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Saturday, February 11, 2012

CO Workshop Update #5 - In the Nick of Time

Last weekend Old Man Winter made another jaunt through Colorado’s Front Range and dropped almost two feet of snow on us here in Lone Tree.  I was able to escape the office and make it home in time to bring the table saw in from the back patio, just before the white stuff started flying.
The table saw used to sit right here, wrapped up in plastic sheeting…which actually did a fine job protecting the saw from previous snowfalls and rainstorms.   This is less than an hour after moving it into the shop.

After getting so much done over the past several weeks and creating room to bring the saw inside permanently, I didn’t want to miss this chance to bring it in without having to shovel a path.  It’s a good thing too because this is what we woke up to the following morning!

And it kept snowing all that next day, into the wee hours of the following morning.  Needless to say there was a lot of shoveling done those couple days…and maybe a few snowballs thrown.
The table saw is an older, Emerson built, Ridgid TS2424 with the Herc-u-lift caster system.  It’s a great saw.  I bought it brand new and it’s run like a champ for over ten years now.
 
The mobile base took quite a beating during this latest move, and I was actually worried that it might have been wrecked beyond repair.  The feet were also looking pretty rough.

I was prepared to add it to a claim file with the movers, however the Herc-u-lift is no longer available, so my choices would have been to make the saw stationary or steal the lift system from one of my other tools.  Fortunately I was able to repair the caster system and jury rig the feet a bit, after a quick trip to Home Depot.  I also found some replacement feet online, so I went ahead and ordered a new set.  The old ones will serve just fine for now, but I don’t have full range of height adjustment should I ever want to do any fine tuning or leveling.
With the saw safely in the workshop and mobility restored, I turned my attention to assembling my workbench.  I originally built this bench back in Albuquerque, NM.  It’s my IKEA workbench, made with three of their base cabinets and one of their Beech slab countertops.  I built a small sub-frame to support the side opposite the cabinets and installed a woodworker’s vise as well.  This thing has been knocked down and moved from NM to MN, and then from MN to CO.  I’ve been very pleased with how well these flat-pack cabinets have survived the cross country trips in moving trucks.

With the bench fully assembled and the table saw back on its wheels, it was time to position them in their final spots in the shop.  Together these two items make up the heart of the shop.  Everything else is built around accessibility to the workbench and allowing enough room to tackle large stock on the table saw.

While the ceiling isn’t near as high as the oversized garage we had back in MN, I do have more dedicated floor space here in the basement, so I was able to position the saw and bench to allow for ample space to move around the entire set-up as well as provide enough room to rip long boards and handle full sheets of plywood on the saw.
Some quick checking and tuning and the saw is ready for action.  The table and miter slot both tested out at 90 degrees to the blade, and the height of the saw landed right where I like it…just a tick higher than the surface of the workbench…even with the MacGyver action needed to repair the feet.

As I stand on the leading edge of another weekend, I’m excited to get back down into the basement and keep the ball rolling on setting up this next version of The Second Wind Workshop.  In reading some of the exploits of my fellow craftsmen and women online, I’ve found that a handful of folks have taken to calling their workshops studios.  I kind of like the sound of that too…hmmm, Second Wind Studio…maybe…  No matter what I end up calling it, we’re definitely approaching man-cave status.  A new radio for some tunes and talk radio…add a few beers to the mini-fridge and we’re almost there!
Pete

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