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I started this hobby in the summer of 2001 with the intention of making furniture for my own home. Actually, it was because I didn't want to pay the USD 1000 price tag for the wine cabinet a friend had shown to me. So the logical alternative was to invest three or four times that amount on tools and build my own--more to my own taste, of course.

[Newly acquired Delta Unisaw awaiting reassembly]Sometimes it's difficult to tell whether I'm a woodworker or a tool collector. Over the past few years I've acquired numerous tools, big and small. A Delta Platinum Series contractor's table saw was one of the first big ones. A Jet 13-inch planer followed soon after, and eventually a Powermatic jointer rounded out the floorstanding crowd.

In the late winter of 2006, I added a Delta Unisaw and another planer to the collection, both bought from an estate, and despite being practically out of space in my garage workshop, I'm still not willing to consider letting go of the existing saw or planer. It's easy to rationalize if you try hard enough: it's really handy to have similar tools set up for different tasks, and besides, the Jet planer can be reconfigured for use as a moulder. Not to mention that an American-made contractor's table saw isn't something you can buy new any more. Nevertheless, one really has to wonder how many of the same kind of big floorstanding tool one man needs.

Did I say I was practially out of space? In July 2006, I managed to make room for an 18-inch band saw and a 22-inch drum sander. Now I just need to find some room for the projects.

[Delta RC-33 Planer]Sometime between testing the machine at its old home and starting it up for the first time at its new home, the power switch on the "new" planer reached the end of its life. The switch would close but not necessarily open (turn on but not turn off, for those of you in Rio Linda). While seeking out a replacement switch, I began acquiring electronic copies of all the product literature for the machine. This is when I discovered a discouraging change in Delta's online product support.

Not long ago I slapped together a lumber rack for offsite storage, suitable for a few hundred board feet. This rack is nice for large quantities of the same kind of wood, but it isn't going to be convenient for storing small quantities of various species. I'm in for a lot of shuffling and restacking whenever I decide I want that 17" oak board on the bottom. I still need to cut a few more stickers, too.

[Thomas Jefferson's Writing Desk]Having been emboldened by the experience of building the wine cabinet that started this expensive hobby, my current work includes an electronics cabinet to accompany and support my antique (1980s) television, a jewelry box for a close friend, and a Christmas project for a family member. Sooner or later I want to tackle a replica of what you see in the picture: the writing desk Thomas Jefferson used to draft the Declaration of Independence.

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