Tour

Welcome to my workshop.  Enjoy the tour!

The main part of my workshop is a 12 by 20 foot area.

Table Saw

This is a Delta contractor-style table saw modified for dust collection by enclosing the back and adding a dust port to the bottom. It also has a dust hood mounted on an adjustable arm attached to the ceiling for over-table dust collection.  The whole thing is mounted on wheels so it can be pulled away from the wall and even rotated if necessary. I don’t usually cut whole 4×8 sheets in my shop, but it can be done if the saw is oriented right.  The right side of the table saw is filled in with a router. The router itself is mounted in a box with a dust port. Several shop-made fences and suction fittings let me cut with minimal dust ejection.

Drill Press

This is a Delta bench mounted variable speed drill press. The dust collection port at the left side works OK but not great – I really only use it for large drilling jobs.  The cabinet below is my design for storage of bits and other tools. It’s made of a particle board carcase and 1/2″ plywood drawer boxes with MDF fronts. The top is two layers of 3/4″ MDF with a 1×2 poplar edge band. The particle board is painted gray to match my Delta machines and the MDF is varnished with acrylic. This same basic construction and color scheme is used for all the cabinets in the workshop.  The paint for all my cabinets is Behr latex semi-gloss from Home Depot. The color is number 770E-3 Pewter Mug.

Sanding Station

This is a Delta 4″ belt / 6″ disk combo sander. I find this to be one of the most useful machines in my shop. I get the self-adhesive sanding disks from Harbor Freight, and the sanding belts from Rockler. The dust collection port works great for large sanding jobs.  The shop-made cabinet below is my design. I use it to store sandpaper, steel wool, and other supplies.  In the corner is my collection of rechargeable cordless drills. The orange ones are from Black&Decker and the green one is a Ryobi.

Workbench / Scroll Saw

This workbench is based on a Wood Magazine design. The front vise mounted on the left side of the bench is very useful for holding boards and other pieces when working on them. You can also see a red metalworking vice in the storage area on the left that can be attached to various places on the top surface.  The right side compartment has a Skil scroll saw mounted on a pivoting platform. Open the doors, press the board at the bottom with your foot, lift out the pivoting shelf, pull a couple pins and flip the saw around and put the pins back in to hold it in place. Sounds like a lot, but really it only takes about 10 seconds to do. Reverse the process to store the saw away.

Dust Collection System

Based on a Bill Pentz design, my whole-shop cyclone system has been serving me well since 2005.  The motor and blower/impeller unit is from a Shop Fox W1685 bag-type vacuum. I chose this because the impeller is relatively large at 12 inches diameter and it has very good suction capacity rated at 1280 CFM.  The body of my cyclone is made from galvanized sheet metal held together by pop rivets and crimped and soldered joints.  The filter is a 26″ long by 14″ diameter Torit. Unlike other designs where the blower exhaust goes into the middle of the filter and blows outward, I decided to mount the filter inside a plenum box so that the exhaust enters the outside and comes out of the middle of the filter. This way it’s far easier to clean the filter once in a while by tapping it on the floor to shake off any caked-on dust. There’s a plexiglas viewport on the bottom of the plenum to check if it’s time to clean the filter. Note that very little makes it up to the filter – most of the sawdust and chips end up in the trash can at the bottom of the cyclone.  I use 4″ thin wall PVC pipe for the ducting into the system and have read about folks who think there’s a static electricity concern in using PVC but I’ve never had a problem. Mythbusters did a segment where they intentionally tried to get a spark or an ignition in PVC using various dusts and powders, and they never could get anything significant to happen.  The blast gates are my own design using PVC, melamine, plywood, and masonite scraps held together with screws and PL Premium Polyurethane Construction Adhesive.

Air Cleaner

This is a Jet Air Filtration System. Very quiet and efficient operation with a remote control, 3 speeds, and a timer.

Lathe

This is a Rockler mid-size lathe. They seem to offer this similar design year after year with a different nameplate. When I got mine, it was called “M Power.”  It’s mounted on a large storage cabinet for turning tools and supplies. I have a couple different lathe dust collection ports and schemes, but none of them work very well for catching lathe chips. I usually just vacuum up the mess after I’m done. Sitting behind the lathe on the right is a steady-rest that’s made from roller blade wheels. It clamps right on the lathe bed ways and is easily adjustable in diameter to support a variety of larger turnings.

Grinder

This is just a little AC motor with an arbor and a fine grinding wheel. It works very well for keeping a nice edge on my turning tools. The bar on the right side slides out to hold the tool at a consistent angle to get the right bevel on the edge. The whole unit pivots to the left when done using it.

Jointer

This is a small Delta 6” jointer. Works pretty well once it was adjusted and shimmed properly. The speed control went out a few years after I got it and a replacement part was almost as much as a whole new unit. So I just use the generic yellow router speed control mounted on the cabinet to dial it down when needed.

CNC Machine

This is my homemade CNC machine based on the Joe’s 2006 design.  It’s mounted on casters and can be rolled a little bit away from the wall for use. See the separate page devoted to the design and construction of this machine here (INSERT LINK).

Drum Sander

This is my homemade drum sander based on a very old Wood Magazine design.  The drum is a stack of MDF discs, and it uses velcro backed strip sandpaper. The top is oak with plexiglass windows. The thing that looks like a saw handle sticking up from the table is a pushblock to safely guide materials through the sander.  When the dust system is running there is absolutely no dust that escapes when using this machine!

Electronics Bench Area

This is a separate area of my workshop dedicated for electronics and small assembly work. The bench top is about 11 feet long.

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