Saturday, December 31, 2011

CO Workshop Update #3 - Planning

Lots of planning and organizing in the shop yesterday...translation...moving one massive pile into two smaller piles on either end of the shop!  It took several hours though, so I'll take credit for "organizing."

Until I was able to spend a few hours moving things around there wasn't even enough room to get any of the OSB sheets over to the far end of the shop where they'll be hung.  I've tucked a few of my larger tools (lathe, band saw and jointer) into the laundry room, so now I've got some open space to start making things happen.

I was also able to get the small, side area at the end of the shop cleared out as well.  I'm thinking of adding a few more of the metal racks and using this area to store lumber and to tuck away a mobile dust collector and air compressor.  Ideally, I'd like to squeeze a total of four racks into this area.  I'm having to work around some plumbing, so we'll see how tight it gets back there.

With some wall and floor space cleared out I was able to get some good measurements down to start working on the layout.  For those of you who haven't tried it out yet, Grizzly provides an online tool for workshop planning.  Here's a peak at what I've put together so far.

I've done some preliminary placement of most of the tools, but still have a fair bit of tweaking to do.  The items listed on the left are the parts that still need to be accounted for.  Those with an asterisk are the tools I already have on hand, while the others are part of my future planning.  I'm hoping to leave a lot of wall space free for shelving, pegboard and other storage.  I still need to work out any additional lighting placement and will need to decide where to put Danger Boy's workbench.  We usually end up at the larger work table when working on projects together, but sometimes he just needs his own space.  Those pieces of scrap lumber are not going to cut themselves into even smaller scraps!

Until the next time I move everything from one side of the shop to the other, but don't actually put anything away!


Thursday, December 1, 2011

New Doug Stowe Box…by Doug Stowe

Hey gang!  Have any of you ever collected any treasures or works by those folks you admire or who have inspired you?   
Yesterday I ordered this box from Doug Stowe’s Etsy site (

His site was sold out for a while, so I was happy to see some of his boxes available again when I checked in.   I’m pretty excited about owning a small piece of work from one of my favorite “celebrity woodworkers.”  I have several of Doug’s books and his DVD on box making.  He’s been a big influence on my desire to build boxes and try some new things in woodworking.  He’s a great teacher in writing and on DVD and one day I’d like to get out to his neck of the woods for one of his classes.
You might remember some of the boxes I made last year and prior to our move to Colorado this year.  All were Doug Stowe inspirations in either design or technique.

You can check out more of Doug’s work as well as his philosophy on learning and teaching at his website,  You’ll find a link to his box making blog, his Etsy site and to his blog on his hands on education thoughts and efforts (Wisdom of the Hands.)  Here’s one of his latest designs that gets my creative muscles working.

Doug teaches quite a few children’s classes based on the Sloyd method.  A while back I caught a video of one of his Kindergarten level classes in which he had children doing some whittling to expose them to the nature of how a blade is used to shave and slice wood.  When I ordered the box yesterday I included a note asking for a recommendation on a knife for Danger Boy and he was quick to respond, turning me on to a company that makes Sloyd knives in Mora, Sweden.  I’ve ordered this one with the safety hilt to protect his fingers…and, of course Dad will need one too!

One of the things I’m most looking forward to once the shop is up and running again, is spending time with Danger Boy.  He gets most excited when he feels like his actions are effective and he can see the results of his efforts.  He’s a big fan of the coping saw right now because it’s easy to use and he can control it fairly well.  Soon we’ll add some whittlin’ to his repertoire.