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Jim Morgans Wood Profits

Jim Morgan's Wood Profits

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' pace ... the final frontier : of woodworking, r;''" Nearly every woodworker from time to time has dreamed of a shop with sufficient room to arrange tools far enough apart so someone bigger than Tom Thumb could walk between them. The really ambitious dreams include enough space to have two and maybe three varieties of the same tool to suit different purposes.

ABOVE: On the second floor of his shop, Larry added a carving/sharpening station

of workshop I wanted, what would I need?' " he says. "That's where I came up with two stories along with a finishing room." He began planning the frame structure, 100' from their three-story home, during fail 1992 and completed it the following May.

Because the entire building site rests on a 30° slope, Larry dug the 9'-high back wall into the mountain and fortified it with 6" of rebar and concrete, Larry used 2x6s for the exterior wall frame; 22' floor joists eliminated the need for posts to support the upper-level flooring of ■%" tongue-and-groove oak. This left plenty of room up to the ceiling.

The 6/12-pitched roof (for snow load) uses 2x8s for rafters. To strengthen the side walls and prevent the outside walls from bowing out, Larry nailed 22'-long 2x6s into the rafters and into the top of the second-floor wall. Larry and his friends did much of the labor, though few relished toiling on the roof, 23' above the ground.

Eschewing garage doors. Larry installed two 3' doors that allow 6' clear access. The 1x6 cedar siding matches that of the house. Inside he used 1x6 shiplap siding made of pine. This allows him to nail, hang, or screw nearly anything anywhere without perforated hardboard.

and located an adjacent 8x10' finishing room for convenience. Glass panels let in additional light. The binders and manuals represent Larry's 30 years worth of subscriptions to woodworking magazines, including WOOD".

LEFT: Where the 20' ceiling slopes upward, there was enough wall space for Larry to hang his furnace and a multitude of clamps. The furnace's dual louvers direct heat to both the second floor and the main level.

RIGHT: Larry designed his shop with enough space to give him plenty of room to move around his tablesaw and other stationary tools.

BELOW: Larry needed more worksurface to extend the utility of his maple workbench, so he lengthened it to 6' and included another full set of drawers, The hardest thing was installing the vises. "They're big and heavy, and they need to be precisely aligned and then screwed in underneath," he says. "Get help to do it."

RIGHT: Larry designed his shop with enough space to give him plenty of room to move around his tablesaw and other stationary tools.

Larry installed 8' fluorescents flush to the main-floor ceiling. Protective sheets of acrylic keep the dust out. A benefit of the 7,500-foot altitude is the natural cooling in summer. There's a furnace but no air conditioner.

There's a lot of space dust can occupy, so Larry installed three air-filtration systems: two on the main floor, one on the upstairs ceiling. Ductwork strapped to the ceiling feeds an Oneida cyclone on the main floor.

Larry also can move a portable vacuum wherever he needs it. most often around his five lathes: one to make bats and bedposts; a bowl lathe that can handle up to 20" bowls or platters; a Stubby that allows turnings exceeding 200 lbs; and two mini lathes, for small objects such as ornaments and small round boxes, plus one he doesn't use anymore but could be useful for a beginner who's learning to turn pens or small spindles. Four other portable vacs connect to various tools.

To power everything, Larry added a dedicated 200-amp box with at least forty 120-volt outlets and twelve 220-voit fixtures. "Without 220, you can use machine tools, but you can't keep anything else plugged in." he says. "I didn't want to have to keep plugging in and unplugging everything."

Having all that room is not without its problems. "1 had to be creative and organized." Larry says. "How you arrange your tools and accessories and have them accessible makes for head-scratching. 1 wanted to spend my time making furniture, not shop accessories." Still, it's a problem most woodworkers would envy.

Plane Cabinet

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Wood Working for Amateur Craftsman

Wood Working for Amateur Craftsman

THIS book is one of the series of Handbooks on industrial subjects being published by the Popular Mechanics Company. Like Popular Mechanics Magazine, and like the other books in this series, it is written so you can understand it. The purpose of Popular Mechanics Handbooks is to supply a growing demand for high-class, up-to-date and accurate text-books, suitable for home study as well as for class use, on all mechanical subjects. The textand illustrations, in each instance, have been prepared expressly for this series by well known experts, and revised by the editor of Popular Mechanics.

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