The Basement

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Blog series by JL7 updated 05-21-2014 10:07 PM 42 parts 330269 reads 565 comments total

Part 1: Intro

10-18-2010 05:06 AM by JL7 | 3 comments »

Greetings Lumberjocks, Two years ago I finally got a space for my own. The basement of MY own house! Later I will explain how the shop has grown, but for now, I will just say, how great it is to have a space to express my creative side. Financial limitations (child support – love and support my kids always – but VERY expensive) have plagued me for years (and still do) but I have managed to aquire a decent collection of tools of a budget. I appreciate all the expertice fou...

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Part 2: Hardwood Flooring..........Cheap.

10-18-2010 06:25 AM by JL7 | 6 comments »

I am a big Craigslist fan, always scanning the materials sections for deals, and those short lots of hardwood flooring come up alot. Those folks with 50 sf of leftover floor that want 1/2 price are quite common. The realiity is not to many people are looking for 50 sf of floor, so more often than not, they accept offers much less than 1/2 price, and often it is downright CHEAP! So this thread is devoted to my cheapness and the use of cool hardwood in pratical applications in the shop and...

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Part 3: Flip Down Clamp Rack...

10-22-2010 03:39 AM by JL7 | 8 comments »

Previously, I stored my longer clamps up between the floor joists, which worked ok, except they were kind of a pain to sneak them out of the cleats. Recently I added on a bit to the shop so had a stretch of open ceiling. The idea of having a hinged clamp rack has been in my mind for awhile so what the heck, it not that pretty, but it is pretty functional….. With 8 parallel clamps and 8 “F’ clamps, it was a little heavier than I really imagined, so I have 4 black rubbe...

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Part 4: Crosscut Sled

10-29-2010 04:42 AM by JL7 | 5 comments »

This sled is mostly re-purposed materials and patterened after the Woodsmith online design. The differences are I used a standard T-track (instead of the Kreg track), designed my own stop jig and built my own knobs out of mdf. The really cool thing about this jig is the removable extension stop + the adjustable throat opening for allowing dado cuts. Please excuse the purple color, it was part of the fact that my shop used to be a family room and those panels were doors from the barR...

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Part 5: Poor Man's Drum Sander

11-15-2010 03:43 AM by JL7 | 8 comments »

Here is my down and dirty drum sander. I got the Radial Arm Saw for free off of Craigslist. A couple of weeks later I saw the ad for the Performax S/T drum sander, very inexpensively. This was their first product offering and without a power feed table, is pretty hard to control. Then I found a solution, I aquired the extruded aluminum slides and table soon after, again, a Craiglist find. The table has four ball bearing rollers that ride in the aluminum channel. I have never used a t...

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Part 6: Drum Sander - The Video

11-16-2010 04:10 AM by JL7 | 8 comments »

I posted a blog yesterday on the drum sander and some of you requested a video, so here goes:

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Part 7: New Incra Router Table

11-27-2010 12:09 AM by JL7 | 6 comments »

I finally got the materials together to build a decent router table. I have had the Incra Ultra Jig around for awhile now, and have used it on some of my previous router tables, but my homemade tops were always off just a little. Always seem to have trouble getting the router plates to sit just right in the opening, etc. This time I bit the bullet and bought Woodpeckers 27×43 offset table along with the PRL V2 lift (very sweet!). I acquired the extruded aluminum pieces from some di...

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Part 8: Simple Jig for Cutting Board Finger Grips

12-06-2010 04:11 AM by JL7 | 6 comments »

I’ve been building a bunch of cutting boards because I got the bug! Can’t help it hanging around this site….. So the pile of boards was stacking up and needed to get the finishing touches done. I wanted to cut the finger grip things (not sure what the correct title is?). Previously I built a plywood jig that clamps to the board and uses a handheld router to clean up. This works fine, but I had issues with tearout. I came up with a simple jig for the router table th...

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Part 9: Incra Router Table - More Progress.....

12-25-2010 03:50 AM by JL7 | 16 comments »

Since the last post, I have added the Wonder Fence to the Ultra Jig, this adds a better (above the table) dust collection option. So now I have a 3” hose into the bottom box and a 2-1/2” hose into the fence, both controlled with separate blast gates. Also added a vent in the dust access door. This is a 2 piece unit that you can remove the outside grate and install a filter or (in my case) some sort of baffle. I need to experiment more to see what kind of airf...

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Part 10: Incra Router Table - Template Holder

12-28-2010 04:09 AM by JL7 | 6 comments »

Before getting into the specifics, I should say, this won’t mean much unless you own an Incra positioner, but if you don’t own one, they really do a great job in repeatable cuts, unmatched actually. In the past 2 years, I have purchased 3 different Incra setups off of Craigslist for less than 50 cents on the dollar. I gave one of them to my Dad, and still have the Ultra which I’m using on this router table, along with the TS LS (table saw linear screw) on my table saw....

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Part 11: Incra Router Table - Bit Storage

01-02-2011 12:30 AM by JL7 | 5 comments »

Added a bit shelf and a drawer to the table, both out of Maple. The shelf is 1” thick laminated from narrow strips basically cutting board style with breadboard ends. I used a little spray adhesive and some graph paper as a drilling guide – despite that I did manage to drill 2 holes off location…...... The template holder just sits on the bottom and you can slide it out a bit to grab what you need. The drawer box is painted MDF ...

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Part 12: Major Drum Sander Improvement!

02-13-2011 02:44 AM by JL7 | 9 comments »

Today was a good day for progress…...I have a semi-homemade low budget drum sander setup in the basement shop but the dust collection sucked…..or more correctly, didn’t suck….. You can see the original setup in these 2 earlier posts: onetwo Out with the old – in with the new: The new version has a 4” dust port hooked up to the dust collector – I still need to do some plumbing in the ceiling to reduce the amount of flex hose, but that&#...

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Part 13: Shop Closet - Redux

02-23-2011 05:27 AM by JL7 | 4 comments »

Well this has been on the to do list for awhile, not an epic project, but just an effort to get the odd tools and fastners settled into one area. This part of the shop used to be a family room and it had this odd closet (on an angled wall). More work to be done here, but the basic shape is in place: broke up the the 3 piece tool cabinet, removed casters and made two side by side stacks. Covered with dumpster bound tabletop. Ripped oak strips for bin holders. And then Cha...

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Part 14: Sanding and Buffing

02-26-2011 06:43 AM by JL7 | 4 comments »

Greetings – this is a 3 part installment. Intro (Part 1): Got this 1hp motor from a work “garage sale” for $5 complete with Jabobs chuck; I found 2 different grit sanding buffs at a garage sale for $0.50 each – $1.00 invested in 2! These buffs work great on any irregular surfaces and it’s handy to have in the sanding arsonal… That was the first part….I now have $6 invested in this high powered sanding rig… Part 2 – ...

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Part 15: Router Table x4

03-28-2011 04:15 AM by JL7 | 5 comments »

I figure if a1Jim can have 30+ routers, I can have four router tables. Starting in reverse order (newest to oldest)... #4:Just put the finishing touches on this today – basically cost me $20 for the Rockler pheonlic coated pywood (not counting the materials I had laying around): Of all the homemade tabletops I’m made, this one defineately turned out the best. I used 8-32 threaded inserts to level the plate and ran some dados in the underside of the table so I could bolt...

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Part 16: shop evolution - a video

04-01-2011 03:52 AM by JL7 | 21 comments »

I got interested in woodworking about 2-1/2 years ago and this video shows how my shop grew – taking over the rest of the finished basement…....oops. It’s about 9 minutes long – with Tommy Bolin on the soundtrack. You’ll notice the space filling out – the tools changing – hope you enjoy. Jeff

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Part 17: The Wood Room

04-10-2011 07:13 AM by JL7 | 35 comments »

By popular demand – after posting my recent shop video – I received several positive comments on the wood room. Some folks were wondering where the collection came from. I suppose this is a wood gloat – but only as it relates to the fact that there is something inheirently cool in collecting great wood. I have been lucky in that I have found some great deals on Craigslist some local lumberyards and some local online auctions. If you can find the Curly Maple in ...

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Part 18: The Wall

09-12-2011 02:34 AM by JL7 | 10 comments »

This wall has been an eyesore for awhile now….during some of the shop expansions, it got repurposed a few times… Here is the before picture: And the after picture: I still need to build tool holders and such for the wall cleats – the stuff in the photo are existing things I hung up for the photo – but it’s a good start. Some build photos…..... The wall was resheeted in cheap borg ply and added four rows of wall cleats made from Maple ...

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Part 19: Woodshop Tour Video

09-23-2011 05:03 AM by JL7 | 19 comments »

Here is a little shop update – sorry for all the edits, it was way too long so had to shorten it up a bit. Always appreciate the support and comments….........hope you enjoy: Thanks for looking. Jeff

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Part 20: The Craziest Idea Yet?

09-25-2011 02:23 AM by JL7 | 6 comments »

I am refinishing a pine dinette set and the dust is crazy bad. I bought a Fein vac off of Craigslist 2 years ago for $25 (yes $25) but it had a non-standard 1/4 turn electrical plug on it, so couldn’t test. Re-wired a standard plug and it didn’t work…..BUMMER. Tore it all apart and in the end, all that needed to be done was to re-seat one one the switches – they pop right out with a screwdriver….. Bottom line – the Fein was a great buy – works...

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Part 21: Cool Wood Finds - Mostly Exotics

10-22-2011 10:19 PM by JL7 | 12 comments »

A couple more cool Craiglists finds. The shop is full of new smells! Lignum Vitae, Cocobolo, Ebony, African Blackwood, Bloodwood, Yellowheart, Red Heart, Olivewood, Cherry, Pink Ivory, B & W Ivory, Bocote, Zercote, Osage orange, Goncalo Alves, Zebrawood, Lacewood, Wenge, Spalted Maple, Bubinga and Snakewood. (Plus a few domestics in there also). Granted, mostly smaller pieces, but cool none the less. Paid $100 (the last photo shows some stuff I traded for). I am really excited a...

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Part 22: Vacuum Clamping Jig on the Cheap.......

11-05-2011 03:36 AM by JL7 | 10 comments »

This is really just a prototype….......... I aquired the vacuum pump a year ago for $5.00….and shame on me for not putting it to work until now. All the parts shown are “found”, not specifically fashioned for this purpose. The motivation to build something now is I have to sand ALOT of thin parts. The idea was to make a jig to hold the thin parts over a belt sander or a sheet sander without grinding away my fingertips…. The platen is a scrap pa...

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Part 23: The Wall - Part 2

01-25-2012 04:15 AM by JL7 | 4 comments »

I few updates made since this post: The Wall. I did acquire some free cabinets and bolted them to the ceiling – everything else is on the french cleats. Can be also called the wall of unfinished projects as there are several mixed in there….. A bit of “special” lumber stored under the counter…....:) Sorry for the crappy photos – just can’t get the lighting right…........ Thanks for looking. Jeff

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Part 24: Benchtop Clamping Frames

02-12-2012 02:41 AM by JL7 | 10 comments »

This is one of those projects that was dreamt up in the middle of the night – I am still gluing up sections of reclaimed bowling alley lane (more of that story to follow) and it is always tricky to keep things straight and flat. The first rev this morning yielded this….some Maple flooring scraps cut up to give an elevated clamping surface with minimal contact to the clamped boards. The tongue on the flooring was a natural…...just add some wax to keep the glue at bay: ...

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Part 25: Birdseye Score!

02-13-2012 12:57 AM by JL7 | 26 comments »

I know I shouldn’t have…...but man what a deal…..I can almost here Shane’s post already….. This is furniture grade birdseye and curly maple and I think maybe some curly birdseye…............:) Bought it from a semi retired grandmother that is getting out of the furniture making business…....been stored indoors for the past 20 years. A couple of the boards are planned, otherwise all rough – I need to change the planer knives before even th...

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Part 26: Like taking a picture in the mirror.....

03-08-2012 03:27 AM by JL7 | 5 comments »

By popular demand – I updated my shop page today here ..and since it refers back to this blog – please be careful so you don’t get sucked into the vortex….... Thanks for looking. Jeff Sorry – I fixed the broken link….....oops.

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Part 27: Copy Cat.........

04-14-2012 11:27 PM by JL7 | 9 comments »

I am stuck between projects again…..tons of things I want to do, but can’t pull the trigger on any of them… a couple of little things done while my brain adjusts… 1. Router Plane I have wanted a router plane for quite awhile and have been checking eBay here and there…...I took a chance a few days ago and bought a Stanley #71 along with a bonus #152 Stanley spokeshave…...$30 plus $8 for shipping. Here are the before pictures: ...

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Part 28: Dust Collector Mod

05-20-2012 03:25 AM by JL7 | 11 comments »

Modded the single stage collector into a dual stage collector using to the super dust deputy from Oneida – Decided to to relocate the motor and blower above the cyclone and minimize the runs…..also hard mounted the cyclone under the blower and built a riser to bring the barrel into the cyclone. The barrel was a freebie from work. Worked on this all day and not much scientific data to report – but here is a video of the first run, using a bucket of super fine dust ...

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Part 29: Shop Vac - Cyclone and Cart

05-27-2012 07:11 PM by JL7 | 10 comments »

Always working on the dust issues in the basement…...... Love the Fein vac – Klingspor was selling the Turbo II for $100 off list a few weeks ago, so just couldn’t resist and the Super Deputy is just a sweet addition. The reviews are accurate on this one – it works great. Just hate dragging around all the hoses and crap… know what I mean….... This is just a 2×4, a bunch of scrap wood, and the old metal base off of the dust collecto...

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Part 30: The Sander Cart......

06-25-2012 12:53 AM by JL7 | 17 comments »

I’ve been working on the old Craftsman belt sander for awhile now. Picked it up from my brother a couple of years ago. I replaced the bearings and that made a world of difference. Built a new cart recently and picked up a 12” disc sander at HF with 20% off coupon…...and the free flashlight. The motor on the old Craftsman was tired, so another HF gamble was to buy the 1/2 HP motor….of course with the 20% off…... The motor is smooth and str...

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Part 31: Byrd Shelix upgrade for the DW735

10-07-2012 04:36 PM by JL7 | 14 comments »

I burn through planer blades like crazy so I bit the bullet and upgraded. Took about 2 hours this morning to install and cuts sweet on the very first pass. Time will tell, but should be a great upgrade. On a side note – I use an old dust collector bag for chip collection – otherwise you fill up the dust collector or shop vac way to fast…....I think it will work anyways, just hooked that up yesterday. Here is the difference in noise level – some say you don̵...

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Part 32: The Sharpening Cart.....

11-04-2012 12:09 AM by JL7 | 20 comments »

Not too fancy, but always trying to save a little floor space, so combined a few different gadgets on one cart: Buffing compound is stored in pvc pipe cutoffs. Using the compound on MDF discs is a trick I picked up from Stumpy Nubs: Yep – that’s an old 5-1/4” Floppy case, it fits the Worksharp paper just right…...yeah, I’m an old geek: It sits in a piece of foam so you can get it out of the way and also have a spot to set the sharp (or dull?...

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Part 33: Updated Wood Shop Tour......

04-07-2013 07:40 PM by JL7 | 36 comments »

Haven’t posted any updates to the old blog for awhile, so shot a quick video…....Sorry – it’s really shakey and was done in one un-edited take…...I had just finished the morning pot of coffee before filming….....if you are prone to seizures don’t watch!

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Part 34: Another Drum Sander Upgrade...

05-19-2013 12:51 AM by JL7 | 22 comments »

Hey folks….another upgrade for the old Performax ST (22×44) drum sander. This is the original drum sander that Performax made and it bolts onto a RAS. You can see previous mods here: The sander has always worked great for me, until the other day when I tried to sand a 21×36 solid Maple desk top. I don’t usually use the full width of the sande...

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Part 35: Magnificent Wood....

07-17-2013 10:59 PM by JL7 | 22 comments »

A couple years back I scored a great deal on an exotic wood lot on CL and for the most part have been using those cool woods in many projects, with a couple of exceptions…....and this was the main exception. There were 4 pieces marked “Rosewood” in the lot that I just knew were something extraordinary. The boards are roughly 5” x 36” (4/4). I should add that I did barter one of these boards for my lathe, so now it’s 3. It’s hard to imagine anyth...

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Part 36: The Sharpening Cart - Now with a buffing station.....

08-25-2013 06:48 PM by JL7 | 11 comments »

I made a few changes to the sharpening cart that I originally posted HERE. I added a removable platform to the right of the Worksharp – thanks for the idea Stumpy….much appreciated. Later, I decided to add the the Beall buffing setup under the the little shelf. Previously this was just mounted on a piece of plywood and I would drag it out every time I use it. Since I use it a lot, this should be useful. Also added the “shelf” that hold the buffing wheels, bu...

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Part 37: A couple of workshop updates.....

11-25-2013 04:29 PM by JL7 | 9 comments »

I still like those little workshop improvement projects…..they are a nice diversion when you are immersed in a big project. And most of them are created out of frustration with the current state… Anyways, none of these are pretty but here goes: You can’t have enough clamps….BUT….it’s always a challenge to figure out where to put them and how to access them quickly. In the basement it’s logical to store stuff in the ceiling between the floor jo...

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Part 38: Saw Blade Jackets

01-08-2014 09:45 PM by JL7 | 28 comments »

Basically like LP jackets…...but peg board. It did occur to me that I could have used old Rolling Stones or Jim Hendrix record jackets, but that thought was too late. When I moved into this house, there was a bunch of pegboard on the walls of the little shop. Don’t use much pegboard since the french cleat system went in, so it was nice to find a use for this otherwise worthless material…... Ripped a stack of pegboard into squares: Took a third of the stack...

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Part 39: The Wooden Hex Nut Jig....

01-17-2014 09:13 PM by JL7 | 17 comments »

Or nut jig for short….... I picked up the Beall wood threader using up some Christmas gift cards…’s the one with inserts and taps for 3 threads (1/2”, 3/4” and 1”). Mr. Beall himself has some great videos available if you want to see that work. Also picked up his book: And also this little template for making hex nuts: Using the template still requires you to cut the nuts free (somehow) and I used the band saw and belt sander ...

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Part 40: New Sharpening Jigs

02-04-2014 09:46 PM by JL7 | 28 comments »

Made a few more updates to the sharpening cart. Last cart update is HERE. I was inspired by Randy (DIYaholic) with his blog HERE But don’t tell him that, his head is already swollen…’s the proof: Also got some inspiration from Joey (joeysjunk) HERE for the t-track idea. I got a hoard of free MDF, so that seemed like the way to go for the base. 3 layers glued together with a pair of 3/4” pockets for the “wolverine” style bars to slide...

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Part 41: Moddin' the Table Saw.....

04-30-2014 08:58 PM by JL7 | 40 comments »

This is another project that I’ve been kicking around for awhile now. Kind of time consuming but think it will be a good one for the long run: First off, this is an older Craftsman “113” contractor saw. I would much rather have a shiny new cabinet saw, but lack of power and funds are preventing that! Some of the mods were done earlier and here was the saw prior to this last round of changes. I’ve never cared for those sheet metal bases on those saws. Really...

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Part 42: Building ZCI's with a homemade pin router for the '113 TS

05-21-2014 10:07 PM by JL7 | 14 comments »

This has been on the list for awhile now. I’ve built ZCI’s in the past from Oak and Masonite but overtime they have issues. I got my hands on a Leecraft ZCI for my Craftsman 113 TS and was blown away at how nice it was. So all the design credit here goes to Leecraft, here’s a picture: The Leecraft doesn’t use the front hold down screw that comes standard on this saw, rather, they use 2 horizontal screws (one in front and one on the right side). You tweak...

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