Shop Tour 2015

I've always been a big fan of shop tours.  They give different perspectives on organization, tool selection, and even approaches to woodworking.  Video shop tours are my favorites.  Most video shop tours are from folks that are doing some sort of video podcast.

I don't intend to start a podcast, video or otherwise, but still wanted to have a quick shop tour.  I don't do any talking as I don't have any decent audio recording equipment that I could move to my shop.  My video camera was a Canon point and shoot that I've always been happy with video for family stuff.

My 3 main areas of my shop are my Roubo bench, my joinery bench with a Moxon vise, and my sharpening station.  My shop is only 12' x 16' and due to the small size I've had to work over the years to optimize my work flow.  With the recent addition of tool and lumber storage, I'm close to as good as it can be without adding more space.

Tour of my mostly hand tool based woodworking shop in 2015

I'd be glad to field any comments or questions so feel free to add them to the post below.

Post Drill - Installed

I showed the post drill in my last post right after I got it home.  The next steps were to clean, paint, tune up, install.

Cleaning was lots of paper towels with a degreaser (Simple Green in my case) and then wire brushing followed by more wire brushing.  I took apart what I could to make cleaning easier.  Next was to put a little rust protection paint on the surfaces that could be painted (obviously the moving surfaces couldn't).

Before I could install it, I had to make a post in my shop.  I installed a 4x4 post just under my lumber storage loft (later to learn that it transfer's noise into our office and family room like you wouldn't believe).  Once I had the post up, I got a little help from my wife and mounted it to the post.

Post Drill - installed and ready

Post Drill - installed and ready

I'm still putting lubricant in the moving areas and seeing if there is anything to tune up.  One thing I'm playing with is the crank adjustment.  I have it all the way out for the most throw but I'll probably want that in except with big bits.  The advance movement is very slow and I don't think it's adjustable.  I'll know more as I try and use it.

Post Drill

My shop, while dedicated, is still pretty small at 16' x 12'.  Getting close to 10 years ago, I made the conscious decision to move more, though not exclusively, to a hand tool approach and sold off most of my large power tools.  My 2 main reasons are (1) space as I described above and (2) I'm not in a hurry so the journey of making projects is what I'm really enjoying.

The 2 big power tools that I still have are my bandsaw and my thickness planer.  I keep these 2 for specific reasons.  Ripping long boards is the least interesting sawing I have to do.  Also, initially thickening boards is the least interesting hand planing I have to do.

One tool I miss is my drill press.  Unlike the other 2 power tools, it's not because drilling is tedious but rather because I can't seem to drill a square/plumb hole.  I can set all sorts of squares around a brace and bit (or even a power drill) and depending on the thickness of the board I'm drilling through make a very angled hole.  It's quite frustrating.

So about a month ago, my friend Mike Lingenfelter said that his brother was heading to a more remote part of our state for a tool auction and said they were specifically looking for post drills.  They offered to keep an eye out for one for me and this past weekend, I checked it out and it was everything I'd hoped.

Post Drill

Post Drill

There is a bunch of rust though most of it seems to be on the surface but the gears all work, including the auto advance feature.  I need to clean it up and see what parts should be painted since rust will still be an issue over time.

Space is still an issue in my shop so I'm going to think about a mounting location and will undoubtedly need to be very creative about where and how I mount it.  

I also hope to retrofit the chuck with a modern chuck so that I can use my more modern bits.

I'm looking forward to getting the Post Drill operational though.

Post Drill, a different view

Post Drill, a different view

New, Improved Lumber Storage

Before I start, I want everyone to know how grateful I am to have 2 strapping teenage sons.  Now, I'm grateful for so many reasons that have nothing to do with this blog but...if they weren't around, I wouldn't have been able to install the storage.  Even with their grumbling and words of "It's not going to fit, Dad!" I am still thrilled they were there to help.

I have a "loft" over part of my shop.  It is 2x6 construction with 12" centers so you could hold a dance on it if there was enough head room.  Without the head room, I just use it for storage.  It has been a disorganized, piece meal storage location so I wanted to improve it.

My goal was to create multiple shelves and cubbies in the shelves so I could keep like wood with like wood.  I am far from an expert but for the few species I work with, I'm beginning to be able to tell what is what.  I thought I might be able to install 3 shelves on the loft but it turned out only 2 was practical.

Given the 4 foot depth, I cannot really store extra long lumber there but it will get most of the usable pieces off the ground which is at a premium in such a small shop.

Lumber Storage in my shop

Lumber Storage in my shop

The amount of space I saved on the ground helped a bunch in giving me some elbow room.  It will be a little more inconvenient to have to get on a ladder to get my lumber but I think I can work with that.

Additional Shop Projects

I have paint, stain, and other finishing and cleaning supplies on an open shelf for the whole time my shop has been in existence.  I've always wanted to put these supplies in an enclosed metal cabinet.  So I made a quick trip to a big box store and got one that should server.

Paint, Stain, Finishing supply storage

Paint, Stain, Finishing supply storage

Next I have to improve my wood storage.  Right now it's on the floor and on shelves and on my mini loft.

First I have to remove a door accessing the attic next to my shop.  Quite a while back, I installed external security cameras (ever have too many hobbies?) and in so doing, I cut open the drywall in my shop and installed "temporary" doors in case I needed access again.

1 of 3 Doors to the attic.

1 of 3 Doors to the attic.

It's not pretty but unfortunately, I created 3 doors.  When I installed a heater in my shop (see past summer posts), I patched up one of the three doors.  Now that I am addressing lumber storage I need to close up the second of the three doors.  The last of the three will remain in case I need access in the future.

Drywall Patch to close up door in prep of lumber storage

Drywall Patch to close up door in prep of lumber storage

First thing, it's good this is my shop because my drywall patches kind of suck.  If I ever need to do this inside of my house, I'd better practice a bit more.

In the picture above, you can see that I have a loft on one end of my shop.  I've used that for some wood storage but I need to make it more efficient so that I can store nearly all of my wood there.  Now that the wall is patched, I will create stacked shelves or cubbies for the wood allowing me to keep it organized and mostly out of the way.  I'll post a final picture when I have it all done

Last Cabinet is done - Saw Till

I finished the door for the saw till.  Most saw tills don't have doors but I live in the Pacific Northwest so humidity and moisture is all around so I wanted an enclosed space to keep my saws so that I could keep a silica based de-humidifier in it and attempt to control moisture and rust.

Saw Till - with door installed (closed)

Saw Till - with door installed (closed)

I'm a western saw user for the most part but I do have a few pull saws and so I am using the inside of the door to store those saws.

Saw Till - with pull saws on inside of door.

Saw Till - with pull saws on inside of door.

I am hoping over time to explore saw sharpening too so I'm glad that I have a larger panel saw collection than I really need.  I do think I want get 2 additional Bad Axe saws.  I'd like a crosscut that is a bit longer than the Lie-Nielsen crosscut and maybe after that a rip saw with a slightly shallower plate than the Lie-Nielsen rip saw.  All of this waits for additional funds to be saved up.

Saw Till Cabinet

Now that the Plane till is done, it's time for one more shop cabinet.  I am building a Saw Till such that I can have a door on it and still fit all my saws inside.  The reason for the door is to have a little control over humidity via some silica based de-humidifiers (via Amazon).  Living in the Pacific Northwest  means we have lots of moisture which of course means rust for all metal surfaces.

The saw till is a basic cabinet box with dovetailed corners.  The dovetails allow the cabinet to have some strength just for the hanging (tails on the side panels and pins on the top/bottom).  I placed a center divider at the bottom of the cabinet allowing the positioning of 2 dowels to hold the saws up on their handles.

Saw Till (loaded) with no doors yet

Saw Till (loaded) with no doors yet

I still have to make a door.  On the inside of the door, I will hang a few pull saws I use occasionally.

My Plane Till next to my new Saw Till

My Plane Till next to my new Saw Till

No more shop builds after this cabinet though I do have one moderate project to coral my minor amount of lumber and keep it organized and out of the way.  After that, it will be time to build something else.

Finished Doors

I finally finished the doors.  They are simple rail and stiles with a floating panel for the front and a dovetailed frame for the the sides to give it some thickenss.

Both doors hung

Both doors hung

Inside, I plan to hang some additional tools.  One the left side I expect my files, rasps, and knives.  On the right, I will put spokeshaves and drawknives along with a similar shaped cabinet scraper.

Beginning to hang tools inside the doors

Beginning to hang tools inside the doors

The spokeshaves and cabinet scraper required some magnets to hold them in place during door opening/closing.

I still may create drawers but at this point, I'm going to live with the cabinet the way it is to see if that is the way I want it.

I have at least one more shop project before I turn my attention to something else (I'm thinking about a jewelry box for my wife).  The shop project I want to work on is a new Saw Till Cabinet.

More Door Work

I've been playing at woodworking for about 20 years.  I remember moving up to the Pacific Northwest followed shortly by a friend buying a table saw.  I followed his example and my journey begins.  In reality, the first 10 or so years was more me collecting tools than really working wood.  I'd say my real woodworking journey began about 5 years ago with the major milestone was me getting rid of the table saw I bought about 20 years ago.

During the last 5 years, I have found that I am truly making progress in various parts of my woodworking.  For instance, while my dovetails are far from perfect, I am able to get a pretty tight and clean fit right from my dovetail saw - minimal chisel work.

Today, I worked on tenon's and mortises.  My first tenon was nearly perfect.  It was snug enough to give me a friction hold yet not too tight (I didn't need a mallet).

Tenon with haunch

Tenon with haunch

My process is to mark the width of the tenon along with the depth.  I used my Veritas markers (wheel style).  I reenforce the mark with a pencil.  I clamp the piece down in my joinery bench.  I saw just outside of the line (not quite ready for a fit directly from the saw) so that I have some latitude to fine tune the fit.  Fine tuning involves my rabbit block plane and a chisel.  It went picture perfect and I really didn't have any road bumps.  Check out the snug fit:

Nice tenon, right?

Nice tenon, right?

Unfortunately, the second side was about the worst disaster you can imagine short of me injuring myself.  Apparently I lost all sense of touch because I must have held the saw crooked.  I made the tenon so thin, it cracked before I even looked at it.  I had to start over and create a new piece.

This time both sides went pretty well.  I still have some clean up but I'll hopefully post a picture next time showing the entire door front in good shape and clamped.

Doors, a beginning

Over the past week or so, I've been slowly making progress on the doors for my Plain Till Cabinets.  See a previous post where I show them hanging up and fully stocked.

My goal with the doors is to add some thickness so that I can hang some additional tools on the interior of the door and allow the doors to shut even with the plane handles sticking slightly beyond the front edge of the cabinet.  Some of the tools I'd like to hang in the doors include spokeshaves and drawknives.

I've cut the sides of the doors giving thickness of about 3".  I joined them together using dovetails much like the cabinet carcass.

Doors - creating thickness using dovetails

Doors - creating thickness using dovetails

I will use piano hinges to join these doors to the cabinets.

I glued up a few boards to make center panels for the fronts of the doors.  The doors will be rail and stile door frames with a floating panel.

Floating panel for front of doors

Floating panel for front of doors

I've created the tongue on the panels on 2 sides until I finish sizing the panel and will create the tongues on the other 2 sides.

Next I created the rail and stiles and created a groove to receive the tongue from the panel.

Rail with groove

Rail with groove

My next step will be to cut the rail and stile to final length and size the panel and then glue them up.

Ready for cutting to final lengths

Ready for cutting to final lengths

Once the door fronts are glued up, I will create rabbets on the outer edge to fit them into the side frames I make and then the doors will be done and it will be time to attach to the cabinets with the piano hinges.