October 2014

First up in New Shop - the Bench Legs

  • Posted on: 23 October 2014
  • By: Jay Oyster

After moving our entire house (and my shop) during the last four months, I've finally got my shop set up well enough to be usable. So I pulled out the parts for the bench and started working on the legs. You can see that I'm finally taking the time to work out the dimensions for the Benchcrafted wagon vice. I'll figure out the leg vice later. I had the legs and vices stored under the planer, since it's about the only tool in the shop so far with the rolling base installed. Since the photos, I've pulled out the legs and dimensioned them for length and width.  I still need to fix the depth. The front two legs will be nearly square, but the back two will not be as deep. It's a simple and practical matter of the available stock. The front legs will be 5" x 4 7/8". the back legs will be 5" by 4".

After agonizing for a while, trying to figure out how to fit the wagon vice around the front leg of the bench, I finally noticed a line in the instructions that let me off the hook . . . "These instructions do not match the way that Chris Schwartz installed the vice on his famous workbench. HIs slot is moved toward the back of the bench by several inches so the vice and dogs will not interfere with the front leg." There you have it. It's allowed. The Schwartz has spoken. :-)

Reworking bench dimensions and legs

Moved to the New House, Shop Starting to Take Shape

  • Posted on: 20 October 2014
  • By: Jay Oyster

I haven't posted much on the site the last four months. In late May, we were still under the impression that we were going to be buying a house here in Roswell and moving into it in early June. But then the fucked over banking system in the U.S. stepped in and told us,

"Nope, you aren't allowed to get a house. Yeah, we know your credit is fine and you've both got great jobs and all, and your kids are in the local schools, but, you see . . . a couple years back . . . you remember when we tanked the global economy?  Yeah, funny thing . . . you know how when we did that, your former employer laid you off, and the home you bought in Florida for a reasonable price back before we engineered that housing price bubble? Well, since you had to move to Atlanta to find work, and you ended up not being able to find a buyer. (No . . no, you're right, we weren't loaning money to ANYBODY then to buy a house . . . bygones.) Right. That time. Well, see, we won't loan to anybody if they have a short sale on the books for at least two years. Well, honestly, most of us say three years, but a few might do it in two.  Honestly, Mr. Oyster, I really don't see the need for such language!  Well, I never! Sir, you must calm down!  What are you doing with that file?  What the heck is a rasp?! No, you are not sticking that anywhere!  No, really . . . I think I'll be leaving.  NO. Stay back! AAAUGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!"

The new basement shop from the half stair up to the garageYeah. So we're in another rental property for at least another year.  We scrambled to find a house in the same school district, so it wasn't a long distance move. But still, I had to move my whole shop. It's taken me three months just to get started putting everything back together. After about 3 weeks of work, I finally have the basics of a shop again.  It's cramped, because the new house has the garage in the basement, so about half as much storage space. AND, since we're probably going to have to move again in 9 months, I don't have the energy to try to set things up in any permanent fashion. So here we are. The basement is a split level, with the shop floor down a flight of stairs from the garage. This is a shot looking down from the basement garage level into the shop. The best part of the new place? The house is on a steep hill, so this 'two floors down' basement has a great view out into the wooded back yard. The worst part? The shop floor is basically 30 feet below street level. There is no way I'm going to try to move my chop saw station and band saw down there, only to have to drag it back up that hill in less than a year.