First of all, I really have no concept of what a “blog” really is. I have never made one and really know nothing about them. But, I posted the following under “my workshop” and it just seemed too much for what I feel that should be and since my shop is a project in progress and changing, just maybe that is what thishere “blog” is for and that it might better fit here, whatever “here” is.
If I am wrong or out of line in doing this here, please let me know. This is a whole new experience for me.
Now, in the spirit of things, as I understand(?!) them, I will add to this periodically as progress is made. Now, I called this my “woodworking” shop. That is it’s primary focus. But, this is a little farm, our place in the country, and I am an ex-machinist so metal working will sometimes intrude. That’s why there’s a welder in this picture. In time, the welder will be situated close to the main front bay door of the barn where it will be most used.
So, here goes…
I intend to have a twofold shop. We have a 40’x70’ metal barn with concrete floor. One corner was previously closed in as a shop. I am going to gut and clean that for use for small project work like carving, small article painting (non-spraying) and things like that that don’t generate much dust. My ‘clean-room’ call it.
The space behind that shop I mean for heavy work machinery such as power saws, sanders, lathe, and the like. I have installed a dust collector running 3” PVC* around the walls with periodic drops to attach machines to with flex hose. I also have about 3 large heavy duty old time drafting tables I inherited with the place (previous owner was a pre-computer age draftsman/architect) These seem to make great stable work tables. I also have a table we built. It’s plenty solid. I tend to take the German view of engineering. If a 1×4 is good enough to serve, use a 2×6.
- In reading dust collection topics I have noticed that the common size pvc is 4.” I wondered about that when buying my pipe but that seemed overlarge and I was concerned about losing suction. We’ll see if this will work out. You can see by the picture below that my runs are linear and not over long. Except in the very corners, I did not use any 90s to aid in chip flow. Let me know if you all think that will cause me trouble.
The small pvc line is a compressed air line.
Now, I am not rich, far from it being on a fixed income. A look at my image will reveal a number of HF boxes.
Now, wait a minute!
Don’t start trashing my HF stuff. I have selected with care! I have done a lot of research before buying. What I have found is that in many cases, the brand name machines are the very same machine as the machine from HF maybe differing only in minor details and maybe colors. For example, my 14” HF band saw only differs in stand and switch location from a Grizzly saw for twice the money. I have seen other like machines sold for 3, even 4 times the money as an identical HF machine. I once saw a Jet brand machine listed for $700+ dollars that was identical to a HF machine I paid less than $200 for on sale. Another trick about HF/Cheap Chinese machines is first of all, to buy it cheap and only on sale then, upgrade it to suit. This can bring about a solid machine for less than a comparable brand name item so equipped.
My bandsaw is a case in point. I believe I gave about $200 for it (w/extended warranty). Then I added “cool blocks” and a Grizzly riser kit (same machine, remember?) Modified the tension knob to a crank handle and moved the switch into the same location as the Grizz- the holes were already there- drilled & tapped. Finally, I added a fence. Based on my research, a similarly set up machine would have cost me hundreds more to buy than what I have now and not necessarily been any better. And of course, I bought some good blades but from what I read, pretty much everybody’s blades provided with their machines are miserable.
My in-progress shop… (I know, It ain’t purty. And it ain’t going to be. But, it will work for me.)
To the front left I intend to build a long saw table with a miter saw built in. In the far corner I am putting my lathe. It is a standard “mini-lathe” of 10” swing and 18” workpiece length. I am adding a 40” bed extension to that. It is sitting on an old dresser with a piece of plywood on top to extend it’s length. The drawers come in handy. I have another dresser I intend to fit in someplace as well.
To the right of the D/C is my sanders row. I believe in sanders in the role of wood shaping. I have an oscillating drum sander and a 1”x30” belt sander. also a 4”x36” inch belt/disc sander that I have had for years. It is getting tired but keeps on going round. Those are all HF. But, I left HF for a “serious” sander. I wanted something that will really move wood if I want it so. I did a lot of research before settling upon a 6”x48” belt/10” disc sander by Rockford. It is 1HP, and has cast iron tables for both belt and disc. The frame is cast iron. Only plastic is on handle knobs. One feature I appreciate of it is that the disc sets below the level of the belt when laid horizontal. Many, if not most, belt/disc combination sanders have the disc sitting above the horizontal belt level. That really limits how it can be used as I have found on my 4”x36” sander. One thing I don’t like about the Rockford is that it has a “cabinet base. The only thing is, there’s no “cabinet” to it. The entire thing is open and there are no shelves. The door’s only purpose, even though cut with louvers, is to allow access for bolting down the machine. Obviously, I am putting a shelve or shelves in it. The machine only cost $529 and the company shipped it to my house with no additional charges for shipping!
Coming down the right are machines dumped temporarily. I may leave the bandsaw where you see it but, the table saw is going up to what is the front right in the photo where the table is. I haven’t decided where that table is going to go. This is on the edge of the though lane between barn doors and that location gives me plenty of room to run large stuff like full sheets of plywood as I will. I haven’t figured out my other machines placement beyond that. I have a junky router table (that is HF’s lowest end R-table and I do NOT recommend it.) but I have a wood working magazine with plans for a great router table I may build. I also have a planer to put out. I also have an old bench top drill press and a floor drill press. I think I’ll put the bench drill in the front shop.
The welder goes to the front of the barn as will the grinder I think.
There you have it. If any have suggestions, I’m open to hear them. I know a lot more about Machine shops than I do wood shops.