Rediscovering the Wheel, repeatedly

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My recent flurry of woodworking has required a lot of head-scratching and problem solving; the work isn't intricate, but there's a lot of it to do and my experience is limited. I'm trying to be careful and efficient. Along the way I have made certain discoveries that I'd like to share. The reactions to my "discoveries" usually fall into two categories:
1. Yeah, people have been doing that since 1942 (or 1492) 2. No, that's really *not* how it's done.
So here goes:
**The Disposable Work Surface These bookcases are my largest project to date, and my bench is too small for it. I made a table from sawhorses, 2x4s and a couple of pieces of MDF. It's a lot bigger than I'm used to, and I've been keeping it uncluttered as well.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/gdguarino/8332002522/in/set-72157632376881493
I'm finding the "sacrificial" nature of the table a great boon. Besides allowing me to screw down the dado jig to make it stationary, it has spawned a couple of my other discoveries.
**Poor Man's Bench Hold-Downs I had to rout out some long rabbets to receive the backs of the bookcases. In the past I'd probably have struggled to clamp the piece to the edge of the work surface without the clamps getting in the way of the router travel. But hey, it's just a piece of MDF, so...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/gdguarino/8351431426/in/photostream http://www.flickr.com/photos/gdguarino/8351429600/in/photostream /
... some quick work with a hole saw and a couple of QuickGrips and voila! Quick, secure and out of the way.
**Extra Surface for Router to Ride On Since I could clamp the work so that all of it was on the table, I was able to clamp another strip of 3/4" ply parallel to and a couple of inches away from the work piece:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/gdguarino/8350362687/in/photostream http://www.flickr.com/photos/gdguarino/8350368439/in/photostream /
I don't know if steadier hands would need the extra slat, but it made me feel much more secure to have a surface for the other side of the router base to ride on.
**Mounting Guide Blocks and Strips on the Work Surface
http://www.flickr.com/photos/gdguarino/8352607664 /
I clamped down a couple of plywood slats to help with the dry fitting, and it got me thinking. I could dry fit and square up a unit, then screw "guide" pieces into the work surface that would help me get back to that same successful alignment quickly during glue up. This sounds promising, especially as glue-up (especially of a number of joints at once) tends to make me anxious.
That's it for now. But never fear; the project isn't nearly done yet.
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"Greg Guarino" wrote:

<snip> ------------------------------------------------------ There are usually lots of solutions to a problem.
What ever floats your boat.
Have fun.
Lew
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On 1/5/2013 11:06 PM, Greg Guarino wrote:

if the opportunity presents itself to rebuild another wheel:
I probably have access to more used doors than you do, but even a cheap hollow core door from the Borg will cost roughly the same as MDF, will most likely be lighter and stronger, and has a better chance of being/staying flatter:
As a sacrificial table for cutting sheet goods:
https://picasaweb.google.com/111355467778981859077/EWoodShopRetrofit2011#5604518333509818626
As an assembly table:
https://picasaweb.google.com/111355467778981859077/EWoodShopMissionBarStool#5821926970288832866
For many projects a 24" door is ideal because it is easy to clamp from both sides ... they also store easily in your sheetgoods area/rack.
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On 1/6/13 9:19 AM, Swingman wrote:

I have 3 of those hollow, hanging, closet doors left over from our bathroom remodel, standing in the corner waiting to support my current bookcase assembly. They did not go in the Bagster. :-)
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-MIKE-

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The MDF has performed well for what I have done so far, and the "clamping through holes" method wouldn't work very well on a hollow core door. But I have been thinking about how to do the glue-up, and "flatness" will become an issue then. I suppose I could buy a door for that purpose, but I have very limited space to store it afterward. It would have to be a pretty big one too, as two of the units I'm building are 30" wide. I'm still tossing it around in my head.
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On 1/6/2013 3:44 PM, Amy Guarino wrote:

No sympathy whatsoever ... if you're shop space is smaller than mine, it is illegal to call it a shop.
https://picasaweb.google.com/111355467778981859077/EWoodShopRetrofit2011#5722503629261095154
:)
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That's not a workshop, that's a storage shed filled to the gills. You're a homebuilder. Surely, you must have some bigger location you use to stage your projects???
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Nope ... except for two years while I rebuilt it after it flooded one too many times, and I moved it here temporarily:
http://www.e-woodshop.net/images/TempShop0.jpg
Which is not much bigger ... the first link above has been the shop I've built everything in for 12 years.
It ain't the size of the dog in the fight Bubba. :)
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On 1/6/13 6:40 PM, Swingman wrote:

But it would certainly be a lot less frustrating and more efficient to have more room. I get so sick of moving everything in and out and around, just to use another tool.
Then there's the fact that the shop doubles as my "ready area" for gigs. It's near impossible to have music and woodworking projects going at the same time. If I ever get to the point where I have plenty of room for both, I'll probably get cancer. :-)
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"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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wrote:

Don't say that, I finally doubled my shop size to 960 sq'. It's nice being able to move around with out banging into heavy iron. I can use any tool now with out having to rearrange the shop. I even have an easy chair to take a break in.
Mike M
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On 1/6/13 8:47 PM, Mike M wrote:

All you need is a mini fridge and kegerator.
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wrote:

Actually have a refrigerator with two corny kegs in it. I'm a home brewer who hasn't brewed in a while but now have room again. It's been easier just to run up to the local brewry and get my kegs filled.
Mike M
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On 1/7/13 10:02 AM, Mike M wrote:

I hear that. I have a home brew kit, but haven't started it, yet. You need a "cool" place to put it for however long, and that's hard to find, here.
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wrote:

I actually have a 3, 15 gallon stainless steel set up which was all gravity feed for all grain brewing. In the 80's I was winning competitions in Seattle. To ferment an ale you want to be about 62-63 F. If your doing lager with lager yeast you need a controlled temp cooler, although I used to do them in the shop where in a cupboard I could keep them in the low 50'/40's. Just have to pick the right yeast. Give it a try you may get hooked.
Mike M
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On 1/7/13 5:03 PM, Mike M wrote:

I have no doubt I'd get hooked. I like imperial stouts and ipa's, so even though there'd be cost up front, I'm quite certain I'd end up saving money based on what I spend for good high gravity beers. :-)
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On 1/6/2013 8:47 PM, Mike M wrote:

My old shop was 1450 square feet. The house was 1300. Get your priorities in order!
When you stick the wings on, they take up a LOT of room.
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Now that you've got the bigger shop, can you find the tool you need? Actually, the bigger problem isn't finding the tool, it's leaving it on the other side of the shop and having to go get it! *g*
Puckdropper
--
Make it to fit, don't make it fit.

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On 07 Jan 2013 05:39:18 GMT, Puckdropper

I still have trouble finding things I just brought home. Between Xmas and 3 birthdays this month I've just been trying to get projects done so still pretty disorganized. Spent very little time in the shop for 9 months between down time on the leg, and shop construction.
Mike M
Mike M
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I remember when I first moved into my apartment and I commented to a friend how fast I was able to fill up the available space.
His reply to me was that the problem wasn't the available space, it was the drive that most people have to fill up a space no matter how big it is.
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On 1/7/13 1:34 AM, Dave wrote:

That's a pet peeve of mine. As soon as we clean out a kitchen cabinet and get rid of some stuff we never use, SWMBO fills it with other stuff like it exists in a vacuum. It's OK to have some space in there! The thing I hate the most is having a bunch of different sized bowls stacked inside each other, like Russian dolls. Or any other case of having to remove 7 items to get out the 1 you're using.
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