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A weekend in the "factory"

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kirkpoore1

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I built my shop to look kind of like an old factory, brick on one side with keystoned arches over the windows, clerestory for extra light, etc:



It's also pretty good sized--22'x26'. That means not only can I fit a lot of machines, I can have most of them in use at the same time.

I'm in a medieval re-creation group (the SCA), and build medieval style furniture for use within the group. (Not super-lucrative, but heck, it's paid for all my machines.) The SCA isn't hardcore as far as re-enactor groups go, but we try where we can, and that includes having medieval or quasi-medieval furniture when we go camping. Occasionally, I'll have a group of friends over to build stuff for their personal camps. They get furniture for the cost of materials, and I get some help building my things. Over the weekend, we built break-down shelves. Ah, you say, how hard can a set of shelves be? True, there's nothing really hard, but trying to do 10 sets in one weekend is a non-trivial effort. Here's a couple of sets:

The individual shelves store inside the legs, and when assembled are held in place by cams which are bolted on the legs. This way everything stores in a couple of tidy packages, while there are no parts to lose. Everything except the cams is made of pine from the lumber yard, while the cams are made of shop scrap.

We had ten folks over for the weekend, six from Saint Louis and four down from Iowa. A few of us had started two weeks before to glue up shelf blanks since I didn't have enough clamps to do all in a day, but other than that and cutting up the shelf rail blanks, we were starting from scratch. Initially, I had a great assembly line going to make legs--2x4 through the planer, over to the RAS to get cut to length, then to the jointer to get an edge straight, next to the tablesaw to rip to final width, and finally to the big bandsaw to get the top pointed. Alas, we didn't get pictures or a movie of this, because we were all working. After the legs were cut out, I assigned folks to individual tasks (all listed on a checklist so I could keep them straight), and we finally got some pics:


Eileen drilling trefoils in the outer rails.

Rob, Kim, and Gary sanding rails.


Rounding the edges on rails. Rob is using a plane (a Radiplane, IIRC) that has a couple of cutters to do this rounding. I've heard people mock this type of plane for only doing one thing that can be done by other stuff, but it's really fast and if you go the right direction leaves a finished surface.

Here's the leftovers. Speed was important with 120 of the rails.


Gary is cutting the cams out of half inch oak and walnut scrap on the 30" bandsaw.

Neathery drilling the bolt holes in the cams.


The support crew, my wife Maria and Gary's wife Mary. Not wanting to build stuff in the shop, they got a turkey smoking on our new grill and then went shopping in Saint Louis while the rest of us broke for lunch.


Back from lunch, Gary and I see what's next on the checklist.

Here's the pile of cams waiting for the assembly the next day. We needed 80 cams plus a few spares.


Matt and Kim moved on to using the overarm router to cut decorative designs on the outside of the legs. I had two patterns for those designs, and Kim attached the patterns to the inside of the legs while Matt did the routing.

We moved the router out to the garage because there was no room to run it in the shop given the number of people involved. I am absolutely sold on the Duro router, despite some earlier bearing problems during the restoration. Using it as a pin router worked great, even with someone like Matt who'd only used a router a few times. I really need to build some kind of guard for it, and it works better when you sit on a kitchen stool to use it (it has a long rebuilt pedal and tends to rock when you step on it), but it did exactly what I wanted and the problem bearing didn't heat up a bit.


Neathery and Rick laid out the mortises using a story stick and a ruler. We got video of me mortising, but no still shots, alas. When I figure out what cheap (i.e. free) software I need to compress a 900 MB video file down to something manageable, I'll put it on youtube.

Various factory scenes.



I like these shots because it shows so many people working all at the same time. Nothing like a hundred amp subpanel to keep everyone going!


When you're building lots of the same thing like I do, you have to have a place to store the spares for later. We actually got a couple of parts out of the spares pile during the project.

After breaking for the evening, we ate fantastic smoked turkey, green salad, green bean casserole, and carrot cake for dinner. A well-earned repast.:)


Kirk
edits: Who knew that 'S-T' was autoreplaced by "dung"? I mean, the city is kind of dirty and was named after after a Frenchman, but it doesn't usually smell that way...:)
 

kirkpoore1

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kirkpoore1":3nb1hfpv said:
Sunday:
Sunday started with bacon & eggs for breakfast. We started about an hour later to keep the neighbors happy, and didn't open the outside doors until almost 10.
We were greeted by stacks of parts:


We had two and a half assembly stations--two workbenches (Matt & Eileen, me & Rick) and my PM 65 (Gary):



The tenons were cut on the tablesaw using a jig, and fit pretty snugly. It will be better when I get the tenoner restored, though.:)



After the leg sets were assembled, Amy and Rob bolted on the cams. Amy took almost all these pictures, with Rob (her husband) taking the rest.


While all this assembly was going on, Ellen and Neathery were in the garage sanding and sanding and sanding and sanding and sanding shelves. They claimed that they were working in a Vietnamese sweat shop. (They never explained why it was a Vietnamese sweatshop, but what the heck.)


Here's their stack.


Rick and I putting together the first finished set.


First one done.


More going up.



And the final result. 10 sets of shelves.:)

Kirk
 

Hudson Carpentry

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Them shelves look quite useful actually. Do you have a page or somewhere I can view your other medieval furniture. Not a nut on medievil as yourself but I do quite like the era.
 

mailee

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Wow! Kirk, that certainly is a factory! I wish I had all those helping hands, would make life so much easier. :D The shelves look great. It also looks like you have my work rate too. :lol: Are you sure of the size of your workshop as it looks much larger inside, great shop too. :D
 

Chrispy

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Kirk, I have news for you, you said you built your shop to look like a factory, no it is a factory! :lol:
 

kirkpoore1

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Hudson Carpentry":1iv4zefg said:
Them shelves look quite useful actually. Do you have a page or somewhere I can view your other medieval furniture. Not a nut on medievil as yourself but I do quite like the era.
Here you go: http://medievaloak.com/
Not as up-to-date as I would like (time to raise prices after 3 years), but it does show my usual stuff.

Mailee: The shop looks a little smaller on the outside because there is some overlap with the house, barely visible on the right. Essentially, I doubled the size of my two car garage. I also don't let the riff-raff in--you know, the lawn mower, shovels, rakes, wheelbarrow, or any of that other non-WW'ing stuff. That all goes in the garage or the backyard shed.:)

Kirk
 

Cegidfa

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Hi Kirk,

So, the truth is out! We now know how you can have a workshop that is the size of a typical Brit's house.......
You rent your moustache out as a Burt Renolds stunt double :shock: :D

I really like the 'medieval' shelving and it's detailing - great stuff. Camlock QD shelving - you could be on to a winner there,
and make another fortune :)

I know that everything in 'the colonies' is bigger, but your pedestal drill is about four times the size of the one I have just bought :shock:
A hundred amp supply - that's more than our house supply, by about 50%.
Seriously, a great workshop and good to see pics of it in use.

Regards...Dick.
 

kirkpoore1

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Cegidfa":25tef0tq said:
Hi Kirk,

So, the truth is out! We now know how you can have a workshop that is the size of a typical Brit's house.......
You rent your moustache out as a Burt Renolds stunt double :shock: :D
Nonsense, Dick. I'm going for the Kurt Russell Tombstone look:

Besides, Burt Reynolds had small hands. (And if you get that joke, you were certainly around in the 70's!)

Cegidfa":25tef0tq said:
I really like the 'medieval' shelving and it's detailing - great stuff. Camlock QD shelving - you could be on to a winner there,
and make another fortune :)

I know that everything in 'the colonies' is bigger, but your pedestal drill is about four times the size of the one I have just bought :shock:
A hundred amp supply - that's more than our house supply, by about 50%.
Seriously, a great workshop and good to see pics of it in use.

Regards...Dick.
Thanks for the shelving comment--the design took a lot of thought, and has been very popular. Not too practical w/o the mortiser, though.

Restoring that Powermatic 1200 20" drill press was an adventure in itself. Here's the "before" shot:

Darn thing weighed over 250 lbs without a table or base (it came off of a 6-head table). I never could find a full height column or table or base for it, so built the stand for it, adding some old tablesaw extension wings for clamping and the drawers for storage. It has a horse and a half 3ph motor and a VFD (inverter). I replaced all the bearings and belts, new paint, and of course the stand. Total price (inc purchase) was about $400.

Kirk
 

Cegidfa

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Morning Kirk,

I certainly was 'around' in the seventies, but I hadn't come across the joke.
I guessed that it was to do with genitalia (it always is) but a search revealed the truth....Playgirl magazine centerfold?

250lb is far too much for this frail body :shock: The pedestal drill that we have just bought is 170lb and we are wondering how we will lift the 'head' up onto the column.
Or, having put the head on, on the ground, how to lift it upright. You were right, when you said that we had omitted the ridge beam and pulley.....ho hum.
I must away and fit the bargeboards to the verge.......

Regards...Dick.
 

kirkpoore1

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Dick: I hope you weren't scarred by the search for the punch line.:)

If you haven't got your drill press assembled yet, I suggest laying it down, putting the head on it, and then lifting (carefully). You may find that levering the head up, and putting blocks under it, will get you started. Once it's partway up, it gets a lot easier. Another option is to go get a neighbor or two.:)

I finally managed to get the factory weekend video together. All first day action, but shows most of my machines in use:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWG7u2t4cr8

Kirk
 

Cegidfa

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Morning Kirk,

Thanks for the advice, typically, having tried lifting the head, we had come to the same conclusion, as lifting a dead weight up onto a ‘pole’ would be fraught with disaster.

Having watched the video, I am now green with envy. The workshop looks great, and you seem to have more machinery than some pro woodworkers :smile:

The Duro router looks a great piece of kit, if potentially lethal - but guarding is for wimps :shock: As the ‘incising’ was done freehand, to a pencil line, that takes more skill than I could muster. You were lucky to have a group of people that were obviously at home with using power tools, especially Eileen drilling the trefoils, that can be a tricky job.

Not only did you have a ‘factory’ you had an organised production line too - Henry Ford would be proud of you :smile: Although I can’t agree that ‘history is bunk’.

Well done you.........Dick.

PS And no, I wasn’t scarred :smile:
 

adidat

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Cegidfa":26p7rpk3 said:
As the ‘incising’ was done freehand, to a pencil line, that takes more skill than I could muster.
i believe the router is setup as a pin router with a template on the bottom of the work piece

adidat
 

Cegidfa

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Hello adidat,

Thanks for that. I have watched the video again...more closely :smile: and this time I noticed a jig on the bottom and something on the table. Its not too clear, but looks like a round piece of wood.

Regards....Dick.
 

kirkpoore1

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Cegidfa":3c543yhq said:
Morning Kirk,
...
The Duro router looks a great piece of kit, if potentially lethal - but guarding is for wimps :shock: As the ‘incising’ was done freehand, to a pencil line, that takes more skill than I could muster. You were lucky to have a group of people that were obviously at home with using power tools, especially Eileen drilling the trefoils, that can be a tricky job.

Not only did you have a ‘factory’ you had an organised production line too - Henry Ford would be proud of you :smile: Although I can’t agree that ‘history is bunk’.

Well done you.........Dick.
Dick, the router isn't being used freehand--if you watch after Matt pulls the leg off of the table, you'll see that it has a pattern screwed into the back side. There is a pin in the table below the bit. He sets the pattern over the pin, and holds the work down as he moves it, so that the pin rides against the pattern. This is how a pin router works. You can also freehand, and Matt was certainly getting his hand close to the bit than he should have, but in his case it wasn't uncontrolled.

I was really happy with the production line--at one time we had seven of us running five tools in succession (two people were moving stock from station to station). It went really fast. We only hit a bottleneck when I was having to route the dadoes on the underside of the shelves. I did it with my regular router, and by a third of the way through I was ready to buy a dado blade for my RAS. (You try to route 120 3/4" by 11" by 1/4" deep dadoes and see what I mean.)

Kirk
 

adidat

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by the sound of it kirk your in need of a spindle moulder or a router table.


adidat
 

kirkpoore1

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adidat":fpjuhls0 said:
by the sound of it kirk your in need of a spindle moulder or a router table.


adidat
I have a shaper (spindle molder), but didn't want to use it for the dadoes because they were across the ends of 3' long boards--they would have been difficult to keep vertical, especially without a feeder. In addition, one of the dadoes would have required the shaper cutter to be 3-1/4" above the table, and my spindle won't go that high--it tops out at about 2-1/2" when leaving room for the nut.

I'm restoring a tenoner which will do half this dadoing, and either live with the routing or get a dado blade for my RAS for the other half. Besides, I don't expect to be doing another batch of 10 shelves anytime soon.:)

Kirk
 

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