Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Shop Tour

Shop tours are always fun.  I know I like to watch videos of my favorite YouTube woodworkers shop.  It isn’t about the brand of tools they own, size of their shop, or how many clamps they have…you can never have enough…but more so about how they have their shop laid out.  

My shop is in the basement of my house.  I have to admit, I really enjoy being able to walk down stairs and be in the shop.  It doesn’t matter if it is raining, hot, or cold since I am always indoors!  The basement of my our is unfinished.  I use a little over half of it and it measures 25 feet wide and about 30 feet long.  Unless the ducting is above me, I have a little over 8 feet of head space!  This comes in really handy when I have to deal with a large sheet of plywood or a long piece of solid wood. 

Coming down the stairs, you can first see the majority of the shop.  It is always changing in layout.  Just last week, I moved my band saw to the spot it is pictured in, after spending a year or so where the miter saw is now.   On the right side, I will say I am pretty happy about the layout of tools and the bench.  The bench is screwed to the wall, so unless I really want to move it, I will be happy where it is!  You also see my purple Excalibur 21” saw.  This and the table saw are the main tools I use every day in the shop!  (Besides the sanders, of course!)  Pass the scroll saw you will see a set of cabinets.  These are a relatively new addition to the shop.  My wife and I remodeled our whole house, and these were in the kitchen and got re purposed to the basement and I am happy to have them!  They provided much needed storage and additional work top space.  

On the left side of the picture you see my miter saw (mostly see it!), router table, another work bench, and my band saw.  The very far left you can see part of my wood storage.  That rack holds mostly my exotic woods.  The very top rack also holds some 2x4 material that I keep just in case I need to build something small!
My lathe is also on that side.  I keep my roll around workbench and another cart on that side as well.  These are used regularly, but I really don’t have a “home” for them.

Back to the view walking down the stairs, here is a better picture of my miter saw and also my jointer.  I am hopeful that within the next year I can upgrade my jointer to a better one that’ll actually work correctly!  You can also see my table saw and outfeed table in the back ground, along with more wood storage.  The middle rack is pretty much only walnut.  The first rack is a mix.  The top shelf is maple, next is cherry, and the last two are some vintage wood.  I also have scrap bins under the racks that I keep cut offs in that I could possibly use for some “art” pieces.  

The next picture is more wood!  I also have my planer on a mobile base that I keep on this side.(SIDE NOTE: I now have a new 20" Grizzly Spiral head planner!)  That is another tool I would love to upgrade to a bigger, stronger version!  This wood storage rack is a recent addition to the shop.  I needed more storage, and I have also always wanted to build a wall to contain “my side” of the basement from the rest of the storage side.  This is a good way to do it!  I just made my wall without any covering and attached my racks directly to that.  It works great and I even added one rack to the back side.  (That one only holds wood I hardly use.)  My dust collector is also on the back side of this wall.  Eventually I want to get some 4” pipe and run along the wall under the wood racks to have more access points to hook up more tools to the collector.  

The shop hardly stays clean, even though I try.  I added a 30 gallon trash can, just to handle the amount of cut off pieces I toss,  it helped, but fills up quickly!  A few months back I “purged” my wood collection.  I would hate to show some pictures of all the wood I tossed outside.  I just ran out of room for it all, and with all the wood that I have available it didn’t make sense to keep all the smaller pieces anymore.  Although I did keep any piece of exotic wood I had, and some others, just because I could not bring myself to throw them out!  

In March 2015, I purchased the SawStop 3 hp professional table saw.  I had been using a Delta Contractors table saw for years,  it was good saw, but I needed something with a bit more power.  I am happy with  my purchase, and hopefully will never have to test the saws “finger saving technology”!  I’m also looking to upgrade my Excalbur 21” to their 30” scroll saw.  It seems like I am always cutting larger things now a days, and it would be nice to have the extra capacity of the 30”!  

I hope you have enjoyed this tour of my shop.  It’s always changing, and I’m not sure if I will ever be “happy” with the layout.  I hope to one day have a stand alone shop with some more space.  While I feel like I have a good amount in the basement, when working on a larger project, it gets tight!  Some future additions to this shop would be some insulation to help sound proof things.  I work mostly at night and that means I have to stay mostly quite since most of my tools are under the bedrooms of the house.  It will be an easy fix, and it’ll also help keep the floors warmer and cooler upstairs.  I also plan on putting some thin plywood over the garage door.  I think these things will have to wait until next year, since it is getting to be the holiday time and that means I will be working on inventory for the shows I plan on attending this year.

Some other tools that I have one the bench are my Sandflee, drill press, belt/disc sander, 12” disc sander and many other hand tools!

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