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Thread: The Old Cranky Workshop

  1. #1
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    Default The Old Cranky Workshop

    Okay... by popular demand... the first installment of THE OLD CRANKY WORKSHOP...

    Before we use any power tools, let's take a moment to talk about shop safety. Be sure to read, understand, and follow all the safety rules that come with your power tools. Knowing how to use your power tools properly will greatly reduce the risk of personal injury. And remember this: there is no more important safety rule than to wear these — safety condoms.





    The Old Cranky Workshop...



    Looks grim, being as I haven't gotten at it in about three weeks! Gotta roll out the tractor and the car so there's some room to move in here.



    The latest project, just about finished. I still need to get some safety glass cut for the windwings. Not a boat, but it does draw attention. Gonna sell it, though. (If anybody's interested...) I'd rather use the space in the shop to lay down that Columbia dinghy I've been wanting to build.

    I can't do the virtual point and click tour like Norm's site, but here ya go... starting at the right and going counter clockwise...



    The Atlas/Craftsman 12x36 engine lathe. It's coming off the present funky stand and I'm going to weld up a metal stand with heavy casters so it can be moved around. Everything in the shop is on casters now. It's the only way to go. I know lathes are supposed to be mounted in cement and leveled to .0005 and all that, but I expect that a solid, flat steel section frame should suffice for my purposes.

    And through the door into my "man cave," which is a work in progress, as is it all...



    My drawing table, a set of Dyarchy plans in the foreground. There's a half model of Dyarchy in frame on the drawing table somewhere... got to get back to that project soon.

    Continued next week....
    Last edited by Bob Cleek; 10-14-2007 at 12:27 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: The Old Cranky Workshop

    But wait... there's more!



    And the other end of the room, with some wrecked models awaiting restoration. I wired the shop for cable and the TV, like everything else is on wheels so I can pull it up and keep myself company when I'm working out there.



    Back out in the shop area, behind the office, I've got my "chandlery" area, with shelves for paint, line and boat parts and so on. Got a pile of sails there I've got to sort out. I've even got a boat in there, if the green bagged Avon Redstart counts. There's the rudder to a Flying Junior in the foreground. It's sitting out back on a trailer. Got to refinish it and put all the hardware back on. I haven't touched it in years!



    The temporary "hot bitch" kennel for the girls in season. They've got to be segregated from the main kennels when they're in heat or the boys totally lose it. The pile of crap on the left is one of the kids' apartment, which she is "between..." Just when I thought I'd have a shop that was mine alone...



    The back wall is all shelving for storage. Amazing what you can collect when you have the room! The left rear wall is assigned for sheet stock storage. Probably the greatest luxury about having room in a shop is being able to have materials at hand and being able to make good use of offcuts. A lot of it came free. Guys buy a 4x8 sheet and cut off 2 feet and throw out the rest!





    I finished the counters and cabinets a few months ago. Scrounged the cabinets as freebies from a kitchen remodel. Paneled behind it all with pegboard. The baby food jar pegboard system is really handy for small parts because you can see them without having to open them up. On the slats below the counter, I've got a bunch of milk crates that are full of "farmer's bundles." I've never heard anybody else besides my old man use that term, but he grew up on a cattle ranch in Montana, so I guess he should know. It's where you save odds and ends and bundle them up in case you need it later. Like you have some scrap leather from a project and you wrap it up in a bundle instead of throwing it away. I've got all sorts of electrical junk, sheet metal, plumbing parts and that sort of thing. It was a pain to organize it all after years of just tossing it in boxes, but it's saved me hundreds of trips to the hardware store.

    See ya next week....
    Last edited by Bob Cleek; 10-14-2007 at 12:05 AM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: The Old Cranky Workshop



    More plank lumber storage in the rafters, which isn't a new idea, but it's handy. With drywalled garage shops I had before, I never could do this.



    I have a couple of rolling tool chests. The small Kennedy I have filled with mainly my modeling and small scale tools and I can roll it into the office if I want to work in there where it's heated.



    I have lots of drawer stowage in the workbench, which is also on wheels. There is an identical set of drawers on the other side. I keep stuff in them categorized by task... all the paint brushes, all the compressor fittings, all my rigging tools and materials and so on. I built the bench about five years ago after getting inspired by the Shaker model on the cover of the "Workbench Book" and it's served me well. I didn't need a classic cabinetmaker's bench. Between various jigs I have, my Zyliss vise, and a couple of Workmates, I've never felt the need for one. Besides, they are just too damn beautiful to put in a shop!

    I found the old fashioned ceiling fan in a dumpster. (I'm not proud!) I hung it up there on a lark, since it was summertime. It's been really neat. I have to raise it up a bit, though, since it can surprise you if you walk under it with a two by four held up in the air! It keeps all the bugs gone, cools things down on hot days, and the air circulation keeps the dust moving out the door.



    Last winter I got this humongous stainless steel tool chest at Costco for about seven hundred bucks. It's really great. Just having the ability to better organize handtools has saved me all sorts of time. The top till holds all of my planes neatly.





    The chest holds all the tooling for the engine lathe, plus drawers for sockets, wrenches, screwdrivers, measuring tools and so on, all laid out where I can find them at a glance, like it was a damn dentist's office or something.

    And next week, we'll look at some stationary power tools...
    Last edited by Bob Cleek; 10-14-2007 at 12:09 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: The Old Cranky Workshop

    Well Lefty sure would trust you.

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    Default Re: The Old Cranky Workshop



    Ya got yer basic Unisaw... I've got the whole shop wired with 220 plugs so I can roll the 220 equipment all over the place. I've got 440 3 phase coming into the building.

    The outfeed table is separate from the saw, so I can use it for other purposes. I have all the saw accessories stored in the cabinet below the outfeed table. The router is in the extension table, which I built out of Corian. I still have to route out a groove and install a mitre gauge track in it and build a fence for the router table.

    You'll notice that my "dust collection system" consists of all flat surfaces in the shop. It's a pain to clean up after myself, but I'm not going to spring for one of those jive "hobby" cyclone closed systems that tries to catch it all in a bag. One of these days, I'll find an old fashioned cyclone that I can rig up on the outside wall and let the big stuff drop into an oil drum and the fine dust get blown outside, where it belongs. No dust bags to empty!

    In the meantime, when it is going to get dusty, I just roll the machine out the front door and let it blow outside. This is one of the big advantages of rural living!



    Your basic drill press, which doubles as a drum sander and whatever else... with all my drilling tools in the cabinet it sits on.



    This is sort of a hybrid. It's basically a wood lathe, but I've rigged up mandrels and a slow speed water bath grinding wheel to sit on the lathe bed so I can use the lathe motor to turn the grinding wheel and buffers on the mandrel. I also have a couple of cheap Harbor Fright grinders as well. They are on slides so they can be pulled out from the edge of the table to be used properly.



    I also have a combo 8" table saw and 4" jointer, which were my Dad's. Obviously, the Unisaw is my first choice, but the little Craftsman saw has a set of milling heads and a disk sander attachment, so it still gets use. The jointer is pretty near useless.. well, not useless, but four inches is four inches. ("That's what SHE said...!)



    I also have a jig saw, which is really handy for model building. The sawn futtock frames on the Dyarchy half model, if you can see it in that picture, were all cut on this machine. This, like the rest of the Craftsman machines, belonged to my old man. This was the first power tool I was allowed to operate by myself without supervision. Maybe I was eight or so. Sort of has some sentimental value.



    Yes, the ubiquitous Chiawanese hunk a junk fourteen incher... but, ya know, with the aftermarket guides and all, it works just fine. The price was right... free. I'm keeping my eyes open for an eighteen or twenty-two incher, if I can find one for the same price I got this one for.

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    Default Re: The Old Cranky Workshop



    This was another garage sale find... Big Bertha the thickness planer. It's paid for itself a few times over. The old growth Doug fir I used to make the workbench was recycled and cost me nothing. Stuff like that. It's a mother, though. Talk about dust! This is one machine I definitely use only outside.

    Since I have a few photo spaces in this post, here's some more goodies from the big tool chest.



    My wood turning tools.







    Your usual set of mechanic's handtools...



    And for the youngsters who may not know what they look like, here's a spread of three adzes, one a now rare lipped shipwright's model. (It's got a new handle stuck in it, but it hasn't been hung yet, which is why it's sticking out of the head there.) The other two are house carpenter adzes, which an old master shipwright told me with prideful scorn were good for nothing other than hoeing weeds... but I found they do square up a beam nicely. And a right handed broad hatchet with the characteristic offset edge, which, admittedly, I've never been able to do much with other than split kindling wood. (Yes, Virginia, they come in right and left handed models, but I bet you'd have to look far and wide to find a leftie these days!)

    The other tools are my corking kit. As you can see, there are more irons than just the couple you can find in the WoodenBoat catalog today. Most all Drews and others are custom hand forged. I've got a couple of window screen gasket rollers that I've modified to run wicking with. The mallet is a funky live oak "lifeboat" mallet, but it does the job for as little need of it as I have. Maybe Fleming will leave me his Drew mesquite model when he signs into the rest home.

    Anyway, the shop is a mess and I need to clean it up and get all the half done projects finished. I suppose I shouldn't be too hard on myself, though. I was thinking about it today. I've only been living in this place about two and a half years and the shop was nothing but an empty box when I moved in. I've accomplished something along the way. Problem is, building a shop to build stuff in doesn't give you the same satisfaction that building the stuff you built the shop to build it in does... or something like that.

    So I hope you guys enjoyed your visit THE OLD CRANKY WORKSHOP. And so much for rumors that I was making this ****e up! LOL
    Last edited by Bob Cleek; 10-14-2007 at 12:22 AM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: The Old Cranky Workshop

    Pretty nice Cleek, but ya fergot one photo

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    Default Re: The Old Cranky Workshop

    And that would be? I'll get around to some boat pictures later. It's down in the harbor. Maybe next week.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: The Old Cranky Workshop

    Just about the "crankiest" shop I've ever seen. Now that I'm living in an apt. all my tools are in the front room closet.
    Old Sailor

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    Default Re: The Old Cranky Workshop

    OK....You look trust worthy.... Just.....

  11. #11
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    Default Re: The Old Cranky Workshop

    That's my kind of mess! I could spend some happy afternoons just poking around in there, opening drawers. Thanks for the tour.

    You're not done yet, though. We need closeup shots of the models.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: The Old Cranky Workshop

    Nice stuff Bob ; all except the Sheetrock scraps . That material's not worth the extra time required to tape and finish a surface pieced up out of discards. If you ever have to move it out of your way , which is going to happen , it will then be worth less than nothing .

  13. #13
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    Default Re: The Old Cranky Workshop

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Cleek View Post


    This was another garage sale find... Big Bertha the thickness planer. It's paid for itself a few times over. The old growth Doug fir I used to make the workbench was recycled and cost me nothing. Stuff like that. It's a mother, though. Talk about dust! This is one machine I definitely use only outside.

    So I hope you guys enjoyed your visit THE OLD CRANKY WORKSHOP. And so much for rumors that I was making this ****e up! LOL
    IF your surface planer is really making DUST you should change the knifes , sharp knifes make shaving , dull knifes produce dust, mangled smaller shavings .

    Nice tour Ole Cranky , and it appears you can even find some of your tools , so it's not as "messy" as your first couple of posts on this thread made it seem.

    If you ever see a used Biesemeyer fence for a good price grab it , you can do a two for one fence for that router table. Those Unifences where/ are good/ OK table saw fences , but that's where it ends. Not a very "adaptable" design, the Unifence.

    Thanks for taking the time to post those photos Mr. Cleek.
    Last edited by Paul Girouard; 10-14-2007 at 01:25 PM.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: The Old Cranky Workshop

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom M. View Post
    Pretty nice Cleek, but ya fergot one photo
    Yeah... the Joe CSOH style self portrait, or will the committee not allow your mug to be seen?
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: The Old Cranky Workshop

    I'll get around to some model photos one of these days. I can't hold a candle to Branscom's stuff, though.

    I doubt if I have more than half a sheet of drywall "in stock." I agree it generally isn't worth saving. The white stock in the pictures is actually melamine coated MDF.

    Rest assured the planer doesn't make "dust." It was just a term of art. I had the blades professionally sharpened and they produce a fine shaved finish and spit out shavings.

    Amen to keeping an eye out for a Biesemeyer fence for the table saw. However, I paid about $700 for the 3hp saw, including the extension legs and a bunch of blades, and it was hardly used, so I wasn't about to be picky. I've found the Unifence has some advantages, though. It's ability to slide back, extending the front end, is kind of handy on long stock and I don't remember being able to do that on a Biesemeyer, but maybe you can. I'd grab a Biesemeyer if one comes along, though.

    It's not as bad as it looks, mess-wise. There's something odd about the camera flash that makes the dust show up ten times worse than it is. Sort of like "adding ten pounds," I guess. Most of the clutter is stuff awaiting being assigned a place to live. A lot of the cabinets and drawers are empty still and have to be filled. The "neat freak" tool drawer pics are just the ones that I've finished. When I moved, I had dozens of carboard boxes with the drawers and cabinets from the last place dumped in them. For quite a while it was hell. I'd need a hammer and I'd have to rummage through a few boxes, dumping them out and all. I've finally got to the point where the critical frequently used tools are organized now. Then, there's the general storage crap that everybody has that doesn't have anything to do with a shop... Christmas ornaments and that sort of thing. It all has to find a shelf for itself as well. There's some furniture in there that is awaiting refinishing. That takes up a lot of space, too. I doubt it's possible to get ahead of all of it!

    I don't think I have the self-esteem to manage a COSH Joe style self portrait! LOL
    Last edited by Bob Cleek; 10-14-2007 at 01:31 PM.

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    Default Re: The Old Cranky Workshop

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Cleek View Post
    I don't think I have the self-esteem to manage a COSH Joe style self portrait! LOL
    Oh its easy just extend your right hand as far out as it goes. Turn camera facing your mug and smile a gap tooth grin and SNAP easy as pie. Ive taught many a forum member how to

    Nice shop by the way.
    This post is temporary and my disappear at the discretion of the managment

  17. #17
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    Default Re: The Old Cranky Workshop

    Thanks for the tour!

    I happen to have the exact same drill press.
    Wish I had your space.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: The Old Cranky Workshop

    Great stuff Bob and thanks for posting it. Now what have ya built with all those tools?

    I think the next time around I want to be a Divorce lawyer

    JD
    Senior Ole Salt # 650

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    Default Re: The Old Cranky Workshop

    The white stock in the pictures is actually melamine coated MDF.
    An afternoons work with this stuff and you could make some nice little infeed/outfeed extensions for Pops 4 in jointer and get it back into useful service.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: The Old Cranky Workshop

    Nice dart board, Bob! I have one in my shop, too, and it can really draw a crowd ...

  21. #21
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    Default Re: The Old Cranky Workshop

    I've got infeed/outfeed capability for all the tools. I use a couple of height adjustable roller stands.

    Dillon, you don't want to be a divorce lawyer. In your next life, be an undertaker. They have just as much business, but a lot more laughs!

    The comment suggests, perhaps, that my shop cost a lot of money. I want to stress that it represents maybe thirty-five years of tool "collecting" and that with the exception of corded electric hand tools, it is most all used stuff that I was given or found along the way. It doesn't take huge amounts of money to amass a decent amount of shop stuff, if you keep your eyes open, have a pickup truck, and are a cheap SOB! You just have to have a recycling mentality and be able to live with something less than the "biggest, newest and best."

    Nothing like a dart board to focus your mind and exercise your agressions at the same time! Besides, unlike a pool table, your wife can't pile junk on top of a dart board!

  22. #22
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    Default Re: The Old Cranky Workshop

    So, do we understand that it's your wife who is responsible for the occasional piles in the shop?

  23. #23
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    Default Re: The Old Cranky Workshop

    I have a theory that women are hardwired to pile anything they don't want in the house on the old man's workbench. Moving the shop to a building a bit of a walk from the house seems to discourage the practice to some extent, but fails to eliminate it entirely. Now, I'm told to "put this in the shop," so at least I pile the junk up myself. Admittedly, most of the junk is now mine... but it's MINE! LOL

    I don't think it shows too clearly in the pictures, but just to the left of the dart board is a refrigerator. This, filled with tall cool ones, is an essential dart board assessory for any man cave.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: The Old Cranky Workshop

    I'm envious.
    My man cave isn't nearly as complete,but as least my wife harbours no delusions about storing stuff in there.
    It will always have too much of my crap,too many mice and too many 'random' diesel spills.
    "Crap,sorry about that big box of yarn that you haven't touched since the '80s."
    R
    "Now Ron,don't you do anything stupid!" - Grandma B.

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    Default Re: The Old Cranky Workshop

    Love it Bob,

    What I love the most is the amount of space.....jealous as all get out.

    thanks for posting...

  26. #26
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    Default Re: The Old Cranky Workshop

    Jeez, mate, All that stuff needs to get workin! No one man can operate all that to it's full potential, you need an apprentice!

    Call the committee.
    Hey! It's MY Hughniverse!

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