Building my Shop

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Blog entry by Peter posted 12-29-2007 10:16 PM 1086 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

It has been a long time since I wrote my first blog reagrding the fundamental question of whether I should make the investment in woodworking. At the time I questioned if I would still be excited about woodworking five years from now after the novelty has worn off, and if not, should I really be making the financial investment in all of these tools?

Well, the jury is in and I have taken the plunge. Over the past few months I have purchased a used General International cabinet saw (with a huge fence), a simple 1.0 HP dust collector, an ambient air filter, and assorted hand tools.

Once the saw arrived at our house at the end of June my wife asked me, “So how long will it be until we have those built-in bookcases in the office?” I explained that first I had to move this 360 lb saw into the basement, and that before the saw will run I have to install a 220 volt electrical service, but to do that I need a sub-panel in the basement, but to install a sub-panel we need to frame-in the perimeter of the basement so we have a wall to hang the panel on…

She gave me a measuring look and said, “2009?”

I nodded slowly, and sheepishly repled, “Yeah…”

The good news is that in late October the framer came in and did all of the perimeter framing in the basement, as well as building the walls for the shop, a storage area and the bathroom. I installed four new breakers in our existing panel and now have the shop (mostly) wired up. The table saw is in place and the day after Christmas I brought my wife down to the basement and had her christen the saw by being the first person to turn it on and make the first cut on a scrap piece of lumber. It was as close as I could come to her whacking the saw with a bottle of champaign…

Maybe by this time next year the bookcase will be in place…


-- ~Peter

10 comments so far

View Karson's profile


35148 posts in 4601 days

#1 posted 12-30-2007 01:07 AM

Yippy Hi Ho away. Or something like that.

It’s great that your wife got involved. My wife is involved when I bring in the items and set them in her house. And of course the Honey-do list.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia †

View DrSawdust's profile


323 posts in 4299 days

#2 posted 12-30-2007 01:55 AM

What a great story. If you get a chance post some pictures of the new shop and Cabinet Saw. It sounds like your wife truly understands it not all about the destination it’s the journey that makes great memories.

-- Making sawdust is what I do best

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4300 days

#3 posted 12-30-2007 02:18 AM

Timeless advise:
When Momma’s happy, everybody’s happy.
Build projects for the house and tool purchase shall flow freely.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View mot's profile


4922 posts in 4237 days

#4 posted 12-30-2007 03:40 AM

Todd is right. As long as there is a steady stream of handy and functional things around the house, she won’t even notice the inevitable expansion of shop contents. However, not to be a bore, but…. no pictures, didn’t happen.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View CoolDavion's profile


436 posts in 4025 days

#5 posted 12-30-2007 03:46 AM


You are right there, That’s how I got a compound mitersaw, and the “go-ahead” for building a router table.

-- Do or do not, there is no try!

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 4267 days

#6 posted 12-30-2007 06:51 AM

Come on Peter – you should be able to build some bookcases before next year :-)). Go ahead and Git-r-done.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View MsDebbieP's profile


18618 posts in 4361 days

#7 posted 12-30-2007 02:20 PM

yup.. take care of what “NEEDS” to be done (the wife knows what these are – just ask her), then play with what YOU “want” to do :)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4500 days

#8 posted 12-30-2007 10:28 PM

Whenever I give Barb an estimate of how long a project is going to take, she just laughs at me. LOL

She has me all figured out. LOL

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18618 posts in 4361 days

#9 posted 12-30-2007 10:42 PM

lol when a guy tells me how long he’ll be, I ask if he’s talking “man time” or “real time”. :)
Reminds me of the phone repair guy who came out after we got hit by lightening.. he said that he had to go back to the shop to get a part. (the phone office is a 10 min. drive one way). His time frame? He said he would only be gone 10 minutes.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 4075 days

#10 posted 12-31-2007 12:50 AM

Your list of first tools seems very practical. Glad to hear you have taken the plunge. Welcome to the addiction, the obsession, of woodworking. I would suggest for your next two machines: Router/table and chop saw.

-- Happy woodworking!

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