I might be writing this to explain my choices while demonstrating my impeccable organizational skills and foresight. But in reality, I know, that at best, I have a hazy gestalt of what I am doing and why in this hobby, and forge ahead, in an adventurous mode, and am totally amazed at my situation when reflecting at any point in time. Kind of like a two year old rummaging through the kitchen cabinets, chewing off the can labels and scattering the contents of the boxes, sitting there on the floor in the middle of the mess, with a big grin gazing up at mom, totally self satisfied with his discoveries, and proud of the great things he did with them.
My day job demands precision and total alertness at all times. It dominates my life… it defines and limits me. My hobbies are my escape from that domination and limits. I need to create, feel the freedom of an imagination run wild, without limits and care……you know, make a real mess. Thank God for sawdust.
(My intention is to outline my current situation in this #2 entry, provide pictures in #3 , and then solicit suggestions for storage, tool mounting, lighting, etc., along with my thoughts in #4)
Here’s the SPACE:
I have lived in this house since 1985. I will probably die in this house. For multiple reasons, it is what I have to deal with now and forever. I used to have the back end of a double car garage, double deep. Meaning I basically had an unshared double car garage attached to the house for my shop. This shop served as carpentry, electrical, electronics and ham radio, plumbing, and miscellaneous mechanical work space. But this old house needed upgrading, and two furnaces and the hot water heater ended up in my space. Also, a walkway must be maintained to the back of the space leading to another storage area and the door to the back yard. No, I cannot expand this space because covenants prohibit us from building anything more on the lot, we are already slightly over the limit. The SPACE is warm and dry. I cannot work before 0600 hrs or after 2200 hrs due to the proximity of bedroom, directly overhead.
My wife intrudes a little into this space…storing muddy garden gloves and fertilizer on the contractor saw table top, using chisels for screw drivers, using tiny wire nips as bolt cutters, and in total unskilled innocence once fired up the radial arm saw and cut off a piece of plastic drainage pipe (not her hand thankfully, but it got her a lecture and chastisement) …you know, the usual charming and amusing feminine intrusions. She also uses one shelf for some strategic storage, otherwise the space is mine.
It has gained miles of heating pipe and electrical cables in a maze in the rafters and on the walls. I hope to clean up the electrical over time, but the heating system pipes are here to stay.
Now the TIME:
Since I still work, and get tired, and because I am not young, there are limits on my energy. I have limited time for hobbies. Considering time and energy restraints, it would probably take me a couple of years to totally revamp this space including the cabinets, workstations, and tools. Therefore I feel I must keep the shop functional while it is upgraded, so that I can do things now. So I will nibble at it and buy tools that fit for now, knowing I may replace them later, as the space gets more used more efficiently. It is a new hobby (meaning the shop was essentially multipurpose and totally utilitarian till now) and I don’t want to get carried away, and find I have or gain some impediment to enjoying it. And I do like fixing up the old friends I have worked with for years, my radial arm saw, and the contractors saw.
INVENTORY: (all these tools were purchased new)
Craftsman Radial Arm Saw – 1971 New table in place
Delta Contractors Saw – 1987 New Vega fence and Wixey digital readout
Skil Router Model 295 – 1978
Makita Miter Saw –1984 in disuse
Delta 12” Drill Press – 1990 Would like to upgrade.
Delta 4” Belt/Disc Sander – 1991 Would like a more robust machine.
Delta 10” Band Saw – 1992 Will upgrade in the near future.
Delta 1.5 HP Sawdust Collector – 2009 4” hose running to all current workstations, blast deflectors at each station, remote control on/off
Delta ShopMaster TP 305 small Planer – 2009 In the box still
Delta ShopMaster JT 160 small Joiner – 2009 In the box still
Hitachi Scroll Saw CW 40 – 2009 In the box still
Multiple corded and cordless drills, saws, sanders, etc. Mostly old, but in good shape.
So there is the situation…
And pictures…coming soon!! (probably next weekend)
-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska