Road Back to a Wood Shop

Bill Satko

Member
Messages
2,974
Location
Methow Valley
As some know, I moved from the westside of Cascade Mountains in Washington state to the eastside. We love where we are as it a very beautiful part of the state nestled against the Cascade mountains. The only downside there is no garage or shop area. We were not too concerned when we bought it, as we intended to build a combination garage/shop.

Due to the crazy demand for new construction along with the limited workers and price of materials our plans for building a garage/shop have been put on hold. So, I am punting and planning to use a 10’ x 10’ spare room and part of the 14’ x 18’ daylight mechanical room to get back to some woodworking. My wife does pottery and she has another 10’ x 10’ spare room. The large pocket door shown in the pictures below separates the two spare rooms. She has already staked out part of the now coveted mechanical room for her pottery wheel and clay storage. As for the mechanical room, it already houses the well pressure tank, an electric hot water tank, oil fired combination domestic water and heat boiler (we have hot water radiators) and a 275-gallon oil tank.

I had sold all my machinery and what tools I kept are mostly in a storage unit in the nearest town about 8 miles away. All except my good hand tools, as I managed to use this spare bedroom to store the tool box. But what I was without was my workbench. Doing hand work without a bench is very difficult, so I have not have been doing much. It was a huge task just to unload the workbench from the U-Haul into the storage unit. This was all during Covid and we moved ourselves. I knew that it would take more muscle to get it in my pickup and then into the house, so it has been sitting there for almost 18 months. Finally, my brother came to visit this past week and we barely managed to get it in the house. The thing is a beast, great for working on but not for moving around.

This room is going to need some work such, as wall cabinets for storage to really make it functional. I have no table saw, bandsaw, jointer or thickness planer. I do have a track saw and a router, but limited room to use them. This thread will be about setting up my temporary shop and it will be sporadic as I am also remodeling the house and that takes precedent. But I look forward to this coming winter, with snow outside my window, while I work away making some shavings in comfort.

IMG_20211010_134149779.jpg
IMG_20211010_133959288.jpg
IMG_20211010_134124740.jpg
IMG_20211010_134029035.jpg
 

Darren Wright

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
18,800
Location
Kansas City, Missouri
Looking forward to seeing what you make Bill, even if it's just a lot of wood shavings. ;)

Off topic, Are those little doors on the window to reach the handles through the screen? I'm not sure I've ever seen any like that.
 

Paul Douglass

Member
Messages
4,504
Location
S E Washington State
Methow Valley... Ya you went from one beautiful place to another.... I use,,, many years ago,, go to a resort up there to cross country ski.. The resort was call "Sun Mountain' or something like that... It was a beautiful area... we had a great time...
 

Bill Satko

Member
Messages
2,974
Location
Methow Valley
Looking forward to seeing what you make Bill, even if it's just a lot of wood shavings. ;)

Off topic, Are those little doors on the window to reach the handles through the screen? I'm not sure I've ever seen any like that.
I had not seen them before, but I never had casement windows. They are called wicket doors and as you can see, are used on those simple casement window with a latch that you push/pull to open/close.
 

Bill Satko

Member
Messages
2,974
Location
Methow Valley
Methow Valley... Ya you went from one beautiful place to another.... I use,,, many years ago,, go to a resort up there to cross country ski.. The resort was call "Sun Mountain' or something like that... It was a beautiful area... we had a great time...
Sun Mountain Resort is still there and is very nice. The Methow is one of the best places for x-country and back country skiing.
 

Bill Satko

Member
Messages
2,974
Location
Methow Valley
I have to admit I was worried about the how the bench held up in the storage unit. I had visited the unit frequently when retrieving something we needed. But I was always too busy opening up boxes and resealing them, looking for the elusive item to really examine it. It was always just something nice and handy to climb up on, while searching the upper shelving.

My concern was due to the fact that after being here a while, I picked up a handsaw bench I had made, when it literally fell apart. There is a substantial difference in average humidity between where I built it and where we now live. The result was staggering. Everything shrunk and joints came apart.

Looking the workbench over, I found that all the joints were solid. I had drawbored most of the MT joints. They were solid and same with the MT joints with mechanical fasteners. There is a gap between the aprons and the cut-out for them on the legs. Evidence of the aprons shrinking. The top had been glued to the front apron, secured to bench frame member with lag bolts but with enlarged openings to allow movement. Because of this, the top remains flush with the front of the front apron, but you can see that the top has shrink, as it is no long flush with the front of the rear apron. Looks to be about 3/16 or more. The top is also no longer flat, as it appears there was some difference in wood movement in the maple strips that make up the top. A bunch of peaks and valleys across the width.

Time to fix this.

First, out with my wood jack plane. Took a little while going up and down bench being careful to keep a nice flat stroke. I was surprised to suddenly catch the smell of linseed oil, turpentine and wax. Hand planing the top released the smell of finish as if I had just laid it on. It was wonderful! I also fell in love again with the simple act of hand planing.

IMG_20211012_074323457.jpg
IMG_20211010_170955385.jpg
IMG_20211012_074142698.jpg
IMG_20211012_074206231.jpg

Then I got out my jointer and pulled the blade, dropping in a toothed blade I have had for a long time, but never used. That maple top has some squirrelly grain which I remember from the last time of flattening it. It worked fantastic, preventing tear out. The surface is so nice that I don’t intend to finish it with a smoother. I am going to leave the surface as is.

IMG_20211012_134519405.jpg
IMG_20211012_134603735.jpg
IMG_20211012_134538401.jpg

I contemplated leaving it unfinished, but that didn’t last long. I noticed that it easily absorbs any dirt or stain. I am going to finish it. Just a light coating of something for protection. Still working on that.
 

glenn bradley

Member
Messages
10,845
Location
SoCal
This is really great Bill. I am excited for you. I have some idea of what turning an expected short break in having a shop into drawn out period due to circumstances feels like. It must've felt great to have the plane in your hand, the smells in your nose and seeing the surface revive under you efforts. Congrats. I look forward to traveling along with you on this.
 

Bill Satko

Member
Messages
2,974
Location
Methow Valley
I have some idea of what turning an expected short break in having a shop into drawn out period due to circumstances feels like.
I know you do Glenn! You must be looking forward to starting a project. It will be interesting to see how your new space alters how you approach your projects or how working through a project maybe alters your layout some. I know this temporary space of mine will need some adjustment to how I approach building anything. Right now it is lacking some critical things that I plan to try and work out in the future.
 

Chuck Ellis

Member
Messages
6,361
Location
Tellico Plains, Tennessee
The surface looks beautiful... never been any good with a plane... though I do have a collection that we picked up in junk/antique stores...my work benches are just surfaces to collect junk anyway, so most are MDF.
 

Bill Satko

Member
Messages
2,974
Location
Methow Valley
This is where I am currently at. I have the vise on and installed the pine shelving. Just ready for some finish for the top (hopefully today).

IMG_20211020_140522536.jpg

IMG_20211020_140536033.jpg

Where the toolbox is I want to build and install a taller bench for other work. This is probably meaning I need to ditch the toolbox and build wall tool cabinets to free up floor space. I also need a dedicated sharpening station and am thinking of a small cabinet/bench next to pocket door or between the two benches on the other wall. And lastly some way to protect the carpet flooring and also make cleanup easier. The carpet is like Velcro and the wood shaving are a devil to clean up. I have looked at large chair mats, clear garage rollout flooring, rigidcore plank vinyl flooring and even tongue and groove strand board. I want something easy to install, not a trip hazard and easy on the wallet. I am at a loss right now as to which way to go. If anyone has any other options available or can see any problems with anything I am looking at…
 

Bill Satko

Member
Messages
2,974
Location
Methow Valley
Perhaps a bit late on the first part... but I'd vote to remove the carpet first and then probably the vinyl plank from an get-it-done and works-pretty-well perspective.
That would also be my first choice, but this is only temporary...you know less that 5 years (I hope not!) and the boss wants the carpet to stay. In fact soon (month or two), they will be replaced and even more of reason for some protection.
 

Ryan Mooney

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
7,190
Location
The Gorge Area, Oregon
I think my main concern is that putting something over the carpet is going to risk having problems with moisture, etc.. getting trapped in the carpet and causing long term problems. Best case the carpet is going to be pretty squished which *might* self resolve once you take up the covering, but also might not... I think for even 2-3 years.. I'd just argue that that room is a smooth floored room and redo the carpet everywhere else (which would also allow a nice transition at the door..). The chair mat/garage floor stuff over carpet seems to risk it being relatively uneven and .. weird.. plus the shavings are apt to sneak in around the edges. The T&G would probably be the "best" solution if you HAVE to leave the carpet in, but... concerns as above remain.

I'm slightly biased because I'm particularly not fond of carpet though :D
 
Messages
5,297
Location
Catalunya
I have to admit I was worried about the how the bench held up in the storage unit. I had visited the unit frequently when retrieving something we needed. But I was always too busy opening up boxes and resealing them, looking for the elusive item to really examine it. It was always just something nice and handy to climb up on, while searching the upper shelving.

My concern was due to the fact that after being here a while, I picked up a handsaw bench I had made, when it literally fell apart. There is a substantial difference in average humidity between where I built it and where we now live. The result was staggering. Everything shrunk and joints came apart.

Looking the workbench over, I found that all the joints were solid. I had drawbored most of the MT joints. They were solid and same with the MT joints with mechanical fasteners. There is a gap between the aprons and the cut-out for them on the legs. Evidence of the aprons shrinking. The top had been glued to the front apron, secured to bench frame member with lag bolts but with enlarged openings to allow movement. Because of this, the top remains flush with the front of the front apron, but you can see that the top has shrink, as it is no long flush with the front of the rear apron. Looks to be about 3/16 or more. The top is also no longer flat, as it appears there was some difference in wood movement in the maple strips that make up the top. A bunch of peaks and valleys across the width.

Time to fix this.

First, out with my wood jack plane. Took a little while going up and down bench being careful to keep a nice flat stroke. I was surprised to suddenly catch the smell of linseed oil, turpentine and wax. Hand planing the top released the smell of finish as if I had just laid it on. It was wonderful! I also fell in love again with the simple act of hand planing.

View attachment 118488
View attachment 118489
View attachment 118490
View attachment 118491

Then I got out my jointer and pulled the blade, dropping in a toothed blade I have had for a long time, but never used. That maple top has some squirrelly grain which I remember from the last time of flattening it. It worked fantastic, preventing tear out. The surface is so nice that I don’t intend to finish it with a smoother. I am going to leave the surface as is.

View attachment 118492
View attachment 118493
View attachment 118494

I contemplated leaving it unfinished, but that didn’t last long. I noticed that it easily absorbs any dirt or stain. I am going to finish it. Just a light coating of something for protection. Still working on that.
Moving that plane around must have been quite a workout Bill, I hope you were not too sore the following day.
 

Bill Satko

Member
Messages
2,974
Location
Methow Valley
Moving that plane around must have been quite a workout Bill, I hope you were not too sore the following day.
Not at all. Most of the wood removal was with the jack plane and being a "woody", it was nice and light. Hardly a workout.

Which reminds me, a good 10 years ago I bought a fancy chin-up bar you hang from the rafters and I was going to set it up in our two car garage/shop. I figured it would a great way to keep in shape. I never got around to it but periodically would tell my wife I need to set it up and start exercising on it. I never did and it soon a became a running joke between us. Then two years ago we had a giant garage sale after selling the house and before moving here, and I thought it got sold then. Earlier this year I was lamenting to my wife that I shouldn't have sold that chin-up bar because it would be nice way to keep in shape. She just smiled. Just this past month while we were rummaging around the storage unit looking for some now needed item, I unearthed the same chin-up bar still in its box. We both laughed hysterically.

But seriously I am thinking that this winter would be a great time to ...
 

Charles Lent

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
622
Location
Central North Carolina
Why don't you convince the boss that taking up the carpet in that room for a smooth floor wood shop, and then when the rest of the carpet is installed, have them leave you some carpet to do that room after it's no longer a wood shop.

When the wood shop finally moves, call them back and have the matching carpet installed in the former wood shop.

Charley
 
Top