Addition and Subtraction – Part One

Nearly ten years of woodworking. I and my shop have come a long way, and it was time to take another step on my journey. Little did I know how much I would gain by removing one minor thing.

With the bandsaw replaced, and the addition of the drum sander, things were getting tight. Everything fit, but I had concerns about actually making things. I already have to move half the shop around to use tools and machines at times, and I was now having to orient the sander between the table saw and the corner wall and hope my pieces were short enough to clear. I had to think about how I was going to function properly.

I tried to put the planer under the drum sander, but it just didn’t work that well. It was awkward with the extended sander tables to see, and with the small area I was working in, difficult to maneuver boards. I may revisit this at some point, but for now it was a no go. When I did this, I shoved my flip-top cart out the door, but brought it back. I eventually cut the sides all the way down to the height of the shelf and put the planer back on. Things were as tight as they had ever been.

I had been thinking for awhile about removing the third section of systainers. This was a single depth section that wasn’t integral like the other two ones. In other words, an add-on. If I rebuilt my double-depth drawers and utilized them all, and utilized my MFT sysport more efficiently, I possibly could eliminate that section and not fare too badly. I was only using three spots there, and those could go elsewhere. I looked at my future plans for purchases, and even there I could get by with two.

The biggest reason for getting rid of it was that it would allow a bit more flexibility with getting the jointer and planer tucked up under the counter. If this were to happen, I could get back to about where I was with room and space and at least function again. So, it was time to get to work.

First up was relocating the three systainers to new homes. The big one was the TSC55, which is the biggest systainer at I have at a Sys 5. It would go in the front of the MFT where I could easily get to it. That meant the air tool systainer would need to go around to the back. I also made space below my drill systainer for another drawer. So within a few minutes I had the MFT loaded up, and I simply had to remove the now-empty column. There were a couple of hidden screws under the countertop, but a little bit of muscle and the help of a 90 degree bit did the trick. The pieces were discarded.

The planer cart (now a whole lot shorter) and the jointer now fit a bit better under the counter. I now had some space to work with. However, I got something I wasn’t expectiong – an idea. It was an idea that had been on the periphery for the last two years, a thought that wouldn’t go away even when it wasn’t possible. The possibility now, though, felt closer than it had ever been. It was time to get the tape measure and the Sketchup plan back out.


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