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Thread: My Shop Re-org - Getting ready for the New year!

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    My Shop Re-org - Getting ready for the New year!

    Well, like most projects I do, this will probably be a bit of a long term one, but just thought I'd start a thread on it... I made a set of upper cabs last week. Pretty simple affair, 3/4 ply box, 1/2 ply back, 3/4 ply nailers on the the back of the cabs. Drilled shelf pin holes with a jig I purchased at a local tool store. Very simple, very basic, but I like the way the work. Got a bunch of plastic 'shoe' boxes from Costco that I'm using to organize things. I like them because they are clear and you can see whats inside. They aren't so big you cram a ton of stuff in them, and not too small.So today I started on the 'bench' that will sit to the left of the radial arm saw. Decided to make a 'torsion box' type of affair out of two sheets of 3/4 ply with 1x2 center structure.I don't have anywhere that I can guarantee to be really flat, so I used my ripmaster 3000 jig (Circular saw with a shop made rip fence) to rip a bunch of 3" wide pieces of ply. Used those standing on edge to create relatively straight lines to flatten any warp out of the ply.Simple enough and it seems to be relatively sturdy. There will be supports on each end, and one in the middle, once I find out where that needs to be.Next up will probably be a flip top cabinet or two so I can clear up some floor space.The one thing I've learned is that when you don't have a lot of room, every square foot of floor space is precious. So even a dedicated cart for a planer can really get in the way when you don't have a lot of room.This is phase I of this long term project. Phase I -
    1. Phase I - Redo Shelf wall and put the RAS in a cabinet. Create flip top cabinets for some of the sporadically used bench top tools like the planer and drum sander
    2. Phase II - Replace the long rails on the table saw with short rails and put the router table into the extension. (Might have to get rid of my router table...
    3. Phase III - Redo shelving on other side of shop to improve its usefulness...
    29 degrees? Eh, What the heck, can't let a little chill keep me from getting things done.Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	52764Main shot of the wall cabs, already full up... But I did get rid of 3 shelving units by pulling stuff out and consolidating it up there.Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	52765Long rips of ply to provide flat surfaces. Going to use those on the base for to support the top, so not a waste at all..Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	52766Clamping the first 1x2 and screwing it down. Probably not the most optimal way to make a bench, but not a lot of space. In the long run, it seemed to turn out pretty flat.Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	52767More GluingClick image for larger version. 

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ID:	52768More GluingClick image for larger version. 

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ID:	52769All glued up and ready for the base, surrounds, and sacrificial top.Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Brent Dowell; 12-31-2011 at 02:36 AM.

  2. #2
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    Good start, Brent. Hope you used winding sticks on your saw horses before you began to keep the twist out of your table. Stretch a string diagonally to check for flat.

    Just before the Great White Out here I brought building materials home to add a lean-to to a storage shed for sheet and turning lumber storage. That pile of materials is currently a white hump in the yard.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carol Reed View Post
    Good start, Brent. Hope you used winding sticks on your saw horses before you began to keep the twist out of your table. Stretch a string diagonally to check for flat.

    Just before the Great White Out here I brought building materials home to add a lean-to to a storage shed for sheet and turning lumber storage. That pile of materials is currently a white hump in the yard.
    Things actually looked pretty good, flat and twist wise.

    I've got a pile of materials for my shed as well that is sitting out there. Once I get this wall done, and the RAS up and running, if I get a few decent 40 degree days, I'll probably get started on my roof trusses...

    I've already cleared out a bunch of stuff from the shop and I'm encouraged about freeing up more floor space...

    Well, the supports for this bench starts tomorrow, and then on to the flip stands.

    I did make this bench the same height as the table saw. Just kind of keeping that height (35") as the basic height for all benches in the shop. Seems to work pretty good for me, and makes it easier to keep things on the same level, if doing infeed and out feed stuff. I'll probably try and keep the planer and sander at that 35" height when I build the stands for them. That way I could use the table saw as a support for stock going in or out.

  4. #4
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    Faith, Hope & Charity

  5. #5
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    Wow! 35"!

    My back hurts thinking about it, and I'll bet I am a whole lot shorter than you.

    I do recognize the value of same height surfaces in the shop. Except for the table saw, all my surfaces are 41" high. My tablesaw is not the center of my shop. I don't have a center of the shop. Its in my tool trailer which also houses the SCMS, drill press, band saw, and spindle sander, plus a few roll outs (planer, clamp rack, DC, scrollsaw, etc.)

    I have a reorganization going on as well, at least on the computer. Maybe tomorrow I can get to the end of the porch and take a picture of the "new" shop.

    I will be interested to see your 'flip' cabinets.

    Yer makin' me think now.

  6. #6
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    Hmmm, Well, my other bench is at the same height and I've never noticed bending over that much. This bench will be primarily devoted to being a 'garage' for the flip cabs and the top will be used for the radial arm saw support, and for other tools to sit on, like the mortiser, and perhaps a grinder. So the actual working height of those tools are much higher.

    Any insights on why I might go higher would be greatly appreciated now, instead of tomorrow when I build the legs...

    But it might be a case of live and learn. This height works fine for the Mortiser and RAS, because of the available space between the ground and the upper cabs... Just the right height between the two for those guys...

  7. #7
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    Your 'garage' makes sense. And as long as your back doesn't complain, go for what works best for you.

    Shops are not static creations. They are always morphing into something 'better.'

  8. #8
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    What height do you make your router tables? Just curious.

    I'm getting very critical of anything that soaks up any square feet and am thinking of dumping mine and putting into the table saw.

    but I'm kind of partial to it, so I might actually make another 'garage' for it when I redo the shelves on the other side of the shop...

  9. #9
    Chris Hatfield is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
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    I'm tempted to get rid of my router table too, but I think I'm going to cut out a notch and store it under the drill press and get rid of the drill press cart instead.

    All my stuff is 36", the height of my saw. Considering using that for my cabs as well.

  10. #10
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    @Brent in answer to your question:

    My router table is portable. When it is needed it is clamped to the top of my WorkMate bench. It is ~40" off the ground.

    I once had a large Norm-type router table. I sold it. It hogged shop real estate and became a cluttered surface. I developed the smaller one that is featured in my book. It is stored under one of benches.

    Reasoning is this: The router was originally intended to be used as a portable tool on bigger pieces of wood. It morphed into a poor man's shaper and became a fixture in and of itself. My reasoning is that a table is essential for small pieces that the router as a hand held tool is difficult to balance on.

    For that it works really well. Shapers scare the stuffing out of me.

    My 2 .
    Last edited by Carol Reed; 01-01-2011 at 09:23 AM.

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