It was suggested in the comments on my first blog 2 years ago that I seek a more hand tool direction because of almost non-existent space to work. I AM a hybrid woodworker and love handtools, but have found that it is actually more and not less expensive to be completely hand tool oriented, primarily because larger projects using rough lumber are so labor and mainly space intensive as to be impractical when you are essentially forced to do most of your work outside in nice weather. What do you do with partially completed work? How many times do you plane out the new cup in that board before you finally get the joinery done?
I have discovered how to get nice hand tools to restore. My parents moved to the Pacific Northwest where I am able to reasonably pick up older Stanley, Disston, etc… hand tools there and restore them to user condition. My full set of bench planes and chisels get a lot of use and my sharpening regimen has really come along to a point that I really get a thrill seeing an end grain shaving from my chisels.
Walking this tightrope has led me to keep moving forward on two major projects. A Tablesaw and router workstation that has quite a lot of storage and a 4.5 foot, primarily English influenced, workbench with a leg and tail vise. I can’t wait to get the vises finished so that I can share it here… I am especially thrilled that my patience and thrift (cheapness?) have given me an excellent bench for about $50 including the vises.
Teaser shots from several months ago when I flattened the top (Did I mention I work slow?)
I am still on a storage journey since we are forced to roll everything out of the garage and back in every time we use it… both the “new” bench and the Tablesaw station have already suffered damage from this constant journey, but overall it has been worth it because I am growing in the craft despite the handicaps of space and budget!Here is my original list with a progress report.
- Power – A long high quality extension on a 20 amp circuit – One major tool at a time!!
- Table saw – 1954 Craftsman 113 with a Vega Fence Mounted in a 60% completed Workstation
- Powered Miter Saw – Old Craftsman – could be better
- Routers and a router Table – Original Incra Jig and custom fence mounted in the 60% completed Workstation
- Drill Press – Shopsmith 10er – Outstanding drill press and Horizontal Boring Machine
- A lathe (nice but not necessary) – SS 10er – Works well!
- Power sanders – Various hand held and a 12” disc on the SS 10er
- Hand held power tools – Pretty well equipped here
- Workbench – Should have included hand planes, decent chisels and saws here as well – Have these at this point and bench is 85% complete
- Tool storage- Hand and Power – Still a major work in progress
- A small compressor and gun – Harbor Freight compressor and a nice little off brand brad nailer (not HF)
- Some kind of rudimentary dust collection – Have a $15 CL Special Craftsman Shop Vacuum – A homemade Thien cyclone is in the plan.
In addition to these items we picked up an old Magna SS 11” bandsaw that needs new wheel bearings, but allows us to cut curves.
Thanks for reading!
-- -Tim Royal... Always reminded of this when I see the amazing work LJ's do (I have no choice but to be humble!), "Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real." -Thomas Merton