While I struggle to get contractors to show up and finish their stuff, I have found myself letting out a big depressing sigh every time I step into the garage. After trading voice mails for two days, I discovered that my sheetrock guy was out of town all last week (vacation or family emergency unknown). I’m giving him four days next week to finish or I’m finding someone else/doing it myself.
On another topic, I have a sign project for the graphics business and I’ve really needed a new drill press to finish out 24 signs with about 8 holes each. I sniffed around on craigslist for a drill press and stumbled across a guy that had six factory refurbished units listed at about 1/2 of retail. I was scheduled to meet him one afternoon last week and he failed to show up. Feeling like being stood up provided enough of an excuse, I tried the warehouse door and found it open. I sniffed around and found the drill presses and decided that it was indeed a great deal. After picking out the one I wanted, I also found several table saws on pallets in various conditions. One of them appeared to be a 110V unit with very little use (most of the larger saws are 220V). By the time I finally met with the guy a couple of days later, I had talked myself into both the drill press and the table saw. The drill press was a “damaged box” that was reinspected by the factory and found to have no issues. The table saw was a show room demo unit that was barely used and it has a 64″ (or something ridiculously long around that) Biesmeyer fence and a mobility kit with a kick down wheel.
The table saw weighs about 400lbs and unloading it was going to be quite a chore. That proved as enough motivation to get the I-beam and hoist installed on my ceiling. The beam and hoist were solely intended to help loading and unloading boats from trailers (or double-stacked boats on/off trailers). After loading up the saw (with a hand operated fork lift at the warehouse), the truck was backed into the shop, a strap arranged around the saw, and the hoist put in action. Once lifted, the 400lbs saw easily rolled back eight feet out of the back of the truck and was gently put on the ground back on it’s included mobility kit. Nothing groaned, nothing creaked, the hoist stayed put in any position. It was buttery smooth lifting and moving the load. This operation would have taken at least four guys to unload that saw. Wow…I felt like that beam and hoist just paid for itself – and I’m just getting started! However, I’m finding that I not used to having it yet – while assembling a wheeled mobility kit for the 300 lb drill press, I must have downed a whole beer scratching my head about how I was going to lift the drill press onto the mobility kit before it dawned on me to use the hoist again. All big items will be on wheels in the shop so they can be moved and rearranged. With about 30 minutes of rearranging, I will be able to switch the shop from fiberglass/boat work mode to cabinet / sign shop mode. I may eventually need to re-wire the tablesaw for 220V because it causes all the fluorescent lights in the old shop (on one old 15amp circuit) to flickr out when it starts up! Now, I also need a dust collection unit (it never ends).
I need to get out there tonight and wrap the new tools in plastic to protect them from the paint and dust.
I still have some work to do with the beam – this particular hoist was borrowed. It’s going to take a little fabrication work to mount the hoist I have purchased to this trolley. The ceiling will eventually have some casing/trim run around the beam to hide the MDF and sheetrock joint (MDF was used under the beam to prevent compressing and cracking the drywall).