What a difference 13 years makes

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Blog entry by GaryK posted 07-26-2008 04:37 AM 2402 reads 0 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was just looking through some pictures and I found one I didn’t even remember taking. One of me standing proudly with my new tool. I know I just finishing setting it up because the blade guard is on it. I took that off shortly after that and threw it away.

This picture was taken after I got my first real table saw. My Delta contractors saw.The one before that was a small Home Depot “Ohio Forge” that I wouldn’t call a real saw. It was about 13 years ago. Look at my first 4 projects and you can see what you can do with a minimum of tools. My jointer was a 4” craftsman table top model and I also had a Porter Cable 690 router (which I still have). Add to that the cheapest dovetail jig you could find and that was it.

I really didn’t have room in my garage with all the other things in there. The garage door closes right in front of it ( you can see the line on the floor just front where the door closed ) and I had to open the door to use it. When it was raining the ends of the longer boards were sticking out getting wet.

I had to shift things around, including into the house, to make room to work. I would have to store lumber on the floor next to my workbench (just behind the tablesaw). I had to buy lumber as I needed it because I had no place to keep it. What a pain in the butt, but I still have fond memories of my little shop.

Now after 10 years in that little garage, I have a 1000 sq ft shop with what seems like all the room in the world. ( Even with all that room my stuff seems to expand to make full use of it. ) I have a corner to store my lumber and room to work without having to shift things around.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

24 comments so far

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 4301 days

#1 posted 07-26-2008 04:46 AM

A shop is kinda like an income where spending always seems to expand to eat the money….the more you make the more you spend. The more space you have the more “neat stuff” you come up with too fill it. ;-)

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View sIKE's profile


1271 posts in 4170 days

#2 posted 07-26-2008 04:49 AM

I remember those days too, not sure if I would classify it as fondly though….

-- //FC - Round Rock, TX - "Experience is what you get just after you need it"

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4046 posts in 4480 days

#3 posted 07-26-2008 04:53 AM

That was a fun time capsule. Obviously your skill level has expanded on the same curve as your shop space!
Thanks for the look backward…you look so proud of your saw, like a kid with his first car.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over two decades.

View Betsy's profile


3392 posts in 4312 days

#4 posted 07-26-2008 05:10 AM

The first shop is always the most fun. Thanks for sharing.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 4183 days

#5 posted 07-26-2008 05:43 AM

So there is still hope for me I hope? Thanks for sharing.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View SteveKorz's profile


2139 posts in 4130 days

#6 posted 07-26-2008 05:58 AM

I now have about 3000 feet of “barn space”..... about 800 sq ft is my shop, another 250 is my wood storage. It seems the more “barn space” I get, the less room I have…. it never ends.

I remember my first shop. It was very tiny, only about 100 sq ft or so. I could hardly turn around in that shop, but I was having too much fun to care… lol.

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View woodspar's profile


710 posts in 4515 days

#7 posted 07-26-2008 06:00 AM

Reminds me of where I am about now!

-- John

View Karson's profile


35193 posts in 4816 days

#8 posted 07-26-2008 06:08 AM

I don’t have any picture like you gary. But, here are a couple of pictures from my shop in NJ. To get from one side of the saw to the other you had to go through the kitchen and go outside.

Here is a picture from outside looking at the jointer.

And a picture looking at the table saw from outside.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10640 posts in 4468 days

#9 posted 07-26-2008 06:18 AM

COOL transition…


Your Old shop describes mine… except I manage to squeeze some lumber storage in it…

Very cramped… have to move something to use something… unplug… plug… etc. etc.

Still trying to get it reorganized so it won’t be so BAD… Small Tool storage… Often used tool storage for quick access, etc.

Never ending battle… I don’t think I have 13 years to improve it… (now 72)... but, I will try.

I didn’t see projects made with that lil saw… :) :)

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View SawDustnSplinters's profile


321 posts in 4197 days

#10 posted 07-26-2008 06:28 AM

Dude….My first shop was under an old Oak tree down by the Little River…and everytime it rained I had to tarp everything outside my cabin, but it was so comfortable under that old Oak, 20 degrees cooler, and I miss the ole outdoor shop…My tablesaw was and is and old Craftsman, belt driven with 3HP, all cast iron, it has served me well for ten years but I cross my fingers nowadays hoping it will start….but as God wills it alwayz does….

Yea I am with you bro, I have fond memories of my old shop too…now I AM IN A 3000 SQ FT shop/store and it just aint the same…..miss those dayz…

-- Frank, Dallas,TX , , “I have a REALLY BIG chainsaw”

View Grumpy's profile


25442 posts in 4267 days

#11 posted 07-26-2008 09:06 AM

Ahh! the memories Gary. My first shop was an open carport next to a chicken shed. Did’nt have many tools but still spent more hours there than I do now.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View sharad's profile


1117 posts in 4220 days

#12 posted 07-26-2008 09:12 AM

What a wonderful thing to look back especially when you are progressing. The pleasure in working in that crowded place had its own charm because you were so young. Wish you get more space and you will keep one corner empty.

-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 4355 days

#13 posted 07-26-2008 12:48 PM

Ah, the humble beginnings … It’s always fun and interesting to look back to where things started, it gives a bit of perspective of what could be done without all the cool tools.

-- Working at Woodworking

View Zuki's profile


1404 posts in 4493 days

#14 posted 07-26-2008 01:33 PM

Neat story G. You did seem very proud of you TS in the picture.

-- BLOG -

View Sac's profile


268 posts in 4049 days

#15 posted 07-26-2008 01:38 PM

Nice story to share with us Gary. It gives me hope that I may one day be able to build a shop across from the Garage. Thanks for sharing.

-- Jerry

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