The Woodworking Shop

The restoration of antique television sets not only incorporates electronic restoration, but often it involves woodworking, from minor cabinet fixes and finish touch up, to complete major reconstruction of entire cabinets.

In the process of cabinet restoration, it is convenient to have at your disposal a properly equiped woodworking shop with all the basic machinery and many hand and power tools both electric and pneumatic. Below is a compendium of the major power tools in my woodworking shop.

This is the Mancave Enterance to Bob's Bunker subterranean workshops. This stairwell is located in the northwest corner of the basement of my home, at the rear foundation wall of the house, and is immediately adjacent to the Electronics Workshop located in the basement of my home. There are 7 steps down to the landing at the steel firedoor, which opens into the bunker Woodworking shop. When you walk through the firedoor, you see the Woodworking shop as pictured in the photo on the right.

Every good woodworking shop needs a good table saw so I will start with the most basic item, my commercial grade Delta Rockwell 14 inch table saw. This is old school early 1960's vintage, heavy cast iron and plenty of extra power. It was originally equipped with a 5 horsepower 3 phase motor when it came from the factory. But because I do not have 3 phase power from the electric company at my residence, I removed the original 3 phase motor and installed a new 5 horsepower single phase Baldor motor. The saw is equipped with a Biesemeyer rip fence which allows me to rip to a distance of 49 inches from the saw blade. The Biesemeyer fence also supports a table extension to the right of the saw blade giving an effective table width of about 78 inches. Cast iron table is 48" wide by 38" in depth. This saw is connected to my central sawdust collecting system shown farther down this page.

If you're going to do cabinet working you need to be able to create material of very precise dimensions with edges that are square to the face of the lumber and perfectly straight and true in the length. This is so you can glue edges of boards together acurately. The machine that trues up the edges of boards is called a Jointer. I chose a Grizzly G0656P 8" 3 horsepower model with a 72" long bed. It works quite well and I am very happy with it's accuracy. This machine is also connected to the central sawdust collection system shown farther down this page.

The next most improtant machine to make accurate dimensional lumber is a Planer. A planer is used to surface the front and back sides of a board. The table can be raised and lowered in small increments to achieve the thickness you want to only a few thousands of an inch. The boards are fed in from the side facing you in the photo. A rotating cutter head with 3 13" wide blades shaves a small amount of wood off the face of the board as the power feed rollers move the board through the machine. This machine creates huge amounts of wood shavings and is connected to my central sawdust collecting system shown farther down this page. And once again this is an old school machine from Delta Rockwell. This is also an early 1960's machine made entirely from heavy cast iron for a long accurate life. This machine was also originally equiped with a 3 phase motor. So once again I removed the old 3 phase motor and replaced it with a new Baldor 5 horsepower single phase motor.

Because of the difficulty in cutting large 4 foot x 8 foot panels of sheet goods (plywood/particle-board) to useable sizes for use in projects, I allowed myself the luxury of purchasing a panel saw. It's a Safety-Speedcut made in the USA. It is incredibly accurate for a machine of this size. It cuts accurately and perfectly square every time. The saw uses a Skill worm drive power head mounted on two vertical rails. The wooden sheet goods panels are supported by a series of steel rollers on the bottom edge of the steel framework. The rollers allow you to push the panels through the saw to rip panels lengthwise. Or you can move the saw unit up and down on the pair of precision tubular rails to do end cuts on the panels. This machine is also connected to the central sawdust collection system shown farther down this page.

Often you need to do edge sanding of smaller parts or round off square corners of a wooden part by hand. I have a stationery sanding machine for this purpose. It is an imported machine made by JET. It has a 3 horespower motor direct driving a 12" disc sander and a 6 inch wide by 48 inch vertical or horizontal belt sander. This machine is also connected to the central sawdust collection system.

Drilling is another basic woodworking task and so some sort of drill press is required. This is one I purchased about 25 years ago from a hardware store. It is your basic imported low quality but it does the job and keep on giving without any breakdowns.

A dust collection system may seem like a waste of money to many on-lookers. After all, a broom and a dust pan will do just a well. It doesn't take very long to make piles of sawdust and wood shavings, even in a small wood shop such as this one. So a central dust collection system is something that not only keeps your shop free free from pliles of saw dust and wood shavings, but it also saves you a lot of time wasted in constantly sweeping up and shoveling those piles into sawdust barrels. I am using a Murphy Rogers 4 bag, 5 horsepower central dust collector. The 10 inch diameter suction intake of the blower is connected to a series of overhead sheet metal duct piping that is routed to each of the 5 machines that were discribed above. Sheet metal is used because the metal pipes are electrically conductive and are all grounded to prevent static build up. When high velocity air moves through the ducts with the sawdust, it can generate static electricity. As long as you use metal duct pipes, the static electricity is disapated through the grounded metal pipes. Some people are now using PVC plastic piping in their dust collection systems because it's cheap and easy to assemble. But because PVC piping is not electrically conductive, large charges of static electricity can build up in the system. When these static charges build up they can cause ignition of the dust in the system and cause an explosion. I chose to be safe and use the time proven method of using metal ducts and I have no static discharge problems. Below are 2 photos of the Murphy Rogers 5HP dust collector. The first photo shows the front of the dust collector with the dust collection bags which act as dust filters. The shavings and sawdust fall into the fiber drums below the bags. From floor to ceiling the dust collector is 8 feet high. The 2nd photo shows the 5 horespower single phase motor that drives the blower. I also converted this machine from 3 phase to single phase by installing a new 5HP single phase Baldor motor. In the 3rd photo you can see some of the dust collection piping that runs along the ceiling.

No woodworking shop worth it's salt is complete without a good workbench. My workbench is 52 inches wide by 100 inches long. The drawer cabinet below the bench top was acquired, used, from a department store that went out of business in the 1980's. The drawer cabinet was originally on the sales floor of the department store and was used to sell genral merchandise. I addapted the cabinet as a base for my woodworking bench and I store assorted woodworking materials and tools in the 40 drawers contained in the cabinet.

In a woodworking shop, various types of clamps such as "C" clamps, spring clamps, speed clamps and bar clamps are needed when gluing materials together. Bar clamps, also known as pipe clamps, are needed when gluing large dimensional material. Shown here is my collection of bar clamps in their wall rack. These bar clamps use 3/4" steel water pipe as the backbone of the clamp. Because the ends of the water pipes are threaded you can use pipe couplings to add as much length to the pipes as you need to make the clamps as long as you want.

Without some sort of plan for organization for raw materials, a wood shop can be quickly over run by piles of lumber in a totally disorganized hodge podge. A good woodworking shop will have some method of organizing the lumber in a way that will allow you to easily locate exactly what you need without rummaging through piles of unorganized material. For this purpose I designed a "wood crib" which has compartments for various types and lengths of materials. 2 compartments are devoted to sheet goods (plywood, MDF, particle board) several pockets are for plank lumber. There are 8 foot and 10 foot deep pockets. Along the sides of the crib on the upper tier, there are a group of 4 foot deep pockets and some sheet goods pockets that are only 4 feet deep. The overall size of the "wood crib" is 4 feet wide, 6 feet high, and 10 feet long. These 2 photos show it from the end and from the side. I use the top of the crib to store all sorts of long items such as 8 foot fluorescent light tubes.

I guess you could call me an organizational nut case. Over the years I have learned that I have so much stuff to keep track of, that I needed to pay a lot of attention to having a place for everything and keeping everything in it's place. To that end I use many Edsal steel shelving units. These units are commercial grade. They can hold a very heavy load, and the shelves are height adjustable to accomodate what ever I need to load them with. This next photo shows the south wall of the wood shop, where I have a 24 foot long wall of 36 inch wide by 18 inch deep Edsal steel shelves loaded with spare TV chasis, all my paint finishing materials and my sound system. You will note the large speakers.

Back in the early 70's I built all the sound systems for the rock bands that my brother Todd played in. These 2 Altec Lansing Voice of The Theater speakers (VOT) are what I started out with. Soon they were not capable of producing enough volume of sound for the large venues Todd was playing in, and so I built much more powerful systems. These 2 VOT's were in storage for many years until I recently got them out of storage and refurbished them for my woodworking shop. I like to listen to music when I am working in the wood shop and with the noise of the machines, you need something that can pump out some powerful sound above the din of the machines. I Have been collecting music since the early 60's and have a fairly extensive collection of music from the one hit wonder oldies of the 50' and 60's to most of the classic rock of the 70's to the 90's. Sorry no "cRap Music" Will Eminate from my stereo system. All of my music library has been ripped into MP3's and is stored in my laptop and organized with Windows Media Player. The laptop is used to drive the input of a Technics Receiver which has a power output of 50 watts RMS per channel which drives the 2 VOT speakers. More than enough to hear the music loud and clear over the noise of the machines. Each VOT has an Altec Lansing 15" 416-8B woofer, and an Altec 802-8G horn driver mounted to a cast aluminum Altec 511-B spectral horn. It uses an Altec N500G crossover network. The VOT speaker systems are very efficient and can be driven to full output with only 30 to 40 watts RMS. The 2nd photo is of the laptop and the receiver that form the front end of the music system.

Because washing paint brushes, and other assorted cleaning requiring water is often needed, I decided to install a utility sink in the workshop complex. The logical place to put the sink, due to the proximity of water and drain lines was in the woodworking shop. About 30 years ago my brother and I bought some items from a cast iron pipe foundry in Milwaukee which was being torn down. Among the stuff we salvaged were a couple of these industrial utility sinks. This sink was manufactured by American Standard. It's porceline enamel over solid cast iron. The date cast into the sink is December 1952. The faucet set was in good condition. The rest of the sink needed some basic cleaning and a coat of gray paint on the outside. It was missing the strainer in the drain so I machined a new one out of a piece of 3/8" thick brass. As you can see in the photo, the sink sits on a special dedicated "pedistal trap" that comes with the sink. The sink is also bolted to the wall on a cast iron hanger. This type of sink is also commonly known as a "slop sink" because they are usually located in the costodial department where the building janitors use a "slop sink" to empty and fill their mop buckets.

Electrical power is a major item in a project of this size. I have 3 machines wtih 5 horsepower motors and a good deal of lighting. There are numerous 20 amp 120 volt outlets strategically placed all over the workshops. For this you need a good power distribution system. One of the first things I did when I started the Bob's Bunker project, was to find a good electrician that would work with me but allow me to do the majority of the electrical work myself. The electrician pulled the permits and helped me install a 200 amp main service comming into the house. The 200 amp panel can be seen on the wall to the right of the Mancave Stairwell as seen in the first photo at the top of this page. From that 200 amp service we feed the 150 amp panel in the bunker and a 100 amp panel in the garage to power the garage and the TV museum above the garage. I did all the remaining electrical work myself. Many hundreds of feet of 1/2, 3/4, and 1 inch conduits containing thousands of feet of copper wire to power everything. This photo shows the 150 amp panel located in the wood shop. The device that looks like an electric motor is a 5 horsepower rotary phase converter. It is used to convert single phase power into 3 phase power for the milling machine located in the machine shop.

Last but not least, dust and work combine to make you thirsty. So I brought in a family heirloom, our vintage Cavalier Coke machine. I have it stocked with Coke, Pepsi, Orange and Grape Crush, Cream soda and Root beer, and Mountain Dew too. Not to mention some of Milwaukee's finest; Miller High Life.