Road Back to a Wood Shop

Frank Fusco

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12,512
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Mountain Home, Arkansas
Your original post brought back some memories. My first assignment in the Air Force was at Larson AFB near Moses Lake. Pretty desolate country. But, I would hike and camp (with very primitive equipment) in the Cascades on the east side. Very beautiful country. Enjoy the new shop.
 

Bill Satko

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2,974
Location
Methow Valley
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
I really like that idea and I might do just that. But two problems have me hesitating. First where to put the carpet. The storage unit is already at max capacity. And second, this is very remote area and it is extremely difficult to get any service. Only by leveraging the buying of the carpet for several rooms (5) are we actually able to get an installer. If you have any small job, be it drywall, plumbing, electrical, etc. you can't seem to find anyone interested. They are only touching jobs with some substance to it $$$$). And if you suggest that I install the carpet myself, the boss already nixed that idea. I already went down this path with her. I thought I did a good job with stairs I carpeted in the old house, but apparently she believes this to be a "bridge too far" for me. I am now leaning toward a "large chair mat". Looking at one 8' x 6' that would fit perfectly between the bench and the new bench I want.
 

Bill Satko

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2,974
Location
Methow Valley
Given your space a bench-on-bench might be a solution.

Just tossin' it out there.
I think a bench on bench is a great idea and may do that for the woodworking bench. But the bench I am thinking is for non-woodworking activities. Things I don't want to do on the woodworking bench. More of a Mr Fix-it bench. Anything from bike, appliance repair to re-gripping golf clubs.
 

Bill Satko

Member
Messages
2,974
Location
Methow Valley
Your original post brought back some memories. My first assignment in the Air Force was at Larson AFB near Moses Lake. Pretty desolate country. But, I would hike and camp (with very primitive equipment) in the Cascades on the east side. Very beautiful country. Enjoy the new shop.
So that was where you were stationed. No longer an Air Force base. I believe it had one of the longest runways in the country. JAL was using it to train pilots on the new Boeing planes. Could still be. I lived in Moses Lake for a year helping to build an industrial plant there.
 

Charles Lent

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Staff member
Messages
622
Location
Central North Carolina
When I moved here most of my shop was stacked in boxes, in the garage. Much of a day of digging found my Work Mate, my circular saw, a straight edge clamp and some hand tools, pliers and screwdrivers and two C clamps. While "making do" I was able to build and repair a bunch of stuff in my new home. My "Real shop" didn't get built for several years, so I made do with that basic temporary outdoor shop until then. A couple more searches did find my chisel set, a level, and the saber saw. About all of the rest waited for my shop before it was unpacked. It's amazing what we can do with a bare minimum when we have to.

Charley
 

Bill Satko

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2,974
Location
Methow Valley
In order to maximize the storage space in this small space I need to reorganize my tool chest. Right now, it is just stuffed with tools that I needed a place for and will go somewhere else Some of tools that will stay need some reorganization to make them easier to access. I had acquired some more chisels that I never planned for on the chisel rack. There is room on the rack as you can see, but If I added them in the open space the sequence of smaller to larger would be lost.

The Bench chisels are on the left and mortise chisels on the right. So, I am making another rack to include the new chisels and I also leave a space for a chisel I will be getting. That is, whenever everything gets back to normal and they start making chisels again!

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The four new chisels. 7/8” bench, 1-1/2” bench, 1/10” mortise and 3/8” mortise. The 7/8” and 1-1/2” were a single production run and will not be made again. Those chisels and 1/10” mortise chisel were never in Lie Nielsen’s catalog and the reason why I never laid out the original chisel rack with their possibility.

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So here are all the chisels I am trying to fit on the new rack

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Having no bandsaw or table saw, I hand ripped some left-over ash I had from building my workbench some time ago. Proof to my wife that it was worth saving that sliver of ash for 10 years and stuffing in an already full U-Haul for our move here.

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I then brought everything to final dimensions using a fore plane, jointer plane and smoother.

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I then spent way too much time measuring chisel dimensions such as handle width and mocking everything in Sketchup to ensure that the chisels were evenly space apart. I am embarrassed to say this took longer than laying everything out on the ash and then sawing and chiseling out where the chisels would go.

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Not shown is me chiseling out the waste but here is the finished rack after running a smoother over it to remove all the scribe marks.

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All that was left was pulling the partition out of the tool chest that the old rack was attached to by screws and replacing with the new one. Two of the three screw holes matched up in a place on the new one that I could use and I only had to drill one new one. These next two photos below shows why I love this style of bench. I am able to clamp the assembly to the side of my bench using bench hooks and with ease drill and screw together the partition and rack. Ten years now and I wouldn’t change one thing on it. There a couple of things I will be adding, but will be for another post or two.

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Messages
5,297
Location
Catalunya
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 ...
I workout almost everyday, the weeks that I do less I do it three times, mostly cardio, pilates and body balance, if you get in the mood you will not regret it.
I feel far better than the couple of years I gave up exercising, and looking at how young guys are here, I'm in better shape at 62 than them at 25-30.
 

Charles Lent

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Messages
622
Location
Central North Carolina
Making progress. Great ! Now, just a suggestion. Every photo showing your planes on the workbench show them sitting upright with their cutting edges against the bench.

In my very early years of woodworking, both from my mentor uncle and also from my high school woodshop teacher, I got into trouble every time I set a plane down without laying it on it's side. This was drummed into my head because after sharpening the blade to scary sharp, you weren't supposed to chance dulling it if it should get set down on something that might dull or nick the blade. It was a hard to learn lesson, but once in my head, I kind-of cringe every time I see anyone setting a plane down in an upright position. It's a good habit to get into, but takes some time to remember to do it every time. My planes did seem to stay really sharp considerably longer after I remembered and got into the habit though. It really is worth doing.

Charley
 

Bill Satko

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Messages
2,974
Location
Methow Valley
My experience, it is more important to gently set your plane down so as to not knock it out of adjustment. Your advice about setting your plane down on its side and not its sole, is not universally followed anymore. I know that I don't, and maybe it is due to my woodshop classes in junior high did not utilize hand planes in their teaching and my more current training did not emphasize it. Sometimes things get passed down from generation to generation with an original reason that no longer has current merit. While I respect and appreciate your input, I am going to disagree. Here is a video link to a good explanation that supports my point of view and practice. I am sure you could find another to support your view, proving it to be one of those issues that will never be universally proven one way or the other. I am sure it will be a moot point once all of us boomers die off and hand planes becomed used as door stops by future generations as they wonder what they were used for.
 
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Jim DeLaney

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Austintown, Ohio
I wouldn't set a plane blade down on a non-wood surface, but at my bench, which is wood, I do it all the time. Double logic: The plane is designed to cut wood, so the wooden bench top won't hurt it, and; having it blade down means I won't accidently brush my knuckles against it and lose skin.
 

Bill Satko

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2,974
Location
Methow Valley
There has been some progress in getting my temporary shop set up, but at a very slow pace. In that time, Rennie has completed several major projects, Glenn has built or rebuilt many shop fixtures and Allen has built an entire fire engine. At my pace, I think the French will complete the renovation on Notre Dame before I get my shop set up the way I want.

When I consider all the above accomplishments, it makes me question posting about this small project, but here goes. This post is about building a simple wall behind my bench to hang tools. The exercise was an eye opener in how frustrating it is to work in such a small space, especially when the lumber you are handling becomes larger. I am seeing that building anything larger than a small box will be a challenge. The biggest challenge is cutting down lumber into accurate dimensions. Without a table saw I am relying on a track saw. This still takes space and it also requires something more than I currently have to do this accurately and just as importantly with some speed. I am still thinking about the options I have here.

I got pine from Home Depot about 2 months ago and it had been sitting in my "shop". I hand picked through what was there and was able to get fairly decent boards but they still had some cup to them and some bow. But it was all very minor and I was not going to down the rabbit hole of correcting any of it. My strategy was to tongue and groove the boards together to take out the worst of the defects I couldn't cut out when sizing the final dimensions.

First I laid all the boards down in my shop annex #1, better know as the hallway for the bedrooms, to get an idea of the best layout for appearance.

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I then hand planed one edge on each board and then using that reference edge used a track saw to rip and crosscut to my final dimensions. I ripped the boards so that they would fit the space I wanted and would all have the same "face" size after tongue and grooving them. The single board without the tongue was ripped smaller than the other three.

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I must admit, it was after trying to rip and crosscut in a very small space (shop annex #2, AKA the mechanical room), that I considered that maybe another hobby would be best. The one good thing about a lot of time lapsing between when I could work on this, I forgot how painful it was and kept coming back to it.

With everything dimensioned, now came the fun part.
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I only had two studs in the area that this was going to sit. The exterior wall studs are built on 2' centers. I had cut left over pine to mount directly to the drywall and studs and all the planks are mounted to them. The strategy I used in screwing the planks to the wall was a single screw at the bottom of each plank. The screw at the bottom of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th plank (1st being the bottom plank) pulls the board below it tight to the wall via the tongue and groove joint. (see the photo below). The only exception of the single screw in each plank was the top plank. I needed a screw at the top to keep it from loose at the top. I elongated a hole for this screw to allow for movement. All the tongue and groove joints were assembled tight as I am betting on further shrinkage of the boards and not expansion. If not, no great loss, but time will tell.

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All that is left is to build fixtures for hanging the tools.
 

Ryan Mooney

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7,190
Location
The Gorge Area, Oregon
Well there's sure no faulting the quality of your T&G joints, that's for sure!

I actually think that some of the small shop struggles are super useful to talk about. The odds of any of us being there for one reason or another are pretty high (moving, working at someone elses place with limited tooling/space, life happens, etc..) so it's imho quite valuable to think about.
 
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