Getting More Shop Time

Getting Shop Time… Not So Easy

I love woodworking, I love getting my shop time in. Unfortunately, life has been keeping me away from it for a while now. A life decision was made to locate another employer, which I have. Luckily, I was fortunate enough to land a new gig at a fortune 500 company. This is wonderful news for both myself and my family. Sadly though, it’s not so good for the time in the shop.

Good Things Come From Hard Work

See, I want to be able to do well in my job and it was vividly apparent on the first day that I needed to give my all to this position. My previous position didn’t need near the intellectual horsepower of this new position, so during my off time instead of being out in the shop, I’m right here, in front of this monitor studying. Of course I don’t spend all my time studying, but I also need to consider my family. My son has 2 evenings when we go to Karate classes and 1 guitar lesson in the middle of the day on Saturday. Then there’s working out, eating healthy, spending time with my beautiful wife.

Don’t get me wrong here, I am by no means complaining about my life. I am one of the few that can say that my day is full of things I love doing. This is only to say, that my day only lacks one thing I love… shop time.

Now, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t getting any shop time. I do sometimes get an hour or two here and there. I do have a few projects that are in progress, so I will hopefully have those videos out soon.

New Tools!!!

All that said, I have accumulated a few new tools since my last video was published. I scored an old jointer off Craigslist for a $120. It’s an older Grizzly 6 inch, but once I sharpened the blades and cleaned up the jointing surface, it works beautifully. I also scored a new Dewalt 12.5” planer, a Ridgid 6” random orbit sander and a Ridgid brad nailer. I got the sander and the nailer to replace other tools that were not working so well.

getting shop time with RIDGID 6" Random Orbit Sander R26111getting shop time with Ridgid Nailers 2‑1/8 in. Brad Nailer R213BNEgetting shop time with Grizzly Jointer G1182HWgetting shop time with Dewalt Planer DW734

So I think with the addition of these new tools my “shop” has become much more capable and you can look forward to more solid wood projects in the future. In fact I am currently working on a walnut/maple piano bench that is turning out beautifully.

Upcoming Projects

I do have a few upcoming projects. My shop is looking pretty messy at the moment and it’s all because I have tools without homes… ok, and because I’m somewhat messy. So most of my upcoming projects will be shop projects. First on the list of to dos, is first to sturdy up my work bench, that thing is built to be secured to the wall and since I don’t own this house, I can’t do that. So there really isn’t much to this project. I’m just going to put a half inch plywood backer on it and remove the surface and add a new hardboard top.

Project List:

Miter Saw Station

I am in the planning and research phase of this one. I have seen everything from the most portable all the way up to Jay Bates miter saw station. There are stations big and small and those who know me will be right when they say I will design my own incorporating ideas that make sense. I don’t want anything too big or small. Please leave any suggestions below, I’d much appreciate it.

Router Table

I think for a router table, I will start with something semi-temporary. Again, I will design my own based on my likes and dislikes and some experience.

Assembly Table

I have been debating this one with myself for a while. I’m still not quite sold that I need one. I do like being able to pull out a couple saw horses and putting some sheetgood on top of that, but sometimes the surface needs to be a little more consistent and sturdy. So if I decide to go this route, I will design something with a torsion box top and hopefully some unique ideas sprinkled in.

Adirondack Chairs

I do have a goal of making some beautifully designed Adirondack chairs. This project has been in the back of my mind for years now. I have a bunch of cypress in the shop just waiting to be shaped and massaged into beautiful outdoor art.


Well there you have it. If you have stuck around to read all of this, you my friend are a rock star. So until next time, I hope you have yourself a wonderful time in the shop.

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