Woodworking in the Great Outdoors

Woodworking in the Great Outdoors

Last week Rob wondered if others enjoy woodworking outdoors. Several of you say yes! – Editor

“When the summer finally hits Maine, I put up a 10′ x 20′ carport shelter and move my assembly table outside for a few weeks. That gives me ample time to enjoy both the outdoors and the much larger work area. I have most of my tools on rolling carts or wheels and move them out as needed and put them back in when I finish up.” – Jared Young

“Yeah, I’m almost always outside, year-round. My workshop is 20′ x 7’2″ wide, inside. Compare that to a small shipping container’s inside, but with a 9′ ceiling. Originally a downstairs laundry room, it includes a workbench(!), vises and all of my tools and lumber. For big tools, think Shopsmith on 3″ casters: table saw, disk sander, drill press, horizontal boring machine and lathe, plus a number of their add-ons — band saw, mortising attachment, bench grinder and 12″ planer, for instance. The beast was built in 1958 and is still pretty much original but with the new PowerPro headstock. More power, greater speed range, forward and reverse motor direction, soft start. The old motor slides off and this slides on! And my modifications to make the table bigger, more long plank support rollers and whatever. Plus routers, common power and cordless tools, sliding chop saw and conventional hand tools. So sawdust? Oh yes! But it sweeps up easily, even after a long day of woodturning. Any windblown excess easily gets lost in the gardens and lawn. The planer, though, is new to me and I’m working on dust and shavings collection for that, because the next big project is a double exterior French door replacement, each with 15 glass panels. The lumber is basically all roughsawn — a full 2″ x 8″ x 9′ mahogany and THAT mess would be intolerable in 10 minutes. I get away with this because I live in the Virgin Islands, and winter nights of 74 degrees are terribly and unusually cold. My wife and I just returned from a five-state northeast road trip that included a return to my college alma mater, SUNY Oswego. Winters down to -25 degrees; summer on the fourth of July. Three weeks ago in the Thousand Islands it was 34 in the morning. In 1965, friends and I made the Easter vacation pilgrimage to Ft. Lauderdale, and I realized I’d rather be naked than cold. And so it has been for 56 years.” – David Kummerle

“I have a shed that holds my tools, but just barely. As long as the weather is good and above about 40 degrees, I pull my tools out under the shade of a big old white oak Tree. Everything is on wheels, so I can pull my workbench, saws, router, everything outside. Pretty much everything I do is done outside, except furniture repair if the weather is bad.” – Erv Klein

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