PIC TAKEN... MAR/24/2021






     One of the very best things about the ARC is the ARTIST'S RESOURCE ROOM. A lot of tenants here never use it but there are a lot that need it once ever few months. (aside from the regular users)  It can come in real handy if you have a one time project that you need to work on. On top of that if you are not sure about some of the tools in there Mario, our shop "foreman" so to speak, can give you some pointers. After all we are very concerned about keeping blood stains off the equipment. Not only that bone chips can jam up moving parts and cause even more damage. So even though you might not use our shop often when you do need it you will find it a Godsend!!!

     Now even though it is a bit of a tricky process this room here is also in a state of constant evolution. All the dues I collect get stashed in a separate account and eventually go back into buying new tools, blades etc etc. What makes this tricky is basic maintenance eats up the bulk of them.

Below is the changes that have taken place since September 2015. Basically your "dues" dollars at work.

Rebranding The ARC'S Wood Shop

March 24, 2021

     We have decided to rebrand the ARC Shop into the Artist's Resource Room. This is something we have been working towards for a long time. Because in all honesty the shop is more like a resource room here for artists... all artists... and not just wood workers and fabricators. After all in reality it is a lousy workshop for someone to run a business out of. Three or four people in there and it is getting crowded. Next thing you know a tool breaks down and someone is late on an important contract. The problem is the shop has often been taken over by production people racing deadlines. This means two or three users can take over the shop and choke all the would be casual users out. The new system we now have prevents that from happening. Now everyone will have equal access to the shop.

New Table Saw Side Bench

February 22, 2021

     We decided that we needed to repurpose the mobile table saw side bench with one that was mounted solid for added safety. These are vital when you need to cut a full sheet of plywood in half by your self. The old one we have plans for so it will get used. If not we will be selling it and putting the money back into the dues for other upgrades.

New Free Scrap Bin

February 4, 2021

     We finally have a new scrap plywood bin. Anything on this bin is free. This is a huge bonus as it gets all the scraps lying around the shop in one safe place. If you have trimmings you don't want you can leave them on this cart for others to use. 

Square Holer....

April 2, 2021

     Tired of driving square pegs into round holes? Well we now have the square holer set upon a new stand. Seems solid enough but is in the testing mode. Let us know how it works.

New Chop Saw Bench Upgrades

March 24, 2021

     Once the new bench was built we did some testing and then planned some more improvements. The garbage can catches most of the sawdust thrown back by the saw. This makes it mostly self cleaning. We also added the dust box over the saw to contain the fine dust. Then added the new small dust system to suck that dust into the bag. When you turn on the saw the dust system kicks in. We still have to add some clear vinyl to the front of the box.

New Chop Saw Bench

February 4, 2021

     We now have a totally rebuilt compound mitre saw bench. The old one lacked the rigidity that this one now has. On top of that we added a new vacuum system for the dust.  When you turn on the chop saw it automatically starts the vacuum. When the saw stops the vacuum runs for a few more seconds and stops. When you are done cutting you can switch the vacuum on so that you can easily clean up before you head back to your own studio.

     Here you see we mounted the chisel sharpener and the pencil sharpener on the one side of the bench for easier access.

New Dynabrade Palm Sander

January 10, 2021

     Here was another addition to the tool collection.... a genuine Dynabrade palm sander. This is not just another 59 dollar cheap import. This model runs over three hundred bucks. Dynabrade is about as good as you can get. This is a serious beauty to use.

New Compound Mitre Saw

November 3, 2020

     Here we had to replace the compound mitre saw. A shop user took the saw's blade guard apart and then never put it back together properly. Thus when the next user tried to use it the blade grabbed the guard and jammed the whole thing into a bent up mess. This is why you are not allowed to take any tools apart for any reason. Even if you think you know what you are doing. So I opted to go out and buy a replacement saw and then fix the old one up and sell it. Which is what we did. The funds from the sale of the used one went back into the shop dues. So we were able to regain some of the losses.

New Metal Shear

June 21, 2020

     Though this is a cheaper imported one the quality is not that bad as it works quite well. I added the large metal base so it would not have to be bolted down. Which is great if you need to swing it into a different position.

Hi Dust Area

March 3, 2020

     This corner used to be a place for garbage cans and other junk. Thus with the ventilation ducting moved out of the way we decided to convert it into a high dust area. Though the vinyl does not show up in the picture much it works great for containing dust. Now if you have to do some heavy sanding or grinding wood you can do it here. It keeps the dust in one area.

Shop Dust System and Ventilation System

Febrary 23, 2020

     The old dust system filter was shot about seven years ago. The replacement cost of this filter was crazy. Recently though they came up with a far better replacement filter. It was still crazy expensive but works incredibly well!!! This system is pretty well the best system money can buy... Oneida... made  in the USA!!! With the new filter it works like the day it was new fourteen or so years ago.

     What ruined the last filter was the system being run when the drum was full. This forced the dust into the filter. Now we have a bin sensor. Once the drum gets so full the red light start to flash. Luckily the light is near the camera so I will be able to see it flashing and who is still using the saw. That way I can tell the rest of the users so we can drag the "'abuser" out back to the alley for some lessons....  we don't like blood in the shop. : )

     Now I also did some serious renovations to the ventilation system. This is going to make our finishing room hugely better and actually help the dust system work even better than it already does.

Ultrasonic Cleaner

April 18, 2020

     This is not something you use all the time but when you need one you can't do without. Now you have access to one if you are an ARC tenant!!!

New American Made Milton Filter System

January 20, 2020

     Here we installed a brand new Milton desiccant style air filter system. This very expensive unit filter and then dries the air perfectly to your paint gun. This way there is no chance of getting water spitting through your gun and ruining your finish. The best part about this one is the desiccant can be recycled by drying in your oven for a couple hours.

A Fine New Grinder

January 18, 2020

     This was another score from Trick Tools dot com. They got some cool stuff and had this one on sale. Works very well for when you need to make a lot of noise and carcinogenic dust.

Revamped the Refinishing Room

January 10, 2020

     Here we completely cleaned out the refinishing room. We repainted the back half in white, freshened up the floor, and added more lighting I picked up off of craigslist. It is now hugely brighter. Not to mention the ventilation works hugely better also.


     This was a bit of an odd situation. The ARC needed a hammer drill and was having trouble for some strange reason getting it approved by the head office. Thus using shop dues I bought this one new from Hilti. I keep it in my studio and if anyone needs a hammer drill (for in building use only) then they can rent it for $10 a day. Hopeless Depot charges $20, you have to drive to get it and you have to have your own bits. The money I collect goes back into the shop dues to help pay it back. These are incredible drills. So far we have paid back just over half the cost.

General Drill Press

April 1, 2019

     We had a cheapo Delta drill press here. Mostly plastic and designed to fail. Thus sure enough 14 years later she collapsed into a pile of rubble. Thus the only sensible thing to do was buy a vintage Canadian made General drill press. Personally I don't consider them to be as good as most think they are but are miles ahead of most newer ones. Thus I opted to grab this one to tide us over until I can find something else even better.


March 11, 2018

     Now no shop is complete without a material handling dolly. This one I scored on the cheap. It was beat to hell. Thus using shop greenbacks and a lot of elbow grease I restored this one back to usable condition for way cheaper than buying a new one. Though the ARC has a lot of dollies for tenant use this one is strictly for shop users and must always be returned to the shop after use. The game here is to try and make the minimal shop dues go as far as they can... not always an easy job.


March 19, 2018

     If you have ever tried to cut a 4" strip off a 4 x 8 foot sheet of 1" medite in bare feet, late at night, wearing only your underwear you will really appreciate having this extra table!!! This is actually a multi-use table but it's main purpose was for those late night wood workers ripping heavy medite by themselves.... even though I have now cut all the medite I need others in the future will also find it very handy.


May 7, 2017

     The next major purchase was this vintage step shear. A newer version of this shear shipped out of the US of A would run about 8 to 12 thousand Canadian. This gem is better and was a hell of a lot cheaper!!! It has been set up on the base so can be moved against the wall when not in use. This thing will cut up to 18 gauge sheet steel perfectly. It works great also for cutting cardboard and other softer materials when you need a perfect straight and square cut. I originally picked this gem off of Kent Metals in Richmond. After some serious clean up and building the base it was moved to the shop.


March 8, 2018

     After our old Mill Walker chop saw fell apart it was time to upgrade to this new Makita. Though the old Mill Walker still ran good someone lost the main nut and washer along with some other hard to get parts. This new one  does have some advantages over the old one though which is nice. Mostly the quick angle set feature.


March 8, 2018

     The next project that needed done was upgrading our sandblast cabinet. The blast handle was completely worn out along with the hose to that handle and all the replacement windows had been used up. Now we have a good stock of new windows. Replacing windows in this cabinet is hugely easier now. I originally modified the view window on this one. To change you just lift the window frame up, peal out the old vinyl window and tape in a new one. Fast and easy compared crawling inside the cabinet to change it originally.


October 24, 2017

     This 3/4hp bench grinder originally had archaic and out dated grinding stones which were more popular back when we had to grind our own wheat to make bread. Thus they were ditched and the motor fitted with a brand new Multi-tool belt sander. These belt sanders though rather expensive are absolutely incredible. The belts never break and even a dull belt will take off metal about five times faster and smoother than a stone ever will. It takes mere seconds to change the belts and you can get belts as fine as 1200 grit. I personally have had one of these in my own shop for 12 years and absolutely love it.


May 21, 2016

     At one point years ago we had a stick welder in the shop. It never got used so opted to let it go to make room once we got the new fangled wire feed welder. That was a bum move. Wire-feed welders are great.... if you got bottles and gas. The nice thing about stick welding is you only need rods.... which we provide. Thus if you need to stick a few pieces of metal together you can do it on the cheap with this beast! On top of that there are times where you can't beat arc welding. Since this one is mobile it can be signed out and taken to your studio.


February 26, 2018

     Nothing is more annoying than stiff air hoses. The cheap blue plastic ones that were on these hose reels were a prime example. Thus we upgraded to the soft rubber hoses. What a difference this has made. We have two of these and will soon be installing one more.

Air Operated Paint Mixer

May 15, 2016

     Scored this paint mixer off of craigs for mixing paint.

New Dewalt Compound Miter Saw


     Once we started to bank up some dues we realized that it was time to buy a compound miter saw instead of the regular miter saw. Now since the old one was still in good shape I was able to sell it and recoup some of the money we shelled out for this new one. The Dewalt DWS780 is one of the best miter saws out there now.


May 6, 2016

     Using shop dues I manage to put together this central shop vac for cleaning floors etc. The top is a home central vac scored off of craigs. The new drum also from craigs. The orange hose was from Lee Valley Tools. The two good things about this is the fact it only needs emptied every two or three months. It is hugely quieter than the normal shop vacs and has as much suction! The drum has wheels so it can be moved around if needed. The hose though is long enough to do all the wood shop and some of the metal shop.

     Compared to using a broom this takes about 1/4 the time to do the whole shop. On top of that does a hugely better job without riling up so much dust.

New Table Saw Table

April 10, 2016

     Here I got Mario to build us a new table saw table. Without this table working with plywood is really hard. It also has locked doors on the other side so we can store our consumables like replacement blades etc.


April 10, 2021

     The first thing that had to go was the old worn out Delta table saw with this new General Saw. This is one sweet saw and the top of the line for General other than their full on industrial grade saws. The $3500. needed for this saw was generously covered by the gang down at Reliance's head office thanks to approval from Lynn!!!

Repainted Shop Floor With Safety Lines

April 4, 2016

     Here we did a clean and paint on the shop floor. This made a huge change over the previous floor. It makes the shop brighter and easier to clean.

Scrap Steel Rack For Metal Shop Scraps

February-ish 2016

     I bought this steel rack of ARC tenant Darcy. It was perfect for the ARC shops free steel collection. Any steel scraps on this rack are free to use. If you have scraps you no longer need you can put them on this rack for someone else to use. This rack has very heavy duty wheels and rolls very easily even with a ton of weight.