Growing into my shop #1: necessity

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Blog entry by Wayne posted 06-19-2011 05:57 AM 2124 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Growing into my shop series Part 2: Tablesaw rebirth 2 :cabinet »

I came into this hobby nearly a year ago. It has always been interesting to me, as my father enjoyed making wooden toys, one grandfather had a small sawmill, and another grandfather made furniture here and there… And so it digs its claws into me.

With a (very) minimal budget I have outfitted my small shop with mostly used, cheap tools. Not only am I tight financialy, in my 10’x10’ shed I am tight on space. At first I was looking for an easy cheap way into a larger shop, but as Ive grown in my techniques and comfort zones Ive come more to look at it as a unique challenge. So you could say I am “growing into” my small space. This series will be my journey into organizing, upgrading, restoring, and most of all learning. I hope maybe to give someone that nudge away from the thought process of “needing ” a certain space/tool/class to accomplish your goals. In such a disposable world often times you can find it right in front of you.
Step 1: Tablesaw rebirth

I bought this BT300 at a pawn shop for $50, and I’m begining to think I’ve over paid. The sliding table is wildly inaccurate, and the corrugated aluminum top is a pain to work on. Who builds a table saw without miter slots?!? (answer Ryobi)

I have decided to build a cabinet for this saw, as well as a new top….with miter slots!
Today i began assembling the base carcass of the cabinet.

Im using lap joints(?) for the base and M&T joints for the side supports.These are all cut by hand, mostly for practice.

I will update this as time permits, so bear with me ; )

8 comments so far

View dbhost's profile


5590 posts in 2654 days

#1 posted 06-19-2011 07:29 AM

For what it’s worth, your BT3000 looks like it has had a hard life, BUT, when not worn out, and adjusted correctly the Sliding Miter Table on the BT3X00 can be laser accurate… Go to and PM LCHIEN with your email address for the BT3K FAQ, it goes into some great detail on the care and feeding of these saws…

-- My workshop blog can be found at

View clieb91's profile


3491 posts in 3357 days

#2 posted 06-19-2011 01:30 PM

Wayne, Good attitude about your small shop area and tools. I have found a number of my tools on Craigslist and with a little time spent cleaning them up and out they perform quite well. Plus it does seem that some of the older tools perform better for longer then the newer ones.
Look forward to following this blog.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View Wayne's profile


196 posts in 2015 days

#3 posted 06-19-2011 05:30 PM

dbhost- i should have given a disclaimer stating that these tools were abused, and very used. My only real issue with the design of the saw is no miter slots. Thank you for the info! (i recognize that name from somwhere else….hmmmmm)

clieb91- it is a labor of love, for sure. Ill take cast iron over pot metals any day!
Thanks for the kind words.

View greg48's profile


588 posts in 2179 days

#4 posted 06-19-2011 08:14 PM

Good start Wayne, my start was on the kitchen table but that was very short lived. Most of us have started out with little to nothing except a desire to create and improve upon it. Buy what you need as you need it and you will grow to love each and every tool for the memories it brings back.

-- Greg, No. Cal. - "Gaudete in Domino Semper"

View mafe's profile


11061 posts in 2511 days

#5 posted 06-20-2011 11:08 AM

Congratulations on the start of the new shop, and the table saw.
I found a little for you:
But I think it might be a idea instead to make a super sled:
Hope it can help you on your journey.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Don W's profile

Don W

17880 posts in 1990 days

#6 posted 06-21-2011 02:56 AM

I worked out of a 12×14 shop for a couple of years. Yes it was a challenge. I’m still selling some of the portable tools I acquired to replace with the grown up versions. One summer days I would drag everything outside. You can make it work, but it takes some ingenuity and you have to be willing to sacrifice. Either way, its still woodworking.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View Wayne's profile


196 posts in 2015 days

#7 posted 06-21-2011 03:02 AM

mads- Thank you for the info and your thoughts.

Don- Sacrifice … Some great things have come from sacrifice,hopefully this will be one.
Thank you for the encouragement!

View mafe's profile


11061 posts in 2511 days

#8 posted 06-21-2011 01:46 PM


-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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