Friday, November 21, 2008

A place for everything... almost.

So, this week, we got our hands on some used pallet racks, and we set them up for plywood storage. We'd planned for a while to set up some sort of rack to handle this kind of thing, and to designate part of the bench room as materials storage. We got the lumber rack up weeks ago, and finally got it secured recently. And I got a bunch of lumber moved from pallet storage to lumber rack storage. I think it still needs to be arranged to be more accessible by species, so I don't have to juggle a huge pile to get to the boards that I want. But it's no longer on a pallet, which is progress.

Chris is starting to wind down his adventure with the table saw, but he's ventured into a whole other world with his jointer. He's taken it completely apart, and he's going to strip it down this weekend and repaint it. The table saw needed new bearings, which he got, and pressed onto the shaft. He'll have the saw up and running sometime next week, I'm sure. The jointer... we'll see what happens there.

My space has started to settle into a workable configuration. I rearranged it a little bit, and from here on out, the major work that needs to be done is on a detail level, getting things put away, sorted out, and so forth. I also need to look into things like filing cabinets, to be able to put things away that need putting away. I've worked out a design for a new bench, which will be fun to build, I think. Nothing ground breaking, but it'll have a few new things for me to get used to, and it'll be narrower from front to back, which will make some things easier to get done, I think.

Tonight, Don and I came close to wrapping up construction of the frame for the third of what will be three assembly tables. Two of them will be 4 foot square, and the frames for those are done. They still require tops and shelves, but the frames are assembled and mobile. The third one will be 4'x8', and it's overbuilt, so that we can use it to move heavy loads of lumber from the loading dock, onto the elevator, and up to the space, in a pretty easy fashion. To date, we've been loading plywood onto pallets in an offset kind of way, and trying to get the pallet jack, which has 4 foot forks, to move a stack that's 8 feet long... with limited success. Previous carts were undersized, and difficult to control. This table is big, with casters that are rated for heavy loads, and large wheels to make it easy to cross the seam between the floor and the elevator. It's not fully assembled yet, we ran out of lag bolts. But it's getting there. When they're not being used, the assembly tables will be stored under the bottom shelves of the plywood rack.

The end of shop construction is in sight, which is good news. There are still a few big projects to be wrapped up, but the major stuff is almost done. Soon, there will be industrial lighting in the machine room, too, and then we'll be able to put the outfeed table for the table saws in place. The radial arm saw station needs to be shimmed, and surfaced with masonite. The floor needs to be sanded and refinished, too. But ductwork is just about complete, and we'll soon know for sure if the dust collection system is up to the task of taking care of such a large shop. But even if we do need to get a bigger cyclone system, it won't be too long until everything we need is up and running. After that, it won't be long before the kinks are worked out of various small systems, and we'll be ready to start getting profitable work done. It'll be a good feeling.

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