The New Shop – Six months in

Although I hadn’t had a ton of time in the shop over the winter, it is right about six months since the interior of the shop has become useful. I covered what is left to be done for the structure, but there are a number of observations I can share with the time I’ve had.

First up are tool observations. I have noticed that the fence on my jointer might be slightly warped toward the end. I honestly don’t know how big of an issue this is, but it’s something to be aware of. I don’t know if this is something that can be fixed, needs to be fixed, or if I will have to replace. I had wanted to upgrade to an 8″ helical jointer in a new shop, as that requires 220v and a bit more room. If I absolutely have to upgrade before then, I will. The shop layout is pretty set at this point, so I have a finite space for it to go and that spot isn’t going to change. I have no idea what brand I would buy at any rate.

My table saw is working great, although the dust collection isn’t ideal even with a collector. I need to seal up the carcass if possible, or something. Can’t do a whole lot about overarm dust collection at the moment, but it might be possible to do something with the line that is branched above the right side miter saw support. My biggest upgrades here lie in making jigs. I made a tall fence support when I made the flag case, but that could be improved upon. I need to make a taper/line jig, and a crosscut sled might not be a bad idea either. Storing these things could present an issue though. I do have some storage space along the front wall or on the doors if I put a cover on them. I could explore extending the table on it with something DIY if I so chose.

My router situation is just fine, including the table. I do want to replace the top with an Incra unit, so that I can put in an Incra plate with their downdraft insert system. The carcass of the table is doing exceptionally well, but it could stand to be raised up a bit to match the table saw. I have plenty of plywood scrap to do this. I also need a door on the router cavity, plus either a drawer or a door on the lower storage section.

My bandsaw absolutely needs to be replaced at this point. It doesn’t resaw at 90 degrees to the table, which means I am wasting a ton of material having to plane down to even. A 2″ thick board will only yield two 5/8″ boards, which is nearly 33% wasted board. I am looking at the Laguna 14|12 as a replacement and hoping to sell this one for a little bit to offset cost. It’s a good bandsaw for curving cuts and etc, just not for tall stuff. Perhaps I can sell it with the lathe as a package.

The drill press is fine. The miter saw is okay. I’d like to replace it, but other costs are way more important. The Makita saw is very nice looking, and that would probably be my choice. Or perhaps a Kapex if I had a bit more confidence in it.

I’m pretty happy with my small tools, but I would like to add. The big Domino, a Rotex 150 are at the top of the list. Another smaller sander like the RTS or Rotex 90 might be options down the line. Otherwise, my small tool outlay is on point. I would like to upgrade my multifunction tool to a Fein or something at some point, but I use it so little it isn’t a big deal.

The main point of focus over the next few months are sorting out some storage opportunities. My miter saw wall needs to be rebuilt, and I’ve gotten a few good tips on how to make it more efficient. There will be more spots for systainers or drawers on bottom, and more cohesive storage up top. The right side will be better built as well. I will be building a MFT sysport so that I can get some more storage and it can move out of the way of the attic ladder.

I will also start to think about how I will replace my workbench. If I need under storage, what it will be, what it will be made of, etc. Early stages on this, and it needs to be after the other main projects.

This weekend, and this coming week, I’ll start designing and laying out the things I need to do in both the house and the shop.

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