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TobiasZA's Workshop

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Workshop by TobiasZA posted 135 days ago 3694 reads 0 times favorited 45 comments Add to Favorites Watch

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TobiasZA

94 posts in 136 days


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I needed a new workshop. Simply put, over the past 40 odd years of working in wood, my tool compliment, hand and machinery, has grown along with my passion. The new shop will be my fourth incarnation of my passion for recreating 18th and 19th century furniture, and hopefully be my dream shop. My partner and I started looking in earnest for a new house. Two criteria were critically important. Firstly the house had to have character and history……lots of it, and secondly I needed to create a new workshop.

Months of searching ensued. House after house, we looked, we schemed and were repeatedly disappointed. After about six fruitless months, we came upon a small country town in South Africa called Swellendam in the Western Cape. What a gem. Oak trees lined the wide streets. Karoo architecture everywhere, a working museum, a berry farm, exquisite Langeberge mountains, the Breede River, and peace and quiet. A far cry from the noise and bustle of the southern suburbs of Cape Town where we lived.

Swellendam is the third oldest town in South Africa, its beginnings were in the mid 1700’s. It is steeped in colonial history and we fell in love.

Our house was built around 1830, thick mud brick wall and sash windows. In the kitchen we have a firewood stove. A dream come true for both of us. And best of all, enough space to create my workshop.

Dismantling the old shop proved to be a monumental task, why do we collect 2” off cuts of wood that we know we shall never ever use? I realised that I would need to revise my layout and storage systems dramatically, if the move and installation was to go smoothly, and to enable me to get up and running in the shop in a short period of time.

Plenty of drawings, trawling through my FWW collection and the internet and copious amounts of tea later, I had a plan! I based my system on a standardised 600mm wide by 500mm deep by 800mm high cabinet on castors. Machines are all bolted on to the 32mm countertop material, and each cabinet has a different internal configuration, depending on the mounted machine.
List of basic 600mm wide cabinets for the Machine Room:
1. Router Table Workstation
2. Mortiser Workstation
3. Bobbin Sander Workstation
4. Scroll Saw Workstation
5. Leigh Jig Workstation
6. Drill Press Workstation

List of special cabinets for my Machine Room:
1. Lathe Workstation
2. Mitre Saw Workstation
3. Table Saw outfeed table
4. Metalwork bench
5. Grinding and polishing Workstation
List of special cabinets for my Bench Room:
1. hand tools (floor standing parallel to workbench) 2000mm wide by 600mm deep
2. assembly and finishing (two tables 1200mm wide by 1200mm deep roll around)
3. clamp racks (All wall mounted in finishing area)
4. Computer workstation (As far away from dust as possible)
5. Small woodburning stove to heat the bench room in winter and to burn my mistakes… maybe I should get a much bigger one!!
6. Wall mounted cabinets x four, with glass doors. These are mainly to hold my FWW collection for easy reference and my burgeoning collection of woodworking, period furniture history, and reference books.
7. A roll around cabinet 1400mm high fitted with numerous drawers for hardware, fittings, screws, dowels and the like.

My partner came up with a gem of an idea, put more windows in the bench room, so I will have four large sash windows for natural light. Bless her! From the Bench Room there will be double doors leading into the machine room. All lumber will be stored vertically in the Machine Room.

The Bench Room will have a wood floor over half of the area for the main bench. The rest of the room will have its concrete floor painted in grey epoxy. Much easier to clean spills that inevitably happen in the assembly finishing area.

All the lighting will be fluorescent with specific angle poise lamps at the drill press, lathe, Leigh Jig and router table.

The air compressor and the dust extraction system will be located in a separate outside cubicle, which I shall sound proof with Illsonic acoustic tiles. The dust extraction and compressed air will be piped overhead throughout both rooms. The electrical reticulation will be somewhat over the top, but I have learned rather to have too many electrical outlets than too few.

In a corner of the Bench Room will be a stainless steel basin and hot and cold running water.

All walls will be painted white, as will the open roof trusses.

So far, I have built all of the cabinets, dismantled my current shop except for the dust extraction and packed all of my power tools and hand tools.

I am rather loathe to let a removal company move my machinery, so I shall be doing it all myself.

I am new to the forum, so if anyone has clever ideas for my new shop, I am all ears!!


45 comments so far

View 49er's profile

49er

104 posts in 201 days


#1 posted 135 days ago

Your dream shop and you only posted one picture? I am disappointed.

-- Correlation is not causation but I did loose my Doctor !!!

View TobiasZA's profile

TobiasZA

94 posts in 136 days


#2 posted 135 days ago

Hi. This pic was taken of my main bench and tool till a few days before we moved from Cape Town to Swellendam, hence the absence of the rest of the shop. Also the tool till was only partially built, I simply ran out of time. It still needs doors and drawers. The new shop consists of two areas. A bench room and a machine room. I have been at it for about two months in between restoring the house and now have a roof on the machine room that does not leak!

The machine room area had two trees growing through the old roof…. So the MR roof is up, needing to do the final sealing and painting, electrical reticulation, plumbing, compressed air reticulation and central dust extraction system needs to go back in. No doors on yet. Swellendam is an incredibly safe town, everyone leaves stuff out on their porches and patios, folk leave their vehicles unlocked in driveways and when shopping, so I am not worried about not having doors on the MR yet. Raining at present so painting and sealing will have to wait a few days. I shall pop a few pics up of the progress as soon as I can.

View TobiasZA's profile

TobiasZA

94 posts in 136 days


#3 posted 133 days ago

Hi Guys. I have found the pic that I was looking for . These are pix of what will shortly become my split level machine room. (Minus the trees!!)

View LeTurbo's profile

LeTurbo

135 posts in 182 days


#4 posted 128 days ago

Lekker, Tobias! Good to know there are few other Kaapies here. Hello from Cape Town! Looks like you’ve found an absolutely awesome home; I’m envious. Enjoy every minute of it! (I’ll be following your workshop development, so add more pics as you go. The pressure’s on.)

View TobiasZA's profile

TobiasZA

94 posts in 136 days


#5 posted 128 days ago

Hi LeTurbo
Thanks for commenting. I used to live in Fish Hoek and moved out here in December and we are loving it. no South Easter gales, no being sandblasted, no tourists and no rust…... I shall post a few pics shortly of both the bench room and machine room. Still have tons of work to do on both the workshops and the house. I am enjoying it immensely.
Take care
Tobias

View TobiasZA's profile

TobiasZA

94 posts in 136 days


#6 posted 124 days ago

Hi.
Just an update on my workshop build. I have now got the machine room roof on, walls are done, plastered and painted and I have positioned all of the machines as I want them. Yesterday I started reassembling my DC system and should be finished with the initial phase in about 3 or 4 days. Electrical reticulation will be next. Thankfully this is all surface mounted in conduit tube. Basic lighting will go in today. I have opted for a few general flourescent fittings and dedicated angle poise lamps at various machines. I shifted some of the machines around quite a bit from my original layout for ease of access to electrical and DC points and have have managed to increase the distance for the Table Saw infeed to about 3.5 metres, which is more than I had hoped for. so…... the build continues. i shall post some more pics shortly.
Cheers for now.
Tobias

View Dakkar's profile

Dakkar

297 posts in 524 days


#7 posted 122 days ago

I really love that side bench with the slanted tool storage. I’ve always thought that was the most practical way to store things like chisels and you’ve done a great job with the idea. When I have the space, I intend to build something just like that.

View TobiasZA's profile

TobiasZA

94 posts in 136 days


#8 posted 122 days ago

Hi Dakkar. Thanks for the comment. This idea is not mine, I pinched it from somewhere, I think it was an FWW magazine. I have always hated tool trays built into the bench cos they just become a repository for junk, so I did this counter and chisel setup. Having used it for about a year or so, I find that it is effective and keeps my bench reasonably clear. i had to get into the habit of using it as “the” place to put tools and stock that is relevant to the project on the bench and it really works. Being able to lean over and grab a plane, chisel, etc works for me. I placed my bench centrally so that I can work at it from all sides. Above the chisel tray counter are my main two cupboards containing all of my hand tools.

take care

tobias

View TobiasZA's profile

TobiasZA

94 posts in 136 days


#9 posted 122 days ago

This is my rollaround cabinet that normally stands next to the chisel tray counter. It contains special tools, various screws, dowels, plugs, and ancillary small hardware. Its great having it on wheels, so that when i am working at my assembly/finishing table, I just roll it over into a comfy position.

Cheers
Tobias

View TobiasZA's profile

TobiasZA

94 posts in 136 days


#10 posted 122 days ago

Slowly coming together!!

Machine Room Roof on.


Machines positioned and main DC artery in temporary position


Bench Room computer workstation. Shelves still to come above


Assembly area cupboards for finishing materials with hot & cold water/basin


Clamp Racks


Also in Assembly area, Vacuum press pump, Sharpening Station, Sand Shading Workstation and cupboards above for books and mags


Tool Counter and storage below with hand tool cupboards above. Carger Station above rollaround chest on left


Replacing Machine room roof


Machne room lower level

View LeTurbo's profile

LeTurbo

135 posts in 182 days


#11 posted 120 days ago

Yoh! You’ve been motoring! I’ve barely managed to get a set of French cleats done in the same time. It’s looking good.

View TobiasZA's profile

TobiasZA

94 posts in 136 days


#12 posted 120 days ago

Hi, been pushing hard! I have a few issues with roof leaks in the house that yesterday’s rain showed me…. so that must be dealt with today. I am going to try and finish the metalwork corner in the machine room as well today because I’m going nuts climbing over boxes of stuff all the time. After that some roof finishing in the machine room then I think that making the wings for the Chop Saw becomes the priority.

What are you doing your French Cleats for?

Cheers
Tobias

View LeTurbo's profile

LeTurbo

135 posts in 182 days


#13 posted 118 days ago

Well, it’s all kinda weird really, I’m setting up workshop too, for the first time in 12 years. I’m sharing some space in Paarden Eiland. The other weird thing is one of my first projects was cam clamps, and then I saw that was one of your first posts. I suppose I should go update my workshop pics too now …

View iamcliff's profile

iamcliff

463 posts in 749 days


#14 posted 117 days ago

Beautiful workbench. Awesome shop.

-- Chris, http://www.youtube.com/CMRwoodworks , FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/cmrwoodworks1 , Proverbs 16:9

View TobiasZA's profile

TobiasZA

94 posts in 136 days


#15 posted 117 days ago

Hi Chris, thanks for the compliment. I am still in the process of building the new shop and fitting it out. Hopefully I get most of the electrical reticulation in the machine room done today. Will post some more pics later.

Cheers for now
Tobias

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