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Where does the time go?
It’s been just over one year and one month since I started on my quest to turn our second garage into my awesomest-ever shop. This past Saturday, on December 7th, 2019, at 1:42 PM… I finished. Watch the (rather long) video below to see what I got done… and to watch my wardrobe change from shorts to jeans as the seasons turned on me.
It might be helpful to take a look back at the mess (and scorpions!) I had down there when I started. Click on this picture to go back to the very first video of my junk-filled mess.
Thankfully, things are very different now. Here’s a quick rundown of the projects I got completed in this video:
I built a new drill press table.
The design was a compilation of a bunch of things I found on YouTube, adapted to my drill press. I like it so far.
I installed a compressed air system.
I went round and round on what materials I wanted to use. I had black iron pipe in my last shop, but this time around, I went with copper tubing. I won’t lie – it was mainly because I like the looks of it. It actually wasn’t THAT much more expensive for the copper. Where I did spend some money was on the ProBite push-to-fit fittings. These are very similar to the SharkBite fittings you may see at your local home center (or on Amazon). I’ve used the SharkBite fittings on plumbing projects (and in the RV) before, and they are totally fine. But when it comes to compressed air, there’s a difference. You see, the ProBite fittings are proudly rated as A-OK for compressed air – SharkBite are not. So that’s why I went with the ProBite on this project.
But besides the compressed air thing, there were other advantages to using push-to-connect fittings on this project. I can disassemble the fittings if I need to, and they swivel even after they’re complete (which makes them a LOT easier to assemble than threaded or sweat-on fittings). Yes, they were a bit spendy, but I don’t regret it. Also, I bought quite a few parts from Rapid-Air. I didn’t use their compressed air tubing, but I really like their solid aluminum outlet blocks and drain valves to go in them. No regrets on this compressed air system at all.
I built an outfeed table for the table saw.
In my previous shop, I had an HTC roller outfeed table that worked pretty well. But it took a couple extra steps to use, and required me to drill holes in my table saw. I wound up selling it with my old saw. This time around, I wanted a permanent outfeed table, and so I built one… twice. On my first attempt, I had a mishap with the laminate top which ruined the whole thing. I had to throw away the three-layer built-up top and start again. It was a sad day. There were tears.
But eventually I got a new top built and the table complete. Loving it so far on the back of the table saw. (Plus, who doesn’t need another table in their shop?)
I installed the dust collection system.
This was the biggest job in this video. It was also the one I most dreaded doing – because I remembered what a royal pain in the butt it was the last time I did it fourteen years ago. Of course now that it’s done, I love it! Completing this project involved getting a duct system design from Oneida – who sold me my dust collector those 14 years ago. They didn’t charge me for the redesign (the original design service was used on my old shop), so I liked that. In the end, I wound up cutting 30% of my fingers, 50% of my palms and 100% of my heads with sheet metal. I was fully expecting to amputate something with a piece of sheet metal, so those numbers are actually pretty good.
The ducting is run with 26 gauge snap-lock pipe. The pipe is taped and sealed with silicone where appropriate to make sure it doesn’t leak. Probably the coolest part of the whole system are the hangers I used. They’re a product from “Gripple”. You can see them here at this link, in addition to in the video, so you get an idea how they work. They’re kind of like zip-ties made out of cable.
The last thing to complete with the dust collection was to cut a hole in the closet wall so that I don’t pressurize the closet when I put doors on it. In my last shop, I had the return air from the dust collector routed back inside the shop to keep from pulling air back down the chimney. If you think about it for a while, it makes sense, but I do a better job describing it in the video.
And I finally completed the last little bit of trim.
I was going to build closet doors in this video. But then I realized a couple things. First – the video was already going to be more than 20 minutes long. Second, building doors is a woodworking project! So, I bailed on the doors, and just trimmed out the closet opening that had been staring at me all ugly-like since I first put up the walls. It looks a lot better now, and I know exactly what dimensions I have to work with for building the doors.
And there you have it. I’ll do a proper shop tour video at some point in the future, but until then, I’ll probably be working my way down Stef’s 13-month-long-list of “honey do” projects.
I guess I don’t really have any more excuses…