My Woodworking Shop

I started building my own furniture back in the early 70's when I wanted some custom pieces that weren't available. My first projects were custom-designed shelving in my living room, a white cedar log couch, and a dining room table. When I bought my first house, in 1983, I designed and built many projects for it as well. I did not get heavily into woodworking though until I bought my grandfather's house in 1989, which had an outbuilding the size of a 4-car garage. It needed a lot of work to turn it into a woodworking shop. It consisted of a separate walled off 10' section that had originally been a chicken coop. 2' of petrified manure lined the floor and it was full of every item from past remodeling--old toilets, kitchen sinks, etc. After cleaning that all out, and removing the wall and foundation between it and the next 10' section of the building, my dad came up (from Georgia) and we removed the remnants of cement flooring from that next 10' section and got it ready to have a new cement floor over the entire 20x20' expanse. A local Delton man did that job, and a very find job it was too! My dad wired and I insulated and then we both put up the wafer board walls and ceiling. I then began outfitting the shop. My first major project was a complete new kitchen which I designed and manufactured. I was very pleased with the results. And now, circa 2005, I have a shop outfitted for building anything. My major project this summer will be rebuilding a 1969 Serro Scotty Sportsman travel trailer.

My shop library. I subscribed to a couple of different woodworking book clubs over the years, plus have many other specialized books besides. The chair is a Lloyd Flanders tall-backed sling chair. Very comfy. Add the crate "side table" and the backless office chair "foot stool" and all the comforts of home!

My router table. My dad made it. It was his but he made a new and improved version for himself and I got the old one. Every time he adds an enhancement to his, he makes an extra copy for mine! That's a Freud FTE2000 3 1/4 HP 1/2" shank plunge router mounted in there. I almost always use the Freud but I do have a second mounting plate with an old Craftsman 1 1/3 HP 1/4" router that I sometimes use for 1/4" bits. I have another Craftsman 1 1/2 HP router that I use for freehand work.
I told my dad I needed a cabinet for storing all my router bits and this is what he made me. Wow, was not expecting something that I'd be proud to hang in my house! Almost all the 1/4" bit spots are filled up. Still have room for more 1/2" bits. I try to only buy 1/2" bits now.
My DeWalt 12" compound miter saw on a mobile base. Eventually I'll build a really nice stand for it and then use the mobile base only when I carry it outside to use. The yellow shop vac shown in the bottom left is connected to my router table as dust/chip collection. The orange one, just to its right is connected to the nitre saw.
My Porter Cable Saw Boss. Its a 5 1/2" circular saw. I played with a lot of saws at Lowe's before deciding on this one. It does all I need and isn't too heavy. A good "woman's" saw!
My Grizzly drill press. I bought it with the side arms and a mortising attachment. I also have a separate mortising machine, but having the attachment for the drill press will allow me to do mortises on much deeper stock. I added the mobile base later--a much needed item. This is a very heavy drill press, around 200 pounds! Nothing cheesy about this machine!
My Grizzly 4" jointer. It has a very long bed for a 4" jointer. They don't offer this model anymore. I seldom use it because I invested in a really nice blade for my table saw. I like this though very much. Doesn't take up much space and still gets the job done!
My Grizzly 12" planer. Does a very nice job. It weighs about 85 pounds, so light enough that I can move it outside if I have a big planing job using larger lengths!
The heart of my shop! My Grizzly G1022 table saw. The original fence finally died and I splurged and bought a Bessemer knock off--a Shop Fox fence. I LOVE it!
My Grizzly 5 roller stand. Generally it is standing behind the table saw. It works very well and is easily adjusted to be used other places.
MyGrizzly drum sander. This beast weighs over 300 pounds and cost $900 but worth every penny I paid. I don't know how I got along without it! I also use it as a planer when I need to plane down highly figured wood which would chip if I used the planer.
My Grizzly 22" scroll saw. Not fancy and only a single speed. I added a quick-change blade accessory to it and its certainly paid for itself many times over. I really love the fact that it has a 22" throat. That has come in handy more times than once!
My Jet mortiser. I find myself using mortise and tenons a lot now that I have this machine. It works very well and I have no complaints.
My Grizzly dove tail machine. Had it for years but I've never used it. It looks like a good one though!
My Grizzly lathe. This is a copy lathe and comes with the attachments to easily make duplicates. Very handy if you're trying to turn matching table legs or spindles!
My Grizzly 14 1/2" band saw. Another fine machine put out by Grizzly. It has a nice fence which is not mounted in this picture. And, I added a mobile base.
My primary workbench. The top is a very old solid core door, back from the days when a solid core door was actually comprised of a, surprisingly, solid core!
Pipe clamps. I have found that 1/2" are sturdy enough. And, it is true, you can never have too many clamps. I have 12, 4 each of 3 sizes. I plan on buying some extra pipe and swap off the heads and tails as needed. I seldom use 12 clamps at any one time!
This is a 1 1/2 HP Skil plunge router. It was purchased with this sign-making jig. It is quite a clever invention. The inventor was selling them at the American Woodworker Woodworking show in Novi, MI, several years ago. I have used it quite a bit to make house number signs for colleagues at work!
My secondary workbench. This bench was formerly my kitchen cabinets, from my grandmother's era. They're actually about 3" shorter than standard height cabinets, but she was only 4' 10" tall! The bins along the back wall contain all my screws and nails and other sundry items. There's a paper towel holder on the left, always handy in a shop. And, a wood storage rack above the bins. My dowel supply is above the bins as well.
Four-drawer file cabinet. Holds several year's worth of woodworking magazines and all my shop manuals.
Ryobi biscuit joiners. I actually had a more expensive barrel-grip model which I gave away to purchase the Ryobi. The barrel grip was not comfortable for me to use. The smaller one is for 0 size biscuits. I use those quite often in picture frames.
Porter Cable BNC125 brad nailer. I use this a lot!
Grizzly shop clock and my bulletin board and fire extinguisher. Yes, that's an autographed picture of Norm Abram, my hero! I printed it from his web site though.
Pneumatic cut off tool. I use this for cutting off nail and bolt heads. Have used it a lot on the Scotty tear-down project!
Freud dado. This was expensive but boy does it do a nice job. I'd been using a Craftsman wobble dado set which scares the be jesus out of me!
Some of my drills. This is two Ryobi 7.2 models and my Grizzly 14.4. I also have a Skil 7.2 and an even smaller drill which I use in the house. I have a corded Craftsman drill as well.
A close up of the Shop Fox fence. It cost almost half as much as the saw did, but worth every penny!
My Craftsman 4" angle grinder. I almost always use this with the wire brush attachment in it.
My Grizzly 18V cordless circular saw. This has been a pretty handy item to have. Don't use it often, but when you're where you don't have a power source, its nice to have!
My propane shop heater. Its not actually installed yet, but will be for winter 2005! My parents used it in their garage for a while. On low, it got up to 80 degrees. With just the pilot running, it kept it at 40 degrees. This will be nice should I have any "finish" work to do this winter. It will sure beat the wood burning stove I used to use!
My Bosch 1587AVS jig saw. This is a very well designed saw and has a tooless blade change system that is very superior to other saws I've used! Because of the way the handle is designed, it makes a great saw for a woman's smaller hands, yet I'm sure works equally as well for a man!
The pegboard behind my primary workbench. I have intended to do something better, just haven't gotten around to it yet.
A Craftsman rotary tool. This comes with a whole series of bits and I use it to do carving type projects. My dad talked me into this purchase. Its a little unwieldy for a woman to use.
A small sand blaster. Haven't used it yet.
My Black and Decker random orbital sander. I love it. If I were doing it again though, I'd probably go with a hook and loop model. This uses self-adhesive paper.
Another new tool, bought for use on the Scotty project. This came from Harbor Freight. I didn't go with a more expensive model because I don't anticipate having a lot of use for this tool, besides the Scotty.
Miscellaneous items. The things with the holes on the right are jigs for (bottom) putting holes in the side of cases for adjustable shelves. It came with a special drill bit that positions itself in the hole. The one just on top of that one is for drawer guides. Handy when you're doing an entire kitchen!
My Delta tenoning jig. You can make your own, but this one is nice!
An old vice my brother gave me for Christmas one year. I don't have it mounted but I clamp it down to the workbench when I do use it.
My Chamberlain WaxMaster Pro 7000. Another tool bought for use on the Scottys. This one is for polishing the 1961 Silverside.