Workshop Development #53: Clearing the wall... Moving the clamshell cabs...

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Blog entry by dbhost posted 08-08-2012 02:03 PM 2436 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 52: Fixing another stupid mistake... Part 53 of Workshop Development series Part 54: Of all the stupid things. Peg hooks. »

I spent the time I had expected last night, clearing out the remaining clam shell cabinet, and getting it off the wall, and on to the floor. I made some discoveries while I was there.

Once everything was taken off the peg hooks, and laid down in a single layer, it covered the entire top surface of my table saw, and the majority of the surface of my workbench. This is a space of 6’ x 8’ covered with everything from pnuematic nailer nail boxes and nailers, to measuring and marking tools. I must admit I am a little bit taken aback by the sheer volume of items stashed in these things. I guess I never gave it much thought as to what was actually going in there…

To actually keep things relatively orderly, I started putting things back into the clam shell cabinets, and just have the top of the table saw left to clear out. This will be important this upcoming weekend as I want to cut the drawer fronts for my miter saw stand this weekend…

Digging through my scrap bins, it looks like I have enough left over 3/4” plywood stock of sufficient size that I will be able to build the drawer boxes without buying any more 3/4” ply. Now I want to use 3/8” bottoms, but that is plenty cheap…

Items remaining on the wall that is to be worked on are…

#1. 5 tier large black plastic shelving unit. Not quite empty yet. Once empty, it will be disassembled and put up in the attic for temp storage. #2. Bottom shelf full of auto jack stands, recovery straps, spare tiles, new oil filters for the vehicles, and a couple of gallons of primer. These will be moved to the other one, the one on the other wall holding lawn and garden junk. #3. Top shelf housing my B&D Firestorm 10” miter saw This will be hitting the used market along with its stand, and a Firestorm plunge router, within the next week or so… Just need one screw for the stand, and to snap some pics… #4. My old B&D pressure washer and accessories. Once I get the trees down in the back yard and hauled off, I am going to use a bunch of deck wash, and this pressure washer to try to bring my deck back to life. I probably need to replace a few boards on this thing… #5. Whole house water softener, and reverse osmosis filtration system. This can’t be moved. It stands 4.5” away from the sheetrock, the pipes going into the sheetrock… Will rock around this… #6. Dust collection plumbing. To be marked, and removed in large segments such that I will reassemble it as it came out. This will be done the weekend before the install. Like on the Friday night. #7. Dust collector and stand. Again, this will be removed the weekend before the install. That same weekend the sheet rock comes down en masse…

I have been mulling over my drill press storage cabinet build to do after this is done. Now I need to find 1/2” maple faced plywood!

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7 comments so far

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Jim Bertelson

4275 posts in 4659 days

#1 posted 08-08-2012 02:25 PM

Storage has to be efficient in smaller shops, meaning double garage size and under, roughly 20×20 feet. I constantly watch for ways to store things better…........

I am itching to get back in the shop and finish off my cutoffs cart, talking about storage….............

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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5913 posts in 4727 days

#2 posted 08-08-2012 02:51 PM

After most of these storage projects. I have a LOT of small cutoffs, mostly plywood, that will go into the fire pit this winter.

I am half tempted to take up pen turning just to get rid of a mess of my smaller hardwood cutoffs…

Right now I have a 30 gallon galvanized trash can that I was originally going to use a a dust bin that got pressed into service as a cutoff bin… A lot of my cutoffs aren’t worth much more than firewood… But some of it intrigues me enough to keep around. Particularly the walnut, pecan, and mesquite stuff… Which is terrible. Those are the ones best suited for my smoker!

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View Richard's profile


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#3 posted 08-08-2012 11:48 PM

Hi – I read your shop tour with great interest. I am fascinated by how much of your tool inventory came from Harbor Freight. I visited them for the first time recently, and I was particularly intrigued by their clamps.

How well have the HF clamps worked? Do you have to replace them often?

Also, how well has the face vise on your workbench (also from HF) held up?

Thanks much!

-- Richard, The Upside-Down Table Saw --

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5913 posts in 4727 days

#4 posted 08-09-2012 12:47 AM

The clamps are a mixed bag.

The F style bar clamps, of which 44 of my inventory of 48, are all from Harbor Freight. In the last 5 years, I have only had to replace one, and it was bad when I picked it up (bad threads on the screw). I mail ordered my first dozen before I found a store… I HIGHLY recommend going to the HF store in person and inspecting the items you purchase…

The HF bar clamps have been spot on reliable so far, but I rarely if ever use them.

The hand screw clamps have been wonderful.

The ratcheting bar clamps have yet to fail me, but I am so afraid of breaking them I don’t use hardly any pressure at all. I know there are fixes for them. I just haven’t applied them. The tension is hard to adjust on them, and generally speaking I don’t like them. HOWEVER I do like using them as a spreader…

The vise has been great. I did have to flatten the face with a file to even out some casting slag that wasn’t ground off, and I had to clean the packing goo off of the screw. Once cleaned, flattened, cleaned and lubed, it’s been a fantastic vise. The quick release has been a great feature.

Sadly, the vise was discontinued. I would be very hard pressed to replace this vise with anything under about $150.00 though…

Yes some of their stuff is utter junk. Bits, blades, and even some of the clamps. I can tell you what of theirs I do NOT recommend…

#1. Drill Master Drill bits, or the black hole saw kits. They are good for one use only, and barely marginal at that. #2. The Quick Clamp clones. Like I mentioned above, I haven’t broken one yet, but in function they feel funny, and you can just sort of tell it wants to break… The plastic pivot pin was a moronic idea on their part… #3. The corner clamps. Bad, badder, baddest.

Honestly, I have tools from a WIDE variety of manufactuers including Snap On, Ridgid, Hitachi, Makita, as well as Ryobi, Skill, Black and Decker, and Harbor Freight’s house brand. Most of my tools, powered or not, required some sort of tuning, calibration, alignment, or other setup to make it perform at a level I would expect. While there was a little more fiddling to do with some HF tools (the band saw and miter saw leap to mind), compared to say my Hitachi Routers, but overall, I have not had a bad experience with their stuff and would buy it again if the same thing was available..

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Jim Bertelson

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#5 posted 08-09-2012 06:23 AM

I always grin when reading your defense of Harbor Freight.

I appreciate your attitude, because I grew up that way, where you just made do with what you had.

Guess it is the self sufficient individualist in me…......just doing stuff the hard way because it can be done, without megabucks. My old main power saws especially come to mind. I would probably have to bury them with a ceremony if I replaced them…........(-:

Oh well, don’t have to preach to you….......

Had a run in with my brother today on email…......very sad. I have to set limits in my life…......getting old…

You will find that getting old involves marshalling diminishing energy. I continue to contribute to society, but I cannot if I lose focus, because I don’t have the energy to waste anymore. So, there are some things I don’t even want to talk about… politics and religion…...have to focus…......

Enjoying your blog…........

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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5913 posts in 4727 days

#6 posted 08-09-2012 02:05 PM


It’s not that I wouldn’t love to own a shop full of name brand stuff. But I just can’t see spending more money on anything because it has a fancy name on it. My HF lathe for example, does everything the same way, with no more headaches than the Jet lathe it copies. Both are made in Taiwan, so why pay more just to get the Jet name?

But there are areas where I am willing to spend a bit more to get the features I want. The Ridgid Oscillating sander instead of the HF sander for example. The Ridgid was $159.00 (Fathers Day Sale a few years ago), and the HF would have been $79.00 after coupon. But the HF lacked the features I wanted such as a tilting table, and the edge belt sanding function.

My Hitachi routers on the other hand were a steal and I like to brag about my $99.00 purchase price on them wherever I can. I just try to forget I wasted money on a B&D router at all…

Have issues with my brothers as well. One in particular. He and I are of different religious points of view, and he is simply convinced I am wrong and must be corrected. And while I do not have a PhD in Divinity, I am well studied (2 associates degrees, 1 B.A., and a thick stack of professional certifications, not to mention plenty of independent study on topics that interest me), as is my brother. We simply do not come to the same conclusion based on the evidence presented to us. Sooo… when the topic comes up, I try, but don’t always succeed in keeping the conversation in areas of commonality, or I steer it completely away from the topic at hand into something neutral… You’d be amazed how many conversations start out about a talk Father so and so gave that ends up being how Aunt so and so is doing and what ever happened to the crazy cousin that wrapped his Camaro around a fence in high school…

I guess what I am trying to get at is, with tools, as well as with relationships, you can stress over what’s not perfect, and what isn’t there, and make yourself and everyone around you absolutely miserable, (gee the paint on that clamp looks like it was dipped in paint instead of nicely sprayed on oh the humanity!) or you can concentrate on the positive, and see the best in everything possible…

Sometimes being positive and seeing the best is somewhat negative though. For example, there are people that I am positively giddy are no longer intruding into my life. Sometimes the best way certain people can bless us is by making themselves vacant in our lives… Such as former friends that decide to get into criminal endeavors, or ex spouses. (I am using extreme examples here, but you get the idea). Sadly I think for the most part, we are stuck with the crazy relatives…

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Jim Bertelson

4275 posts in 4659 days

#7 posted 08-10-2012 03:08 PM

Fortunately, the only relatives that I really have to deal with on a regular basis are Sherie’s handicapped daughter, and Sherie’s mother. The daughter is a perpetual child, so you just learn to deal with it, and because she can’t do things differently, she is easy on the psyche.

Sherie’s mother fortunately is just a nice person. Period. Need more of those around.

My brother is thousand’s of miles away, so I can deal with him as I need to. Most of the time he is fine, but he has way too much time on his hands…........

Work keeps me a little more down to earth, and less intense in my non-working pursuits, I expect.

My brother had a strong impact on my life as I grew up, so I always have an emotional response to him, kind of like you might get with parents. But he is OCD, and intelligent, and when he gets onto something, he will try everything to batter his way through, and try to prove that he is right.

I am less into trying to be right, and more into relationships and getting along. My job is about being darn close to perfect, and I don’t need that in the rest of my life. My job probably provides a lot of satisfaction that others don’t get from their working world. So I invest less in my nonworking pursuits, and mostly just have fun. Although my idea of fun may not be someone elses idea of a pleasurable pursuit.

I am looking forward to the next 10 days, with only two of those 10 days at work. Only thing on the agenda is trying to figure out a strange glitch in a TV-Receiver relationship in the kitchen-dining room, that seems to elude solution.

So maybe I will catch up with my email for awhile….......(-:

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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