The “New” Shop

OK, wow.  I don’t even really believe it.

About 8 years ago I had an Idea.  (to be clear, I have ideas all the time, luckily not Ideas with a capital “I” as often)  Usually this is when my friends, or more generally, anyone that knows me, realizes it’s time to duck and cover.

I had an idea to make and sell some motorcycle parts.  Custom stuff for Harleys.  Flash forward to the present, I’ve designed and built 30-odd products, manufactured thousands of parts and sold parts all over the world.  The parts have been on several TV shows like “American Chopper”, featured in magazines and used on custom bikes that won big, important shows.

And I’m “over it”, tired of running a very elaborate and complex “hobby business”.  The only thing I want to do less than helping my middle-school son write a term paper for school is weld and grind aluminum castings in my spare time.  Polishing stainless parts would be right up there too.  My operations manager bought out the business and has been hauling truckloads of parts, fixtures, products, shipping supplies and trade show materials away to their new home.  I took two very large truckloads of junk to the dump already this weekend, and I’d bet there are another two or three loads to go before it’s all said and done.

The net-net is that I’m reclaiming a 2.5 car garage on my property that has been used for inventory and shipping/receiving for the chopper parts business.  It will also free up space in my main shop that is cluttered with materials and fixtures and tooling specifically related to making motorcycle parts.  I’m going to clean out and update the detached garage just for woodworking, leaving the other shop space for metal fabrication.  I’m undecided as to where my blacksmithing tools will go.  It’s not a good fit for either space really, but I just this weekend uncovered my blacksmithing workbench, leg vise and power hammer from behind a pile of trade show and shipping supplies.  Wow.

Here are some pictures of how the space looks now.  Still loads of clearing out to do.  I’m debating whether to keep the old built-in cabinets and workbenches.  I’m inclined to get rid of most or all of them.  The upper cabinet without the door could be outfitted as a plane till for the time being.  The Avacado green paint really has to go.

Old Kitchen Cabinets - Stay or Go?

Old Kitchen Cabinets – Stay or Go?

The plywood bookcase and grey trade show trunks will go away this week.  The folding tables belong to a friend, they need to be returned.  There is junk in the rafters from the previous home owner.  Once I finish clearing out the junk I should have plenty of space to set up shop.

Facing South

Facing South

The air compressor needs to stay of course, but maybe I can build a simple enclosure around it to cut down on the noise when I’m working in here.  Hiding in that pile of junk is a motorcycle frame welding jig (helloooo-ebay!), bandsaw blade welder, engine hoist, motorcycle parts, vibratory finishing system and god-know-what-else.


Facing North

Pssst…hey buddy, wanna buy a forging power hammer?

Pneumatic power hammer for Blacksmithing I built in the early-90's

Pneumatic power hammer for Blacksmithing I built in the early-90’s

Categories: Uncategorized | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “The “New” Shop

  1. Lots of potential there. As for me, and green is my least favorite color, I would vote for sending the cabinets to the dump also. New cabinets for the new woodshop sounds better.

  2. Robert Demers

    wow, lots of potential here. It will be interesting to follow the transformation. Agree, the green color has to go 🙂 As for the old kitchen cabinets, I would probably re-use the two drawer cabinets. As long as they are in good shape or fixable. I would put the drawers on full ext slides, re paint and fill them up. Perhaps put in dividers depending what you intent too store in them?
    My compresor is much smaller, but im interested to know how you plan to make it quieter and not starve it for air.

    I would also uses this occasion to downsize some more. Look like you are already going down that road. Good luck, and keep us updated


  3. Yeah, green… Ick! “Lots of potential” is like when you go on a blind date in high school and they tell you your date “is a great conversationalist” 🙂

    My woodworking is confined to a 10′ x 10′ space in my other, larger shop. So this will be a significant upgrade in size. The previous homeowner used this as his woodworking shop, I can see where he had a vise mounted to one of the cabinet bases, and another place where he had a (power) miter saw.

    My plan for the moment is just to keep clearing out the space for now. I don’t want to move into it until it’s clean and properly set up. I’ll keep working in my other shop, sharing space with the metalworking equipment.

    Next weekend I’ll probably rip out some of the cabinet bases to free up floor space. I’ll keep at least one segment (I think) for my Millers-Falls miter saw.

  4. Wow! Talk about a big project. But I’m so jealous you have so much shop space. I’m excited for you.

    So I’m wondering, do you see your woodworking space as being mostly hand tools with maybe a couple of machines for milling?? Will you put your bench in the middle? I love mine NOT being against the wall.

    Just curious about what you’ve envision. It seems like you have a lot of room unless you go all machine .. maybe even for that.

  5. Yeah, I’m pretty lucky on the shop space front. But it’s been a focus in my life for a long time – since high school really.

    I’m still formulating my thinking on the wood shop.

    I know I want more natural light, and I have in mind making some divided light windows. I’d like to replace the tilt-up garage door with hinged, curved-top carriage-style doors. I’d like to have wood on the walls instead of painted drywall eventually too. My workbench (gotta get back to finishing that!) will be away from the wall, no question about that.

    As far as power tools, except for heavy dimensioning of stock I’m pretty happy with hand tools. But I also plan to re-do my kitchen and do a lot of built-ins/wood trim in the house, and I know I’m going to want power tools for that work. Table saw, jointer and planer.

    None of this is in the budget at the moment, so it’s something that is going to take a while to come to fruition. The first order of business is just to get it cleaned out as much as possible and put a non-green coat of paint on everything.

    • Wow! Well, it’ll be very fun to watch.

      I have a kitchen remodel in my future (2 to 3 years), but I’m going to contract most of including the boxes for the cabinets. But I plan on making the doors and the drawers.

      That way we’ll have spots to put most things and home harmony while I plug away at the rest (flooring, paint, trim .. and, of course, the doors and the drawers).

  6. I don’t know if you were serious but I would be interested to know about that power hammer? If you really are interested in selling!

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