Hal's Workshop

What bed, that's a lumber rack!

SHOP OWNER: Hal Shearer

    My shop is just a room in the basement, 15 x 15 = 225 sq ft., originally destined to be a bedroom. While it can be difficult to get wood and machines in and out of there, and there is the problem of dragging dust into other areas of the house, it also has great advantages: heat and a/c, AND I can work in my slippers!
    This is a view from the door showing the available space - a U shape around the table saw. The small outfeed table doubles as the workbench, and the RAS table is storage until I need to make a cut. Instead of building cabinets, I have gotten by with an old dresser.
    I added a separate 110v circuit for the wall plugs (nice to have the lights stay on when something trips the breaker). There are six outlets around the room about every 6' to 8' and about 4' high. I wish now that I had twice as many. I don't have any 220v outlets since I didn't have any machines that required that and don't think I will have in that small space.
    Dust collection currently consists of a facemask and a 20" box fan with a couple of furnace filters held on with elastic bands (visible next to the DeWalt scroll saw). Between projects, I get out the broom and vacuum and clean up.
Hal's Workshop

    Here are the table saw and planer. It may look like a bench top planer, but in reality, it is a cardboard box top planer. Another large slab of cardboard resting on a couple of scrap 1x6's for support provide the outfeed and chip corral for the planer.
Hal's Workshop

    This shot shows the door corner with router table and a tool storage box - again made of cardboard with an oversize lid to keep the dust out.

  Hal's Workshop

    This is the final corner, pretty much filled with the mill. This shot also shows the mechanism I rigged up to automate the rotary table on my Legacy mill. The axle where the handle attaches to the rotary table does not line up exactly with the headstock, making a direct rigid connection unworkable. Placing the table far from the headstock minimizes the angle of the connecting pipe. The pipe connects to the table with a pipe clamp and at the headstock end it slips over a milled wooden nipple and is held by a screw. This connection allows a bit of give and acts as a universal joint as the axle rotates.

  Hal's Workshop

    Here’s a close-up view of the headstock connection and sample patterns. The reason for automating the table was to synchronize it with the horizontal movement of the router when attached to the lead screw. Now I can have the work piece rotate under the cutter that is moving laterally. You can generate some very interesting designs with this setup, such as symmetrical spiral rays from a center point, perfect hearts, concentric hearts, and, the initial reason for doing it - the growing geometric spiral that you see in a nautilus shell that has been bisected, or the Spiral Jetty.

  Hal's Workshop

    In this shot you see my lumber storage rack - which is vaguely similar in appearance to a bed. As the children leave the nest, I have a secret plan to expand my domain and eventually take over at least half of the basement. When my son and his wife returned for two months to save rent while they waited for their condominium to be completed - a few well-placed spiders hastened their departure! When my daughter finally has room to take her bed, I will be forced to make - and finally have room for - some real storage racks. Until then, cardboard is king.

. . . Hal Shearer



This is the place to share views of your shop, woodworking tips and methods,
mug shots, special tools or machines, finished work--you name it!
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P.O. Box 493
Springtown, PA 18081