It’s been quite a while since I’ve done a shop tour, and much has changed. While I did a live stream a few weeks ago, I thought it would be a good time to do a more structured tour. Thanks for watching!
So my first live stream had some tech glitches. This was a very informal shop tour, and being live stream is a little rough around the edges. A more produced one is coming! At the end the YouTube chat didn’t refresh for me so I wrapped up thinking no further questions. Thanks John and Josh for letting me know. I got back to them after we wrapped up. Stay safe folks!
It’s been quite some time since my last video, and even longer since my last shop tour. As mentioned in my last post, 2015 hasn’t seen much shop time until just the last couple of months.
A lot has changed in the shop in that time. Now that I’ve been getting back into the shop, I wanted to show you around, and give you a quick update on a coffee table I’ve resumed working on.
I changed up the format a bit from my last videos, let me know what you think!
When I posted the Intro and Shop Tour video, I had some plans on how I could improve the shop. Since that video, I’ve been able to do a few things in the shop to get things further organized. I thought now might be a good time to share some of those updates.
It’s been a busy few weeks – I recently was in a remote training class for work for a week that was on west coast hours (I’m on the east coast). That was followed by a different than usual work schedule afterward. This is a blog post I’ve been wanted to do for a bit now that involves two recent opportunities to join other woodworkers for two different events.
Visit to Fine Woodworking Magazine
The first of these events was a visit to Fine Woodworking magazine in Newtown, CT with the Modern Woodworkers Association folks – a great reason to take the day off from work and get a long weekend out of the deal. Our hosts were Senior Editor Matt Kenney and Art Director Mike Pekovich, who gave us an overview of how an issue is produced, and afterward a tour of the shop area that included a discussion and demonstration of tips for shop efficiency. I don’t want to simply redo the excellent and detailed posts that Steve Branam, Dyami Plotke, and Nick Roulleau did about our visit – click on each to read their posts, they’re well worth the read. I had a great time and for me, I valued the tour and workshop efficiency tips (while I was doing this before, I am now even more conscious of setting realistic, obtainable objectives for a finite session of shop time). What I also valued though was seeing fellow woodworkers in person. What the MWA is all about is translating online social interactions into in person ones. Folks I had been interacting with in Twitter, Google+, blogs and forums I got to meet in person, as well as some I met for the first time (from both an online an in person perspective). Matt and Mike were gracious and treated us to lunch at the Taunton cafeteria, and it was more good conversation that continued at the lunch table.
Just over a week after the Fine Woodworking visit, it was time for WoodExpo 2012, part of the New England Home Show. I was just as impressed, if not more so, with the projects this year. What really struck me this year was that they had more real estate at the show, and that it was placed in a better location for more people to be exposed to some very fine pieces. It was also quite busy. I went on a Saturday as opposed to a Friday last year, so that may account for it being that much more busy. I did get a chance to briefly chat with Tommy MacDonald and Eli Cleveland, and a bit more with Rob Bois, Mike Morton, Mike McCoy, and Steve Branam (all four exhibited at the expo); as well as Dyami Plotke and Nick Roulleau. I also got to meet Chuck Bender who had a booth setup at the show. My biggest regret is that I could not stay longer. The Boston area Modern Woodworkers Association (MWA) had their kickoff that evening and I was not able to stay for the dinner after the expo. I had hoped to get to talk to Tommy and Eli a bit more as well, but unfortunately when I had to leave, they were just beginning a panel discussion regarding the state of the craft and the relationship with the buyer – I would have loved to stay to hear that discussion.
I hope to be able to plan a bit differently next year, and for other folks perspectives on WoodExpo, encourage folks to also visit Dyami’s post, as well as Nick’s two posts on his site, and on the MWA site.
After doing a couple of “alpha” test videos with the Narex chisel videos I did, I thought it would be cool to start adding video content more consistently to The Wood Lab blog. Here is the introduction to this video series, and then cap it off with a tour of my shop! Let me know what you think!
One thing I’ve always been bad at in the past is taking “before” shots before starting a project around the house. I figured now though, I would have a shop tour early on in this blog, and down the road as I hopefully update the shop, I could do another shop tour and see the difference between now and later.
One of the biggest challenges of my particular shop is that I have to be creative on where I place my tools. My house was built in 1860, and the basement has plenty of spots where you have to duck your head to avoid ductwork, pipes, etc.
What better way though to start a shop tour with a picture of my “May ‘The Schwarz’ Be With You” shirt!
Just behind the computer bench is my floor drill press, with a bit of a mess in front of it.
Turning around 180 degrees from the drill press, you see my benchtop bandsaw, workbench and pegboard. On the portable stand to the right of the bench is my mitre saw.
To the right of the workbench and pegboard is the air compressor, with some shelves I am in the process of completing to store tools.
Turning back toward the bandsaw, are some shelves for tool storage as well as a radio with aux input setup for my iPod (gotta have tunes!).
Between the air compressor and the shelves leads to the second half of the basement where the “big tools” are… although that is just a jointer, contractor style table saw, and dust collector. This area has less of the ductwork, etc and therefore has more headroom.
Turning right from the jointer is the table saw and dust collector.
A view from the other end of the second half of the basement. The open area is where I plan to put a planer.
And turning slightly to the left, another shot of the dust collector and table saw.