My Shop

When I left Alaska in 1997 and moved to Tennessee I was looking for a lower cost-of-living but a crafts-oriented culture was another attractive idea. It was only natural that, after suffering without a real shop space in Alaska, a suitable area for a shop would be necessary in any house I might buy. What I finally settled for was the right half of a two-car garage that had a small storage area attached. Through efficient planning and tool selection I have managed to make a workable small space.

One expense necessitated by the small space was a combination machine of some sort. After extensive research I wound up buying a Robland X-31 five-function machine from Laguna Tools. This machine has a 10-inch tablesaw, 12-inch planer and jointer, shaper, and horizontal mortiser in one half-ton unit powered by three three-horsepower German motors. It was rather expensive but there was no other way to accomplish my goal of a usable small shop without it. I console myself that at least it cost less than the Felder with similar functions.

The only other stationary machines in the shop are a LT-16SEC bandsaw, also from Laguna Tools, a Delta 16-inch drillpress, my old standby Woodfast lathe, and a Dustboy 2-horsepower 2-stage dust collector. I have the usual collection of small power tools like routers, drills, sanders, plate (biscuit) joiner, compound miter saw, as well as some necessary handtools. Because of the tight space I have had to build mobile carts for some items like the router table and the compound miter saw and have had to cram storage into every available space. The storage area at the far end of the shop contains a floor-to-ceiling storage unit as well as wall-mounted lumber storage. Since this picture was taken a roll-around cart for sheetgoods and one to hold the heavy accessories for the X-31 have been added. Also added was some more clamp storage for the oddly shaped panel clamps that always had to lean in the corner.

After several years of having and outdated image of the shop posted I finally got motivated enough to shoot a new one. The major change is that the dust collector is actually plumbed into place with drops in the appropriate locations.


All material on this web site copyright © 1999-2012 by John McGaw. This specifically includes images, words, ideas, concepts, colors, sounds, odors, shapes, obtuse angles, acute observations, and vague recollections.
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