Shop Projects #4: Continued "Musical Shop" Play...

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by littlecope posted 07-18-2012 10:49 AM 2490 reads 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Shop Evolution... Part 4 of Shop Projects series no next part

Every time it rains, I’m getting water in the basement shop. I’ve been here long enough now to see the flow pattern though, and to have discovered the “high ground”. So I’ve been moving and re-moving the shop around… again…
I started with the Scroll Saw Table that I made back in the “90’s. After emptying it off and out, it occurred to me that I had never taken a picture of the old thing…The Scroll Saw Table...
It’s a sad affair that I knocked together out of some old Glass-shipping crates. The sides were already established, so I just tied them together with some cross-members, and shelved and sheeted it…
After a while, with the wide-open front, it started to rack a little… So I borrowed a trick I had seen, took a heavy hammer and flattened out a length of electrical conduit on the ends, drilled some appropriate holes, and attached it to the front. It does not rack anymore…
Here it is, loaded-up once again, in its new location…All loaded-up again, in its new location...
Once I get a little lighting, it should be ready to roll again…
I’ve had an old bureau in the shop for a long time too. It’s an old beater of a thing, in the 1950’s “Hollywood” style, but I’ve found it very handy for tool storage and table space.
When I was in Henniker, it received water damage from being in the basement there, and this mis-treatment continued here. I flipped it on end, to access the damage… The Water is making the particle-board sides disintegrate…Problems with an old Bureau...
I suppose most of you would trash the thing, and build (or obtain) new, but I resolved to save the thing…
When I was cleaning the cellar here, I found a couple of 2”X 4” Tees that somebody had fashioned and nailed to the floor joists above… I’m not sure of their purpose (hanging bicycles on maybe?), but I was very sure that I didn’t want to be smacking my head on them!!
I took them down, and later apart… They’ll make perfect new legs for the old bureau…Some found 2"X 4" material...

As luck would have it, they were within about 3/16” in length of each other, so I didn’t have to trim them…
A spacer board was used from the top to position them…I used a spacer board at the top...

Then I drilled some slightly out-sized holes to attach them. In order that they didn’t pierce through and interfere with the drawers, I made a mark for the drill depth to accommodate the old bugle-head screws I used…Setting and marking the screw depth...

As an aside, I used the same type screws, to attach the project from the week before, the “blocking-off” of the two basement windows…Basement Window...Basement window blocked off..

Anyway, it was then a simple matter to set the depth on the drill press, drill, and to start attaching these bad boys…Screwing legs on...

And after a few minutes, I had a set of new legs for an old bureau!New legs for an old bureau...

There’s Life left in the Old Girl after all!! :)
18 July 2012

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

14 comments so far

View ellen35's profile


2742 posts in 3966 days

#1 posted 07-18-2012 10:54 AM

Those old houses all leak in the rain… I think it was a requirement in the old days!
It is nice to see something old continue it’s life with a few repairs.
Nice work, Mike.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 3454 days

#2 posted 07-18-2012 11:09 AM

I like that you use that old furniture, too! I bet even at its age, it is far more sturdy than the crap that is out there now – that costs an arm and a leg. When I lived in Chicago, I used an old desk for my scroll saw bench/workbench. It was built like a tank! I put large casters underneath so I could roll it outside on the good days or anywhere in the garage, and the drawers were deep and the best part was it was all dovetailed solid wood. It stood up to a lot and served me far better than if I had bought a cheap desk or workbench. It is a good and practical way to use what we have and give these things new life.

Thanks for showing Mike. :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View stefang's profile


16803 posts in 3868 days

#3 posted 07-18-2012 11:18 AM

Good work Mike. Waste not, want not.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View moonls's profile


412 posts in 3520 days

#4 posted 07-18-2012 11:43 AM

Mike, you remind me of my Dad who would salvage items like your old bureau and make them useful again with his ingenuity and skill. Good job!

-- Lorna, Cape Cod

View patron's profile


13658 posts in 3875 days

#5 posted 07-18-2012 12:35 PM

good to see you getting a shop again michael

re-cycling ‘old stuff’ is the way to go
(isn’t everything ‘down east’ old stuff) lol

real ‘yankee’ ingenuity here
(even down to the driver/drill)

that table looks like it’s got lots of years yet
(it looks the way i feel some days)

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23507 posts in 3639 days

#6 posted 07-18-2012 12:53 PM

Nice going, Mike. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do!!...and you did well….............................Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3570 days

#7 posted 07-18-2012 01:06 PM

Mike, old and reliable things need to be repaired, well done. My old bench and router table are now over a decade old (chipboard too) but I still manage to turn stuff out on them. Just goes to prove you don’t need a flashy, solid hardwood, pretty bench or table to work on. What’s more important is what is produced on it.

By the way our whole country is leaking at the moment. Could you help, please?

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3725 days

#8 posted 07-18-2012 03:43 PM

Mike, looks like good progress. Our shops are similar in that none of my tables or stands are beautiful, but all of them are fully functional. Good recycle effort, your Hollywood dresser is ready to lock and load!!!! What happened to your band saw? The scroll saw stand kind of reminded me of the ol powermatic.

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View stefang's profile


16803 posts in 3868 days

#9 posted 07-18-2012 06:54 PM

Good opportunity for a recycling story:

My wife’s grandfather had a farm on a fjord (Hafrsfjorden in Sola, Norway). The historic farm originally was the Sheriff’s (Lendsman’s) farm originally built in the 17th century next to a ferry landing with a 300 year old large warehouse type building on a stone landing quay. The warehouse blew down in a big storm a year or two before my wife and I moved to the area in 1971. Being the practical farmer he was, my wife’s grandfather went out to salvage the wood materials, the roofing and pull out all the nails (hand forged no doubt). Good work for an 84 year old!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 3456 days

#10 posted 07-18-2012 11:49 PM

The best wood I got here are from 100 years old houses. Not only the wood but a lot of good stories in it that will never repeat but only can be preserved. Go for it and enjoy working with those original set-up you’ve got. I can see that even the impact screwdriver shown in the photo is really antique that once I have before but now broken.
God bless.

-- Bert

View littlecope's profile


3073 posts in 4036 days

#11 posted 07-19-2012 12:33 AM

Thanks All!!
Ellen: There are a lot of leaky foundations, but a lot of times it’s because they messed around with the grade outside. Here, they took down old porches, and added a cement pad right next to the foundation many years ago… It only seems to leak where that was done, the front of the building doesn’t…
Sheila: Thanks for taking some time out of your busy schedule to comment!! The construction of the old bureau is exactly as you describe, indestructible. But it wasn’t meant to be waterlogged, from sitting in puddles all the time! When I positioned the new legs, I tried to have them growth-facing-down, like the old fence posts… That way, if they should get wet again, the water won’t percolate up them…
Stefang: Mike, your Father-in-Law sounds like he was a Thrifty Man! And a Healthy One too! Excellent attributes, both…
Lorna: My Dad was the same way! Thanks so much for your kind words…
Patron: I was wondering if someone would recognize that old driver… I need a new Philips head bit for that. I checked on-line with Stanley a while ago, and while extolling the virtues of the Yankee scewdriver, and how great sales had been for many, many years, Stanley informed me they no longer feature them… They’re so good, that they don’t make them anymore!!
But even with broken flutes on the Philips, it’s still my go-to driver…
And the “Grotto” is slowly turning into usable space…The "Grotto" is turning into a usable space...

Jim Jakosh: Thanks Jim! Today I had to take a break from all the work, and have a little fun…The beginnings of another box...
There are a couple of new boxes that were begun today… :)

Martyn: They truly don’t make things like they used to… A “Leaking Country”?! I’m having a hard enough time with our basement!! I had a thought of building a small dam in front of the offending wall to contain the water… covering it with screen to keep the bugs out… then get a small sump-pump to empty it outside. But with my luck, it would all come inside again…
Bob Kollman: The Band Saw didn’t make the trip to Henniker. It would have been too much trouble to get it into the basement. I ended up bringing it back to my Folk’s house… I told my Brother that if he could make some money selling it, to go for it… I’m not sure whether he managed to sell it yet??
Bert Flores: Thanks my Friend! The old-growth forests have vanished for the most part… The Wood from the old trees is now (sadly) only preserved, in the things that were made from it… It would be a shame for us not to re-use it when we can!!
Thanks again, for taking the time and for your interest, Everyone!!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View lew's profile


12877 posts in 4289 days

#12 posted 07-19-2012 12:45 AM

That water can be a pain in the butt, Mike! I have all my stuff up a couple of inches for that very reason.

Hope you never experience the flood we had many years ago- 4 feet of water in the basement!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View littlecope's profile


3073 posts in 4036 days

#13 posted 07-19-2012 01:23 AM

It is a pain Lew!
It makes me wonder what next Winter will have in store for us… I could definitely do without having a standing Lake where the shop should be!!
I guess that I’ll have to build bridges to cross those rivers, if and/or when I reach them…

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View mafe's profile


12135 posts in 3623 days

#14 posted 07-25-2012 05:38 PM

Water in the basement, that is a song we do not like…
My life had had several of these, now I live in a apartment 2. floor, no worry but also no workshop…
Lovely to see you are in action again.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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