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Every woodworker dreams of having a shop large enough to accommodate all of the tools to build all of the projects that may come along. This shop fulfills that three decade dream. This is the outside. You can view the construction details here.
Not only do I enjoy woodworking, but I have an extensive collection of toy soldiers, too. Entry to the woodworking shop is through a locked doorway from the soldier shop. For safety and dust control reasons, the two are kept relatively isolated from each other.
Looking left when entering the workshop, one first sees the wood storage rack, with sorted boards above, and sheet goods stored below. Walking into the room and looking at the wall to the left, the first tools to be seen are...
...the router table and jointer. Closer shots follow:
The Bench Dog router table, with Bosch 1615EVS electronic plunge router mounted.
JET JJ-6CS 6"x46" jointer on movable base. Also, a shop vac for temporary dust control until overhead dust control plumbing is installed.
Another view of the wood storage rack.
Every home shop ought to have a bandsaw. This brand new Shop Fox W1673 16 inch model is perhaps slight overkill for most homeshop projects. For resawing, and that occasional larger project, the extra horsepower and larger 115" blade can make all the difference.
Side view...or is this the front view, and the above is the side view?
Even a dedicated woodworking shop has the occasional need for regular tools, like socket sets, wrenches, and plain old screwdrivers. So it is good to have a tool cabinet where they can be stored between needs.
And the old cliche, which is 100% true, is that you can never have too many clamps in any woodworking shop. Temporary clamp storage until a permanent rack, with more clamps, can be built.
With pneumatic nail guns now in common use, Norm Abram might jokingly tell you that the claw hammer belongs in the Smithsonian, perhaps next to the buggy whip exhibit. Although this is not at all true, nail guns...
...and the compressor to power them, do make many woodworking projects much easier, and much faster.
This Craftsman 13" drill press is nearly twenty years old, and works like it was purchased yesterday. I continue to be surprised how many projects make use of this trusty machine.
And now a word about shop safety. Be sure to read, understand, and follow...er, well, thanks Norm. Anyway, we all know that spinning blades and bits can do serious damage to fingers, hands, eyes, and whatever else gets in the wrong place. It is just as important, however, to realize that nearly all wood dust is toxic. Adequate dust control will keep the shop cleaner and the lungs clearer.
This Grizzly model G1029 two horsepower / 220V dust collector has sufficient power, when adequately plumbed, to control the dust generated in this woodshop. Since it would be rare for more than one tool to be used at a time, all unused runs of piping can be closed off, allowing for maximum vacuum efficiency.
One of the upcoming projects will be to run 4" PVC piping around the perimeter of the room at the ceiling line, with drops to the various tools. For now, temporary tubing is dragged to the tools as necessary. Having already given up some lung capacity due to cherry dust, I want no more of that to happen!
This is the rear wall of the building, and a lot of work is done on the tools against this wall.
Until recently, quality drum-sanding was not available to the home woodshop at an affordable price. Now, though, that has changed. This Performax 16/32 drum sander makes it possible to thickness sand and final sand boards up to 32" wide, sanding evenly to within 1/10,000th of an inch.
A long view of the back wall operations area.
The DeWalt 12" compound miter saw. It's one of the most useful tools in the shop. For many it has completely replaced the need for a radial arm saw. Although it has not done so in my case, most of the cross-cutting is now done at this station. The saw will eventually sit upon a dedicated station at a built-in cabinet unit.
Joinery is the heart and soul of woodworking. Even with the advent of the biscuit joiner and the pocket hole jig, the mortise and tenon joint is the classic demonstration of woodworking skill. With the dedicated machine mortising unit, that precision can be attained without having to dedicate hours to each joint. Every shop should have one of these!
The Delta 43-355 two-speed reversible shaper. For most hobbyist milling operations, a router table with 1½ + HP router will do the job. For the heavy projects, like widely raised panel doors or very large woodwork shaping, a heavier machine is required. Shapers are often outside the budgets of home shops; but when a project needs the power or capabilities of the machine, it is worth every penny.
Behind the shaper table is some 'down and dirty' shelving. Storage is always in short supply in any shop. This kludged unit will be replaced by a number of custom-made floor cabinets and wall-hung cupboards, some of which are under construction now.
Miscellaneous thoughts here...This corner is likely to be where the clamp rack will be installed, along with hanging cupboards. One of those, under construction, is shown.
The large industrial fan has several uses in the shop -- mostly for exhausting finishing fumes and blowing cooling into the attic. Since the room itself is well air-conditioned, the fan is not intended for comfort control.
Another wall which gets plenty of use. Eventually, all of the tools here except the radial arm saw will be on casters or movable bases.
The Delta 4" Belt / 6" disc sanding center is slated for replacement. It has served well as a hobbyist desktop unit, but just cannot handle the larger pieces of wood. Professional floor-standing unit may be next tool addition to the shop.
The Delta two speed 16" scroll saw, on the other hand, is very well able to handle all projects I might toss at it. This summer it will be cutting large quantities of fretwork to be added to our Victorian house.
The dinosaur of the shop, in more ways than one. This Rockwell (now Delta) Model 10 radial arm saw with automatic brake is twenty years old. Most non-professional shops are moving radial arms out, and putting in compound power miter saws in their places.
This unit also has a powered molding head cutter capability -- let's see a power miter saw do that -- so I keep it around. Until I get a fully functional cabinet top unit built for the power miter saw, this radial arm saw is still more easily able to handle the large cross-cutting jobs.
Some people believe that table saws are for ripping, radial arm saws are for cross-cutting. Although either saw can do either type cutting, having both allows maximum performance from each.
The Delta 12 1/2" portable planer. Many hobbyist shops make do without a planer unit. They use the boards at whatever thickness they come from the lumber mill. For precision work, that makes life much more difficult. I thought I would like to have an even heavier-duty unit. However, with the addition of the Performax drum sander, the two machines, working together, can work lumber to exactly the necessary thickness, and do it easily.
The most important tool in the shop! This Delta 10" contractor's saw with 52" extension table and professional Uni-Fence is indespensible. Shown in this photo from early stage of shop construction, it has gotten a non-stop workout.
All of the cabinets, cupboards and display cases for both shops in this building are being created on this table saw. A good plywood blade, an accurate and easily-set dado blade, and all else is elbow-grease. As an aside, it is pretty amusing to watch one person trying to move a four by eight foot sheet of 3/4" hardwood veneer plywood through that blade! An early project will be an assembly / outfeed table to facilitate the one-man operation here.
If you have a table saw and don't know what the garbage can is for, you should email me. If you have a dust collector and don't have the garbage can, you should really email me!
And now...Miscellaneous Items in the Shop...
This shop must be functional 12 months of the year. When the tools were in the basement of the house, winters were just too cold to work down there. This heater is more than up to the task. Heating contractor did the calculations, and then I ordered a one step bigger unit, just to be sure.
Alhough this relatively mild winter was no test, this heater did not even break a sweat keeping the shop warm. Running at 68 degrees, I often had to turn it down while working. Perfect!
Even with the good dust collection system working efficiently, the smallest of dust particles still get into the shop air. They are actually the worst for lungs...and I have no pulmonary capacity to spare. This dual air filter unit will pass the room air through itself 8 times per hour. It will pick up much of the airborne microdust. Every time I clean the filter, I see just how well it works.
A woodworking shop needs lots of reference materials. Those boxes on the top two rows of shelves are full of all types of woodworking magazines; some runs are complete, or nearly so. The stack there is a complete run of Woodshop News, a trade publication, going back to the beginning of '94. The boxes on the bottom, two rows deep, are the Eastern Iowa BMW Z3 Roadster Group magazine archives.
The door to the building attic is in the woodshop. Up there, things are stored, like every other attic in the known universe. In this one, 95% of the toy soldier collection is stored away. Also all of the EBay mailing supplies. Some less frequently used tools, construction equipment, and miscellaneous are also up there. The building is very completely insulated, but the attic insulation is in the floor, so it does get hot, and cold, up there.
The shop has come a long way since this slab was put in the first week of July 2001! Lots to do to get the Soldier Shop ready to do business, and lots to do yet to get the woodworking shop completed. I think these pages show, though, that very much progress has been made in a little over half a year. And money was very well spent!
Posted date 17 February 2004
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