First things first… Happy New Year! I hope that you have a great and safe New Year, and that you all had a great Holiday season!
In looking back over the last year, I have made some improvements to the shop, attended Fine Woodworking Live, and completed a couple of projects, but I wanted to outline some goals I have for 2014…
- Since I’ve turned my table saw around 180 degrees from what I had before, I now have the space available for a true outfeed table. The roller stand I have is nice, and will certainly use it elsewhere, but it will be even more nice to not pick up offcuts off of the floor. The outfeed table will add safety and convenience.
- This improvement is already in the works: I finally ordered an RF remote unit for my dust collector. No longer will I have to walk over, turn it on, then walk to the tool with the hose connected and then turn it on. Because of where the dust collector is, after I build the outfeed table, this will be a huge gain in convenience, since once the outfeed table is in place, the dust collector will be that much harder to get to.
- A workbench. What I have now is not impossible – it’s an MDF top on a metal cabinet base. It’s flat, well, except the corner that got wet and is now swelled. It does though, seriously lack in workpiece holding ability. While I haven’t ironed out all the details, I do know that this will be a “bench on a budget” so to speak. I don’t expect to have the resources for a large Roubo with expensive vise hardware, but I do think I can complete a bench that will be a huge upgrade over what I have, and not break the bank. I am coming from no specific experience, and therefore bias, toward certain vises or other wood holding systems, or styles of bench. My “vise” has been a wooden screw clamp that is clamped to the bench top. I’m leaving on the table the various types of vises: metal jaw, twin screw, leg vise, etc. Face vise with planing stops? Face vise and end vise? Some combination? Expect some further posts on this as things roll along.
- In keeping in what I try to do with every project, whatever further furniture projects I end up doing, I will continue to incorporate some new joinery that I haven’t done before, or perhaps some other new technique I haven’t tried.
- Continue to attend some woodworking events or classes. While my personal circumstances with a special needs child may prevent me from any significant travel, I do hope Fine Woodworking will have FWW Live close enough to home that I can make that drive again, and offer day passes. The Woodworking Shows will be coming to the area in the next couple of weeks, as well as perhaps the Design Build Show in Boston in February. I understand why WIA doesn’t typically move much beyond the Cincinnati area (there’s a LOT of stuff to move), but if they did find their way to southern New England, I would certainly try to attend that. There is also the fairly new Woodcraft in Walpole, MA that is now offering classes, so I plan on looking into their offerings as well.
- And of course, anything can happen during the course of a year, so will keep an open mind to anything that comes along!
So Happy New Year everyone! Take care, be safe, and happy sawdust in the new year…