Olly Writes

Woodwork, writing, walks, DIY and more!

After a Tidy Up

Last weekend, I actually spent a few hours in the workshop but, this was mostly dedicated to sweeping the floor and, generally, giving the whole place a pretty ‘deep clean’. That means wiping dust and collecting shavings from all horizontal surfaces (shelves, work tops and cupboards). It was the first time I’d done this in so long. Once the hard work was over, I really did feel so much better for it. Just being in a clean workshop… Everything felt so ‘clear’.

Another New Layout!

I try to keep the floor clean quite regularly but I must work harder to maintain areas like the spaces beneath my workbench (one downside of drilling dog holes!). There’s a huge psychological benefit to doing this and, with the new base recently completed for my 6in planer, I’ve been able to shuffle things around again…

So, what I’ve basically done is to rotate my router table by 90° and to position it so that it runs parallel to the end wall, infront of my mortiser, where I also dump my WorkSharp 3000, my hand-held router and various drills bits and other pieces. This provides me with more room to use both my planing and thicknessing machines and, although it may be hard to see, there is still enough room to sneak in behind to get to the pillar drill, dust extractor and the all important wall socket behind.

I haven’t yet tried the table out in this position but, I do think it could work, as I’m generally only working short lengths of timber in here (no more than 3ft in length, on average). I did find last night that it’s almost a little close to my workbench when I’m planing in the vice but, the unit is on wheels and, I may yet replace those two blocks and purchase two extra castors, to create a ‘locking’ unit, like the one I made recently for my planer.

There are still various power tools (‘spares’ – three drills and even a 110v planer) that I need to sell on as they’re consuming valuable storage space (that’s why you see some cases living on the floor.

Now, when I’m not using them, my thicknesser and planer (…planer and jointer!) butt up towards the mitre saw station. This provides me with more space in front for working on the bench and, perhaps even, for small assemblies. It’s certainly more comfortable and, I can easily wheel each machine out when I need to use it.

My planer fits conveniently beneath the left-hand wing of my mitre saw station (I must find another home for that mountain bike!!!) and, because I made the base for it using all swivelling castors, it can roll out in any direction. I don’t really even need to think about moving the thicknesser and, during my edge-jointing trials last night, I didn’t even need to lock the castors off, as I ran some 900mm lengths of 4x1in over the top.

Having everything on wheels is very handy for when I need to machine any longer lengths (still thinking of those two French doors that need to be made…). I have thought of making a similar base construction for the thicknesser but, I’m only concerned that it may increase the height too much, if I decided to sell the unit later… Okay, that’s probably not a major issue, if I’m honest! I just wouldn’t want the bearers sticking out as on the planer’s stand; they’d have to finish flush, for safety. At 150kg, I’d definitely need a helping hand (or two!) to raise it 4in or so off the ground though!!

I did manage to create a bit of extra space beneath my workbench, which is now where my biscuit jointer resides. As much as I’d like to be able to store more tools in there, this is certainly very helpful and convenient.

One day, I’ll need to go ‘up above’ and to investigate the goings on in the overhead loft space… For everything that disappears from the workshop floor, yep, it usually ends up being dumped above my head! It’s far from highly organised up there and I’m sure there are several items I could look to get rid of. That’s a task for a rainy day, I think, once I’ve made some ground on my outstanding projects and lists of things to do… I just hope I don’t need anything from one of the far corners up there too soon!!

A brand-new project is under way and I’ll have some photos and updates for you over the weekend, hopefully starting with one this evening! If you haven’t seen my videos already then, I apologise for not having already told you about the modifications I recently made to my workbench… I’ll do that shortly as well!

Thanks for reading.

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