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.


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