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    I'm in the process of setting up my third shop, which is only about 450 square feet. My old shop was about 360 square feet, but we moved away from it. Right now that consumes most of my wordworking time.

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  1. If you are thinking of building a free standing shop don't let the HOA stop you. I built a free standing shop (21'X21') even though it was against HOA rules. Here's what I did. Before I built it I met with the HOA president and presented him with an approved permit from the city, I asked him very politely for the HOA deviation form. He gave it to me and I filled it out and asked him to put it to vote at the next HOA meeting. I talked to a handful of my neighbors and told them what I was planning on building. I told them it wouldn't look like some crappy shed, but instead would look really good, be landscaped properly, and compliment the house. I got about a half dozen neighbors on my side. (it didn't hurt that I had build a number of projects for each of them, as well as lent them tools.) Anyway at the next HOA meeting I brought 5 other neighbors with me and my plan was voted acceptable. Most HOA meetings have fewer than 3 home owners attending so because I brought 5 with me it was easy to get it approved. Then what you do is keep a copy of the approved deviation form for yourself (just in case) and ask the HOA president to put a copy in the file for your house. Ta-da! New workshop behind the house. I later found out I could have more easily short-circuited the process by becoming the HOA president. Nobody ever runs for those positions so if you are willing to take on the role you can do what ever you like for a year and then find some other homeowner to take over. But seriously just buddy up with the HOA president and get a deviation added to your file. Most HOA presidents are just some lonely joker who wants nothing more than somebody to be his/her friend. Of course there's always the risk that your HOA president is some A-hole rule stickler Nazi. But if that turns out to be the case get yourself voted in at the next annual meeting. Seriously you bring a half dozen home owners with you, you'll get voted in for sure.
  2. I have no problem getting black melamine at my local Menards. They have tons of the stuff in stock all the time. I used it on my outfeed table. Here, you can see it in this picture.
  3. Sweet build, Eric. I especially love the picture where his sister is tugging on his cheek. ... Cute. Great work, brother. You should be quite proud of this one... and the little ones as well.
  4. Wow, am I enjoying this thread. I love the hourly update concept. Great work on this project. Looking forward to seeing it completed.
  5. Are you going to be selling off your whole shop or just the roubo? I notice some festool boxes in the corner... hint, hint....
  6. I've always heard that good deals can be had on Craigslist on bandsaws, but never experienced any. Most of what I've seen has been pretty much junk. Perhaps I just have bad timing. I think a quality bandsaw is a smart purchase. It is a very versatile and statistically very safe machine. I use my old POS craftsman a ton.
  7. Every year, I get up and grab some Veritas seconds. This year I over slept and missed my chance. BOO HOO.
  8. Well, really you can't go wrong with any of the four. The old school Besseys I think are the original and still a great clamp. The Jorgy's are fine and they seem super strong like you could crush something into powder with them. The only thing about the Jorgy's that bothers me is that they seem to stick from time to time and that can be annoying. Both the Jets and the Revos are great clamps. My preference is for the Revos, but only slightly. I don't like the release tab thingie as much as the smooth operation of the Revos. Handle toward the bar to close away from the bar to open. Simple and smooth... Believe it or not I also like the little clips that come with the Revos. I use those all the time to make parallel sides and also simply to keep glue off the bars. In my opinion the Revos are the perfect parallel jaw clamp. I can't think how they could be improved.
  9. Today I have a nice mixture of old school Besseys, Bessey Revos, Jorgys and Jets. If I had to rank them I'd put them as follows: 1 - Bessey Revos 2 - Jets 3 - Old school Besseys 4 - Jorgensen Opinions are like backsides, however, everybody has one. And you usually assume everyone else's stinks.
  10. Here's what I use. Very versatile and really cost effective.,42884,68511&ap=1
  11. Eric, Personally I think the rule of 4 is a bunch of hoo-ha! I subscribe to the rule of 2. I build tons of stuff where the joinery holds it in one direction and the clamps hold it in the other. That being said, I have at least 4 of nearly every clamp I own.
  12. I have a mixture of Jets, Jorgy's, old Bessey's and New Bessey K-Body's. Very rarely have an issue mixing and matching them on a project. Sometimes the Jorgy's "stick" a little in the closed position, but other than that they all seem to work well. My personal preference is for the new K-bodys.
  13. Looks like I'm too late to the party. I actually went the other way. I got rid of my LN Bronze #4 because I prefer the LV 4-1/2. Aside from the fact that I prefer the feel and fit of the LV to the LN. I find the 4-1/2 much less tiresome to use and much more comfortable. The additional weight holds the plane down for me, and actually makes it easier to use. ... especially with a little canning wax smeared on the sole.