Posts from the ‘In the Shop’ Category

Shop Heater!

Usually over the winter is when I wind down my woodworking because it is so cold in my garage workshop. It is partially insulated and attached to our home, but not regularly heated. To fix this, we added blown in insulation to the attic space and a new natural gas garage heater! We originally planned this for next year, but the price of the heater was a lot lower then we thought, so we decided to splurge.

I now have a 35,000 BTU natural gas heater to keep the temperature a comfortable level all the time. Instead of hovering around 0 degrees Celsius, I now keep it around 12 degrees and bump it up before I go in. I had to take down some shelving for proper clearance, so I have some cleanup to do. Overall, I am very happy with this new addition.

Miscellaneous Projects, Oak Wood and a New Tool!

It has been a while since I updated my blog, so I thought I would put together one post with all of my recent projects and acquisitions.


First, we decided at the end of July that we wanted to get rid of our old fireplace. We didn’t use it at all because it made the basement too hot, and it stuck out quite a bit from the mantel, so we wanted to get something a little nicer to replace it. We shopped around and found that natural gas fireplaces are expensive! It was around $5000; in the end it still wasn’t exactly what we wanted. We decided we would get an electric fireplace, that we could use the faux-flames and just not turn on the fireplace. After arranging a service call to get the gas line disconnected, we ordered an electric fireplace from Lowes for around $800. After the fireplace was installed, I got an Oak board and made a simple frame. I then finished it and installed it. It looks awesome!

Shortly after the fireplace, I was talking to a friend about his home theatre speakers he was going to be buying. They were o sale for a great price at Monoprice. I asked him to order me a centre speaker as I never did replace the centre speaker when I re-did my speakers upstairs in the living room. The only problem, they only had in-wall speakers. I was thinking of making a MDF case for it, and paint it the same colour as the other speakers. My wife suggested making an Oak box for the speaker.  After receiving it, I constructed a box that fit the in-wall speaker snugly and securely. My wife finished the box and I installed it. I think I paid $25 for the speaker, and used scrap Oak plywood. It turned out great!


At the end of August, I came across a post on Facebook marketplace about Oak wood for sale. I inquired about it and went to have a look. After seeing it, I had to have it. I paid the asking price of $250 and had to call my father-in-law for assistance because there was a lot more then I initially thought. It took about 3 hours and 2 truck loads to load it and unload it temporarily into my shop. Very very happy that I now have Oak to use on my future projects! There is about 1400 board feet. It took about 1 1/2 weeks to put it away in various locations in my shop. I now have Oak everywhere. Anywhere there was room now has Oak. :-)I think it was split about 50-50 between 4/4 (1″) and 8/4 (2″) thick. Perhaps a little more 8/4 then 4/4, but that is fine. I could always re-saw the boards, if needed.



After I bought the Oak and got it put away, I decided to make a few pens out of the Oak as my first project. I made 4 pens and gave them to the person who sold me the Oak as a small token of my appreciation. Hopefully they like them. I just put them in their mailbox with a note.


And finally, NEW TOOL!!!

A few weeks ago I decided that sometime down the road I would like to get a shaper. A shaper is a industrial router table, which takes shaper bits and router bits. Shaper bits are heavy duty router bits that come on 3/4″, 1″ or 1 1/4″ spindles. Router bits are 1/4″ and 1/2″ in size usually.

I looked around and found that Grizzly probably had the best tool for the price. I priced it out and it would cost me about $1600 US to get the tool delivered to a freight company in Michigan, which I would then have to go pick up and bring home. I was not too keen on that as it was around 500 pounds and continued my look in Canada for an alternative. In Canada I only found more expensive models such as General International. They are great tools, but Grizzly seemed to be a popular lower-cost manufacturer, but still had good quality. I went to Elite Tools’ website, who I have bought from in the past, and found a 3HP ShopFox Shaper for sale. It was $1700. That is a great price, and I would be able to get it delivered directly to my house! It also looks exactly the same as the Grizzly model I looked at previously. I noticed that a lot of different manufacturers have similar models in different colours and slightly different features. I went to google to research the model only to find it on as well with FREE shipping!! I never bought a tool from Amazon before, but I could not pass up free shipping since it cost $100-200 to ship a tool of this size.  I added it to my cart so I can keep in there for the future. I figured I would get it in the new year.

I had the shaper in my saved items and noticed over the next few days that the price started to go down in price. From 1700 to $1600. From 1600 to 1500, etc. It made its way down to $950!. I was shocked at how low it went. I talked to my wife and explained that it is was almost 1/2 off right now, which is unheard of for new machinery. I made the purchase and had it delivered, for free, right into my shop!

That is all for now. I think my next project will be an Oak napkin holder.

Now on Instagram

I decided to start posting pictures to Instagram. Mainly progress pictures of projects and pens. I am still posting projects here. But since I am making a lot of pens, I figured I would post them as I made them on Instagram and updating the site when I have a punch to post. You can see the last 6 posts on the column to the right.

You can also go directly to my profile by clicking here: Rich Eklund Instagram

Flip Top Planer/Sander Stand

I picked up an oscillating spindle/belt sander this summer for a great price. Always wanted one, and it works very well. The problem was I rarely used it because I had no table space for it. So it sat on the floor of my shop collecting dust. I saw a flip top stand on an episode of The Woodpecker on YouTube and I knew that is what I wanted to build. His was built out of 2x4s if I recall correctly, and I wanted something out of plywood. I found a video/article online about one very similar to the one I had in my head.

Using the pictures as a guide I designed one that would hold the 2 tools I wanted to use on it keeping in mind that I wanted the output of the plainer to be the same height as my workbench to use as an out feed table if necessary. I also added 1 drawer on the bottom that can be pulled out and accessed from either side. I cut all the pieces to size, cut a groove with a core box bit on my router table down the centre of both pieces of the top (2 x 3/4″ birch plywood), and glued in a 1/2″ piece of metal rod I bought at Home Depot. I used some purple heart hardwood to hold the ends in case there is a need for added structure and strength at that point. I put some paste wax in the holes receiving the metal rod to make it slide easily. I am very happy with the results. I can now use both tools very easily and hook up the power and dust collection after I have selected my tool. I secured the power cords to the top to prevent them from getting caught in the flipping mechanism and use a short extension cord to plug in the tool when needed. I also use a quick set hose clamp to secure my dust collection when I am ready that I picked up at Woodcraft.

If it isn’t easy to attach, I probably wouldn’t use it that often.

Here is a video of it in action….

Weighted Mallet

After I finished my cutting board I was looking for something simple to build. I had some purple heart and hard maple left over, so I decided to build a weighted mallet. Sure, I have a dead blow mallet already, but one out of wood seems more wood-worky to me. 🙂



I got the plans for this from Woodworking for Mere Mortals:

Magazine Rack – First Project with new equipment

It wasn’t long before I wanted to start building something. I wanted a place to store my woodworking magazines while I am in the garage/work shop, so a magazine rack was an easy choice for a first project.

Oak magazine Rack

Oak magazine Rack

I made this out of some Oak boards that were left in the garage and shed from the previous owner.

I got the plans for this from The Wood Whisperer:

New Machinery!


I was given the idea to start a blog to make it easier to share my experiences and creations with everyone, so here is my new blog!

On Wednesday August the 28th I finally received my tools. After about 2 1/2 weeks of waiting! All of my equipment I bought, other then my Bosch 12″ Gliding Compound Mitre Saw, are made by General International.

First up, my 2HP 10″ cabinet saw. The cabinet saw had 2 heavy cast iron extension wings that I had to attach and make perfectly level with the main cast iron top. And then everything had to be aligned and tuned up.

General International 50-200R M1 2HP 10" Cabinet Saw

General International 50-200R M1 2HP 10″ Cabinet Saw

My 6″ Jointer. The jointer took the most amount of time to set up as the blades and table had to be alined. The initial setup probably took an hour, then I noticed it wasn’t perfectly aligned, so I spent about another hour, or two aligning everything. A third test shown another misalinemnent, so I spent another hour, or two alinging everything. I think I got it now. 🙂

General International 6" Jointer

General International 6″ Jointer

13″ Helical Suface Planer:

General International 13" Helical Planer

General International 13″ Helical Planer

And finally, my 2HP 1550cfm dust collector with a 1 micron canister filter:

General International 2HP 1550 cfm Dust Collection

General International 2HP 1550 cfm Dust Collection

And this is the layout I decided on for my work shop.

My tools setup and ready to go

My tools setup and ready to go

I’m having a lot of fun, and have a lot of things that I would like to build. I’m sure I will be talking to everyone regularly with updates on my next projects.