HEY BUDDY- What the heck do you make in that shop?

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Forum topic by StumpyNubs posted 08-15-2011 10:09 PM 2812 views 1 time favorited 74 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7578 posts in 2767 days

08-15-2011 10:09 PM

Topic tags/keywords: humor resource jig milling

I believe there are two kinds of woodworkers. Those who make things and those who make shops. I’m a little bit of both, but more of the latter. My shop has been built, torn apart, rearranged and reorganized a dozen times in the last couple of years. Just when I get it the way I want it, I tear it up and do it another “better” way. Today I realized I spend vastly more time building benches and jigs and racks and tools than I spend actually using all that stuff on real projects.

So it would help me a GREAT DEAL if you all could gove me some perspective. What do YOU actually make? I don’t mean what you built for your cousin Abe’s 90th wedding anniversary. I mean what do you make regularly, what is your special thing that you make often enough to have at least part of your shop set up with that item specifically in mind. Or something you make enough of that you have made special patterns to make reproduction easier.

I’ll start it off…

Lately I’ve been making a lot of shadow box frames. Because of that I have several jigs within easy reach made especially for those frames. I also desigend a power sanding station with three stationary belt sanders so I can quickly touch the pieces on the belts through three different grits. Then I have a miter trimmer bolted to the bench to fine tune the angles. Finally I have bins set under the bench with all the unassembled parts for the frames.

So, what do you make? What’s your speciality? And what have you done to make your small scale production go more smoothly in your shop?

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74 replies so far

View Bertha's profile


13521 posts in 2659 days

#1 posted 08-15-2011 10:14 PM

I make shops.
Seriously, for the last year I’ve made:
1) a nightstand
2) a vent cover
3) shop fixtures
I get enjoyment from being in my shop. Sometimes, I’ll walk out to my shop and just poke around, doing nothing really.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View degoose's profile


7228 posts in 3321 days

#2 posted 08-15-2011 10:17 PM

Well, I make the following on a very regular basis..
Cutting boards,
Chopping boards,
Lazy Susans [Larrys]
Jewellery boxes,
Swerving trays,
Wine tilts,
and a new addition to the line
Sushi boards..
As well as chess boards, dart board cabinets, and various book cases and small cabinets..
I have jigs and set ups for all these to make life easier..
I also make jigs for making jigs and all the above…
Hope this is what you wanted…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View StumpyNubs's profile


7578 posts in 2767 days

#3 posted 08-15-2011 10:23 PM

Bertha- I spent all day in the shop today, and didn’t do a freaking thing.

degoose- Who do you make those things for? Are they gifts? Do you sell them? If you’re going to make one on your list, do you make just a single or a half dozen or so?

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View MedicKen's profile


1612 posts in 3428 days

#4 posted 08-15-2011 10:26 PM

The majority of my shop time has been devoted to restoring machines. I love the old arn and have spent a good amount of time, effort and money in the restoration of old machines. The last couple of years I have restored a Delta 14” bandsaw, 2 Powermatic 1150A VS drill presses, Walker Turner 1180B 10” table saw, Delta 1460 12” lathe, Cincinnati 6” bench grinder, Oliver 232 table saw and still have a 1920’s Crescent 8” jointer. To make matters worse I am currently bidding on an Oliver 192 18” band saw from 1922. If I win the saw it will be added to the queue for restoration. Once I get finished with all the machines I will be able to get back cutting wood and making sawdust.

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their

View Airshelves's profile


3 posts in 2491 days

#5 posted 08-15-2011 10:29 PM

We create shelves and shelving systems, we have our own solid oak bracket system and our shelves are constructed out of oak veneer and other material termed Airshelves. You can view our collection of shelves and shelving systems on our website at:

-Work on demand for your product before setting up your shop for a specific task. It is costly to re-arrange machinery and buying additional machines to run a specific task just for an idea you have. You need to make sure there is a demand for your idea, start out small and expand upon that idea once the demand rises. If you like to re-arrange your shop just for organizational purposes that is fine, but buying costly machinery for an idea that is un-tested is very risky.

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3269 days

#6 posted 08-15-2011 10:53 PM

stumpynubs, its hard for me to think that most of the regular jocks dont know the goose..lazy larry…larry…he makes and sells most of what he just mentioned in this thread..oh im not getting on to you or anyone, its just a thought..larry is a self taught wood worker who now makes beautiful wood work and makes a living doing so..he is an amazing guy ..his story is one to be shared..sorry, i just know larry pretty good and his wood work and business he has made is a grand story, ok end of that…my shop is set up with all of the tools of the trade, except a band saw…which i wish i had one, but cant afford ..but besides that, i design and build just about everything..from a full size dinning table to a small box..i have a few jigs for a few of the projects ive made that i will want to replicate..but besides shop is made for doing the work..i understand having a shop and liking it, as i love mine..BUT…AND THIS IS A BIG BUT, were wood workers…our passion and love is making beautiful things..some are utilitarian and some are say jewelery boxes, how do you guys not make things..that’s my question..once i get a piece of walnut out and i see the beauty, my mind goes to work and i envision a piece i want to make…so i want to encourage you guys who have not made anything in awhile…do it….design something for your home..or a gift for a friend…but use the tools..engage with the wood …..enjoy your shop by making things…that is wood working…just looking and not making..well ..thats not wood working…but ya know i love you guys and dont mean any harm here, just wanna see ya really enjoy wood working….grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View StumpyNubs's profile


7578 posts in 2767 days

#7 posted 08-15-2011 11:05 PM

That’s sage advise, grizzman.

I know Degoose only through his comments on LJs in the past year or so that I’ve been a member. I know he’s a good guy, but am uneducated about his woodworking.

About that bandsaw- BUILD ONE! The guy sells plans to one that you can build for cheap and it’s definately worth it. I started one myself a while back… may even finish it someday!

Cr1- I LOVE A CLEAN SHOP! But I rarely have one. Of course, to me a clean shop means dust free with everything in its place. I have a nice enough dust collection system, but I stilll make a mess over time. I do try and put all the tools away after I use them because I am obsessive about a clear benchtop. And I give it a good sweep every couple months. As for photos- you have likely been just as amazed at the horrible messes some people have in their shops. I mean, who takes a camera into their shop and snaps photos of their table saw covered with extension cords, half empty dogfood bags and bicycle parts and and thinks “man, that looks sweeeeet!” Some of this site’s most active members (so I assume they are also active woodworkers in those shops) have workshop photos that make me throw up a little in my mouth.

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

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7578 posts in 2767 days

#8 posted 08-15-2011 11:10 PM

MedicKen- I’ve picked up some great old tools here and there, but I lack the desire to get my hands greasy restoring machines. I did give my 1970’s RAS a good once over, but I have one of those giant stationary scroll saws craftsman made many years ago that I think I may just sell off. It needs very little work, but I’ll never use it and it just takes up space. If someone offered me a good enough price I’d let it go. Problem is, not too many people want a giant industrial scroll saw.

I do have an Oliver miter trimmer from the turn of the century that I am restoring. It’s pretty much done now.

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View Manitario's profile


2629 posts in 2849 days

#9 posted 08-15-2011 11:17 PM

In the year since taking up woodworking as a hobby my projects have been a workbench, mitre saw stand, planer stand, router cabinet, tool chest, outfeed table, 4 cutting boards (three of which were built as christmas gifts) a pot rack, a bed frame and a bookcase. I’m definitely in the shop making category. It is simply more fun to build something out of 3/4 birch ply, throw a few coats of poly on it and a set of casters and not worry about how it will look in the kitchen/living room/etc.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Flyin636's profile


57 posts in 2460 days

#10 posted 08-16-2011 12:24 AM

We’re a job shop in both wood and metal.IOW’s pretty much do whatever comes along.

In wood world it’s(in any given year).....a cpl kitchens a year….1/2 dz or so,one-off pcs of period furniture…wall storage units,mostly of the library type and/or something with special engineering(structural units).....some contract millwork,usually associated w/historic preservation…....prototype work and engineering/design for others to put their label on(usually smallish)......a little repair work on antiques…..some contract finish work(we have a spraybooth)for contractor bud’s.

Machine shop is largely repair with some prototype and custom one-offs thrown in.Theres been some sheet metal work run through there…..Copper mouldings that have challenged us.But has been rewarding.

Would like to be able to hire someone to run the above…..being that I can then concentrate more on the design,problem solving,research and biz/investment side of things.But economy is really stifling that notion.Flyin 636

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2937 days

#11 posted 08-16-2011 12:45 AM

I was just thinking about your bandsaw the other day. I recalled seeing the frame in one of your shop pictures and was wondering if you ever finished it. I bought those plans myself and due to a change in jobs have not been able to work on it. Any advice for someone who hasn’t started yet? Any pitfalls to be avoided?

As for this thread, I am building my shop for three main functions.
1. to build cabinets and some furniture for a major remodel of my house.
2. to make small gift items for my jewelry store. (mostly turned items)
3. cause I love to build things, carve things, design and create things I’ll always be building this shop, or something in this shop, till someone prys my cold dead fingers off the last tool I was using.

View StumpyNubs's profile


7578 posts in 2767 days

#12 posted 08-16-2011 12:56 AM

I haven’t finished the bandsaw, but I am close. I do have some tips if you decide to tacle it…

1. The measurements in the sketchup plan are off here and there. Double check every one of them before you cut, and make adjustments as needed.

2. Use the highest quality bearings you can. I tried the cheaper ones and the wheels wobble. They have to be good, sealed bearings.

3. I used a double layer of 3/4” MDF for the wheels, which is thicker than the plans call for, but it works out well and the MDF is more balanced than plywood. I made the wheels a bit oversized and then turned them on my lathe to give them a crown.

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View jim C's profile

jim C

1472 posts in 3065 days

#13 posted 08-16-2011 01:05 AM

I do more organizing, and shop improvement than actual woodworking.
But I do play around a bit.
Check this out:

By the way, I hope you’re in marketing, as every topic you start is wildly popular!
Great job fella.


View StumpyNubs's profile


7578 posts in 2767 days

#14 posted 08-16-2011 01:25 AM

JimC- I saw that printing on veneer project yesterday… got me thinking…

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View CampD's profile


1653 posts in 3452 days

#15 posted 08-16-2011 01:29 AM

My shop mostly stays the same, the only time I change it is if I try to “squeeze-in” another tool. It rarely stays clean for more then a day and as far as what’s made with it. take a look at my projects and you’ll see I’m all over the place.

-- Doug...

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