View Full Version : Some shop pics

12-03-2006, 05:47 PM
Well, I'm certainly not done yet, but figured I'd post some "in progress" pics of my shop. I haven't settled on a floor plan, so I'm still open for suggestions (as long as you don't suggest I move the mill ;) I'm still on the hunt for a decent lathe... holding out for something decent.

So, anyway, I bought a house this summer. To say it "needs a little work" would be the understatement of the millennium. I've gutted the house and have been rebuilding it since August. The shop is my little "side project." I started with a new electrical feed. I tore up the existing #10AWG girlie cable and buried a bunch of conduit and manly #2AWG SER cable for a new 100-Amp panel to power the toys. I've been adding some stuff since...

Before... Niiice, right? All of this stuff came with the house as a little first-time buyer's bonus. I filled 4 30-yard dumpsters between the garage and the house.


After... it's not quite done yet, as you can see from the two missing pieces of drywall, but there's a suspended platform above the ceiling for an extra 128 square feet of storage. Lugging heavy stuff up there isn't much fun. Maybe Santa will bring me a chainfall.


The compressor, tablesaw, etc. That Powermatic saw has more power than the Bridgeport. Keep your fingers away from that thing!



12-03-2006, 05:48 PM

Note the heater in the upper left corner. I've worked in the cold long enough to really, truly appreciate a warm shop:


The power hog. (I've been trying like hell to weld up some Oak, but think I must not have the proper Argon/Chlorophyl mix)


The other corner:


The Mill:


12-03-2006, 05:49 PM
Oh, this is VFD #2, by the way (don't ask what happened to VFD #1;) ) I've got it stashed out of harm's way and ran some wire to the mill so I can control Run/stop, forward/reverse, Speed, etc remotely:


John R
12-03-2006, 06:06 PM
That looks great . Congratulations. You mentioned the heater on the left but I zeroed in on the refrig on the right . Man should never be far from his beer.
I just finished a new shop to replace what I had before Katrina. New machines, new everything, life is good.

12-03-2006, 07:28 PM
Great looking shop and looks like you have plenty of room at least until you get all of the machines that you think you can't live with out. Looks a lot better than the before pics for sure. Good luck on your lathe hunt. I really like these pictures of peoples shops. I find it interesting to see how others store stuff. Thanks for sharing.

12-03-2006, 08:12 PM
What I'd like to know...how in the heck did you get in my shop to take that first picture?
Other than that, all looks good!
You better cover that floor back up...it'll catch cold or something :D

12-03-2006, 08:18 PM
Looks real good. I used your shop to show my wife how little space a Bridgeport really takes ;) Den

12-03-2006, 09:41 PM
Nice beer and wine cooler, but what is all that other stuff in there???:D

Mad Scientist
12-03-2006, 09:54 PM
Looks good!!! Hopefully you found a few treasures worth keeping in all these goodies that you had to throw out.

12-10-2006, 09:08 AM
Hey Magee, nice lookin' shop ! love ta have that tig,it's high on my wish list. I really replied to say I was dissapointed that the pic of your mill didn't show up on my computer for some reason? I just got my first mill ( 20 year old BP clone by Enco) haven't got it running yet, 2h.p. 3 ph & no 3phase in home shop. Thought about rotary phase converter but heard such great things about VFD that I bought one on E-bay for $188.00. Brand new made by Boston Gear. Actually cheaper than the rotary. Problem is it came with a New York city sized phone book of instructions written in Greek (I don't read greek very well)mill was also an e-bay item that I got zero info on. It has the step pulley head & nameplate says it has 16 speeds. The motor is 2 speed 3460/1730 so I figure it must have used both motor speeds plus hi/lo range to get 16 speeds ? looks to me that the upper 8 speeds wouldn't be very usefull for metalcutting(which is my intention) but even just using low speed of the motor by way of the VFD with remote STOP, FORWARD,REVERSE & variable speed control at the mill looks pretty complex to a non-electrician like myself. Sure don't want to screw up & let the "magic smoke" outta any of that expensive to replace electrical stuff. Any help or advice on the matter you could give would be greatly appreciated. I'd really like to make some chips! Thanks , Rick

charlie coghill
12-10-2006, 10:35 AM
Rick I don't have any advice on using a VFD but I have used a RPC on my inport bridgeport mill for twenty years. A couple of years ago I added some capactors to the circuit and added a nichols horzional mill and my 16 inch shapper. They all operate very well with that set up.

12-10-2006, 02:36 PM
Good deal,you have good tastes in tablesaws.

I only see two things wrong,well not wrong really,just soon to be self correcting.

The b-port being in the corner means your first 3' long workpiece will mean moving the mill square to one wall or the other,don't ask how I know.

And there isn't nearly enough crap in there.As we get older balance,heart function and muscle tone all begin to deminish.But with the proper level of junk(about 3'deep)we can stave off the effects of old age.Having enough junk on the floor means we must tip toe,climb and weave our way from one machine to another.If walking over to the mill doesn't produce a sustained heartrate of 140bpm you just won't be getting enough exercise:D

12-10-2006, 04:19 PM
Good point wierd, I never understood the "mill in a corner" organization that is so popular. Mine is square to a wall, and I use the "dead space" beside the column/turret for the lathe tail clearance (gotta have room to (un)load the bed turret) and storage.

12-10-2006, 04:43 PM
I am curious about the bike, what is it?, looks like a TZR yamaha

12-10-2006, 05:56 PM
This is wrong,just plain wrong.How can any hsm have THAT much free floor space.You should parcel some up and share it around:D.
Time will help here of course.In no time you'll wish you made it 4 times bigger.
Nice set up though.Now git crackin' 'n make chips.

12-10-2006, 05:59 PM
I like the flag, particularly.

I usually use the 15 star/15 stripe McHenry flag, myself. Although it's a bit old-fashioned.

12-10-2006, 10:28 PM
Nice shop!
I remember an old friend of mine had a 5hp VFD driving his Bridgeport that he could plug in line with his 3 phase. The special thing he did was take advantage of the oversize drive to power tap. He had a pedal he laid on the floor that reversed the drive (set to very short ramp times). He was able to tap at much faster RPM than you would like to power tap with your hand on the switch. He would set up and power tap almost any hole due to the truer alignment and better thread fit that it offers.
It seemed that ten years ago or so the electrical suppliers wanted you to use a larger drive in cases where you needed to use the ramp generator for reversing and where you needed the drive to make 3 phase from single phase. I have not dealt with the new equipment so I don't know if this is still true, but it is a consideration for those that are buying a VFD to power a machine. The ability to power tap with a drive is as near as you can get to CNC and due to the smooth operation it is actually less likely to break a tap.

Just a thought that your pictures brought to my head.

12-11-2006, 09:30 AM
Sure don't want to screw up & let the "magic smoke" outta any of that expensive to replace electrical stuff. Any help or advice on the matter you could give would be greatly appreciated. I'd really like to make some chips! Thanks , Rick

Oh, I know all about that magic puff of smoke (That IS VFD #2, by the way)... I had a short in the stock Bridgeport switch that blew up the first one, so certainly don't trust the wiring that's there and triple-check your own connections before turning the power on.

Overall, though, I'm not too sure I'm going to be all that much help here since I'm sure your particular VFD differs from mine in enough ways that I couldn't feel confident enough in any specific advice to guarantee no smoke production. Having said that, though, there are some general recommendations I could make... Find a mounting location that's out of harm's way (and off of the machine). Your VFD should have some means of connecting low-voltage controls. Mine had "Phoenix" connectors that allowed me to wire in two toggle switches. One for Run and one for reverse. I also wired two momentary switches (push-button) to control motor speed. The programming and terminals were detailed in the manual... it was a little confusing at first, but I'm no electronics whiz and I managed to figure it out. You should be OK... just read and re-read the manual, as boring as it may be. It's a pretty sensitive device. You wouldn't want to make that magic smoke. Trust me :o

Good deal,you have good tastes in tablesaws.

Thanks. I managed to find one of the last Powermatics with an American flag on it. I wish my Bridgeport was in as nice shape.

I am curious about the bike, what is it?, looks like a TZR yamaha

It's actually a Honda VTR1000 (Superhawk) 996cc 90 degree twin. It's a lot of fun. Tons of torque down low. Eats rear tires, though.

This is wrong,just plain wrong.How can any hsm have THAT much free floor space.
The shop is still an infant... wait till it hits puberty and I lose control of it ;)
I do some auto work from time to time... I'm hoping to leave enough space to pull a car in... we'll see about that as time goes on, though.

Alistair Hosie
12-11-2006, 09:36 AM
Well done magee that's fantastic.Please have much fun and enjoyment with your new shop regards. Alistair

12-11-2006, 09:44 AM
Looks good!!! Hopefully you found a few treasures worth keeping in all these goodies that you had to throw out.

Believe it or not there was an old Craftsman lathe buried in the corner. It was a real little guy... maybe 3-4 inch or something. Little tiny handwheels. Of course that's the one thing they wanted to keep. Figures :)

12-11-2006, 04:49 PM
I am the proverbial pack rat... I sure can identify with your before shot. Great looking shop congratulation!!!!! Must feel good for a job well done

How about a cold PBR??????

Habetis bona deum

12-20-2006, 12:25 PM
Thank You to Magee & all others for your replies & advice. I did manage to finally hear/see the mill (and my new to me , old lagan lathe run) wired the motors directly to the vfd (one at a time) and used the switching of the vfd to control stop,run,for/rev & vari-speed, with no smoke lost, HO RAY! Still have to figure out how to get controls remotely on each machine. I would like to use a rotary dial for speed control like on the vfd itself, manual says a 10K pot? Still need to get some learn'/education on how to do that correctly. I think once I figure out the contact arrangement on the original machine switches I can use them for on/off, for & rev. Is it a good idea to also have an emergency stop as well? I think the vfd offers that option but is just another thing for me to figure out if you guys think I should have that at each machine as well. Thanks again for the input, new to HSM hobbie & website, great source of info. If I'm doin' or sayin' anything wrong please let me know, wouldn't want to mess up this Great source of info!

12-20-2006, 12:49 PM
I want to put heat in my shop but I'm concerned about the fumes from the gas tanks on my bikes.

Wouldn't that be a hazard with gas heat?

john hobdeclipe
12-20-2006, 04:07 PM
I want to put heat in my shop but I'm concerned about the fumes from the gas tanks on my bikes.

Wouldn't that be a hazard with gas heat?

Gasoline fumes are heavier than air, and tend to hug the floor. This is why a natural gas or propane water heater, if installed in a garage, must be mounted at least 18 inches off the floor.

So I would think that a gas heater mounted high, like ceiling level, would not be a problem.

But before you do anything, get a second opinion from a from the gas company and/or local building inspector.

12-20-2006, 04:31 PM
My shop building is only a couple of years old and I lucked out and found an older Dayton (made for Grainger by Sterling) hanging "unit heater" in a local want ad paper and paid $50. A new gas valve on Ebay for $15 and a new pilot (also ebay for a few bucks) and I have it converted to LP for my use. This is the typical hanging furnace. In my case, it is hanging from a 14' ceiling, so it would take a lot of vapor to be a problem.

Still, if I had bought new, I would have done two things:

1. If I went with a unit heater, it would have had pilotless ignition. These are still a fire hazard because you still have an open flame, but you don't eat gas for days at a time for the limited times I am in the shop and have the heat on. Nearly everything that is new is pilotless anyway.

2.I might have gone with a typical "sealed combustion" furnace. My dad built a new shop building even more recently. I flipped out when I saw his furnace room with a return vent down low. Then he showed me the sealed combustion furnace which gets outside air for combustion. No chance of sucking in solvent fumes from the shop. Pretty good idea in my estimation.

12-20-2006, 04:34 PM
By the way, rwf71, how do you share the VFD? I only have limited knowledge of them, but I thought that they had settings for current ramping etc for startup that I would think would vary from one motor to the next?


12-20-2006, 07:57 PM
[/QUOTE]Gasoline fumes are heavier than air, and tend to hug the floor. This is why a natural gas or propane water heater, if installed in a garage, must be mounted at least 18 inches off the floor.

FYI, natural gas, acetyline, and hydrogen fuel gasses are lighter than air and will dissipate if there is a leak. Propane is heavier than air, and will just sit there and wait for trouble. Nasty stuff. I don't know about gasoline, but it sure does make a great solvent (outside only, that is).

I looked at a VFD manual once, when someone else was trying to set the thing up. Pretty much an excess of choices, but they're great when you get the setup done.

Nice looking shop, but there's waaayyyyyyy too much empty space there. I prefer a more "object-rich enviornment" so there's no danger of hitting the floor when I trip. :)


12-21-2006, 02:06 PM
Hi Paul, I'm NOT an electrician, this is the first vfd that I've ever had anything to do with and I really hope I'm not going about it all wrong.Well anyway here's the story, the Boston Gear vfd manual says the drive has 3 different operating modes (you have to chuse/program the drive to the 1 best suited for your application) there are 2 different vector modes & 1 called volts/hz. Manual says you should use volts/hz. mode when the h.p. of the drive ( mine is 3 h.p.) and your motor differ by 1h.p. or more. My mill is 2 h.p. & lathe is 1 h.p. , so I chose the volts/hz. mode. I only have the 1 vfd and only can operate 1 machine at a time so I wired the vfd 3ph output to a 4 lug twist-lock female receptical mounted in the bottom of the enclosure that the vfd is in. Then the motors of each machine were fitted with 4 wire cords and the matching 4 lug male cord ends to plug into the receptical. I have to plug in whichever machine I want to run & of course unplug the other cause I only have 1 receptical. I ran both the mill & lathe this way this past weekend with no apparent problems. I don't have any tooling for the mill yet so I just saw it run & vfd controlled it's vari-speed fine. I did actually play around with the lathe turning on some scrap for about an hour & it seemed fine to me , vari-speed worked and ran smooth. I had the drive programmed for a range of 20-60 h.z.. At this time I had to open the enclosure and use the drive itself to switch machines on/off , for./rev. & vari speed but hope to have these controls remoutely mounted on each machine in the future & will also have a cord/ receptical arrangement at the enclosure so each machines control cord will be plugged in when it's power cable is plugged in. I hope this explanation made some sence , and if anyone see's a problem with this set-up please let me know as this is all brand new to me & as I said earlier I'm NOT an electrician. Rick

12-21-2006, 03:41 PM
Very nice shop. I noticed the card file in one of the pics. What brand is it and what size are the drawers? I am looking for one like that for tooling etc.

12-21-2006, 07:37 PM
I'm actually not sure. It was part of the deal when I bought the mill. It's full of misc stuff... TONS of hold-down hardware, some old transfer punches, etc. I couldn't find any markings on it... Looks like it's been repainted "once or twice." ;)