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A Tour of John C. Lucas' Shop


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My shop is in a two-car garage. I have a long way to go to get it the way I want it. The previous owner put in some poorly built shelves, which I'm leaving temporarily until I have time to build the cabinets.

shop This is the entry area of my shop. Because my house doesn't have any closets, I needed lots of storage. I built the overhead loft areas to store some of my wood, and all the other stuff. The loft covers three ends of the shop and gives me a lot of storage.

I plan to cut up clear shower curtains into 8" strips to cover the loft areas and keep the dust down. I'm an avid bicyclist and needed a good place to store mine, so they ended up on the ceiling. A pulley system allows the bikes to be lowered or raised into place.

shop This is my workbench area. The bench on the left has lockable storage for all my powered hand tools. The one on the right is my carving bench and has a long way to go before it's finished. I needed some place to work so I threw it together. I plan to put drawers and cabinets in it.

The blue and white cabinets and the brown one on top hold all of my hand tools, including planes and chisels, carving tools, drill bits, files, pliers, screwdrivers, you name it. The big tan cabinet is my chemical storage cabinet. It is insulated and heated with a lamp and thermostat. My shop isn't heated when I'm not there in the winter and I needed a way to keep the paints and other chemicals from freezing. It keeps them at a constant 60° during the winter.

shop I do a lot of odds-and-ends work with metal, so grinders and strip sanders are a real necessity.

shop This is my metal working end of the shop with a Smithy and a mill/drill. You can see some of my wood storage. The back wall has a rolling cart with sheet goods stored on the backside. It rolls out from the wall to access the plywood.

shop The south wall of my shop has a long way to go. I need to build a cabinet for the miter saw. I'm going to lower it so that the two gray cabinets can be used to support the wood from the miter saw.

shop Since I'm primarily a wood turner, this end of the shop is the important space. I'm still trying to figure out the best layout. The Powermatic is the main lathe and I use the smaller Nova Comet, in the background, quite a lot for smaller work. The red tool cart rolls over to the mini. The grinder is still on a temporary stand. I'm going to raise it and make a much more solid stand.

All the circles on the ceiling are for cutting bowl blanks. The Powermatic lathe has a set of homemade wheels that allow me to move it if necessary. I jack it up using a floor-type hydraulic jack and install the wheels. This is handy on the rare occasions when I need to work on the truck during the winter.

shop I still do a lot of flat work. This area is small but arranged so that I can cut up a full sheet of plywood. I simply remove the router table fence and lower the planer (soon to go on a revolving stand that will make that job easier). The router table acts as an outfeed table for the saw. The jointer fence is ¼" lower than the table saw so it doesn't have to be moved.

All the tools in this area are on wheels, so that if necessary, I can move them to the other side of the shop. This allows me to pull the truck in for maintenance if necessary.

Regards, John (not the tool demo guy with the good looking assistants) Email: johnclucas@charter.net

Posted 8 January 2007

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