Monday, May 28, 2007

Shop site photos

OK that's the view from right next to the house, looking toward our neighbor's shed. I took this so that I have a 'repeatable' photo perspective of the building.

from the middle of the yard looking to our neighbor's shed to the north. The shop is sited nearest to their sheds, for noise diversion. Plus their sheds are Right on the property line, and I won't mind in the least when I fire up my DC etc... if the noise heads their way.

and finally, looking back toward the house from the far corner of the yard.

I could post one looking from the North, but that would be so close to the shop that you'd just see wall, so why bother. (thought better of this, but really it won't show much, so occasionally I'll put one up from that angle too.

the above were just before Noon.

I dragged my middle son out in the yard with me and did some measuring and dropped pallets and 2x4's where the shop will eventually stand.

here is the view matching the first shot: from now on I'm going to post updated shots from those three angles:

Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day y'all

Yesterday was a bust shop wise, unless you count buying a new set of drill bits an 'accomplishment'. Lori and I recently bought a new fridge, and of course it has ice/water through the door. Silly mfg doesn't include the hookup kit! I suppose there is some logic to that, but I had to schlep all the way back in to Cicero to buy said kit. Well, the kit includes a 'self tapping' fitting, but the guy at Lowe's said a 1/4" drill would get us better pressure in the fridge. Hmmmm I thought to myself, do I know where a 1/4" bit is? No, better buy a new drill bit just in case. $5 for a single bit, $14 for 10. which would you buy?

I still need to buy a set of brad point bits as well, but these will do for 'shop building' and beyond.

there is my trusty Firestorm along with the new bit set, plus my favorite accessory: the pilot hole/driver. Great tool for anyone who uses screws in assembly much.

I particularly like the handy case. It will be going to 'live' in my tool box later this afternoon, and woe be it to any of my boys who loses the kit! *

*Only kidding of course.

Today being Memorial Day, I'm going to pretty much hang here at the house and have a good quiet day at home. I suppose I could go out and try and find some concrete blocks, but I think the Internet and search engines will just have to suffice.

Have a good one folks, I'm going to go try and accomplish something. More later!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Tool Wishlist

With the core list of tools I already have, I have a good start on my shop, but for the type of woodworking I want to do I still have a few important tools I 'need'.

Likely the first I'll pick up will be a Jointer. My great friend Grizzz wants to upgrade his 6" to an 8" jointer, and I'll likely be picking up his old craftsman. I learned on a similar unit (different stand) in my shop with John. It isn't the largest unit, but with only 240 sq ft in the shop, I won't be able to fit a lot of 'big' tools. When I get a jointer, no matter which one it is, it will be mounted on a mobile tool base and will be stored under my chop saw station along the east wall of the shop. I'll put up a layout later, I'm on my work laptop right now, and don't have the image handy. or do I?

that's an old layout, but for the sake of time, I'll use it for now. I'm going to have 4 more feet of room on the long dimension, but that is essentially how I plan to lay out the shop. The left side of the floorplan there will have a loft above it, so instead of only 240 sq feet, I'll have 360, although the loft will not have full height ceilings, I'll be able to have lumber storage and some bins stored up there. I'm undecided as yet how I'll access up there, I don't want a staircase, I might go with a ladder instead.

As you can see I also have plans for a bandsaw and a mini lathe at some point. I expect them to show up in that order.

As for the bandsaw, until recently I was dead set on buying a Grizzly G0555 14" bandsaw with a riser kit. Lately, however I've heard good things about the steel framed euro style saws, particularly the Rikon 14" which has plenty of resaw capacity. I've got a lot of other items to get before that will be needed, like power to the shop. The Rikon needs 220 power, and that is definitely something I will have to save up for. The rest of my current tools all run on 110, but better power will be required.

I'm leaning toward the Jet VS midi lathe as my first lathe. again, it will be awhile before that arrives, but it is on my wish list. I have some turning tools already thanks to Grizzz, and i just picked up a grinder for free last weekend, so I'll be able to learn how to sharpen as I learn how to turn.

One of the first things I'm going to assemble once I get the shop dried in and the tools moved over from the storage unit is going to be a shop-built air cleaner. It will be a three furnace filter style unit which I'll mount in the loft space, but likely hung from the rafters to get more air movement. I'm going to put it on a timer with a dedicated switched outlet.

While I'm thinking of dust control, my little one lung DC tries hard, but it sure isn't the be-all end all of DCs. I only paid $75 for it several years ago, and it is an older 'Blue' Jet starter unit. It will work fine for one tool at a time, either the tablesaw or the Planer, but not both. That is how John and I had it set up in the old shop. In the end, John wound up just sweeping up loads and loads of shavings, literally letting the chips fall where they will.

Marty Walsh down in GA from family woodworking built his super shop, which is an inspiration to so many of us who frequent fww. Thanks Marty & Denise! He built a drop box for his DC which is a monster unit with 10" main runs under his shop out to his 'dust shed'. I am going to scale that concept down to my shop size. I'll get as much DC as I can afford, again, after the shop is constructed and powered up. The little DC will do for awhile, I've lived with it as my only DC before and will 'do' until the budget allows an upgrade. I will go with a multi stage unit if I can. I'd love a cyclone of course, but I expect that I'll have a HF 2hp unit instead, with bettter bags and/or a filter upgrade.

More later, I need to go drop off a change of clothes to the LOML for her pushball game this afternoon.

Current tool list

Here is what I have tool wise when I start building my shop:

The core of my shop is definitely my tablesaw. I have a Ridgid 3612, which is a 10" contractor saw. I got one of the last 'Emerson' saws before Ridgid switched production to Taiwan, renaming the saw to the 3650.

I have 1/2 of the planer/jointer combo; a Dewalt DW 734 lunchbox planer. Portable to a point, that sucker weighs in at 80 some odd pounds. Great tool, and I'm looking forward to many more years of service from it. I hope to get a jointer sometime before the snow flies again, but that's another story.

I have a Delta 12" benchtop drill press. at 1am on this sunday morning, the exact model number eludes me. It is a nice unit, complete with geared table height adjustment. I picked it up used from a fellow Creeker last spring. Unfortunately it went straight into my storage unit and I've yet to be able to use it.

I have a Delta 10" CMS, which I bought several years ago, though it has very little use on it because my partner had a SCMS already set up. I like having the CMS as a chop saw, and it will be featured in the new shop until/unless I sell it and get a SCMS, (not likely, so until It breaks expect it to be around when you visit)

I have a PC router combo set, the old 691PSK pack, variable speed 2hp unit using the classic porter cable 690 motor and base system. again, very little use on it, expect it to be around a long time. I also have a Ryobi cordless laminite trimmer. I received the 5 tool 18v system, and found that there was a laminate base available which uses the same batteries, so I picked one up last summer. One of the new shop projects will be to build a router table insert for my ultimate tool stand system.

As I mentioned I have a Ryobi multi tool 18v system, drill/driver, recip saw, 5 1/2" circ saw, flashlight and 'vacuum'. My Dad gave me those plus a cordless Rotozip style tool when he upgraded, I've barely used them though I expect they'll come in handy in the new shop.

My favorite drill/driver is my Black and Decker Firestorm 18v. NOt too heavy, but more than powerful enough for my hobbyist shop. At just under $50 it is a solid performer. Perhaps someday I'll need to upgrade and then I'll look at PC or Dewalt for a drill/driver, but not any time soon. I also have a 12v homeowner grade unit, which needs new batteries. Those batteries plus the Ryobi kit's batteries are going to be shipped out to be rebuilt later this week.

I have a PC ROS which is also new this past year. I expect to get lots of sanding done with that once the shop goes up.

I have a 70's or early 80's era Craftsman CS which is a heavy duty unit. It probably could use a cord refit, but it works just fine.

I built two benches when John and I had our shop together, They're currently disassembled and ready to be rebuilt when there is a space for them. I would like to modify one of them into more of a woodworking unit, with a pair of vices etc... that may or may not come to fruition later this fall.

I have a 3/4 horse '650' cfm Jet dust collector. It barely keeps up with my tablesaw OR planer, but definitely not both. I will be upgrading that later this year as well, but it functions for the moment.

I have assorted hand tools, clamps and such, plus levels, measuring devices and so forth. Now I just need a place to put all of them.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

A new Beginning

Well Google and Blogger have conspired to make my poor befuddled memory erase my two other blogs. They still exist, but I don't remember which email I used to create them and they've been pretty well stagnant for quite awhile now. I'm going to toss them (other than links here:
I may try and resurrect them, but for now, Ill restart here.)

For my woodworking friends and family, here's a summary of Ned and woodworking:

I'm currently a hobbyist woodworker, I've been at this for just about 6 years now, and have a good start on a shop's full of tools. However I'm currently without a place to use them. I used to share a woodshop with my buddy woodnutjohn, but we couldn't afford the rising rent in the business incubator, so we split up our partnership a year ago.
That reduced my cash outflow to just rent on a storage unit, and pretty well zeroed my output in the woodworking department.
I'm a frequent (daily) member of several woodworking forums, links will be at the right side of the blog. I started out on woodnet several years ago, then found the WWA which is, somehow wound up over at Sawmill Creek and then Family Woodworking. I still visit all of those on occasion with FWW and the Creek getting most of my recent attention.

Each forum has its own distinct personality, and I've got friends on all of them. If you're reading this blog, likely you're one of them!

As for my new shop, here's what I've got in the works. I've wanted to build a small woodshop for several years now. Finally the stars have almost aligned and I've got barely enough funding scraped together to get the bulk of the building put up. I'm going to build a 12' x 20' barn. I got the plans from Dano and his staff there are super to deal with (ok, several years have gone by since I ordered my plans, but I expect I'll be in contact with him a lot more in the very near future.)
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

That's an image from barnplans, it shows a 12x16' minibarn. Mine will look something like that, except I'm going with 10' sidewalls for better space to sling lumber around inside. I'm also adding 4' to the long dimension and beefing up the floor joists after a discussion with my lumber supplier.

right now my tools and supplies look something like this:

They're stored in your typical roll door storage facility, which keeps the weather off of them, but doesn't do much as far as letting me Use them. My wife Lori and I ran the numbers and for not much more than the cost of that unit for a year and a half, I can build my basic small shop. Fully insulating and wiring etc... will be a bit more, but by next winter I hope to be shoveling a path out to the shop when I'm not on the road for my new job.

More on the job later for now I'm going to share thoughts on why such a small shop.

Just about 'everyone' whom I chat/discuss with on the forums agrees that 'bigger is better' when it comes to shops. Pure economics limits me to a cozy shop, I'm building as large as I can afford right now. This is my starter shop, and as such is not intended to be the 'shop of my dreams'. No, that's not right either, it IS going to be the shop of my dreams, because I've wanted to have my own woodworking space for almost thirty years now. I'm turning 43 later this summer, and I can just about pinpoint when I first got hooked on woodworking to visits to my cousins' farm down in Drumore PA when I was 13. My cousin Lew had half of a basement set up as a shop, combining both woodworking and metalworking tools into the neatest man cave I've ever been in. Lew was not a 'fine' woodworker, but if you ever wanted something Built, just ask him to do it and it would get done somehow. He passed away a few years ago, but I will be in his debt every day I can enjoy this hobby/avocation that I love so much.

My shop partner John is another Mentor whom I owe quite a bit to for opening up his shop to a rank amateur and 'passing the baton' to a new generation of woodworker. Without him, I would NOT be able to even consider building my own shop.

A few years back I was hanging out on on Woodnet and (still hang out at the WWA, visit very occasionally on Woodnet), and I posted that I was woodworking in my side yard building I think it was a set of bunk beds for my kids. John pipes up that he lives nearby and would I like to get together for a cuppa Joe. We meet and have the first of far too many cups of coffee to count. Next thing I'm visiting his shop a few times. I'd never used a table saw before and he has this old classic craftsman saw set up in an old carriage house turned shop. It had power, a roof and mostly solid walls. Hot and cold running chipmunks and loads of charm. We spent a year and a half in there together, until we moved on to a commercial business incubator and shared that for two years. We're still buddies, but each have gone on to their own path woodworking wise.

Someday I hope to be able to do the same with another new woodworker and pay it forward like John did for me.

Lately I've been slinging sawdust with my good friend Grizzz in his garage shop. His real name is Jim, but even his wife calls him Grizzz. I'm certain you'll get to meet both John and Grizzz once construction actually starts in a week or so. More on both of them as the mood inspires me to share tales about them. (ha ha ha)

I hope you'll visit again, and leave comments/emails. More on what I'm building and why at a later time/date.