Systainer upgrades

Back in March, I finally upgraded my air tool systainer to make things more organized and easier to find. With a fantastic Christmas gift and a great deal, it was time to get a couple more upgraded as well.

For Christmas, my wife bought me something that was on my wishlist for quite some time, the Bosch FlexiClick set. This is a 12v driver that has four attachments – right angle, compact bit driver, drill, and offset. This set joined my other three Bosch 12v drill/drivers, and it also brought my battery total up to five. I needed to have all these things together and easy to find. The prior situation was throwing the Bosch drivers in with my Ryobi 18v drivers in a systainer and letting things bounce around. I picked up a sheet of thick kaizen foam to see how easy it was to manipulate.

The idea is all over the internet, keeping things neat and separated. I decided to make one systainer for the Bosch 12v tools and batteries, and another would be for the Ryobi 18v tools. The systainers really only required one layer of the thick kaizen, so installation was pretty easy. I used the template I made of the systainer for the air tools, and it lined up pretty closely for the foam. Only I didn’t need to quite follow it because the indentations that exist at the very bottom of the systainer weren’t there at the level of the foam top.

The foam is pretty easy to work with, easily cutting with a breakable razor blade. There is a bit of a learning curve to shape the indentations and holes to fit your needs, and you can tell I started with the driver on the left that has the battery installed because the hole is too big. The reason for this partially is because I tried to stand it up and it was a bit too tall without adjusting. Otherwise, things went as expected. All my drivers, attachments, and batteries fit without issue in the Bosch systainer. I even used the special edition one to closely match the Bosch colors.

The Ryobi one has room to take a bunch of batteries if I absolutely have to.

The reason for this is because Home Depot was running a deal where I could get four batteries and a charger for $80. The last time I bought batteries was a few years ago, so it was time for a refresh. I have some other 18v tools that I use for yard work and etc, so they are handy to have around.

While systainers are by no means the most space efficient means of storing things, there is that just pleasurable feeling with everything having a place and finding it easily. I’m hoping that I can use some more kaizen in some drawers to better find things in the future.

2020 Vision

New Year’s brings yet another in a series of posts about my goals and plans for the new year. 2020 makes a decade that I’ve had my shop as a going concern, and it’s also the same anniversary for writing about it. I’m hoping it is one of my most ambitious years in terms of projects. Here I’ll talk about goals, not plans, because plans always seem to change.

I’d like to get the shop finished. I said this last year, and I hope this year I don’t suffer from the same burnout I did last year. I have a plan for flashing and trim on the outside, trim the interior windows, trim the ceiling, finish out the fiberglass in the attic, and put the last piece of the attic floor in. Then I can truly call the building finished, and anything further are improvements.

I’m hoping 2020 is a productive one for furniture. I have some office/entertainment furniture planned and lined up, and hopefully with my recent run of upgrades allows me to not only get started on these, but build them to a high standard.

I have a separate thread I do from time to time for wants and needs, but I do hope to add a welder to my arsenal, and at least a couple of woodworking tools that will fill some gaps – a Rotex for aggressive sanding, a big Domino for furniture making, a long Festool track for plywood ripping. Things of that nature. As stated, there will be another post about this coming up.

The old shop needs to be dismantled, but I don’t know if this will occur in 2020. I could probably get it taken down with a couple day lead notice, as there isn’t much more than scrap plywood, OSB, and siding left inside. It does require renting a dumpster, but more importantly I do need a follow-up plan to build something new in its place. I simply don’t have room for scrap storage in the shop outside of a few boards upstairs. There needs to be a cohesive plan, and I wouldn’t mind having a deck already in place or started before I do so.

As for any shop projects, I largely hope to continue to fine tune and find permanent homes for all the things that tend to get left out and piled up. I will be revisiting the Festool/miter saw counter, in that I will be remaking all the drawers for them, and will have enough to fit everything planned. I don’t know if this means the cabinets on bottom will be remade, if I’ll need another inch or so upwards. I hope not, because they are in really good condition and sturdy. The counter will be remade, to allow for the miter saw to be cantilevered off (and supported from underneath) to allow for the jointer to slide under without adjusting the fence. To make up the difference in height from the miter saw surface to the counter, I was thinking about putting in drawers to hold my screws.

There’s a decent chance I will rebuild my lathe stand to allow for my oscillating sander to fit underneath. It is really the perfect spot for it considering the dust collection, and workflow. I also don’t use it that much, so having to move the table saw out of the way wouldn’t be a big deal. It’s either that or it goes up on the wall or on the floor in front of the lathe, which then needs to be moved to use the lathe. I will also explore rebuilding the cabinet under my workbench, in particular making the socket set easier to pull out and not interfering with the MFT sysport. I’ll also see what needs to live in those drawers.

Above all, I hope that anything that comes out of my shop does so with an accuracy and quality above what I’ve done before. And I hope when I take a look at this post in a year’s time, that I’ve at least come close to meeting all my goals.

The Jointer Upgrade

With the lathe back in the shop, the bandsaw upgraded, the drum sander purchased, I could not ask for much more. Except for a reliable, accurate jointer. I purchased the 1996 Craftsman profesional series 6 1/8″ jointer back in late 2011, and never really trusted it. Sure, it would give me a flat surface, but the fence I could never quite get to 90 degrees and it showed up in some of my work. So much so that often I just left it out of my workflow.

With the other aspects upgraded, this was really the last frontier for my shop to get accurate. It was to be one of my last big investments, at least in terms of big tools at big prices. I was looking at the Jet, Powermatic, and Laguna 6″ jointers. I could not go up to 8″ due to space and power requirements, so really this purchase would only be about getting a usable, reliable machine. I might get the added benefit of a spiral cutterhead, but I would gain no capacity.

$700 (if I could sell mine for what I wanted, plus grab what I wanted on sale) was a lot to spend on something that was just newer. I had been given the advice to go to 8″, which I couldn’t, but what if I could wait until I was in a new space to make the investment? Could my jointer be salvaged? I was going to find out. Why? Because after I sold my bandsaw I tuned it up before the buyer arrived and it turned out well. If I had to deal with it for financial reasons, I could have. As it was, the budget for the new saw was there, so I tuned it up simply because I wanted to see if I could, and to cement the sale.

There were three big problems that I needed to address. The most minor was chip collection, the setup I had didn’t work that well and didn’t get everything. Second was that I hadn’t touched the knives in eight years, you could really feel the board bounce a bit because the blades were dull. Third, and most important, was the fact the fence wasn’t square to the table and it felt like the tables were out of being coplanar.

It was finally time to dig into this machine to decide once and for all. The first thing to check was that the tables were coplanar. I recalled previously that the ends of the tables were lower, but when I went to confirm this with my straight edge, I pleasantly found that they were good to go. No shimming required, which is a great result out of the gate. Next I checked the fence, which I was sure was twisted. Same result here, the fence was flat in both planes all the way across the face. There were some extremely slight variations away from the straight edge in a couple spots (valleys), but nothing that would impact a piece long enough to safely joint. So why did the fence lock to 90° on one table but not the other?

I started really investigating the fence. If it was all in the same plane, and the tables were in the same plane, everything should meet at a 90° angle, but it wasn’t. It had to be something to do with the locking mechanism or the stops. I backed the stops off, and re-set the fence. Still not accurate. So I played around with forcefully using a square to set the angle and I finally got the fence to be a true 90°. However, if I tried to do so right at the pivot point for the fence, it wouldn’t work. I had to be a couple inches toward the infeed side. OK, that’s a quirk I can live with. I set the stops back up, and it went out of square again. Fine, I can live without stops, particularly when I’ll need to re-verify a true 90° each time I set the machine up.

With the machine proven salvageable, I ordered a set of high speed steel knives from Amazon for $17, and it took a couple days to arrive. I began by removing the jointer from the stand to address the chip collection issue. I bought a new 8″x 8″ jointer hood from Rockler for $8, and bolted it to the top of the stand. This would be a replacement for a heavily modified and broken one I had put there some time ago. I decided on this vs going with a custom sheetmetal HVAC solution. It won’t be perfect, and I’ll likely follow up with some taping. I’ll do some testing on this before I fab up a replacement side panel on the base that will incorporate a port. I want to make sure that there isn’t any large kinks in the flexible 4″ duct.

To further reduce kinks, I relocated the motor slightly. It was already at the maximum range for the factory mounting points, so I drilled two new holes further back so that the dust hose would have a gentler bend. With the link belt I already had installed, there was a little bit of slack that allowed for this to work. The belt is now pretty tight, and hopefully is still within spec to not put too much stress on the pulleys. A lot of sheet metal stands are flimsy, but this one has some thicker gauge to it and didn’t drill through easily. A good sign.

With the dust collection situation partially addressed, it was time to put the jointer back on the stand. I cleaned it up quite a bit from years of dust and grime with IPA and dry lube. IPA, to help protect the motor as the liquid will evaporate with time. Lube, because it also dries fairly quickly and was what I had on hand. I attempted mineral spirits, but abandoned that. I also shortened up the mobile base platform, as there was too much gap. I took just a little too much off, but made it work. This will make the jointer much less wobbly when I lock the wheels for operation.

The jointer was reinstalled to the base, and thankfully cleared the bolts for the dust hood. With the new knives in hand, I could try and tackle the last question as to whether I would indeed keep it. The nuts were fused in place, a consequence of probably being tightened too much by the last owner, and not addressing them myself in the previous eight years. This is the exact reason why I never tried before, the fear that I couldn’t get them undone. And the uncertainty of how to set new ones. I had to purchase a thin set of wrenches from the auto parts store, and even then the wrench started to round. Dry lube didn’t work, 3n1 oil didn’t work, fire didn’t work. Eventually, I came to a solution using needle nose locking pliers on some, and a nail set and hammer on others. I used the jointer knife jig I had purchased many, many years ago, and was able to set the knives to the right height on the first try. Again, I found something that I should have done several years ago.

With the machine put back together, it was time for the final verdict. I took a scrap piece of mahogany and ran it through. A perfect joint and pretty smooth to boot. The operation was a success. I took a piece of scrap 2×4, what I had used to mount my monitor, to try through as well. A great finish, and again a perfect 90° joint.

There’s a feeling that some people get when they purchase new things, it’s a feeling of euphoria almost. I got that feeling when I purchased my new bandsaw and realized what I could do. Same thing with my drum sander. Here, the realization that I didn’t have to spend several hundred dollars and I could accomplish the same task gave me this feeling as well. I’m so excited, and so wish I had the confidence to tackle this years ago.

Unfortunately, Byrd as it stands does not make a spiral cutterhead for this machine. It’s possible it shares dimensions with another, existing one, but they don’t know unless I get them the exact specs. To be honest, I’d rather spend the money on a spiral head for the planer if I had to choose one. I may pay a bit more for straight carbide knives, but the ones I got from Amazon are really cheap and can be here in two days. We’ll see how long they last, but so far so good.

Addition and Subtraction – Part Three

The first thing to take care of with the lathe coming over was the dust collection point on that side. The solution was fairly simple, I removed the gate, removed the PVC pipe below the wye, and reinstalled the gate. This gave me enough room to hook up the flex hose again, although I reserve the right to come back to this arrangement at some point. I might find it annoying to turn with it hanging right there.

Next up was a bit of rearranging some minor things. With the drill press over next to the wall, the handles were hitting the table saw blades on the wall. These had to go, but I really could not figure out a great storage spot. Temporarily, they went up on the wall under the TV. I do not like them here at all, but could not think of a better spot. If I can finish off the doors they might go there. I did relocate the parallel guides to the door I don’t use that much, at least temporarily. The big grinder moved from the router table to the lathe, where it lived before. Joining it is the portable air compressor, lacking a better spot for the time being.

The big issue with a shop of this size is not having places for things to go, so it always seems like I am cleaning up. I kept doing that right up until the lights went out this weekend, and I’m still not done. I don’t have a spot for a few cutoffs on my bench, the systainer that holds my belt sander and other jigsaw, an extension cord reel, the old computer monitor, some assorted electrical cords, and it goes on and on. Given a long enough timeline, I would think I would eventually find homes for everything, but I get to a certain point and it just gets worse again. Perhaps I should get some plastic containers that store well for some of this stuff, or just finally let it go – like the cords, I don’t really have a use for those anymore. One of the points of emphasis for this coming year is to make my limited storage space work more efficiently.

Addition and Subtraction – Part Two

With the addition of the drum sander, with the minor remodel of the planer cart, with raising the miter saw a bit, I pretty much had everything I had hoped for. I still wanted to replace my jointer in 2020, but I was well on my way to being more efficient AND being more accurate. However, there was something missing.

I had the thought about a month ago to get rid of, or largely get rid of, the right side counter to my miter saw. Yes, it would be less supporting when I made a cut, but I would get more room for the drill press or give me the option to move things around further down the road. For instance, the counter wasn’t high enough to fit the drum sander under if I wanted. Not that it made sense to, but it still generated the thought.

So, I took the entire right side counter out. That meant I had to find a new home for the oscillating sander, and for right now it is sitting under the drum sander. It will have to be relocated, because it is completely not usable there. However, the deed was done, and the counter removed and discarded. Now I had height to do what I pleased, and the thought was struck – I still had one tool that never made it to the new shop. Could it possibly work? I checked the measurements, I checked the plans in Sketchup. It looked like it would work, so there was only one thing left to do.

I brought the lathe over to the new shop.

It wasn’t easy, particularly with two bolts breaking getting the lathe off the stand, I did succeed, and my wife helped me get the stand over even when the top came off. I got the stand in position, and realized that this indeed could work. I reinstalled the top, cut and ground the old bolts off (including a broken drill bit still there), and reinstalled the lathe. I could turn again, if I wished.

This was exciting, but I had some things left to do to turn this back into a working situation. The dust collection point I used for the table saw, router table, and jointer was now blocked by the lathe motor. I still needed a home for the oscillating sander, the mortiser, and I had some other minor details to sort out. This included the decision on which jointer would fit in the space I had carved out for it.

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.

 

2019 In Review

Welcome again to one of my favorite things, to revisit a post from a year prior and see how wrong my predictions and plans were.

The 2019 Outlook can be seen at the link, but I’ll largely recap it here.

First up is talking about the theater sets, I had two to do but that turned into four, which in turn led to an extended sabbatical.

I wanted to finish up the shop with insulation, trim, etc. Exactly none of that happened because of the sabbatical. I did make the air nailer systainer insert, which can be seen in detail in this post. I also did follow through with closing off the table saw cabinet, making dust collection a good bit better. I’ve started to explore how to effectively capture the dust above the table. I finally enclosed the router table cabinet and installed dust collection there as well. The plan is still to change out the insert to an Incra one, but that got put on hold.

I decided to purchase plans from Timothy Wilmots for his MFTC mobile cart, and I’ll likely store it when empty in the old shop. I made a huge investment in the shop with a new bandsaw and a drum sander, and am still dealing with a bit of the space issues that came with that. Nothing serious, just sorting out some workflow, some efficiency, and some future plans.

I still need to address the door, but I did seriously cut down the water entry by installing a drip edge above, and it isn’t 100% effective but around 95%. I also can’t say that the other 5% I see is from backspash from the ground. Still hope to soon install rubber around the doorframe for air sealing.

With a purchase of some spokeshaves, I did have a push to make more progress on the hanging tool cabinet. I should make a bit more progress in the first part of next year. I started to tweak my storage after the drum sander, so I am making good on some of my goals.

So, in summary, this year did not work out like I expected at all for around eight full months. It has picked up considerably in the last month, and hopefully I can keep that momentum into 2020. The 2020 Outlook will be posted around the first of the year.

We’re back in hardware mode

“Get ready for a major remodel fellas.”

That was the case with Tony Stark at his mansion, but not so much with me. There’s only so much I can do and change in my shop, and I’m here to make improvements both big and small.

Let’s start with some small stuff first. The last big update I had was that I purchased a new bandsaw (replacement), and a drum sander (addition). Now, I have talked ad naseum about how small my shop is and the inability to move around a ton. I tried to mitigate this a bit by putting the planer under the drum sander. Unfortunately, while the footprint is about the same, it didn’t really work. The fold down tables on the sander really interfere with operation of the planer, even when up. A new stand would fix some of it, but not enough to make it work. The drum sander tables would have to stay open all the time, and that’s 45 inches long and almost as wide. So, I have to find something else to sit under the drum sander. The planer went back to the flip cart, except this time I cut it nearly in half by height and it is just sitting on it for now.

At this point, I decided to look around the shop and see what my options were. I had a couple smaller projects on my to do list, so I took the opportunity. First up was finding a new home for my Kreg jig. I had entertained getting one of their cases, but this was extremely bulky. Instead of hanging it on the wall behind my miter saw, I thought that one of the small shelves I was building for the MFT would work. Then I thought, why not make the jig a shelf? I made some for my sandpaper anyway, so it was easy to reproduce.

I cut the shelf to size, then marked for 20mm holes to secure to the MFT. I messed up a bit on one side by drilling skewed, so I chucked the bit in the drill press and did again. This time, the fit was great. If I ever get the systainer with the MFT top, this will work there as well.

I also picked up a set of Veritas spokeshaves, something I’ve been wanting for a very long time. As such, I had to make more progress on my hanging tool cabinet for a safe parking spot.

I need to make the inner door and shelves for the left outer door,  make tool holders, finish the plane till, and fill out the bottom portion. Getting closer.

All of this is an attempt to be more efficient and be bigger and better. I still have more things I want to take care of, and I think what I’ll do here is save this for a later post, perhaps the next one.

 

Fall into Upgrades

In my last entry on the site I spoke to the idea of discontinuing woodworking. The real turning point came when I decided that I either needed to step my game up or step out. Deciding that I didn’t want to quit, I looked to improve my space and thus improve my mindset, and ultimately improve the quality of work I could accomplish.

The first upgrade I made was to remove the small monitor and small TV and replace them with one larger cheap TV. I would get a bigger screen, and I could also move it higher up the wall to make more usable space. It was a win-win, only $50, and it seemed like a smart thing to do. One less thing to plug in as well. The TV and the computer could plug into the high outlet on the wall and nothing would get in the way…except perhaps the MFT’s track.

Next up was project-oriented upgrades. I will talk about those very soon, but I needed to accurately cut rail and stile joints, and I have wanted a sled to do so. The Rockler one had been on my Christmas list for several years, so I decided to treat myself.

Another router upgrade I made was to finally seal the router compartment with a door and install dust collection. I used on-hand cup hinges and installed the door to pivot down. I used a 90 degree port on the side and a couple holes in the door to provide airflow. Keeping the shop cleaner is a huge goal of mine for 2020 and this will help. Earlier in the summer I had enclosed the bottom of the table saw and installed a larger port for better dust collection there as well. Just the other day I hooked up over-table dust collection to further this goal. As I stated, dust collecting will be a huge focus.

The big decision I made  was to sort out my bandsaw. I could not resaw accurately, so I set about determining if that could be fixed. While I was eventually able to set it up pretty well, I listed it for sale. The bandsaw I had been after for awhile, the Laguna 1412, was going to be on a great sale for Black Friday. I started making arrangements in the shop so that the bigger saw would fit.

At the same time as the 1412 was going to be on sale, so was the Supermax 16-32. It has been a pipe dream of mine to own a drum sander, so I started looking at if I could also fit that in the shop. The bandsaw would be easy, adding a drum sander would not. I would need to start looking at how things could be moved around. If I could get an accurate resaw machine, and then have accurate sanding down to specific dimensions…it would upgrade my shop to levels I didn’t think possible.

To try and fit the larger saw and the new sander, I had to theorize a different layout. One way to potentially realize the new tools was to change my miter saw attachment to the wall. The issue was that it hung down way too far, so much so that it was hard to fit the flip cart that held the planer correctly. So I modified the design to float more completely, and it mostly turned out how I anticipated. The goal was to fit the jointer under the miter saw, and while that didn’t quite work out I did make a lot more space. The entire counter needs to be redone with the goal of raising it about 2-3″ across the board. The counter is already pretty tall, going to almost 48″ tall might be a stretch.

Since I couldn’t really fit the jointer under the miter saw without raising the entire counter up further, I thought about moving the drill press over to that side of the shop instead. Doing so, I could utilize the smaller dust collection hoses for the drill press, and put the drum sander over with the bandsaw and use the bigger hose. The idea of taking the planer off the flip cart and putting it on the drum sander stand meshed with this idea pretty well. So, I cut the farthest 18″ off the counter nearest the table saw and slid the drill press in that spot. I may make further changes to this section of the counter, but we will see. It’s not the best solution but one that can work.

With all that said and done, I wouldn’t ultimately know if I could make things work until I got the tools to the shop. Thankfully, all my planning seems to have worked out and I think this is doable. The only sketchy situation is the jointer, being installed under the drum sander. The height isn’t ideal, neither are the clearances in the trapezoidal stand. I’ll make it work, though. Need a shorter handle for the height adjustment. May ultimately need to build a custom stand for it all.

I also upgraded my hearing protection with 3M bluetooth Worktunes, I fixed my analog Kobalt clock, and fixed a couple of electrical issues. It’s been a fantastic few weeks and has really charged me up for what is to come. I do have quite a bit I would still like to upgrade, mainly storage things getting things to be more efficient or to work better.

 

Working out some details

From time to time issues pop up that impact how I work in the shop. This could be storage, layout, anything. Right now there isn’t a lot of fine woodworking going on, just set building. As such, it’s a good time to talk about what I’ve taken care of recently and what’s still to come.

I have had my air nailers in a spare systainer for a long time, and it hasn’t been the best solution. Everything was just piled in, and the compressor oil fell over and coated everything. Nails came loose and were everywhere as well. A solution was needed. The pic below is after I cleaned everything up, as I can’t find a before pic. You can see the oil residue left after I wiped up.

I downloaded a template for the systainer bottom, and proceeded to cut out a floor from 1/2″ plywood. I taped the template to a piece of hardboard that I can use down the line to make more if I need to, and in turn taped that to the plywood. It wasn’t perfect, and needed some adjustment particularly along where there are little structural nibs at the front and back. Some trimming with the bandsaw took care of it quickly. You can see them on the paper template, six in back, one up front.

Once I got the bottom to fit in snugly, it was time to take it back out and make a spot for the oil. There was no reason to keep the compressor oil in the systainer anymore with the compressor upstairs. But I do need to tote around the oil for the guns, as you’re supposed to use a drop or two on each use. Being better organized, I plan on doing that. The oil sits up front in one of the irregular corners with two pieces of ply butt joined.

Next up was the nailers, biggest to smallest. The biggest one would fit in nicely with the head going through the floor to where the rear feet are on the systainer, so I drilled a hole umm…close to where it needed to be and it worked out well. A divider along the length keeps it in place.

From there things just started rolling until I had everything in and in place.

Four guns (including a newly added Arrow staple gun), a impact driver, a couple attachments to fill tires and blow surfaces clean, the oil, and storage for nails. These Dewalt cases aren’t great, but I’m hoping to find something that fits the space that is better. I made some cutouts in the dividers to better help grab the guns, and I’ll be throwing in a pair of safety glasses to permanently live when I’m out of the shop. I’ve been caught out before. The impact driver has almost no use to me anymore, but I don’t know of another place to put it. If the new nail storage needs that space, it’ll find somewhere else to live. This systainer currently lives in the MFT Sysport for easy access.

A major project for getting things squared away is the Hanging Tool Cabinet. The current task with this is to move the tools from the wall into the cabinet, and figure out how usable that new wall space is.

The next project is actually a way to solve the dust collection problems I am having. This will consist of closing the bottom of the table saw up and putting in a full port for the hose. I will need to remove a couple of parts from the saw, in particular the existing small port that moves with the arbor. I also need to finally put a door on the router table and install a port in the body of the cabinet. Once I can finally upgrade the table and plate to one with better dust collection, my issues will largely be solved.

What is preoccupying my mind lately is a bunch of smaller storage and implementation issues. I’m not particularly happy with the storage I have above my systainer wall, but I don’t really know how to really improve upon it. I want it to be more custom, but more custom doesn’t lead very well to future use. I want to move the sanding discs to the Sysport, which will open up some storage room. Maybe a drawer in the future related to the below.

I do want to redo the systainer part to add more long drawers to hold more systainers at double depth. This involves taking the short unit out and putting a long unit in. Also adding more holes to allow for more height combinations. Simple stuff, but it might be easier long-term to just redo it from scratch. This isn’t a huge deal right now because I don’t have that many systainers, and I don’t have immediate plans to add more. Long-term, yes, but not right now.

This really all boils down to how I can work efficiently, happily, and to a higher standard in the future. I also have to consider what is going to happen to my lathe, considering the old building is in dire need of demolition. I also have a desire to add a turbine, a drum sander, and to upgrade my bandsaw. I only have so much room, and it needs to function as efficiently as possible. I am happy with the layout for the most part, and the only real change I could conceivably make is to modify the MFT Sysport to store a drum sander, spindle sander, planer, or a combination of the above. To do that, I would need to expand my systainer storage on the wall as above, plus find a bit of room for things like the clamping elements. It’s not a bad idea. I wish I had thought of it last year, to be honest.