The next stop on my Dirty Digital Jobs tour was outside of Bell, Florida to visit Tim Lucas, owner of Tim Lucas Custom Woodworks. It’s the first time I had met Tim, but had read his posts on the ShopBot Forum, so I felt like I knew him already. It was a beautiful drive, with lots of cows grazing in the fields along the way.
The first thing I noticed when I drove up his long driveway was the BIG new shop! Those of you that follow the ShopBot forum might remember this thread that Tim started when he was looking for ideas for building his new shop. Tim did a beautiful job on it—well thought out and all open space, with no columns or posts to get in the way.
Anyone with their own shop will testify that material handing is one of the biggest problems. Just getting material in and out of the shop can take lots of time and can be hard on your back. Tim’s new shop has doors on both sides that are 12′ tall and 14′ wide, with a roof over them to keep materials dry. The entrance you can see on the other side is in an alcove–so that you can get out of a vehicle in the pouring rain and not get wet!
This new shop is ALMOST finished, with the last bit of drywall finishing left to do before painting and final details. Tim’s already put the space to use to assemble a two-part curved desk for his church. All the parts were ShopBot cut, allowing him to add holes for wiring and lighting in all the uprights. He couldn’t have assembled a piece this size in his old shop!
Next we moved over to Tim’s old shop, and I could see why he was so excited about the new shop. The first thing I noticed is that there’s just an single entrance door that all his materials had to be hand carried through! Right inside that door is his PRT ShopBot that he bought second hand about 4 years ago.
Tim uses eCabinets and the ShopBot link to design and cut his custom cabinet parts and to do his drawings. He’s discovered that with some cleverness and a little cheating, that he can design just about anything in eCabinets and convince the software that it’s a cabinet!
To get to his more traditional cabinetmaking tools and his work area, you have to go up some stairs to the second floor. Everything he cuts on his ShopBot has to be carried up those stairs for assembly, and then back down again!
Along with installing manufactured cabinets, Tim builds custom cabinets and furniture (and lots of other things) for himself and for others. He showed me several of them including a corbel with a bird cut into it, and a rack for starting seeds in Mason jars.
Sometimes the easiest way to find out what sorts of things people do is to become an archeologist and look in the trash bin… Tim also cuts Tic-Tac-Toe sets!
Tim has decided that since he has to dismantle is ShopBot to get it out the door and into the new shop, that it would be a good time to do some upgrades. He found a deal on a control box, hardened rails, and an updated Z that will go on the ShopBot when it is reassembled in its new home
Even though moving is always a pretty big disruption, I really envy Tim for having such a great new space. He’ll not only have a ton of room to work in, but also an opportunity to re-think his workflow to make things even more efficient!