Evolution of a Shop #1: One year on LJ, what a difference a year makes

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Blog entry by Cory posted 01-13-2010 07:00 PM 3737 reads 6 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Evolution of a Shop series Part 2: The Plan... »

With my one year anniversary on Lumberjocks coming up in a few days, I thought I’d start my first ever blog. I can’t even believe it’s only been a year. When I joined a year ago I had quite a bit of experience with carpentry work and home improvement. I had no idea how little I actually knew about working with wood. One year later, I realize I have only scratched the surface of this hobby (my wife calls it an obsession) and I have a lot to learn.

My shop, like my skills, has a long way to go. A year ago, it was a place to park some tools and some cars. It has slowly evolved into a place to create. Though I still share the space with kids toys and garden equipment, I no longer park my car in the garage and I pull my wife’s car out when I’m in there working. The set up, though, has really been a hodgepodge. When I’ve added a new tool or created a new jig I just stuck it where I had space. Like most everyone, my shop time is limited and I need to have it more organized and create better flow when I’m working on a project. I’ve got a total renovation/change I’m planning on starting in the next few weeks. Here are the before pictures:

Main bench area

Clamps, jigs, rollers

Lumber storage, bench top router table, planer, workmates, misc storage

Drill press, miter saw, more lumber, misc stuff for table saw

The project that kicked off my addiction: a rolling work table w/storage:

I’m finishing up a project right now for a local church. When that wraps up, I’ll get going on the renovation of the shop.

Thanks for looking. And thanks for all the help, support, and ideas from all of the incredibly talented people on this forum.


-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

16 comments so far

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 4118 days

#1 posted 01-13-2010 07:31 PM

Renovation and reorg is always a fun project. Enjoyable to customize your space to suit the needs. I like your cabinetry and rolling storage. As “hodgepodge” as you described, the space looks quite effective and organized. I hear you on the conversion from carpentry to woodworking. Glad you are gaining so much here and receiving so much support on your journey. Thanks for sharing your shop.


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

7137 posts in 4204 days

#2 posted 01-13-2010 07:32 PM

Greetings Cory:

Stellar job on the shop. Things are starting to shape up for you. A shop is an evoulation of change.

The more tools you add, the more room you’ll need: the more room you get, the more tools you want.

It’s an over and over process. You might get it the way you want it in about 20 years…

So just keep on keeping on, and you’ll get there with change…..............

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 5109 days

#3 posted 01-13-2010 07:35 PM

Dave hit it – space customization. Everybody’s specific needs are different and that will be reflected in the way that we organize it (if ever:)

Happy LJ anniversary! I hope you remember your wedding anniversary as well.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View rtb's profile


1101 posts in 4723 days

#4 posted 01-13-2010 08:35 PM

Be warned no shop is ever complete, whenever it becomes the way you want it you time to be satisfied will be very short,probably until the next tool. Happy birthday. (also happy wedding anniversary, don’t dare forget it)

-- RTB. stray animals are just looking for love

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4683 days

#5 posted 01-13-2010 09:16 PM

Nice workshop!

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5256 days

#6 posted 01-13-2010 10:17 PM

Congrats Cory, glad you enjoyed the journey so far. I’d kill for a clean shop like yours, LOL, just kiddin. Very nice looking work space. Happy one year, they do go by fast. mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View PineInTheAsh's profile


404 posts in 4277 days

#7 posted 01-13-2010 11:12 PM

Greetings Cory,

My sincere congrats on the anniversary.

You’re lookin’ good there with that shop. Can’t wait to see the changes you’re planning. I hope you can furnish a pictorial story—you know how this crowd loves looking at shops.

That all-purpose rolling cart is a handsome bugger; bet it sees a lot of action as a “right-hand man” at your side. I notice the Rockler assembly squares and clamps. How do you like them? Do they do the job?
I don’t recall seeing them in any other LJ shop pics and tours.

Nice job all ‘round Cory.

Thanks, and all the best,

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5170 days

#8 posted 01-13-2010 11:26 PM

your shop needs organizing? Can’t imagine what the “after” pix will look like. ..

I smiled at the “wife’s car” statement—oh the number of times I have read that here at LJ :)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View bigike's profile


4057 posts in 4298 days

#9 posted 01-14-2010 12:01 AM

nice shop, i wish i could get mine this organized or even close to it.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://[email protected]

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 4200 days

#10 posted 01-14-2010 05:15 PM

Very nice shop=====clean

Congrats on your year a day early!!!

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4344 days

#11 posted 01-14-2010 05:59 PM

Great looking shop. Well organized and neat. Some great looking tools too. I especially liked the Jim Beam. LOL. Looking forward to the reorganization, but I can’t imagine it being better.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Cory's profile


760 posts in 4429 days

#12 posted 01-14-2010 06:01 PM

Thanks for all the comments and congrats, I appreciate it.

PineInTheAsh: I really like the Rockler right angle clamps. I got them on sale last year and I use them on almost every carcass assembly.

MsDebbieP: I didn’t mean it to sound badly that my wife parks her car inside, just the opposite. I want to make room for her and my kiddos to get in and out without getting too cold/wet. Ok, ok. I wish I had the room her car takes up, but not enough to broach the subject!

To all: because my family is in and out of the garage/shop all the time, I make it a point to clean up every time I finish a session. I also make it a point to unplug all my tools after I use them and/or put them away so my little ones aren’t tempted to play with my chisels or flick on the table saw switch just to hear the click!

-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

View Cory's profile


760 posts in 4429 days

#13 posted 01-14-2010 06:03 PM

Stefang: That bottle has a special place in my heart. I shared it with my fraternity brother, who passed away shortly after. I keep it around to remember him and to also remember to enjoy every day….it may be your last.

-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4344 days

#14 posted 01-14-2010 07:08 PM

A good reason to have it there Cory. Our friends who have passed live on in our memories.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View JimNEB's profile


239 posts in 4078 days

#15 posted 02-02-2010 05:38 PM

I like the assembly table. Handy to have all those tools right there when you are putting projects together.

-- Jim, Nebraska

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