• We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

Kitting out a new workshop

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

Digizz

Established Member
Joined
22 Jan 2004
Messages
384
Reaction score
0
Location
Oxfordshire
First off, I'm a very inexperienced woodworker, although I was pretty handy at school (can't remember anything now though!).

I've been thinking for a while of getting into it and have finally decided to go ahead. There are loads of considerations as to what kit to buy and how to kit out my new workshop. The workshop will consist (probably) of a log cabin style timber building in one end of the garden. So a load of questions:

1) What power feed should I install and should it all be on one ring main or divided up to separate kit? What's the maximum rating I should be looking for? (I will run a separate feed from the house consumer unit - as I've done for other areas)

2) What woodworking kit should I be looking at? Not just power tools / machines but a bare minimum kit of saws, chisels, glue, fixings etc etc?

3) I've been looking around at combination machines (such as the Kity 2000) - I've read a few posts here and a few people don't like them. I was quite keen on one as it seemed a neat solution although apparently no cheaper than buying individual components. For a novice like me (but with grand designs and a passion for quality, not to mention being a perfectionist!), is this all about personal preference or are there distinct advantages/disadvantages of both?

I want to start out making a mini DV tape storage shelf (I run a video editing business by day) and then on to a sideboard type cabinet for AV kit - then who knows where!

Your experience and suggestions will be warmly welcomed :)

Paul.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Oh my have you got a lot to do :shock:

The electrical supply should be connected to the consumer unit in the house and must be protected by a Residual Current Device RCD. The connection needs to be ‘designed’ by a ‘competent person’ That can be you if you either, know BS7671 (wiring regs.) inside out, or are prepared to find out. It is not a case of just running a lump of cable down to the shed. Length of run, temperature are factors in calculating the size of the cable as well as expected load.

There are plenty of small handbooks available if you need some help.

The supply at the shed should have it’s own secondary consumer unit with separate lighting and power circuits. This means the lights don’t go out if you trip the power circuit by overloading the saw, for example.

All conductors in a outbuilding will need double mechanical insulation. Plastic or steel conduit and earthed metal clad sockets and switches is a good route.

If you are not sure gat some professional help or you can e-mail me a specific question and I will help if I can.

On woodwork tools I would suggest that you get your hand in with some basic hand tools first and then add the power tools and machines as the need arises. There is a list in the first instalment of my series in New Woodworking (November 2003).

On the combo machine I would go and play with one at an exhibition and then work out how much board handling space you need around the thing – you may need a bigger log cabin! Also check how long it takes to transform from one operation to the other. This can be a real pain on some machines.

Hope this helps
Ralph
 

Newbie_Neil

Established Member
Joined
27 Jul 2003
Messages
6,537
Reaction score
0
Location
Nottingham, England
Hi Paul

A warm welcome to UKW.

The advice from Ralph is very sound. In terms of tools I would delay any purchase for as long as possible. In which part of the country are you?

I would recommend the following strategy: -

1. Set a budget. Don't underestimate what you will spend. You must be aware that machines will be rated as DIY, Light Trade and Industrial. If you are a perfectionist then it will cost you a lot of money or you do it by hand. Buying good quality is never cheap. The maxim, buy the best you can afford, certainly applies to woodworking tools. Some examples are: -
Table saw 1,200
WoodRat 500
Router 1/2" 250
Router 8mm 150
Router Table 300
Router cutters 1/2" 130
Router cutters 8mm 60
Leigh dovetail jig 300
Trend M&T Jig 130
Planer/Thicknesser 800
Bandsaw ?
Random Orbital Sander
Drill/Drivers (2) 300
Workbench ?
Dust extraction 500
The list goes on and on ...............

You could of course just spend about 500 pound on some basic tools and have just as much fun.

2. Can you get to a woodworking night class?

3. Buy some woodworking magazines. Initially I would recommend Good Woodworking and The Router. Ralph would recommend New Woodworking.

4. Visit any local tool stores in your area. Can you get to the woodworking show at Ally Pally next month?

5. Are you watching "The Great British Woodshop" on H&L or "The New Yankee Workshop"? Both of these shows will make you very enthusiastic about power tools, but beware of what they both do with the tablesaw.

6. You will now have a better feel for what you require. I would recommend that you have a look at the Woodrat at Ally Pally and spend five pound on the video/dvd. If you can work with it then it will save you buying lots of other jigs. (I have no axe to grind on this as I hated the demo and don't own a Rat).

7. When you have made your list of tools look on the 'net for uk suppliers and also in the magazines for mail order suppliers. Be aware that there are a lot of variants of the same model and are you really comparing apples with apples. For example you can buy a Trend T5E Router for 119 or the T5EK at 145. Which do you go for? They are both exactly the same router, but apart from the extras with the EK you also get a two-year guarantee whilst the other only has a one-year!! Most of the local tool suppliers will operate a price match policy, particularly if you are buying a lot of equipment. You might get a bit more help from a local supplier.

If you're still reading this, then you really are interested. :wink:

Just remember that there is always someone here to help.

All the best
Neil
 

Alf

Established Member
Joined
22 Oct 2003
Messages
12,079
Reaction score
0
Location
Up the proverbial creek
Hello Paul, and welcome to the forum.

Someone once said that ocean yacht racing is a slightly less expensive hobby than woodworking, so I hope you're bank balance is suitably braced :shock: Now electrikery is a closed book to me, so I'll confine myself to the kit issues, in reverse order.

Combination machines: I do have one, but it's a Record Maxi 26 so that's not going to result in a balanced view of combis... They look like a good idea, but you do have to be the organised type. There's nothing worse than having to reset the thicknesser for just one more piece, just after you've set up the table saw for the cross cuts for instance. There's also a theory that they take up less space than seperate machines, but I disagree. You have to keep the wretched things out in the middle of the workshop all the time, and all those useful ways to maximise storage and design workshop layout are no good 'cos they're always done with seperate machines in mind. It is a very personal thing, and not really something you can decide until you have some experience about how you like to work etc. My advice would be to forget it, unless a good one comes up secondhand. But if you can see one at a show or whathaveyou, or better yet actually in someone's workshop, take a look and see what you think yourself.

Beginner's Kit: Now this is one heck of a question. Every woodworking author and their mother has written the "definitive starter kit" (sorry Ralph, but it's true), and none of them agree. I did try compiling a list from the lists once, but gave up as my brain was in danger of exploding. There's a good reason why they don't of course, 'cos it depends. Space, budget, what you want to make, what wood you want to use, how comfortable are you with whirling blades, do you mind taking a little time to learn a skill, are you in a hurry all the time, etc etc. I must say yours is about the best example of asking that question, 'cos you've actually said what you want to make! I'm going to assume you're going to use ready planed stuff and that you'll start more hand tool orientated than not.

A good book. I, boringly, always recommend "The Collins Complete Woodworker's Manual" by Jackson and Day. You can get it via the link on the book reviews page.

A magazine subscription. Good Woodworking was my rod and staff, but try them all and see which you feel comfortable with.

UK Workshop easily accessible in your bookmarks. :D

A copy of the Axminster Power Tool Centre Catalogue and your SWMBO keeping firm hold of the credit card. :wink:

Workbench:
A sturdy worksurface is a must. It makes life easier and safer. Doesn't have to be anything fancy, but it does need to be able to take the slings and arrows.

Layout tools:
Squares x 2. I like a 12" combination square of reasonable quality for the large stuff with a protractor head so it'll do angles too, and a cheap engineer's square of about 3 or 4" for everything else.
24" and 6" steel rules
Vernier calipers
Marking knife
Propelling pencil and eraser ('cos we all make mistakes)
Wheel type marking gauge - much easier for the novice to use

Sawing:
A good circular saw and some simple workshop-made jigs. This can handle big sheets of ply, and accurate crosscuts with a simple jig.
Handsaw - I'd say get an old wooden handled one, but a plastic handled hardpoint saw will do fine.
Backsaw - go Japanese here for out-of-the-box accuracy and affordability.
If you envision doing curved stuff, then a jigsaw would be pretty essential. Or a bow saw or coping saw if you feel neanderthal. If you want to saw out the waste between dovetails, you'll want the latter anyway.
I'm nearly moved to recommend a powered mitre saw too; it gives those square cuts that can often lead to problems for the beginner. Yeah, maybe Axminster's compound sliding mitre saw; lots of capacity but won't break the bank (too much)

Boring:
Bradawl
Electric drill. It doesn't have to be cordless, so you can get a really good one for silly money these days. Make sure it'll drive screws too.
Drill stand, if you want accuracy. Although bench top drill presses are so cheap these days, you could have one of those for less than a good drill stand.
Set of brad point or dowel drill bits. Axminster has a good set from 3-13mm in half sizes, which is really handy.
Countersink - snail type if you can afford it; they're so much better than the other varieties.
Drill bits in #1,2 & 3 pozidrive. Don't bother with slot headed power drill bits; they always slip. Set of screwdrivers assorted

Chisels:
One of the bargains in chisels at the moment is the set from Kirschen, also from Axminster. Worth getting reasonable quality right from the start, because even the most hardened Normite uses them.

Hitting stuff:
Wooden mallet or rubber deadblow mallet
Warrington pattern cross pein hammer, 8oz
Nail set, and pincers when you need to get 'em out again... :oops:

Planes:
Low angle block plane. Depending on budget, in order of desirability, Lie Nielsen 60 1/2, Lie Nielsen 102, old Record/Stanley, new Record/Stanley. Block planes are like chisels, you will always use them even if you go power mad, so get as good a one as you can afford.
Jack plane. I hardly ever use one, but if you just one one bench plane it's the most useful all-round size. If you can go for two, get a smoother (#4 or 4 1/2) and a jointer (#7). Again, L-N would be nice, or Clifton. But for a bargain, go to Ray Iles and ask about his reconditioned planes. Don't buy a new Stanley or Record. They're expensive and they're no good anymore.
A shoulder plane, or rebate plane, would be nice, but it's expensive when you don't know exactly what you want. You can make do with chisels instead though.

Miscellaneous:
Clamps! Lots of them. You can never have enough. I find cramp heads on wooden bars to be most economical, and F-clamps for smaller sizes. You'll end up trying all sorts though, everybody does. If you're Rockerfella you can probably get Bessey K Body clamps, a la Norm, and we can all be as jealous as hell :wink:
Half round smooth cut file. This can hide and repair a multitude of sins. DAMHIKT...
Sharpening kit. Very important. Doesn't matter what system you pick, learn how to use it, and by all means use a honing guide (the Eclipse type copies for a fiver or so are fine). Sharp tools are a million times more useful to you than blunt ones. Scary Sharp is popular for newbies (Google for it and you'll get the details)
Safety gear; eye protection, ear protection, dust mask, sturdy footwear, first aid kit. A small dust extractor too. The Earlex combivac is very cheap, but sucks like a champ. Noisy though :?

Sundries:
Bottle of PVA wood glue; Screwfix's will do fine.
I found a mixed trade pack of Goldscrews from Screwfix was a good start, and you could do the same with nails, pins etc. Their brass screws ain't so hot though, so avoid them. A few bolts, washers and wingnuts are handy for making jigs and such too.
Abrasives; get 10 sheets of each grit of aluminium oxide, and buy more as you see which grits get used first. I've found an expanding document wallet jobbie is a good way of storing them. Get a plastic one if your workshop's damp. Cork block to wrap them round.
Webrax/Scotchbrite/woven abrasive pad wotsits. The fine grade are excellent for applying wax and denibbing between coats of finish.
Liberon Finishing Oil or Danish Oil (I prefer the first, but the latter is easier to get hold of. It's a personal preference thing again)
Tin of neutral wax polish.
Cotton rags for polishing.
Kitchen towel for applying finishes.
Roll of electricians tape. I use this all the time; for making joints when applying finishes to temporary depth stops on drill bits.

And finally the device that's made a multitude of planes redundant, The Router:
Don't ask me, I hate the things. One thing though, don't buy cheap sets of cutters. Get a few basic ones such as 1/4" & 1/2" straight and maybe a round over, and then the rest as and when you need them. Wealden Tools include delivery, so it doesn't make it an expensive option. Alternatively the Perform range for Axminster are cheap but really not bad.

From then it's on to machinery... My preference for order of acquisition would be bandsaw, planer/thicknesser and table saw a distant last after everything else, but that's just me. :lol:

Yikes, that seems a lot. :shock: Bet I've missed something glaringly obvious though. More than one thing probably... Still it's a start, and further questions are welcomed.

Cheers, Alf
 

Adam

Established Member
Joined
10 Sep 2003
Messages
3,768
Reaction score
0
Location
UK
Protective gear - Safety Goggles, Dust Masks, Ear Defenders, etc. is essential!!!!

You should look into dust-masks especially - dust from wood is carcinogenic. Although loosing an eye by a getting a piece of wood in it is pretty disibilitating as well. Just a thought.

Adam
 

Adam

Established Member
Joined
10 Sep 2003
Messages
3,768
Reaction score
0
Location
UK
I reckon go for 30-50amps of electrical rating. You can never have too much, but, if you have a table saw, ~15 amps, an extractor, ~5amps, ~a heater ~2amps, ~lighting 1amp - say 25 amps, plus add a 50 - 100% margin for peak currents at switch on, and you are already at say, 30-50amps.

Anyone else?

Adam
 

Adam

Established Member
Joined
10 Sep 2003
Messages
3,768
Reaction score
0
Location
UK
I'd run a single wire from the house, and then use a small consumer unit in the workshop to split it into

A) Normal ring main

B) Item specific socket e.g. table saw, combination machine

C) lighting.

That way if you fuse the table saw, it doesn't take out the lights and plunge you into darkness.

Fire away any more questions if you want, I'm sure we'll answer them!

Adam
 

Digizz

Established Member
Joined
22 Jan 2004
Messages
384
Reaction score
0
Location
Oxfordshire
WOW!

Excellent replies guys - I'll digest this more at the weekend and no doubt post more questions :) Busy editing video at the moment (work always gets in the way) :(

Another question on power machines - If I was to spend the equivalent of a low end combination machine, say £1500-2000 and wanted a spindle, saw, planer, thicknesser, mortice etc - what separates would you go for - and could you get as good a deal in each with respect to table/carriage sizes? (does size matter that much in this business)?

I'm very comfortable running power myself - but will certainly need more advice on reg etc when the time comes. I rewired my house for new computer controlled lighting, Cat5, speakers etc etc :) Have a look at some of my pics at:

http://www.siliconpixel.com/gallery/HomeAutomation

Oh, and if didn't notice from that, I'm serriously into Home Automation :)

Paul.
 

Newbie_Neil

Established Member
Joined
27 Jul 2003
Messages
6,537
Reaction score
0
Location
Nottingham, England
Hi Alf

Well, that tome of yours could make a wonderful posting for "Newbie Corner". :wink: Oh, I forgot, we haven't got one!!! :cry:

Cheers
Neil
 

Alf

Established Member
Joined
22 Oct 2003
Messages
12,079
Reaction score
0
Location
Up the proverbial creek
Newbie_Neil":13zea70b said:
Well, that tome of yours could make a wonderful posting for "Newbie Corner". :wink:
You mean send 'em all off to sleep before they do any damage and need the proverbial "bag o' peas" and a trip to A&E? :lol:

Cheers, Alf
 

Digizz

Established Member
Joined
22 Jan 2004
Messages
384
Reaction score
0
Location
Oxfordshire
Yes, an excellent response - I'll cetainly be printing it off to form part of my shopping list!

Why do I alsways get into hobbies that are soooo expensive?
 

frank

Established Member
Joined
10 Sep 2003
Messages
938
Reaction score
0
Location
cheshire
paul you can always take your wife shopping with all that dosh :twisted:


ok i know i will go and wash my mouth out with soap and water :D


live life on the edge go shopping with the wife

frank
 

Digizz

Established Member
Joined
22 Jan 2004
Messages
384
Reaction score
0
Location
Oxfordshire
SWMBO is already well used to all the HA spending and well trained - to the extent we're going log cabin shopping tomorrow for my workshop! :lol:
 

Adam

Established Member
Joined
10 Sep 2003
Messages
3,768
Reaction score
0
Location
UK
Digizz":kxdtdtb1 said:
SWMBO is already well used to all the HA spending and well trained - to the extent we're going log cabin shopping tomorrow for my workshop! :lol:
Digizz,

When I laid the cable (armoured) for my power, I also bought 30 metres of water pipe (the blue plastic stuff), and pulled through it, two lengths of CAT5 and two lengths of 6-wire, twisted pair burglar alarm cable.

It was a real struggle to get it all through, and was a four man job (two holding the pipe, one feeding the four cables in, and the last one pulling the rope which was wrapped around the cables, which we had fed through earlier.

I only use a couple as a buzzer into the shed, so I know when dinner is ready! Seriously, though, when I get the burglar alarm fitted, I shall wire up the workshop, and also link it into the telephone socket, (even though I have a DECT phone in there.)

As for the CAT5? Well, things like Intercom, Door bell, Webcam, control lines for garden lighting, etc etc.

Aslo the next owner might like to use it as a "home office" and use it for broadband.

Just a though, as you really need to install it at the time the 'leccy cable goes in.

Also if you bury your cables like me, it might be worth also laying a couple only half way along the trench and then bringing up to the surface, either from the house end, or the workshop end, that you can use for garden lighting at a later date - albeit at 12V possibly. I used mains cable for this even though I only feed 12V into them.

As for Combination machines, I went the separates route. And whatever you do, don't buy any "Record" machinery.

Scheppach seems to be the most popular on this forum.

Adam
 

Digizz

Established Member
Joined
22 Jan 2004
Messages
384
Reaction score
0
Location
Oxfordshire
Well, I've laid around 3Km of Cat5e in the house so far! When I re-wired the house for the new lighting, whole house A/V, microphones etc. Took me and a friend about 3 solid weeks to do it!

I now have RJ45 points all over through which I send video, audio, networking and loads of other stuff including RS232 and garage door, curtain open/close signals etc. Cat5 is great for that :)

I also have CCTV and a Comfort alarm system (also self fitted). Pretty much anything and everything can be controlled by IR remotes, pronto, iPaq, web etc. Just takes so long to program it all.

I'll definately lay at least 10 or so cables to the workshop - you can never have enough!!! (plus it's cheap and I've still got a few boxes laying around).
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
My recommendation would be, for power tools

Stick to Makita whenever possible.
 

Steve

Established Member
Joined
6 Nov 2002
Messages
166
Reaction score
0
Location
Welling, Kent
Adam said 'whatever you do, don't go for Record tools'. It's inevitable someone wil disagree, so it might as well be me! I have a Record CL4 lathe and a Record RBS14 bandsaw, plus some smaller bits 'n pieces. They are absolutely terrific - I can't fault them and I'm VERY fussy! Adam - I'm interested to know why you don't rate Record?
 

Digizz

Established Member
Joined
22 Jan 2004
Messages
384
Reaction score
0
Location
Oxfordshire
Well, I went to the show - and ended up buying a DeWalt 625 router (very nice) and a wood rat.

Still don't know which table saw to go for - the scheplach 2000 (is that the right spelling?) certainly looked like it had the most sturdy fence etc.
 

Adam

Established Member
Joined
10 Sep 2003
Messages
3,768
Reaction score
0
Location
UK
Steve":vdl70t1d said:
Adam said 'whatever you do, don't go for Record tools'. It's inevitable someone wil disagree, so it might as well be me! I have a Record CL4 lathe and a Record RBS14 bandsaw, plus some smaller bits 'n pieces. They are absolutely terrific - I can't fault them and I'm VERY fussy! Adam - I'm interested to know why you don't rate Record?
:oops: OK, my statement wasn't a bit general. You have the two bits of kit which I rate as the "best" of the stuff Record does, the bandsaw RBS14, and a lathe. Really I was talking about the Combination Machines, and their P/T. The combination machines have been discussed here often, so I won't go into that, but the P/T I reviewed recently has the aluminium bed painted to look like 'cast' iron. For a start, cast iron doesn't look dark grey with bubbles in it! :shock: , and it was rough, so it would make it difficult to pass wood through the planer - which I consider extremely dangerous. Where the fence had been cut and they hadn't deburred it their was a jagged edge which was easily sharp enough to slice through skin - I thought it was really really poor finishing. Having a lot of resistance on the planer table means you end up leaning towards the cutter to push the wood through and this is a recipe for disaster. I would think it is becuase Record "buy-in" lots of thier stuff from abroad, so don't actually specify the design anymore, just the price they are willing to pay for it. Over a period of time, this drives down quality. No manufacturer with an in-house design team would let a piece of kit like that out of the prototype stage.

<rant-over>

Adam
 
Top