My Shop

I can't sit in my office 24 hours a day, there isn't always enough time after work to go on a caving or climbing expedition, and sometimes the weather just isn't safe to go flying, so I needed a hobby to give myself something to do in my spare time. Something different. I always liked making things, so I've been making a machine shop to keep my fingers dirty. Along the way, I've build this part of the web site.


Metal Lathes

  1. Precision Matthews 1640
  2. Hardinge DSM-59
  3. Wards 2130 - a Logan Lathe
  4. Craftsman 101.21400

Metal Planers

  1. Gray 22" x 22" x 72"

Metal Shapers

  1. G&E 20-inch Industrial
  2. Atlas 7 (not 7B)

Milling Machines

  1. Cincinnati Cinova 80
  2. Grizzly G3617
  3. Cincinnati 18 inch B. G. Plain


  1. Grizzly G0737
  2. Grizzly G0561
  3. OMT

Drill Presses

  1. Sears/Craftsman 15"
  2. Post Drill


  1. Gorton 375
  2. Lisle 91000

Sheet Metal Machines

  1. Grizzly 4011

My shops

Phase 1: Trafford, PA

Although I bought my Craftsman Lathe long before, it was 2004 before I converted my single car garage into a metalworking shop. The garage was far too small, only 160 square feet, and by the time I moved I had it filled with the Precision Matthews Lathe, G&E Shaper, Atlas Shaper, Cincinnati Mill, Gorton Grinder, Drill Press, air compressor, and work bench. This barely left room to work, and it was nearly impossible to photograph. This images gives an impression of what it was like:

Phase 2: Diamond, IL

When I moved to Illinois, I bought a house with a three-car garage so that I could use two thirds of it for my shop. This gave me almost three times the area that I had before (440 square feet), and the 10-foot ceiling was an added bonus. I carefully planned the layout, and initially I had plenty of room to work as these images suggest:


Naturally, I continued to add machinery, and by the time I moved out I had acquired the Cincinnati Conova milling machine, Hardinge lathe, vertical bandsaw, another horizontal bandsaw, and a sheet metal machine. I was able to maintain enough working room by disconnecting an moving the old Cincinnati Mill out of the workshop area, but working at several of the machines required rolling tool cabinets or garbage cans out of the way. The following picture shows it as I was packed to move out.


Phase 3: Niles, MI

My surpise move to Michigan required another round of house hunting, and I found a house listing a 2-car attached garage and a 2-car detached garage. The detached garage turned out to be far larger, almost 1100 square feet. This met my needs. These pictures suggest that I have enough working room, at least for now:



My experience suggests that good tools find their own uses. I've used mine for many projects, including the following:

  1. Making caving gear for my collection. Here are links to some examples:
  2. Diving equipment
  3. Making more tools so that I can make more tools.
  4. Home and farm repairs
  5. Various projects for my neighbors, gratis.