Winter is coming

No, nothing to do with Game of Thrones. Everything to do with temperatures barely reaching double figures in the morning. So it’s time to relocate the workshop to warmer climate. I’m very fortunate that I have a room at the back of my house which until recently was a dumping ground for anything and everything. That’s now clear so I can relocate my workbench and many of my tools into the house.

My table saw is way too big to move and would take up so much space in the 10′ by 10′ room. I don’t use my jointer enough to need it down in the winter shop. So these two will need to be winterized and left in my barn workshop. The tops of both the tools are cast iron, so they will need to be given a protective coating of paste wax, and some oil put on other moving parts to keep moisture out.

I will have to use them occasionally over winter so that will stop them from seizing. This will also be a bit of a test for me. Can I mark up the parts that need cutting, take them out to the other building and make the cuts? Or will I find that I can make all cuts with my miter saw and band saw? Obviously I’m going to resist going up there. Operating dangerous power tools in sub-zero temperatures is less than ideal. I’ve got a small pile of 12/4* red oak which needs jointing on at least two sides so I don’t have to do that during winter. If I can joint two faces flat and square, then I can use my bench top planer to finish the other two sides as and when I need to get them done.

I’ve currently got a large hutch in the room, so I’m probably going to dismantle that I think. I can re-use a lot of the materials and it will clear a 3′ by 6′ space for tools. There’s still a fair amount of junk in/on the hutch so that’ll need to be cleared off. I have a feeling procrastination will set in before that’s done though.

Once my wife’s birthday present is finished (sorry babe – I *know* it’s only 3 months late), then I can get on with putting up some shelves and moving tools.

* Rough lumber is measured out in 1/4″ widths, so 12/4 is approximately 3″. It’s hard to be more accurate that that for several reasons:

  • Rough lumber has a lot of saw marks, which you need to get rid of before you can start making things out of it.
  • Wood swells and shrinks significantly with the moisture content of the air around it. This can be by as much as 1/8″! (just over 3mm)
  • Wood will twist, bow, cup and otherwise distort out of shape. Typically this means when you start with a 4/4 piece, you’ll need to plane it down to 3/4″ to make it flat and square on 4 sides.