Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The 3 Month Rundown

Good Day PORC fans.  I'm back and wanted to give you a glimpse of the last 3 months in the shop. 

If there is one thing that I love and hate about being a small business owner, it's that I get to do a lot of everything.  I don't have employees that take out the trash.  I do that.  I don't have employees enter and pay bills in the office.  I do that.  I don't have anybody that does my marketing or design, or blah blah blah.  I "get" to do it all.  I actually don't mind this because I love learning new things.  This summer was no exception.  I got some new tools, unique jobs, and ended a long running project that consumed just about every last ounce of brain power I had.

Enough with the lengthy word stuff.  Keep reading for pics and brief stories after the break.

By far, my biggest "ahhhhhhh" came with the completion of the built-ins that started 13 months ago.  The job began with 2 small runs of cabinets, and ended with me touching every surface in the home.  I did cabinets in every room including the closets.  I also trimmed out the place, and coordinated several other trades throughout the project.  I will be shooting some hi-res images of the unit once the homeowner has moved in, however these are a few shots from my phone to tease you just a bit.

Over the 13 months period I obviously did other projects as well that I wrote about here and here and here. I also did a large reception desk that will eventually get it's own post, but below you can see a few of the shots.  I call it the "Big Green Greeting Machine."  Working with laminate is something that I have done a fair amount of, but it did nothing that prepared me for this bent lamination.  What a beast.  I personally wouldn't put it in my house, but it ended up working very well at it's final destination.

I've got another small kitchen project that is about to be installed the first week of December.  I've been using that project to try a few new rendering skills on the computer.  More of this one to come as well.

There's also a Murphy Bed and surround in the works for some wonderful repeat clients.

I'm back on the same campus that had "Big Green" for 2 workstations.

I also purchased a new dust collector a few months back.  I have the distinct pleasure of suffering from Asthma.  I have been very critical and aware of dust for years, however have not taken the financial plunge into the land of central dust collection.  I work with a respirator on at all times when in the shop.  Dust masks are useless for me.  I also employ several fans and filters.  After extensive research I bought a machine that should do me just right.  Once complete, I should have clean air in my shop that is 20 times above what OSHA recommends as being "safe."  I will be doing a full post on the build and installation of the ClearVue cyclone in the next couple months.  I have yet to buy the ducting as it will cost probably 2x's what the machine itself did.  The build and installation was quite time consuming, but a lot of fun.  I always love playing with electrical stuff, so building the control panel for the machine was a bit like Christmas for me.

There is much in my future as well.  I am looking into some CNC machinery and 4 new pieces of software to learn.   I'm having an Open House/Shop-warming/One Year Anniversary party in the spring for all my clients, friends and family.  I'm working on more branding/marketing and signs for the new shop.  AND there's more, but I can't tell you.  They're secret.

As mentioned above, I LOVE to try new things, and keep learning on a daily basis.  I'll do my best to keep my great readers in the loop.  If you see anything above that you would like more info on, please mention it in the comments and I'll do my best to address it in future posts.

As always, thank you so much for reading, and have a happy holiday weekend!  Cheers.


  1. clearvue! almost pulled trigger before lost last shop! great story with them

  2. 1. Those cabinents are BEAUTIFUL! I couldn't have imagined anything better!
    2. That's an awesome green.

    Thanks for the heads up on what you've been doing!

  3. Your built-ins are very nice and it looks like a ton of work that you did very well with.

    It is interesting to me that you are doing the office furniture. I would think the clients would be able to find some pre-fab units for this. I always wonder about doing custom work when someone can go down to Wal Mart and buy what looks like the same thing for less than what I can do it for (knowing that Wal Mart does not sell office furniture, but hopefully you get my point).

    Congrats on the dust collection. I struggle with this all the time and have wondered if I bought the wrong kind of dust collector.


  4. @Lenderboy. I will be very interested to get some ducting hooked up to see how it performs.

    @Sarah. Thanks! I know you of all people can appreciate a simple and beautiful design.

    @Jeff. Keep in mind that the client is a well respected and funded private college. NOT a state funded school. They do have a bit more discretionary funds than others. :) That helps. However, nothing about either of the two units is "standard." Certainly not 'Big Green.' The 2 other workstations have very specific design considerations that no off the shelf item can meet. Also, the college is very environmentally responsible and these are being built to accommodate that. The school is great at supporting local companies. For most projects, they hire local architects, designers, and craftsman to do the work. I am very lucky to have found this work. VERY lucky. Finding work like this is what keeps custom builders in business. And it is for that reason, A LOT of work goes into keeping these clients very happy and satisfied.

  5. Thank God the whole world isn't furnished by Wal-Mart, or we'd live in a really tacky world.

  6. Jason thanks for the post, it's great to have you back....I too sucked it up and purchased a dust collection system. It offers a great piece of mind and will probably help my asthma greatly, once I get the funds and time to install the ducting. I also bought a lipping plane to flush the face frames with the carcuss parts. It works really well but feels a little to production oriented to me. Thanks for the time.