After a couple months of extreme cold (extreme for Northern Virginia, anyway) and a lot of snow, ice, rain, sleet, etc. I’ve finally been able to make it out to the shop again. I’ll start from the first bit of shop time and work my way forward…
I think it was the first weekend in February when we had temperatures in the 50’s and 60’s. It only lasted for two days but I made sure to take advantage of them. The first day I started off by taking apart a Disston D8 rip saw to clean up. I sanded off a bunch of paint and what remained of the finish which took a lot longer than I expected. Probably because I decided to try a few techniques that didn’t work. After a short while doing all that, I collected the brass nuts and headed inside. That evening, I got out some ketchup and got a bunch of the crud and a lot of the tarnish off of the nuts, then washed them in some soapy water. The next day, I got out to the shop, addressed some areas on the saw handle that I wasn’t satisfied with, then put a coat of danish oil on it. I set that aside to dry and started taking apart my Stanley 358 mitre box. I didn’t get very far into it due to a lot of rust and some seized screws. In spite of covering in in copious amounts of penetrating oil and letting it sit for a short while, I managed to snap a thumb screw. At that point, it was getting late and I was doing more harm than good so I coated it in more oil and called it a day.
The following week (this past weekend), I picked up a sheet of plywood and 2×4’s from Lowe’s. Spent a few hours on Sunday and a couple hours Monday night building a general purpose bench. Behold, a spectacle:
It measures 8’ long by 2’ wide by 30” high. Prior to this guy, my only work surface was a workmate which, while certainly useful and better than nothing, was pretty limiting and sometimes frustrating to use. The new bench, though very utilitarian and not the prettiest thing, is probably the biggest improvement to my shop situation second only to actually getting the shop. I’ve now got a very large surface to work on, a place under the bench top to store some tools, and it’s not going to walk around my shop anywhere near as easy as the workmate. I had a lot of fun building it, I’m excited to be able to use it and even happier it turned out as I planned without running into any “oops, didn’t think of that” sort of problems.
I also underestimated the amount of crap I have that still needs to find a home. Looks like shelves/cabinets are in my future.
And, for fun, here’s a shot of some of my tools:
-- - Billy