|Workshop by TobiasZA||posted 170 days ago||3879 reads||0 times favorited||45 comments|
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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!!