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My New Workshop

Hi my name is Chris, and this is the story of my new workshop.

Before I start, I would just like to say that I have now added some new updates, a lot has happened to my story in the last two years. If you are not new to my site and want to read what is new from February 2019 just click here to skip down.

I am now retired as of September 2016, and these are some of the projects, pictures, and development stages of turning my garage into a workshop.

Now at this stage some of you might be asking ‘Why do you need a workshop at all?’, and I have been asked this on more that one occasion. I normally answer this with a question. ‘Which came first, the chicken or the egg?’, it’s a sort of Zen riddle. What I am trying to say is; if you have to fix something, how do you do it?, unless you have a workshop or some space, the right equipment, a bench, and enough light to see what you are doing?

Do you see what I mean? Does the workshop or the project you want to work on come first? Well that is my excuse for converting the garage, and I am sticking to it!

The workshop project should have been started ten years ago, when we moved into the bungalow. However, as most of you probably know, full time work always seems to get in the way of the enjoyable things of life!

So this project actually started back in May 16 when I decided to get working a Myford ML7 lathe that I inherited from my late father.

I decided to refurbish it. That meant fixing the clutch, rewiring it and fitting a new motor. This lead to wanting to paint the rather dreary concrete interior of the garage, including the floor, and painting some of the wooden units that my father made, which he never ever did. Fitting new shelves, fitting some nice new LED tube lighting, and making new benches. Now this is where the story really starts, and it will take us down the road of welding machines, metal cutting chop saws, and plasma cutters, to name just a few, pieces of equipment. For me it’s back to my roots, in engineering, having spent the last 45 years in I.T.!

So stay tuned for more pages, information and pictures.

So to get the full low-down, start at the Bench Design, then Rage Saw, ESAB Welder, and then Cros-Arc Plasma, and don’t forget Pictures and Videos.

I will add more later.

Talking of which, it is now the end of February 17, and I am feeling a bit like a ‘land locked sailor’ not being able to continue work on the Workshop over the cold of the winter. However, I have been thinking about one thing. Do I need some sort of torch for heating metal, or freeing up stuck bolts, soldering, brazing etc? The problem is that you never know what you are going to need until the times comes, and then it is probably to late, because you need to get the job done now!

So instead of simply going out and buying Oxy Acetylene, with all of it’s cost of hiring the cylinders, not to mention the safety aspect of having those cylinders stored at home. How about HHO? It’s nearly as hot and you even do acrylic polishing because the flame is so pure. So take a look at the newest section that I have now added HHO.


February 2019 updates.

It is now February 2019 and this is the first update since starting the workshop project.

I would have hoped by now to have completed the workshop and have it fully functional. However, I have been approached by friends and neighbours to complete some very interesting projects which I will share with you. In fact there have been so many new updates, both in terms of equipment and projects. I have decided to revamp the website, to better show what have been happening.

Initially the site looked like this.

However, I have now decided to split the site up as follows:

Home this page and my story so far.

Equipment things that I have purchased or may purchase, and why.

Equipment like the HHO generator that I was going to purchase, and the reason I changed my mind, see the Bench build project to find out. These are also things that have not been modified, well not much that is!

Equipment Projects things that I have purchase then decided to modify, and why.

Most of the time I guess like most people, I like value for money. Sometimes I try not to buy the most expensive equipment, because I am just doing things for myself. I am not running a full time engineering works. But sometimes I would just like that little bit extra from the equipment. It’s also fun to take a basic item and make it better. I have no sponsorship from any company, so I can ‘tell it like it is’, ‘warts an all’, and that is what you are going to get. You might also like to add any of these modifications to your own purchases?

Projects things that other people have asked me to do for them, and the results.

It is always interesting to have people come up to you and say ‘oh! can you do this?’. I especially like a challenge, it also gets the brain functioning to another level coming up with a new design, thinking about a sympathetic restoration or taking into account safety factors that must be built in. You never know what will happen next! Probably showing my age now but I remember a line from Stingray - ‘anything can happen in the next half hour’.

Well hopefully the workshop is not that dramatic, but you never know!

Pictures and Videos is still going to be the final page, for now.

So those are the new categories for the website, I guess by the time you read this it will all be done and you can see for yourself. My plan for this year is to try and get the second half of the workshop finished. As I write this, the left side of the workshop with the new multifunction bench, which is just superb, fulfilling more than I could have asked from the design, now that it is all done. On the right hand side I was going to have installed a long 3 Mtr bench. However, because of a large welding project that has come up, I now need a large welding table, and may go for a professional one from BuildPro see below.

Now I know what you are thinking. Hang on a minute, you have just built a bench why not a welding table? Well a welding table has to be able to withstand a lot of heat, and remain completely flat. That means it has to have a very thick steel top, and that is heavy. I have no equipment to be able to manoeuvre that sort of weight around. This table has steel slats that are bolted down, so I should be able to assemble it ‘piece-by-piece’. I also want it to have wheels, which they do, as an extra.

Sometimes you just have to ‘bite-the-bullet’ and pay for it. But we shall have to wait and see.

I also decided to purchase a second Evolution metal chop saw. This time the smaller Rage 4 which only has a blade size of 185mm and therefore can cut much smaller steel parts. The problem with the Rage 3, that I previously purchased, which is great for cutting long lengths, is that it does not have a short enough clamp, so cannot cut close to the saw blade. Which is pretty much hopeless for cutting shorter lengths of materials, under 6 inches.

I may have to put my Rage 3 including the base unit into the loft. Now I hear you say ‘how are you going to lift that up there’. Well another completed project that I have done is an electric loft hoist. More about that later in the projects section.

So going back to the workshop and that right hand side, which is unfinished, the new welding table will take pride of place, most probably with a second work bench this one incorporating a small sink. I have already purchased an electric inline boiler, so that I can have running hot and cold water. Finished projects now include a tool chest with wheels, modifications to my Clarke’s belt sander, by adding wheels, a long mains lead and speeding the belt up by a factor of three! For steel sanding. Adding wheels to my Evolution saw base. Refurbish my late Father’s old bench grinder turning it into metal linisher, also restoring one of his very old bench vices.

Building removable bench mounts for my, bench grinder and an HD mount for my Clarke’s 44 lbs swivel bench vice. Also creating a mount for my new Cyclops steel ring roller.

Modifying my Clarke’s 1 tonne arbor press to accept press dies so that I can replace the bearings in my Evolution belt sander. The last equipment mod was to create a backplate to allow me to use small reels of welding wire with my ESAB caddy welder, all of these and more are listed with a full explanation and pictures in the Equipment Project section.

So there is plenty to look at, have fun!


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