Sunday, November 23, 2008

Workshop Redux

Things have conspired to keep me from finishing the Craftsman Tool Cabinet. A couple of house projects that needed my attention but this weekend I didn't have anything planned other than making a couple of more drawers for the Tool Cabinet, but then my new Bandsaw was delivered. Of course I had to put it together and get everything square, true, aligned and running well.
I had no problems with setting up my new Rikon 14" Deluxe Bandsaw, I had to put the stand cabinet together, set the saw on top (with the help of my neighbor) attach the table, fence, and handwheels. The body of the saw was complete in the box, it even had a blade installed.
My problem came when I started to try to walk around the shop. What started out as a spacious shop had turned into a cramped space with machines in the way every time I moved around. I decided it was time to make some changes. When I first designed my shop I envisioned a back bench where I would use all my benchtop tools and a downdraft sanding station where I would do all my sanding. Now, the benchtop is blocked by my mortiser which is no longer a benchtop, but lives on its own mobile base, and my router table that has moved from the front of the shop to the back. The downdraft area has become the place where I sit my sanders when I'm not using them on the assembly table and a repository for clamps that don't have a home. I've also added a belt/disc sander to go along with the oscillating spindle sander to add to the clutter.
So this weekend I spent my time cleaning the clutter off the bench, and removing all the junk that has been living under the bench over the years. This bench was 3 feet wide and ran the length of the back of the shop, so removing it will add about 45 sq ft of floor space to the shop. I started making a rolling cabinet that is going to hold the oscillating spindle sander and the belt sander. This cabinet will also have storage drawers for the supplies for both machines. I was able to push the router table and the mortiser back against the back wall. Once the cabinet is complete I'll have all the machines mobile and pushed against the wall, this will give me more room to move around the shop without poking myself in the back with sharp corners.
The next step will be to redo my well used assembly table so something with more storage and less of a dust collecting area that just holds jigs and extra wood. I'm thinking something like Marc's table. After that I'll attack the side counter and cabinets organizing and adding more drawers for storage.
Maybe all this cleaning and storage will lead me to a more creative space where my skills will improve.
Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.
Mahatma Gandhi