My workshop at work!

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Blog entry by Uncle_Salty posted 01-28-2010 11:17 PM 3942 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Lumberjocks doesn’t let us that have the privilige of operating a second workshop post them as a second workshop! So… here is my home away from home! I teach woodworking/drafting/CAD and I have one fo the best jobs in the world!

My woold storage area, complete with the Craftsman RAS for cutting stock to rough length.

Next stop: the old Delta Jointer. Purchased in the mid 60’s. Still a workin’! In the background you can see the Onserud Router and the Delta Shaper.

Then it is on to the Delta Unisaw with the 50” Biesmeyer and the overarm guard. Bought in about 2000. Great tool!

Sanding center: Performax 22-44, bought in about 2000. Delta Disc/Belt sander, bought in mid 60’s. The B.O.S.S. was bought in about 2007.

Powermatic lathe. Another mid 60’s purchase. Not many students get to use it. Occasionally I’ll have a student who has a worthwhile turning project and we train em and turn em.

Miter station. Extension fences are good.

The Twins! 12” Delta, mid 60’s purchase. 24” 3 phase Northfield. Bought it at Federal Surplus in about 2000. BEAST!

A couple of mostly shop made router tables. They get used just about every day!

Drill presses and the dedicated mortiser. Powermatic, baby!

Band saw collection. Three saws, three different blades!

The old backup delta! Mid 60’s again on this one. We use it mostly for panel cuts and dadoes. Portable base, so we wheel it where we need it. No dust collection on it, though.

Hand power tool garage inside the tool room.

Back wall of the tool room. Note the hand planes, bit and brace set and hammers. We still use a few hand tools.

Looking North/Northwest into the shop.

Looking Northwest/West.

That’s my shop as of this morning! I have some sweet stuff. Just not enough time to use it all!

12 comments so far

View BOB67CAM's profile


269 posts in 4149 days

#1 posted 01-28-2010 11:38 PM

im waaay to jealous for anyones safety…

-- if you dont have it, build it, especially when its a stupid idea

View a1Jim's profile


118162 posts in 4654 days

#2 posted 01-29-2010 12:03 AM

Thats one fine shop with plenty of room a good layout and good tools. Thanks for sharing.


View Chris 's profile


1880 posts in 5068 days

#3 posted 01-29-2010 01:09 AM

Very nice; I can only dream of having that much space to work…

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View Thomas Keefe's profile

Thomas Keefe

131 posts in 4486 days

#4 posted 01-29-2010 01:10 AM

That is a great setup. Do you teach wood working as part of a school? How many students? Just curious.

View lumberdog's profile


248 posts in 4344 days

#5 posted 01-29-2010 01:14 AM

I worked for a local school system for 30 yrs. and most of those years i was asked to make cabinets, bookshelves, library carts, store room shelving and many other items. I set up shop in a room along side the bus garage and had a table saw, drill press, a couple of work benches, a spray booth with exhaust fan and all the hand tools i needed. If i needed to use a joiner or wide belt sander i had access to the wood shop at the high School.
I had open access because i kept the equipment in the shops in good working order by performing the repairs as needed. I wish i could of had all the tools in one place like you did, but it worked out and i enjoyed doing the work, now i have my shop at home and that is where i spend most of my retired time.

-- Measure twice, cut once, then force it to fit.

View clieb91's profile


4261 posts in 5012 days

#6 posted 01-29-2010 02:04 AM

Awesome looking shop. So glad to see that some school is keeping the vocational program alive.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View bigike's profile


4057 posts in 4365 days

#7 posted 01-29-2010 02:59 AM

wow where do u work? i just want to come fill an aplication. LOL, no serious i need the money too.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://[email protected]

View Uncle_Salty's profile


183 posts in 4150 days

#8 posted 01-29-2010 03:16 AM

Keepin’ it alive indeed! We still have a welding/machine shop area on the other side of the shop. In addition, we have a very unique commericial construction tech program. We have contracters come in for 3 week blocks and teach concrete, suspended ceiling, steel stud, HVAC, plumbing, electrical wireing, insutation, drywall, finsh drywall, door and hardware hanging, priming/painting, finish plumbing, masonry, and demoltion.

Enrollment in the wood classes currently run from 20 (my two largest classes) to 4 (in my smallest classes). In Kansas, we butt up against the mythical Qualified Admissions (college bound recommended curriculum) that forces students to take a fine art instead of an Industrial Art, the 2 unit foreign language requirement, and and the 1 hour computer applicatoins requirement. My district operates on a 7 hour block system, so there is a maximum of 28 units possible for graduation. Put these 4 credit “requirements” in that weren’t there 10 years ago, allow early release for Seniors that only need a government, english, math and science course to graduate, and the addition of taking college credit courses at the local community college outreach center during the school day, and you see why our strands and brands of education have dried up in many places.

Two districts in my county have decided to drop Industrial Arts at the end of this school year do to inadequate funding.

The sin of it is is that while the ACT scores in our district in the last two year period have tied for 2nd best in all of Northeast Kansas, our college completion rate (in a 5 year post graduation period) is still slightly less than 25%. Can’t say what percentage of grades are employed in the construction or manufacturing trades at the end of the same 5 year period, but I’ll bet we are in a 10-15% bracket. This is all information that we will be required to track as part of the Perkins Vocational Legislation and our own states’ .5 funding, which is all a lot of gobbledy-gook to justify some pencil pusher at the State Department of Education’s job. However, if this information keeps my funding coming in and my job still available, and kids still enrolling and my Superintendent and Principal supporting the program, than I’ll harvest it!

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 4186 days

#9 posted 01-29-2010 08:54 AM

I am glad to see programs like this still in existence in the school system and I applaud you for keeping it alive. Vocational classes have about dried up in my part of the state of Michigan. I have tried checking with a number of schools to see if they had adult classes involving woodworking with responses to the negative. Mostly because they don’t offer it at the high school level and do not have the facilities for that type of thing. However, I can take any form of line dancing class I want :)

Kind of illogical when you think about it. I work in IT and many people try to get in that field and that is one of the easiest to ship overseas. Yet, skilled physical labor is one that really cannot be exported. Plumbing, carpentry, construction, etc. cannot be done overseas, so you would think those jobs would have a brighter outlook than is displayed in the Occupational Handbook. I have often considered giving up my computer job for an apprenticeship in plumbing.

Very happy that you have the job you do and I imagine that it is an incredible experience being able to share your passion with even a few students.


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View Uncle_Salty's profile


183 posts in 4150 days

#10 posted 01-29-2010 02:05 PM

Well… when it is all said and done, I think our nation, followed by our school systems… will see the folly of forcing an academic, college bound curriculum down our students (and their parents) throats! But I think it will take a real labor drain for this to happen.

Skilled labor is still around; everyday, however, it is getting one day closer to retiring!

When the large section of the baby boomers decides it is time to hang it up and put itself to pasture, and our impatient Gen Xers and Gen Yers can’t get their AC fixed, or can’t get that new electrical circuit ran, or can’t get that toilet fixed… until next Tuesday, then maybe some things will happen.

I am not done! While NCLB, in its true, unpoliticized state is a grand idea, it does two things: 1, it “holds the racehorses back” in the classroom, so the slower less talented student can catch up, and 2, takes kids out of areas of interest and puts them in required coursework that they can neither excel or make decisions about a professional life. We are, by trying to “raise all boats,” putting those boats that are furthest inland adrift in an academic sea that they are not prepared to float in!

The evolution will become a revolution. Education is never proactive. We are governed by the whim of legislators who are at the whim of an ever fickle and more attention disordered voting public who are ever at the whim of a media and an electorate that paint every situation into a world crisis!

Not sure how to get out of this viscious cycle. I only hope that the general public wakes up and says “no more” before all vocational areas are shut down. The bigger tragedy isn’t that they are being shut down. It is that after a few years, it will not only cost too much to restart them; there won’t be anyone left to teach ‘em if we do restart ‘em!

View albachippie's profile


773 posts in 4112 days

#11 posted 02-04-2010 05:16 PM

We have similar problems here in UK. Trades are shown to be second rate, only to be considered if nothing else works for the student. Yet we have medical consultants with PHDs who can’t get jobs and plumbers earning more than surgeons because they are in such short supply.

On a slightly different note, I have been trying to get into college shop lecturing for three years now. I have the trade qualification, 15 years industry experience, most of which I have run my own business, and I’ve worked with teenagers on a voluntary basis for 10 years, yet I am under qualified! The powers that be would rather take a post graduate with no trade experience, no teaching experience, and who doesn’t no his rasp from his elbow. Very frustrating.

Sorry for the rant.

Nice shop by the way!

-- Garry fae Bonnie Scotland

View Uncle_Salty's profile


183 posts in 4150 days

#12 posted 02-06-2010 04:27 AM

Thanks! I try to keep it clean and picked up. The kids respect it a lot more if it is clean (and they do most of the cleaning), everything works (I take care of that part), and they have plenty of tools and plenty of space to work in.

Education is a strange business; I know a lot of guys that make great instructors, but they don’t have the sheepskin, so they can’t get a teaching job.

On the flip side, I know a lot of teachers that are cruddy teachers. Not because they don’t have any knowledge of the subject matter; it is because they have very poor interpersonal skills and/or cruddy organizational skills!

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