Shop Journal – December 6, 2015

This was a good week.

Monday and Tuesday were spent editing my Tape Dispenser video. This is the first video I’ve ever worked on, so in addition to the normal video editing work, I’m also learning the software as I go.

The rest of the week, I did very little cutting wood and a whole lot of sweeping sawdust.

I’ve been living with a sub-optimal layout in my garage for a long time now. At first, this was because I had to wheel everything up against the wall at the end of the day. Then it was because the garage was dirty, or full, or I had something big on the assembly table, or whatever. Editing that first video, the thing I kept noticing was how dirty the shop was. Scraps everywhere. Sawdust on everything. No system, no storage. Just a disaster.

After pushing the publish button on that first video, I took the natural break as an opportunity to roll all of my equipment out into the driveway, pick up the broom, and finally clear the place out.

Clean-out in progress.

Clean-out in progress.

With that done (or at least mostly done), I could start to put everything back. But since I’d taken all of that time to move everything, I might as well put things back in a better layout than before.

If I knew Sketchup, this would be a good time to use it. I don’t, though. Luckily, I had a stack of graph paper handy and I know how to use a knife.

Old shop layout.

Old shop layout. Click for big.

My main complaint with the old layout is pretty obvious: there’s a major choke point in the middle. The shop vac and dust collector were on a cart behind the table saw, and it got in the way all the time. The table saw had no outfeed support, and long workpieces would hit the band saw. Ick.

Proposed new shop layout.

Proposed new shop layout.

For the new shop, I wanted to streamline things. I would move the table saw up to the front of the shop near the garage door. The assembly table would serve as outfeed support, and a shelf underneath would take the shop-vac and dust collector, eliminating the extra cart and giving me more floor space. Suddenly, my tiny garage started to feel a lot larger.

There’s still a lot to do, and a lot of stuff that isn’t in those drawings (mostly cardboard boxes, sheet goods, and equipment for my day job that I have nowhere else to put), but it’s a start. I’ll have a video out when I’m done.

Work safe,

B.