It Ain’t ‘This Old House’
A couple decades ago I had an unholy fascination with woodworking and spent a crap ton of money (that’s the unholy part) to buy myself some power tools – table saw, drill press, mobile bench planer, drills. The usual stuff. I got to use some of it from time to time, but for the most part it got to gather dust and rust after I moved out of my mom’s house and out of the state. That was quite a few years ago and while I always wanted to use my tools again I never had any place to store them, let alone use them, so they stayed at my mom’s house where they were neglected and abused by my brother-in-law and nephew.
The table saw was beyond repair, mostly because I’d left it disassembled trying to put on additional cast iron wings to extend the vertical space plus a new fence. A good portion of the nuts and bolts were lost, so I bade it farewell and let it go to a new home. I kind of wish I’d kept the saw, but frankly it would have taken more effort and cost more money than it was worth. I did keep the drill press and mobile bench planer, the latter getting a hell of a workout these last couple weeks.
I got this really stupid idea that I was going to build myself a workbench to go along with my brand new house and garage. Bought some lumber and then planed it to the desired width and thickness. Unfortunately I didn’t do anything with it for a couple weeks, and apparently this is a bad idea. All that lumber started warping, twisting, cupping and bowing. By the time I got it all glued together there was no chance in hell of salvaging it. Lesson learned, so not a complete waste.
I did get the ledger boards, brackets and supports installed for my new bench, and I decided to use 3/4″ particle board for the bench top. Three pieces of 3/4″ particle board. That I had to cut myself. But it gets even better. See, my bench is ten feet long, so I needed a fourth panel of particle board to cut into three pieces about 28″ wide and 29″ deep. After spending the better part of the last two days trying to make a laminated butcher block top out of 2x4s (the previously mentioned bowed, cupped, warped and twisted pieces of lumber), I finally gave up and decided to take the easy way out. I’d hoped to finish the top today, but I was so damned tired (and my battery died before my other one had finished charging) that I decided to call it a day. I should be able to finish things up tomorrow once I move a bunch of stuff.
All in all it’s actually been quite enjoyable to be out in my garage playing with power tools. At some point I’ll finally have my work bench. After that I’ll need some real tool storage and organization. At some point I should be able to buy a new table saw. I’d love to get me a Table Stop saw, but at $2500+ I think a Rigid cabinet saw is a bargain at $600, plus it gets great reviews. Once I’ve got that I’ll need to build an outfeed and assembly table to partner with the table saw. Then there’s a miter saw station. I’d also love to make one of those flip top carts for a planer station. And then there’s always a router table. Ooh, a stationary jointer. And on top of that, I’ve got a bench built in my basement for a hobby-level CNC machine that, once I get the tubing for it, I need to assemble.
I should have my deck installed on Monday (at least that’s the plan – it’s been delayed at least a week so far), and I’ve got a message in to a local pool company for an estimate for an in-ground pool, concrete apron, and fencing. Probably won’t happen for at least a year, maybe two, but I like to know my options. So tired…