Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Almost Done!

Hello everyone -

Well, we have had a respite from storms for the past couple of days; however, another set are moving in. There is a tornado on the ground about an hour and a half from us (the the north west) right now.

Our brush pile is now a bit bigger than SWMBO’s car. I will try to burn some of it next week when we dry out.

I’m also watching a tree that seems to want to pull it’s self out of the ground. It is one of our big trees so I need to figure out how to stave off the inevitable. I’ll try to get some pics of it tomorrow. There are fissures in the ground around the roots and the dirt around it is now a mound.

Anywho…the woodshop is coming along nicely, but slowly. The electrical system is going to have to wait and I will have to go with my temporary set up. We are needing to go with a larger electrical cable and as you know copper is very pricey now. What started out as a $300 - $400 project quickly climbed to almost $1K!

I’m also having a hard time figuring out exactly where I want to put some of my stuff.

I did take some time today to get pics for you though. Here they are (click to enlarge).

This is a view of the east wall. As you can see there is now a desk (to the right); a work table; and a wall cabinet.

To the left, in the corner, you can see a stack of wooden boxes. These are old, military storage boxes waiting for restoration. When finished they will be used as storage in the attic.

For those of you monitoring the 'boo-boo' meter you will be happy to see that there is a first aid box on top of the desk (to the right).

If you look close enough you will also be able to see assorted tools hanging from the roof joists. They are there until the next wave of peg board gets installed.

I wanted to show you all a close up of the work table. It's kind of ugly, and it needs a new top, but the interesting thing is that we found it here in the little red shed. We have no idea how old it is, but it is nicely built and it fits my height perfectly.

This is the north east corner. You can see those wooden boxes a bit better now (yes, I have a 'thing' for wooden boxes).

The table saw is here at the moment, but will not be staying. I'm going to build a table for it, with casters, so that it can be moved around. At this point, I plan to place another work table here.

This corner is the other spot where peg board is going to go.

A general view of the north wall.

The wood burning stove is in the basic location it will end up in, but will be a little further out into the room. We plan on putting fire resistant fiber board behind the stove with corrugated metal (you can see some behind it) fastened to it. This should help to reflect the heat out. The stove is also going to set on a raised, cement paver dais.

Do you see the galvanized tub next to the stove? That's an auction find and will be used to hold fire wood.

I meant to show this view first.

I think this will be the spot that my clamps will be stored. Got to have clamps...lots and lots of clamps!

Here’s the south wall.

Right now I've just put a bunch of my tools up there so I can get an idea just how many I need to deal with. There are more in the house and still a few more in the garage. You can NEVER have too many tools you know!!

Also in the picture is my compound miter saw. See the table that it's on? It is not staying. The legs are going to be salvaged and used for a project - a four poster doggie bed. I thought about restoring it as a table, but these are so common and the top of this one is real bad; not to mention it's missing an end.

This is the south west corner.

I have gotten the wall cabinet hung (the other is on the east wall) and will probably store paints and stains in it.

Underneath is a rolling cart (to be replaced) holding my table top planner. I will probably house this here. Next to it is a little book shelf holding my hand planes - more on that in a bit.

The west wall.

Here is where I will store a lot of the wood that'll be used. The rest will be stored above and in a shed yet to be built.

I’m still toying with various ideas on how to store the wood, and scraps, in an easy and tidy way. So far I have about three strong ideas.

This is the front runner for my wood storage idea.

It is a design featured in an old issue of 'Woodworkers Journal' magazine.

It's kind of big, but will hold a lot of lumber and won't be too difficult to deal with. It is on casters so that will make it easier to load, and unload, sheet goods.

I am going to tweak the plan a bit. Instead of having horizontal shelving on both sides; the side that will face the wall will have a panel saw built into it. For those of you wondering, a panel saw set up allows you to cut large, 4'x8' sheets (or bigger) of plywood in a faster, safer, manner.

Let's get back to that book shelf of hand planes....

I don't know why, but I really like hand planes. There is just something poetic about them. In fact, there is something poetic about all the old hand tools for that matter.

Anyway, as you can tell, my collection is still growing. There are a few more I’d like to get for my collection so the hunt is one. I also have a handful that need restoring. SWMBO is trying to convince me to restore some and sell them on eBay. There is a strong market for them. We saw one go, several weeks ago, that sold for over $1K (it was extremely rare and old). So, it just goes to show, one man's junk is another man's treasure.

So, if any of you have any old hand planes you want to part with let me know. Perhaps we can come to deal with each other.

Speaking of tools, some new 'toys' have made their way to the shop.

First up is this handy little palm router. It's the Bosch Colt™ Variable-Speed Palm Router. An extremely handy tool to have when it comes to free form routing!

Next up is not really a new toy, but one I forgot I had until I started moving all the tools around!

It's the Wagner Paint Eater. We bought it over a year ago to help remove the paint off the sides of the house. It is supposedly a great tool for this. I should be able to start playing with it at the end of next month.

Same tool, different view.

It's hard to explain, but, unlike an angle grinder, the business end of the puppy 'floats' on the wood and follows the contours of the wood. Supposedly it will not eat into the wood unless you force it.

We will see - I'll keep you posted.

The last tool I'll share with you is my awesome auction find!

It's a cordless, 12 volt, Craftsman drill. It's called the 'Professional Redi Drill'. I have not really found out much information of this drill (the product number has been worn away) except that it was the first of it's kind. There is an interesting story behind it, but I'll tell it to you in a minute.

Like I said, I got this at a local auction for $7 bucks. It came with a case, charger and two batteries. Except for one of the batteries, everything works great! My father, and father-n-law, suggested that I replace the bushings; so I guess I'll do that at some point. I'll also replace the faulty battery. Considering that the thing originally sold for over $200 I don't think bushings, and one battery, are too much of a hit for a $7 item.

Now for the interesting part.

When this tool was first introduced to the editors of all the major woodworking type magazines the Craftsman guys were about laughed out of the room.

If you look at the photo you will see a tiny yellow handle along with some yellow 'innards'. That is the dial, and housing, for a flat head screw driver bit; a philips head screw driver bit; and the two most come drill bits. What you do is adjust the handle up towards the top of the drill and push the button. The bit you chose is loaded and 'Bob's your uncle'!

You see, the inventors figured that if you had the four most common bits built in it would save time, and hassles, look for, and attaching the bit you want. When the skeptics started playing with it they were amazed. One of them even said "Why didn't we think of this before?"!

So, I tried it out - it's absolutely wonderful! It did save time and effort when it came to switching out bits. On the plus side, you do not have to use the bits provided, you can use any bit you want. As long as the bit is the same length, and no bigger than the tubes, you can even replace the ones provided with the ones you use the most. Now how cool is that?!

One last thing and then I'll leave you alone.

Do you remember my friend Bill? The one getting me into the woodworking business?

Well, he bought a huge Craftsman table saw at an auction. This thing is professional grade and weighs over 100 pounds. It is an old one but that doesn't matter; quality tools last forever.

Unfortunately it turns out that this thing is a three phase 220 volt motor. He went to plug it in so we could see how well it ran (the previous owner said it worked) and found out that it was a weird plug. So, we couldn't test it out.

Anyway, he gave the saw to me and said to do what ever I wanted with it. In order to move the sucker easier, I took it apart last Sunday; figured I could move it piece by piece.

What I found made me thankful bill wasn't able to plug it in! Turns out the switch had basically exploded in it's housing and the wires were touching the metal sides. If Bill would have plugged it in he probably would have electrocuted himself!!

So, in order to get this thing to work I will need to replace the switch - no biggie. However, the electrical requirement, and motor size, is a bit over kill for me. So I’ve decided to try another possibility.

See those two metal pieces? Those are the top pieces of the table saw. The one on the left is cast iron; the one on the right is actually two pieces bolted together and are made of cast aluminum.

Unless you plunk down $600 or more (unless you find a good used one) you won't get these tops anymore. The current ones, like what’s on my table saw now, are cast aluminum for the main part and press metal for the wings.

What I'm going to try and do is exchange my table top for the one off of Bill's auction one. I've been told that they are not interchangeable but I have a plan and a brother that knows how to weld! I figure that if the bolt holes do not line up I could build a buffer piece that would allow them to line up. As long as there is clearance for both sets of bolts there should be no problem.

What do I have to loose? I'll keep you posted.

Well, it's getting late and I'm getting tired.

So, till next time....

Larry ~


Ethan said...

Glad to see the progress (and that the tornados haven't held you back). The shop is coming along nicely.

Larry said...


Keith said...

Nice rundown on your shop setup. I like your hand plane collection. I spotted what looked like a Bailey #5 jack plane in one pik, but it looks like most in your collection are are older Stanley/Bailey. I'm a big believer in those old hand planes and with a little TLC they outshine most newly made planes. Keep up the woodworking postings.


Larry said...

Thanks Keith -

You are correct, there is a #5 in there.

I'll have to take a look at your site - the name sounds like it will be a good one!