Well.. It has been a while since my last blog post and wanted to catch everyone up on what’s going on around the shop. In February I purchased a house just outside of town on 1.17 acres of land. The house needed (still does) a lot of work but it came with a 1200sqft pole barn with a loft! The loft is about half the size of the down stairs so it has roughly 1800sqft of usable space in it. This is a serious upgrade from the 2 car garage I had in my last rental and heaps better ...
While working on the dust collection pipe installation fiasco, it was brought to my immediate attention that 26 ga metal is sharp. So… Figured I may as well get the fire extinguisher while I was at it. Having a fire is the wrong way to be reminded of getting a fire extinguisher :-) And, equally important, High speed internet. My shop is in the middle of nowhere, so no traditional Internet options (cable/DSL) are no good. I had two options, satellite or cellular. Sate...
I was hoping I would not need AC in the shop, but, clearly I do. So, off to the big box store. Got a 14.5K BTU through the wall unit. Now to poke a hole in the wall and slide it in. I wanted it as high as possible on the wall so its never in the way. It came with a remote, so I don’t have to climb a ladder to use it. All done. Works great, just removing the humidity made a world of difference.
I decided to build the miter bench featured on New Yankee Workshop (with a few changes). The design is great. Lots of storage and room to use other tools such as the hollow chisel mortiser and dovetail jig. Starts with (basically) plywood boxes. Then a sub top made from half lapped 2×4s. On top of the 2×4 sub top, I put CDX plywood (its cheap) and Melamine for the final top. I like Melamine. Its smooth and cleans up easy. Now for the drawers. Lots of dra...
Pretty quickly a hobby woodworker realizes how uncomfortable it is to come back into your home with a nose full of sawdust never mind how that same dust permeates every inch of your workspace. It coats every inch with a fine mist and means more cleanup later which just add to the annoyance. I don’t currently have a dust collection system and I don’t even mind the heavy sawdust that falls immediately to the floor but I couldn’t stand the small stuff filling my sinuses as it h...
When I moved into a shared shop, I sold my 6” jointer (no love loss) because the shared shop had an 8”. Now that I am back in my own shop, I needed a new jointer. I REALLY wanted something larger than an 8”. I really, really hate ripping down a nice piece of wood just so I can make it flat (yes, I can do it by hand, and have many times). I love the idea of an old industrial jointer, but I didn’t want to screw around with 3ph power, or rebuilding a machine. I...
Given I was moving from a shared shop, I had zero shop furniture and no storage. Ugh. I have always been lazy with my shop furniture. Basically 2×4s and plywood slapped together so I could get back to furniture projects. I always paid for this wil frustration down the road. I am trying very hard to think it through and make sure I can store what I need where I use it. I figured I need the following to be fully functional. 1.) Outfeed table for the table saw.2.) Miter bench t...
Now that the lights are done, I can actually see to insulate the walls and put up wall sheeting. The walls are 2×6, so I went with a R19 batt insulation. It gets very cold here in WI. Not a difficult task, but tedious. For the walls, I didn’t want drywall. It does not hold up well, and there is never a stud where you need one. I went with 1/2” CDX plywood. I told myself I was going to paint it. That never happened :-) On to the floor!
I had the builder sheet the ceiling with steel, install the hanging heater and insulate the ceiling. So, it was a basic shell (one plugin, one light bulb) when I got the keys. I did opt to upgrade to 200 amp electric service. First step, light. The one bulb is not going to cut it. I decided on standard T5 bulbs. A lot of them :-) One thing I can’t stand is not being able to see. My goal was to make sure anywhere I was in the shop, I did not cast a shadow on the very thin...
After corners of a basement, parts of a garage and a shared space, I finally have the opportunity to build a new shop from the ground up. This series will attempt to document the process and maybe provide others with some ideas. I am always on the lookout for tips too, please feel free comment with them! I started last winter by purchasing a building in a “storage condo” area. This means, I own the building, but pay association fees for the grounds, snow removal, water etc...
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