Made room in the shop for turning

Since I moved into my new shop a year & a half ago, I have shuffled semi-finished projects in & out of the way as I worked. I have a chest that has no customer; I made it for photos I needed for my book. I kept thinking I’d find a spot for it in the house. Seemed unlikely, meanwhile it fit nicely under the lathe. So, out of sight, out of mind. Until I needed to turn something. In fact, fitting under there it collected lots of stuff inside it, then I even put boards across the top for more storage. Terrible idea. 

With a lot of turned components coming up in my work, I had to finally deal with it. Spent several hours shuffling stuff around here & there – fitted the chest (still lid-less, still unsold) into the basement and cleaned up the shop. Now, all I need to do is re-learn turning.

Here’s a view from outside, through the open door. All that open space means I can get at the lathe when I need to. I have plans to make a shorter bed for it, so it takes up less floor space. But for now, I need the full-length for some long turning projects in the near future.


Prior to turning, I chop all the mortises.

Even bore the pin holes.

Mark the centers.

Turn ’em.

on a good day, I can make them look like this:

Here’s the square table frame, test fitted. Like an over-sized joined stool.

After this one, there’s a large turned chair coming up. That calls for ash. This is a five-footer, splits like it’s perforated. The rear posts will be 4′ long, 2 1/4″ in diameter. Whew.

Shaved octagonal with a drawknife, then mark the center and turn it.

The straight clear ash works like a dream. what a wood…

9 thoughts on “Made room in the shop for turning

  1. I’m in the middle of a big shop reorganization myself, trying to clear all my log and plank stock off the lumber racks and out to the shed so the lumber racks can be storage space for roughed-out bowls. Meanwhile the shop looks like it’s been turned upside down and shaken. Chaos! Someday (soon, I hope) I’ll be able to get back to work, but there’s a lot of grubby work ahead between now and then.

  2. Hey Peter,
    The shop looks just about right in the doorway shot. Now that you’ve been in it for a while are you still thinking it is the right size, or would you go bigger / smaller next time?

    • Ha! I’m 60 years old – there is no “next time.” But I get what you’re asking…I built it this size to come in under zoning restrictions. Under 200 sq ft, no permitting required in my town. So that’s why it’s the size it is, 12′ x 16′. If there was more room, it would be easier to store works-in-progress. But otherwise, it’s perfectly fine.

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