Perhaps it’s not so hard after all

I want to get one thing clear: this is a maybe. This is a draft. This is the result of just a short time playing around, and I reserve the right to change my mind.  There’s still a couple things I need to figure out where they are going, and I’ll mention that in a minute.

The most basic interpretation of what my shop currently looks like is above. The clamps are in a different spot, and it’s missing the big cabinet over the workbench (it’s also missing the window, as I found out later), and the wood rack. You get the idea, though. Well, what I have come up with so far is the following:

Potential shop layout Sept 2015

The first thing you’ll notice is that it isn’t wholly different. The lathe has moved to the other wall in the same corner. The router table has returned to outfeed table duty. The MFT is up against the back wall, where chaos theory was. The ungainly big tool corner is still the ungainly big tool corner. The planer and sander cart appears to have melted into the floor.

The biggest changes are the additions of the wall cabinets. Those mean some other things move around, namely the clamps and wall rack. Perhaps. Still early in the process, so who knows. The basic truth is the amount of tools I have don’t allow much in the way of flexibility. This might be as close as I can get to an ideal setup without selling tools. I must admit, the lathe would probably be first to go.

If I raise up the miter saw just a bit, I can make a top that fits over the lathe and gives more support for the miter saw and perhaps just a touch of storage space. I won’t get much, because my wood rack will be pretty close to the surface, unless I can find a good alternative. There’s really not a whole lot I can do about that. Over a surface that needs to be removed is probably the best alternative. To the left of the saw would be storage for all my systainers. I’ll have to think about just how many I want to store, and how deep everything needs to be. That’s why I didn’t even try to render it yet. It’s going to take some hard thinking, particularly about the depth: going deep enough to accommodate two systainers in series means a big investment in longer drawer slides and a few inches less room to maneuver. Sticking with single depth saves me money, but the miter saw has to stick out a decent bit from the wall. What to do?

The planer will be on a rolling cart and will fit under something – either the miter saw or the bench closest to the entrance. The latter spot gives it just a touch more height capability. Height is a big thing for me with the planer, so we’ll see. Always a possibility to keep it a normal height and just have the bench end early. That would retain the spot underneath for the sander, so…

Moving the MFT against the wall is a mixed bag. I need room behind it for the rail to pivot, but over here I don’t have to deal with things in midair in the middle of the room like the vac hose and rail. The vac hose can simply snake up the wall a bit and come out. As long as there is room for the rail to rotate out, I’ll get it as close to the wall as possible.

With this layout, I think I can stow the vac under the right side of the workbench, and put the Thein under the right side of the table saw. I’d have a very short connection from there to the table saw, the router, the jointer, the bandsaw and the planer when I have to pull it out. The miter saw isn’t in a great spot for this, but I can make it work. Much more likely though, is I give it it’s own small vacuum, either on the wall right above, or underneath like Home Depot’s bucket vac. It wouldn’t need to be extra special, just enough to grab the dust it can that gets shot from the back of this stupid thing. I do wish I had the funds to get a Kapex, that’s for sure.

Now, it’s certainly not perfect. To use the bandsaw or drill press, I need to probably move the jointer. Unless it stays exactly where it is. To use the jointer, I need to roll up the saw, and push it and the router table to the rear up against the MFT. Then I could have room to joint long boards. For the planer, I’d probably have to do a similar process, but then again I usually use those machines at the same time anyway.

In this, I do need to find room (and design) a proper tool cabinet, one that will store my planes. That is a relatively simple thing, and it probably at most involves having to do with one or two less modular cabinets. I can handle that.

I’ll sit on this for a couple of days and see how I feel. If it still feels good, I can then start working out the electronic situation.

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