The New Shop: 1735 S. River Rd., St. Charles, MO 63303
So, I have decided to let the cat out of the bag and tell everyone that I officially have a new shop, even though it is not official. The lease paperwork has not been completed, but I figure if the owners are opening the place up and helping me move in, that they won’t be in a hurry to turn around and kick me out. For the past week, I have been moving in tools and hooking them up, and I have been dying to show my (my wife would put “little” right here) wood friends what’s going on.
First off, appreciate the fact that, as my dad pointed out, this will be the cleanest that you will ever see my shop. He recommended that I get some pictures of it, before I start my “work”.
With that said, “Let the tour begin.”
The new location is large for me, about 25′ x 200′ or 5,000 sq. ft. of well-lit, semi-climate-controlled, smooth-concrete-floor, easy-access space. I am used to about 1,000 sq. ft. of dimly-lit, no-climate-controlled, wavy-concrete-floor, muddy-access space for the shop and lumber, so this is huge. It is also in a great location for me and, hopefully, my customers. The location should be good for my customers because it is easy to access from I-70 or the Page extension just across either of the bridges into St. Charles. The location is good for me because it is only a couple of miles from our new house (we moved to St. Charles in 2010). The shop address is 1735 S. River Road, St. Charles, MO 63303.
Since all of my tools are burnt beyond recognition or at the scrapyard, “moving” didn’t take long. I basically, drove my pickup truck to the shop and unloaded the tools that were still in the cab. Then, with just a trip of tools out of my garage at home and the moving was done. I have been acquiring though. I focused on the tools that I use the most often as the first to bring in to the shop. Lucky for me, I stumbled on a shop that was going out of business and had tools for sale. I found the business last fall, when I still had a shop, so I didn’t pursue the tools. But, since I showed such good hustle and quickly burned down my shop, the tools that I was interested in were still available.
The two main acquisitions for me were the jointer and planer. I need those tools almost every day and they need to be tough enough to pound through some lumber. The jointer is older than my last one, which I didn’t think was possible, but it is in better shape. My last one was abused by folks before me, and then I crashed it pretty hard one day when a blade came out and abruptly stopped the cutterhead (my fault, I put the gib in backwards). The new one is a 12″ wide American, before it became Yates-American, which is a well-known industrial woodworking machinery company. It is very straight and has an easily adjustable tilt on the outfeed table, which is a dramatic improvement over others that I have seen. The planer is a Powermatic 180 from the real Powermatic in Tennessee, not the new fake imported Grizzly/Sunhill/Northtech/Powermatic that we are forced to purchase these days. It is 18″ wide, which is a slight downgrade from my 20″ fake Powermatic, but it has a lot more power at 7hp. The coolest thing is the factory sticker on front that says,”Do not remove more than 1/2″ of thickness at a time.” That’s not a planer, that’s a chipper!
The last major acquisition is an AEM (Timesavers) 37″ wide belt sander. I had a grizzly dual drum sander before, that I found very useful, but not very fast. I was able to consistently get pretty good results, but it was like watching paint dry as for as the speed goes. The other major drawback was that it was only 24″ wide, and I would be left on my own with an orbital sander on larger pieces. At 37″ wide, it will handle cabinet doors and entry doors, as well as most face frames and many table tops. And, with 20 hp it should do the job in a reasonable amount of time. I have jokingly named this machine “The Friendmaker” because I expect a long line of friends to be waiting to use it. Speaking of friends, thanks Martin, Patrick and Dad for helping me move this particular item.
Lastly, I need to thank Mike Willard who is semi-temporarily, quasi-permanently lending me a 5hp older Delta Unisaw. I love older, stronger, heavier tools and this one is right in my wheelhouse. Now I just need to hook it up.
That concludes the tour except for the photos below. Thanks for flying with WunderWoods today. I will be sure to update you when my new location is stocked with wood and tools and “officially” open for business.