Storage solutions

I have been looking for additional storage for a while, and came across the Kobalt cabinets in Masters.

Despite being an in-house brand, they seemed pretty good on a number of fronts. Doors were heavy, cupboard depth was generous, and they looked good (and without fake boilerplate).

Still, I ummed and ahhed a bit, and decided to measure the available space, and sleep on it- at $300 for a full cabinet and $170 for a wall mounted one, I wanted to think about it more.

On the way home, stopped for petrol from a Woolworths station, and got a voucher on the receipt for 15% off at Masters. Then, while having a look online, discovered they were now on special- $169 and $149. Hoping they would still have stock, and that I would be able to use the discount voucher as well, I headed on down, and sure enough, got the cabinets I wanted at a really good price.

While doing the very straight-forward assembly, I discovered something else- solid design, and a well thought out assembly method, with understandable instructions.

Screws were preinserted in holes, ready for the final tightening after inserting into the relevant keyhole. That made assembly particularly easy, and quick.

After a bit of a shed rearrangement, I now have this shed setup:

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Now I just have to figure out what goes where!

As you can see, the bar fridge got relocated as well, and the Walko workbench set up a bit better as well.

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Homeland Security

Amazing what technology is now available, and at such cheap prices.  Camera surveillance systems, recording up to 30 days of footage at a reasonable resolution.  Able to operate day and night (infrared), indoor and out.

Not only recording any motion, but able to stream the camera footage to the web, and send email alerts (to multiple addresses), with images attached.

With one (and multiple cameras) connected up, with the DVR and router connected up to UPS (particularly one working on the 4G network), the system can provide a surprisingly high degree of security, for a minimal price (under $200 for the surveillance system).

DVK414252_a1_mainNo need to purchase those fake cameras, the real deal hardly costs any more, and has significant functionality.

At that price, not only can you afford to have surveillance of your workshop, but the house, and approaches as well.

Children and Tools

Had a few smaller visitors to the shed over Easter. My daughter and her cousins, who were quite intrigued by the place. But what better way than to show them, (and better yet), get them involved (at least as far as possible)?

So we decided to make some toy vehicles, using the same basic concept as I wrote about in a recent ManSpace magazine (and have written about here as well). A length of Tasmanian oak for the vehicle bodies, and a board of the same to cut out the wheels.

Each of the kids helped choose and design the vehicles, sketched out along the length of timber. This was then cut out on the bandsaw, sanded on the spindle and disk sanders, holes drilled (by the kids) on the drill press for windows, and edges rounded over using the corner rounding 3D bit from Toolstoday.com. More on that bit another time, but just to say, it is perfect for toy making.

Wheels were cut out using Carbitool wheel cutting bits, holes drilled for axles, exhausts, headlights etc.

Each then worked to glue wheels to axles, dowel for exhaust pipes and siren lights as appropriate.

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From left to right, we have a double-decker bus, Formula 1 car, police car and jeep. Think the kids got a good amount out of it – sure hope they did!

Later, I gave the vehicles a bit more detail, using a branding iron, and pyrography pen to add details like front grills, racing stripes etc.

It is really rewarding working with a younger generation in the workshop, so long as you have proper supervision, safety equipment (that they love wearing), and tasks that are applicable to their skill level. If you have the possibility of the occasional visitor, it is really worth having some projects up your sleeve, ready to go (and child-sized PPE). This may be no more than the concept and a mental plan, but it would be even better if you had a drawn-up plan, templates, even some precut material ready to go.

Even a small amount of involvement in a project sows seeds that can influence a child across their lifetime.

Forgot to mention- there was one casualty. The drill press decided to smoke itself (literally, but very mildly), and lost about 90% of its already limited power. I sure hope the DVR drill press is not too far away.

Feeding on ideas

Been having quite a few visitors through the shed in recent months – friends, family, work colleagues. One thing that seems to be a common feature of the visits are other’s opinions on what I should do with the shed layout, or products, and I do keep an open mind to these, as not only are they intended in good faith, they have regularly proved to be invaluable! And to be fair, I also actively seek them out – another set of eyes and source of ideas – many heads are better than one!

And it isn’t always actual suggestions – just the act of showing people around has a habit of highlighting things to me that need addressing, or I can see a better way.

Had Gordon Heggie around (of Triton fame), all rugged up against the cold as he drove his convertible with the roof down on a cold night ;) and we were talking about storage (among other things, such as the TW7 ;) ). It encouraged me to relook at the storage (specifically the shelving), and I came up with the development of an idea. I still had shelves and brackets of the green metal bookcases, but no uprights. In Masters, I found some standard vertical posts with the typical slots cut. Got a couple hoping they would work, and sure enough, the brackets fitted (with a little manual encouragement).

These got fitted to the shed wall near the lathes, and that shelving now gets to carry the chucks, jaws, and other accessories. They are much closer to the lathes, and it frees up the other shelving unit for something else. I could fit a double bay of shelves, but want to keep the wall clear so I can store the range of chisels.

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So now I have a fair few empty shelves around the workshop. That will certainly make sorting out some of my tools etc much easier! Lots still in their storage boxes on the mezzanine floor, but I am regularly bringing down a box and (re)discovering what is inside, while looking for a new home.

Slowly getting there. Happy about the shelving – it has worked out really well.

Shed Essentials

There are always so many conflicting requirements in a shed, and (strangely) one I have been putting off for far too long is the essential sub temperature amber dispensing unit, otherwise known as a beer fridge.

It has just been one of those things that kept flying along as a good idea, but too low on my radar to actively notice.

Something clicked the other day, so I’ve trucked down to the Good Guys, and found what is hopefully a suitable solution: The stainless steel-fronted 120L HiSense fridge.

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It is now home, and in its new home, unwrapped, opened, stocked and turned on. It looks like it will be able to manage a couple of slabs.

That was certainly some low hanging fruit – don’t know why it took so long.

Real Estate

About the most valuable commodity in the workshop is not the tablesaw, or the ubeaut spiral headed whatever, or custom made plane with metal dovetails. It is space.

Floors space, and bench space.

Hard to know which one is worth more. Floor space dictates if it is possible to move around, fit in large machines and floor-mounted tools, and for project assembly.

Bench space is working area, and given how much this space magnetically attracts mess, dust, tools, offcuts, works in progress, and benchtop tools.

I’ve been struggling with this for years. I have a number of bench-top machines that have long struggled to have a legitimate home – they always get bumped for a higher priority. Guess that is always their lot in life. I do tend towards floor-mounted, stand-alone machines. Bigger, more powerful, (more expensive), and don’t take up bench real estate.

Guess that indicates where the most valuable real estate is then – the bench top. Still, bench top machines need a home, and that is the challenge I am facing.

So I have made the decision (which is modifiable/reversable) to use the bench for the bench-mounted tools. A lathe (with buffing wheels), spindle sander, belt & disk sander, scrollsaw.

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That is some serious bench space to sacrifice, so there needs to be a replacement, or equivalent.

Not sure what to use to achieve this, but there are some options (without resorting to using the tablesaw as a work surface, like I have for years!) One is to make another workbench, to fit the slightly smaller space under the window. That bench will take the main Veritas twin screw clamp.

The Walko workbench will be wall mounted (as it was designed to do, as an alternative to the A frame configuration). Just need to identify a suitable section of wall. Speaking of walls, that is another area of real estate that is always incredibly useful and also in short supply. Think I have a location in mind.

Space, the final frontier.

Cleanup in Aisle 8

November 3 2013.  While moving to the new house, a lot of the timber and tools were stacked in the original 3x3m shed on the property.  On that day, the shed was emptied and stored under the veranda, filling the entire area (covering all the outdoors furniture), and looked a mess, not to put too fine a point on it.  That shed was then taken apart and stored.

It has been almost exactly 5 months (minus a few days), and the cleanup of that area is finally complete.  Everything has been taken to their new homes (garden shed, main workshop, garage, and storage shed).  Not particularly neatly – that refinement will happen over a longer period as I work out various storage options.  At least progress each weekend is restoring a sense of normalcy to the place.

There is a small mountain of stuff now stored up on the mezzanine – crates and crates of tools and timber requiring sorting, storing, and disposing.  I really need some storage solutions for the shed – that is the next big ticket item requiring tick-off.  Whether that will be purchased, made, or a combination of the two is yet to be seen.  Fast will be the first order of the day. (The other big-ticket item needing resolution is installing a dust collection system).

As far as disposing is concerned – sure, that means there is some things not worth keeping that will be binned, but the majority of items in that category are ones needing to find a new home.

One thing I found I have a lot of, are Triton spares.  Bags and bags of components, from individual screws and red knobs with captive nuts, up to and including a Triton Router Table, Router Table Stand, a Bevel Ripping Guide, Biscuit Joiner, Finger Jointer and all sorts of other odds’n’sods.

So what I am thinking of doing is cataloguing it all, and sticking it on a tab at the top of the site, with a line number, photo and description.  Some items with a price tag, the others priced (cheaply) by weight.  I’ll work out something that gives a reasonable price scale.  I’ve become quite disillusioned with eBay.  Not because the items sell for a reasonable price, or the eBay fee structure, but simply because there are so many dickheads out there.  I don’t need the stress or hassle.  Some hassle is unavoidable – if I wanted to avoid it all, I’d simply throw all the metal into the trailer (along with the pile that is there at the moment) and run it to the local steel merchant.

Let me know if there is anything you are particularly looking out for – will see what I can turn up.  A good portion of it is new, and should be much cheaper than any Triton spares in the market.

SSYTC065 RapidAir Installation Update

Most of the system is now in place and connected up, just need a few extra connectors to finish it off.

Have shot this quick walking tour so you can see the setup that I have put in place.

As mentioned, the system is sourced through Professional Woodworkers Supplies, and it makes it very easy to create a professional looking setup around the workshop.

Episode 96 Shed Build Timelapse

I have gone back to the individual files of the shed build, and bought them together to create this final version (the reason I labelled them 96A, B, C etc)

So enjoy Episode 96 – 20000 photos taken over 5 days documenting the creation of Stu’s Shed V3.0

RapidAir

As indicated in my previous post, I have begun installing the RapidAir system around the workshop.

It is as easy as the product suggests to create a comprehensive pneumatic system around the workshop.

After preparing each of the outlets (which realistically didn’t take a lot of time), I began mounting these around the workshop.  Each set up with the inlet from the top, and drain at the bottom.  The plan is to run a ring-mail around at roof level (the underside of the mezzanine), and by using a T piece, drop down to each outlet.  The manifold has three outlets, one will feed a local outlet, the other two will supply the ring-main.

After mounting the outlets (and deciding that 2 more would properly finish the setup), I started connecting the tubing.  It is pretty rigid, so although it means it isn’t designed to go around corners (that is what L connectors are for), it does mean that each run is able to be done neatly, easily creating a professional-looking (and functioning) setup.

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The tubing is easily cut square using the provided cutter

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As mentioned, there are T and L connectors, combinations of which provide the different configurations required.

The tubes happen to still be hanging in free space, as I haven’t secured them in position with clips while I finalise the layout.

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I will change the configuration of the manifold slightly, so the standard nitto fitting from the air compressor can plug straight in.

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Proceeding very easily- another installation session will pretty much see it done.

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