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I hope you enjoy the tour of my shop.
I took up woodworking a little over 2 years ago. As you will see it has totally taken over my life. Let's begin with a view from the outside.
My shop is a detached, dedicated 30 X 40 with 10’ ceilings. It has 3 overhead doors, 2 walk doors and 2 windows. It is fully insulated. I have 2 small radiant heaters and a big wood stove. It has a 18,000 btu window air conditioner permanently mounted in the wall. It was originally constructed to house show cars. The show cars are no more and now the shop is used only for woodworking. The floor is coated with Rustoleum Epoxy Shield. The walls and ceiling are sheetrock.
This is right inside the front door in the NW corner of the shop. This is where the cyclone is located along with the 100 amp. sub panel. The blower has a Cincinnati Fan 14”impeller powered by a 5hp. Leeson Compressor duty motor in a blower housing that I made. The filter is from Wynn‘s Environmental. It attached to a home made clean out box. The filter is rated 99.9% efficient at .5 microns. It really flows well and does a great job of trapping the really fine dust. I rounded the blower housing and painted some of the parts red to accent the looks of the cyclone.
Next to the cyclone is my Grizzly 1026 slow speed grinder. A Tormek it is not, but it does an adequate job of sharpening for my needs. The 220 grit 2" X 10" wheel turns at 70 rpm and runs in a water bath.
The 3/4" X 4-1/2" stone is 100 grit and spins at 3450 rpm. I did buy the additional upgraded tool rest, which is much nicer than the original. For under $150 I think it is money well spent.
I bought a Shop Fox tool stand to mount the grinder on also. It is my first one of these stands but will not be my last. It is very sturdy, looks good and is reasonably priced.
Moving down the west wall is my first bench. It is a solid core door with a hardboard top. It is edge banded with oak. The top is mounted on a base made of 2X4’s using M&T construction. I have peg board storage above the bench and more storage on the lower shelf of the bench.
Next to the sander is my Jet 12-36 lathe. I am new to turning and really bought the lathe because my daughter (Katie, 12) became interested in turning pens and such. I built a heavy 6" tall box out of 2X lumber and mounted the lathe on that to get it to a comfortable height for me. You can see the plywood box on the bottom shelf of the lathe that I made for Katie to stand on while turning to get her back to her comfortable turning height. I made a plywood center shelf for storing the turning tools.
I built a collection hood for the lathe out of a 6x12x6 HVAC register boot. I put some automotive edge guard on it to cover the sharp edges. Here you can see the DC hook up and the boot. The boot is just attached with rare earth magnets so it can be placed any where along the bed. No hood will collect many chips while turning but it is a must have for sanding a turning project.
Next to the metal table is my Ridgid OSS. Not a great tool but it does the job. It is mounted on another Shop Fox table. I store my Ridgid shop vac here also. I have replaced the stock vac filter with a much better Clean stream filter.
Next to the OSS is my SCMS station. It is made from some salvaged kitchen cabinets. It has a 2 layer 3/4" mdf top that is edge banded. The SCMS tables are made from 3/4 melamine shelving with a t track. The saw is Hitachi 10" SCMS with laser. This is one great saw.
Here you can see my homemade collection shroud a bit better. It is made from a offset HVAC register boot with 2 pieces of scrap sheetmetal attached on the sides to make a half circle for better collection. It does a good job of catching the chips. I have 6” plumbed to the shroud and 4” plumbed to the factory port in the saw.
This is the east wall. It is basically general storage and home to "the thinking chair". I couldn’t bear to throw out this old recliner when my wife (Cheryl) banned it from the house. It is really nice to have a comfortable place to sit in the shop when I am taking a break.
I usually store my Grizzly 1019Z band saw here. I roll it over by the router station to use it so I can hook up to the dust collection system. I cut the lower door, bent the flange straight out toward the front and attached another register boot with machine screws for a hood. It works great! The band saw has a riser block for more resaw capacity. It is on a Shop Fox mobile base and has a Rockler table.
Next on that wall is my Grizzly G7943 drill press. It also has a Rockler table. It is mounted on a stand left over from the bench top table saw. I built the mdf box to get the DP at the correct height and to store bits and such.
Let’s head out to the middle of the shop now. In front of the miter saw station is my Grizzly G0500 8” jointer. I think this jointer is absolutely the best jointer you can buy for under $1000. The tables are super flat as is the fence, the 4 knife cutter head leaves a perfectly smooth surface and the 75” bed allows me to straighten long boards that were very difficult to do on my previous smaller jointer. I made a new 6” hood for the jointer from a piece of scrap sheet metal and a 6” starter flange. It gets virtually every chip.
Behind the jointer is my router table/planer station. It is also made from old kitchen cabinets. It has a edge banded 2 layer 3/4 mdf top with high pressure laminate. It also houses my first table saw. It is reserved for sanding duty now. It has a 10” sanding disk on it. The planer is the 13 1/2" Ridgid.
I have a Hitachi M12V router in the table. It has performed quite well and is dedicated to the table. I removed the springs before mounting it in the table. On the end of the router station is my Hang-up Pro vac. I use it for hand held tools such as the circular saw and the belt sander. You can also see the foot switch for the router table hanging up by the vac. I have found that the foot switch is much safer than any switch mounted of the table itself.
That brings us to the main attractions of my shop (besides the cyclone of course).
This is my Grizzly 1023S table saw. It has the Shop Fox Classic 52” fence. The fence has to be shortened just a bit to fit properly in this configuration but still gives me 47” of rip capacity. It has a homemade RH extension table made from 3/4" mdf covered in high pressure laminate to match the Rockler tables. The outfeed bench is the same construction as the wall bench.
I built the over head guard from plans on the Wood magazine website. The guard took some getting used to but I really like it and the dust collection is great! I plumbed 6” to the cabinet and 4” to the guard. The Exactor EX26X sliding table is great!!! Exactor recommends that the left wing be removed from the table saw when mounting the sliding table. I did not want to lose the left of blade rip capacity so I chose to leave the wing on. It works just fine like this. It has been a great addition to the shop.
Handling sheet goods is much easier and safer with the Exactor. I have found it to be very well made and extremely accurate. It takes up some space, but nothing else will do the job of a good sliding table. I have recycled a small book shelf to store my Delta tenoning jig and my Freud 8” dado set.
I made this splitter and zero clearance insert after attending a woodworking class taught by Kelley Mahler. Kelley says that a splitter is the most important safety device to have on a table saw. I totally agree with him.
The zero clearance insert and splitter are made from white oak. The splitter is simply glued into a kerf cut in the insert. I put a finishing nail in the back of the insert to keep it secured and 2 screws in the side so I can adjust the insert to be very snug in the hole. A couple of holes drilled in the insert provide a finger hold to get it out and also help the dust collection.
Overview:(pics not directly related to text)
The epoxy on the floor not only looks good but makes it easier to keep the shop clean and also makes the shop brighter by reflecting light. The shop is well insulated. It has 4” in the walls, 12” in the ceiling and the garage doors are also insulated. This is very important and should be a priority for any of you building a shop.
The shop has a lot of lights. I can not stress enough how important proper lighting is in a shop. Don’t cut corners on your lighting. When the shop was built I didn’t put in enough electrical outlets. I have added more now, but it would have been much easier to do when it was being built. One outlet every 4' or so would be ideal.
Not pictured is my Snap-On 5 hp. compressor that I have in a separate room off the back of the shop. It is really a plus to have a big compressor. I use it everyday. Everyone always likes to poke fun at me about keeping the shop really clean. The compressor is the key to the cleanliness. I just open all the doors and start blowing at the end of every day. In 10 minutes, the shop looks good as new.
I have spent a enormous amount of time researching dust collection. I used all 6” S&D (sewer and drain) PVC for the ducts. It is also called PVC 2729. I have made no attempt to ground the ducts. I have not had one single shock. I did use clear flex hose that has a reinforcing wire. This wire helps bleed off any static there might be in the system. The relative humidity in your area plays an important part in how much static you will have. Here in NW Arkansas it is fairly humid most of the time. I believe that this is a big factor in my lack of static. If you do have static trouble it can be drained off by wrapping a wire around the outside of the ducts and attaching it to the body of the collector and to the machines with screws.
I built several new hoods to be able to run the 6” the entire way to the larger chip producers. The 6” pipe flows more than twice what a 4” pipe flows. Use the 6” everywhere you can. You won’t regret it. A well designed and powerful dust collection system will greatly improve your woodworking experience. It keeps the shop much cleaner and makes the air much safer to breathe. This is not a hugely expensive endeavor. The PVC is cheap and you can build your own blast gates and hoods from cheap HVAC fittings using my plans. Good ducts coupled with a cyclone and good blower and filter are the best investments you can make in your shop.
I hope you have enjoyed the tour and don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any comments or questions.
Originally posted 23 August 2003
© 2003, All Rights Reserved
Presented courtesy of Wayne Miller, Badger Pond Publishing