My Shop ~ Part 10 ~ OCCUPY

I couldn’t stand it any longer. My new shop was finished and I wanted to start using it. But the workbench and a bunch of other tools were in my old shop at the house we are renting. I couldn’t wait to move from that old space. Although when we moved in I had poured a  concrete floor and patched the roof, it was still an old chicken coop with a very low ceiling and termites everywhere. Every time a mango fell from one of the overhanging trees, the paper-thin rusty roof got a new hole in it. The trees overhang the house, too, and when a mango hits the roof, one of us will exclaim, “Mango down!” Here’s the most flattering shot I could take of the space:

The inside was dismal and termites ruled:

Termite trails on the walls and holes in the roof

Armando, Sammy, and I got right to work. Everything was  a mess; I hadn’t used the shop much in the past two years and it was disorganized from moving necessities to the job site. I organized and they moved wheelbarrow full after wheelbarrow full of tools and supplies to to the truck. It took five trips in the Honda, including one trip just for the workbench and one trip just for the workbench top:

We unloaded everything into the new space. After two days of organizing it looks a lot better, but I still need another day or two to make it the way I want it. My plan now is to work on the carport roof, and one day soon it will rain early enough in the day that I can move back inside for the final touches. Here’s where it stands now:

The old Baldor bench grinder (go back up two photos) was looking a bit tattered so I gave it a couple coats of yellow paint:

The old Delta Homecraft drill press belonged to my grandfather. It is probably 60 years old.

I painted the big drawer in my workbench and waited a couple of days for it to dry. Next I cut some thin wooden strips and placed them in the drawer so that the tools and toolboxes wouldn’t scratch the fresh paint. Finally, I put a lot of my hand tools in the drawer. I’m really happy to have all this organized and in one place!

I have a wood turning lathe that I bought when I was sixteen. I remember it cost $310.87, all of it made at $0.90 per hour washing dishes after school in a restaurant! The lathe had been crated for some years now, and even though it was high in my shop it wasn’t dry. The termites had a field day with the crate, and it will take some work to clean all the rust off of it. Fortunately, the headstock bearings are still okay. The tailstock is rusted to the bed rails, so I sprayed it with some WD-40 and left it alone to think. I don’t know if I will get back to wood turning, but I have made some nice bowls over the years.

That’s it for now. More soon, thanks for stopping by. By the way, I welcome comments.

8 thoughts on “My Shop ~ Part 10 ~ OCCUPY

  1. After last weekends travelog I was feeling cheated. Thanks for rushing this to “print”. I smiled paragraph after paragraph. I can imagine the comfort of having all your tools in one place. Able to unwrap the lathe. Even if it needed some lubing. I’m probably as excited as you.

  2. Hello Fred,
    I have just discovered your blog (August 2016) and am slowly working my way through it all from start to finish. I am going on 62 and live in Adelaide, South Australia. I am very impressed with your resourcefulness and ‘can do’ attitude. (it reminds me of me in my younger days) . I particularly like the freedom you have to do your own thing in Panama.,as compared to Australia where you need a licenced or accredited tradesperson to do just about everything these days.
    – in relation to your work bench. It is magnificent! Could I suggest just one slight modification? Drop down tops on the long sides would give you even more flexibility to deal with the larger projects – a bit like an extending dining table. Believe me it only takes one knee operation to make one realise how much we depend on them, so welding from a standing position is much more preferable than kneeling on the hard concrete floor.
    All the best for your semi – retirement. You make me feel tired just reading about your accomplishments.

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