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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My name is John and I live in the fairly small town of Sanger, Texas, about 30 miles north of DFW and 30 miles south of the Texas Oklahoma border. I'm retired Navy (1980-2000) and retired for good in March of this year. Since retiring, I'm having a blast in my stand alone shop, learning how to use all the toys I've bought over the years. Since I'm new to woodworking, I'm learning by building shop "furniture" to store all those toys, and building jigs to build that furniture.

I am new to routers. I just recently bought the Bosch 1617EVSPK and love the plunge base. I have built a router table that has a melamine top and am now looking at plates to mount the fixed base to. I've kind of narrowed it down to either the Kreg insert plate that's predrilled for the PC and Bosch routers and the Woodpeckers cast aluminum plate. While more expensive, I really like the Woodpecker tools (I own a bunch of them), and it appears that I can mount the plate fairly easily with the template I can also buy.

Kreg has a good reputation also and while it would be a bit cheaper to buy their plate (probably because of the phenolic material instead of the aluminum), I would also have to buy their leveling hardware, so the mounting process would be different.

I look forward to learning what I can here and possibly even contribute in some small way at some point. Here's a couple of pics of my shop.
 

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Welcome John. Looks like a well equipped shop to start with and the right place for getting your questions answered. Pictures are alway good. Enjoy the journey of woodworking and ask away. I've spent a good deal of time building shop cabinets, outfeed table, workbench, router table, planner cart with outfeed roller, saw blade storage box, miter saw station, Kreg Foreman cabinet, and still have a few more projects yet to do before getting the shop in tip top order. I also installed a ClearView CV1800 dust collection system which helps immensely with saw dust control and cleanup. Trust me, the experience building these and the jigs along the way goes a long way in self education and building skills.

I'm almost ready to redo that pantry my wife has wanted for some time now. It will have base/wall cabinets and shelving throughout and be built with oak cabinet grade plywood and then stained. The plywood will be edged with solid oak to hide the plywood edges. Considering the odd shape of the large closet like room planning will be critical as there is also a freezer in that same space. Should be fun. Time to put those CAD skills to work if I can find my old copy of AutoCad 11. If it weren't for building the shop fixtures I'd be hesitant to take this on just yet but all have been good learning experiences and have honed past skills so I think it's time. Then there will be the new entertainment center for the living room.......it is a never ending journey thankfully. But don't let it rush you.

From what I see of your shop, if you use sheet goods much (plywood/melamine) much I'd be inclined to build a extended work area around the table saw that included an outfeed area as well as a large auxiliary table. Makes working with sheet goods much easier. Just a thought. And do look at the link Stick sent as it's pack full of good solid information.
 

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Welcome John. I'm retired Navy, 1962-1982, living in the Houston area. Been learning from this forum for a few years now, and I'm sure you will too. I don't post much because it's difficult to type more than a sentence or two.
I think you'll find your time here rewarding. Welcome aboard!!
 

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Hi John and welcome. You'll definitely like it here. That's a nice, bright shop you've assembled. Making shop and tool stands is a really good way to learn cabinetry skills. Although much more expensive, I went with the Woodpecker plate. It's thicker by close to an eighth of an inch than most other brands. I have two 1617s, one retired from the router table. I replaced it with the Triton TRA001 and wanted a heavier and larger plate. Cutting out the opening was pretty easy using their supplied template and a pattern bit. I had a Rockler lift for the 1617, but didn't like how it always slipped. The Triton with a built in lift was cheaper than a higher quality lift for the Bosch, so I went that way.

One thing I suggest is putting doors on every cabinet and tool stand. If you use drawers, make them fit tight. This will help keep sawdust from getting in and coating everything with a layer. Looks like you have room to put stands on casters. This allows you to line up several tools against a wall when not use, then pull one out when you need it. I like to have two swivel casters and two fixed. If the stand is narrow, I put a plywood plate on the bottom as outriggers for the casters to reduce the danger of tipping over. Get casters that lock both swivel and wheels.

In my shop-shed, I try to keep everything off the bottom 16 inches of wall, that and moving stands make it easier to pick up the sawdust that gets everywhere. I have open shelving in my shed shop, and wish I'd taken the time to build closed cabinets. Even with pretty good dust collection, it still goes everywhere.

Anyway, glad you decided to join the fun. Sounds like you're pretty well set up, but just in case, here's a pdf of a fairly long article on the 17 things that accelerated my learning curve, not including cafinated beverages. It covers lots of hints, and some costly mistakes I made.

I also agree that a good outfeed table is a must. Mine is pretty light weight on top, with trusses underneath to keep it flat. Rockler had a kit with hardware that made it easier to install.
 

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Welcome to the Forum John,

We are a good bunch of down to earth people with a common passion for everything to do with working with wood. Being new to routers, I think you have found the right place to find pretty much all you will need to know to become an avid user.
Cheers from Montreal,
Dan
 
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Welcome to the Forums, John, and thank you for your service. I am totally envious of your shop. Just don't do like I have and become a tool junkie. I have so many tools there is no room left to do any work without a major re-arrangement of everything. Again, Welcome Neighbor.
PS I just noticed your Shopsmith. I have the 520 model.
 

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David - Machinist in wood
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Welcome to the forum, John! I see you have a mini split and a shop air cleaner - good combo! And it's a nice looking shop, too.

What projects are next for you? You can show us some of your completed projects if you like.

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for all the welcomes, I appreciate it.

Sreilly: A dust collection system is next on my list of equipment to buy. I've got all the dust making tools and I do have a Wen air cleaner which does a good job on a lot of the flying "mist", but I really need to get a system to collect the rest of it. That long bench along the wall in the picture is going to go away, or at least most of it. I built it from Family Handyman plans when we bought the place in 2010 with the intention of it being my main bench, but I've since "evolved" my image of the way I want to lay out my shop and it's in the way. Getting rid of it will allow me to put those rollaway tools, of which the router table will be one (see pic below), out of the way. I'll then build an outfeed table and probably a separate assembly table, but I'm not sure.

Stick: Thanks for the links. I'll be sure and read those before I ask any questions because it's been my experience on other woodworking forums that links like these will answer 90% of the questions I have and probably some that I haven't thought of yet.

DesertRatTom: I do like my shop well lit. I bought those lights after we installed the same ones in the maintenance shop where I retired from. They're 6-lamp flourescents but they've been hanging for close to 8 years now and some of the bulbs are starting to fail. I'm going to see if I can get some LEDs that work in the fixture and if that doesn't work, I'll just replace all the fixtures with LEDs. There's a lot to choose from out there but I know I can make it real bright in there for many hassle-free years to come.

You can see the Rockler casters I put on my router cabinet below. I mounted each of them to a plate that allows me to remove the casters and put them on another cabinet with plates. The casters were expensive but the plates aren't, so I figured since I'm only going to be moving one cabinet at a time, all I need is one set of casters.

I'll download your link too...thanks for that.

CuriousGeorge: Since you're in my neck of the woods, is there a woodworking association or club in the general area?

Again, thanks to all for the warm welcome and I look forward to becoming an active member.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Welcome to the forum, John! I see you have a mini split and a shop air cleaner - good combo! And it's a nice looking shop, too.

What projects are next for you? You can show us some of your completed projects if you like.

David
Thanks David. I absolutely LOVE that mini split system. When I bought the place, the shop was open to the rafters so I had a ceiling put in and had it insulated. The walls and the garage door are also insulated, so when we had 100+ temps here this summer, my shop stayed a cool 76-78*...works well in the winter, too! I loved it so much that I bought one for my garage, too. I'm getting ready to put some insulation in the attic over the garage this weekend so this winter it'll stay warm.

I've only made a couple of things since retiring in March, a drill press cabinet and another small cabinet for the existing workbench (see below). I also built a creche for my mother-in-law to display on her dining room table. The picture you see inside the creche is a screenshot of one from which I built mine. I made another smaller one that I tried to age with paint, I just don't have a picture of it.

Next up is to remove most all of that bench against the wall and place cabinets on the walls above where I'll be storing the rolling stock.
 

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David - Machinist in wood
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We're in NW Louisiana so our temps and humidity is about the same as yours and the mini-split has been wonderful to have for the last 5 years. Keeps the shop cool in the summer and warm in the winter but more importantly keeps the humidity low and stable. That's great for the guitar wood and also no rusting of tools.

Looking forward to seeing more of your projects!

David
 

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Re: Dust collection. I'm a fan of the Harbor Freight 2hp DC unit. It goes on sale now and again, and I have two that I bought on sale with a 25% off coupon that cost about $150 each. Just can't beat that price, more than a replacement motor. One of my units is in the garage and still has the bag on it. I roll it outside since the bag doesn't capture much of the fine dust.

I keep a few wood prep tools in the garage, and the rest and workbench is in a 12x24 shed out back.

The DC out there has a Wynn 1 micron filter and was OK inside, but took up too much space, so I cut a hole in the wall and moved it outside in a space between the shop and my office shet that I covered over last year. By moving it outside, the noise level is far lower, and I didn't realize it but there were a few leaks that are now occurring outside.
Machine Room

It is possible to remove and replace the impeller in the HF unit with one from Rikon. It just barely fits but dramatically increases air flow. I haven't done that yet because the basic unit is fine for my uses.

Inside, all the tools hook up to a long, 4 inch hose. and that hooks to a tube that allows me to suck up stray sawdust on the floor The table saw has an over blade suction that goes from a Shark Guard to a blast gate then to a Y fixture, into the wall. Don't know if the Shark Guard will work on your saw, but it has dramatically reduced over the top sawdust scatter on the table saw.
Vacuum cleaner Metal

BTW, Don't forget to add a chip collector, which will probably catch the majority of sawdust as well as the occasional loose screw or bolt. This pix is just like mine, a 30 gallon fiber drum with a flat, locking metal top and Rockler hardware. I cut the openings with a jig saw with a metal cutting blade. It catches at least 90 percent of all sawdust, so remember to empty it once in awhile
When you start setting up your DC system, pick one supplier. 4 inches is not the same from one supplier to the next. I finally settled on the Rockler stuff after wasting a lot of money trying to get things connected. I still have a large box of misfits around here somewhere.

Hope this has been helpful. Harbor Freight usually has their sale with coupon around holidays, but the DC is not always on special. Stick prefers one of the higher end DC units, but if you can get the $150 price, I just don't think you can match the value. Add the Rikon impeller and get a Wynn filter for it (it's the cylinder on top of my DC), and you're up to the price of a name brand, basic DC unit. If you can drag the DC outside, the bag will work OK between cleanings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'll have to check out the HF DC. I actually had a little room built off my shop that has pretty good sound insulation. I had it built with a DC system in mind. Currently I have my air compressor in there and have an air line that goes through the wall to a hose reel on the wall above the door. (see pic below). I'm pretty sure I can fit a DC in that room also.
 

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