“Shop” happenings (planer stand and bench reductions)

This was supposed to be the planer stand post but that seemed kind of, well, boring.  So instead of several boring posts let’s combine them all in one!  Here we go.
Fine, let the record show that I used quotations on “shop” because I feel like a poser using that term.  My work area is a one car garage that is mostly filled with my stuff but also is home to our second fridge, a file cabinet, bicycles, a wagon, and lawn equipment.  When talking to people about working wood I still don’t use the s-word as it feels like it should refer to a larger, more proper space.  People who have gone into my garage look around and a few think it looks crowded.  Several people have mentioned this, at which I start swearing at them and curse their grandchildren.

Let’s try to get this back on track.

First, the planer stand.  The size of the stand was around 6″ too big in all directions in relation to the actual planer.  For me, that is a lot of wasted space.  I should be able to trim it down and reuse the wood.

It started here:



Then after a lot of pounding,


And finally, I got it down to a pile of sticks.

Wood! In a pile! And no, this wasn’t staged.

I measured the planer base, marked up the timber (I have pictures but let’s be honest, who cares? I’ll save those for the director’s cut), and trimmed everything down to size.  I picked up a pair of locking swivel casters to replace the stationary casters and set off to reassemble the thing.

Nothing is ever that easy.

For some reason, the nuts wouldn’t thread back on the carriage bolts to which they were just mated.  A trip back to the local blue hardware store and new bolts made their way through the newly drill holes and, most importantly, were compatible with the nuts.

I got a couple of friends to help me lift the planer on the stand and we have this crappy picture as a result:

This picture is award worthy.
Done.  What’s next?

I recently redid my garage in what was the first major overhaul since February when I finished my bench.  I’ll share the details of that in another post.

I had anticipated at least one more big piece of machinery during the overhaul and left a couple of things hanging so I could finish them when that last mystery machine showed up.  Guess the planer was it.

The new goal was to get the bench, table saw, and planer at similar heights.

First, my table saw sits at the end of my bench and normally I would wheel the saw into the driveway when needed.  The bench was also supposed to double as an out feed table but is too tall.  Let’s fix that.

I grabbed my crosscut saw, ruler, cleaned off the bench and got busy.


Four legs later and it looks pretty good.  Especially since I don’t have a monster sash or panel saw.  After chamfering the edges and minor block plane cleanup I was ready to flip it over.

Wait a minute, that’s no French bench!
I took a moment to check the height (I took 1.5 inches off) and generally bask in my own glory.  I sawed 4×4’s with a shallow back saw and it came out great.

While still basking, I turned my table saw around, scooted it up to the bench to check the height.   I measured twice.

Son of a…
What the?  It’s still too tall!  Basking officially over.

So, that’s where it stands, waiting until this Saturday so I can take about 1/2″ off all four legs again.

Some good news is that I have a pair of  Gramercy holdfasts coming in on Monday.  I’ve put off buying these for too long and without good reason.  Once those arrive I can get back to making my winding sticks and then finish the three white oaks boards for the table leaf I’m building.

Eat a peach,



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