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A Tour of Mike Fitterling's Shop

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shop Here's my shop looking from the southeast. You can see a couple of eucalyptus logs waiting to be cut into planks in front of the deck. The deck, which became one of those forever put-off projects while I was repairing our damage from Hurricane Charley, was completed with the help of many of my generous woodworking friends.

shop This is the view as you walk in the side entry door. The lumber rack is made up of 2x4s lagged to the wall studs with ½" pipe inserted in holes in the 2x4s that are drilled at about 4°. I covered the pipes with PVC to prevent any staining that might arise from the wood, especially white oak, resting on the iron pipe. The rack is about sixteen feet long.

shop Here's the back wall looking in from the large sliding entry door. I have my wall AC/heat here along with Delta 10" radial arm saw, which is flanked by two eight foot long cabinets forming the side tables. These cabinets are pulled away from the back wall about a foot and a shelf goes from the backsplash to the a cleat on the wall. This gave me space behind the cabinets for my dust collection ducting, which lies on the floor behind it.

Having the ducting down low meant I did not have to have any drops up which the dust had to go, which made the system much more efficient. Most of the ducting is six" with a reduction just past the radial arm saw to keep the air sppeds up in the end of the run. On this counter I also keep my benchtop tools like my small drill press and mortising machine, which is equipped with an X-Y vise. You can also see three halogen track lights that shine on to my workbench when I need good lighting for finishing or hand work.

shop Here's a closer look at the machines I keep along the lumber rack (under which my duct work runs). From background to foreground is an Ingersol-Rand 60 gallon compressor; a used Grizzly 2HP dust collector I picked up cheap; my pride and joy and once in a lifetime deal, my Northfield 12" jointer that I bought for $500 from a stair manufacturer who was closing down (all I had to do is provide a phase converter and install new knives and I was up and running); and finally my newest tool, a Grizzly G0453 15" two-speed planer.

shop Here's my handtool wall. On the board are hanging a #8, #7, #6, #4, #3, #2, (no, no #1), #71, #46, #79 (Sargent), #191, flat soled and round soled spokeshaves, #93, a no-name drawknife, and a patternmakers flexible rasp (I guess). Below that and to the left is a pine dovetailed box with my molding planes that I threw together out of some scrap. On top of it is a Krenov style smoother I made of Zircote with a Hock iron bedded at 60°. And scattered around are a few more handtools.

shop Here's my old workbench. I made this from discarded oak flooring a friend found in a dumpster and some 2x lumber for the base. Other handtools reside under here. Just in front of the bench is a 5HP rotary phase converter I built to run my Northfield jointer. It is on casters so I can wheel it out of the way when it is not needed.

shop This is the wall just to your right as you enter the side entry door. In the back in my clamp rack which rests on double French cleats that run around the shop. Next is my router table, then my Jet 18" bandsaw (the dust collection ducting end just behind it on the floor and the final blast gate serves the bandsaw, the raouter table and the sander), and finally is my Grizzly combination belt/disk sander.

shop Here is the communications nerve center, adjacent to the small entry door. The desk is an old box my wife's grandfather built, put to use once again. Here is also the air cleaner. The print is a painting a high school pal of mine painted, who is now teaching at Valdosta State Unversity (her name is Julie Bowen).

shop Between the small entry door and the big sliding door is my sharpening area. Horizontal wet grinder, granite slabs for Scary SharpTM (thanks to Rod Peterson), a collection of oil stones, and a 6" grinder with a hard felt buffing wheel on one side. To the left is a cast-off dresser that I use to store nails, screws and odds and ends. On top of that are most of the parts of a Gustav Sickley designed Morris chair that I never seem to get around to finishing.

shop And here is a view of the cabinet saw, another good deal I found ($800) and what an improvement over my old Emerson-built contractors saw. I have a little dust collector here dedicated just to the saw so I could avoid piping to the middle of the shop with my main dust collection ducting. At the end of the extension table is my dado cutting sled, on which I can cut more than 24" long dados.

I did a lot of the upgrading from what you saw in my previous tour to enable me to make the switch from publishing to full-time woodworking if the need should arise. About the only thing I would still like to add is an open ended drum sander.

Other general notes:
  • service panel is 200 amp
  • all 120 volt outlets are 20 amp
  • all 240 volt outlets are 20 amp with the exception of the outlets for the compressor and AC
  • all the wiring is 10 gauge so upping to 30 amp on any outlet is a simple matter of switching the outlet and breaker
  • lighting is six 8' T-8 units
  • the floor is Rustoleum Eopxy Shield
  • the deck is level with the inside floor making moving machines in or out much easier.
Thanks for taking the tour.

Posted 23 September 2006

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