Equipping the Shop #1: Starting Point

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Blog entry by Ocelot posted 03-07-2011 04:51 AM 1779 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Equipping the Shop series Part 2: RAS side table with Incra Rail and Stop »

Hi folks!

From time to time I’ve read posts on the LJ forum, but this is the first time I’ve posted, or rather blogged here.

A bit of background about myself. My father was at one time a high-school shop teacher, but for reasons I can only guess (and I have a pretty good guess), he never taught me woodworking – and did little woodworking during the years I grew up. The only shop/stationary power tools that Dad had were a Craftsman, model 100 RAS, dating back to the mid-50’s and some kind of 12” planer he picked up used along the way but never bought a motor for. Some years ago, thinking I would never use it, I gave the planer away to my old pastor who had helped me pull a stump. When I went with him to his shop to help him unload it, it turned out that the pastor already had a 20” planer and a 42!!” planer. I’m thinking I may be able to get Dad’s old planer back – tho I’m still not sure I’ll want it.

My guess at why Dad never taught me woodworking is that Mom probably feared I’d cut off some useful body part (which is a very reasonable fear for any parent). So far I’ve managed to avoid that.

The 50’s model RAS I still have and use, in fact my most recent project was to build an 8-foot left extension table with a 104” Incra track on it to convert the RAS into a crosscutting station – for both length cuts and dados.

As I’ve written in my profile, I’ve been a beginning woodworker for 12 years and I figure I’ll continue to be a beginning woodworker for another year or two before I become (hopefully), and moderatly skilled intermediate amateur.

So, I’ve current got in the shop

55-year-old Craftsman RAS – with 80-tooth, thin kerf Freud blade.
12-year-old Ridgid TS2424 – with the same Freud blade,
Harbor Freight 6” joiner (still in the box – just bought it a couple of weeks ago)
HF 2HP dust collector (also still in the box)
HF “smallest DP ever” ($50 item)

Porter-Cable circular saw (I cut panels on the floor with a clamp-on guide)
HF plunge router I picked up for $50 a few weeks ago,
various other hand power tools.

I hope to aquire soon

Router Table and associated positioning system.
TS fence upgrade
TS miter sled.

OK, that’s a long post – better stop.


8 comments so far

View Ocelot's profile


1975 posts in 2639 days

#1 posted 03-07-2011 05:55 AM

Thanks for the welcome, Christopher. I wasn’t sure anybody would notice a blog post from a newby.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3823 days

#2 posted 03-07-2011 01:51 PM

Let me add my welcome as well and say that we are glad to have you on board, Ocelot. And thanks for the introduction too.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View GaryD's profile


623 posts in 3370 days

#3 posted 03-07-2011 03:56 PM

Hey welcome to LJ’s, you will find this place addicting. But everyone here is ready and willing to give you valuable information when you need it. I think you have a great start on a workshop, I remeber when I moved to South Carolina from Maryland, I sold alot of my fathers/grandfathers tools, ( I was 21 and didnt know better), now wishing I had kept alot of them, if for nothing else, the history of them. But again welcome

-- Gary, Little River,SC I've Learned that the Lord didn't do it all in one day and neither can I

View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 2841 days

#4 posted 03-07-2011 05:00 PM

Welcome aboard. What condition is the RAS in? I love to see new life brought back into old tools.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View GregD's profile


788 posts in 3137 days

#5 posted 03-07-2011 08:36 PM

I suggest you consider adding one of these to your DC when you can swing it, unless you plan on venting your DC outside. I would be concerned about breathing air coming out of a 5 micron filter.

-- Greg D.

View Ocelot's profile


1975 posts in 2639 days

#6 posted 03-07-2011 09:20 PM

Hey Greg,

I’ve already seen the threads about that, and thought it was a great idea. I’ll consider when I’ve got the thing set up (and have a bandsaw to cut the circular mounting plate.) I may end up building a liittle lean-to or detached shed out back with the DC and air compressor in it. (Hopefully set up so that the compressor doesn’t suck in the dust.) In that case, I’ll not worry about the diff between 5 micron and 0.5 micron. Heck, I could even just skip the bag and blow the dust out a hole in the back of the shop. There’s nobody back there to notice the mess. :)

And right now, I’ve got no DC at all. Besides, Sam Maloof lived to be 93 and probably didn’t have 0.5 micron filters until the last 20 years or so, and I don’t plan to spend that much time in the shop.


View helluvawreck's profile


31105 posts in 2867 days

#7 posted 03-07-2011 09:24 PM

Welcome to Lumberjocks, Ocelot.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3674 days

#8 posted 04-17-2011 10:15 PM

Congrats,Ocelot. Sounds like you is off to a great start.

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