SHOP ON A SHOESTRING
It takes a little resourceful ingenuity.
SHOP OWNER: Tom MacGregor
LOCATION: Plainfield, VT
I used to keep a factory full of obsolete machines running for Tubbs Snowshoes until K2 Sports bought and outsourced it to China. I'm a lot cheaper than an engineer and machine shop, having invented all sorts of production equipment and even modified existing machines using hand tools, hardware store stuff, and found objects.
Like many, I'm short of space and money. Therefore, everything in my shop is items I purchased used, items I salvaged and restored, or made by me. Every square inch does double or triple duty. Things fold out, drop down, or are on mobile bases of my own design. The other end of the shop houses the sharpening area, dust collector, and bench I use for mechanical repairs.
My drill press is a 1944 Delta that I rescued from the dump after a fire. Thereís a 3' x 4' drafting table that pulls out from the back wall. It was free from a company that switched to AutoCAD. I laminated my bench top out of 262 slats of scavenged hardwood. Even the drawers behind the bench came from packing crates. Itís not the biggest or fanciest shop around, but it's all mine and I'm proud of it.
Presently, I'm trimming out the interior of my house, adding built-ins and bookcases, and making the odd piece of furniture. Most recently, I completed a set of walnut & birdseye maple shelves for the downstairs bathroom and a two-drawer file cabinet. I just got my first cheap mini-lathe and have been turning exotics for handles for flea-market socket chisels.. . . Tom MacGregor
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