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We are about to take a quantum jump in the furniture bank. When I started volunteering there 2 1/2 years ago, we were working around a 4x8 table (usually cluttered with donation and junk), one router, an old compressor (since failed), a couple of HF nail guns and bring your own drill. They had just gotten a donation of a Kreg Foreman that was a big step from the K3 they had been using. Phase 1 was getting some cordless drills. We also took over cutting the sheet goods offsite, then packaged parts sets and had them trucked to the assembly site. Last year, they acquired some needed offsite warehouse space and we got a couple hundred square feet of heated and better-lit assembly space. We organized the tools and build 6 work tables from leftover materials. We also built a 24x2x8 shelving unit for household goods inventory (linens, kitchen items, etc.) One of the improvements we made was also to round over the cut edges on the tables and make them a bit more friendly and get rid of the sharp edges. Made a router table and got a trim router. We investigated making dressers (another critical need). It turned out to be too costly in terms of time and material. So we designed and prototyped a "cubby" that can be used for clothes storage and potentially outfitted with fabric drawer boxes. Recently, we got a grant for equipment and can do all the fabrication and assembly on site. We got a great deal from a local machinery supplier. On order is a 3hp table saw, panel saw, sliding compound miter saw, dust collector, and two air cleaners. Next step is to get the goods in, assemble, set up, ductwork, build some fixtures and equipment and get an electrician in to do wiring. Also coming in is a donation of a vintage 10ER Shopsmith that we'll probably use as a drill press. I'll have to get some photos of the progress.
Yesterday the local news came to one of our "table build" days at the furniture bank. Over the last three years, several of us from the woodworking club have been cutting parts, reorganizing the volunteer space, optimizing the workflow, building storage racks and assembly tables, and making and mentoring volunteers making dining, coffee, and end tables. We're on track to make 120 dining tables from Oct-Christmas this year. If you watch carefully, you'll see this handsome guy in the background. http://www.wcpo.com/news/local-news/hamilton-county/cincinnati/furniture-bank-building-tables-collecting-plates-for-people-transitioning-out-of-homelessness