Thursday, September 30, 2010

Shop Update

You know things are going crazy when a good day is one that you don't talk about burning down the shop.

I think there might have been one day last week that I didn't say it.

The shop is still a royal mess, but I guess progress is being made. I filled the new wood rack - it works great. I'll post on it when I can. I have partially disassembled the old rack, but I wasn't quick enough and it started to fill up again with random stuff looking for a horizontal surface to land on. Where does that stuff come from?

I also managed to finish two projects for the new school shop I am outfitting (I get to teach 6th grade AND hand tool woodworking - yes!). First, I made some adjustments to my sawbench design and completed one of the two we will need. Someday I will post about the Sawbench Mark II (mostly the same really, I just tweaked the dimensions a bit). Second, I just finished a gigantic tool chest to hold the school shop's tools (which still mostly need sharpening, fettling etc.). Next up is the small matter of building six workbenches, but the students are helping with these...

No pictures from either project were taken, as I have no intention of preserving the present state of the shop for posterity. It's just too painful. I want to forget it as soon as possible. I will however try to take some of the final products.

The tool chest should go into school this weekend, and with the room that frees up (did I mention it is gigantic?) I think I can start to make more progress on the shop itself.

Or I could burn it down.


  1. Dan we need some serious photos!
    1. Woodrack upgraded and filled.
    2. Tool chest
    3. Saw bench mark II sounds good good good.
    (Tomorrow my own clean up begins... I'm hoping to walk from one side of the shop to the other without stepping over anything...)

  2. Hang in there Dan. Just keep looking ahead to what the shop will be when you're done. I remember when we first moved into our house. My shop didn't even exist for a couple of years. There was so much remodeling of every other room to do that I wasn't able to even set up the workbench. I basically took almost 2 years off from woodworking (if you don't count carpentry as woodworking). But I had the room picked out and I had a vision, and that kept me motivated.

    And you get to teach woodworking! How cool is that!?

  3. Hey Dan,
    I feel your pain. I'm have a variety of different tools(metal lathe and tooling) that I don't use much now that I enjoy woodworking better. It's limiting my space and I can see a nice 18th C. workbench going where it sits. I have decisions to make...

    Anyways, I'm also going to grad school to become an industrial arts teacher for high school. I'd like to learn a little more about the woodworking class you're teaching to 6th graders. I want to set something like this up either after school or as a course someday when I get to teaching. I already have an in at a particular high school.

    Thanks Dan, and no rush.

  4. Daniel - I wish I could walk across my shop - I've actually had to crawl! And once, after digging my way into a corner to get at something, I turned around to find myself completely trapped. I felt a little like Mary Anne, Mike Mulligan's steam shovel, and did sit down for a few minutes and think "maybe I should just stay here..."

    I'll try to make those pictures happen this weekend.

    Bob - Thanks, and yes looking ahead does help. So does looking back. It's the "now" that is killing me :)

    In fact, it's kind of funny - at home I have too much stuff everywhere, and I try to look forward to having some order and space again. While at school, I basically have an empty room and dream about what it will look like with stuff in it.

    And yes, teaching woodworking is very, very cool.

    Trevor - I'd be glad to talk more about teaching woodworking once things settle down a bit. Not only is it my first time teaching this (other than individually), but our entire school is brand new this year. It is a Waldorf inspired school and handwork is a key component of the curriculum. It is very exciting, but keeping me very busy!

    I teach woodworking with 5th, 6th and 7th graders (there is no 8th grade this year). If you haven't yet read "Woodworking with Kids" by Richard Starr, I'd highly recommend it. Loads of insight and info.

  5. Dan...
    If there is such a thing as reincarnation...I'm signing up for your 6th grade woodworking class first chance...I'll be the tall skinny kid in front!

    Often times there is breakdown before a breakthrough. steps.

  6. I'm interested in see a crazy mess. Post a pic haha :) Well hope everything goes okay for your project.

  7. A&J - Thanks! And I hope you are right about the breakdown thing - if so, I am heading for one heck of a breakthrough!

    Oh, and don't forget your homework!

    YouthHealth - Not a chance! But thanks!

  8. re: sharpening and fettling to be done -- Is "How to Sharpen and Maintain Your Tools" part of the curriculum? :)


  9. Gye - Sure! It's a gateway skill - I want to be certain they can be successful after they move on.


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