Search billions of records on

Jim's Woodworking Shop

Jim's Doghouse

I have, for some time now wanted to put together a website showing what some of my projects have been.

So, here is my attempt to show some of the stuff I'm doing since I retired.

First, lets mention why the shop is called "The Doghouse".

It could of course have the meaning that it's someplace I'm sent when I've been bad, like a sort of "timeout". However, that isn't the case. Not that it couldn't happen, but what actually happened, is: We had this big black dog, and ever since I put the addition on, "Snoopy" claimed it for his own.

We like to joke that his "doghouse" is heated and has AC.

The shop started out as a 10 x 12 metal lawn shed that our oldest son bought for us when we first moved in here in 1994. When I retired, I moved the lawn tractor out and moved some woodworking tools in.

As I started working on larger projects, and also acquired some more tools, it became very evident that I needed more room desperately. It would be impossible to move a building into the back yard, due to a large oak tree (now gone), and power lines, so I decided to put on an 8 x 10 addition to the existing building. That helped a lot, but, I am on the verge of outgrowing that. They say hindsight is 20/20, and I should have made it 10 x 12.

As of today, my main tools consist of:

  • Table Saw
  • Drill Press
  • Miter Saw
  • Sabre Saw
  • Jointer
  • Bandsaw
  • Router Table(homemade)
  • Pedestal Grinder
  • Rotary Saw Blade Grinder
  • Industrial Grade Air Compressor (in the garage)

Of course, I have the usual drills, planes, chisels, hammers, clamps, vises and screwdrivers required to do woodworking.

My ancestors were almost all woodworkers. My dad and grandfather were both cabinetmakers and carpenters, so woodworking is in our blood. Family lore says that my grandfather moved his family from Warren, Pa. to Jamestown, Ny. about 1925 and they lived in a tent on the property while he built the house. The house was still standing in 1990 when my Dad and I drove by it.

Some time ago Harbor Freight had 45 watt Solar Panels on sale, and My Brother-in-law had a 750 watt inverter he wasn't using, so now I am running most of my small tools from a battery bank kept charged by the solar panels. It works very good. I could use a more powerful inverter.

solar The panels are mounted on homemade frames and can be tilted to catch direct sun. They are facing south.
As of 9-14-2010, I have 6 panels and two regulators for a total of 90 watts. 90 Watts at 12 volts is a little over 7 amps. Plenty of power to charge the two batteries. I'll give it a try. It would be nice to be able to run the shop completely off solar charged batteries. I've put some more pictures in the Photo Gallery. The cables from the panels are buried so I don't run over them with the lawn mower.
The Shop The Shop

The Doghouse

The top picture is the original building, the bottom is the new part.
I designed it with the same style roof as the original building. It's very practical with a lot of room to move long boards without hitting anything.
The sliding barn door is a nice feature, but, it needs a cover over it.

As of April 21, 2010, I am finally running off a 20 amp. dedicated buried line right from the house main breaker box. An electrician from our church hooked it up. Before I was running off a heavy duty extension cord. When I turned the table saw on, the lights would go out. Not good. Now they don't even flicker.

I have added vented louvers up near the peak of the front wall to drain off some of the hot air that collects by the ceiling. I'm thinking a very small ceiling fan would be nice.

When we put up the addition, there was a pretty good sized pine tree very close to the back wall, I mean, about 1/2 inch from the eaves of the roof. It was a chore to drive nails around it while we were working on that side. It's gone now. It was something to watch them take it down. They did it from the bottom up. There are several other large trees close by, and they put a rope from one of those to hold the tree up, and then cut out a section from the bottom. Then they lowered the tree down some and cut another section off the bottom. Then after about 3 repeats of this, it was of a manageable size, and it was laid down on the ground.

I have a small ceiling fan in the new part now. It makes a big difference in the temperature in there. It's quite comfortable, even on a hot day.

We have a small TV in one of the bedrooms, hooked to one of those converter boxes. The standard "Rabbit Ear" antenna wasn't doing a good job at all. I went online to see if there was any plans for a better antenna. I found one website, TV Antenna Plans. It is a simple design, and I made one. Luckily, I had everything I needed right here. It worked great! However, after thinking about it, I came up with a revision. It is documented on the Antenna page.

shelfOur son, Travis wanted to put up a shelf in his house, but, wanted something more decorative than the plain old metal shelf brackets you can buy from China. He asked me to make him some. They are shown on the Shelf brackets page.