It’s … alive! It’s alive!

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been feeling, well… constrained by the state of my workshop. A few weekends ago, I kicked off a project to restore a wooden storm door, only to realize how much faster it (and every other project) would go if my workshop were at least partially functional. Since I was waiting for a part for my random orbit sander anyway, I decided to shift gears from the storm door and make some progress toward getting my workshop set up.

My basement workshop is a fairly open 28′ x 28′ square, with chimney, furnace, water heater, and boiler in the center. (Even with these, it’s twice the square footage of my last workshop.) The chimney in the center divides the space, with a garage cut in to the east side, several inches lower than the rest of the basement. I decided that I would use that garage bay as my machine room, since that’s when I’m most likely to be working with long stock. I’m planning a bench room in the large open space on the west side (once I tear out an ill-conceived full bathroom). The northeast corner is a tool crib of sorts, with mechanic’s tools and hardware, and a few knocked-together handyman benches left by a previous occupant. I haven’t decided where to place the lathe yet, but it’s coming. Given my project list, I decided to prioritize the machine room. After a few evenings of work, I had my tablesaw reassembled and oriented to provide a good balance of infeed and outfeed space, and shimmed to compensate for the way the floor pitches to the drain.

Stopping at the home center after work on Wednesday, I bought the supplies I needed to wire my workshop outlets. With a little puttering after dinner, I had a working 220v outlet (and a working tablesaw), and everything seemed just a little better. I still need to get a 110v circuit laid out for dust collection, and another for jointer, thickness planer, and smaller power tools, but it feels like progress.

The replacement pad for my random orbit sander arrived on Thursday as expected, but I had to work late and didn’t have the energy to do anything with it. I left it on the kitchen table overnight, not thinking much of it. When I got up Friday morning, the envelope was in shreds and there were a few puppy teeth marks on it.


None the worse for wear.

 Getting back to work Saturday on my screen door, I ended up back at the home center a few times. (I seem to live at the home center these days, but I’m still trying to figure out what must be the most complicated parking lot-to-side-street-to-highway transition in the Greater Kansas City area.) Looking for more sanding disks, what do I find but the same replacement pad I just ordered from Porter-Cable, but for $20 less than I paid to have it shipped to my door. 

I never would have expected it, but apparently the pads must fail pretty often. And yes, I concede, Bonny was right.


2 thoughts on “It’s … alive! It’s alive!

    • Ha! You’re right, Linus, I did leave things rather abruptly! Thanks for checking in. I do need to catch the blog up to current day. After a hiatus, I finally have my shop set up in a (mostly) pleasing way. Meanwhile, I share photos occasionally on Instagram @gaugeandgrain.

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