Look before you leap

Wow, what a weekend in the shop. Massive upheaval.

The miter saw cart got built this weekend, and the structure itself is basically done. I will add some sort of face frame and perhaps a middle support shelf, however I’m not certain on what it will hold. Right now the HCM is sitting inside, however a strong case can be made for the vac, and another can be made for drawers. I didn’t quite anticipate how many I would be eliminating, but it is a ton.

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I don’t know if I jumped into this project a little too fast, because there wasn’t anything to do other than to build the cart at first. I couldn’t really build new storage until I had gotten rid of the old storage, but I couldn’t get rid of the old storage until I had a place for the miter saw. Catch-22. So I built the cart and then eliminated where the SCMS sat. I removed the drawers and then cut out that section and shoved the two halves together. This made enough room to get the cart along that wall, but left me with some scrap and a handful of drawers. And all the cutoffs that were sitting on a shelf. And more scrap since I binned the air compressor cabinet.

So I have a bunch of scrap I need to do something with. That I can handle, it’s the things in the drawers that perhaps I didn’t fully understand the scope of. I sat for quite a long time in my shop yesterday thinking about what my next step was. I was a bit overwhelmed. I decided that what I should do is pick up some 27-gallon containers from Home Depot and put a few things in. I have three of these elsewhere, and they stack great. I’ll use one for dust collection components, one for bigger tools (recip saw, tile saw, etc) and perhaps another for the hardwood cutoffs. When I no longer have the need for these I can use them elsewhere, so they shouldn’t become long-term tenants in the shop. This will allow me to break down the drawers that all this stuff is in, and I can move them around as needed. Once the remaining drawers in the old miter cabinet are clear, I can break down that entire unit. Then, I can go about building storage back up. I know two things that are going to cause me some issues are the massive amounts of stuff in my drill bit drawer, and all the drawer slides I now have nothing to do with. It could be a major reason why I build drawers underneath the miter saw. Solve a bit of both issues there. Also get rid of some plywood scrap. Intriguing.

The other thing I investigated this weekend was silencing the air compressor. The MDF ‘box’ I made was pretty useless. I bought a 2″ thick sheet of insulation to use as a cutting board for the track saw, and I wasn’t that impressed with the function. Not on sawhorses, at least. Still too flimsy and tended to fly away in a stiff wind. I also had no where to store it once I was done with the cuts for the miter saw cart. So, I tried an experiment: I cut it into pieces to serve as a box for the compressor. Same basic idea, but to use the qualities of the insulation to see if would be more quiet than the MDF box. It wasn’t. Complete failure. I have come to the conclusion that the air compressor cannot be reasonably quieted. The only solution I know of is to have it stored and working outside the building, or to wheel it outside for any use. Wheeling it outside is going to be the solution for the foreseeable future. I think I may have to rebuild a ‘box’ for it so that I can have some measure of storage above it to not waste room.

A compounding issue is some news this morning that may make my life, and thus time in the shop, severely complicated. Until I find out more my expenditures will have to be curtailed and I’ll have to do what I can with what I’ve got.

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