Word problems

Karen, her younger sister Beth, and their older sister Jamie are going on a trip. Karen is seven years older than Beth, but three years younger than Jamie. Jamie is double the age as Beth. How old are all the girls?

It seems like a complicated exercise on the surface. You are given three people, and have to find out their ages without knowing any. All you are given are age relationships. Once you start to lay the facts on the table, a solution becomes clear. You know the range of years (10) and you know that Jaime is double the age of Beth. The answer then becomes obvious once you know to double the range to get Jamie’s age, and the rest falls into place.

I’m finding that the tools in my shop are a bit like my word problem above. Except instead of ages, I’m trying to figure out three-dimensional placement. All have their qualifiers. It seems like a simple problem on the surface, but becomes a much larger problem as you proceed. All tools are required to fit into a finite space, and as far as physics go, they do. However to try and find just the right combination is proving harder than a Rubik’s Cube.

I’ll start with the lathe. It’s 53″ long (I won’t be giving specifics for each thing, I just remember that), which means it really can’t go on the wall with the doors, either inside or out. Not with the door being centered. Not unless I wanted to go with a regular entry door. Which, on first blush seems dumb, but it’s worth investigating. Back to the lathe – it can’t but up against a left-hand corner, because the motor can turn for bigger bowls, and I need a bit of room to insert the knock-out stick, for dislodging the spur center. It can go up against a right-hand corner, because I don’t turn things at the upper end of range that often. It could go anywhere else except in line with the table saw, and it would probably be better for the long axis to go against a wall. See how it gets limited the further you examine it?

The route table, current or new, has less restrictions. The basic function of it is now on the infeed side, so I need access to a long side. All the drawers should be on that side as well, there shouldn’t be anything I touch on the outfeed side. The Incra fence means that it can’t be in the line of the table saw outfeed, unless I also have a place to store the fence. Storage in the router table is negotiable, but if router bits and accessories go there that I also use with other routers, it has to be accessible when the router table is stowed away, if it is. If the planer is stored under the surface, an entirely new set of complications arise. The addition of the Incra fence, plus the probable upgrade of the Wonder Fence, means that storing the router table under something becomes a bit more problematic as well. Not to mention the room needed to pull it out and use it for work. Consideration for all the tools has to be made for both storage and where I can use it.

The MFT can’t be used slap up against a wall, because the rail has to have clearance behind. The workbench would be preferable to have up against a wall, two would be better, and you can’t block the end vise. The sysports need 14″ of clearance in front. The miter saw needs to have about 28″ of shelf, and in a corner isn’t advised. The planer needs to operate with the maximum amount of linear room. The table saw can’t have anything in front or behind that is taller. You get the idea. There are so many compromises that have to be made I am looking at different door placements in the new shop to accommodate. What seems to be working right now is a door that is just slightly offset to the right, by perhaps only a few inches, in order to clear the lathe, either inside or out.

What I want to figure out is if there is a way to build a 12×12 shop, and design it so that it could be expanded a few more feet on one axis later on, when the funds would be available to do a variance request. I really, really could use just 48 more feet.

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