Learning Curve #1: Transforming from metal fab shop to wood working shop.

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Blog entry by Tmtoolman posted 03-03-2014 05:52 AM 1351 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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So far I have been able to spend about 3 days a week in the shop. I picked up a Craftsman Table saw from a Sears sidewalk sale, at this time everything seems good with the set-up. I wasn’t happy with the blade that came with it so I picked up a new one along with a dado blade and some 0 clearance plates at the Woodcraft store in Pelham Al. The wife calls it the $1000.00 store. Good thing its 50 miles away.

The new blade cuts like butter, After adjusting the drive belt. I even got to use the Dado blade for the first time on the current project. More on that later. Also from Sears came a 12” duel bevel sliding miter saw. I also equipped it with a new blade. As you know a miter saw sitting on the floor will kill your back, so a table had to be built. Off I go to Lowes for lumber and supply’s and they had the 18 v drill and driver on sale. The wife now calls the blue store the $350.00 store. Got the miter saw up off the floor and the frame work for what will house some cabinets that will get finished at a latter date. More to come on that project later.

Now to do something with the Kreg router table top and the old Fire Storm router. By the way the Fire Storm router bit the dust while trimming up the miter saw table top. And the 20 year old Craftsman CS started shooting sparks everywhere. I guess cutting those 200 sheets of tin for the wainscoting in the shop took its tole. The blue $350 store fixed me up with a new Dewalt CS, and a new Triton was ordered from amazon along with a cheep set of bits to get by with. I picked out the Triton because I hope to use it and not have to buy a router lift. I spent a few days looking and searching router table photos and drawings and came up with what I wanted to build. Another trip to the $350 store for some lumber for the router table and then the $1000 store had a 2 day sale so I had to take that trip for some drawer slides, Kreg screws, oh and I need to fix up that old Sears RAS as a disk sander, they had what I needed. They even had the spindle sander on sale so one followed me home.

Many years ago I bought a band saw to use in the fab shop, Dayton 18” 4TK02. This machine has been a trooper, Replaced the bearings a few times, had the motor rebuilt, even had to weld up the wheel where the bearing rides and make a new shaft or 2. The blade welder has been used just about as much as the saw it self. It never had a fence and I don’t think we ever missed it. After reading about all the steps for setting up a new saw I took a look at setting up the Dayton, ....... Not going to happen. That saw will remain a metal cutting saw until it falls apart…....... I am now searching for a new band saw ! Good thing that sale was only for 2 days.

So from what I have learned in the last few months of getting started working with wood, All the projects the wife and family members want me to do for them will have to wait. The first projects when starting to learn wood working is building the tools needed in the shop, in order to be able to to know how to build something for someone else ! Now what did I do with that tape measure and why did I not buy more of those clamps.

That’s it !!! I’m done for the day.

With Steel, If it don’t fit get a bigger hammer ! If that don’t work heat it up with the blue wrench !
With Wood, Don’t hit it with that hammer !!! Too late ! Toss that piece in the scrap and cut another one !!! That’s what that extra 15% was for !
I will up-date my projects after I get some sleep. Goodnight !

-- Turning fine wood into sawdust !

2 comments so far

View Andygulfcoast's profile


29 posts in 1984 days

#1 posted 03-03-2014 12:04 PM

Entertaining read! My garage is my shop, and I learned metal fab/welding before taking up woodworking, so I can relate to some of the growing pains.
I have two separate miter saws and would like a 2nd bandsaw also.
I built a flat metal tabletop that I lay on top of my woodworking bench for metalwork.
My dust collector and welder share a 220v outlet since I never need both at once.

Thanks for sharing

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2837 days

#2 posted 03-04-2014 02:05 AM

This sound so familiar!
I did bits, spurs, and silverwork before catching the woodworking fever so I had to convert my shop and acquire tools as you are.
Good luck and I hope you enjoy the journey as much as I did.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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