H. Richard Hicks: Custom Made Furniture

Staunton, Virginia

Shop Tour

Shop Tour

Many years ago, I made the coffee table in the picture on the left. I must have had no large power tools, so I have no idea how I did it. In any event, I was working as a computational scientist and helping raise four kids, so my interest in woodworking did not persist.

After retiring in 2000 and moving to a large old house in Virginia, I had a dedicated shop area.

However, it was a challenge to complete large objects in this limited space. Those large objects included a Stickley-style queen bed,

a Stickley-style entertainment center,

and a pair of tall bookcases.

In May 2006, we moved to a much newer house. I built two new walls in the basement, carving out for myself a new 2-room shop.

As you enter the main room (which is about 15' x 20'), you face a workbench. We will now take a tour of the major power tools I have in roughly the order I got them.

For a number of years, I only had a Craftsman Radial Arm Saw (RAS). It seemed to me (erroneously) that it would be safer than a table saw - with that blade poking up out of the table. It turns out that you can do quite a lot with just a RAS, but mostly crude items, not much fine furniture!

Next, I got a router, but found it very frustrating to control. Then, I discovered that I could make a router table, and ever since, almost all of my routing is done using the router table. With just the router and RAS, I was able to make the three large items mentioned previously, and many other things.

Then, it was apparent that I would spend less money on wood, if I bought it unplaned. That led to a 6" Delta Jointer,

and a 12" Delta thickness planer.

Then, I got a Delta table saw, to augment the RAS, especially for ripping.

Then, I got a drill press, for those rare occasions when I need to drill straight into a piece.

Next, the kids gave me a band saw, which now opened up the possibility of actually making a curved piece.

A Delta dust collection system is now hooked up to most of the tools, and presumably keeps my lungs cleaner.

This allowed me to get a down-draft sanding table. After all, sanding produces the finest particles. In this photo you can also see that I have mounted my hand-held belt sander to the workbench.

The OTHER room I made is a 15' x 16' 'finishing' room, that supposedly has no sawdust in the air. This room also has a utility sink and storage for finishes.

Page revised: 2/10/2010  By: H. R. Hicks  URL:http://hicksart.com/F/FurnST.htm