Friday, February 2, 2018

The state of the shop Union address...

OK, tongue in cheek, but I need to do that in order to refocus my limited attention span on...squirrels!... What was that?

For some time now, I have not spent any significant amount of time in my shop, and it shows... Like everything else with a flat surface downstairs, it has becomes a magnet for piles of stuff, that keep moving around as I sort thru years of my life being unboxed. It is a very slow process, lots of small things bring back flood of memories, and I find that more and more I am able to think of Heather without crying...too much.. Oh I still get the occasional tears but mostly now it makes me smile. And it's a good thing, cause life waits for no one...

SOOOO... what is holding me up regainning my workspace and get on with it?
I dont know, lost some interest no doubts, but above all, I must re-owned it.
It was always my (read our) dream, I want it back.

First things first, everytime I want to get started, I remember quickly why I stopped earlier... Oh, yeah got a few unfinished projects in the way.
UH, better start with these...

Taking up space on and around my bench is the Beam Boring Machine, at Parade Rest awaiting the woodwork to be cleaned and treated/fixed etc. Then I can tackle the metal parts which are going to need a super dooper degreasing bath. Ditto for my Post drill in the garage.

Once cleared, I could then put up the Boring till, which still await its tool holders to be bored. Pieces are machined to sizes, just need various holders shaped to be done. Its been so long, I forgot my last final (?) pattern designed. Will probably have to re-prototype.

In order to clear the boring till and finished it, I must cleared the accumulating collection of Brace bits and accessories for the tools to be held in the boring till.
That means another open till of some sort. Will need two, one for the hand tool shop and another for the power tools shop (garage). That one will probably have some sort of closed storage.

Once the boring till is removed from the sharpening station, I could move it to its final (as if there was such things around here) destination. It would need some more work also, my piston fit drawer became solidly wedged in the high humidity this past summer, and yes, it now opens great without having to touch anything. Who knew? Wood moves! :-) NOTE to myself, need a new dehumidifier next summer.

With all of that cleared I could then tackle the wood storage problems in the shop. Problems are, I got no room, yet I am still a wood hoarder! I am getting better, but could use a wood stove.
In the summer I have been, unknowingly to my friends, erasing some previous woodworking mistakes...up in smoke.  I called it Designer Kindling (Tm)
Burns just the same but look good doing it :-)

View from the door to laundry room, 
the door to storage areas is to the right

Seriously, all that wood stuffed everywhere is taking up lots of room. Room I sorely need to keep a workflow in my little cramped shop. I am set up inside the basement into a small room with two walls having a door.  One to the laundry room to access the outside directly, the other to the other side of the basement: the long storage, Gymn, a cold room (veggies and wine) freezer and mechanical rooms.

Maybe on the small side, and yes I could easily expand next door, but that will encroach seriously into the gymasium, so nogo.

I would still like to keep some woods on hand in the shop, but not all that I currently have stuffed every where.

Once the Boring till is mounted on the other side of the window, in line with the existing big plane till, I will see the remaining space in between above the bench.
That space will be covered in perf board and I would make up dedicated storage holders for whatever I choose to put in front.

One thing that MUST go in front is my small collections of tools that always seems to accumulate on or near the bench while I work: Dividers, marking gauges (all remain set throughout the project at hand) shop knife, a few chisels etc.
These are my go to tools used in almost everything I do, they need a dedicated spot in front of my bench. Within easy reach. My bench is only 4 ft long ( a concession to the working spaces I had and moving around the country) I then need all the help I can get NOT to clutter it.  Easier said than done somehow???

My two planes tills are bursting at the seams and I still got piles of tools awaiting their indoctrination into my shop. I need at least one plane till dedicated to my wooden moulders. Think, beaders, complex profiles, Hollows and Rounds etc.
I would then re-dedicate the existing wooden plane storage in my original plane till as for wooden joinery planes only, plane till No 2 would then only have metal joinery planes.

Still need to make three drawers for the saw till. I long ago machined the parts, ready for final sizes and the joinery, but they are...... MIA

6X6 post on the floor, awaiting to be cut to final size

Need to put up a 6X6 post in my small workshop, to properly mount my Post drill. Of course said drill press is awaiting a good degreaser bath, clean strip and repaint before it goes up. That one is in the garage so it does not encroach on space here, yet...

Roughly in front of the plumbing stack 
is where the Post drill would be mounted.
Pile of wood on the left is in the way.

To the right of the drill I want to re-organized the storage shelves and dedicate storage spots for the Miter Boxes I want to keep. No, I do not need 7 :-)
These would be mounted on a stiff plywood board and would  be installed / removed as required on a dedicated station, yet to be build. And located...???

My antique tool chest need a good sorting/cleaning and it needs to be put on a movable platform.

And with all that done, my shop should be ship shape and still leaves 2 more walls to tackle for storage and display, Bonus :-)  So I should be able to fit the proverbial 10 pound bag of s... into a 5 pound receptacle. Or words to that effect.

Then there is always the small WIFI drone which need to be fixed. Still looking for my small Panavise, found the circuit board holder arms, but not the vise yet, sigh!

Finish my lighted storage display: Drill and mount the hardware for the glass shelves, replace the bottom boards, frame opening. Start a rotating exhibit Excell spreadsheet for it :-)

Finish upgrading and relocating LEDs light fixtures. At same time, upgrade lighting in storage areas next door and install 3 way switches.

OK, that should do it.
This is the state of my shop adress for now, lets see If I can make some real progress in 2018...

Stay tuned, same Bat channel

Bob, who having put this down on "paper", helps getting me to refocus...


  1. Hi Bob

    Getting stuff sorted is really long and hard task. But the result is normally well worth it.

    I also need to get some wood moved out of my shop too. I used to have a woodburning stove in teh shop, and it was an enormous help in keeping the place tidy, It also helped a lot on the temperature. But when I installed the new roof, the stove was thrown out.
    I still have stoves inside the house, but it takes a bit more junk on the floor before I clear it up and bring it in to burn.

    Jonas (who will go home in 5 days :-)

  2. Bob,

    I made what was to be a traveling tool chest several years ago. The chest was too big to travel but it has made a great storage chest for my molders and other wood stock planes along with all kinds of "stuff" I use often but not enough to have in the "working" cabinet behind the bench. Besides being a flat spot to place thing in use but off the bench and a good spot to sit with coffee/tea. It is much more useful than expected.

    Wood is a shop space killer. I wish I had a good answer but whatever, it is a battle. I'm slowly working my pile down and once down my agreement with self is to only buy for current project. Jury is still out.

    Memories are tough and there is no good answer other than save 'em and let the kids have the problem :-).

    It is a battle. Good luck,


  3. Yes uphill battle all the way, but Im making progress.
    Trying Joas mindset, so far so good.
    Got the wood pile in the way of the post drill removed and the wooden parts for the BBM have all been cleaned and repairs are in progress. So far so good

    Thanks Ken and Jonas :-)

  4. Hi Bob

    I think my last comment must have vectored off into the cyberspace :-)

    I hope that you will get the shop sorted out, so that you can feel relaxed when going into the shop.

    I am by no means a saint, so I still find it difficult to throw out old tools even if they are beyond what can be repaired. But I am constantly striving to become better at it.


  5. Hi Jonas
    Yes, I will get this shop ship shape (try saying that fast 5 times :-)
    Thanks for the push, I needed it...

    Bob and Rudy back from his daily car ride

  6. That's quite a list, Bob. Glad to see you're getting back in the shop. And getting back the shop, too.

  7. Thanks Matt
    Yes, it may appears to be a daunting list, but it could had been much longer, if I didnt get distracted...Squirrels :-)
    Just applied the first coat of finish on my BBM pieces, looking good. Progress, small but steady progress

    Bob, about to go on a car trip to my new inlaws

  8. Start small, a shop cleaning and re-organizing is an excellent first step. Once you have your shop area to where you actually do want to work in it, you're on your way. Afterwards, work on a couple of quick, small projects. Sharpen some tools, tune up machines, etc. Basically get used to being in your shop again. It will happen! I get like that sometimes when I can't see my hardwood

  9. LOL thanks Norm. Yes, I can imagine, it would be distressing to loose sight of those gorgeous wood floors :-)
    Full disclosure, I know Norm for about 15 years, I often teased him about his clean hardwood floors in his shop... Look too clean, dont you ever work :-)

    Bob, reminiscing about when there was apparently a floor, once in my shop...