One factor in moving was having space for my workshop. I had hoped for a two car garage but this wasn’t in the cards. Instead I settled for a single car garage 10′ by 20′. I knew I would do everything I could to make this a dedicated space, and for the most part that has been the result. I have very high ceilings, so I’m able to take advantage of storage space up above that doesn’t interfere with the flow of the workshop. Before I could really think about shop setup or layout I had to deal with the floor. The floor was gravel so the first order of business was getting a slab poured.
While I haven’t entirely been gone from the shop for the past 3 or 4 years, life has gotten in the way of quite a few things, shop time not being the least of them. Without going into all the details, the last three years included getting divorced, changing jobs, selling and packing up a house, buying and setting up a new house, aging and ailing parents and getting a dog. I highly recommend getting a dog…the rest, not so much. Such is life, not to be pitied, rued or regretted, rather to learn from and grow.
In spite of the chaos I’ve still managed to build a few things that might be blog worthy, so the first order of business is to get caught up. What’s in store? My workshop has been downsized, presenting several challenges and moving me closer to being an unplugged woodworker. Closer, but not unplugged entirely. Tools, including new ones from kits for the shop and the kitchen. Gifts, many of them turned. Furniture, just the tip of the iceberg so far but much more to come as I start building more for the home. Handtool cabinets to help my journey into handtool Zen paradise. Lastly I have many home renovation projects to do, but most of these will not involve woodworking beyond basic carpentry and will only likely get passing mention.
I’m eager to get back at it and hope that some of it will help inspire you to get out into the shop as well.
Years ago my world of woodworking opened up significantly when I began using lumber that came from a mill. What was the big difference? I could mill the wood! I had bought a planer and jointer and could now clean up all that beautiful rough sawn lumber in seemingly endless varieties and dimensions. I believe this type of milestone has happened once again. This time, it also has to do with milling lumber, but in this instance it has to do with resawing. I have struggled with resawing lumber into thinner panels and veneers for most of my woodworking journey. I have tried aggressive rip saws, table saws and yes, my puny little bandsaw that just isn’t quite strong enough for the task on anything but pine and basswood….on a good day. (more…)
Czeck Edge tools (see the link to the right) has a number of kits for making some basic essential marking tools. I picked up kits for the scratch awl, large marking knife and medium marking knife. A while ago I posted about the design that I would use for the handles, as essentially these kits are each turning projects to make a handle and glue in the pieces.
The process for each is more or less the same. Get an appropriately sized blank, drill a hole for the blade to be glued into, turn a shoulder for the ferrule the sit on and then shape handle itself. Once you’re done turning, you just epoxy the blade and ferrule in place. Easy peasey. (more…)