Projects for the shop

As i'm slowly re-building my shop i'm sure most of my posts will be in this area.

Most Shop projects will revolve around space saving and organization.

I also dabble in hand tools. You can find more information on my old NeanderTools page

Tablesaw Extension and Side table

I recently moved around my workshop in order to have a work triangle with my most used areas. Mostly my Workbench, Radial Arm Saw, and Table Saw. I used to have to walk all the way around scooting sidestep around my jointer in order to get to my table saw so it was much less than ideal.

With the new setup, once I get into my shop I don't have to move around much and everything is in easy reach.

The only downside to this move around was I lost my out feed table which was my workbench. Since I had to cut down my table saw fence rails to fit into the new space I also lost my side table.

This was designed to replace both of those and give me a place to store my planer.

Another mobile cart

This is a replacement for the mobile power tool cart I made a while ago from scraps. That one was made with what I had so it turned out it didn't really fit much underneath and was a big waste of space.

I designed a new mobile cart to replace it that would store a few items that were big and bulky.

Not only does it keep the Band saw and Drill press, but it also stores my Router Table and fence along with my Miter Sled.

It even has a drawer tucked into the bottom to store my table saw blades and such.

It uses more half lap construction since I believe it's the best joint for shop projects.

Heavy duty mobile cart for my Radial Arm saw.

I needed a mobile cart for my Radial Arm saw for several reasons.

  1. My previous setup had one end of the table supported by my table saw and the other with a different bench. This caused me a great deal of grief because if either of those got bumped or moved it would throw off my radial arm saw table.
  2. I am planning on rearranging my workshop so I need to ensure nothing is attached to the wall.
  3. I had several items under the old radial arm saw table and it was VERY difficult to get them out.
  4. I gave up on trying to clean up the sawdust that got under and behind the old one.

So, I think this mobile cart resolves all of those problems.

The top two drawers have a short face so I can easily slide off-cuts into them, I'm not sure what the bottom drawer will be for yet.

I still need to make a new table and wings for the Radial arm saw.

Miter Sled with 45* angled fence to cut splines

I have been needing a new miter sled ever since I got my new to me table saw. I have also wanted to make a jig to make splines in boxes and frames so I decided to combine them into one.

Circular Saw Guide / Track saw

I bought a Reconditioned Worm Drive Skillsaw 77 and needed to build a new saw guide to work with this new saw. I decided to improve on my previous guide by routing in a 1/2" groove to accept an add-on sole to the saw plate which will ride in that groove. This will ease the use of the saw guide since the 77 is rather powerful and it likes to twist a bit on startup which made me have to re-align it to the cut after starting it. Now, I set the track directly on the pencil line, place the saw on the track, pull the trigger and push. No need to try and keep the saw against the fence.

DIY Welded Holdfasts

I have had these holdfasts on my list of things to build for 7 years and for some reason I decided last week to make them.

Since all the metal/welding shops around me are only open while I'm at work the only place I could find that had the materials I needed was a Tractor Supply Store. From there I picked up the following

3/4" solid bar 36" long

1" x 1/4" x 48" long flat stock

I cut the solid bar into three 12" long sections and I cut three 9" long sections from the flat stock.

I then heated up the flat stock with a propane torch and bent it to shape with my vise. My second attempt at these I tried heating up the flat stock in my paint can forge and while that technically did work it made the entire piece so Hot that I couldn't hold onto it. I needed to use pliers and a hammer to bend that one so I would suggest just using a torch to get focused heat on the bend points.

I then dug out my harbor freight welder and attached the flat to the bar. My little welder did surprisingly well and I had it cranked all the way up for these welds.

My welding skills leave much to be desired so I had to do a lot of grinding to clean up the milkshake like welds. no stacked dimes here...

To use the holdfasts, just place over your work piece and whack the top right on the round bar. to release, whack the back of the round bar right at the weld point. I have noticed that these are very good at resisting pushing and pulling but they don't hold well at twisting. I'm thinking about gluing some leather to them to see if that helps.

Lumber rack from 1/2" conduit and construction lumber

In my further attempts to get more organized in the shop, I put together this lumber rack.

I picked up some 1/2" conduit which is actually 11/16" outside diameter and use that for the shelves of the lumber rack. The 2x scrap I used for the rest of the rack was bolted directly to the studs in the wall.

Low rolling cart for my Red Fox Planer

I picked up an old, old planer from craigslist which has an external motor. I put together a rolling cart for this planer as low as possible. It just fits the motor inside the cart directly under the planer. I made the cart as low as possible so the top of the planer would be just below my main work surface so it wouldn't get in the way while I was processing wood on my other tools.

Heated Shop Cabinet

I'm in the Western New York area and it can get pretty cold here. Even in my shop which is an attached garage, it can get well below freezing. As I am always forgetting to bring in my glue, paint, waxes, and other items I figured I would put together a heated shop cabinet from some left over materials I had laying around.

I have since upgraded to 2 40w light bulbs and it keeps the the cabinet at 65 degrees F even on these 10 degree nights.

Unique Hand shaped push stick

I made myself a nice push stick to keep my hands further away from the blade. Since a hand seems like the best size to hold and push wood through the tablesaw I decided to use my own hand and arm as a template for my new push stick.

I'm not good at detailed painting and shading and all that artsy fartsy stuff so I'm not overly happy with the paint job but it's a push stick. As push sticks go, I think I spent a whole lot more time on it than I really needed to.

At around 5:07 I talk about my new video production equipment that I just got to try and make my videos better for you, and easier for me.

If your interested,

Here is the Template I made for the push stick along with the original picture

You will need bigprint or something like it to print it out to scale.

Anyone else have leaky Air hose connectors?

I have been having a heck of a time recently with my quick change connectors leaking. I only have 1 of 5 that don't actually leak so My air compressor runs far more than it needs to.

After a bit of online research I found that the majority of Air hose Quick disconnects use rubber to keep the connectors from leaking which will dry out, or wear out and they start to leak. Especially if you move the hose around flexing the connection.

I picked up some "Milton M-Style Air Couplers S-715" which will fit all the standard 1/4" connectors that I have been using on all my nail guns and other stuff. It's amazing how a few extra dollars can greatly increase the quality of something.

Possible new shop location

I'm thinking about moving into the backyard playhouse/shed. Below is a rough plan, each square = 6"

Overhead Driver Storage

I have had an air compressor and nail guns for a while but I never use them because they are always packed away. I am also burying my drill drivers under stuff whenever I am working on a project so I figured I needed some way to store them within easy reach. This rack stores all 3 of my air nailers, Impact Driver, and drill. It also has my removable regulator setup from my compressor and a coiled air hose.

2x72 Belt grinder from an old treadmill

Not sure what made me think of this, but I decided to make a belt grinder from a treadmill. I spent some time doing some research and I found an old one that didn't have electronics for $25 on craigslist. I didn't want one with electronics because they have safety devices built in which require a speed sensor to remain active which can complicate things. Plus, i'm just not very good with electronics so I avoid them when I can. This is probably the cheapest method possible to get yourself a belt grinder if you want to do any metal work like knife making.

Wooden Cyclone Dust Collector

Cyclone I made from a single 2x4 for the 2014 Summers Woodworking 2x4 contest.

This was a very challenging build but with the very small cost of a single 2x4 and a tube of construction adhesive, I'd suggest you try it. Also it works REALLY well. I was very surprised at how well this worked.

Click here for the details page

Mobile Power Tool cart

After moving my shop around a bit, i realize that I really need to put my two least used "but useful" tools on a mobile base so I could roll them out of the way when they were not in use. I gathered up all my scrap and extra wood and put this together. The only thing I had to buy was the 16 lag screws that I used to attach the casters. The casters were on my tablesaw when I got it so they have been hanging around for a while. You can view the YouTube build video HERE

Under bench Clamp rack

I built this rack so all my clamps would be in easy reach and yet out of the way. This is incorporated into my five foot long bench I built from construction lumber. If you are going to attach to another bench you may need some additional lumber to attach the cross pieces to the top.

The bar clamp rack will handle 10 clamps and the F rack will handle up to 18" long clamps without hitting the floor.

Simple shelf to hold 5 Screw boxes

I got tired of always needing the box of screws that were in the middle of the pile so I decided to build a small shelf just to keep my screw boxes lined up on.

The shelf will hold 5 standard screw boxes and keep them poking out just a little so you can easily grab them when needed.

  • Bottom = 24" x 2-3/4" x 1/2"
    • Back = 24" x 1" x 1/2"
    • 2 sides = 3-1/4" x 2-1/2" x 3/4"

Easily removable shop shelf

This is a shelf I designed to provide the maximum amount of space under, be easily removable, and be strong enough to support my miter saw.

Click Here for the Shop Shelf Details page

Zero Clearance Insert - Table saw

I just finished making a Zero Clearance insert for my tablesaw. While working on a different project I got a kickback because a small piece slipped through the stock insert plate and threw it back at me, breaking my push stick in the process. I decided I should make a Zero Clearance insert for my table saw. I did not create any instructions for this as it's custom depending on your tablesaw, but you can use this same method for your own. Click the image below to watch the video.

Cable Management

I read tip somewhere to use colored tape to mark your power cables. So i picked up a multi-pack of colored electrical tape and tried it out. Also, for storing cables, I use a TP roll wrapped in duct tape.

$7 Light stands

I built two 5 foot tall light stands from some 1/2" conduit and a 2x4.

These are for my up-lights that I needed for my shop.

Total cost for both stands was $7. The lights themselves were about $11 each from Home Depot.

Link to YouTube Video

Table saw out feed table

I made an out feed table from the same material as the Router table as I kinda like the stuff and it's nice to have things match. It's attached via a french cleat with 2 bolts holding it in place. It's easy to remove and hang on the back wall if not needed.

How to fix a Table saw arbor

Many older Craftsman and Rigid table saws have a depression between the thread and where the blade rests. This depression prevents the use of a stacked dado set. Below is a link to a video with a simple and quick fix.

Table saw wing Router Table

This is a three part video of my router table which is replacing one wing on my table saw.

Tablesaw Wing Router Table

Some video based upgrades for my shop

In this video, I make an extension for my camera tripod, a Magnetic backdrop, and a stand-in to assist setting up the camera.

Walk through of my shop in the beginning

This is a video I took more as a test just to see how video would look in my existing shop. Shortly after taking this video, i upgraded the ceiling lights and unplugged the Chandelier.

Link to YouTube Video