Welcome To My Workshop / Woodshop / Tool Testing Cave!
Growing up the son of a carpenter it didn’t take me long to start dreaming of a day when I could have a woodshop similar to the famous shop of Norm Abrams. In high school I was always super happy on days we had wood shop class. So it’s only natural that I’m over joyed to finally have my own special space that serves as my workshop, woodshop and tool testing facility.
Over the coming months I’m going to be documenting all of the major components and machinery for my new shop. As I add more equipment and machinery I’ll add more sections to this page. This page will serve as an “index” of sorts which summarizes all the shop articles and components.
Each section below will eventually have a sub-page filled with information and articles on that subject. So please bear with me as this new section of the website develops over time. I certainly welcome and encourage comments.
My new workshop is fairly unique in the sense that it’s on the 2nd floor above my garage. While I’d much rather have an entire building dedicated to the workshop/woodshop this is the only space I have available at least for the time being. Obviously this poses some interesting constraints but I think you’ll find the shop is pretty sweet considering!
Above is a 3D rendering of the new shop built in Google’s Sketchup. This program helped me not only visually plan the space but also helped me check clearances and interferences with such a crazy shop design. While this rendering doesn’t show many of the walls they are in the model. This view is the best to show the extent of the shops design.
Most of the equipment shown above are symbolic. For example, the dust collector is actually a much larger, 2 bag system from Delta and the Air compressor is a fixed base unit that is also larger. Below are some photos showing the current state of the shop. There’s still lots of work to be finished before the shop is 100% complete.
As you can see I’ve utilized both the space in the garage below and the shop above to maximize the space. The decision to place the dust collector and air compressor down below in the garage made a huge difference. It also allowed me to place them the furthest distance from both the shop and the house cutting down on noise.
The shop design also includes quite a bit of built-in cabinetry along the sidewalls. This will also help me maximize both the open working areas and my storage needs. The space above my garage was framed using pre-engineered attic trusses. This allowed us to have a completely open garage below with no columns and a nice large space above for the shop.
Over time I’ll continue to update this section with current photos until the shop is 100% complete.
Shop Mechanicals Including Insulation
The shop is heated and cooled with a LG Art Cool™ Premier Duct-Free System Model LSN090HYV. This exciting mini-split heating and cooling system does a fantastic job in the workshop and it’s incredibly quiet. Mini-splits are great for renovations and a perfect solution for work shops in locations like basements, attics and even garages.
Because the shop is located on the 2nd floor of the garage in the attic space, insulation is incredibly important. Without it I’d have to survive 100 degree plus days in the summer and below 0 degrees in the winter. Because the shop is in the attic I decided to insulate the rafter bays with foil faced foam board. This allowed me to maintain good air flow from the soffits to the ridge vent.
Between the insulation and the mini-split the shop is easily kept around 70 degrees even on a hot sunny day.
The new shop is set up with Delta’s Model 50-763, 3 HP Motor Dust Collector running at 2700 CFM. I’ll be updating this section in the next few weeks.
I’ll be writing several articles on this setup and topic. For my shop I’ve used plastic piping for all the dust collection. While plastic offers a cheaper solution compared to metal ducting there are many people that consider it a shock hazard. I’ll be sharing my take on that subject along with some design tips.
Visit the Dust Collection page.
I’m using a 60 gallon upright, oil lubricated compressor from Campbell Hausfeld. The compressor supplies air for both the shop and garage. Piping for the compressed air is copper which I’ll explain as I develop this chapter for the workshop.
Miter Saw Station
I’m using the Bosch 12″ Dual-Bevel Glide Miter Saw (Model GCM12SD) in the shop. It’s probably one of the most innovative power tools I’ve had the pleasure of using in the last 5-10 years! If you’re working on similar shop projects I highly recommend you head on over to Rockler where you’ll find almost everything think you need for your shop.
The heart and soul of the new shop is my new Delta Unisaw! I had the pleasure of traveling to the new headquarters of Delta Machinery last fall to actually watch this saw built. I’m sure this amazing piece of machinery will be the focus of many more articles, tips and advice as the shop takes shape.
I built a custom outfeed / assembly table for the shop (shown above). The table uses a plywood top covered with laminate to match the side wing on the Unisaw. The table offers a large stable surface as an outfeed table. It also serves as an assembly table with built-in hold downs and storage for tools below. To learn more about this table please read our article: Outfeed Table for Delta Unisaw
Many of the pieces of equipment in the shop use mobile bases so I can easily more them around the shop. In my shop I like to use Portamate Mobile Bases. They are high quality, very well built mobile bases that offer lots of flexibility in sizing and capacity. Check out a recent review I wrote on their Mobile Bases.
I’m using the Delta 18″ Laser Drill Press in the shop. I’ve been using this drill press for several years now and it’s fantastic. This thing is a serious piece of equipment and it’s been getting a great workout while I build the new shop. From drilling large holes for the dust collection ports to small holes in custom aluminum fence materials it’s been awesome. You can read more about it in my product review:
- Delta Drill Press Review
- Peachtree Woodworking Drill Press Dust Collection Review
- Portamate PM1000 Mobile Base Review
- Auto-tensioning belt drive system allows for fast and easy speed changes while maximizing transmission efficiency
- Full 6-inch quill stroke for deeper drilling applications and best-in-class capacity
- Micro-adjustable depth stops and independent depth scale allows the user to zero the scale and set up for repetitive drilling quickly and easily
- Fully adjustable TWINLASER projects a bright red crosshair on the work piece at the point of bit contact
- Backed by a five-year warranty
This is one of the new machines in the woodshop. Setup for the tool was very straight forward and easy to use. Out of the box it was nearly perfectly calibrated. It comes with a very sturdy steel base with a nice powder coat finish.
- 1 HP, 115V/230V, 1 phase TEFC motor with 2 speeds: 1,620 FPM and 3,340 FPM for wood and non-ferrous metal cutting
- Two-speed pulley with easy tensioning system
- Durable aluminum, rubber-coated upper and lower 9 spoke wheels are precision balanced for superior blade tracking
- Oversized 15 3/4 in. x 18 7/8 in. precision ground cast iron table with t-slot miter capability tilts 3° left to 45° right with a positive stop at 90°
If you’d like to learn more about my thoughts on the 28-400 then check our full product review HERE.
The DW735 is a serious planer fit for most any shop. The stand is built from high quality materials. The unit runs very smooth. This is a new tool for us in the shop so we’ll report back later on after we’ve used it more. In the man time the features are listed below:
- Powerful 15-AMP, 20,000 RPM motor (10,000 RPM cutterhead speed) handles larger cuts in wider materials with ease
- Three knife cutter-head delivers 30-percent longer knife life and makes knife change faster and easier
- Two speed gear box allows users to change feed speed to optimizing cuts per inch at 96 or 179 CPI
- Fan-assisted chip ejection vacuums chips off of the cutter-head and exhausts them out of the machine
Read my full DEWALT DW735 Planer Review and find out why I think it’s the best in class for small portable planers.
- Extra-Long cast iron table for better control and more accuracy
- 1/2-Inch Rabbeting Capacity; 33-1/8-Inch long fence with 45 and 90-Degree stops
- Powerful 1-horsepower motor;-industrial push button controls
- 3 high-speed steel knives-Inch the cutter head; Quick Set Knives provide easy changing
- 4-Inch dust port for efficient dust and chip disposal
The jointer has been in the shop for some time now and we’ve got a full review of it up. To read my thoughts on this 6″ jointer from Jet please check it out here: JET JJ-6CSDX Deluxe 6″ Jointer Review