My Shop and Tools

More on my shop:

Today my shop is the garage of my home, and is what I would consider a well rounded out shop.  (Note to wife:  that does not mean I am done buying tools!)  Getting to this point did not happen overnight.  In fact, the evolution of my shop and tools has happened over many years.

When I first got bit by the woodworking bug, I was a 13 years old and in my Jr. High shop class.  During those years of Jr. High, I mostly used my dad’s tools.  He had a few saws and what not, however nothing on the scale of a full wood shop.  Once I reach my freshman year I got my first two power tools.  The first was a craftsman branded Dremel tool.  I still have and use this tool 20 years later!  The next was a Delta Shopmaster bench-top table saw I bought from a friend.  I believe my dad still has this in his shed, but I haven’t used it since I moved out of my parent’s home.  When I moved out on my own, it was into a small 2 bedroom ranch that I purchased.  Since my dad’s tools did not go with me, it was time for me to buy the tools I needed to maintain and update a home.  While I had the desire to build cabinets and furniture, that was not my focus at the time.  Most of the tools I bought then I still own and use today.  This is probably where I made my first misstep in my tool purchases.  I bought a bigger bench top/job site table saw.  This was a high-end saw in that category, and got my through many home improvement projects, including two bathroom remodels.  This saw was perfectly fine for those tasks.  Where the misstep was, I intended for this saw to also be used (eventually anyway) for the type of woodworking I am doing today.  With as much as I spent on that saw, I could have gotten a contractor saw with a better motor and cast iron top.  Before I really started to do research on my tools, I bought a few more bench top tools that were later replaced with a more appropriate machines.

This brings to my shops current configuration.  Currently it takes up about 2/3 of a two-car garage.  The only climate control it has is a kerosene heater that I do use during the winter months when it is not too cold outside.  From a tool aspect, I have most of the major machines represented, and can accomplish just about any task with them.  The machines I have today have been collected over the last few years.  The start of the transition to a woodworking shop was when I decided I had it with the job site table saw.  I ended up replacing it with a much older, but much better contractor style table saw.  I have made many updates to it, including a better fence and wings on it.  Over the next several years, a planer, 14″ band saw, drill press, lathe, and jointer.  I have also had a focus on using hand tools on my projects.  So I also have various hand planes, hand saws, chisels, and many more.

I also have two workbenches.  The one I do most of my work at also doubles as my out feed table for my table saw.  While it is not optimal, it does serve me well.  The other bench is currently holding my bench top drill press and lathe.  I really need to get the lathe on its own stand so that I can use that bench more and use the outfeed table less.  One of many projects on the list!  🙂

There is so much more I can go into on my shop, as there is so much in it.  As I make changes and advancement in my shop, I will try to keep this page current.  I have a video that I posted in the blog of my shop, that is also embedded on this page.