A Tour of Chandler Bryan's Shop
I have been doing better and better with shop space. When I first got interested in woodworking I had a palatial enclosed two car garage to work in, but nothing to put in it. We then moved to Arkansas, where I started to accumulate some tools and tackle some projects, and I had what was basically a closet. Now back in the Carolinas, I have a (by comparison) sprawling 13'x13' dedicated shop, but it's starting to get pretty full…I might need to take over the guest bedroom.
Here is the imposing exterior view, including a glimpse of the canine condos/wood storage units I built on the side. We shall enter the hallowed space and turn to our left.
Don't be fooled by the wide angle lens…it's pretty cramped in here, and that saw about fills it up. That's my lovely Powermatic 64A contractor's saw, with which I am delighted. It's a whole universe of improvement over the stalwart, but let's face it, inadequate little bench saw I used for years. I put a router table into the fence extension and made an extra leg to support it. You can also see my nice slow-speed grinder lurking in the background.
Turning clockwise now, my drill press and Jet 14" band saw come into view. I really like hand tools, but life is definitely better with a tablesaw, drill press, and bandsaw. No, the wall on the right is not falling down, it's distortion by the afore-mentioned wide angle lens. My bench is creeping in on the right side of the picture…
…and bless its heart, there it is. I built my bench from a prefab slab top; made a base of 3"x3" maple and added a Record clone end vise and a shoulder vise. You can't hardly do woodworking (certainly not hand tool type woodworking) without a good bench, and this is a good bench. The window behind it does open, but it's not fully glazed, thus the chipboard shutter. On the wall to the left of the window are my wrenches and various hacksaws and ball peen hammers (you never know when you'll need a ball peen hammer). To the right of the window, well…
…It's hand tool land. Bench planes (smoothers, jack, fore, and jointers), block planes, shoulder plane, rabbet planes, mortise chisels, bench chisels, spokeshaves, router plane, scratch beader, side rabbet plane, scrapers, files, rasps, saws (rip, tenon, dovetail, dozoukis, ryoba, gents), mallet, hammers (claw and cross-peen), handscrews, mortise gauge, etc. Plus a couple of big pieces of ½" thick glass for lapping and Scary Sharp(TM). I'm reaching the dismaying point of having about all the tools I really need…
…but there's always room for a couple more. Here are clamps, eggbeater style hand drill, braces and Russel Jennings auger bits, finishing supplies, clamps, a plough and beading plane in its own box, a #26 transitional jack plane, the horn of a Nooitgegagt wooden plane that I recently converted to a scrub, various router and drill bits, small power tools (belt sander, router, drill, jigsaw), and odds and ends. And here comes my table saw on the right, so I've turned you all the way around.
Posted 13 March 2003
© 2008, All Rights Reserved