Monday, July 9, 2018

Shop Tour - Summer, 2018

With all my new carts and shelves completed, my workshop renovation is finally done.  Although I usually switch things up in my workshop on a regular basis, I consider the start of my workshop renovation as being mid-April, 2018.  At the time of this writing, it is now the end of June, 2018.

A few days after finishing up all the shelves it was time to have my house sprayed for bugs.  I don't have any bugs in my house, but I have my house sprayed monthly to keep bugs out.  This is usually the time where I thoroughly clean up my house.  In my workshop, I move all my tool carts and tables into the center of my workshop so the bug people can easily spray all corners.  This also allows me to easily vacuum up all the dust that lays underneath all my carts.


While everything is in the middle of my workshop, now was a good time to take some panoramic photos of the new wall shelves.  Pictured below is the West wall of my garage.


Below, the East wall.


And lastly, the South wall.


My renovation began with the dismantling of several work benches to make one 'master' workbench.
You can see the build for my workbench by clicking here.


The hardboard top is holding up well in the short time that my new workbench has been in use.


And there's still plenty of storage underneath.


The drawers in my new workbench allowed me to take various tools off my french cleat wall shelf system - something I put up a year earlier.  French cleats are very useful, but they collect a ton of saw dust, and my cleats were not all straight.  So I wanted to remove all those french cleats and just use them where needed.  

You can see my blog entry for removing all the cleats by clicking here.

My only problem was that I had so much stuff on the walls, and I needed a better place to store all those things.  So that's when I made new wall storage shelves with some of my old wall shelves and leftover bathroom vanity doors.


The doors help keep dust out.  On the inside I can neatly store glues, spray paints, wood stains, fillers and finishing products...


...and also some of my household and auto cleaners.


Underneath the shelf I attached a paper towel rack.  Below the shelf, and underneath the single outlets in my workshop is a small shelf with a power strip mounted to it.


The single wall outlet means that all my tools and extension cords are attached to it.  This is definitely not ideal.  Wires were always all over the place, so next I rewired the whole garage neatly with the use of small pieces of wood which I cut slots into.  These slots hold all the power cords in place.


This allowed me to track out all the extension cords and power strips in a fashion where they would be accessible, and also out of the way.


After removing all the french cleats, I had an abundance of wood that all had 45-degree cuts in them.  I didn't want to throw out all that wood, so I instead opted to glue all the angled surfaces together to make some straight boards.


These boards eventually became what I called the Helmet shelf.
You can read about this build by clicking here.


As thrifty as it was to make a very long and somewhat wide shelf out of scraps, I wasn't overly happy with this shelf.  Towards the end of my workshop renovations, I dismantled the shelf and used the wood to make a smaller shelf to hold the long power strip on the West wall.


I am very happy with this shelf, so the whole project was not in vain.  

With my new workbench and new storage shelves complete, I wanted to begin replacing a lot of my tool carts, and try to utilize my space better.  My designs led to the table below, which was a combination table saw/router table/storage cart.


You can see this build by clicking here.

My new cart worked pretty well for a while, so much so that I decided to sell my old table saw (left) in favor of my new one (right).


Ironically, the day after I sold my old table saw, my new table saw broke.  I was devastated - so much so I have a blog entry specifically about it (click here to see).

This prompted me to go out and buy a new, smaller table saw and make a new cart specifically for it.


My new table saw is definitely not as nice as the old one I had, but Ryobi has done a lot to step up the quality of their table saws.  One of the biggest gripes I had with my old Ryobi Table saw was the fence system never stayed straight.  The fence system on my new table saw is spot on and always stays straight.  It has also been made to be adjustable and it also holds a push stick!


The new saw is also considerably smaller than my previous saw, but Ryobi made extensions that make it easier to work with larger pieces of wood.


The miter slots still suck though.


But I was able to make a small cross cut sled despite Ryobi's need to make terrible miter slots.


Their throat plate is nice too, but no factory plate by any manufacturer is good enough for dado blades or zero-clearance...


...so I easily made my own throat plates.


And the saw sits on the new stand at the end of my workshop as all my table saws have.


The new cart also prompted me to cut the table saw/router table I had build in half, and make 2 "new" tables - a single router table...


...and a storage table that also held my band saw.



You can read about this by clicking here.

In the time since that blog entry I added trim to the router table fence, covering up all the melamine siding.


I also built a dust collection box for underneath the top.


And I also made nicer drawer fronts.


The Band saw cart's height is a little short for me.


So I bought four large casters to make it a couple inches taller.


Underneath the top is still plenty of storage.  One day I may make some shelves for the top portion, making perhaps 2 drawers.  But for now this works.


Next is my Belt/Disc Sander cart...


and my drill press cart, which were both made at the same time.


You can see the build for these 2 carts by clicking here.

And of course there's the new miter saw cart.




This cart is awesome.  The hood and the pieces of fabric do an excellent job containing saw dust.


And the drawer underneath is great at holding all that saw dust for cleanup.


So far I only have one problem with this cart - I made the extensions too long, and the pedals to the locking casters hit the extensions when I'm moving the cart around.


Simply moving the casters an inch away from the edges fixed  this.


A few days later I noticed saw dust on the bottom by my compressor.  So I quickly used some scrap material to build a door.


This will keep out most of the saw dust.


And then finally my Fan Cart (seen here).


There's not too much to say about this cart other than it does exactly what it was meant to do.  It is lightweight and easy to move around, and it  holds a powerful fan, and stores stuff.


With all my tool carts done, I next wanted to replace my old wall shelves in favor of shelves similar to the ones I built after removing the french cleats.  These first 2 shelves on the East wall are specifically for holding my power tools.


The added pegboard allows me to hang other stuff as well, such as smaller hand saws, C-clamps, a mallet and my corded drill.


Then these new shelves prompted me to build more shelves for holding my large bar and pipe clamps.  So a rack with pegboard was attached to the East wall which held my bar clamps, small Bessey clamps and some Irwin Quick clamps...


...and a rack with pegboard was attached to the West wall for my pipe clamps and a large assortment of spring clamps my friend gave me for my birthday (Thanks Brad!).


Then I revised 2 of my selves to hold pegboard - first was my original clamp rack which hold all my small bar clamps and my metal clamps...


...then was this smaller shelf - which was only supposed to be temporary.  But I wound up liking it so much, so I kept it.  This shelf didn't hold any clamps though.  It holds all my planes, my workshop blower and my dust bin/brush.  It also holds my various rulers on both sides.


Then one last shelf was made to hold 2 hand saws and some corner clamps.


You can see the build on all these shelves by clicking here.

Once the bug guy was finished spraying my house I put all my new and old tool carts back in place.  Below are my original tool carts, which I recently stripped the dark stain and paint from.  They look a bit rough, but are still super useful.  The one on the bottom left holds so many hand tools and has a bin on top where I hold my assortment of screws, nuts, bolts, washers, etc.  It also has a bottle opener on it for the occasional beer.  (I feel I should mention to never use power tools under the influence of alcohol).   Bottom Center/Right is my original miter saw cart, re purposed with extra drawers and holds my bench grinder.  The sides also hold my screw clamps - which I always have a hard time storing somewhere.  But they work on this cart.


And my other remaining old carts are my wood storage cart and metal surface planer cart seen below.  I had intentions of replacing the metal cart in favor of another melamine cart, but then decided against it - mostly because it was becoming too hot to work in my shop for extended periods of time.


In the corner of my workshop I used to stand up my large T-Square, level and clamping guides, but I decided to get them out of the corner and hang them between some of my new shelves.


And lastly is the South East corner of my workshop which has my cork board (where I pin all my project plans), and my homage to my Grandfather who was also a woodworker.  


And now my workshop is all done with major renovations.


There are still small things to do here and there, and I'm most likely to rearrange carts or tools on all the peg boards, but I'm looking forward to cooler weather when I can start putting all my new tool carts to more use.

Update:  a week or so after writing this blog entry  I decided to remove the pegboard backs of my 2 old tool carts...


...and replace them with hardboard.


This gave me 2 pieces of pegboard, which I used to make one more small shelf for clamps.


I put this shelf in the corner near my band saw cart.  Now I have even more pegboard to hand stuff, and more options when I choose to rearrange things.