Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Still Improving The Shop

Now I feel comfortable calling my little corner of the basement a shop.  Last week I spent a couple of days tearing everything apart and putting it back in different places, which included throwing out a scuzzy old shelf that was down here when we moved in, and relocating the few things on it to a new shelf I built against a difficult-to-use section of wall.  I also built a lumber rack and another shelf unit to get a few things up off the floor and a bit more organized.  After that, I temporarily hung a few saws up to keep them close to hand and out of the way. All in all, I now have something resembling a proper shop.

Right now I'm working on a hanging tool cabinet to keep my most used tools close to hand, and so that I don't have to lean way over my bench to the back wall to reach my planes.  I have the primary carcass put together and hanging up, and I'm mulling over what to do about interior storage allocation.  I also still need to build the door, where I imagine I'll hang most of my layout tools because they're small and light.

I used my new Lee Valley & Veritas plow plane to fit the back panel into the cabinet, which included plowing grooves to accept the back as well as cutting rabbets around the edges (and the ends).  I was surprised at how well the plane did cutting cross grain.  Not as well as a dedicated fillister plane with nickers, but pretty good just the same.  The top of the cabinet is made from two narrow pieces, which proved tricky to hold for grooving.  I ended up using two thinned-down battens held with my hold downs, which worked well and allowed clearance for the plane to pass.

While cleaning out the shop, I decided to throw out of my earliest wood working misadventures.  It was intended as a chisel and screwdriver rack, and made from pallet lumber.  I've had it around the shop for the last few years, and it was time for it to go.  It was tippy and wouldn't hold much. 

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