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New Shop in the Raw #1: New Shop in the Raw

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Blog entry by builtinbkyn posted 11-01-2015 07:25 PM 2086 reads 0 times favorited 28 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of New Shop in the Raw series Part 2: Continuing Build of Miter Saw Station »

Hello folks. Been frequenting LJ for a while, looking for answers to questions, inspiration and to view the many interesting and truly craft worthy and artistic projects posted here. I’m somewhat retired from the construction industry – trained architect turned developer. I’ve run large scale projects on the Empire State Building to small development projects. However I’m mostly a frustrated woodworker at heart.

My first attempt ever, at woodworking was back in 1978 at the age of 18. With paper route money and some savings from the usual lifetime events, I purchased my first new car – a Toyota Celica, where I proceeded to rip the center console from it in order to make room for my own rendition, fabricated from wood. I thought it would add a “classy” appearance to the interior. I have to say it didn’t turn out all that bad. The tools I had at the time were inexpensive and manual – a plastic Stanley mitre box and saw, an old electric drill and a few screwdrivers. A local builder who happened to be visiting my folks saw the drawings I produced and what I was accomplishing and asked what I was doing. I told him I was building a console for my car. He said no, he wanted to know what I was doing with my life. I had dropped out of college and that was the reason for my being home at the time. He asked if I had ever given architecture a consideration. Suddenly a lightbulb when on and the rest is the history of my employment career.

Back in 2008 I completed a development project in Brooklyn that I would eventually move in to. Since then I’ve been doing small projects in the yard when the weather has permitted, as I do not have a suitable space for an indoor shop. Once in a while I cheat and attempt to do what I feel wouldn’t be too invasive inside, but always find out the hard way that my sanding and sawing has caused more dust than I’d care to think about.

A few years ago I joined a place in Williamsburg Brooklyn – a community based workshop – had monthly fees for using their well equipped shop. However there were some issues that eventually made the experience more frustrating than enjoyable – jockeying for bench space and machine time became problematic. Some truly first class stuff was being produced there, but the “fight” for space took the fun out of it. I couldn’t blame those guys that were grabbing the lion’s share of the bench space. They were all younger and hustling for a buck. I was there for other reasons. This prompted me to look to rent a suitable space to be creative and to scratch that itch I think most any woodworker gets when they’re not making use of their hands.

Ah, I call myself a woodworker, but really I feel I’m just a novice at best. During the construction of some of the homes I’ve built and development projects I’ve conducted, there were opportunities for me to pick and choose what I would want to do myself. That allowed for me to not only keep the real craftsmen doing what they do and moving the job forward, but also let me develop some of my skills and get assistance if needed. It also allowed me to feel as if I were contributing to the effort in a tangible way aside from just managing the project.

Last week I finally found a pretty neat space. It’s in an old, reconditioned factory in Williamsburg Brooklyn. Today I moved the first few pieces of equipment into it – two weeks ago I purchased a 6” Rigid jointer for $100 from a local contractor and I’ve been driving around with it in the back of my pickup since then LOL Said he used it twice and it’s been sitting in his garage for the last 6 or 7 years and he wanted rid of it. I was happy to oblige :) Inspected the blades and fired it up. It hummed beautifully. There’s a bit of surface scale on it, but no pitting. Should clean up just fine. Maybe I’ll replace the blade with helical cutters, down the line.

Well here’s a few pics of the space and a few projects completed along the way.

The new space

My messy desk of mostly mahogany

A stand for a 50g reef tank using black walnut

Working on it in the community shop

This blog will serve as the record of my shop build. I hope to get feedback and guidance from the many knowledgable members here on LJ. It’s my intent to build all of the shop fixtures as my initial projects, starting with a station for a Bosch 4100 job site saw. It’s a little beat upon, but still makes nice cuts. It’ll serve it’s purpose for a few more years and incorporating into a saw station should give it more utility.

Well thanks for reading!

Oh almost forgot to post a pic of the layout I intend to build. Most all of the fixtures will be on casters and most all of the equipment served duty on job sites so they’re a bit rough around the edges. Hope to get some feedback on the planning as it proceeds.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn :)



28 comments so far

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

2566 posts in 1719 days


#1 posted 11-01-2015 11:28 PM

Built, first, welcome to LJs. I think you are more than a novice woodworker based on the pix of your projects. They are well designed which isn’t surprising considering your background, but they are also well executed.

You might consider adding a thickness planer to your arsenal to compliment the jointer. If you do add a planer, the dust collector may not be adequate, forcing you to upgrade to a bag type or cyclone dust collector. Will you make the sink room your finishing room? Will you be able to create some exhaust system to the outside?

I look forward to your future posts.

-- Art

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

651 posts in 402 days


#2 posted 11-02-2015 12:07 AM

Hi Art. Thanks for the welcome, input and complements. Looking not only at much of the work presented here, but also at the production in the community shop I utilized, I’d say I’m very much a novice LOL The projects I’ve completed took quite a bit of managing on my part, to understand how to affect certain cuts and employ joinery techniques in the proper way. I just keep reading and looking at examples to get a better understanding of the hows and whys.

Yes I’ve been looking at thickness planners, but it’s my intent eventually use hand tools more and power tools less. That workbench in the plan doesn’t yet exist and that will be the main project in all of this. With that said, I do plan on getting a thickness planer. Purchased a Rigid planer a few years ago but it had issues with holding adjustment so it was returned. When there’s been need to dimension some stock, I’ve used a router and sled approach. Works fine, but just more time consuming. The planer was a neat and inexpensive addition. I recently looked at Cutech planers with helical cutters. Maybe someone can comment on them. They seem to be very competitively priced with the big box store offerings.

Yes dust collection is at the fore in my planning. I generally break down large stock at the source and plan on using the table saw and track saw for final dimensioning. Hopefully that eliminates some of the heavy dust production. However for the time being, I’ll use my large Rigid SV with a cyclone/separator. Probably a DIY version to fit the space under the saw station. I purchased an Oneida Dust Deputy to pair with the Festool Mini. That should do well with my track saw and other small power tools. I also plan on using an air filtration system.

Exhaust to the outside will be accomplished with a window unit, to be determined. I have a few, new, heavy duty exhaust fans left over from a prior job. I think I can devise something for the the exhaust and air filter, from them. I’ll be coming here for ideas about that :)

First project up is the lumber cart. My space is on the second floor. I’ll need the cart for transporting lumber from the freight elevator to my space and for storage. I’ll get it loaded up and go to work on the next fixture with will be the saw station. I’ll post pics and comments as things progress.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn :)

View bearkatwood's profile

bearkatwood

1198 posts in 473 days


#3 posted 11-02-2015 01:07 AM

Your new space and the layout are awesome. If I had a shop like that I think I would bolt the door and order out for lumber. I love the wood floor and brick walls with lots of light!

-- Brian Noel

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

651 posts in 402 days


#4 posted 11-02-2015 02:56 AM

Hey Brian. Yeah the northern exposure really sold the deal for me. I looked at dozens of spaces with little to no natural light. Didn’t make for a good working environment on many fronts including natural light and ventilation.

The floor is a mess as there was a silk screening operation in it prior. I’m going to try and clean it up a bit.

Oh I read the post on your saws. They’re beautiful!


Your new space and the layout are awesome. If I had a shop like that I think I would bolt the door and order out for lumber. I love the wood floor and brick walls with lots of light!

- bearkatwood

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn :)

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

7480 posts in 1469 days


#5 posted 11-02-2015 02:21 PM

I really like the first glimpse of your shop … but CURTAINS? REALLY ??? LOL

Be sure to show us some more as the progress continues.

Welcome to LJs!

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View stefang's profile

stefang

15512 posts in 2796 days


#6 posted 11-02-2015 02:56 PM

Your shop space looks awesome. I did notice though that your bandsaw and drill press don’t look so well located to handle long pieces. Maybe they are meant to be rolled out when in use? Anyway it looks like a very nice and roomy set-up. I’m sure you will get a lot of enjoyment out of this space.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

651 posts in 402 days


#7 posted 11-02-2015 04:59 PM

Hi Joe and Mike. The curtains were left by the prior occupants. Haven’t been there enough to determine how he sun will hit the space. The windows are on the NW side of the building so late afternoon sun may be an issue and why they had them. Prior operation was a silk screening shop. I’ll leave them for now but they probably will be a magnet for dust.

Mike all of the shop fixtures will be on casters so yes those will have the ability to be relocated for work in long pieces.

Very much looking forward to getting started there and will post progress pics and ask for advice here

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn :)

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

651 posts in 402 days


#8 posted 11-05-2015 07:15 AM

Had a little time to work on the plans for the saw station. It still needs some tweaking, but this is pretty much what I have planned for the Bosch 4100. I will be removing the plastic carcass and placing the top/trunnion assembly directly in the table. It will be supported by angle irons affixed to the cabinet. This table will also provide plenty of room for assembly when the saw isn’t in use.

The drawing isn’t labeled so a brief description. Oriented standing at the saw – to the left will be saw specific storage that has an open shelf and two drawers to accommodate blades, measuring tools, calibration tools, push sticks and blocks. Under the saw is a space for safety equipment to hang (glasses, earmuffs, dust broom, etc) To the right theres an open shelf for stashing a miter sled or two and some jigs and there are six drawers for tool storage. At the rear is an enclosed cabinet that will house a shop vac collection system that includes a DIY Thien separator that has 15g capacity. I’ll post details about this when it’s built. That cabinet will also house a 6g compressor to power brad nailers/staplers and for dust off. The working height of the table is approximately 33”. I purchased these casters – FOOTMASTER GD-40F Nylon Wheel and NBR Pad Leveling Caster – because they also have leveling capability. The floor isn’t perfect. I hope this build doesn’t exceed their capacity or I’ll have to upgrade them.

Materials: Birch multiply cabinetry – torsion box top of multiply base with an MDF or possibly melamine top. The top will be 3” thick with a 3” overhang to allow for clamping. Everything goes together with pocket screw joinery.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn :)

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

2566 posts in 1719 days


#9 posted 11-05-2015 12:30 PM

Good morning, Bill, that is a great looking arrangement. I had a melamine out feed/assembly table and, over time, glue would stick to it probably because I didn’t keep it waxed. The current piece of ply is finished with sanding sealer, then wax. I hope this will keep the glue from sticking to it. FWIW

-- Art

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

651 posts in 402 days


#10 posted 11-05-2015 06:38 PM

Hi Art. Melamine may be a good option. I’ve used it for cabinets and counters in my fish room – place where the filter and pumps and the mess are hidden behind the scenes for a 200g reef tank I built :) It gets pretty cruddy from time to time. Passing a Magic Eraser over it cleans it up nicely. Sandpaper works as well. My other consideration is using 1/2” MDF topped with a 1/4” sheet of hardboard so it can be lifted and replaced. However I’m concerned that this may not work well with the runout miter slots. Maybe I can tack glue it around the slots and use a couple of 23ga brads filed flush to keep it true.

Here’s an exploded view of the table. Once I get the table apart – need to to build this thing first :) – then I’ll have a better understanding of the mounting possibilities.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn :)

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

651 posts in 402 days


#11 posted 11-05-2015 11:01 PM

Since I will be using an Allen Little fence, this is a more accurate depiction of the saw station :)

Never used Sketchup before last evening. Never took the time to learn as I never really had a reason to do so. When I was in school for architecture, CAD was in it’s infancy. Actually our school had purchased one workstation while I was finishing my thesis. Never got to use it. I was trained to sketch and hardline draw. My apprentice jobs were all consisted of drafting in pencil and ink on vellum. I have to say it’s a pretty handy tool, but sketching is still where the creativity happens. :)

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn :)

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

651 posts in 402 days


#12 posted 11-06-2015 03:23 PM

This is the intent for the rear cabinet – dust collection (shop vac, Thien separator) and air compressor. (stock models of the equipment was used for sizing space requirements) Housing them inside the table will hopefully cut down on their noise.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn :)

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

651 posts in 402 days


#13 posted 11-10-2015 03:26 PM

I’ve finally had the opportunity to spend some time in the shop. I have elderly parents that live about 1/2hr away – 95 & 85, so some of my time is allocated to helping them.

Yesterday I started to build the lumber cart. Figure this was the best place to start. It is needed to help me get sheet goods and lumber from the loading platform to my space. It’s somewhat slow going as all of my tools are packed in boxes and containers and finding what is where, takes more time than doing the work. My work day was also shortened by the inadequate lighting, which I was already aware of – 4 bare bulbs 15’ up really isn’t going to cut it. I’ll be installing LED shop lights that are available from HD. They’re suspended on chains and have gotten glowing reviews. I think there’s a pun there :)

One thing that did come to mind while working on the lumber cart was the table saw and the saw station I have planned. The Bosch has seen quite a few job sites. Still runs well, but I’m wondering if it’s worth the effort in time and materials to build a saw station around a machine that could crap out at any time. It’s my intent to build these shop fixtures once and have them for a long time, where I can relocate them to my own home shop in a few years – looking at relocating within the next five years (at most) – not sure how far, but don’t want to start over again making shop cabinetry.

So last evening I was looking at the different offerings in contractor saws and budget cabinet/hybrid saws. I don’t think I have a real need for a Powermatic cabinet saw, but they are indeed beautiful. It seems clear that the Grizzly G0715P is the best offering in the latter class and the various contenders in the former category are all clones made by Dayton – except for the Delta which I believe is the newest to market.

The Grizzly can be delivered to my shop by Saturday for under $900. The Ridgid and Craftsman are available today for pickup. Since I do have 220 available in the space, my first choice is the Grizzly. Better all around saw with full cast iron top. The other two options are adequate for my needs but I don’t want to have to deal with any of the issues that seem to have plagued them. I know some have not had any issues with these machines, but I can’t count on that luck. My only concern with the Grizzly is dealing with it when it needs to be relocated. The other two wouldn’t be as much of a problem.

This situation does change what my intent was for the saw station – housing the saw and dust collection. Ah I just thought I’d express what I’ve been thinking and if anyone has words of wisdom, they’d be appreciated :)

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn :)

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

2566 posts in 1719 days


#14 posted 11-10-2015 06:01 PM

Bill, I have no wisdom, but it looks to me like the weight difference is only about 130 pounds more for the Griz than the Ridgid. Once it is on wheels, that difference will be a non-issue. I would buy the Griz. FWIW

-- Art

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

651 posts in 402 days


#15 posted 11-14-2015 04:27 AM

Just posting up some pics of the lumber cart under way. A good use for some 2×8s I had laying around. :) Should complete it tomorrow along with installing new shop lights.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn :)

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