Highland Woodworking Wood News Online, No. 149, January 2018Welcome to Highland Woodworking - Fine Tools & Education Learn more about Highland Woodworking View our current woodworking classes and seminars Woodworking articles and solutions Subscribe to Wood News
Here's My Workshop!
By Mike Ribelin
Littleton, CO

I am a retired educator who started out teaching Junior High Woodworking in 1972 in Littleton, Colorado. I taught woodworking for 15 years, went on to teach drafting/CAD for 10 more at Arapahoe High School and completed my career as the Coordinator for Career and Technical Education for 10 years. During my career I always dreamed of having my own woodshop (never really needed one while working since I always had access). I built my own house 35 years ago and at the time of the build I didn't think of having a space for a shop since I was still teaching woodshop at the time.

Fast forward 35 years, still in the same house and still wanting my own shop. The only space not being used in my house was a 13' x 22' room under my family room with only 7'-2" ceilings, so I went to work at converting what had sort of been a workshop into a woodshop. Starting out I bought some Rigid machines but quickly found they were not the quality I wanted in the long run. About a year into the shop change over I decided to add a dust collection system and what a blessing that has been! I went with the new JET Cyclone 2 hp machine. I had a local sheetmetal company make all of my ducting and built a soundproof room to house it and the air compressor in, and had it up and going in about a month.

During the past year and a half I have been doing some remodeling work for others in order to be able to upgrade the machines in my shop. This year I was able to talk my wife into expanding into what had been a storage room, adding another room of about 10'x20'. This room gave me space to have the workbench I had always wanted, a lumber rack and a place for my scroll saw. I'm in the process of changing that out now to a new JET machine and adding dust collection to that. I plan to use a Dust Deputy and vacuum built into a closet. I use a built-in one in the main shop for clean up and it works great. The last thing I have done is changed out the manual dust gates for the automated gates from iVac...what a nice upgrade!

You can email Mike at mikeribelin@gmail.com.

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