Thursday, December 29, 2011

Not Another Shop Tour

I can hear your thoughts now; “Please! Not Another Shop Tour”!!! It seems that every blog or online community I’ve visited has to have at least one if not a multitude of shop tours for interested visitors to consume. Well there is no denying; I am guilty of wasting plenty of potential quality shop time ogling how others have laid out their workflows and equipped their shops. Being a complete noob in the hobby I find the shop tours extremely informative and filled with ideas I can utilize as my shop continues to take shape. Please feel free to comment (positive or negative) on this post, as I am very interested in what others have to say.

Before I kick this tour off I have a minor confession to make. While the name of my blog is WV Woodshed my shop is not in a shed at all. It is currently setup in the basement of my home and has been referred to by friends as the “Mines of Moria” and “Underworld” on many occasions. While ceiling space (headroom) is limited to approximately 6’2”, I am comfortably out of harm’s way at 5’8”. The usable floor space will eventually approach 500ft2, plus or minus a full frog hair. As with any basement shop the space comes with limitations due to mechanical systems, storage needs and access issues. Right now, the family storage needs are consuming approximately half of the space, so right now the tour won’t take more than a few photos. My long-term intentions are to convert our detached two (2) car garage into my permanent shop, but the budget for that project is quite a ways from being fully funded and receiving fiduciary (the Wife’s) approval. So until my dreams become reality lets head downstairs to the shop.

First stop, the heart of the shop, or in my case the Jarvik 7; the table saw.

In my first post I described how excited I was to rediscover woodworking and how I was consumed with desire to jump headlong (headfirst may be more appropriate) into the hobby. Well this is a perfect example of where my eagerness overcame my intellect and I purchased a tool that doesn’t meet my expectations or future intentions. In my next post I will detail this example as part of the topic, so I’ll spare the details here. In the final picture above, the dust collection shroud was a feature I added to the stand. The original dust collection utilized a fabric bag hung under the stand; frankly, the efficiency was only marginally better than an onion sack. While I complain and whine about this unit more than I should, it is what I have at this time. Other than quadrupling set up times and occasional accuracy issues it works.
As part of my arsenal for dimensioning lumber I have a 6” Delta Jointer and a 13” DeWalt Planer, model 734. I purchased the Jointer from Craigslist for $150.00 and bought the planer new from an online retailer for about $350.00, with an extra set of blades. One of the first power tools I ever received was my Delta Compound Miter Saw, which I use for cutting stock to length and angle cuts. At this point I am using a ShopVac and Dust Right Vortex for dust collection and clean up around the shop. I recognize this is not adequate dust collection and intend to remedy this situation as soon as possible. There is nothing more frustrating than spending a greater amount of time cleaning up than actually creating in the shop.

I also have a few low quality hand planes and handsaws. All these tools, except for the Stanley Block Plane and Bailey No.6c, were a part of my Father’s tools discussed previously. The condition of the hand planes varies significantly and I am hesitant to really put the money into reconditioning them. I think it may be money better spent to purchase new Lie-Neilsen, Veritas or for the budget conscience WoodRiver. As my plan is to hang in the gray, between power and hand tools; I won’t need a full assortment of planes to complement my projects. The total investment in new planes spread over time is justifiable, at least in my eyes.
Generally the same thoughts apply to the handsaws. Except for a Disston #7 crosscut panel saw none of the others are worth reconditioning and will be replaced over time. I have contacted Bob Rozaieski (Logan Cabinet Shoppe) a couple of times about sharpening services for the #7, but to this point the budget hasn’t been available.
The photo above shows my current bench configuration. The taller bench to the left was built by my father from crate lumber used when he and my mother moved to West Virginia from New York in 1965. While I hope to build a workbench down the road, right now I have more important shop needs to address. In a future post I will go into more detail on the current layout of the shop and future intentions to expand.

Until my next post,

Keep Your Mind on your Fingers and your Fingers on your Hands!!!

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