Monday, June 10, 2013

Moving Back In

Once the floors were stripped and oiled it was time to move in. Bench and tool arrangement were strictly trial and error, though I rehashed layouts in my mind endlessly.

I built this continental bench to Tage Frid's plans in FWW over 25 years ago; this is its 4th location. It used to stand on the wall to the right but its small size fits perfectly here on the northwest wall.

Crosscut saws, try squares and scrapers find a new home.

Joinery saws and moulding planes fit here well.

More moulding planes

A mix of new and vintage mortise chisels.

Ripsaws and my "moaning chair". Traditional boatshops typically have a place to sit to contemplate progress or, more commonly, mistakes, hence the name "moaning chair".

More storage, auger bits, gimlets, eggbeaters, etc.

This is my main bench, a Chris Schwarz Roubo built of ash (top) and white oak (legs). I will certainly post more about this beast later.


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Reclamation & Renovation

Once I made the decision to reclaim the "back room" as my hand tool shop, there was a lot of moving and rearranging to be done. The biggest and most challenging thing was the piano. Now this is not some little spinet but a 6' GRAND PIANO! One doesn't simply shift one of these around like a sofa. I have moved grands several times, including out of my father's basement, but I've left stuff like that astern decades ago. Professionals did the job for a very reasonable fare and even carried the treadmill upstairs for no additional fee ("we're already here")!
The empty space was exhilarating and daunting. Though the picture shows the final result, repainting the pink trim with two coats of Benny Moore's Satin Impervo chewed up over 20 hours (I'd never make a living as a painter). More effort was the floor though. A smooth polyurethane floor in a shop not only looks odd, it's dangerous! Sawdust on a smooth floor is slippery. If you've ever shot bar bowling you'll know what I mean.
I tried an orbital floor sander with 60 grit paper. HA! It skated over the surface like skates. 30 grit was like a dull Zamboni; it had some effect but left a very inconsistent surface. Bare wood and thick film.

I ended up hand scraping the whole damn floor.
Alone. Took 3 days.
A few more shots of the reclamation/renovation:

It's time to move back in!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Past is Prologue

Or something like that. Well time moves and things change. When my mom became infirm and could no longer living independently, we chose to move her in with us. I enclosed a bay out in the barn for my shop and the former workroom became a commodious and comfortable bedroom. It was all on the first floor with easy movement of walkers and oxygen tubes.
After mom died in '03, the room became a place for the piano, treadmill and general catch-all. For a while it was ( to my eternal shame) a TV room!
Dig the pink woodwork?
That rather grand entertainment center stored my daughter's art supplies while she was in college. Dog beds and part of on curious golden doodle.
Next time...eviction!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Some background

I built this shop 20 years ago to house both my hand and power tools. We were remodeling/ building the farmhouse back then so I figured a shop connected to the house would be convenient, ala the Dominy House and Shop .
It was a busy and productive place; I made most of the furniture, cabinets, doors and floors there. I even made the kitchen cabinets and a few windows. More about all that later.
I was particularly interested in capturing the feel of the Anthony Hay cabinet shop in Williamsburg.
We had visited that Mecca several times in those years and I was smitten.