Professor Mark Csele

My Workshop

I have a home workshop of which I am quite proud. I started, years ago, with a single shop 12′ by 16′ in size used for both woodworking and electronics. As time went on, I was able to expand the shop into two areas, the original area used for woodworking alone (featuring a planer and radial arm saw), and a newer electronics area 12′ by 6′ used exclusively for electronics (it has a curtain to prevent dust from the “wood shop” from contaminating the entire area) and features a 6′ workbench with a set of shelves above for various pieces of test equipment.

What started as a necessity turned into a hobby. When we first moved into our house we were, like many new home owners, house-broke and so could hardly afford luxuries like a new kitchen. I enlisted the help of my father-in-law and we built new cabinets: basic, but functional, particle-board cabinets using melamine-covered wood with oak pulls glued to the bottom edge. Projects around the house continued and renovations, and woodworking, have become a hobby. We have done various modifications to the house including building the basement into a family room (it was a separate apartment when we moved in), relocating various walls in the process, and built a breakfast nook onto the house where a covered sunporch previously stood. I built the entire room myself including walls and floor, drywall, and added garden doors to the outside. I did the ceramic tile work for that room as well as two of our bathrooms and a few other jobs as well.

While most of my initial renovation projects involved heavy work, more recently I find myself migrating to more delicate projects like cabinetry (I could say something sentimental like¬†It’s in my blood, my grandfather was a cabinetmaker in “the old country”). The woodworking portion of my shop (12′ by 16′) features a Craftsman (Ryobi) radial arm saw with power feed, a 2hp/220V dust collector (required when your workshop is in your basement), a thickness planer on rails allowing it to be swung into the middle of the shop for use then pushed back against the wall when done (see below for details), a homebuilt router table, and a large center island workbench (the shop is designed with three smaller workbenches around dthe perimeter holding many small pieces of equipment including a stationary belt sander, bandsaw, small drill press, and mitre saw).
Mounted at the far end of the workbench is a homebuilt router table in which I mounted a 3hp plunge router upside-down on a hardwood table and built a fence from a single-piece of aluminum channel for stability. This high-stability arrangement (I’ve never been happy with a fence until I built this one) is required when using cabinet bits – the one used to cut raised-panel doors is several inches in diameter with a half-inch shaft.¬†

Select a photo to see the niftier features of my shop

Thickness Planer - Stowed
Thickness Planer - In Use
Mitre Saw - In Use