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Filling up my wood-working shop

January 24, 2010

Ok, I admit, my postings have been coming few and far between lately..  I’m sorry!  I’ll try to get better I promise!  Here is a recap of all that has happened recently.

Alexandra really wanted her dad to build us a fireplace surround and mantle.  So last Sunday was spent finding a hardwoods store and picking out wood.   I also found a few of the tools I have been looking for, using Craigslist.  I purchased a nice table saw and a band saw which required some serious re-organization to fit into my workshop.  If you’re wondering how these fit in our wagon, they didn’t.  We convinced the seller to drive over an hour to drop them off at our house.

The shop is actually starting to look like something!  I still need electricity, lights, and a proper workbench, but it is coming along.

Using the new tools, Jim mad quick work of our fireplace surround and mantel.  One day I went to work and came home and it was done!  Ok, maybe not quite done, but close.  We still need to put tile in the middle panel, finish the wood and attach everything.  At some point in the future we’ll find a gas fireplace insert to fit in the middle.  For now, candles will have to do.

This weekend it feels like we didn’t get a whole lot done, we spent a lot of time driving around and spending money.  But what we got was well worth it.  Friday morning I drove with Jim across town to meet a guy who owns a woodworking shop.  He was getting rid of some tools that I was interested in.  Turns out he does custom cabinetry and has an amazing shop.  We spent about an hour talking to him and I got one heck of a deal on some tools!  I picked up a big Bosch router that I plan on mounting to make a router table, a smaller Black and Decker router which I plan on using day to day, a Makita plunge router that is perfect for setting up to use with the dovetail jig I also got.  I got a pair of Black and Decker orbital sanders which have seen better days, but will probably be ok for a while, and I got a spare piece of melamine that I will use as a router table.  All of that for the low low price of $80, it was really an amazing deal.  There are a few parts missing off the Bosch, and the Black and Decker needs a new power cable, but otherwise they are hardly used.

Alexandra re-grouted the tile in the kitchen, and I kept working on getting the cabinet doors for the kitchen stripped.  I’ve found that the best method is to first use the heat gun to get most of the paint up and then use a belt sander with very coarse paper to get the rest.  You can’t use too fine of paper or you end up just heating up the paint and gumming up your paper.

This tile counter won’t be staying long, but we needed to at least make it sanitary for us to use in the next 6 months or so.

We are almost done stripping the doors now and need to work on the framing next.  I’ll be using my table saw to cut some new shelves, and next weekend I am looking forward to an attempt at making some drawers.

The last surprise of the weekend was finding countertops for the kitchen and a workbench for my shop.  As usual craigslist supplied the counters in the form of used 10′ x 30″ x 1.75″ maple work tables.  We decided to pick up three so that I could use one for my workshop and the other two should supply enough wood for our kitchen counters.  Of course this means more stuff stored in my shop….

The counters were made by the Michigan Maple Co. in Traverse city, and they should look beautiful when we refinish the surface.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Linda W. permalink
    January 27, 2010 6:53 AM

    Jim, awesome job on the mantle and surround! Should I send out some Pewabic tiles for the center section? ( Check out their store.

    Tools, tools, tools – I’m jealous. Work, work, work — and so proud of you guys.

  2. spencer permalink
    January 27, 2010 11:42 AM

    blog update requested!

    Weren’t you going to update at least 5 times a week? 😉

  3. Lindsay permalink
    January 29, 2010 12:24 PM

    I agree with Spence! I need my fix!!!

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