For a while I’ve wanted to restore some capabilities I used to have at the old house, namely metalworking tools that have been sidelined since we moved way back in ’14. I’ve been putting this off in favor of getting the workshop improved for winter operations. Now that the shop is properly insulated and heated, etc., I had the opportunity to move the machines back in and get them set up. Pretty much everything has been moved in and installed. There is some cleaning and final leveling and adjustment needed, but that will be on an as needed basis. Now that everything is moved in and warm, I can set the machines up at leisure.
First, I built a table to hold the lathe/mill. I soon remembered just how heavy this thing is, and needed to buy a shop crane to lift it into place (at the old place I installed a temporary overhead hanger for a chainfall, but I didn’t want to do that here). The lathe is now installed on its new table and mostly leveled. The table needs a bit of bracing to make it solid. I’ll tie it into the wall if it becomes an issue.
While I was buying the shop crane at Harbor Freight, I took advantage of their New Year’s Day 25% Off Sale and bought something that’s been on my “want” list for a while.
Now, of course, I needed a new table on which to mount the sheet metal machine. I decided that a single table to hold it and the mini mill was the best idea. I moved the credenza that used to support the drill press and some other tools to the far wall and installed the new table in its place, then lifted the machines up there and installed them.
This represents what I hope is the last bit of tool installation for the shop, and now I will have the capability to make small metal parts that may come in handy during the RV-10 build. My original plan had been to build a metal shop in the basement of the barn, but that was going to require pouring concrete and building a whole new set of walls. My primary project is now the RV-10, so that will have to wait for some time, maybe forever. But at the moment I’m pretty happy with the shop I’ve put together.
The main thing left to do is to install racks and hangers for the various completed aircraft parts that I want to store in the warm shop. I will probably end up bagging the rudder, vertical stabilizer, and elevators and storing them on the mezzanine with the horizontal stabilizer once they are fully complete. The tail cone will have to be bagged and stored on the main level of the barn. I don’t want to risk dropping or damaging it trying to lift it to the mezzanine.