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Here's My Workshop!

Eric J.Commarato
Jackson, MS

Click on any picture to see a larger version.

Welcome to my work shop. My shop is a work in progress and continues to change as I add more tools and machinery. This space is one of the garage stalls attached to my house. I made the garage larger than a standard garage stall, it measures 17'x24'. The other two stalls are for parking family cars and also double as an assembly area and an area for cutting large sheet goods. The two family car areas contain a Delta Contractor's Saw and a Dewalt compound miter saw for material preparation. I also have a Powermatic Model 100 Planer in the adjacent garage for thickness planing chores.

I have been collecting older equipment along with some new equipment since 1985. I also have welding and metal working equipment in the shop. There is a good deal of equipment in my shop, but it has all been arranged so I can work comfortably by myself. For larger projects, I pull our family car out of the next garage and work there. I have some other equipment in the other garage, a Delta table saw on a mobile base a Powermatic 100 and my chop saw setup. My shop machinery runs on both single phase and three phase power. I have a 7-1/2 HP rotary phase converter that supplies power for the Tannewitz table saw, the Hammond Trim-O-Saw, the Oliver Jointer and a couple other machines. I also have dedicated VFD's for some machines. I have an older Emglo 30 gallon compressor that supplies air to everything. I installed a dust collection cyclone about 7-8 years ago along with an air filtration system.

The photograph above is taken looking toward the shop entrance door. I have a Tannewitz 16" table saw which I can rip up to an 8' long board. This saw is mainly for precision joint making. Also in this view are my Oliver 144 BD Jointer and A Powermatic Model 26 Shaper.

The view below is looking toward the metal working are of the shop. With limited space, I have both woodworking machines and metalworking machines in the same space. The garage door beyond can be opened and the General 130 Planer has clearance to plane long boards. In the corner of the shop is a cyclone dust collector with spiral ductwork arranged to pick up sawdust on most machines. There is a Powermatic 66 on a mobile base that is used for cross cutting lumber and sheet goods to width. There is a 1950 Delta Unisaw with a Biesemeyer fence just behind the Powermatic Shaper that is permanently set up with a dado blade. The Unisaw is mainly used for dado work and making box joints. To the right is a 1947 South Bend 9" Lathe, A Clausing Drill Press, A 1965 South Bend Shaper and a Bench Master Mill. This view also shows my maple work bench outfitted with a Pattern Makers Vise and to the left a Miller Syncrowave 250 Tig Welder.

Below is a view looking toward my bench area. This is where I do most of my hand plane work and saw work, dovetailing etc. There is clamp storage along the wall. There is also a Delta DJ15 jointer just beyond the workbench that is mainly used for preparing short lumber. All of my power tool storage is located in the wall cabinets. On the counter there are four Kennedy tool chests that hold a variety of machinist and woodworking hand tools. I have a Minimax band saw and a MAX spindle sander that resides under my parts bin storage area.

This view below is looking into the shop from the entrance. Here is steel plate table that serves as an out feed table for the Tannewitz table saw as well as a workbench for fabricating small metal parts and tig welding. The Delta Drill Press is used for general drilling mostly in wood. The Clausing Drill Press Beyond is for more precision drilling in metals.

Below is a view looking from the metalworking area back across my shop. In the back corner is a small but heavy duty Delta Homecraft Drill Press that sees limited but dedicated use. There is an older Delta 14" Bandsaw which was my first woodworking machinery purchase back in 1986. Also located in the corner is my Williams and Hussey wood lathe which was recently replaced with a General 160 wood lathe. My "hardware" center or parts storage are drawer units made by Lyon. I have there loaded with parts and fasteners. Also in this area I have a Powermatic 30 Disk Belt Sander and a Powermatic 719 Mortiser.

Below is a picture of my metal working corner. I don't do much metal machining, but I have a few machines ready for metalworking tasks. Shown here is a 1965 South Bend Shaper that was restored earlier this year. Also there is a Benchmaster Milling machine that sees occasional use. There are a couple more Miller Welders, a Miller Thunderbolt and A Miller 211 Mig Welder.

Below is my Hammond Trim-O-Saw. It was originally used in the printing industry for cutting lead type. It is my favorite machine in the shop. This saw has a very smooth sliding table capable of a 20" cross cut. It also has a micrometer stop for very accurate repetitive cutting. This machine does a great job of cutting small parts and does not produce a lot of airborne dust. It is very powerful and can be used to cut aluminum and plastic.

I love to collect machinery and make things. My shop is tailored for just my use and it is just big enough for one person. When I assemble larger projects I usually move to my other garage stall on nice days when I can leave the garage door open. The shop is air conditioned with a portable air conditioner. Heat is provided by a 5000 BTU portable heater. I have an Emglo 30 Gallon Air Compressor that provides air for nailing and air tools. About half of the machinery is three phase. I have a three phase rotary converter along with variable frequency drives that provide power for the three phase equipment. Most all of my equipment was purchased used and restored to operational condition. I also like using Persian rugs in my shop. Wool rugs are very thick, they hide oil/shop stains, and they wear like iron. I've found all of my rugs at garage sales. Hopefully one day I will have a large shop but for now this works for me.

Here is a recent project that was completed earlier this year. It is a DVD/Blueray stand that is constructed from cherry. It sits on a steel bar welded stand.

Want to see more shops? Check out our Shops Gallery , featuring many of the shops that we have featured in previous editions of Wood News.

Would you like for your shop to appear in this column? We invite you to SEND US PHOTOS of your woodworking shop along with captions and a brief history and description of your woodworking. (Email photos at 800x600 resolution.) Receive a $50 store credit redeemable towards merchandise if we show your shop in a future issue.

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