Birth Of A Workshop

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Blog entry by stefang posted 06-24-2012 08:37 PM 2517 reads 1 time favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My wife and I are currently visiting my son Mark and our DIL Sofie. This is our first visit to them in Sweden and the house they bought here just 8 months ago. The house was built in 1953, but is quite a good quality and it has been nicely modernized, but the cellar could use some TLC in some of the rooms. One of these has become a woodworking shop.

At the beginning of the year I got my son a mini-lathe, a grinder and a set of turning tools. In addition, I brought my old, but good Delta bandsaw, Delta scroll saw and a few power hand tools with in the car with the aim of setting up a workshop for Mark. This all started when he asked me to pick up a chip carving knife for him and I went a little nuts and got all the other stuff too.

My hopes were that I could set up the shop, get Mark started with woodturning, and introduce him to the other tools I had with us. Unfortunately my son has some serious health problems due to a bad back surgery and a lot of pain in his joints that he found out last Thursday is the same type of arthritis that I have. this resulted in him not being in very good shape to get started in the shop, but after getting anti-inflammatory medication he was finally ready to do some turning, but this is our last day here, so he didn’t get to finish up, but he did enjoy it.

Here are some photos of the ‘new shop’

This is a table we picked up at the local second hand store, to be use for assembly, scroll sawing and drilling among other tasks.

We also got a workmate bench and the miter saw is one I brought with from home.

This shot shows a french cleat and a small tool board that I made hanging on it. I just made this to show my son how to make them. He will be hanging a few more and an assortment of tool boards to hang on them. You can also see the clamp rack we put on the far wall.

The red cart is an old anesthesia table that Sofies stepdad picked up at the hospital where he works. It should make a good tool chest, but it needs some padding in the metal drawers and cupboards.

My son and I finally got some time to do some turning today! The anti inflammatories were working and so we went to work. This is his very first turning. We had only some construction fir, a 4mm square length that we cut four pieces off and glued them together with paper glue joints so we could do an inside out turning. I thought it would be a good beginner project.

Here is Mark starting on the first stage

Eventually the turning on the outside was finished and the four pieces reversed to the inside and reglued so the new outside could be turned.

This is as far as we got. Mark will have to finish it up after we leave tomorrow. The workpiece is a little too long, so maybe not too easy to get a lot of curve into it, but a lot was learned using several different turning tool.

One important feature of the shop is that it is warm all winter, and fairly well lighted. On the negative side, it has plastered walls that make it a little difficult hang stuff, but not to bad. The place needs a good paint job on the walls and the floor and some good shelves to store materials on. That will all come in the foreseeable future.

I am thrilled that we got the shop setup. Unfortunately I didn’t get the opportunity to show Mark how to use the other tools, but I did bring along some books like the Bandsaw Book and the Scrollsaw Book and I ordered a good beginner book on turning.

We had a wonderful visit her in the North of Sweden near Lycksele. We really enjoyed meeting Sofie’s family and taking some side trips around the area and in town.

We leave for Norway tomorrow morning and we should be home Tuesday evening, so we will be out of touch for a couple of days.

Thanks for reading.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

19 comments so far

View MShort's profile


1797 posts in 3897 days

#1 posted 06-24-2012 08:46 PM

Mike that is GREAT. I look for the day that my son takes and interest and I can do the same. Sounds like you had as much fun as your son did. You will have to get him to join LJ and show off his projects.
Take care and safe travels.

-- Mike, Missouri --- “A positive life can not happen with a negative mind.” ---

View degoose's profile


7255 posts in 3833 days

#2 posted 06-24-2012 08:48 PM

Looks like a great workshop… glad you had a good visit…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3335 days

#3 posted 06-24-2012 09:45 PM


Smiles :)


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18657 posts in 4154 days

#4 posted 06-24-2012 09:52 PM

Looks like a good start Mike. Too bad about the arthritis. Just be thankful it is one of the dread diseases like cancer.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View stefang's profile


16715 posts in 3812 days

#5 posted 06-24-2012 10:16 PM

Thanks Mike, Larry, Jamie and Bob. It’s a little sad the the visit is coming to an end, now it’s garden work and house maintenance for the rest of the summer. I hope you are all enjoying your summer.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3782 days

#6 posted 06-24-2012 10:22 PM

glad you had a good trip and visit with your son, have a good trip home …

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

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18657 posts in 4154 days

#7 posted 06-24-2012 10:25 PM

What summer? I planted some tomatoes ;-) That caused the beautiful spring to turn wet and cold! ;-( Such is life in Water World; aka, Western WA. After I get through with grand-kids and my contracts this next month, I’ll try to get my warehouse converted to a shop :-))

Too bad those visits have to end. Hope you get some shop time in this summer Mike.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View a1Jim's profile


117711 posts in 4055 days

#8 posted 06-24-2012 10:26 PM

I’m glad your son has a chance to enjoy his lathe.

View Dave's profile


11432 posts in 3318 days

#9 posted 06-24-2012 11:06 PM

Mike that is quality time you have had with your son. Neither of you will ever forget. I can just see people asking him where he got all the neat tools. ” My Dad why of course.”
I am glad to see he has some interest. Pass the art and your knowledge down the line.
This is a wonderful story Mike.

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

View sras's profile


5155 posts in 3607 days

#10 posted 06-25-2012 12:09 AM

Nothing better than quality time in the shop! I hope you have many more times like this in the future. We will be looking forward to your son’s project posts!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View SuburbanDon's profile


487 posts in 3472 days

#11 posted 06-25-2012 12:29 AM

Thanks for sharing this. I like to see how things are in other countries.

-- --- Measure twice, mis-cut, start over, repeat ---

View jjw5858's profile


1135 posts in 3080 days

#12 posted 06-25-2012 12:39 AM

Fantastic post, what a great looking shop you have begun. All the very best to your son as he learns more and enjoys it with his Dad. Nothing is better than that, all my best wishes to you!

Good grain ahead,


-- "Always continue to learn, laugh and share!" JJW

View Roger's profile


21010 posts in 3282 days

#13 posted 06-25-2012 02:10 AM

I remember you talking about this trip a while back. Looks like you all are havin a really gr8 time. Very special moments with your offspring/s. That project on the lathe looks very interesting. Nicely done. I woulda never thunk it, but, right there it is. Super, and thnx for posting. Have many gr8 moments while there. Travel safe.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View stefang's profile


16715 posts in 3812 days

#14 posted 06-25-2012 06:40 AM

Thanks for all the well wishes guys. It’s 8:30AM, We just got up and we are getting our stuff packed up. Leaving is a little sad, but at least we can see the kids regularly on Skype. We will be driving about 530 miles today and tomorrow. It doesn’t sound like a long trip, but these are mostly two lane highways and not the smoothest roads you’ve ever seen. It will take us about 9 to 10 hours to reach our hotel in Trysil, Norway, and about 11 hours from there to home. Good weather forecast until we hit the border.

I like trees, but it will be good to see the horizon again when we leave these huge forests here in Sweden behind. I hope I can get more photos on the way back than I got on the way over.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Schwieb's profile


1891 posts in 3940 days

#15 posted 06-25-2012 10:05 AM

Really nice of you to get your son started out in woodworking with some good stuff. I’m sure it will bring you together many times in the future.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

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