One of the things that was delaying my (failed) 2x4 project was a promise to myself that I would get the shop clean and in working order (or at least organized) before I started any new projects.
Since I work out of two toolboxes I tend to at least know where most of my tools are (up in the car), for the house/shop tools are usually much harder to find. The problem, apart from the entire basement looking much like this table:
Lots of random things without a home, but even more so – piles and piles of offcuts and assorted scrap. 2x, 1x, ply and rough hardwoods. (some of the S4S Cherry, Ipe, etc is under my bed.)
A few gung-ho days during Christmas “vacation” found me having a shop floor! Space I can actually walk on! (as opposed to stepping from clear spot to semi-clear spot, in a death-defying game of twister/hopscotch) One upshot was several bags of kindling.
Another upshot was using the larger pieces of scrap – and remains of my 1st workbench as a
“good” lumber rack:
Now I have a home for my (from the top down) Oak, oak, and maple. The rack is 2×4’s, with approximately 12” 2×4’s for the brackets, attached with scrap pieces of ply. I also added a ply shelf under each bracket to hold smaller offcuts. – bits of oak, and the bottoms scraps of hardwood spindles I acquire. Could be poplar, could be maple or birch. no discernible grain (like the hardwood craft wood at the arts/crafts store) Good for practice turning… but I digress. There is also a raised space (cinder blocks) for plywood, furniture grade and better utility grade below.
To the right of the new rack I have more room for other lumber storage, longer pieces and things of lesser quantities. A little walnut, cedar, mahogany, cherry, and the rest of the door turned Thorsen Table.
Other January projects included chopping down my table saw cart. It could (barely) fit under the “counter” that runs along one wall. I decided it was to tall (followed plans to the letter in a magazine article). Now I can easily stow it with the fence, or a sacrificial top attached (which is it’s usual state. – until I build a sled).
My other Jan projects included turning the last bits of my old workbench into a lathe stand. – with Lumberjock supplied stock beneath (top shelf, ebony, osage orange, mesquite, Eucalyptus – all from Texas…) Bottom shelf is rescued oak, ash, maple and cherry from the firewood pile.
Building or modifying projects aside, I also got the shop wired for lights, and electricity! I can see! I can turn on the miter saw, table saw and drill press at the same time – without swapping plugs, tripping over extension cords or moving around clip lights. What a difference!
Another aspect of making space, is getting to those projects that have been semi-in the way for years.
I started stripping this door almost 5 years ago but somehow it ended up behind a large stack of lumber, and fell off my radar. Some of the hardest things to see are the ones that are right there.
One last feature of my shop. A natural soothing feature. A water feature. It trickles down the stair wall, and eventually forms a river, draining where the oil tank, or something used to be. not quite 1/4 of the way into the basement. It looks bad from this angle, but this is the extent of it (during a hard rain, or spring thaw). I’m keeping everything off the floor more for cleaning (and no places for the mice to hide) more than the floor wetness.
Hey look – the tables cleaned off! Progress is being made!
At this rate, I’ll be ready for my shop inspection... before the summer contest ;)