Dave's Workshop

  • Advertise with us
Blog series by Dave Rutan updated 02-24-2017 12:55 AM 21 parts 31256 reads 81 comments total

Part 1: Finally a Space of My Own

08-29-2012 10:01 PM by Dave Rutan | 2 comments »

We finally got our basement a bit more organized and painted, thus giving me a space that I can actually call a workshop. The two photos below show the area I’m working in. The oil tank is a feature because I can put drawings or notes on it with magnets. They don’t blow away of get lost as fast. The workbench is one of the first things I knocked together after we bought the house. Someday I’ll probably rework it with better legs and lower it a few inches. ...

Read this entry »

Part 2: The Disappearing Clamp Rack

09-01-2012 11:44 AM by Dave Rutan | 4 comments »

Wall space is a premium in my shop because of the multiple uses of the space. When I started thinking about making clamps I knew I would need a place to store them. I devised a way to put a clamp rack in front of my scrap stick area and hinge it so that it could be pulled up to the ceiling when I didn’t need to access my longer clamps. It’s raised with two pullies with the rope held taught with an old window sash weight. A clip hooks onto a screw eye at the bottom of the rack...

Read this entry »

Part 3: My Power Tools

09-14-2012 02:31 PM by Dave Rutan | 5 comments »

I thought I’d put up photos of my three bench top power tools. First up is my band saw: This band saw was the second tool i bought (around last Christmas.) While I get along with it and I like it, I’ll admit that out of the box it gave me some trouble. The blade kept slowing down, grinding to a stop. I fixed that problem by changing the pulley on which the drive belt ran. It’s a two speed pulley, but one doesn’t work very well. Also, after I broke the bla...

Read this entry »

Part 4: Drills-Keeping Things More at Hand

10-30-2014 09:20 PM by Dave Rutan | 1 comment »

Above: A while ago I built this stand for my drill press. It’s got a deep drawer and two shelves behind double doors. It got really tiring having to open the doors, bend over, and reach in to grab either my electric (corded drill,) or my handy hand drill. So today I put a thought into action. I looked up drill holders and found this really basic design to keep things at hand. Above: A simple chunk of 2×4 with two holes drilled into it and a little cutting and I got thi...

Read this entry »

Part 5: ZCI for My Benchtop Tablesaw

11-03-2014 10:01 PM by Dave Rutan | 4 comments »

Because my table saw has one of those thin metal blade inserts, I’ve been thinking for quite a while how to make a zero clearance insert for my saw. I cut quite a few small or thin items and often, as might be expected, the thin cuttings fall down the slot between the insert and the blade. Only once did this actually result in something a bit startling, but I wanted to remedy the situation in any case. At one time, I tried making a ZCI by dadoeing around a hunk of wood so that ...

Read this entry »

Part 6: Updated Photos of My Workshop

12-02-2014 03:05 PM by Dave Rutan | 2 comments »

I’m not sure if anyone gets notified about edits and additions, but I’ve just updated the photos of my workshop. To see them, just click this little link. It’s not spotlessly clean, but it looks better than it has in months. -Dave

Read this entry »

Part 7: Thinking About Safety - It's Not What You Think!

01-03-2015 08:05 PM by Dave Rutan | 3 comments »

I got two gift cards in my Christmas Loot this year. They were for two different stores, but things worked out. Lately I’ve been thinking as I do things around my shop. When I make sparks while grinding a bolt I wonder if they might somehow start a fire in the sawdust. I’ve wanted a second pair of safety glasses so I won’t have to hunt down the one I set down. My ear plugs are starting to look dirty. So I took the cards and bought some safety gear for the shop. I got ...

Read this entry »

Part 8: My Table Saw Jigs

01-20-2015 08:48 PM by Dave Rutan | 2 comments »

I was recently asked about the jigs I use on my Skil table saw, so I thought I’d add this blog entry about the ones I’ve built and use. [Above and below] First up is my crosscut sled. This is the first jig I built for my table saw. It’s down and dirty with no frills added, no hold down t-tracks or anything. If I need a stop block I just clamp it to the back of the jig. The red strip on either side of the blade is a ‘replaceable’ strip I put in after the f...

Read this entry »

Part 9: My Multipurpose Router Station

01-21-2015 05:57 PM by Dave Rutan | 3 comments »

When I built the router table as an extension of my table saw I had in mind using it as more than a router station. For starters it allows me to make wider rips on my table saw, but it does a few more things and I’m not done yet. [Above and below] Like others of its brethren, my router station can be used with or without the fence. I have a vacuum port set in the fence as well as one for the cabinet depending on which one I think will work best. [Below] The router is mount...

Read this entry »

Part 10: Bandsaw Reset

01-24-2015 02:22 AM by Dave Rutan | 7 comments »

I wanted to finally do a review of my bandsaw, so I asked the gang here what sort of things should I be testing? After receiving the replies I set out to see what my band saw would do. No so fast there! When I know the saw is capable of re-sawing a 2×4, but when I tried raising the blade guard to do just that, it topped out at about 3 1/4. I knew this was not right. After a few minutes I identified the problem. The upper blade guide assembly was too far forward and was hitting t...

Read this entry »

Part 11: Puttering Around with Loose Ends

08-19-2015 08:19 PM by Dave Rutan | 2 comments »

There’s been a few things in my shop that I’ve had in the back of my head to do, things to improve my situation. So these last couple of days I’ve decided to tackle a few. They are not all pictured below. [Below] Somewhere in the past I bought this Porter Cable 8 inch, variable speed grinder. I remember during my research that one complaint about it was that the goose neck light only received power when the grinder was turned on. In other words when the light was on the...

Read this entry »

Part 12: It's a 'Project', but not a Project

09-05-2015 08:47 PM by Dave Rutan | 6 comments »

I’ve been neatening up the shop lately because a bunch of little things have built up and it was just time to adjust some stuff. It’s basically a cleaning up, cleaning out and reorganizing on a small scale. Here’s a few of the things I’ve done: [Below] I keep my narrower plywood scraps above the oil tank. I went through them and weeded out the really narrow ones that I know I’ll never use. The very thin plywood that I usually find as drawer bottoms I keep und...

Read this entry »

Part 13: I'm Getting a Scroll Saw!

01-08-2016 10:51 PM by Dave Rutan | 7 comments »

For some time I’ve thought of trying to use one of my spare jig saws to create a scroll saw. I’ve obviously not been in any great hurry to do this. However, a Do It Yourselfer friend mentioned to me some time ago that he had a scroll saw he wanted to get rid of because he never used it. He mentioned it again recently so I asked him what he’s take for it. He said $20, so I sealed the deal. He didn’t give me the model number, but said it was an older saw and was a Dreme...

Read this entry »

Part 14: T-Wrench Handle

01-25-2016 01:31 AM by Dave Rutan | 7 comments »

“Necessity is the mother of invention” as the old saw goes. When I was researching the scroll saw that I got, I found that the special T-wrench was missing. So I looked it up and found that it is metric and 3.5mm. 3.5mm is not really a standard size as I found. They aren’t included in sets of hex wrenches and to buy a T-wrench of that kind would cost more than I’m willing to spend. Then I just looked online for a normal Allen key that was 3.5mm and found that...

Read this entry »

Part 15: I improved my tapering jig

03-10-2016 07:51 PM by Dave Rutan | 2 comments »

Over a year ago I posted this blog entry [link] about the jigs I’ve made for my table saw. Even then I knew the tapering jig pictured above was in need of augmentation. At the time it was adequate, but every time I used it… This week I decided to just take the time and fix the old tapering jig up so that wouldn’t feel so much on the edge when I use it. The main reason though is that I want to use it more for putting a nice clean edge on boards that are not straight. ...

Read this entry »

Part 16: Small Picture Frame Clamping Jig

03-20-2016 01:11 AM by Dave Rutan | 1 comment »

[Legebla en Esperanto] [Above] Typical example of Mother Necessity. I needed a way to glue up a small live-edge picture frame plus 5 of it’s sisters sometime down the line. The live edge made it impossible to use a strap clamp or even a rubber band. So after thinking about it, I came up with this ‘simple’ clamping jig. It consists of a pair of cross pieces, the height and width of which match the height and width of the intended frame size. The four cut out corners of...

Read this entry »

Part 17: Handy Mini Multi-Miter Sled

07-24-2016 08:55 PM by Dave Rutan | 4 comments »

This is one of those jigs I’ve thought about for a while and finally decided to just do it. It’s down and dirty, focused very much on function and not at all on prettiness. Originally I planned to make a dedicated 90 degree miter gauge since the one for my saw is pretty unreliable. It works, but—well, you know. After I got the 90 degree part finished it occurred to me to try some added functionality. On the board behind the fence I added two fences, one at 45 de...

Read this entry »

Part 18: Storing a set of cheapo stamped wrenches

10-15-2016 10:27 PM by Dave Rutan | 10 comments »

This is just one of those things. Some time ago I began to lament not having grabbed my dad’s set of stamped wrenches. There are times when you just need a thin wrench to get into a space and hold a nut or even turn it a bit. I eventually found a set on the smaller end on eBay to compliment my 3 Handy Andy wrenches from my childhood. Very recently I found this set in our dollar store. That’s how cheap these are. I bought them and brought them home. Now I needed a way to sto...

Read this entry »

Part 19: More File Handles

02-14-2017 08:37 PM by Dave Rutan | 4 comments »

Since I found out how not difficult it is to put a handle on a file, I decided to have a file handle making party today. I put handles on the rest of my needle files that will go in my lutherie kit. They were made from those wooden handles of those disposable foam brushes. The ferrules are cut pieces of small diameter copper pipe. The handles of the larger files are made from various short spindles that I’ve saved over the years. One of the nice things about using the spindle...

Read this entry »

Part 20: No more piles O' files

02-16-2017 01:14 AM by Dave Rutan | 3 comments »

Since I recently went to the trouble to put handles on my collection of chisels, I decided to also make them more accessible. They used to be kept inside the cabinet shown. The smaller ones were in a lazy Susan that I inherited from my dad, while the longer ones just sat in a pile on a shelf. I made these racks out of scrap wood and mounted them on the outside of the door of the cabinet. While I was at it, I took my rack of ‘good’ chisels* and mounted it on the outside on th...

Read this entry »

Part 21: A Brass head hammer just because

02-24-2017 12:55 AM by Dave Rutan | 2 comments »

I don’t know what I might use this hammer for, but I felt like making it. The head is made from a piece of plumbing that I replaced in our bathroom. The face pieces are screw on fitting from my box of ‘future’ clamp parts. The handle is a turned spindle from some piece of furniture. The voids in the head were filled with epoxy wood. I lightly sanded the handle to remove some of the finish and swabbed on some boiled linseed oil. The head was cleaned up with a belt sander ...

Read this entry »

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics