I finally got to woodworking in the shop after a year of on again/off again shop setup. I made the decision about a year ago to give up working on old trucks, and get back to working with wood, which is what got me into construction.
My dad was a carpenter who had a workshop in the basement of our family home in Northern Illinois, and I used to spend alot of time messing around down there, whether working on my train table, which grew from a 4’x8’ table to eventually an additional 2’x16’ of table coming off of it at an L shape, or building small wood projects such as tool boxes and fishing stools, or accessories for my tree house that I build from the scrap piles of houses they built behind our neighborhood.
I also remember the scary parts of the shop. My dad had an old Rockwell table saw, a radial arm saw that i don’t think ever turned on one in my lifetime, a scroll saw, a miter saw, and a grinder driven by an external motor off a belt. My dad told me the radial arm saw was too dangerous to use period, he told me about the dangers of the tablesaw and showed me how to correctly use it, but never let me do it myself (in my older days I was his “outfeed apprentice”). I remember the cord on the grinder giving me a shock or two because the cord had a short in it once (it was home made) I never told my dad because I knew i should have seen the problem with the cord and not used it until it was fixed, as he had taught me and even showed me how to fix a bad cord plug. That shop did educate me early on about the importance of a safe shop.
Because of that, I have spent alot of time planning how I want my shop set up. i have also had to plan for future expansion as time and finances allow. I have a 2 year old going on 3, and another half way done in the oven, so I walk a fine line with my wife on what I do in the shop. I spend last winter reorganizing the shop, moving a whole wall of cabinets I had put up about 6 years prior when I had moved into the house to a new, more logical location. I moved a sink to a location that was more easily accessible, and added overhead storage for the non-essential items, and lots of countertop space for working on non-woodworking stuff like fixing kids toys, and assembling new ones that weren’t built in the shop. Spring pulled me away from the shop and onto the golf course, and summer keeps me out of the shop most of the time becasue of our Texas winters. As soon as the temperature started to break though in September, i was hard at it, and started getting the stars into final alignment to start working on project this winter.
I got my old Craftsman 10” band saw running to cut small stuff (still need to get a larger 14”+ band saw in the future), added a drill press table to my old 8” delta drill press, fired up my new Ridgid table saw that I got for Christmas last year, and hooked my large Ridgid shop vac up for some dust collection. While not the Cadillacs of woodworking tools that I would like to have some day, they have allowed me to start working on some projects to show my wife, and myself, what I am capable of.
I have started some small wood toys for my son, and I am in the planning stages to build a pool cue rack for my brother-in-law as a Christmas present. After the holidays, my attention will turn to cabinet construction, as I need to start remodeling my builder grade shelf system in the pantry/laundry room, bedroom closet for baby boy#2, and our master closet. Once that is done, I hope to start making some outdoor furniture to fill out our massive concrete patio that we end up filling up with Bogarted iron furniture from my in-laws when we have a party.
I am picking up some lumber today for the pool rack, and will let it sit in the shop a couple weeks before I start milling it up. In the meantime, I am building a table saw extension for my router. This is my first “official” project I will have completed in the new shop setup. I’ll blog about it as I put it together.
Thanks for checking out my page. I hope you’ll follow along as I try to keep you updated on my progress!
-- -Brian, a.k.a. "ConstructionBoss" - http://www.constructionboss.com