2016 and beyond – Shop needs

Heads up: this is pretty much a replacement for my previous post about purchases. If you’ve read it, feel free to skip this one. I decided I wanted to expand on some things and format it differently, and starting over was the better way for me.

I actually wrote this about four times, redoing it each time. I had stuff about what I would do if I won the lottery, but why? Why waste my time listing anything and everything from the Powermatic and Lee Valley catalogs? Instead, I think the trick would be to look at the things that are on my radar, and explain very briefly why it’s on my wish list. This includes upgrades and fixes to the shop itself, which is where I start


The shop itself

I do think I’m going to fix the exterior panels with some T-111 panels, or the equivalent. The bad side first, then the rest can follow. I’m hoping to find a replacement window cheaply, and those two events may coincide. It will be about $100 to replace the three panels on the window side, and if bought new the window would be around another $100. I will add some form of air conditioning before next summer, otherwise that season would become completely wasted again. With school scheduled to end in May, I’m not about to let that happen.

Inside, I’ll go forth with my plan to finish replacing the two wall panels with OSB, so that task will be completed. The small amount of space above the ceiling joists is too valuable to close up. I’ll be adding some 2x4s to help brace the joists and provide an even mounting point for the existing and future lights. Since it isn’t functional, the overhead fixture will go. Perhaps one day I’ll get ambitious and clear up behind the shop and figure out a way to get it level. I also need to put a 5° bevel on the entry doors, as I neglected to do it before.

Hand tools

I have a pretty decent set of hand tools, but I don’t have a ton. There’s two components to this part, addition and replacement. My planes right now are Groz and Record, and for a novice they do okay. I do know that I could do with better blades, and while I’m upgrading blades I might as well replace the bodies as well. In that respect, I will eventually be upgrading all the Groz to Veritas. The Record #7 is actually pretty nice, so that might be the last to be upgraded. I think what I’ll do is not upgrade them all right away, I’ll skip around a bit. My chisels are doing just fine, and I have no reason to be unhappy with them. My files could use an upgrade, and I have my eye on a few Narex to match the chisels.  I have a very nice set of screwdrivers.

Now, for what I don’t have. I don’t expect to have one of each hand tool or plane, obviously. I borderline need a router plane for my future big projects like the dresser. I need to do stopped dados in real wood, it’s a valuable tool. As is a shoulder plane. Those are my two huge needs for hand tools. I also don’t own any spokeshaves, a flat one at the least needs to find it’s way into my collection. A round one could follow much later, as can rounded cabinet scrapers. I also need a couple new rubber mallets and a tack hammer.

Small power tools

To be honest, I’m not doing too badly in the hand tool world.  I do want to add the Rotex 90 for a bit more versatility. I do need a corded trim router, and will probably add one in 2016, unless I decide to save up for the MK700. The two Festools alone would be around a grand, so it isn’t an easy get. When I say I don’t really need too many small power tools, I pretty much mean it. The things I do plan on getting are pricey, though.

Large power tools

The shop now obviously doesn’t have room for any other large power tools. It’s honestly got one too many as it stands. Other than tuning up the jointer with a fresh edge on the blades, there’s not a whole lot I can do these days. I want a larger table saw, but it can’t happen in this size shop. Not unless I plan on getting rid of a few things. I am planning on putting a table on the drill press. The miter saw is getting a new stand, as is the planer. The router table is getting a new base.


I can’t go bigger on the air compressor, and I can’t get a real dust collector.  The big vac and separator do a decent job of evacuating dust from the big tools, and the Festool CT works as you would expect, which was a big reason why I was previously considering going all Festool for power tools. The setup is just that good. I do very much want to get a turbine for spraying, and chances are what I will end up buying is close to what I’d have in my dream shop. The lower level units have a reputation to skip. They aren’t awful, but you want the additional stages.


I am in need of a half-dozen or so different router bits, most pressing a bowl bit. Some of my older bits need replacing or rehabbing, like the 3/4″ straight bit I use all the time for dados. I want a set of plywood bits. There are a few accessories for the OF1400 that I want including a second edge guide, the smaller base, etc. I also need to grab a 35mm cup bit for the LR32 system.

I need to get a resaw blade for my current bandsaw, to see how well it actually works. No more than a 3/4″ I don’t think. A tension release lever is on the horizon as well. Sandpaper is a consumable, but I need a couple more grit levels for each of the sanders I have. I need a couple more levels of water stone so that I can get my chisels and plane blades where I want them to be.

I just got the Wonder Fence upgrade for the Incra router setup, and I’ll detail thoughts about it another time. I think it came incomplete, and I contacted Incra to see about replacement parts. I’ll give a rundown of how that went as well. With that, the router table should be done from a use standpoint. Just the base being redone is all that stands between me and a perfect router experience.



All fairly routine stuff for a shop my size or even bigger. I really have left fantasyland and decided to make the best of my situation

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