Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Shop Reorganization

Well, it's been a while since I've posted anything. The truth is that I was out of work for 22 months, starting in November, 2008. I finally got a job in August, 2010. After I finished building the pulpit, I didn't do any woodworking, except for a few pine wood derby cars for my son.

In the interim, I did manage to collect a few more tools. As a result, everything new, plus a few tools that I owned before I was layed off & never put away, accumulated on top of my temporary work table. The items accumulated include:

  • A Rikon mini lathe, which I bought about 3 weeks before I was layed off as a Christmas gift from my family to me for Christmas, 2008;
  • Some chisels and other turning tools for the lathe which were given to me by the good folks on WoodNet.
  • A 6" variable speed grinder, attached to a shop-make version of King Heiple's turning tool sharpening jig.
  • The Delta tenoning jig that I bought to make the tenons for the pulpit.
  • A ceramic heater to try to beat the winter cold.

Plus a pile of other stuff.

There are some projects I want to work. I want to build a Roubo workbench, and I need to make a new coffee table for our family room. I've posted about these projects in the past. And a former coworker at the job I got in August, 2010 has commissioned me to build a pair of speaker stands for his Dahlquist speakers. I finally realized that I have to reorganize my shop and build more storage if I'm ever going to get back to woodworking.

I began a process of reorganizing the shop using SketchUp. I first draw a model of my garage with no ceiling. I then went into the SketchUp 3D Warehouse & found models of tools that matched my own tools as closely as possible. And I even found a model of the Roubo bench.

I started designing wall mounted storage. I quickly realized the cabinet I was building was humungus and unwieldly, so I went online & found a plan for a wall hung cabinet on PlansNOW.com that featured the use of pegboard. I bought & downloaded the plans and built a SketchUp model of the cabinet. I then designed a wall-hung router table cabinet.

For the lathe, I bought & downloaded a lathe station plan from PlansNOW.com. I built a SketchUp model of that, too. Finally, I played around the the placement of everything until I came up with a placement that seems to work, at least on paper. Here's the plan I came up with:

As you can see, my bandsaw will sit between the door to the family room & my clamp rack. The temporary work table will be replaced with a Roubo bench and will go in the rear left-hand corner. The pegboard wall hung tool cabinet will hang over the Roubo. My drill press is in the rear right-hand corner. The wall hung router table is next, followed by my cross cut sled, auxilliary / tall fence, and blade storage. My table saw is as close to the center of the shop as I can place it, and my thickness planer and jointer are closest to the door. Finally, the lathe station is on the other side of the door to the family room.

My plan is to build the lathe station first. This will get the lathe & all of its related things off of the work table. With all that space freed up, I can put away anything on the work table I find that has escaped my notice and then rearrange things to be in their places on the plan. I can then build the other storage later in the year.

What do you think of my plan? Do you have any ideas for other changes I should make?

Next time: Building a Lathe a Home