Building the Ultimate Garage Woodshop #3: "Before" Photos

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Blog entry by Blake posted 12-18-2013 09:56 PM 4095 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Gears Slowly Turning Part 3 of Building the Ultimate Garage Woodshop series Part 4: Sketchup Plans »

As promised here are some “before” photos of my messy garage.

Notice the open ceiling joists with hundreds of nails sticking out… this is because I have already ripped the crappy sheetrock down to start work on it.

Here it is a little less messy:

And here is the “before” photo of the loft space above the garage. This is the reason that the shop project is so slow to get off the ground… there is a TON of storage potential up there and I am taking the time to do it right. I have been reinforcing the ceiling so it will take the load of storage.

Here is my new baby from a few weeks ago… she is just waiting for some love:

And the exciting news is I just picked up one of these!


I’ve always been a Radial Arm Saw type of guy. I just love those tools. BUT they do have their limitations. They are difficult to keep tuned and true, and they are difficult to change angles accurately.

I’ve done a lot of thinking about my new shop setup. I have even thought about building my cross-cutting bench with a chop saw for compound angles, and my old RAS friend for longer straight cross cuts as well as dados and tenons.

But ultimately I just don’t have the space for that. So I decided if I had to only choose ONE I would have to make a compromise. A 12” sliding compound miter would have to do. It will have the power, capacity, ease of use, ease of changing miter/bevel angles, and enough accuracy to do the job.

You can still cut dados and tenons on a slider, although its not as accurate as a RAS. I will just have to clean them up with a router plane or make my tenons on the table saw instead. Oh well.

As far as choosing the DeWalt, I really did a lot of research. I almost went for the Bosch, with its ability to fit closer to the shop wall:

But even though this saw was about $200 more, I found it to be far LESS ACCURATE especially with regard to the dado stop. It would actually bounce almost 1/4” down/up after hitting the stop. Overall it had a lot more plastic parts than the DeWalt (and more moving parts too) and was just not built as well all around. The DeWalt is pretty solid.

The hinged mechanism on the Bosch is pretty ingenious technology. But it is just not perfected yet. Too bad.

So anyway, next I will be daydreaming about the bench I will build as a home for the new slider.

-- Happy woodworking!

7 comments so far

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 5168 days

#1 posted 12-18-2013 10:27 PM

Yay Blake. A garage all for yourself. Yowser.
Good choice on the rebuild decisions. That upper area will be great to have.
And good choice on the saw(s). You will have a colorful shop now, and nice stuff to boot. Hard to decide, you done well.

Interesting about making money with photography. That is great that you guys can make a go of it.

Keep us informed,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View shipwright's profile


8760 posts in 4084 days

#2 posted 12-19-2013 12:14 AM

It’s good to see you back on LJ. I’ve wondered what you were up to.
Good luck on the new shop and it doesn’t look like you need any good luck with the photography business.
I’m looking forward to seeing some of your fine work back in these pages soon …... not too soon, I can wait.
Take your time and do that new shop up right.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View NormG's profile


6574 posts in 4289 days

#3 posted 12-19-2013 12:29 AM

Someplace to make saw dust

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

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3665 posts in 4998 days

#4 posted 12-19-2013 03:29 AM


With a profitable photography business, you can afford to build all kinds of (tax deductible) props! Have fun!


-- Voltaire: “Those Who Can Make You Believe Absurdities, Can Make You Commit Atrocities” There are 112 genders (not including male and female)

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4620 days

#5 posted 12-19-2013 09:43 AM

Glad to hear that the photo business is going so well Blake. Now you will be able to take more pleasure in your woodworking. Looking forward to seeing some of your work again.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Jake's profile


850 posts in 2916 days

#6 posted 12-19-2013 01:21 PM

I love this blog hehe. I especially liked the first post where you said that the garage came with a house. That is so lucky! Just made my day reading that, because similarly to you I bought a small workshop, and as luck would have it I also had an apartement above it where I could move my lovely fiancee to live in. I say move her in, because I spend most of my waking hours in the workshop. :D

-- Measure twice, cut once, cut again for good measure.

View mafe's profile


13405 posts in 4375 days

#7 posted 12-26-2013 09:50 PM

Think I have to look for a house now…
Look forward to see how it all turns out.
Happy new year,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

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