Introducing myself-first questions

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Forum topic by UrbaneHillbilly posted 01-19-2010 04:41 AM 1230 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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22 posts in 3013 days

01-19-2010 04:41 AM

Hi guys,
After lurking and taking advantage of your book reviews this week, I decided to join up and start asking my questions. After too long in graduate school and academic science, I finally have a job and own a house with a giant garage where I will be setting up shop. I am not completely inexperienced, part of what renewed my interest in woodworking is renovating a 1935 Old Town square stern with an old buddy. When that is done, I will post it all up. I am also an engineer, and generally a DIY kind of guy, whether it is fly-tying or homebrewing, sausage making or meat curing, most of my hobbies start with “Making my own…”

My main two questions for you guys are:

1. Are any of you in Vermont or New England and if so do you know of any local groups and good mills?

2. Even though my garage is large, I can’t have the whole thing for a shop. Do you have any recommendations for keeping this compact? I am already planning to have one large permanent bench with a couple of knock-downs that can be used or put up as necessary. From the angle of compactness, the Shopsmiith is attractive, but my interest will probably out grow the table saw pretty quickly.

Any help would be appreciated, or links to older posts on these topics.

10 replies so far

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 3660 days

#1 posted 01-19-2010 05:05 AM

sky NH

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 3660 days

#2 posted 01-19-2010 05:08 AM

All you have to do is make a search for any State you want…like Vermont LJ members, and get yourself a LJ tool bar

View AaronK's profile


1506 posts in 3427 days

#3 posted 01-19-2010 05:10 AM

Hi Henry,

You sound like me (hopefully!) in 5 years! First off, welcome to the group. This site has been extremely helpful to me in many ways, and hope it works well for you.

I can’t help you with the first question, but perhaps I can offer some advice with the second, since my shop is small. One thing to keep in mind is that everything can be made mobile. Use the wall for shelves and storage and stuff, but all the big machinery and even your workbench can be made mobile. The bench has to be solid when you’re using it, but that doesnt mean you can install it with wheels that come down so that you can move it out of the way. Also keep in mind your overhead space, which is good for storage as well – clamps, lumber, etc. Also, depending on the scale of you projects, you might be fine with smaller “benchtop” sized power tools – like portable planers, drill presses, etc. all of which can be put on carts and wheeled in and out of parking spots along the walls.

anyway, best of luck with the setup, and welcome again!


View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 3660 days

#4 posted 01-19-2010 03:36 PM

Aaron gave you very good advise, also look up member ND2ELK he has a lift cart to move his tools around.

Welcome to Lumberjocks.Great place hope you enjoy yourself!

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1519 posts in 4088 days

#5 posted 01-20-2010 07:51 AM

I thought I had a small shop, a 1947 one car garage, but last time we had a “how small is your shop?” competition here I didn’t even rank. My planer’s on a roll-around cart, I use a circular saw on a rail rather than a table saw (with some jigs for easier ripping and such), and my primary work table folds up and out of the way.

There are times when I have to move the process outside, I need to wait for clear days to break down sheet goods, but generally I can accomplish an amazing amount. I am, however, drawing up plans for a bigger shop in the back yard.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View lovinmrv's profile


101 posts in 3022 days

#6 posted 02-08-2010 11:21 AM

Hi Henry,

Mad River Valley, VT here. Where are you?


-- Life is a sales job.

View ellen35's profile


2734 posts in 3395 days

#7 posted 02-08-2010 01:54 PM

I have 1/2 of a 2 car garage and can use the whole thing if I move the car out… but it has to go back in when I’m not working (house rule). EVERYTHING I have is on wheels including my workbench. Also, I use every bit of wall space I can to get things up off the floor… an old picture of my workshop is posted in my “space” here on LJ.
As for New England LJs… check out the upcoming get-together planned… search for New England in forums.
Welcome! Always nice to have another New Englander in the group.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View snowdog's profile


1164 posts in 3946 days

#8 posted 02-08-2010 03:29 PM

Take a look at what people here have done here with their shops. I love looking at other peoples setups. Make a few floor plans, maybe even post them here and see what people thing. The one thing I did wrong was make my cabinet top an inch higher than my table saw. I’ll fix that some day :)

-- "so much to learn and so little time"..

View 8iowa's profile


1580 posts in 3724 days

#9 posted 02-08-2010 03:47 PM

Welcome Henry:

I’m also a fly fisherman and fly tying and building a cedar strip canoe is on my list. If you would like to see what a Shopsmith workshop looks like check out my “Workshop in the Woods” blog. Also, Shopsmith is about to introduce a new headstock powered with new DVR technology;

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View a1Jim's profile


117060 posts in 3540 days

#10 posted 02-08-2010 06:12 PM

It’s great getting starte no matter what space you have.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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