-- my workshop


I started out with the traditional one car garage shop where I collected power tools and used a huge bench (36" solid core door on homemade legs). When a hurricane and subsequent house sale forced a return to apartment living everything left in a garage sale. But I just couldn't leave woodworking alone hence I eventually converted a portion of my efficiency into a work area. Subsequent moves meant a dedicated bedroom. Let me tell this has been the most enjoyable woodworking I've done. Imagine an air conditioned shop where you can work barefoot. You'd think sawdust would be an issue but with small projects and using mainly hand tools it hasn't been. With a little diligence sawdust isn't even an issue with the occasional use of bench top power tools.

So here's a photo tour of my little shop. A small joinery workbench made from recovered soft maple acquired from the demolition a local gym after hurrican IKE. That same wood also became the table top for a sharpening station and lathe. I built a small screen surrounding my lathe and attached a fan with two filters in front of it. This setup has worked brilliantly and judging by how often I clean the filters really gets dust out of the air. Then there is the infamous power tool cart, a small rolling table made from douglas fir 4x4's. It holds my 10" band saw, drill press, scroll saw (on loan from Dad) and a grinder. I also store power hand tools underneath. I still have my original solid core door workbench that I occasionally use as an assembly table but mainly it's a catch all.

Tool wise I went thru the stage of buying lots of stuff I've now learnd I never needed. Experience is showing that I can get away with just few a hand tools (plus a bandsaw!) for most stuff. I've learned it's better to buy items capable of being passed on to your grand kids in incredibly worn but useful condition.

I've also gotten to the point were I enjoy making my tools as the experience of building them is a great learning experience. Plus I seem to understand why they work the way they do using them afterwards. Ya, these homemades may not be as perfect as some of the mega buck tools but... the wood I'm working doesn't know that and if it easily gets the work done then... The more I do this the more I find using hand tools for the majority of the work is less stressful and more enjoyable. Plus, this is a hobby not a business so why would I need production power tools when I'm just making a single box / chair / table at a time. And in all seriousness, I need the exercise.

update -

I recently moved from Houston to Austin and updated my bandsaw and drill press. Both are still tabletop models mounted on my mobile cart. They're just a little bigger and rugged. I'll review both soon.

update 2 -

I moved again, though this time within the same apartment complex. Downsized to a one bedroom to save on rent. Reviews still coming.

update 3-

Unbelievable I moved again, sorta. I got a good deal on a one car garage at apartment so I moved all my power tools down there since they make the most mess. Also built some really nice rolling carts. Article coming soon.

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