My other Castle
They say a manís home is his castle,
which were the words that I was trying to convey to my wife as she steered me to the back door, yes dear of course it is, now off you go and play as the door closed behind me. I wonder if Prince Philip has to put up with this, now off you go Philip and change the guard or something similar I thought as I stared down the long and winding path that would lead to my other castle, actually itís only a couple of yards but I felt the occasion needed a sense of drama. I arrived at my castle and stepped inside, lord of all I survey. Welcome to my world forum readers.
So why am I writing this letter, well I recently joined this excellent forum in order to gain some knowledge on routing in particular jigs and noticed that the forum is just not about routing but about community. An analogy would be to going for a nice meal with friends with social interaction of a friendly nature discussing topics that involves all the diners. I first noticed that members were very magnanimous in their comments and very forthcoming in their advice to others which I found very refreshing. I also noted that the site is run with meticulous focus on detail in all areas as demonstrated with the ease I found navigating the various sections; an example would be my first posting with photos took only about five minutes to submission, a pat on the back guys. When I decided to start my first adventure which was my Leigh jig I wanted to tell the story and get much needed advice and so decided on Show and Tell which I found inspiring as I did not realise that you could give other members a little insight into where your wife sends you after you retire. I scrolled through quite a number noting a few tips as to layout I might borrow for my own set up. I also noticed that there is certainly a sense of pride in what you see demonstrated in the photos and I can understand that creating a workshop environment just as you have dreamed about although hugely self satisfying is something you would want the world to see and enjoy. what you get to do on Show and Tell is share something with others that you have pride in and thatís a good thing and even one decent comment can go a long way.
Well enough of the philological bull and down to my workshop. A bit of history first. I am two years retired from a college in Scotland being a lecturer in construction for the past twenty years. When I was about forty my old man told me he had been watching a programme called New Yankee Workshop, so gave it a try and was hooked, I am a plumber by trade and hated joinery because I could not for the life of me plane a piece of wood straight, it drove me crazy as I nudged nearer the gauge line knowing I was going past it regardless of my endeavours. But this guy showed me a new world of joinery; yes you have guessed it POWER TOOLS the answer to all lifeís problems. There is nothing in life that cannot be solved if you own a cordless drill or router. Norm and I became best mates although he never realised it. A sense of urgency crept into my life shortly after when my wife asked me what I will be doing when I retire, spending more time with you I expect came my answer. The shocked silence was over whelming and a tad too long for my liking. Find something to do came the reply. So this is where my new best mate came in. Now we had just got rid of the last of the kids, the last one we had to use a tyre lever to get out you can still see his finger nail scratches on the front door posts but thatís another story. So I decided to build a workshop which being in the construction sector was not too difficult and over the last ten years or so have almost completed it. My thoughts behind it were to submit the plans to the local planning Dept as a garage and not a workshop where there are not too many restrictions. I constructed it in 100mm block with insulated concrete floor. Added what they call attic trusses that allow you to have a second floor which I use as storage. I strapped the outside walls insulated and bought 22mm chip wood t&g flooring which is 2400x600mm and lined all the exterior walls. Best thing ever, a readymade wall that you can fix or hang anything to. Now before I poured the floor I drew an exact layout of all machinery and ducted to all machine points i.e. no overhead cables. As well as the usual wiring I installed 3 phase 415volts which in the UK is the industrial equivalent needed for heavy industrial machinery. I found out quickly that any machine up for sale on the auction sites is nigh impossible to get if they are 240volt single phase as that is the norm for domestic houses, but very few people have 3 phase and that made getting my hands on the older machines a lot easier as under UK regs a few years ago all machines had to have dc braking, apparently it was cheaper to replace machines than to convert and as a consequence of these regs there was a derge of old 3 phase machines on the second hand market. I picked up all my 3 phase machines for £350. Another tip is the power tools. Again in the UK you are not allowed to work on site with anything other than 110volts and with households being 240volts they are cheap to bid on, I wired a second ring around my workshop in 110volts and consequently many of my power tools are 110volts. My last ring was compressed air which I ran around the workshop and is a handy addition. Lastly as my wife is not aware of what hypothermia can do to a pensioner in a workshop in the dead of winter I installed a gas fired warm air heater which only takes about five minutes to heat up the workshop.
Well thatís the story of the king of the other castle, enjoy the picks