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Annie & Henri Monnier 
North Carolina 
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 Henris Toolbox
Opened on Nov 6, 2011 

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Below are some descriptions and pictures of our shop.

My 'shop', like a bunch of other folks, started out as a garage.... Now if there is a serious storm, I can 'make room' for possibly both cars...... SWMBO is OK with that so far.... lucky...

The shop footprint is 30' x 32', and along the back wall (the 32' side) the chop saw and bench take up about 2/3 of that wall. The remaining space is storage for the 'wheeled' shop tools, like the planer, jointer, router tables, bench saw, and the CNC machine. In the center of the floor, is the bench saw and dust collector(sorta hiding under the stairs going upstairs to the storage area). Along the front, the Kubota is there (it gets garage space...), the CNC machine and alongside of the stairs the jointer. The area in front of the jointer is the 'finishing' area, where I generally do the finish touches on projects.

Below is the tool I spend the most time with, the CNC Machine. Either I'm working on the PC to refine/generate a new project or I'm in the process of 'cutting' a project. Clearly this tool is most responsible for my overflowing 'kindling' box. Recently the 'spoilboards' have been updated with additional 'T' track and a resurface.

The machine is the basic 'Joes 4x4', however many mods have been made to 'tune' the machine for both stability and accuracy. One of the things that make setups easier is the 'table square' with it's holddowns. Initially the 'square' was a wood square, but I changed over to the aluminum framing square a while back. Since I always have maintained good 'margins' on the workpieces, there have been no accidents running into the wood square. I always use a masonite base under the workpiece to 'preserve' the table surface.

The holddown 'bars' pictured above were cut on the machine and are oak, and the knobs are maple, also cut on the machine.

After going thru a couple of versions of the controller console, this is the version that has prooved to be the best. The 19" screen provides ample viewing space for the Mach3 control panel, and the Aspire application at the same time. The controller console is wheel mounted to provide easy movement on the floor. I am converting over from the large desktop PC, on the very bottom shelf, to a more compact Dell Optiplex, located on the shelf above. The Optiplex provides a larger HD, more RAM, and a faster clock, the big plus - its smaller. Since we have had some power issues with surges and short 'drops', also housed on the bottom shelf is a BackupUPS RS 1500, which provides 'protected' power for the entire console and table. The large blue box on the right houses all the electronics that 'drive' the table.

Below is a view of the back of the console. All of the cables going to the machine are now on plugs, rather the being hardwired in. The aluminum connector plate was machined on the CNC.

This is the new contoller which was 'repackaged' to use an ESS SmoothStepper to 'free' me from that troublesome printer port. This new controller has helped to eliminate the 'dropouts' into not-ready that were happening while cutting. Since this 'upgrade' there have been no dropouts, a worthwhile update
Below is a picture of the inside of the controller.

The fan in the lower left brings air into the controller (it has a dust filter underneath) to try to keep the dust from getting into the cabinet (it's not 100%). Under the ESS SmoothStepper is a picture of the breakout board that I'd like to install when I save up enough pennies, to provide some additional 'outputs' for new controls.

More coming after I clean up the shop a bit....