I have ordered a router bit to mill the profile on the lid to the Mahogany Saber Case. While waiting for it to arrive, I have been practicing cutting half-blind dovetails by hand. Hopefully, I will be on top of my game when it comes time to cut and assemble the actual case.
Half-Blind Dovetail Practice
Having a small work space does not mean there aren't areas that can't be used for storage. One thing you cannot due is waste space. Sitting just to the right of the table saw, under the extension, is a large space that can be used for storage. I made a three drawer cabinet that holds not only table saw accessories, but sand paper, glue brushes, band saw blades, and just about anything else I can think of. The drawers seal out dust and the cabinet is on wheels and can be moved. Having clearance under the cabinet also allows dust to be blown out using the leaf blower when needed. The recess on top of the cabinet is a handy space for setting down the miter gauge, push sticks, saw blades, or anything that needs a temporary home off of the top of the table saw.
By installing a few wooden pegs into the side of the cabinet, I was able to hang a few commonly used bench items within easy reach. Prior to installing the pegs, each of these items sat on top of my work bench taking up valiable space and were often moved from spot to spot when they were in the way.
Another large storage opportunity is to put drawers in your outfeed table. My outfeed table "triples" as a router table and a multi-drawer storage unit. You can see in the pictures that I store anything from cauls for gluing to seldom used electric power tools.
Dust collection poses another issue - how to access the dust ports for all of the power tools in such a tight area. The solution, for me, was to create a simple manifold system that connected the table saw (above and below the table collection), router table (above and below collection), and the jointer. With the use of blast gates, each tool can have full air flow dedicated to them while in use. This alleviates having to try to run a single dust collection hose to each machine.
The last link in the dust collection chain is the separator. Again, it provides single point of connection for all three machines.
Here is it all packed together and there is still some improvements to be made - namely the mess of finishing products you see peeking out from the left corner of the bench against the wall. The solution will be another multi-drawer cabinet. Not only will that provide a lot of storage, it will eliminate the dust and mess that the open shelf collects. Maybe I will post "Part 4 of 4" when that is finally finished...
More Progress Pics Added!
I have posted more project progress pictures for the Mahogany Saber Case build. Please click on the "view the building progress" tab to see
Too much stuff under foot... That is the focus of this section of the re-organization of my shop space. You can see at the right end of the bench there is a stack of lumber and a small air compressor. Not only does this stuff limit mobility around the end of the work bench (which sees a lot of use) it also makes it harder to clean up saw dust in those areas.
After the wood was removed, there was plenty of room to tuck the air compressor out of the way. I also had plenty of space to put a bucket of smaller clamps closer to where they will be frequently used. When it comes time to clean-up, all I have to do is open the overhead door and hit the floor with the leaf blower.
Continuing the "off the floor" theme, there is nothing sitting on the floor in the compact area that provides access to the tables saw, jointer, and the drill press. Despite this area being tight, there is plenty of room to use each tool safely.
Thought items like this roller stand would not take up a lot of floor space, it always seemed to be in the way and needing moved. After installing a couple of small "L" brackets to the wall, the stand can be easily hung out of the way. Now I will not have to move it every time I sweep.
Another often overlooked obstacle in keeping a small work area clutter-free is doing something with all of the power cords that power multiple machines. After stepping on extension cords for far too long, I finally decided to mount the cord overhead. Having the cord overhead frees up floor space, traps less saw dust, removes a tripping hazard, and is always accessible. I should have done this a long time ago.
Though I have been working in this small space for some time, the need to stop and reorganize comes up often - more due to learning what I can live without than what I thought I "needed".
As you can see in this picture, I have entirely too much stuff sitting on top of my table saw rending the saw useless. If you take a closer look at the picture some things, like the router table fence and the stacked lumber that is part of the project I am working on, need to stay. Since I do not have any extra space to stack lumber, the solution was to orientate the lumber and the router table fence in a manner that would allow the table saw to be used for nearly all for the project cuts without having to repeatedly move the stack.
With the stack of project pieces to the right of the table saw fence and the router fence out of the way, the table saw once again becomes useful AND still serves as a place to store planned pieces prior to being cut to size. Later in this build I will have to use the router table to cut a profile for some trim.
Since I have the stack of planned lumber positioned just behind where the router table fence normally sits, I can simply re-orientate the fence to its usual position. Life would be easier if I had more space, but this will do for now.
Small Shop Organization!
Hello! I am spending some time today cleaning up and rearranging how I have tools stored. Having such a small area to work, organization is essential! Here is a "before" pic, which is a bit cleaner than it actually is right now. I will be adding some tips and addressing some issues with how I keep such a small work space organized in the upcoming posts.