Workshop Development #5: Bringing us up to speed. Almost to where we are today...

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by dbhost posted 05-13-2010 08:04 PM 1989 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Permanent floor model equipment moves in, dust collection becomes a higher priority. Part 5 of Workshop Development series Part 6: Looking toward the future. Dust collection... »

In the last installment I think I had gotten to adding the dust collector etc…

Mind you, I am setting this out a little out of order so I can lump certain projects together. For example the adding of the separate Thien separator on the HF DC happened nearly a year after adding the HF DC… But I wanted to put those two projects together because they are related… Now with that bit of info tucked away, shall we continue?

I know somewhere along the line I forgot to mention clamps, clamps, clamps clamps… You see when I originally started, I had a total of 4 clamps, 2 Jorgenson Pony, and 2 Craftsman, all 36”, which were unwieldy on smaller projects, and not nearly enough. I added to that number through Harbor Freight sales, and now have the number up to a dozen each of 6”, 12”, 24” and 36”, plus I have added 4 pipe clamps (need more) nearly 2 dozen spring clamps (need more), and 2 band clamps (Christmas gift, need more), not to mention 2 10” hand screws (need more and bigger).

I mention the clamps, as they required one of my first shop projects to be done. A simple cross bar clamp rack that is mounted to the wall. All of it was scrap from other projects, or the stock from projects that were abandoned… (Got part way through and decided the project was a bad idea sort of thing…). Now the clamp rack is actually too small and I need to re-think how to do this. My goal here clamp wise is to have 2 dozen 6” bar clamps, 2 dozen pipe clamps and various pipes, a dozen of the strap clamps, and at least a half dozen 10” hand screws, and a half dozen 16”, added to the collection I already have… I am thinking rolling cart, with hanging pegs for the hand screws, and strap clamps.

Outfeed from the table saw, and a proper woodworking workbench have been sadly lacking from my shop since day one, and the design from Fine Woodworking’s Getting Started in Woodworking series seemed simple enough to build… And it was, aside from being able to source pine 4×4s, which with any quality was impossible, so I tried Cedar. This was a mistake to say the least. The bench is WAY too floppy for my use. Long story short, I like the idea of this bench, but the base has GOT to be updated with at least pine. I need the additional mass. I am also disappointed with how flexible the cedar is. I need a more ridgid base… The existing cedar base will be fitted with a top made from cedar 2×4s, and a lower shelf likewise fitted and eonclosed with frame & panel sides, back, and doors, the entire thing coated with BLO, and set in the yard as a potting bench for LOML. Of course after a new SYP frame is built. I figure I will laminate 3 layers thick SYP 2×4s to create the stock for the legs, and use lag bolts instead of those all thread rods and pegs that Fine Woodworking’s design used. I am also considering making the entire top from SYP 2x stock to keep it cheap, yet substantial.

Probably the one tool I was most excited about getting was the lathe… I’ve turned while in high school, and was always fascinated watching wood turning demonstrations in person, and watching Norm do his demos on New Yankee Workshop. I had honestly considered a ShopSmith Mark V in order to get all the big stuff all at once, but decided the capacity offered by individual machines, and the arbor tilting / raising and lowering instead of the saw table made for safer, more effective working conditions for me. So no ShopSmith… What I did do was watch Craigslist and kept missing deals on Jet JWL1236’s and its countless clones. I finally hit the timing right with a Harbor Freight coupon and sale on the widely well regarded #34706 Jet clone machine. When I first set it up I had a HUGE amount of pucker factor though. The center points of the spur drive and live center just wouldn’t line up for anything. HF customer service wanted me to bring the machine back to swap out, I did a little more digging through the manual, and found where the adjustments for the headstock were (it was aligning the headstock from its rotated position was the problem) and got it dialed in. Now this lathe is a cast iron bed lathe, and weighs about 185lbs, so it is much heavier than midi lathes, but it is FAR llighter than the lathes with cast iron legs. To solve the problem of the lathe dancing around when starting with an out of balance blank, I have set up a shelf on the spreaders of the stand, and set a couple of bags of cement there. I have also drilled holes / cut slots in that shelf for the accessories that came with the lathe…

Well along with the lathe, and everything else came lots and lots of little accessories, chisels, gouges, calipers, hand planes, chisels, etc… I needed storage, and I needed it bad… My first storage solution is a simple 1×2 furring strip framed sheet of peg board holding most of my small hangable tools. Next up came shelving using simple cheap closet shelf brackets, and 3/4” sheathing grade plywood. This farily simple shelf provided me a place to keep my safety and health related items. Ear muffs, safety glasses, respirator, face shield, push blocks, push sticks, and of course the box of disposable shop rags. I used simple broom clips attached to the side to keep my pipe clamps off the floor as well…

Next in line was easily accessible storage for my handheld power tools, just past the first shelf, is a second, longer unit, 6’ long to be specific, that houses all of my handheld power tools excluding my Hitachi Routers. (Those will eventually go there after some house cleaning takes place). You see my handheld power tool collection had grown quite a bit and was taking up a LOT of space I didn’t have down low. I went to having 2 power drills (a clutch chuck, and a simple keyless chuck model), a biscuit joiner, 4 different hand held sanders, a buffer, a circ saw, a recip saw, a jig saw, a B&D router (bad descision, this thing needs to hit the trash), a B&D rotary tool, and Dremel accessory kit etc…

Below that shelf, I placed my Stack On small parts bins, which went from 1 to 3. I hung my router bit boxes, and made sure I put a garage / shop rated fire extinguisher within easy reach. I also added some ladder hooks, and am holding my folding / telescoping sawhorses on them…

Above my head, I don’t think we addresses the issue of light. When I first started, Like I said, I had a single bare bulb fixture, and a garage door opener with a single bulb. Now the garage door opener was dead, and I was not planning on using this space as a garage anyway, so out it went, and the single bulb just wasn’t cutting it. I added 2 2 bulb 4 foot shop light fixtures over the original workbench, which worked, more or less, for a LONG time… Just not well. In the last year I have extended the original lighting circuit, to 2 more ceiling outlets (there was originally the one for the garage door opener). I added 4 more shop light fixtures for a total of 6. They are arranged so that they are 4’ in from each wall, and the center row is at the middle of the garage, arranged in 2 columns of 3 rows. I also have added a Rockler magnetic base adjustable neck task lamp with a 100w equivalent CFL that I magnet to the tool I want extra task light for, most recently it was plopped on the band saw…

You know, an uninsulated garage workshop, with south facing doors in Texas is a real roaster in summer, and a meat locker in winter… Guess I should do something about that huh? Guess that will wait until my next installment!

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

2 comments so far

View wichle's profile


96 posts in 3364 days

#1 posted 05-14-2010 06:56 AM

I built a workbench on cedar 4X4s with drawers underneath. The top is a very heavy solid core door found in a surplus materials warehouse for 5 bucks. It’s on casters as is everything else in my shop. My outfeed on the table saw is a table top from IKEA. They have adjustable legs that are high enough for such an application. You might click on the signature pic at left. This is a basement shop.

-- Bill, Michigan "People don't come preassebled, but are glued together by life"

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4267 posts in 3581 days

#2 posted 05-16-2010 04:57 PM

Remember all those small power tools collectively weigh a lot. I intend to continue using them as ballast for my work bench, but if and when I get a lathe, I might make a cabinet for it and fill it with tools, not necessarily related to the lathe. My work bench without all the tools under it is substantial, but it is not absolutely rigid. With the current makeshift drawers loaded with tools etc, it is nearly immovable, I cannot lift the end of it. Needless to say, it is a solid worksurface.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

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