Like most shops, the table saw is the center of mine. It’s a 10″ cabinet saw equipped witha Vega fence. I selected the fence because it has a micrometer adjustment that allows precise minor adjustments without going throught the “bump and measure, bump and measure” routine. I’ve also added a sliding table, outfeed table, and overarm guard/dust collector. The sliding table and big outfeed table make it fairly easy for one person to handle sheet goods, especially when used with a roller infeed table.
This 12″ miter saw and extension tables takes care of cutting stock to length. I still haven’t quite figured out the best way to handle dust collection for this saw. I currently have a rectangular funnel
collector cut into the cabinet top behind the saw. This takes care of most of the dust but some still gets away. The extension tables have measuring tapes to use in conjunction with the stops. The cursors on the stops can be adjusted to take into account the kerf width of the blade. Once set they do away with the necessity of measuring and marking stock before cutting. They are
especially handy for repetitive cuts.
This is one of the tools you don’t think you need until you have one and then you wonder how you got by without one! It’s a production pocket hole machine. Like everybody else, I had always used a Kreg jig for making pocket holes when needed. When I was first setting up this shop, Jeff LeNeave from Leneave Supply in Charlotte, NC convinced me that this would make building all the face frames for the shop cabinets so much faster and easier. He was right. Now I use pocket hole joinery for many applications because they are so quick and simple to make.
When I first set up the shop I had a 6″ joiner. I figured I would never need anything wider. That might be true, but the extra length of the bed of this 8″ machine makes it much easier to obtain
straight edges, particularly on longer pieces of stock. I find that by moving the fence over as the blades become dull I can extend the useful life of a set of blades. This 24″ thickness planer is also a tool I upgraded after using the shop for a while. I started with a 16″ machine. It had plenty of width to handle rough stock but I discovered the need to be able to handle glued up panels, mostly for raised panel doors. Now I can glue up panels with the stock left a little thick, then run them through the planer to smooth up the faces and joints all in one pass.
If you don’t know what this is, don’t worry. I probably wouldn’t either if I didn’t have it in the shop. It’s a line boring machine, used to drill a series of evenly spaced holes for adjustable shelves. Shortly after I retired I built a set of cabinets for my daughter and son-in-law’s new home. Since I was planning on building several more sets of cabinets I figured it would be worth the invertment for the machine. The foot pedal is an option that is worth the money. I leaves your hands free to hold the stock in position. The stock can be slid from side to side to allow making virtually any length row of adjusting holes.
When I was buying this edge sander I considered buying a combination disk/vertical belt sander instead. I am so glad that I decided to go with this unit instead. Mostly I use it just like it was
designed, to smooth the edge of cabinet doors. Just a light touch and they are smooth and straight. Larger, more expensive machines feature a belt that moves up and down to extend belt life. I
find that by using belts that can be run in either direction I can turn the belt over as it wears and double the life. A much cheaper solution.
One of the more recent additions to the shop is this Williams & Hussey molder. It’s a fairly simple machine with a two cutter head but produces excellent results. Lots of commercial shops use them for producing limited runs of replica molding for restoration projects. One of the nice features is the open side that allows arches, elipses, and full circles to be run through the machine. This machine has been retrofitted with an after-market variable speed drive for the feed rollers. The elipticial jig is hiding in the sawdust on the bottom of the machine table. Here’s another machine that has been upgraded from the originial 14″ version. The 18″ throat comes in handy on larger pieces and the extra power and rigidity makes resawing much easier and faster. I use it with a shop
built circle cutting jig to produce curved stock for moldings.
The lathe is one of the tools that does not see very much use in the shop. But it’s one of those tools that when you need it, you need it bad. To the left of the lathe is a Vega duplicator that mounts on the front of the lathe. I can turn one table leg or spindle and then use the duplicator to quickly turn out multiple copies with little effort.
If you are going to make raised panel doors you really need a shaper. Its possible to do the job on a router table but the larger diameter cutter combined with the power of the shaper make for a much better finished product. Although it takes a little extra time to set up, I prefer to use a stock feeder with the shaper to keep my fingers clear of the cutter.
Here’s my router table. It was made by Woodpecker’s. It’s fitted with their precision router lift and a 3.25 HP Porter Cable router motor. The router can be run up high enough to allow bit changes
from the top of the table. I usually keep a hex shaft in a cordless drill handy for running the PRL up and down when changing bits. The Incra Twin Linear fence makes setup quick and easy.
This hollow chisel mortising machine has an X-Y table built into it. Once the stock is clamped in place it can be moved in and out and side to side by use of the hand wheels. That combined with the depth stop makes it easy to make precise mortises.
This is a 24″ Porter-Cable Omnijig. Although I have the templates for finger joints and adjustable thru dovetails it spends most of the time set up for half blind dovetails. The design of the jig is
such that both pieces of the joint are cut at the same time. I leave a D handle router set up for half blinds sitting with the Omnijig so it is quick and easy to make dovetails for drawer boxes.
The blue machine that looks like a panel saw is really a panel router. The carriage which carries the router moves vertically and stock can be fed thru horizontally. When making vertical cuts a set of pneumatic clamps holds stock in place. The cutters that I use on the router actually screw onto a shaft mounted in the collet of the router. It only takes a few seconds to change the cutter. This replaced a big radial arm saw and dado set for cutting dados in cabinet carcasses. I really wasn’t looking for one, but just happened upon it for a real deal and couldn’t pass it up.
A friend of mine gave me this vending machine. He told me it would be the most often used machine in the shop, and he was right.
Here is my lumber storage rack. It’s fabricated from scrap cable rack and unistrut. It allows me to store up to 600 board feet of lumber in a very small space. It is divided into seven levels for easy
access to different species of wood. In the forground is the infeed roller table that I use with the table saw. It was originially used for unloading stock from delivery trucks at a local business.
(Sheet Goods Storage)
This rack is used for storing sheet goods vertically. I find it is easier to select material than if it was stacked horizontally. The lower center section is five feet deep to allow storage of 60″x60″
sheets of baltic birch metric plywood.
There is a garage on the rear of the shop. Since the floor level is 3 feet lower that the shop it allows for a loading dock for easy loading and unloading of material and finished projects. The older I get the more I appreciate this feature.
That’s about it for the interior of the shop. The woodworking shop itself is 38’6″ wide and 44′ long with a 9′ ceiling. The details of the shop were often changed to take advantage of opportunities to cut costs. The floor is concrete covered with vinyl tile (CVT). I had originally planned to paint the floor with epoxy paint but had the opportunity to buy the CVT as seconds (color variation) for less that the cost of the paint. The 9′ ceiling was reduced to 8’2″ because of the addition of a drop in ceiling. This was because somebody gave me a bunch of 2’x4′, 3 tube fluorescent lights. The lights had two ballasts so they are wired so one, two, or all three tubes in each fixture can be turned on. There is a stairway that leads to a 12′ x 44′ finished second floor that is used for storage of household items. The entire building is insulated and equipped with central air conditioning and heat, although I admit I only run it when I have a major project going. There is a dust collection system equipped with a cyclone mounted in the garage area to cut down noise in the shop. All ducting was designed by Oneida with blast gates for each machine. Blast gates are fitted with magnetic reed switches that turn on the dust collector when they are opened. I have been involved with woodworking since I was a kid, and I must admit it is great to finally have the shop that I have always wanted!
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