Greetings gentle readers,

So today, exactly two months and one week since starting the work on the new shop, is THE DAY. I’ve managed to finally get the shop into a usable enough state that I’m starting work on planes again. And today is day one. And thus far, it’s been instructive.

But first, let me back up just a bit…

First, thanks to all those who have reminded me that it’s been so long since my last blog post. Without your encouragement, my inbox would contain nothing but miracle enlargement offers and notifications of my numerous lottery winnings and enormous financial transactions from the birthplace of Homo Sapiens. (more on that once my Ivorian counsel has reviewed my bank statements).

Now, a quick update on the status of the new DAED Toolworks lab. Quite a few people have asked for photos, and since it seems there are some poor souls who care about such things here’s a quickie tour and breakdown>

One of the things about designing a shop like this from scratch is that it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the tyranny of choice. There are so many possibilities it’s easy to get stalled out trying to figure out the ‘best’ way to organize. In the end, I decided that the chances I was going to get everything right on the first try were nil. I’m quite sure there will be some significant rearranging within a year. That’s just the way shops develop over time.

So to that end, I decided on a couple of simple organizing principles. First, separate hand and machine work areas, and also metalwork from woodwork The divisions get somewhat grey, but generally speaking this gives me a fairly straightforward structure of four zones to start from.

The other major principle was, whenever feasible, to opt for moveable equipment rather than dedicated locations. This idea is really not much help with metalworking machinery, which tends to be quite heavy and require from extreme stability; but almost all of my woodworking machines are mobile. Thus, the front half of the machine room is extremely open, with a large central space and plenty of room to move machines around for different tasks.

Here’s some overview shots of the machine side:

The machine side is about 60% of the floor space, but the handtool side of things is definitely where ‘home’ is. I installed hardwood floors on this side, and a partial wall to separate the machine tool area from the woodworking bench. I believe the 8 feet will be sufficient to keep the grinding dust segregated (this was an ongoing battle in my old shop) but if it proves to be not enough I’ll extend the closure as required.

Adjacent to the wall is the woodwork bench and handtools.

Toward the front of the shop from there is the filing/peining bench:

Behind the false wall is the basement staircase. I still need railings on the upstairs staircase, but that’s coming soon.

And for now, that’s the functional part of the shop. For the time being I’m quite pleased with things – it’s compact without being stifling, and I still have several open areas available to me. Of course, I also have a bit of residual space to work with:

I have some plans for both floors, but they’ll have to wait a bit for development. Hopefully in the spring I’ll get the upstairs in shape for use.

So that’s it. Up next, I’ll cover how I detail my car, the products I use to coif my hair, and the list of criteria I use for selecting a proctologist.

‘Til then, there’s always Sid (or is it a Sheen?):