I know I haven’t posted much lately but that’s because I need to take some time off just to chill out and smell the roses. We’re entering a week with plenty of rain moving through so maybe I’ll catch up with organizing my workshop indoors. Right now everything has just piled up on my 3 workbenches. Yes, I said 3. There’s the Black & Decker Workmate 425, My new 4 1/2′ workbench on casters and my quick setup 4′ MDF top that slides into my two DeWalt adjustable sawhorses that give me a stable work area in seconds outside. The Workmate 425 and DeWalt benches break down or fold up to store easily while the bigger bench on casters has found a home out of the way in my livingroom. With its extra storage shelf below it’s become a handy place to store my smaller benchtop power tools such as my Rockwell Bladerunner jigsaw table or my new Porter Cable router table.
Eventually I want to expand the big bench’s storage ability by building in areas where I can store my jigs and fixtures. I’ve made a new shooting board out of the second laminated shelves I bought to build my router table. Nothing gets wasted in my world.
So now I have bench hooks, shooting boards, vise holding boards and various panel cutting boards or miter sleds. I also have two crosscut sleds for my DeWalt 745 contractor’s table saw. I’ve made an auxiliary fence that snugly fits over the default fence allowing me to use other accessories like my MicroJig Dado Stop.
I’ve added a bunch of safety equipment to my shop that includes full coverage goggles, ear plugs leftover from my manufacturing jobs where they were not only necessary but freely passed out by my employers such as McDonnell Douglas Aircraft in St. Louis and Intel Corporation in Hillsboro, OR. Both of these companies stressed safety first. To my safety gear I’ve recently purchased an RZ Mask to filter out particles such as sawdust. Protecting your lungs, ears and eyes is basic PPE (Personal Protection Equipment). Because I work with sharp blades I’ve added a good pair of gloves with Kevlar to guard against cuts and MicroJig Grippers to keep my hands away from table saw blades, router bits and jigsaw blades. Hand tools can be dangerous unless you follow common sense safety techniques such as sawing, planing, & chiseling away from your body. It’s also important to hold your work securely when working with sharp tools so I’ve added an assortment of Quick Clamps from Irwin and Band hand clamps by Rockler.
You can probably tell I haven’t exactly been goofing off this Spring as my hobbies occupy a lot of my time. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was my woodworking shop. What I can’t buy I make. My big workbench would have cost me over $1,000 easily yet I was able to build an even better one for under $100. It just takes time. I built that bench with my hand saw and a cordless drill by Bosch.
I have been building some projects such as garden platforms for my raised container garden, outside benches to hold any lumber, potting soil or other supplies I use while outside. My garden is thriving by the way, especially with this wonderful rain we’ve received this Spring and early Summer. I hope it continues.
So that’s what I’ve been up to recently. I find my interests changing as I continue to explore New England. It’s a beautiful place here with an unlimited potential for exploration and enjoyment.