Woodworking on a Half-Shoestring #120: Dungeon Workshop Walkaround Tour - Spring 2020

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Blog entry by retired_guru posted 04-28-2020 03:30 PM 287 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 119: Powertec USA - USPS Settled, Sort of Part 120 of Woodworking on a Half-Shoestring series Part 121: Creamer and Sugar Bowl Carrier - Build Progress »

I promised Shawn ( @shawnSK ) pictures of the workshop, once the reorganization was complete enough to get back to building projects. I’m not quite there, as you will see in this post, but close enough that I decided I wanted to do it, as an earmark for when I look back at where I’ve been and what’s been done over time.

I moan and groan a lot about the limitations I deal with in this workshop, but for the amount of time I spend in it, and how far I have come along in dealing with my mild case of arachnophobia, I think it’s more about the Sicilian in me—we just love to bitch, it’s in our blood. I’ve impressed my wife over the past year, so there’s that, too. But seriously, safety is what drives my concerns more than anything else. Allergies and ingesting micro-sized bad boys are no laughing matter. I’ve come to grips with the processes I need to adhere to.

Here is the criteria used in the reworking the dungeon workshop:

1) The use of lumber products already owned takes precedent over buying new, especially in regard to processed sheet goods I’ve had around for way too long and will not transport to our new home once we can get back to looking for one again.

2) Function far more important than design and visual appeal. Cabinets, carts, benches, wall coverings, holders, mounts, etc., etc., are all tools, not the end game. There isn’t a flat, square, plumb area within this entire house, and the dungeon is the worst of it. You will see this in the pictures.

3) Speed. I have to get this project completed like yesterday. As good weather begins to roll in I have some major projects that need the workshop to be ready. Building what works takes precedent over building what promotes longevity in the build. The only shop constructs I will take with me to the new home are the unattached benches and what’s on wheels, and even then I have accepted that if there’s not a place for them in the new place they will be left behind.

4) While the intent is to place tools and equipment of a similar supporting theme together, I’m more concerned with easy access for often used tools and supplies, and being able to remember where I put said stuff. I can’t stress this last point enough—bad memory!

The shape of the workshop isn’t four sided. I tried to follow a path that will lead you around it in such a away that you can figure out it’s dimensions. Consequently, it took quite a few pictures to capture it all. If you fall asleep or lose patience in the tour, you have my leave to take off. No harm. No foul on me.

You are now entering the Dungeon Workshop. Tall people must duck their heads. If your head breaks the overhead light bulb or fixture, you will be asked to pay for it.

Top Left: I have a 250 cfm vent fan replacement for the window. Helps in the months I can open a window on the opposite end of the shop.

Turning 180 degree to the right: Wall space is at a premium because of the field stone. A saw till would be preferable, if I had a place to put it. The work desk is cramped, but suffices for now. Underneath is my main compressor. You can’t see it behind the hose reel.

Behind that corner wall space is an old oil tank. I made sure to allow air space to it and if really, really, REALLY necessary, a means to get to the blocked off window.

A spin back to the entrance way: My main clamp rack. I need more clamps!!!

To the right of the clamps: My main router table and dust collector for the North end of the workshop.

To the right of the router table area: our chest freezer. Funny story here. Before the COVID-19 outbreak, during the beginning of the clean-out and decision making on what to move and what to leave behind, we came to the conclusion that there was no way to get the chest freezer out of the basement without major deconstruction at the entrance of the workshop. It’s quite old, so no great loss to leave it behind. But—it does get in the way.

I attached a dolly to the bottom of one of two stackable Craftsman storage bins. I can roll this around and out of the way quite easily. In the open area above it I will attempt to suspend from the floor joists a recently purchased Jet Air-Filtration System. I have to be careful, though. It moves up to 1,000 cfm, and there is the fryable asbestos to the left. A baffle may help. We’ll see.

By the way, this is the North most end of the old coal bin, a space filled with rebar sticking out of the ground and lots and lost of coal dust mixed in with the dirt. Yippee!

The main lumber rack, recently redesigned and restocked, behind the drill press table. I have to find a place for the wood on the floor. (sigh)

Drill Press Table and and a view of how long some of the racks are. You can see I used drawers from an old bureau I recently deconstructed. Waste not, want not.

The view most often presented, looking South. The table saw stand was made a few months ago. A good choice in design and storage capacity, I’ve come to see. Regarding the DeWalt saw: the only time I miss its predecessor, the Hitachi C10FL is when I am cutting up large sheet goods. Otherwise, I’m pretty happy it and its much smaller footprint.

A closer look at the East side bench area.

More of the East wall, progressing South.

Southeast corner of the workshop. Yes, the cabinets are slanting back a bit. I used the wall framing that was there for many years. I would have had to do major renovation to work the wall over. It’s a secure wall and cabinet mount. Moving on…

South wall bench area. Since taking this picture I have moved the small plastic drawer unit out and replaced it with new hand planes bought over the winter and not tuned up yet.

Around the corner of the South bench area is a small cubby area. You can see I found a home for the Hyper Tough parts containers. Underneath is a roll around flip-top cart that houses my DeWalt thickness planer. You are also looking at the South end dust collector unit.

You can see how damp the wall gets. Some old construction hanging from the wall, probably a good 70 or more years old. A sink used to be there, tapped into the sewer pipe long ago. I’m probably going to built a shelf or cabinet to sit atop of the metal shelf unit some time soon. On the floor: bamboo rods I inherited from Dad. I’m thinking to mount hooks in the joists above and rack them up above. We’ll see.

The Harbor Freight midi-lathe with Excelsior extension attached. Above, a recently made wall rack for the cutting tools. The Kobalt wood chisels are squatters. They will be evicted soon.

I found a good use for these clear plastic folder units that hadn’t been used in years. The only addition, for safety sake, was to mount a small metal “L” bracket beneath each to guard against brushing fingers against the carbide teeth sticking out of the front most shelf. Also, South most end of the old coal bin. In good weather I open up the screened window, a must when using the vent fan.

The next group of pictures are in the North room, still the wild, wild west, yet to be fully tamed…

The secondary storage rack for small cut-offs. I’ve recently posted this one. I use the air tank for tire inflation on the vehicles and bikes we own. The sheet metal feet offer a convenient wall mount using hooks on the wall.

Beyond the feet of the Kobalt Miter Saw Stand is a mixture of owned “junk” and what was already here 30 years ago. Once the weather allows for an open door I expect to tackle cleaning the area out. This is dirt floor area. Not sure there will be much value to the workshop once it’s cleared out.

The resident before us was a carpenter, and he wasn’t afraid to mix up what materials were on hand to make the shelf unit before you. Doors, chunks of firewood and tree trunks, iron railroad rails, nailed sticks, and more. All of that has to go.

This is where stuff gets put that doesn’t have a home yet. This is small compared to what the pile looked like a few weeks ago. Patience, Paul. Patience.

Close the door to the North room and you have access to some racked air hose and extension cords.

I have a lot of volatiles that need to be placed into a fire-retardant cabinet.

And this, ladies and gentlemen, concludes the tour. Watch your step as you exit the dungeon. Feel free to add whatever you can afford in the tip box at the exit. And be a good sport—nudge awake those who have fallen asleep on the floor. Thank you for coming! Come again soon!

The End

-- -- Paul: jack of all dreams, a master none.

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