Time to make some changes to the shop. #15: Demolition is over... now to organize the tools.

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Blog entry by AngieO posted 02-04-2017 04:16 PM 4404 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 14: Where I was... Some changes... and a little demolition. Part 15 of Time to make some changes to the shop. series no next part

The demolition part is over. Now it’s time to set up my tools better. The flow was just not working for me. Every time I needed to use my table saw I had to pull it out. It’s on wheels… but it’s one of those stands that come with it. Works.. but more awkward than anything. But with it pulled out and the saw horses out… it created a small path in between and it was such a hassle.

I don’t even remember where. I think on a Youtube video… someone mentioned using the Grizzly website to set up their shop. They have a shop planer. Here's the link.

The first thing I did after going to the site and checking it out… was go measure EVERYTHING. Then I laid everything out in the program the way it was set up. This is what I came up with.

You’ll notice the writing… the program does let you name things. But it doesn’t add the text. I simply took a screen shot of it after I was done and then edited it in PicMonkey.

The last time I did a change up I put EVERYTHING on wheels. Well… except two things. The Kreg Router table and the “brown desk”. Even the scrap bin is on wheels. So all the tools in my shop are pretty much modular. I played around with things a little bit and ended up with this layout.

Ok… this isn’t what I ended up doing. But it was my “plan”. Howerver… not only do I not have the new miter station built… it also just didn’t work out as well as I thought it would. Here is where I am at now.

This is the “brown desk” and is where the built in was that I just removed. Still haven’t had the opportunity to paint. But I’m putting that off till I get the miter station built. The little kitchen cart to the left of the desk has my sanders in it, my dremels and on the side there’s a little towel rack that I put my clamps on. Under the Kreg table I have two drawers sitting under there. The bottom one is on wheels. These two hold a lot of the more often used items that were on the peg board.

I’m still using the base of kitchen drawers as my miter cart for now. I ended up putting the drill press right next to it. And as an unexpected bonus…. I’m able to use the table on the drill press as support for my longer stock lumber when I’m using the miter saw. I also put the scroll saw in the corner again because I just don’t use it much. It’s very easy to pull out and use if I need to. But I’m thinking it’s just needs to be taken off the base and stored in the new miter station. It just takes up too much room and I don’t use it. For now I have a little shelf on the base to store some of the things from the old built in bench. It is also where I keep my miter sled and some other jigs. Most of the time the saw horses are in use. But they are out of the way and when I want to use the joiner I have easy access to it.

My table saw is in a much better place. It’s also next to my bench (which is still a huge mess). Once I take that green top off I can match up the height to the table saw and use it as an outfeed table. Of course I still have my lumber bin and it is going to get attacked this coming week. I just threw stuff as I was cleaning and moving stuff.

This whole area is a hot mess. To the right of those paint buckets I have this crate I got from work. I stored some rarely used items in it that were from the built in bench. And the drawers from the bench are sitting on top of it. I just threw some scrap plywood on top to keep any sawdust out of the drawers. And… it gives me a little surface to put things on.

In this position the table saw can be pushed agains the wall when I’m not using it. But the way I have it now it’s quite easy to just pull it out when I need it. And….(this is what prompted the change up in the first place)... I can leave it out and it’s not in the way of the work flow at all. This makes me very happy.

So overall… I feel like I have a new shop. I know I have a lot more work to do on it… but it sure is coming along nicely. Of course… after everything was over I just sat in a chair and looked at it. I’m soooooooooo glad that built in bench and pegboard are gone.

So… the above picture was taken while I sat in my chair and just admired my shop and the difference that tearing out that bench AND the pegboard made. Of course… with the Vertigo issues I couldn’t do my happy dance. But.. in my mind… the happy dance was DEFINITELY going on .

My daughter came in and of course… laughed that I was just sitting there staring with this huge grin on my face. She decided to clean off the white board. So…she sat down at the brown desk with her polar pop and went to town. Since the writing has been on there since 2013… it was actually harder than she though. That’s when she spilled her Big Red Polar Pop (Which she usually NEVER gets), all over the desk. GEEZ!!!! That stuff went everywhere you wouldn’t want it to go. It spilled inside the base of the scroll saw and just everywhere. Onto my tool bags that were stored on the shelf I had just added to the scroll saw base.
Oh well… I have some red stained pine now for that base. LOL

As always… I am not done and I WELCOME feedback on how I can arrange things even better. I’ve worked on one project so far. It only required the miter saw and a few cuts on the table saw. But so far I’m much happier. But before I end up going a lot further… I’m open to suggestions.

Thanks for following my journey!

9 comments so far

View AngieO's profile


1267 posts in 2919 days

#1 posted 02-04-2017 05:09 PM

Oh yeah… another thing… suggestions on lighting is also welcome. I have these guys. And I have three of them total. The lighting is horrible. Plus… for the Vertigo issues I’m having… dimly light areas are a headache for me. So I need lots of light for work… and for my head.

View Alongiron's profile


654 posts in 3465 days

#2 posted 02-04-2017 06:59 PM

Hi Angie

It has been awhile! I like that your shop has wheels on it and you can pull out the tools that you need when you need them. I like the way you have it laid out. A couple of thoughts. You could bring your work table to the center of the shop with your table saw on on end to also use as your out feed table. Save an area towards the back of you shop so that you can “wheel” out the tools as needed. I have 6- 6’ Florescent lights in my shop. Each light has 2 bulbs. I use the 40 watt “daylight” bulbs and they really give great light! I also painted my ceiling and upper portions of my walls to help reflect the light. My dad once told me that “A mans shop is never done” so keep tweeking and moving and adjusting. Take care and work safe!


-- Measure twice and cut once.....sneak up on it! Steve Lien

View Grumpymike's profile


2439 posts in 3087 days

#3 posted 02-04-2017 06:59 PM

Hi Angie,
Wow you’ve sure completed a bunch of work in the right direction … However, I do have a couple of things to consider.

First, make the brown desk go away, it is useful as is, but there is a ton of wasted space there.
Make a charging station shelf and wall mount it, and include most of the stuff on the desk to that shelf also, and what is in the drawers will go into the cabinet that you build … shelves and doors, or drawers … this will take up half of the space of the desk. ... Consider the aspect of cutting the desk top and pushing the drawers together … see the space you have gained? but the drawers are so deep that they will stick out into the room. ...

Get that wall painted white or a color close to white, it will reflect the light so much better and give you the feeling of more space. I found some oops paint at Lowes for $3 … Slightly blue but who’s to know.

Lighting is easy, it’s just hard to decide on which way to go about it … Think LED and shop around, there are shop lights on sale right now at Costco, but for nearly the same price Home Depot or Lowes will have the 4 bulb shop fixtures and LED tubes … You will be making an investment, but look at the results that never need any replacement bulbs. Two of them will double what you have now.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View Mean_Dean's profile


7041 posts in 3919 days

#4 posted 02-04-2017 11:40 PM

Looks like you’re gain’n on it, as Norm would say!

I second the idea of using one of your work tables as an outfeed table for the tablesaw—anytime you can make tools do double duty, you increase the efficiency of your shop.

Otherwise, it looks like you’re on the right track—enjoy!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View NormG's profile


6506 posts in 3776 days

#5 posted 02-05-2017 02:17 AM

Looks awesome, improvements are always a work in progress

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View BB1's profile


1639 posts in 1620 days

#6 posted 02-05-2017 03:12 AM

I understand just sitting and enjoying being in the shop. Looks like you have a great space to work and it is rewarding to get it set up for use in future projects. I like how you have everything mobile. I only have a couple items like that and see how helpful that would be.

One thought I would offer – I like having a work table behind me when working at the table saw. I have all my push blocks and blades stored on a shelf or in drawers below. This helps me to keep my table saw just for what I’m cutting (for the most part!). Just turn and grab what I need or the next board to cut.

View DocSavage45's profile


8956 posts in 3614 days

#7 posted 02-05-2017 07:35 AM


I’m looking at my shop right now to open floor space in my main work area. My thoughts are for shelving. as I can get it off the floor. I have another room that was my last ad on and I did everything right. Painting the floor while the space is open can improve the visual continuity as well as reduce moisture movement. Wish I;d have done that in the main room. LED’s are the current buzz word and the price is coming down. The efficiency of lighting is also important in relation to the costs of power to the shop. Hand tools require just you, but table saws, drill presses , band saws and jointers cost to run.

You can make a drop down desk to use as needed that won’t be a “where will I put this” catcher. I have too many of those. I’d like to suggest the benches and tables get heavy duty casters. It will pay in the long run and you can rearrange the room as you develop your particular work pattern.. Another thought is a tear down assembly table to make efficient use of available space.

Oh yeah, I’d put windows in to the walls to allow the sun to provide the best lighting. They can be up at the top of the wall to prevent nosy neighbors or kids from getting ideas. Lighting should be across spectrum to not influence color in wood choices and finishing.

Still walking in your bare feet to the shop? LOL!

Have fun, think ahead,

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View AngieO's profile


1267 posts in 2919 days

#8 posted 02-05-2017 10:11 PM

Ha! DocSavage45… never bare feet in the shop. NO way! LOL

Thanks for all the comments. I like all the ideas. I am going to be using the work bench I have now as an outfeed table as soon as I get it cleaned off. Planning on creating some organization under it as well so that it doesn’t just collect like its doing now.

The brown desk… I’d already have it gone but I needed to keep it till I get the miter station built. I’m still considering how I’m going to store the things on it. Shelves? French Cleats? There are so many options.

A window was mentioned. Interestingly enough…. there are two windows. One has the AC in it. The other used to have one and the window was removed. It’s currently boarded up and I recently found the actual window in the shed. It’s where the clamps are hanging above the left side of the brown desk.

Definitely going to paint walls white. Still trying to decide what to do about the ceiling. There is a bunch of bad insulation up there. i need to remove all of it and replace it. With the vertigo issues I’m having… I can’t get on a ladder to do that. May have to employ my son on that one. But not sure what to replace it with and how I’m going to do all that. Also definitely going to get more lights.

Thanks for all the suggestions

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3576 days

#9 posted 02-18-2017 09:49 PM

Coming along nicely. Lookin grrrrr8! You’ll be having more fun out there.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

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