Sunday, November 20, 2011

CO Workshop Update #2 - Take it EZ.

The day was filled with lots of heavy lifting…I’ll be feeling it later!  I picked up 10 sheets of half inch OSB at Home Depot to start hanging on the walls of the shop.  While it’s nice to have a walk-out basement, it’s a long trek all the way around the house and those things are heavy.  I also bought one of these handy, dandy Stanley Panel Carriers.  It made the sheets easier to carry, but not any lighter!

I hauled all of the panels around to the back patio and put them to the side so that I could set up a work area.

I was also able to bring the planer into the shop from outside.  You might remember that prior to having the double doors installed I wasn’t able to move the table saw or planer in through the sliding glass door.  The table saw will still remain outside until I can organize the shop to free up some floor space, so here it is, wrapped up again, all alone in the Colorado wilderness.

I made good use of the kindling box, just outside the shop doors, and one of my flip-top stands to lay out each sheet of OSB.  I needed to trim all of the sheets down to 88 inches to fit the height of the basement walls, so after measuring and marking each one I set up my EZ-Smart rail and clamps to trim all the pieces to size.

I’ve been using this system for several years now and it never fails.  I added a specialized base to my Ridgid circular saw that allows it to slide along the track, giving you a perfectly straight cut.

The base includes a removable insert that rides along the edge of track creating a zero-clearance cut.  I get no tear-out or chipping when using this system, even with unforgiving OSB.  Can you tell I’m a big fan?

As the daylight faded away, I pulled out the halogen work lights and kept up the cutting.  It was starting to get a little cold, but other than that, it was pretty nice working outside and the lights did a great job.

I hung three full sheets along one of the new walls and then needed to trim another down to 36 inches.  Fortunately I have two of the rails that can be joined together for longer cuts.

I was able to finish this section of the wall before having to pack it in for the evening.  You can see at the far end of the wall that it turns a corner to the left.  There is another nine feet of wall to be covered around that corner.  Back in this alcove are all the plumbing access points for the house and the sprinkler system.  There is also plenty of room to put up lumber racks and eventually position a dust collector and air compressor back there.

Along with covering the wall, I trimmed all the remaining sheets of OSB down to 88 inch lengths and brought them inside.

It would be nice to have the table saw set up to trim and fit these pieces as I work my way around the shop, but unfortunately I just don’t have the floor space available while I still have so many boxes left to unpack and organize.  I may have to temporarily commandeer some of the open, free space in the new laundry room…just while I’m rearranging though…really, I swear!
So, while this wasn’t what I would call actual woodworking, it sure was nice to put the brain, hands and tools together again to get some work done.  It’s been too long!

Monday, November 14, 2011

CO Workshop Update #1

Ladies and gentlemen, we actually have movement!  Earlier this week our contractor completed installing our new patio door to the workshop and erecting the walls to separate our laundry/mechanical room from the future Second Wind Workshop. 
A shout out is needed here for our guys at Stellar Remodeling here in Denver.  They’re #1 on Angie’s list and did not disappoint in their quote, workmanship and delivering on budget.  Anyone looking for someone to assist with any remodeling projects should give Jack Wilson a call (720-334-0908)
There is still a lot of work to be done on my part, but having these big pieces done for us so quickly is a great leap forward. 
The laundry/mechanical area before…

…and after.

Here’s the new door from the laundry room into the workshop.

A couple before shots of the workshop area…

We had the shop-side of the new wall left unfinished.  I’ll sheath this side with half inch OSB so that I can hang various tools/racks/shelving at any point needed along the wall.

One of the features I was most excited about in the basement was this walk-out sliding door.

Excitement waned when the table saw and planer stand wouldn’t fit through the door!

Fortunately the plastic sheeting and packing tape have protected them, under our deck, through two heavy snowfalls and several rain storms.  Once the scattered mess of half-unpacked tools and wood has been organized a bit, both tools will make their grand entrance into the shop through our new double, patio doors.

The first order of business will be getting that OSB up on the walls, maybe running a few extra electrical outlets along the new wall and installing a light switch just inside the new door.  I'm having flashbacks of doing this in my two previous workshops after relocating…unpacking, stacking and moving piles around several times until everything finally has a place to call home…which means that very little actual woodworking will be done.  After so much practice, hopefully I’ll be much quicker on the set-up this time around!