This shot shows the computer end of my CNC machine. It is on wheels and lots of items are stored underneath the machine bed. This is probably the most clutter you would ever find in my shop. Clutter wastes time and is a safety hazard.
This shows the crosscut fence set at 90 degrees and the cam design hold down clamp set to secure workpieces being crosscut. This clamp is very well designed. It is very rigid and heavy, fast to operate and very efficient. It may be moved anywhere on the sliding table extrusion and any number of them may be attached. This is an awesome accessory.
The birds beak slotting cutter is attached here. The workpiece hold down is the plastic wheel with a handle. The long semi vertical arm in the upper right corner is for plunging and slotting the mortise. This device can cot mortise slots at any depth , width & height and can machine angled slots as well. If you build furniture, especially chairs, you will love this machine setup.
A closer view of the shaper cutter. This one is for a fingerpull style door and drawer front edge.
The long bed jointer is set up here. The euro guard is attached for safety, covering the entire cutterhead except for the width of cut at the fence. Properly set up, the end of the euroguard near the fence pushes against the workpiece and keeps it tight to the fence surface for perfect joints every time. Note the infeed and outfeed table extensions attached. The length of the bed with these engaged is 99 inches. An 8 foot plank may be easily jointed on this machine setup.
A little different view showing the cutterhead.
Organization of the workshop is essential if one is to be successful in the woodworking arena.
Spending time looking for tools and hardware is probably one of the chief contributors to failure in this field. I may also add that the primary reason for failure is failing to change when change is indicated. This principle could be applied to every phase of ones life, but it is especially true in woodworking. Many of the methods of work that I have developed have risen from the need for change. If your project didn't come out the way you had hoped, perhaps you need to change something.
I have published here photographs of the shop that I built on my property in Spokane, Wa. It is the last shop that I operated prior to retiring from woodworking. It was only 700 square feet.
Quite small, considering my previous shop on Market St. was 3400. So how was I to operate in a space nearly 5 times smaller? The followings pictures will will tell the story.
I installed 8 custom made base cabinets on that wall. All of the doors have a clipboard rack to hold the plans for the job I am working on. All of the upper cabinets were custom designed to hold the tools that are in them. Note they all have glass doors. You must always do this. In this way you can target the tool you are seeking on you way to the cabinet. Over a given period, this method will save you an enormous amount of time.
More overhead storage. There are 12 Jorgensen 12" handscrews clamped to the perlin up there. Also, I have about 8 power tool bags slipped over a pipe. Need a ladder to get any of this stuff but how difficult is that?
This is the mortiser. It is called a trolley, it is on wheels and has a quick mount & detach system. It locks on to the outside end of the jointer cutterhead as shown here..
This reveals the power feeder attached. Properly set up this device will aid in very fast precision machining. If spped is important, this is a must.
My workbench is in the foreground. I have this fitted with all kinds of work aids. Vises on both ends, dogs on the top, a drawer full of frequently used tools and hardware, panel holder, etc. The verticle lumber behind the bench is being used to make about 80 cabinet doors. You can see one leaning up against the bench. Behind the verticles is my hardwood storage rack. It goes up 12 feet.
Shown here is the Felder with the outrigger removed, the swing arm support latched to the cabinet side and the shaper spindle raised with a cutter attached. The sliding table is locked.
Notice the wall cabinet right of the doorway. It contains over 600 router bits on shelve custom made to safely display to view each individual one. See why I use glass doors. I can often spot the one I want on my way to the cabinet. The doorway you see in the middle opens to the bonus room and it took me 3 days to achieve. That wall is solid brick 6" thick. What a job that was. That used to be the rear patio. Now it is my office and room for a wood burning stove and lots of tool storage. Notice the compressor to the right of the router bit cabinet.
It is built on a platform allowing room for my molding machine underneath. With the exception of the Felder, all of my machine tools are on wheels.
The rip fence is attached to the saw in this photo. Capacity on the table is about 33 inches. Ripping may be done on the sliding table and carriage outrigger as well although on this side set up is more difficult. Capacity on this side is 99 inches..
Moving the sliding table all the way forward reveals the 10" main blade and the scoring blade. Scoring, properly set up will yield perfect cuts with absolutely no chipping. To access these blades a safety lever must be engaged or the guard cannot be moved. The safety notice on the guard is in German. Translated it warns no to put a 12" blade on the machine with the scoring blade attached. If a 12" main blade is raised to full height it will strike the scoring blade. If this warning is not heeded, all
"Holle" will break loose.
In the center of this photo is my old Delta drill press. It was made about 1930, way before I was born. I have it set up to do euro hinge boring with a quick connect table that is stored in the rafters when not in use. Back in the corner is my 48 x 48 CNC machine. It's on wheels. Against the left wall is my plywood storage rack. Above the doors on the back wall are several dedicated routers preset for specific operations. At one time I had over 70 routers, all but a couple were dedicated. When this photo was taken I was down to about 45. Having dedicated routers will save you an immense amount of time
Shown here is the sliding table with the outrigger frame attached and the short crosscut fence set at an angle for precision miter crosscuts. There are graduated stops every 5 degrees or you may set and lock the fence at any custom angle.
The same jointer setup from the infeed side.
This view shows the long crosscut fence attached to the outrigger, From blade to otside end stop is 99"..The short fence has stops out to 45".Both fences are fast and easy to switch.
I took this shot to show you a storage idea. That lateral support beam in the center wass
part of the original house framing. I didn't know it was there until I ripped out the ceiling
and it was obvious it needed to be left intact to maintain structure integrity. So I cut about 10 sections of 3/4" pipe, strapped them to the top of the beam and slid tools and materials over the pipes. That beam is up about 10 feet so all that stuff is safely out of the way.
I almost forgot to show you this. In the corner on the floor, they grey thing on white wheels - that's my mortising attachment for the Felder. And on the back door with my hat and vest is one of my Pendeltons. That tartan is my clan, "Fraser. I have 64 of these shirts in my collection, all of different clans. I am such a spoiled brat!!!
This photo shows the business side of the fence with the cam clamp engaged. I set my sliding table to 1/1000 higher than the outfeed table so there is little or no drag on cuttoff.
My goal, by showing you these pictures is to reveal how I achieved organization and efficiency in only 700 square feet of space. If you will look at the far wall, you will see lots of tools hanging there and looking up you will see an open beam ceiling. When I began building my shop, there were 2 rollup doors on the backwall, an 8 foot ceiling and 2 steel posts supporting the expanse in the middle of the space.
First, fearing that if I put tools on the backs of the rollup doors and opened them, the tools would more than likely fall on my head. So I took them out and replaced them with 4 huge hinged swing out doors with peg board on the backs. Then I ripped out the ceiling to gain the volume of space from above. Then I installed a huge 4" x 24" x 24' lam beam, transferred the roof load to that and took out the posts. I removed all the old drywall, installed insulation in the walls and ceiling and put in new drywall. The ceiling I did not drywall. I wanted the insulation up there to help absorb sound. I then put 5 coats of durable epoxy finish on the floor.
The heart of my shop was this Felder CF531. It was custom made for me in Germany and from order time to operational nearly a year had past. This was, however, the wisest tool purchase of my woodworking career. This precision machine combination includes a conventional table saw, a sliding table saw, a long spindle shaper, a jointer, a thickness planer and a mortiser all in one footprint. This single machine replaced 6 of the machines in my previous shop and was the primary reason is was able to operate efficiently in a smaller space. The next series of photographs show the different setups possible with this machine.
OMG!!! One of my K-Body clamps is out of place!!!
I am moving clockwise with the camera. Notice how my clamps are organized. I had nearly 1000 clamps of various persuasions and there was a special place for them all. I had the windows custom made for the original opening so I could install the air conditioner. It is also a heater for the winter months.
That concludes the photos of the Felder CF531 combination machine. If you are interested in one of these machines, you may contact Felder USA through their website. I found their customer service to be excellent. You will get the best pricing on one of these machines by finding their booth at either the IWF show in Atlanta or the AWFS show in Las Vegas. That's where I got mine.
This shows the mortising carriage complete. This device has a quick detach and may be rolled out of the way when not in use. The birds beak slotting cutter locks into a chuck on the outside end of the jointer cutterhead.
Now I want to show you one of the primary reasons that my little woodworking shop was so successful. This series of pictures will tell the story without a word from me.
Remember that I told you the 8 base cabinets were custom made. The following is what I meant by that.
In short I know where every tool, nail, screw and any other item is located and I can retrieve it without delay. Organizing in this way is critical to the success of a small shop. Organizing your methods of work is as well. But that will be treated in a new page that will be coming soon under "School" in my nav Bar.
The thickness planer is under the jointer cutterhead. It is 12" wide and about 9" high max. The up and down bed crank is the aluminum wheel in the photo center. Infeed is from this side. The dust bonnet flips over into the position shown. There is a 4" round hose connection on the outfeed side. With a 3 HP duct collector, plane operations are done dust and chip free. Note the jointer infeed and outfeed tables have been flipped up and locked and the table extensions have been removed. Ear protection is required as this is the loudest component of this machine combination.
I wanted to show you this photo for 2 reasons. Note the cabinet doors leaning against my CNC machine. I made all of the cabinet doors and drawer fronts that I needed myself in my shop from scratch. In this way I could control the quality of construction and aesthetic appearance of my jobs. I grew to mistrust these massive cabinet door companies. Their products were beneath my standards.
The second point I wish to make regards the object on the table with the round dowels. There are actually two of them there, face to face. These are known as "Posturizers." This concept was original with Dr. David Pobran of Coeur de Alene, Idaho. He brought the original poorly constructed prototype to me several years ago and asked me to work with him to improve the design and create a final model that could be mass produced. The story of what happened will soon be revealed on a separate page "Posturizer" under the novelties button in my nav bar. I am currently working with Dr. Pobran on it.
This is the rear corner and my kitchen. A frig, microwave, a coffee pot and a TV. What more does a man need. My work kept me busy 12-14 hours a day only
it really wasn't work at all. It was play. And if you have a passion for what you are making like I have known, then you will agree. All of the things you see in my shop are not tools. They are toys. If you have this attitude in your shop, then you will be successful. If you provide for your clients a quality job at a fair price, then you will never have to look for work. It will find you.
Looking up at my loft you can see my air filtration system. This system is very efficient but the filter needs to be cleaned daily. Also note the lighting. I installed 14 dual tube high output led fixtures. When I turned these lights on it's like the sun just came up. I installed a 200 AMP power system just for the shop and all of the wiring is in rigid conduit and to the specs of the National Building Code. I did all of this work myself.
These 2 little accessories are quite necessary for precise and safe shaping. Notice on the left side of the Eigner fence there is a gap between the fence and the table top. The grey device on the left slips into that gap and is adjusted up to fit snugly with the fence. This will prevent shaped pieces like raised panel edges from going into that gap. If you don't have this device, you
will need to do a different setup that I will demonstrate later.
The little silver device is designed also to fit in this gap. Notice the orange handled allen wrench. By turning a set screw a little finger may be extended out away from the fence at any angle desired. This finger will give positive support to a workpiece that is being machined with a rabbeted edge. Both of these devices are required for safe and precise shaping or you will need to set up shop made attachments.
The outfeed side of the planner.
Would you look at all those toys! "Jealous ain't yah."
This attachment is called the Eigner fence and is made to fit the Felder combination machines. It is expertly designed and very efficient. As you can see,
individual aluminum fingers from the right side flip over to the left side to close the dangerous opening in the fence above the cutterhead. There are additional accessories available to make shaping safe and precise. If you do shaping, you will love this setup.