Sunday, January 30, 2011

State of the Shop

For various reasons, I've always been kinda focused on the hand tool end of the shop, and I noticed when I was going through old posts, that I almost never put up any pictures of what happens on the other side of the double doors, or what it looks like. While I'm still pretty focused on the bench room, I've been paying a lot more attention to how things are working in the machine room lately, so it seemed apropos to do a quick tour of the machine room. I'm tagging this one under Shop Improvements because it's a good snapshot of where things are right now.

Here's a then versus now comparison from one angle. The first is when we had just redone the floors. The next one is what the place looks like now. The big green Wadkin planer in the background was moved back when we did the floor, which is why the dust collection pipe looks like it's just hanging in mid-air... it is.

Since then the rest of it came in. In the foreground in the second picture is the enormous sliding table Oliver table saw. That thing gives me the willies... I use it when I need to. I stick with the SawStop when I can. Now that the contractor saw is set up, I may use that from time to time, but so far it's predominantly been used as a router table station.

This is a shot from another angle, to give a better idea of where we get to work on a regular basis. The big island to the left has the Oliver at one corner, and the Sawstop at the far corner. The contractor saw is in the foreground, next to the Powermatic 14", and the Laguna 18" band saws. Just to the left, and out of frame is the Yates American 36" bandsaw. It's a beast. There's more to the machine room, but I don't want to feel like I'm showing off any more than I already am.

My favorite part of the shop right now is that I'm actually up there on a daily basis, working on a paying job. That's a welcome change from the struggle that's been the past couple of years. Monday through Friday I do the paying work. Saturdays are reserved for small personal projects and maintenance type things, like the contractor saw project which is finally wrapped up and done. One of the next Saturday projects is going to involve making up a bunch of drawer slips for my hand tool project at home. Following that I'll begin phased construction on the big cutting table I mentioned recently. I specify phased construction because I learned very my lesson on the contractor saw project: Plan single-day sized chunks. That project turned into a 3 day thing once I kicked it off, and while I don't regret getting it done, I did feel like I had less control over my time due to the way I (hadn't) planned it out.

No comments: