My Shop #2: An Updated Shop Tour - 5/22/13

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Blog entry by William posted 05-23-2013 01:40 AM 3078 reads 0 times favorited 29 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: An Updated Shop Tour 1/20/12 Part 2 of My Shop series no next part

I knew it had been a while since I had updated my shop tour. When I checked though, I realized that I no longer even had a shop tour posted on my homepage, so it was time.

Welcome to William’s Wood Shop. It is a 40×50 cinder block wall shop. I’ve moved things around a little since some of you visited last, so come on in and I’ll show you around.

As you enter the shop, look to the left. You’ll notice the first thing inside the door is the coffee pot table. I have to have my coffee. It is an important part of my day if I am to be dealt with. All those bottles you see is my water supply. I do not have running water in my shop and I do not want to have to go home for water three or four times a day for water to make coffee. So my boys keep plenty of bottles full for me.
Next to the coffee pot table is my boy’s entertainment center. They spend a lot of time in my shop. When they tire of playing or watching me, they have this area set up with a television and DVD player, a computer, and one of those fancy game systems. Don’t ask me what kind. I bought it but I don’t know much about that sort of thing. I have never been able to get into the games and such.
Some of you who have been to my shop before may notice all my finished work is inside the shop. One of my grown children has moved back in. He is staying in the front room of the shop, where my finished work used to be. So I now have all my finished work in the shop area. It creates a dust problem. I have to vacuum everything off about once a month to keep a two inch thick layer of dust from settling on it all. However, since putting it all in here, I like it better having all my work open for all to see when they enter the shop.

Look right and there are tables my boys play on and do homework on during the school year. Behind that you can see a lot of my junk. The front half of the shop is mostly filled with non-wood working items. So let’s move on towards the back of the shop where the magic happens.

here almost dead center of my shop, looking towards the back right corner, here is my saw station area. I have two saws. The antique Craftsman you see to the right is set up for ripping. The Ridgid does most of the cross cutting duties.
Further back is my lathe corner, we’ll get to that later.
You can also see some of my wood stash in the back. I am not a wood addict. I can stop anytime I get ready.

This center island is a built up long story. I have added, modified, and changed this area so many times that you never know what you may find hung here. It started as a simple junk table that used to sit in my utility room at home until my wife got tired of looking at it. I moved it to the shop and added the other table to it. It is screwed to the first table to make them both more massive.
Later I added the clamp racks on top of the second table. There is two different vises attached to the mass. Mostly, the first table holds different items I grab for often, like hammer, screwdrivers, chisels, you name it. Most of it is hung from various method holders I have fabricated over time. Some things, like hammers, are just in holes I made in the old utility room table.
In this photo you see the planer up front. The second table, which mostly catches cuts I make on the table saw and such while I’m preparing material for a project is here. It has the two vises attached to it too. The clamp rack is rear of that table. A 1950 Craftsman scroll saw resides here. I use it to rough cut some things coming off the saws. Under the table is my box joint jig and dovetail machine that are both built from fellow Lumberjock, Stumpy Nub’s, design.
To give you a better idea, we’re going to have to go all around this area.

Now, going clockwise around the island, here is the utility room table. You can see my throw together plane till on the end of it. Down the side I have attached holders for screwdrivers, nail punches, chisels, and such. Thin scraps get stored under this table, closer to where I do a lot of scroll work at. There is an 80s era scroll saw attached on top of the table. On the side, that big one, is a 1947 Craftsman scroll saw. You can’t see well in this photo, but there is a lot of often grabbed small hand tool type items, like pencils, awls, and such and the hammers, all on the top surface of the table.

At the other end of the island is my Delta scroll saw. This is the saw I use for all my detail type scroll work. Beside it is the front of the 1947 saw you seen in the last photo. On the other side is my drill press.

While we are standing here, you may as well look over your shoulder, back towards the back right shop corner. Here is my lathe coner. I have the two lathes and my accessory table setup here. I once had one lathe that stayed tucked somewhere out of the way. Now I’ve gotten into it more though and the lathe area wound up taking more room up than I ever thought it would.
If you notice the blue vise on the backside of that table, that is an old Record brand vise. I use it mostly for pressing pens together. It used to be on my work bench. I got tired of having to go half way across the shop to use it to press pens though, so I moved it over here. Now I need to eventually find another one for my work bench. I now don’t like walking halfway this way across the shop to use it for things other than pressing pens.

Now back in the hole that is the back left corner of the shop, this is my main, not so pretty, workbench. I love my workbench. I would never trade it for one of those fancy, pretty benches. Don’t get me wrong, those benches are nice. This table though is battle tested. I have beat on it, stood on it, hell, I’ve had three other guys standing on it with me when we put the light over the table. It does what I need it to do and has never failed to perform as it should. It just needs to be sturdy enough to take all the abuse I throw at it.
This is where I do most assembly and pretty much anything else that doesn’t require specialized tools. As a matter of fact, if I can bring the specialized tool here, I do that here too. My routers and bits are under thise side of the table for easy access. The spring clamps, dremil tools, and air nailers are hung on one end. The cordless drilled are underneath. The sanding station is at the far end.
The saw horses you see on the other side, that is where I break down large material for me to handle. There is more lumber stored under that side of the work bench and under tha saw horses.
Look even further back and you can see my resaw band saw and my scroller band saw. Both of these are shop built. Past that is more wood. Don’t look. I told you I do not have a hoarding problem.
To the left of the bandsaws you may notice two large wooden cases besides the filing cabinets. This is my entertainment center. The filing cabinets hold plans, wood working books and magazines, and wood working catalogues. The stereo is on top of the filing cabinets and is wired to large speakers that are stategically placed in the rafters all over the shop. Those two large wooden cases are my CDs.

Althought you may have noticed wood in other areas of the shop, this is supposed to be the actual wood storage areas. The ladder is there to get to the plywood that I have stored in the rafters above all this. Stop thinking what you’re thinking. No I am not obsessed with wood. I told you I can stop anytime I want.

Before you leave the shop, look back towards the back corner again to get a better view of those saw horses I told you about and the work bench. On this end of the work bench you can see my large end vise. I made that out of pipe clamps to hold large objects that my other vises wouldn’t handle. Mostly I use it to hold large pieces of woods when I route signs.
Look past all this in the back corner and you can see I have some cypress on one table and the table closest to the fridge is sycamore and some odd and end scraps that I can’t bring myself to part with until I find a use for it.
What’s that you say?
Yes, maybe I DO have a wood hoarding condition.

I hope you enjoyed the shop tour. If you’re ever in my area, get in touch with me before you come and I’ll make arrangements to show you around better. I’ll make sure to have you a clean coffee cup waiting when you get here.


29 comments so far

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4512 days

#1 posted 05-23-2013 02:06 AM

great tour of a really fine shop, i did notice you have a little bit of wood there, i wonder where you can get some more, i hope the folks in your town and neighborhood know to watch there tree’s from being cut down and milled…i have a bit of wood myself, but not as much as you have, and mine is not so nicely stacked as yours…, but it works…well dont get lost in there…nice you have plenty of room for your boys to come in and be with dad, thats important…....but you know that.

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View William's profile


9950 posts in 4051 days

#2 posted 05-23-2013 02:12 AM

Thanks Grizz. I do have a lot of wood. It isn’t all usable. Anytime I do a large project, like the recent cradle, I sometimes have to spend a whole day doing nothing but digging for enough usable wood. A lot of what I have has good spots and bad in it. So the trick is finding pieces with large enough good spots to be usable for whatever you’re trying to build.
I’ve thought of culling out a lot of it, but that would mean losing a lot of wood that’s usable in smaller pieces. I don’t want to do that either.
I’ve thought of making different stacks depending on size and species. That didn’t go well either. That wound up creating small stacks all over the place that became more confusing than having it all just stacked up in one area.
What to do? What to do?
Oh well. I can think of a lot worse problems to have.


View DIYaholic's profile


19921 posts in 3884 days

#3 posted 05-23-2013 02:33 AM

How much wood can wood William chuck???

Nice space. I think my whole shop would fit in your wood room!!!

You can reduce your wood supply quite easily.
Just start building stuff ….
& don’t stop or sleep until it’s gone!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 3823 days

#4 posted 05-23-2013 03:08 AM

i love your shop im envious of all the room and tools ,i see you have a lot of your builds out in the shop, they catch your eye awesome work and the coffee pot is right at the door you have done some re organization sense i was last there ,a master craftsman and his shop ,thats a few years of gathering and knowledge in there ,and having meet your boys they are good boys,you have built the most important thing in there ,love it my friend

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View Dave's profile


11435 posts in 4049 days

#5 posted 05-23-2013 04:05 AM

Loved it. I felt as if I was seeing it for the first time. One of the first thoughts was the amount of Lumberjocks that have come through your doors. Chips, Marty, KTTM, Eddie, Tubmanslim and myself. You have a lot of friends that building has helped bring to you. I also think of all the wonderful woodwork that has come from there.
Great show and tell William.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 4227 days

#6 posted 05-23-2013 05:04 AM

What a shop! You definitely have space to move around in and there is barely enough wood. You have a good assortment of tools.

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View JL7's profile


8787 posts in 4174 days

#7 posted 05-23-2013 10:36 AM

Thanks for the update William… always have some new surprises in there. Great to see the kids have some space as well. Always enjoy the shop tours…....

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 4644 days

#8 posted 05-23-2013 11:11 AM

Lovely BIG shop William, lots of space to move around in, laid out nicely, but did I miss a wood stash?

A great place for WW PARTIES. :-)

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View William's profile


9950 posts in 4051 days

#9 posted 05-23-2013 12:04 PM

Randy, I know a few other jocks who have shops that would fit easily inside mine. It amazes me what they get done. I have a huge shop and am constantly tripping over myself, or this and that.

Eddie, just wait, I’ll change something in the next few weeks. There’s always something I don’t like and will figure out a way to move it around. It’s a constantly evolving design.

Dave, I enjoy having the company too. I can’t wait until you and Eddie can make it back over. Lucas too if he can ever get time off work these days. Chips was just by the other day. We even had a multi-state Lumberjock get together here. I wish we could do that more often.

Bearpie, I do have a large assortment of tools. I have paid new price for few of them though. I’ve picked things up here, traded for things there, built things when I could. It has taken a lot of time to get to this point. I am finally to a point where I am selective about anything I purchase or get because I have pretty much what I need. About the only way I even look at larger things now is if it is upgrading something with plans to part with, or part out, the old one.
It’s hard to believe that I once had no idea what I’d do with a shop this big.

Jeff, if my kids didn’t have space, I’d have to give them my space. They are my little helpers. I don’t know what I’d do without them. I don’t tell this a lot, but they help me more than some people realize. Anything I can’t move or handle, they take care of it for me.
On days that I can’t bend over, if I drop something, I just leave it in the floor until one of the boys come in the shop. Then they pick it up. Some days one of them will simply come to the back and ask what I need picked up. Without their help, a lot of what I do would never get done.

Rex, no you did not miss any wood stashes, except for a few I did not show.

Thank you all for your kind words. I wish each and every one of you could come on over for a cup of coffee. You’re always welcome if you’re in the area.


View Kreegan's profile


1452 posts in 3355 days

#10 posted 05-23-2013 12:22 PM

Wow, I think my “shop” would fit in yours about 15 times with room to spare. ;-) I like your lathe corner. That’s really similar to how I have mine setup. Glad your boys help you out. Mine’s still too little to help Dada out, but someday he’ll be big enough.

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1984 posts in 3178 days

#11 posted 05-23-2013 12:28 PM

Wow! Makes my little garage shop look like a broom closet. Great shop tour. One day I will have one…...............

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4075 days

#12 posted 05-23-2013 12:34 PM

That’s is a grand shop and obviously you have put a lot of thought into it. Congratulations, William.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View William's profile


9950 posts in 4051 days

#13 posted 05-23-2013 12:46 PM

RIch, he’ll be all in your way before you know it. I love my boys helping. They are at that stage though where I have to get them to move everytime I need to move.

Kaleb, sometimes we stumble across things by blind luck. Keep your eyes open. I never dreamed of a shop like this. It came available next to my house for rent and I jumped on it, not know at the time what I would do with such a huge shop. The drawback is that when I ever move out of this shop if I can’t afford the rent anymore, I’m going to have to DRASTICALLY downsize.

Charles, the problem there is that I’m always thinking about it. Everytime I change something, I immediately think how I can change something else. So it is never actually “done”.


View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4075 days

#14 posted 05-23-2013 12:52 PM

William, you know what they say, a shop is and ever will be always a work in progress. May you always be happy in your work.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View William's profile


9950 posts in 4051 days

#15 posted 05-23-2013 01:00 PM

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