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…
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.
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!
It’s the first week of May, and therefore it’s Woodworkers’ Safety Week. Many folks have some great posts regarding safety while working in the shop. I’ll take a slightly different approach and talk about safely getting into and out of the shop.
My shop is in the basement, so it involves going down stairs to get there (as well as the laundry area also in the basement). My house is old, and the stairs were no exception. After years of weakening from use, some damage at the foot caused by the occasional wetness that can occur after a good rain or snow melt (and who knows how much water before a sump pump was installed some time in history), being very steep, and no handrail, the stairs needed to go. (I think you’ll agree after looking at the pics below – I’ll let you guess which are “before” and “after”.)
So that’s my safety tidbit – have a safe way of actually entering, or exiting the shop!
I went and sprained my foot and ankle earlier this week, so figured I would actually post what I was able to wrap up last week – the shelving unit that goes above the air compressor.
One of key things for my basement is to try and utilize as much space as possible, and being in an old house (built in 1860), things are sometimes in an odd spot. As you can see in the picture, the column is holding up a beam above, and the space otherwise would be somewhat wasted. Luckily the air compressor fit nicely just behind it. The shelves above you actually saw in a previous post 1/2 done. The second unit is up on the right and is joined in the middle by a piece of MDF that sits in front of the column (the whole unit is made of MDF – being a novice, I figured it was cheap material good for shop use and in case I made a mistake with my router routing out the dados for the shelves). Then I installed a small strip of pegboard to the joining piece of MDF.
Today is the first day I’ve been able to hobble around mostly without the crutches… So hopefully, I’ll be back in the shop soon!