor and installed the link belt, then I got to tackling the foot on the fence. The foot rides on the outfeed table and heavily concerns me (and others) about it causing damage over time. The solution found on the SMC forums was to file it down and add a strip of UHMW, so the lemming that I am I followed suit.

Now that I have bench dogs and a vise I put them to use to hold the fence while I filed.

You can barely see the new UHMW strip.

I trimmed the UHMW down to the width of the foot I left which might have been a mistake because at 45deg I think the cast iron is touching the table again. I don’t expect to be using it at anything other than 90 but I’ll keep an eye on it. At 90 the UHMW just barely touches the table and slides effortlessly. Got out the 5” Incra I got for Christmas and now it just needs me to close the open dust chute, expand the chip collar to accept 6” hose, and give it some juice. I’m really looking forward to seeing this thing in action.

Can I get a trunnion?

Another gloat is a delta 28-575 I have on long-term loan from an uncle that was sitting idle for a few years, except in the move the trunnions cracked. I picked up a Woodslicer and a two other blades for $25 from a fellow in Atlanta and my next steps are to add some cool blocks and replace the trunnions. I can’t wait to get this thing tuned up and see how well it can perform now versus the shape it was in before we moved it here.

Enough showing off, what about all the hard work you were supposed to put in?

The most important thing is, how’d I do on attacking the center floorspace? Here’s a reminder of how the space looked not three nights ago.

Now here is the space as of tonight.

I think things are looking up (except for the Shaper which is going by the main door where my working electrical setup is currently residing, I can live with that tradeoff)

Best for Last

I’m not even gonna call this a gloat, this is flat out a wonderful blessing that comes from my wife’s uncle which belonged to his father. As the story goes, the Jack plane was one of his tools when he worked on the USS Alabama at the Norfolk Naval Yard.

Side view

These are going in a safe place until I have some time to read up on restoration. Once I can get to fixing it up they’ll go straight into use as I want to incorporate more handtools into my work, it would be a crying shame just to put them in a shadow box never to taste freshly exposed lumber again.

Next weekend I plan on picking up a planer and have an optimistic goal of connecting my new 40 Amp subpanel, stay tuned!

-- Scott

12 comments so far

View Matthew Archibald's profile

Matthew Archibald

6 posts in 4831 days

#1 posted 03-05-2009 03:47 PM

Wow, those are very impressive finds! Good luck, have fun with them!

View Derek Lyons's profile

Derek Lyons

584 posts in 5028 days

#2 posted 03-05-2009 06:01 PM

Nice work! :)

-- Derek, Bremerton WA --

View 8iowa's profile


1591 posts in 5221 days

#3 posted 03-05-2009 06:23 PM

Remember now…......Longstreet didn’t want to have Picket make that frontal assult. Instead, he wanted to set up a defensive position further south close to Tanneytown. Lee wouldn’t have it, and overruled him. The rest is history.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View Scott Wigginton's profile

Scott Wigginton

51 posts in 5205 days

#4 posted 03-06-2009 12:41 AM

I’m not a history buff, I just tend to retain odd facts (like in this case where Pickett’s charge was actually led by Longstreet, not the specifics of who objected to Lee’s plan of attack)

-- Scott

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 5172 days

#5 posted 03-06-2009 12:46 AM

Interesting read, its good to see progress.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View 8iowa's profile


1591 posts in 5221 days

#6 posted 03-06-2009 03:44 AM


Longstreet reluctantly gave the order for the assult to Pickett. The charge itself was led by Generals, Garnett, Armistead, and Kemper. Kemper, severly wounded and captured, was the only one of the three who survived.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View Scott Wigginton's profile

Scott Wigginton

51 posts in 5205 days

#7 posted 03-06-2009 04:07 AM

My memory’s getting things garbled, but Longstreet was charged with command of the corps executing the assault (but not leading any of the Divisions) right?

-- Scott

View 8iowa's profile


1591 posts in 5221 days

#8 posted 03-06-2009 05:06 AM

Longstreet was the #2 in command on the field. The plan for a direct frontal assult was created by Lee. Longstreet, who disagreed with the plan, none-the -less, gave the order to Picket. Neither Longstreet or Picket were involved in the actual charge itself. Armistead, who led the center with his hat high atop his sword, actually breached the stone wall and placed his hands on a Union Cannon before falling mortally wounded. Garnett’s body was never found. (years later his sword turned up in a Baltimore pawn shop)

Lest we attach too much glory to this event, we are tempered by the fact that the next day, as Lee retreated to the Potomac, his ambulance wagon train of wounded and dying soldiers was 17 miles long.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View Cantputjamontoast's profile


416 posts in 4892 days

#9 posted 03-06-2009 06:08 AM

As a former Marine Corps Infantry Small Unit Leader(SSGT) I looked at the objective of the charge when we brought the Boy Scouts to the battlefield. The “copse” of trees.
I ask myself what the heck you thought you would gain if you broke the line? You do not end up with a “impenetrable hilltop” to have and to hold. You have now placed yourself in the middle of a line (like a bead threaded on a string) where both ends bring fire to bear on you. When you win the problems really begin. Where is the resupply? You have no supporting arms or direct fire artillery to use against the coming counterattack, except those you have just captured. Custers Calvary was close by I do not know if that would “lean” against you.

This of course is hindsight and I know I am not a pimple on Gen. Lee’s butt. His picture looks down on me right now and I live in the North.

-- "Not skilled enough to wipe jam on toast!"

View 8iowa's profile


1591 posts in 5221 days

#10 posted 03-06-2009 06:43 AM

Actually, at the time of Picket’s charge, Custer and Gregg were several miles East of Gettysburg fighting Stuart’s and Hampton’s cavalry. Lee had sent his cavalry far around the Union right, intending them to strike the Union rear. However, Custer and Gregg stopped them cold.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3896 posts in 4897 days

#11 posted 03-06-2009 07:03 AM

Great progress. I find it delightful to see when a cluttered pile of stuff changes into a workshop. I know i’ve had to deal with lots of clutter.

Hey, what is it with bandsaw trunnions anyway? I have two old 14” bandsaws, one from Harbor frieght and another a craftsman. The craftsman is well built and the trunions aren’t cast so won’t break. The HF machine, functional but not great, had thin walled cast trunions. I made the mistake of trying to move it by the table and it just broke off in my hands. I weld and can fabricate metal so I made some replacements but I never thought a Delta would be made that way. Do a lot of brands have this issue. I’ve seen and heard of it way too much.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View Gene2775's profile


1 post in 4720 days

#12 posted 06-22-2009 09:36 PM

I just picked up a Whitegate bench like yours. I traded my brother in-law my old lawn tractor motors still good for the bench. Problem is there was no vises. I have an old Columbian that wont fit the predrilled holes. Do you know anyone who sells the 1/2” screws that fit the holes.

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