Ted Ewen's Workshop

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Workshop by Ted Ewen posted 06-25-2015 03:03 PM 1163 reads 1 time favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch

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Ted Ewen

187 posts in 1208 days

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Much Needed Improvements
Lights, Power Points and a Dedicated Circuit.
One thing about living in Scandinavia: Winter days are short and dark. The previous owners were, apparently, bats because there is very little lighting anywhere in the house. While the new shop space has great windows, they do not do a lot to illuminate the shop if there is no sunlight. Even when there is, it’s not exactly the best lighting for doing detailed work and measurement.

I was using a light intended for video recording to help a little…

The electrics in the house were installed in 1964 and not updated since. We had an old school ceramic fused fuse box, and just starting the chop saw was enough to blow a fuse. We couldn’t run the washer and dryer at the same time. There were only 2 ungrounded outlets in the whole room, so I was constantly plugging and unplugging tools, not to mention treading on and tripping over extension cords. 1960’s farm wiring wasn’t up to the task.

Back in January, we replaced the fuse box with a modern breaker system. It was a huge improvement. We could now run more than one electrical appliance at a time and I could use the chop saw at the same time. We’ve not blown a circuit since.

Last week, we got the electrician back in and had him install 3 dual-ballast armatures, 5 two-socket power points, and a dedicated circuit for them. The shop is now, by far, the brightest room in the house, and I am now able to have a clear(ish) floor. Tools now have their own power points, so no more extension leads. Yay.

It’s also allowed me to finally get the bandsaw I got back in November setup and running.
Of course, everything comes at a cost. Money for materials? Maybe next quarter.

Second Reorganization
It turned out the room I’d chosen as the shop was far too small for the purpose, so we spent the holidays moving the house around to allow me to take over the living room as my shop. This has had a number of unanticipated bonuses. The new, smaller living room is actually much cozier and more comfprtabæle than the large room had been. The same goes for the new bedroom, even if I did have to cut the baseboards so the bed would fit in.

Here is how the house and shop are organised now. The rooms shown with wood floors are my shop area. The main room is 23’ x 13’. It has a woodstove and a lovely view through the picture window. The smaller room is 12.5’ x 10.5’ and will be used for assembly, finishing, and hardware storage. The bottom left room (in white) is destined to become part of the shop as well, if only as an office.

And a couple of pics in its current chaotic state. Organization is next on the list.

Step by step :D


New Tool Additions
Well, I’ve been spending again. I’ve added a bunch of accessories and stuff that I’d overlooked like router bits, an adaptor to use the router on my guides, and a shedload of clamps. I bought in a large load of hardware, screws, nails and some marking tools. Got a 12.7mm collet to replace the 12mm collet that came with the router so I can use ½” shank cutters I bought. I got a few rolls of sandpaper and some blocks. I also gave in and bought a table saw and a jigsaw.

The tablesaw is the Bosch GTC 10 XC with stand.

I really wish I’d gotten the worksite rolling/folding stand. I was trying to save money, and so got a stand that isn’t quite what I need. Space, it turns out, is at a higher premium than the money I saved.

The jigsaw is the Bosch GST 150 BCE

I’d meant to get the barrel body but mistakenly ordered the D-handle. That’s ok though. I’ll survive.

I’m still waiting on some EZ-Vis steel rules (in 3 lengths) and some Rockler bench cookies.


My First Shop
48 Hours ago, this was our bedroom. She Who Must Be Obeyed not only allowed me to disrupt the house to this extent, she was enthusiastic and did much of the room clearance!

It seems inevitable that I will expand into and take over the main living room. It’s behind me in the picture above, and is about 3x as long as the room pictured here. High ceiling, large windows, and lots of natural light. A couple of years ago we made the long wall into a whiteboard using IdeaPaint, so it’s already part converted, in a way. Once again, SWMBO is not only accepting of but is enthusiastic about the idea. I am a very lucky man.

Now, I need a temporary work table. Sawhorses and some ply will do for the moment I think….


2015.06.26 If you’ve read my profile, you’ll know I don’t have a workshop yet. What I have is a small collection of tools. I am going to use them to bootstrap my way into a workshop.

I’ve become quite a fan of Bosch products through their garden machinery, so they are my first stop when investigating power tools for woodworking.

What am I starting with?
As of 2015.06.25:
  • A solid core of fundamental general purpose hand tools. Hammers, measuring, screwdrivers, that sort of thing.
  • I just got a set of basic wood chisels, countersinking bits, and 4 quick release clamps as well. One of the clamps is already borked.
  • Bosch GSR1800 LI power driver / drill with an extra battery.
  • Bosch 850-2 RE impact drill
  • Bosch PKS 66A circular saw.
  • Bosch PSM 160A multi-sander

That’s it!

My First Purchase
Once again, I am looking at Bosch. This time in the form of a 12” gliding double-bevel mitre saw:

It feels like I am over buying here, but I am a firm believer in buying the best you can afford. Given that I am limited on space I want one machine capable of handling a wide variety of stock sizes. It helps that the 12” version is only a little more expensive than the 10” model. I’m really impressed with the double arm mechanism and the reduced footprint they allow. Being able to butt the back of the machine to a wall is great, if not immediately useful.

Since I have no supporting structures to use it in or on, I am also going to purchase a

I like the width of stock it can handle when fully extended. I may never need that capacity, but I’ll not mind having it in reserve.

So, that’s as far as I’ve gotten and as far as the dollars with stretch right now. The next major expense will be materials so I can start on my projects.

-- Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything. The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass.

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