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Archive for April, 2016

Hello, Dear Readers (at least the two or three that have stuck with me).

I’m ever-so-pleased to announce that the new workshop is finished, finally. You’ll recall that way back in April 2014 I showed you a photo of an unfinished basement and a plan for a new shop. After many twists and turns, and a few delays, and a lot of cutting and nailing and fitting and painting &c &c, the basement is almost finished and the shop, as of this afternoon, is finished! It’s a tight little space, and I think that the Ontario Canoe Company decked sailing canoe, at 14′ LOA, is the biggest thing that I’ll be able to fit in through the window and work on. No matter, I’ll just begin building smaller boats. Here’s the new space. The floor, laid over the original cement, is DriCore 2′ x 2′ T&G squares of oriented strand board with a plastic underlay. Walls are regular 2″ x 4″ studwall, with 1/4″ OSB over. The overall aesthetic is solid but not beautiful–“fisherman finish,” as Harold Payson called it:

window

That’s the window, which should allow the OCC canoe in with about 1/2″ to spare all ’round. In fitting my tools and projects into such a tight space, I’ve had to re-think how I do things. In order to free up floor space for the boat, I’ve gotten rid of all of the stands and mobile bases and resigned myself to pulling out and putting away tools as I use them. The workbench top is mounted on lumber racks strapped to the wall studs with lag screws. I even shortened my sawhorses to a canoe-appropriate width of 30″ to save space:

looking toward workbench

All of the tools, materials and supplies are concentrated in the dogleg part of the shop so that the main space is clear:

drill press and wall shelves

There’s even, thanks Harry Potter, a “cupboard under the stairs” for deep storage, paint and the like, the entrance to which can just be seen in the back of this photo.

drill press and metal shelves

The bigger part of the “L” is where the boat goes, and I’ve deliberately kept it clear. In case your wondering, there’s about 1″ of clearance between the shelf brackets and the top of my head(!):

looking toward boat area

Since I prefer to work with long skinny boats, I think there will be just enough room to walk up and down either side. That’s the Radix centreboard on the end wall for inspiration. I’ve also got room to hang up the patterns for past projects, including the Fiddlehead double-paddle canoe:

patterns on wall

Next step is to bring the OCC canoe down from the storage unit and empirically verify that it will indeed fit through the window. More soon, glad to be back.

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