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Thread: Shop Tour - Professional

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Portland, Oregon

    Default Shop Tour - Professional

    This is geared to the professional woodwork, mostly cabinetry and furniture, but holds some wisdom for all.

    After decades in the business, I've worked in a lot of shops, and set up several. His thoughts are solid.

    Which is remarkable given the overwhelming number of YouTube pontificators who don't have the actual experience to back up the advice they are dispensing. Who, in fact, dish out a lot of very bad advice.

    But this guy - while I might disagree a bit with some of his choices - didn't say even one silly thing in the video. First woodworker on YouTube I've bothered to subscribe to --

    David G
    Harbor Woodworks

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Dorset, UK

    Default Re: Shop Tour - Professional

    The luxury of space. He’s a machinist though. All those sanders...needs a downdraft table surely if he’s into that.

    Mag sheets is genius. I’ve got the area of that blue outline for all the tools and the boat! Now I know where I went wrong.

    Its funny that although he’s quite young I’d say his approach is old fashioned now. The new younger woodworker wants to learn handtool working and values that, not all this machining with all the space, money and dust. People like Paul Sellers are our guiding light. For custom furniture low overheads is key but I get he’s working from home and has an awesome shed. On old school experienced carpenter could have only shown you around his suitcase but did the same work.Maybe Handtools, a big ass bandsaw plus a thicknesser is all a boatbuilder needs thankfully.

    He’s getting his ducks in a row there and good luck to him. Great shed. Nice panel saw though for us short of space the tracksaw takes care of it. He needs to build a 50ft pilot cutter in the corner.

    Theres a Wadkin bandsaw down the road from me...going for a song. It litterally weighs 1 ton. They litterally don’t build them like they used to. Trouble is it won’t fit under my I dig down? Build it a sky light? The troubles with amateur woodworking...I dream of (just a small) house with a massive shed like that. Looking a £1.5/ $2 million or so here.
    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 03-28-2021 at 09:09 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    St. Paul, MN

    Default Re: Shop Tour - Professional

    His shop is tooled up remarkably similar to mine. I have a 36” belt sander not 42” and a 19” jointer and 20” planer. Spiral cuter heads on all which I love. All the mortise and joiner equipment has been replaced with both sizes of Festool Domino joiners. On the rare occasions they wouldn’t be appropriate I just cut the joints by hand.

    A track saw takes many times longer to produce parts than a sliding table saw.

    The economics might be different in the U.K. but it’s really hard to make a living using hand tools. The extra overhead is more than compensated for by the extra revenue. His approach is old fashioned only in the sense that he makes everything himself. Most younger full time woodworkers I know do a lot of cad and send parts out to be cut. Cutting plywood isn’t particularly enjoyable or artful so I’m happy to farm it out when I can.

    I enjoy making dovetail drawers but when a assembled and finish drawer built to my exact specs, only costs 20% more than my material costs I can’t afford to for cabinet jobs. I still do them by hand for furniture even though it doesn’t make sense economically.

    Things look very different when your making a living vs a hobby. I sometimes think it would have been smarter to leave woodworking as a hobby and got a job to pay the bills but in the end I have no regrets.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Southampton Ont. Canada

    Default Re: Shop Tour - Professional

    All that,plus I found it hard to make a living working by myself,even sharing a shop.
    I sold my part to my partners,who hired me.

    Buddy should put the splitter back in his slider.
    When a guy pulls the table back, sometimes a twisted panel will cant a bit,and maybe crawl overtop of the blade.

    Not a problem when the fence is on the operator side of the table.
    When it is set up Euro style ,like in the vid, the GD panel wants to frisbee and the fence isn't there to save you from it.

    BTW, the table is at nut height.
    Sleep with one eye open.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Norwalk CT

    Default Re: Shop Tour - Professional

    For a production run you cant beat a dovetail jig but for limited pieces I do drawer boxes by hand. Couple things make it quicker..cut all the tails on the bandsaw with Highland Woodslicer. Hog out the waste at the pins with a trim router and a spiral upcut. Clean up with chisels. I can do six to eight boxes this way almost as fast as I can with a jig and nothing beats the look of hand cut. Adjust the size and spacing of the pins to suit and you'd swear it was all done by hand.

    I gave up the big shop when my partner passed away and only do commissioned work now. I can't survive on it but it pays for the boat and good whiskey.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Valley of the Sun

    Default Re: Shop Tour - Professional

    thanks david, always interesting to see how professionals work

    my only potentially constructive thoughts are that in addition to heat, perhaps a more friendly floor surface to feet, knees, back, and dropped tools would be a nice addition
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    UK. Cornwall, Suffolk.

    Default Re: Shop Tour - Professional

    Good video... But a more compact workshop for me. I get up to 20km a day even in a small one. Some good effort saving tips though, and his dust extraction is spot on.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Viroqua, Wisconsin

    Default Re: Shop Tour - Professional

    Quote Originally Posted by lupussonic View Post
    Some good effort saving tips though, and his dust extraction is spot on.
    Nice shop, nice tour, nice approach to showing off his efforts. My only other comment has to do with his dust collection system: all that white pipe I sincerely hope is painted sheet metal & not PVC DWV pipe, well known to generate a pretty healthy static charge from particulate matter moving inside.

    Running a grounding wire inside is the most common way to mitigate this condition but does little to reduce PVC’s tendency to shatter from impact. Sch 40, not S&D pipe’s recommended if one goes this route.

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