Building the New Fit RV Shop – Part 8: More Random Projects

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It’s been almost two months since I posted a video of how the shop is coming along, so I figure we’re due for an update.  (It actually has been that long, I just checked.  Weird, huh?)  Anyway, here’s the video you came for!


I can’t type out everything that has happened since the last video, but here are a few key points:

1.     The shop is now fully operational!  Kind of like the second Death Star in Return of the Jedi… Everything in the shop can be run now, even if it still looks incomplete.  I’ve come up with a few work-arounds to get things to work, but they all do.

2.     Cabinet finishing is progressing… slowly. If you remember, I got el-cheapo cabinets from a big box store just to get something installed.  The unfinished ones were the cheapest, so that’s what I got.  Well, I’m finishing them with a coat of Milk Paint, and on top of that, a layer of wipe-on polyurethane to seal it up.  I like milk paint here for a couple reasons.  First, unlike latex paint (where you can dent it with your fingernail literally decades after it’s dry), milk paint dries rock hard.  That’s a good thing.  And second, milk paint has more of that antique, “barn-ey” look that I’m going for.  Particularly if you apply it with a bristle brush instead of foam brush or roller.  You probably can’t make out that level of detail in the video, but you can certainly tell in person.

3.     I’ve abandoned wire nuts and am now officially using WAGO lever nuts for all of my shop wiring (and anywhere else in the house I would normally use a wire nut).  There are a number of advantages to the WAGO connectors, but I’m focused on these:  First, the WAGO lever nuts positively lock onto the wires they connect.  I have ZERO worries that wires will work themselves loose as I twist and push connections into boxes.  Second, the WAGO connectors are re-useable, and that extends to the wires they connect.  Ever pull a wire out of a wire nut and try to use it somewhere else?  You typically have to cut back to straight wire to go again.  The WAGO lever nuts keep the wires straight.

4.     OH MY GOODNESS THE NEW GARAGE DOORS ARE AWESOME. I thought it might make the place a little brighter, but I absolutely was NOT ready for the totally transformative nature of my shop with the new garage doors installed.  This is more of a feeling that you get when standing in there than it is a lux measurement, but wow.  Just wow.  Every time I walk in there now, I just smile because it’s become so much more awesome overnight.  And the doors aren’t even all the way done yet!

I only had four days at home to work on this, so progress was limited, but hey, at least I got a video up.  Do you like how it’s coming along?  Sound off in the comments below!


James is a former rocket scientist, a USA Cycling coach, and lifelong fitness buff. When he's not driving the RV, or modifying the RV (or - that one time - doing both at once), you can find him racing bicycles, or building furniture, or making music. In his spare time, he works for a large IT company.

    24 thoughts on “Building the New Fit RV Shop – Part 8: More Random Projects

    1. Jonathan Clement

      That table saw looks like a SawStop. Great machine. We retired our 1966 Craftsman a few years ago and got a 3 HP professional. My wife made some dividers in drawers as well as some wooden boxes (with dovetail joints, no less) to mount on rollers to convert shelves in our 1998 Roadtrek to pull outs.

    2. Dave Staublin

      I really like the non-glass panels at the bottom of your garage doors. It gives the appearance of a room with a big window pane. Plus, for me, I feel like if I were going to bump something into the garage door, it would be that bottom panel and I’d feel safer not having glass down there.

      Nice shop, how wonderful to have all that dedicated space! Enjoy!

      1. James - Post author

        If I had kids on skateboards roaming around, I would keep the metal panels. But I don’t, and I’m pretty careful around the doors.
        But either way, they’re a heck of a lot better than what was there before!!

        1. Barbara Clossen

          Awesome, I’m the steel buyer for Amarr. Is it a full view aluminum or steel? Good choice!

    3. James Arlen

      And the question that no one is apparently asking… that’s a 2019 RAM ProMaster grill you’ve got going on there next to the garage… What’s happening there James?

        1. James Arlen

          And I get the bad fan award as I didn’t watch that one all the way to the end.

          As a Canadian fan, it’s hard to watch all the cool Winnebago stuff as there simply aren’t any of them up here – we recently bought a competitor product even though the 59G was high up on the list from your extensive review.

          Going back to watch now.

        1. Bill Phillip

          Well, I do like great tools and that’s Festool. Then I heard about Mafell tools, supposedly even better and about 2 or 3 times as expensive. I’m happy with Festool. 😉

        2. James - Post author

          I just did a quick search and found an $800 jigsaw!! LOL!
          Yeah. I’ll stick with Festool…

    4. Mike

      Do a video about your thoughts and comments about the Teknatool Nova 58000 drill press in your shop. I’m in the market for a drill press and saw a Nova last week in a shop. Mostly, is it worth the extra $ over a traditional drill press?

      1. James - Post author

        A tool review video would be a bit too far out of market for us. (I don’t think I could get Stef to approve it!)
        But I can tell you that it’s a pretty sweet piece of equipment. So far, I really appreciate the built-in speed selection, and I’ve been using that almost every time.
        Not changing the belts – and not worrying about belts slipping if I overload the machine – has also been really sweet.
        If it’s worth three times as much as my last drill press… well… I guess it depends. There is no additional *capability* here. Everything I can do with this one, I could do with my old drill press. It’s just a lot more easier, cleaner, faster, less error prone, and more convenient. So it comes down to how much is that worth to you? We’ll each have our own answer to that one.


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