Sold the Torque Workcentre (Router Master) today, which is a good step (goes towards paying for some of the shed electrical installation!), so just have the tablesaw to go.
And I do need it to go – it is taking up precious space, as much as it is a reluctant sale. (I really do like the TS10L). However, it is what it is.
Hopefully as a bit of encouragement, I have taken 10% off the asking price, and set it to a very round $2000. See here for more details.
I love it when a plan comes together.
Even better, when by some fluke, a plan formulated on the computer (such as the floor plan) actually works in real life too, as well as it suggested it would.
Moved the 4 machines around (tablesaw, 17″ bandsaw, jointer and thicknesser), and they all came together. I did realise one thing though. It is the end of the era for mobile bases in my workshop.
Mobile bases are really useful under the heavy machines in the shed. Particularly when you are a sole operator, and especially when space is restricted. A mobile base allows machines in sub-optimum position when stored to be moved out for use, then pushed away again. I’ll still have a wheeled option for the thicknesser (it is built in), and for the tablesaw as well (when I upgrade it to the original built-in option). The other machines though are another matter.
As I was sorting out the layout (and thank goodness for mobile bases at that point!), I found as I was finalising the locations, the bases were really restricting how well they each fitted together. Once removed (from the bandsaw and the jointer), it was a whole different story.
I’m not against mobile bases – I have been using them successfully for years. But I am also looking for to not needing them either. I have more workshop room than ever, and with the layout compromised with them in place, I’m just as happy not to continue with them. They do make a machine more unstable, and I could, if I become really confident with the layout, actually bolt the machines to the slab. Now that is a big call.
Tempting though. A really solid operating platform.
I may hold off on that for a while though – previous experience shows that I tweak the shed layout a dozen times a year, every year!
Made a minor layout modification, which resulted in the ‘sink’ being relocated to outside the back door of the shed (outdoor sink), so I could fit the Walko as a wall-mounted option in the back corner instead.
This then left the area beneath the window open for the appearance of a new tool: The Festool MFT/3, with the TS55 R saw. (Both from my “Breaking Bad” dealer, Ideal Tools)
What we are talking about here is the multifunction table, complete with a rail that flips out of the way when not required, and a relocatable, multiangle fence. The top is very familiar, being the model I’ve adopted for the TWC, and that is already on the Walko workbench as well. A matrix of round dog holes across the surface.
There is plenty of storage area underneath (I haven’t worked out how I’ll use that area yet, but for the time being it will be kept open for some filming I am planning). I’m looking to obtain a clear perspex sheet as an alternate top, so I can film up through it for a bit of fun.
The rail (green striped thing) which can flip out of the way on a hinge at the rear, can mount a circular saw, or router (or jigsaw etc) from the Festool range.
So it is complemented by the saw
So to fit everything in took only a little amount of shuffling (although the Cleantex (vacuum) has lost its home for the time being).
However, that has caused me to think more about the one problem area I was still having. The relationship between the jointer and the thicknesser, the space each was taking, and their restricted infeed and outfeed.
Played a bit (using the Grizzly Workshop Planner), and came up with an alternative that looks remarkably promising.
Without loosing any real estate (in fact this gains some), I have doubled the infeed and outfeed areas of both tools. It makes use of the space either side of the tablesaw as infeed (or outfeed) for the thicknesser and jointer respectively. That space needs to be empty anyway, as infeed and outfeed for the tablesaw, so why not use it for all three tools?
It gives me good access along the front of the jointer (important obviously!), and access right alongside the right-hand side of the thicknesser (much more convenient).
And I can still get the dust extraction to pump the sawdust straight into the potbelly. (Just kidding – I don’t need to generate that much heat! If I had a mini foundry, that would be a different matter!) Mmmm mini foundry…….
The layout is definitely getting there. Each change is a build on the previous, rather than being a complete rework, so that is good. Refinements are fine (and are typically the status quo on my place!)
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:
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.
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).
At that price, not only can you afford to have surveillance of your workshop, but the house, and approaches as well.
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.
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.