It’s been awhile, hasn’t it?
September, October, November, and now the first week plus of December with no updates to speak of, and for that I can only offer excuses. So I won’t bother.
There haven’t been any major changes to the shop that I can speak of. Mostly little things here and there, small additions that have made working more enjoyable and minor redesigns in respect to work flow. All of the Christmas presents I discussed in August got done nearly two months ahead of schedule. I can’t say they turned out quite like I wanted them to, or that they are fantastic presents by themselves, but I hope those who receive them will appreciate the planning, learning, and eventual execution. This wouldn’t have happened a year ago, I tell you that.
I only have shop projects going right now. I’m still trying to figure out what to do with my router table, if I should keep plugging away or start over because I’m not satisfied with the fit and finish of it. I can say that I finally got around to installing a miter slot in the top. It doesn’t match the ‘Rockler blue’ of the other accessories, but at this point I’m not sure I care about that. Should do very well in implementing a table feather board, a miter gauge or a sled, if I do say so myself. I also played around with making a back to the router compartment with a dust collection port, but like I said – I’m still debating if I want to completely redo the cabinet.
I’ve started on a rather ingenious drill press table that incorporates a fence, dust collection and removable zero clearance inserts for drilling and sanding. However, I didn’t truly appreciate the size of this thing, and I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it once done. It’s large enough that I will need to shorten my drill press cabinet, or store this thing when I’m not using it. My Kreg jig, which is mounted at the front center of the cart, may also need to find a new home. I’ll be doing some thinking on this over Christmas. I also will need another couple feet of T-track to complete the project, but otherwise it’s all about finishing construction and thinking my use of the final product.
I have done some general shop reorganization, in the continual process of making this an efficient workspace. The remaining $20 bench and the Ultimate Tool Stand (the Swiss Army Table, still in progress) swapped sides, and the drill press also moved to the left side of the shop. The metal black shelving unit I had holding my miter saw stand, various cutoffs and tools has been relegated to the house, probably never to return. I simply needed the extra space. Almost everything not related to tools or woodworking has also been removed, with the exception of the mower, trimmer, ladder, and a couple other small things.
Something I did on the advice of some forum friends was to relocate my ladder off the wall and up on the ceiling, as it were. Now it sits directly over the entrance with three store-bought hooks. I was then able to use part of this newfound wall space to hang my extension cords. On bottom is the 12ga, 50ft cord I use for all the tools and I bought a 16ga 100ft cord and matching reel to power lights or my vacuum. Before this purchase, I was unable to run the table saw and vacuum at the same time. But now, I can (and did!) cut something indoors for the first time. It wasn’t the best experience, but I proved to myself it could be done in the event of inclimate weather.
One of my bigger purchases was a spur of the moment thing, a fantastic sale on something I knew I would need in the near to medium future – a cabinet bit set. I’m hoping to give this a try soon, as I have tasked myself to replace a cabinet door for my parents. I should now have all the tools needed to get this accomplished, especially with the new miter gauge in the router table, some additional feather boards, and a 4” engineer square to help me get the fence just right.
Other purchases I can think of include a digital planer gauge for the Ryobi that has already paid for itself with completion of the Christmas gifts. I picked up a 1000w lighting kit at a great sale price, and got with it a free drop light. I’m not sure I’ll have a use for the drop light in the shop, but it might come in handy for doing any driveway auto repairs. I bought some gluing accessories to help me get a better joint, some adjustable aluminum bar clamps from Harbor Freight and some safety equipment.
The next big project I have is to revamp the interior of the shop further. I’d really like to replace all the walls with OSB, and run some wire in the expectation that I will eventually have permanent power. I’d also like to pull down the ceiling panels and evaluate if I’m going to go with a strict replacement, or perhaps leave it open. I’d also like to find the right floor covering that things will still roll, but will alleviate fatigue.
With rearrangement and consolidation, I’ve now made room for two things I thought I would never have – a full floor band saw and a dust collector. The band saw will come first, as it is going to play a major part in my next non-shop project – a table and chairs. Right now I have a bid in on a Ridgid BS1400, and I hope I win it. If I don’t, I might run into some issues going forward.
I’ve made the space for a full size dust collector, but for right now I’ll be continuing to use my Shop Vac and separator setup. But instead of continuing to store it under the table, I’ll make a vertical stand to give me a bit better idea of what space will be like whenever I do get that DC. The reason? Without permanent power, it’s simply the best solution.
That’s probably enough for one post. I’ll have more a bit later.