LumberJocks

Woodworking on a Half-Shoestring #47: The Dungeon Workshop: Progress Report & Walk-Through

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Paul Bucalo posted 07-15-2015 06:15 PM 2926 reads 0 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 46: Sewing Thread Spools & Bobbins Rack: Fully Populated Part 47 of Woodworking on a Half-Shoestring series Part 48: Portable Base for DeWALT Thickness Planer »

One of my greatest challenges in woodworking is not working wood. That isn’t meant to imply I have all the skills and knowledge, that I am an expert in woodworking. What I mean is that being one who works best when organized, being so disorganized and without working space handicaps me like you wouldn’t believe. While it would seem easy enough to just start putting things away and moving things here or there, the reality is that I don’t have enough places to store what I need, and consequently I spend the majority of my time looking for tools, equipment and supplies. The dungeon isn’t the only place I have these things. They are scattered between three floors. This has to stop, of course. This is what I have been focusing on between small projects over the course of the past several months.

I should have taken ‘before’ pictures of the mess. It was such a dangerous environment before these new pictures were taken that I was sure to receive a lot of admonishment from my peers. I was literally stepping over loose lumber and narrowly moving between benches and stands to get from one spot to another. What you see here is still a dangerous mess, but now I have room to move around and that means more and safer progress.

If the weather was more cooperative, I could get the lumber on the floor out to the trailer, cover it with a tarp, and extract what I needed until I had the shop laid out. Unfortunately, the humidity level is much higher outside because of the amount of rain we have been having this summer. It will be months before I can create any more lumber racks. I know: everything in its own time. Patience was never a virtue of mine.

——

Recently I put up a studded wall along side of the old oil tank. I used new and reclaimed OSB, which I found out during construction was of two different thickness. Before I knew this I had measured out panel widths and you can see I missed the proper measurement on the top right panel. Fortunately, looks is far less important in this environment than usability.

Because of the high humidity and mold/mildew in this environment, I decided to prime the front side of wall with bin primer before painting. One thick coat was applied, enough to ensure that I got the majority of the crevices filled.

I applied one coat of white latex ceiling paint. I went back and forth many times on which bench to put in this space. The HF Windsor bench (seen on the left) would allow placing it away from the wall and walking around all four sides. The problem is in the uneven floor, especially at the drain hole on the far right. The bench lacks the weight to keep itself stable on floor shims. I also needed the deeper converted desk-to-bench placed where it would do the most good. It won’t fit anywhere else. Once dry, the bench was moved into place. As you can see, finding a place for things is what holds back construction. Can’t work on the bench if it is filled with expectant tools and equipment.

I whipped up a small clamps rack for the right side of the bench. These are the plastic-ended squeeze-grip clamps I have. I have to build a larger rack for my screw grip clamps in the space left open around the tank. Something for a later time.

More clutter. The stone wall on the right has to be reclaimed. Minimally, I need to take the pegboard on the wall and rotate its length and hang it to run widthwise along the wall. What I would like to do eventually is to stud the wall as I did around the oil tank. This makes it easier to rid myself of the ever present intrusion of arachnids in my dungeon domain. It would also keep the moisture off whatever I put near the wall.

You can see how much the floor slopes from the far right corner to the left when you look at the wheeled sliding compound saw bench compared to the Windsor work bench. I kid you not, that is about a two inch slope. Another reason for adding the studded wall is to create wall-mounted benches that ‘would be’ level. That would take care of this problem.

The lumber, as mentioned before, is a problem here: no place to put it. The steel shelves in the background are coming out. They are lined with bike shop stuff. Most of that will be given away to a friend who works on bikes to supplement his Social Security. But since I still have several bikes to care for and some still to be built-up, there will be a repair shop somewhere.

There is a tiny closet-like room behind all the bench (white door) that hasn’t been opened in over twenty years. I am curious to see if it can be used for finishing or storage.

Note the DeWALT thickness planer on the left. It’s ‘stuck’ there.

So what do I mean by the planer being ‘stuck’ there?

In trying to gain some access to this part of the dungeon, I needed to find a place to put the thickness planer where it would be temporarily out of the way. As you know, these are close to 200 pounds in weight. Like the old-man-who-thought-he-was-still-a-young-fool, I horsed it up onto two tall sawhorses. That caused a massive spasm across my back, a reoccurrence of an injury sustained in my computer shop back in the late ‘90s. Thinking that I could work this one out, I kept on going. It looked like it was going to work. Then I tried to carry my relatively light Contractor saw out to the back yard. It was on the stone steps leading outdoors that it came on full force, locked me up so I couldn’t move, and here I was pinned on the steps, wedged between it and the stone wall. At any rate, I was incapacitated for well over a week and that was months ago. Eventually, I have to get this down and placed on wheels or I will never be able to used it. I sure wish one of you guys lived close by to give a hand. ;) My young stud neighbor has promised to help me move it this Friday. I just have to get a low base on wheels together before then.

Also notice the table saw has a base. That’s a new accomplishment, one I started well over a year ago. It turned out to be sturdy and appropriately heavy, with two wheel on one end and a wooden foot on the other. All four corners have levelers. The only failure in this base has been dust collection. I needed to make the bottom tray sloped downward into the collection port. Too much saw dust ejects out the front blade angle port, for one, and secondly, the rest still piles up around the edge of the shallow trough. Live and learn.

Behind and to the left of the left steel shelf unit is a room extension. This space is filled with bicycling stuff in boxes and some extra plastic garbage cans no longer used. Once they are out and electricity/lighting installed, this could be used for the bike repair shop. Maybe.

Around the adjustable steel joist jacks I made a pallet wood wall. This is going to provide a usable wall to hang tools on and to partition workspace from the lumber rack behind it. I just finished relocating the bench drill press here, which is now securely bolt to the cabinet top. The top drawers were peculiar in that the hand holds to open them leaves a large gap that allows sawdust and crud to fall into the drawers. The thick board you see resting on the drawer tops will be cut to match the width of the table top and then two hinges will be mounted on top so that it can hinged upward and out of the way to get at the drawers.

The router stand is a Catch-22 for me, because I hope to do jointing with it (I don’t have a jointer and probably won’t while in this shop space). I know I will need to get long boards through there and obviously where it is that can’t happen. When the need arises I will have to move the base out enough to clear the drill press, moving it back against the wall when done. I may find myself putting wheels on the base will make this easier to do.

The space to the right of the band saw is where the drill press used to be. I would really like to free the bureau top up for a computer monitor and place a computer tower in the opened up left side bay. Maybe once the bike shop area is cleaned out there will be room there.

Much of what is on the wall there will be relocated to the other walls, as it pertains to the equipment and use at location. I plan on painting the wall white: I need more light reflection on the work areas.

The old Delta scroll saw on the left needs to be refurbished. Another project on my bucket list.

And that back room needs to be cleaned out. inside, and around to the right, I have to put in at least one adjustable joist jack to prop up the kitchen/bathroom floor where it is sagging before I can remodel either. More bucket list fodder. Right now, I have rough shelving in there that houses all of my bottles and canned solvents, paints, oils, etc.

The chest freezer couldn’t be in a worse place as far as the shop is concerned. Every time the wife wants to take something out of the it I have to move whatever is on top of it—usually completely covered with whatever—and it’s a real pain. But there isn’t any better place for it as I don’t want my wife walking ‘through’ the workshop.

I wish pictures conveyed depth, as our eyes see it. The rough patches of concrete flooring on the bottom left of the picture vary in depth, some places as deep as a couple of inches. The heavy miter saw bench in the back gets stuck here, and that has wheels nearly three inches tall. Resurfacing isn’t an option. I am hoping to lay down rubber mats in the future.

You can see the lumber piles that are in the way. They will be moved today, because I need to get the table saw located to just camera-side of the shop vac, and the Windsor bench will be its outfeed table. Then it will be time to don the respirator and ear mugs before vacuuming webs and spiders to get access to the bike shelves. You have no idea how buried that area is in webs. :)

I hope you found this progress report and tour of my dungeon workshop interesting.

———

ADDENDUM – July 16th

I’ve spent some time in the dungeon since I posted this blog. I’ve been able to get some stuff put away (like powered hand tools underneath the large desk-turned-bench) and of course the relocation of the table saw and Windsor bench at center floor. I did some spider web cleaning out in the far right corner and was able to clear off most of what was hanging on the pegboard. The board will be removed, cleaned up and then mounted long ways across the wall so that I can have full use of it. The sliding miter saw, as we all knows, needs a lot of space behind it, so for now its present location works and give me some access to the bike stuff I have to remove/relocate.

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA



19 comments so far

View majuvla's profile

majuvla

9098 posts in 2328 days


#1 posted 07-15-2015 06:49 PM

Don’t be sad, it is mess, but it has great potential! Can’t wait to see it complete.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View luv2learn's profile

luv2learn

2461 posts in 1763 days


#2 posted 07-15-2015 09:55 PM

Progress is often messy Paul and it is a journey but the end results are worth the effort.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View Ted Ewen's profile

Ted Ewen

187 posts in 527 days


#3 posted 07-16-2015 08:06 AM

I’m in the same boat, but on a later journey. It’s like one of those sliding number puzzles. You know what you have to do and you can see everything that has to be done to get there, but in order to do the first thing (get the 1 in the top left corner) you have to move numbers 2-15 around – and a number of times. The chicken and the egg have nothing on this paradox.

You are doing the right thing though, organise so you can disorganize in an organised way and so reorganise into the organization you wanted in the first place.

Or something :D

-- Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything. The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass.

View CincyRW's profile

CincyRW

156 posts in 1111 days


#4 posted 07-16-2015 12:04 PM

I’m in a similar situation – small, low-ceiling basement in a 100+ YO house. I feel your pain. You’ve certainly got some constraints, but you’re making great progress. Can you rig a pulley to the ceiling to lift up the planer?

View Paul Bucalo's profile

Paul Bucalo

620 posts in 820 days


#5 posted 07-16-2015 12:34 PM



Don t be sad, it is mess, but it has great potential! Can t wait to see it complete.

- majuvla

Thanks, Ivan. Appreciated. The dungeon does have potential, enough to allow me to get organized to where I can know where everything is and find it so I don’t waste time and get so frustrated looking for things. As I said, patience is not one of my virtues.

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA

View Paul Bucalo's profile

Paul Bucalo

620 posts in 820 days


#6 posted 07-16-2015 12:35 PM



Progress is often messy Paul and it is a journey but the end results are worth the effort.

- luv2learn

You are so right, Lee. I wish all of my journeys weren’t so messy, though. :)

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA

View Paul Bucalo's profile

Paul Bucalo

620 posts in 820 days


#7 posted 07-16-2015 12:41 PM


I m in the same boat, but on a later journey. It s like one of those sliding number puzzles. You know what you have to do and you can see everything that has to be done to get there, but in order to do the first thing (get the 1 in the top left corner) you have to move numbers 2-15 around – and a number of times. The chicken and the egg have nothing on this paradox.

You are doing the right thing though, organise so you can disorganize in an organised way and so reorganise into the organization you wanted in the first place.

Or something :D

Jeeze-Louise, Ted…I love how you can make me chuckle. Circular thinking is so ‘me’. :D

Seriously, I need organization to counter my very disorganized mind and short attention span. I’m sure I have a touch of Attention Disorder in me. It has gotten worse with age. When my environment is clutter-free and organized, I work very fast and very efficiently. ‘Stay the course.’ That’s about the best advice anyone can offer, I guess.

How’s your situation doing? I’m not on G+ much, so I may have missed your posts. Are the coops up? Posts with pics up?

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA

View Paul Bucalo's profile

Paul Bucalo

620 posts in 820 days


#8 posted 07-16-2015 12:49 PM



I m in a similar situation – small, low-ceiling basement in a 100+ YO house. I feel your pain. You ve certainly got some constraints, but you re making great progress. Can you rig a pulley to the ceiling to lift up the planer?

- CincyRW

Thanks for the encouraging words. Appreciated, especially from someone with similar workspace limitations.

I took a look at your profile and was amazed at the quality of your work. Your skill has definitely overcome your limitations there. I hope to be at that level some day.

If my neighbor hadn’t recently promised to help me move the planer, I would have rigged up a lift. Now I have to build a squat base on wheels for it by Friday, when he can help. And pray that my back doesn’t give me problems with his help. :)

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA

View stefang's profile

stefang

15512 posts in 2795 days


#9 posted 07-16-2015 02:11 PM

It looks like you are making pretty good progress. Getting a shop into working order takes a lot of time and energy and it can be discouraging at times if you really just want to do woodworking not construction work. I guess it is part of paying our dues. Most of us have been through it at least once and some many times over. I have done it twice. The first time was mainly just moving into a nicely finished basement room. The second time I had to build the whole thing. After getting a shop space finished we then usually have to be constantly reconfiguring it to accommodate new tools, new work methods, new interests and/or all of these reasons. My one big, maybe helpful, suggestion would be to set up your shop so it can be flexible as possible when those future inevitable changes have to be made.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Paul Bucalo's profile

Paul Bucalo

620 posts in 820 days


#10 posted 07-16-2015 02:26 PM

Thanks, Stefang, for the words of encouragement. I do realize many start off with a meager workspace and some never get past one. In my case, as I enter into a semi-retirement phase (where I still need to make an income, if only fund the cost of running the shop) I need to get the shop to where I can do some limited production work. There is a lot of construction to be done on the house, too, so a place to reface kitchen cabinet doors, build some cabinets, etc., is needed. I also have a time restraint. There is a lot of window work that has to be done inside before winter arrives. Really, I have too much on my bucket list, so whenever I am bogged down because of the shop conditions or weather, it’s hard on me.

This was all so much easier when I was a young man. :)

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA

View jinkyjock's profile

jinkyjock

487 posts in 1035 days


#11 posted 07-16-2015 08:42 PM

Paul,
+1 with stefang (Mike).
Sometimes it can be difficult to see the progress you have made when you are in an environment every day,
but to my eyes you are definitely progressing, AND you have a plan.
I work in a 16×12ft shop and it drives me crazy sometimes, but I have learned to adapt and be more organised.
Recently I did a re-fit of my shop, (check out my blog), and am not too proud to admit that I took some ideas from guys like Mike and others in LJ’s to use my limited resources efficiently.
This was all so much easier when I was a young man. :)
There’s a hill outside my house and its DEFINITELY steeper than it was 10 yrs ago.
Cheers, Jinky (James).

View Paul Bucalo's profile

Paul Bucalo

620 posts in 820 days


#12 posted 07-16-2015 08:57 PM

Jinky, the best part about socializing with people who share your interest is getting the chance to learn from them. :)

Progress is a subjective point of view. It’s good to have some one else’s opinion to know where you have been is where you thought you were going. ;)

A note to anyone coming back to this thread: I added an addendum with an additional picture of the progress made. Not all my power tools are accessible, but enough of them that I can get some work done without the dangerous mess. Probably by the weekend I will have the bike shop area resolved.

I swung by your place earlier this week. I’ll go back and look around as soon as I can. I might find some secrets I can make my own. :)

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA

View Ted Ewen's profile

Ted Ewen

187 posts in 527 days


#13 posted 07-17-2015 06:10 AM

I am glad to serve :D

We still haven’t got the first coop installed. The friend who was “able to get as many people as we need” was not, and so the house still sits blocking the driveway. I’ve finally picked a design for the new coops, and need to work it up in SketchUp. Also, I am broke and have to wait for the 1st to order some non-pressure treated lumber, ply for the roof and floor, profile boards for the outer walls, some plastic corrugated roofing, and hardware for installing same.

In getting other bits and bobs, I spent all my saw money. Thankfully we have a large tax return on deck, if we ever find the time to do the numbers and submit the return.

Our second batch of chicks is hatching as I type, so I’d better get a move on! Now, if I move the 2 there, then I can move the 5 there and bring the 1 up a level….


Jeeze-Louise, Ted…I love how you can make me chuckle. Circular thinking is so me . :D

Seriously, I need organization to counter my very disorganized mind and short attention span. I m sure I have a touch of Attention Disorder in me. It has gotten worse with age. When my environment is clutter-free and organized, I work very fast and very efficiently. Stay the course. That s about the best advice anyone can offer, I guess.

How s your situation doing? I m not on G+ much, so I may have missed your posts. Are the coops up? Posts with pics up?

- Paul Bucalo


-- Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything. The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass.

View Paul Bucalo's profile

Paul Bucalo

620 posts in 820 days


#14 posted 07-17-2015 11:29 AM


We still haven t got the first coop installed. The friend who was “able to get as many people as we need” was not, and so the house still sits blocking the driveway.

Depending on others tends to be where things fall apart for me on my projects. :/


I ve finally picked a design for the new coops, and need to work it up in SketchUp.

I don’t run Windows any more than I have to, so I’m running XP in a virtual machine just to run SketchUp, and the only reason I bother with that is because with everyone else using the program I lose out on good plans if I don’t. I’m still determined to learn FreeCAD, though. Open source whenever possible. Good luck with getting the plans up. I’d like to see the finished design when you are done.


Also, I am broke and have to wait for the 1st to order some non-pressure treated lumber, ply for the roof and floor, profile boards for the outer walls, some plastic corrugated roofing, and hardware for installing same.

Money: the root of all project delays for us meager woodworkers. I feel your pain, Ted. :)


In getting other bits and bobs, I spent all my saw money. Thankfully we have a large tax return on deck, if we ever find the time to do the numbers and submit the return.

Tax returns may not be the best way to save up money, but they sure do some angelic butt saving when the money arrives. So get those calculators and pencils moving along. File! :D


Our second batch of chicks is hatching as I type, so I d better get a move on! Now, if I move the 2 there, then I can move the 5 there and bring the 1 up a level….

You better get that spare bedroom made up. You’ll be having lots of house guests soon. ;)

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA

View Ted Ewen's profile

Ted Ewen

187 posts in 527 days


#15 posted 07-18-2015 08:29 AM

Things look much more feng shui after the update, Paul. Nice one.
I’m pretty much out of G+ too. 4 years is enough :D

-- Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything. The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass.

showing 1 through 15 of 19 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com