The Great Woodshop Redo

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Blog entry by PASs posted 05-17-2010 04:57 AM 1471 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is the last will and testament of my sure to be over budget, behind schedule attempt to bring order to the chaos that is my shop/garage. I started this project last weekend but was too ashamed, and tired to actually blog it. But I think the blogging will help my psychosis.
I’m sure I’ll rewrite things in following posts. But the creative juices are flowing (64 ounces of Diet Dr Pepper can do that to your brain) so I’m diving in. Buckle up….cause this train has no track.
Yeah right, it’s a garage, like those little retro pickup wannabes that Chevy sold a couple of years ago are pickup trucks. It’s been at least a couple of years since anything bigger than a bicycle has fit through the door.
But I do keep stuff in there, like a half dozen bikes, old boxes from things we bought, keepsakes that don’t live in the house anymore, and stuff destined for GoodWill, garage sale, or, maybe, just the plane old trash.
So, in the sense that a garage is sometimes another name for your own personal storage room it’s my garage too.
But we bought the house so I’d have a man-cave to play in, and Deb’s been very good about letting me clutter it up with failed repair projects, things I’m sure are too valuable to throw away, and all the other pieces of material that reflect a person who grew up poor.
(They say you can tell if a man grew up rich or poor by the state of his garage. If he was rich, and could just go buy something if he needed it, his garage will be clean and roomy, with no boxes, bins, buckets, or bags of items lovingly collected through the years.
But if he was poor, if he had to straighten a used nail out on the sidewalk to build something, or if he just couldn’t do it because he couldn’t buy the material…HIS garage will look VERY different…stacked to the ceiling with items that will definately have a use some day. Buckets, and jars, of screws and nails, some new, some used, some sorted, some thrown together in a drawer, but all ready to be assembled some day into ‘something wonderful’. )
I must have been too poor to breath.
We got a little back on income tax, thanks to some time in Afghanistan in ‘08 and ‘09, and Deb let me get a few tools.
I started out with just an old Craftsman Radial Arm Saw and a Craftsman 12 inch band saw that I’ve had for about 3 years, a couple of small bench top router tables, and an old Craftsman 6 inch bench grinder.
But over the past few months, and especially the past few weeks, it’s grown to:
2 Radial Arm Saws (the old Craftsman is headed out the door, replaced by a Ridgid that promises to be a LOT better.)
A Ridgid TS3650 table saw (finally, something I can just throw wood on and get a good quick cut.)
A DeWalt 733 planer.
A Ryobi spindle sander.
A Grizzly jointer.
A Grizzly 14 inch band saw (the Craftsman will get a new home too…unless I can convince Deb that it’s too hard to change blades on the Grizzly.)
A Craftsman tube bed lathe.

In addition I’ve got two work tables 72 by 30 and a workbench thats 83 by 36.
5 filing cabinets hold different tools and supplies.
Three 18 by 48 inch shelf units, each over 6 feet tall, and two of those on rollers, keep various junk and projects out of the way.
The spindle sander and planer are mounted side by side on a 50 by 24 steel table with wheels.
One of the small router tables is permanently mounted on an old Craftsman rolling tool cabinet.
Both bandsaws are on their own rolling bases.
The jointer is on it’s own rolling base.

And I’ve got the dust collector, the trash can that shavings and sawdust go into (barter for a lady that makes stuff out of it.
The left side of the shop has steel shelving that goes up 8 feet (10 foot ceilings) and runs 27 feet of the 30 feet of wall. It’s got more stuff (a technical term for junk) stacked all the way to the top.
The back wall has home built wood shelving that goes up 8 feet and spans about 16 feet of the 24 foot width. It is also packed full of scraps, hardware, paint, and all the other stuff you keep in the garage.
There used to be a right side to the shop…I haven’t seen it in a couple of years. I reach back into the darkness when I come in and hit the switch that turns the air compressor on and then flip it off when I leave. The nice thing about all the stuff along the right side is that is muffles the compressor sound.
Anyway. I’ve set the stage now.
I’ll try to post a little each day in retrospect of what I have tried to do to mold the mass of machinery and mayhem in the shop into something that I can actually walk in to and do some work.

-- Pete, "It isn't broken, you just aren't using it right."

2 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117060 posts in 3539 days

#1 posted 05-17-2010 04:59 AM

a great plan

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View doordude's profile


1085 posts in 2945 days

#2 posted 05-17-2010 06:31 AM

Pete, it’s a great plan. i could almost copy what you’ve written and call for my own
you just need to get your stuff organized and everyone else’s stuff out
easier said than done.
thanks for your service

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