Those of you following my blog know the work going on to get the woodshop here in our Phoenix home up and running. So thankful we have the resources and talent to get that accomplished although my wallet is getting a bit flat! Now that the shop is basically done it’s time to figure out where to put everything. Amazing how much “stuff” you can accumulate and keep even after garage sales and the move. Making those decisions as to what you need, what you may need, and what you should just get rid of isn’t easy. This is the second garage (only 14′ deep) where I’ve put most of the “shop stuff”. Can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve gone through those boxes looking for something I needed.
Organization started out by making two tall cabinets to fit in the entry alcove. I’m using 3/4″ ClearKote Birch ply for the shelves and Alder for the face frame and sides. I know my reputation is one of using hand cut joinery for my work but in this instance I kept telling myself, hey; it’s utilitarian and storage only and I need to get it done! After sizing the Alder pieces for the face frame, they were prepped for biscuit joinery. I remember when this system came out how it revolutionized the joinery process, now we have Kreg systems and the Festool Domino for high end work. I can’t bring myself to use nails to attach the face frame. Instead, using tongue and groove joinery cut on the table saw which was then glued and clamped is as “high tech” as I can go . Here’s a slide show to illustrate the process. The new combination assembly and out feed table worked great for this project.
The way I attached them to the wall was by first screwing cleats to the wall studs then nailing the shelves to them and the cabinet carcasses. Using the walls as the back and one side for these cabinets helped my budget by only buying one sheet of the Alder plywood. Since this area used to be the porch for the building the floor wasn’t all that great so needed a lot of shims to make things square and secure. There will be a drawer unit between these two cabinets and I have barn door hardware to hang doors which will conceal the shelving. My plan is to make sliders out of Alder and corrugated tin — we’ll see how that works out!
While waiting for the things that were clamped and glued to dry I was able to do the window sills and begin hanging my tools on the walls. Hanging my most used tools for easy access is my style, somewhat reminiscent to how the Shakers had pegs around their rooms to hang chairs, tools, brooms, etc. — I like that concept and think it’s a good way to outfit a shop. As you can see, the window openings weren’t as square as we’d like to see them but by scribing the angle with a small sliding bevel square they came out alright.
Here’s some news about the quest to become a boutique frame carver and maker; I have a client who sent me some ideas of what he’d like in a frame for a painting he has acquired. After searching through the catalogs of the limited number of picture frame suppliers I decided to go out on a limb and designed my own profile. There is a custom moulding and millwork shop here in Phoenix by the name of Barger Moulding. They are similar to Foster Planing Mill in SoCal who I’ve dealt with many times in the past except Barger doesn’t have any stock moulding profiles. The picture you see at the right is my own design and I’ve gone ahead and ordered 100′ of it. It’s designed so that there is a wide panel area for carving. Hopefully it will be ready next week — stay tuned!