Present and Future Tense, Part Two

An update, live from the shop. At least, that’s where this will start from. My plan for the workbench to move to the back wall seemingly will not work. The main issue is that the MFT is a foot wider than the workbench, and thus if they trade spots my router table will be a foot further out in the walkway. That unfortunately would only give me a handful of inches to travel and use the jointer in, thus negating any advantages.

So, the layout will remain the same for the most part. What I could do is turn the bandsaw sideways to get a few more inches of space to use the jointer. In reality though, it is more about the space needed on the floor for the separator. If I had room elsewhere for the main vac, or I had a wall-mount dust collector, the separator could possibly go under the end of the workbench – at the cost of ease of use there. Everything comes with a price in my shop.

A similar situation arises finding a spot for my spindle sander. It’s just wide enough where it doesn’t fit on my counter next to the miter saw in either orientation. It’s also just a touch too wide to sit in front of my air compressor. I don’t exactly have another ready-made spot for it. It might could go on the wall above the drill press, or if I ditch the under workbench storage it can go there.

Well…that was what I had written as I was walking out of the shop on Friday. But as I was turning everything off, I had a thought – could I do something different with the drill press?

I’ll explain: the drill press is a bit of the source of a few problems. It didn’t allow for the table saw to be pushed farther in, because the separator butted up against the base. It also interfered with the lathe, bandsaw, and didn’t allow me to do much with that space in general. But with the workbench not able to move to the back wall, perhaps the drill press could? Well, I kept thinking about it overnight and decided it would be a very simple task to find out. Worst case, I’d have to move it back, and I felt like redoing the back wall anyway.

I took down the temporary shelf storage next to the wall rack, and moved the drill press over. It’s not a natural fit, but it might work out okay. I removed the handle on the air compressor for a better fit, and where normally the motor would be in the way on the drill press, it now hangs a bit over the miter counter just fine. It did mean that I had to start redoing the storage on the wall, which I was about halfway done with when I left the shop Saturday evening. I moved the parallel clamp racks over to the right, and reorganized them where the shorter ones were above the drill press. There’s now a weird small area between them and the saw rail that I have to try and fill, but farther to the right opened up a bit in exchange. Keep in mind that at some point the finishing cabinet has to move when the hand tool cabinet gets built.

So, with the drill press moved the separator moved all the way up against the wall and allowed the table saw to move more up against the wall. I tried to put the sander on the floor under the saw, but it’s just too big. The tool box might work instead. With the table saw able to go slightly to the right, now I have room to comfortably use the jointer. And while I haven’t checked for sure, the jointer should still come out okay because the base of the drill press is angled to match.

So…what does all this mean for a potential future shop layout? Well, I had something in mind for a 12×16 layout that the last couple of days have basically told me isn’t worth doing – the bench up against the back wall. It just doesn’t make sense. What the last couple of days also tell me is that I could survive in the same size shop again with loft storage, particularly if it removes the air compressor and dust collection to upstairs or outside. I really wouldn’t gain much at all, but it would work.

I will spend the next couple of days playing with the future layouts in Sketchup using what I’ve learned, concentrating on the 12×16 layout. What I’m primarily looking for is an option for building at 12×12 then expanding. I think that would be the best route for keeping me within the law and a budget. Maybe do 12×12 with a porch, and fill in if needed.


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