Sunday, July 6, 2008

First entry - my shop, and why I have it.

I'm a metalworker by trade and training. In the past I've worked in structural steel, machining, welding, fabrication, and machine building. Now I've dusted off the other half of my training in industrial mechanics, and work in maintenance keeping machines running for a manufacturing company.
My shop is an anodyne for what I do at work. I don't want to come home and turn on a milling machine. I'd rather do something different. I went with woodworking, which believe it or not I had some training in as a millwright. At first I considered getting a planer, jointer, and other woodworking machines... after all, I like machines... but the environment that I work in requires eye protection, hearing protection, etc. I wondered how much fun it would be to have to put ear plugs in to work in my own shop after wearing ear plugs all day at work. I decided I'd rather give that a miss. So my shop is pretty much hand tools only. I have a cordless drill that I use when I need to drill a hole with one hand, or where an egg-beater won't fit, and I have a grinder to grind primary bevels on the plane irons when that is required (rarely).
My shop is a modern hand-tool shop. Although some of the techniques that I use may be 18th century, as a general rule I like new tools. The boys and girls at Lee Valley Tools and Veritas have made a ton of money off of me. :)Above is the widest aspect picture I could take of my shop. I ended up using a digital super-zoomer to get this much in. At the left is the plane till, then the main tool shelf, then the saw till, then the clamp rack. Above is the overhead storage.


The Village Carpenter said...

I don't blame you for wanting to do something different in your leisure time, Mike. If I had to do in the eveing what I do during the day (graphic design), I would be pretty grouchy!

Metalworker Mike said...

Kari - too true! When I first started in machining I thought maybe the older guys would be into making wee steam engines and whatnot as a hobby, but those that had hobbies seemed to all be woodworkers.