Shop Remodel

  • Advertise with us
Blog series by bearkatwood updated 03-15-2016 10:21 PM 44 parts 71630 reads 287 comments total

Part 1: The Fiery Pits of Hell

11-03-2015 11:47 PM by bearkatwood | 13 comments »

So I got a wild hair when I was cleaning up my table saw. But first a little background, I have been trying to clean up my shop and make it presentable for pictures and videos. I have been woodworking for 16+ years and I feel confident that I could teach. So I thought the logical place for me to start would be some on-line videos and see where it went from there. It is a slow and arduous process to take a woodworking shop that has been used for years as a factory of furniture making and turn ...

Read this entry »

Part 2: Break it down to build it up. Day one.

11-23-2015 12:16 AM by bearkatwood | 7 comments »

In order for me to get my shop to where I want it, I first have to tear it apart. So that’s what I did today. In the midst of three projects I decided that I would finally rip the shop a new one in order to remodel it into a new better working shop. I moved probably 2 tons of wood today doing the dance I call the shop shuffle. I goes like this. First move that thing over there and then put it back, move it again with a little twirl and shake it all about. ;) The ...

Read this entry »

Part 3: Roller coaster clinky clink. Day 2

11-24-2015 01:20 AM by bearkatwood | 2 comments »

Remember when you got on a roller coaster and that safety bar was lowered down, you felt so much anticipation and excitement for what was to come, then the coaster began to move. Hoots and hollers of joy are temporarily stifled as the coaster began it’s ascent with a clinky clink of slow jerky uphill movements. The anticipation turned to impatience for the fun to begin. Well that’s where I am. The first day or “demo day” is always the funnest of any remodel and you are...

Read this entry »

Part 4: Painting the town

11-25-2015 02:23 AM by bearkatwood | 4 comments »

The old bench has been moved, the wall extended and electrical run. Today I headed over to the lumberyard to pick out some paneling to put on the wall to make it aesthetically pleasing for a backdrop. I chose instead to go with paint. The paneling would have blended too well with the woodworking to come and I wanted it to stand out. I have seen many photos lately of fine woodwork with a grey backdrop and I like it very much so I went with grey. Aftere I got the wall painted it look...

Read this entry »

Part 5: Knocks on Box sir.

11-27-2015 12:03 AM by bearkatwood | 2 comments »

The build has begun!!Today I milled up some curly maple and walnut for the saw till and I was able to shoot a little video of the construction. I am not sure if I will save it up and make a montage of the whole build or break it down piece by piece. I want to save up until I have enough video to make it worth the watch so we will just have to see how much is accumulated with each build. The till is going to be about 40” tall and 14” wide. It will have a drawer on the bottom for th...

Read this entry »

Part 6: The Yeti, Big Foot and an easy glue up.

11-28-2015 01:07 AM by bearkatwood | 2 comments »

There are mythical things in this world that people want to believe in, For me it is that elusive easy glue up. So I got the case to my saw till all ready to glue up. Everything was sanded and I had put the glue on the dovetails ready to stick it together. I had my cauls at hand and clamps ready to go. So I went at it thinking I had it under control. Half way thru I looked for the dowel I had turned to rest the saws on… Nowhere to be found, so like a chicken with my hair on fire I ran ...

Read this entry »

Part 7: Speed Kills

11-30-2015 01:16 AM by bearkatwood | 3 comments »

The case for the saw till has been made and the first coat of finish applied. The face frame is gluing up and I am going to have some fun with it. I used loose tenons to put it together, just being lazy I guess. I like to run a small groove down each side for glue to escape. I will get all “artsy fartsy” with it and make it in the style of the larger cabinet. It looks good so far. I cut up the sides for the tool cabinet and have them just ab...

Read this entry »

Part 8: It's Monday, Back to the Ole Grind.

12-01-2015 12:41 AM by bearkatwood | 14 comments »

It’s Monday and it’s back to the ole grind I go. This is another blog in my ongoing series to remodel my shop and make a saw till, drill press cabinet, tool cabinet, plane till and workbench. I have been woodworking for 16+ years and have always done my work in dark, dusty caves on anything that would resemble a bench. I have finally decided to spoil myself and go hog wild doing it. I wanted to bring you all along as I made these pieces as it will be a very epic build. I have ...

Read this entry »

Part 9: Look Ma, I made a square.

12-02-2015 01:42 AM by bearkatwood | 6 comments »

It is only Tuesday and I am tired. I have been feeling under the weather lately, but I made some decent progress today. I put the saw till aside for now and will get back to it when I am ready to carve the next piece as well in the interest of efficiency. I worked up a piece of Paruvian Walnut that had been sitting in the back of the shop for the case top and bottom of the tool cabinet. I chose to do it next as I wait for my bench hardware to arrive. I could have definitely used a moxon vise ...

Read this entry »

Part 10: I got your back!

12-03-2015 01:06 AM by bearkatwood | 4 comments »

Hi everyone, hope all is well. I took a picture of the drawer in the saw till as I forgot to yesterday. When we last left our caped crusader he had just assembled a square to become a tool cabinet. Well today I made a panel to become the back. I thought about doing ship lap for the back, but my board wasn’t wide enough. It was all I could do to resaw the 12 1/4” wide curly maple board into three plates 1/4” thick. So I came up with a split panel frame inste...

Read this entry »

Part 11: Mambo #5

12-04-2015 12:02 AM by bearkatwood | 10 comments »

The Big BuildToday was one of those days where you go two steps forward one and a half steps back, step to the side and scratch your chin and well, yeah it was like that. I managed to get all the compartmental-ism done on the cabinet and it is ready to glue together. This morning I cut up a piece of ply to roughly the size the door will be and loaded them up with the tools I would like there to see what wouldn’t fit. What was left over would have to go somewhere else. I took ...

Read this entry »

Part 12: Glue hits the fan

12-05-2015 12:44 AM by bearkatwood | 4 comments »

Another episode in the saga that is the Great Big Build. Today the glue hit the fan! The tool cabinet was glued up today and I only cussed once, not bad for a glue up from hell. Sorry, a really crazy glue up ;) The rest of the day was spent milling up wood for the door panels and sides. I have been stockpiling wood for over two years for this build. Every time I recieved a comission I would get extra wood and set it aside. The piece I had for the maple p...

Read this entry »

Part 13: Oo La La!

12-07-2015 12:43 AM by bearkatwood | 8 comments »

la grande construction, Oo La La!Today was very French. French cleat that is. I set the cabinet to the wall using french cleats and made a set for the inside of the cabinet. There will probably be some that hang down from the shelf below, but the cleats should take care of most tools for the back wall. A series of custom hangars will be made to facilitate hanging tools. This way as things change I can rearrange the cabinet. I experimented by making a flat plate to hang someth...

Read this entry »

Part 14: Tedium in wood

12-07-2015 11:39 PM by bearkatwood | 6 comments »

Hi everyone, Hope all is well in woodworkingland. Today was a very slow one, not to mention interrupted at every turn, but I did still manage to get something done. I always laugh about how quickly a case or cabinet goes together and how easy they seem after making chairs and I ask myself “Why don’t I just make cabinets?” Well I am in the thick of making cabinets and hit a brick wall of sorts with the tills that will hold the tools in place. I figured out my cleat system we...

Read this entry »

Part 15: Deja Vu All Over Again

12-09-2015 01:43 AM by bearkatwood | 5 comments »

Dovetails, I love cutting dovetails. Wait, wasn’t I just doing this??? Deja Vu all over again. Today I milled up and cut the pieces for the door frames. They will be a little undersized in width to accommodate the curves in the frames. The case is 40”x40” and each door will be 19” wide x 40” tall. Oh hey, before i forget I forgot to tell you all about a few things yesterday. First off I got the last piece of curly western maple that will become ...

Read this entry »

Part 16: Writers block plane

12-10-2015 12:49 AM by bearkatwood | 6 comments »

Early this morning the lights flickered to life in the shop revealing that deadly silence of a blank page. Much like a writer with a clean sheet of paper in the type writer (they still use those right?) or an artist with a blank canvass. I sat and stared at the blank sheet of paper I had lain out representing the door to be made. All too many undrawn lines lay waiting for me to choose just the right one knowing the wrong one would spell disaster. Well I guess just like making an omelet, a...

Read this entry »

Part 17: Blue tape to the rescue

12-11-2015 12:52 AM by bearkatwood | 4 comments »

So like I said yesterday, I goofed up and made my panel openings larger than my panel. I looked back through the stock I had left over and it was too thin to use so I needed to rely on off-cuts to patch my mistakes. Blue tape to the rescue. I cut out the over-sized shapes that would go into the door panel and used scraps to fill in the empty spots. I traced the outline of the openings onto the curly maple panel and then used calipers to oversize it and sribe a ne...

Read this entry »

Part 18: Rinse and Repeat

12-11-2015 09:31 PM by bearkatwood | 8 comments »

In the summer 1978 issue of FWW, Tage Frid wrote about tool cabinets.“Why bother making a tool cabinet when a crate with shelves nailed in would hold the tools? I believe if a person wants to make a living as a woodworker and furniture designer, a well-designed and executed tool cabinet is very important. It’s a pleasure to have a beautiful tool cabinet, where the tools are properly arranged and easy to find. And when a potential customer comes into the shop and sees a nice cabinet, half the ...

Read this entry »

Part 19: Bats in the Belfry

12-16-2015 01:10 AM by bearkatwood | 3 comments »

Old man winter done kicked me in the caboose, but I managed to drag my butt to the shop and schlep some wood around. I spent Sunday hanging lights I bought an a school remodel sale and now have the sun set high in my rafters. I ended up hanging four of these bad boys and they really brighten the place up. While I was up there hanging these 40lb beasts I thought of that song bats in the belfry, in the shop, boiling society :) I found all kinds of goodies up in my long term wood stor...

Read this entry »

Part 20: Another Day Closer

12-17-2015 02:04 AM by bearkatwood | 14 comments »

With some projects you can see dramatic progress at the end of the day, this is not one of those projects. I have allotted roughly three months to finish the project knowing it was a huge undertaking. I will undoubtedly have to work on an order or side project during the time it is taking place, but for now I am just concentrating on the build. Like I said there wasn’t a big transformation today, but there was progress. I have all the drawer fronts dovetailed and roughly fit to their pe...

Read this entry »

Part 21: Run Forest!

12-18-2015 02:28 AM by bearkatwood | 4 comments »

So there I was chomping down my wheat-grass, vegan, soy-milk all natural, Tortellini for lunch (Hey I live in Oregon, you try going to Scotland and not having the haggis) So anyway there I was eating lunch, staring at the box I had just picked up from the post office. It had come!!! It was here!!! After months of waiting, my travisher had arrived! I ordered a Peter Galbert travisher and it was finally here. It was produced by Claire Minihan who did an amazing job. I think I was drooling over ...

Read this entry »

Part 22: The Leaves are Falling

12-19-2015 01:07 AM by bearkatwood | 14 comments »

I felt like embellishing the doors a bit so today I milled up some leopard wood and made some fall leaves to inlay into the doors. I used a router bit used for a CNC that was 1/16” thick at the end to get into the tight spots and a 3/16” bit for the rest. I cut out the design and taped them in place to see if I liked it. I then traced out the leaves and routed out a recess for them and glued them in place. I then made a stem and did the process again. I finished them off with a fe...

Read this entry »

Part 23: Look Boss, De Plane

12-22-2015 02:23 AM by bearkatwood | 9 comments »

I am making a separate plane till to go with the set in progress, but I wanted to have my most used planes close at hand in the cabinet. I also have a few that I have acquired that I would very much like to refurbish and use. So today I worked on the Plane till that would go into the cabinet. I started out by taking a picture of the cabinet, the planes I wanted in there and using photoshop to conjure up a likeness of what it might look like. I had a large piece of maple left ove...

Read this entry »

Part 24: Arrival of benchcraft hardware

12-23-2015 01:02 AM by bearkatwood | 4 comments »

Today was a good day! I started out the day by taking the advise many of you had and added a third leaf inlay to the left door face. I then spent the rest of the day carving the door frames where they met the panels to facilitate gluing them up. This way I wouldn’t have to worry about possibly nicking the panels when I carve the doors the rest of the way. I got my hardware in the mail for the workbench!! Very excited to get it especially when I am so close to being done with the cabi...

Read this entry »

Part 25: Let's See What's Behind Door #1

12-24-2015 11:42 PM by bearkatwood | 7 comments »

So I have finished one door panel and started on the second. Carving is a slow process and I have great respect for carvers. Truly a very hard part of the craft to master. So here are the pictures of the panel that has finish on it. That curly maple exploded with figure! Ahh! how cute, I carved our initials in the tree. Bear Loves KittyThat’s where BearKat Wood got it’s name. On to the next panel. Take care everyone and have fun woodworking.

Read this entry »

Part 26: Hang em' High

12-26-2015 12:32 AM by bearkatwood | 9 comments »

Well today I got the doors hung. I still have one door to finish carving and put finish on, but I wanted to see how it was going to look. The soss hinges worked out nice and I am able to open the doors nearly 180 degrees. I ended up with a great fit, they close with almost no gap. I set the first door up and using that in I set the second in place. I have yet to install the tension catches that will hold the doors shut, but so far so good. When I was carving the door fram...

Read this entry »

Part 27: Oo La La Deux

12-28-2015 01:34 AM by bearkatwood | 6 comments »

Today I piddly farted around and put the catches into the door frames. They are friction catches and needed to be mortised in. All turned out well there. They hold the doors shut really well and look nice. I had to take a break from the carving as it was killing my shoulders, not used to that hard work :) So I decided to get French..No! Not like that you sicko!French cleats. I milled up some slats to inset into the door frames with a lip similar to the back of the cabinet...

Read this entry »

Part 28: Branching Out.

12-29-2015 02:21 AM by bearkatwood | 8 comments »

The cabinet doors are completed and have finish on them. I am very happy with how it turned out. I am still working on laying out where I will hang things in the doors and I think I might make some plates with my CNC that have some neat texture to them. They will probably be done as I can get to them. I have started carving the till frame and I should have about another day to finish it. I have started to look at the plans of the bench that came with the set and reading bac...

Read this entry »

Part 29: Blame it on Star Wars

01-01-2016 02:27 AM by bearkatwood | 5 comments »

Hello all, I haven’t been keeping up with this blog very well this week. It is because I haven’t had a lot to report. I have been trying to finish up the carving on the till, but it has been slow going. I might have to pull out some power carving goodies to get on top of it. I was hoping to get started on the bench this week and I may well get out the maple tomorrow to see if I have enough, I’m little skeptical about it. I might have to alter the design to accommodate it. On...

Read this entry »

Part 30: Going live!

01-05-2016 05:17 AM by bearkatwood | 6 comments »

Hey all, hope you guys had a nice break. I finally finished the saw till and I am making some good progress on the tool cabinet. I was hoping to be starting on the workbench by now, but I should be able to get at it tomorrow. Better late than never.The carving of the till took a lot longer than I thought it would. I wanted the art nouveau whips to be really pronounced and it took a lot of work, but I am happy with the results. I finally got around to scanning in the...

Read this entry »

Part 31: In the thick of it.

01-06-2016 12:38 AM by bearkatwood | 2 comments »

Today was the beginning and then end. The Alpha and well, the beta would work I guess. Not really the end, just a good step on the brakes. I cleaned up the shop this morning and pulled out the 94 BF of eastern hard maple I have been saving up for the bench. It is going to free up a lot of room by my mill, but I am sure I will take care of that, can’t have any uncluttered corners in a wood shop now can we. I measured and re-measured and came to a conclusion, I just don’t hav...

Read this entry »

Part 32: The Back Forty

01-08-2016 01:38 AM by bearkatwood | 7 comments »

So today juror #31 was not called upon so I got to work on the bench top.I managed to get the back forty glued up and most of the front slab cut out. In my last posting I had hinted to the fact that I was unsure as to the amount of wood I had, well I came up with the best solution I could. Even though I had been saving up wood for this build over the last year, it looked like I would be short on the maple, but it will work out nice as the off-cuts will be turned into a carving bench th...

Read this entry »

Part 33: Four Ended Candle

01-13-2016 01:38 AM by bearkatwood | 4 comments »

Wow what a day, I have been packing things in lately, I think my candle has four ends. So today I got the bench top surfaced to thickness and cut to length, I glued up the split rail, glued up the candlesticks that I have to do, I helped with some cnc work for the carving side of the shop and helped with a prototype cane head. Then started on video #2 “The Tool Cabinet”. I have just about finished a sketchup design I have to do and have the blue prints in to be printed off. I am s...

Read this entry »

Part 34: Foundation of woodworking

01-13-2016 11:38 PM by bearkatwood | 5 comments »

Just like a well built house, a well rounded approach to woodworking comes form a solid foundation and understanding of the principles of the medium. Understanding wood and how it will respond to your actions and finding a happy dance that will let you enjoy the craft instead of having it dominate you is paramount. This theory transferred well today when I milled up the legs for the bench. It needs to have an accurate, well made foundation to be a solid usable bench. I took my time today as s...

Read this entry »

Part 35: All about that base!

01-18-2016 12:53 AM by bearkatwood | 1 comment »

Which came first, the mortise or the tenon?Well for me today it was the tenon. Where we left off my dog and cat were at it again Well our undefeated chunky weight champion is still on top, and I can’t get her to find another place to hang out. I had the legs done and I worked on the stretcher for the sides. The bottom ones were easy, they were just 4” wide and straight. The tops were a bit more complex and needed to have a step to keep the two thicknesses even, bu...

Read this entry »

Part 36: sexy legs!!

01-19-2016 02:00 AM by bearkatwood | 10 comments »

My legs have curves!! I got all four legs turned today. The leg with the vise is a tricky one. I wanted it to still have the barley twist so I turned it and then routed out a chunk. I filled that routed out section with wood and then I will rout that out again to accommodate the leg vise hardware. First I turn the legs round using my mill and a two inch flat bottom bit. Then I swith over to the two inch barley twist bit. The mill has a complex set of gears that...

Read this entry »

Part 37: Last puzzle piece again, the fifth corner ;)

01-21-2016 12:13 AM by bearkatwood | 4 comments »

Uh-Oh. I know I said yesterday I got the last piece of the puzzle, then I get a package today. It was something I ordered two months ago, but Lie-Nielsen had trouble with a batch of bronze so they scrapped a line and had to remake them. It is always fun to get their packages, I get to catch up on the haps of Portland, ME. I got my new scratch beader and it looks nice in its’ new home. I will make a holder for it one of these days. Always one tool away fro...

Read this entry »

Part 38: Two Month Anniversary

01-23-2016 03:20 AM by bearkatwood | 6 comments »

So today marks the two month date since I started this remodel. I scheduled for three months, but orders are starting to pile up and the plane till might have to get left off until I can get to it as well as the inside of the tool cabinet. So far so good, but there is still much to do. I got the base put together today and thee top leveled and mortised in place. I put a coat of finish on the base before I stuck it together. ...

Read this entry »

Part 39: What's Behind Door #1

01-27-2016 02:14 AM by bearkatwood | 15 comments »

I managed to get the right door of my tool cabinet fitted with its’ selection of tools. I decided to make the right side the cutting and shaping side. The saw till occupies that area so it seems appropriate. I started with holders for my most used dovetail and carcass saw. One has a carved handle and one does not so I built the holders respectively. I used leaves to hold the saws in place once in. Next I moved on the Japanese saws, which to be honest plagued me and they ar...

Read this entry »

Part 40: Putting On The Ritz

02-01-2016 01:57 AM by bearkatwood | 4 comments »

So It is a good thing this will be the last week of my remodel.I currently have orders for; A music stand, 6 dining room chairs, a bench and chair for the library, 31 snake canes, mountain top cane heads, walnut sofa legs for an upholsterer in Portland and I need to finish up the candle stick holders, not to mention anything I want to build for a gallery. WOW! So today I put the door trim on; I need to do some paint touch-ups on the door frame, I got a little wild with my bac...

Read this entry »

Part 41: I Got Chopped

02-03-2016 01:11 AM by bearkatwood | 9 comments »

For those of you who have never used a leg vise, they are amazingly useful animals to have in the shop. To those of you who have one, “way to go” ;)To those of you who have one, and it happens to have benchcrafted hardware, let me commiserate with you just a bit. They are not really a difficult thing to put in, though I am a bit mechanically disinclined. They seem to be more on the tedious end of things and very persnickety. Kind of like putting a leash on a bumble-bee; be accurat...

Read this entry »

Part 42: Finally the Finale

02-05-2016 07:32 PM by bearkatwood | 15 comments »

I would like to thank everyone for reading along as I spoil myself with this amazing remodel. It is such a huge difference for me, I am not sure it will really sink in until I have made three or four projects there. It has been a pleasure to have you all follow along and cheer me on. You have been an amazing bunch of people to chat with and get to know. So thanks a million.This will be my last blog for some time as I need to concentrate on orders and getting my world put back together. I have...

Read this entry »

Part 43: Video Killed the Blog Star

02-11-2016 02:09 PM by bearkatwood | 1 comment »

So I finally got the video done for the tool cabinet. It was a wild experience to work on this and share it with all of you. I look forward to years of more projects. Just to show you all my humble side and that I am not above begging, please subscribe and get as many friends who like woodworking to subscribe as well. ;) I had a blast making the cabinet, but I have to tell you that the video took longer and was harder to do for me. I am just not an actor, film maker and editor. I a...

Read this entry »

Part 44: At last the End is Here!

03-15-2016 10:21 PM by bearkatwood | 7 comments »

So this remodel has consumed my life for the last four months, some good and some wee, just nutz!!I have very much enjoyed getting to know all of you who have sat thru my endless dribble and actually read this blog. Your comments have been very inspiring to me. There were some days I felt like just moving on and leaving it alone, but I felt I owed it to you to get this done. I hope that I can use this new amazing space to show you what fun things I am lucky enough to get to work on and help y...

Read this entry »

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