Evolution of a Shop #2: The Plan...

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Blog entry by Cory posted 01-20-2010 10:48 PM 3642 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: One year on LJ, what a difference a year makes Part 2 of Evolution of a Shop series Part 3: Lumber rack, storage, new bench. The plan evolves, too. »

With a project just about wrapped up, I’ve come up with a plan to organize and renovate my shop. My goal is to eliminate clutter and get everything in a drawer, hung up or stored high on the wall, or behind a cabinet. I had a tenant renovate an office space and they had some perfectly good cabinets that were being thrown out. I grabbed them and they’ll be a part of my renovation.

I’m also grabbing a few solid core doors that were also being thrown out. They’ll become counter tops. The upper cabinets over my bench now will be moved and used above those base cabinets. My sketchup skills are non existent, but I do use AutoCAD a lot, so I whipped up a quick rendering of what I’m trying to accomplish:

This is the floor plan

Here’s an elevation of the main wall

I’ll be building a new workbench, although it will be strictly utilitarian and not a work of art. Under the bench I’ll put my two rolling tool chests and leave some leg room for a stool. Above the new bench will be a french cleat tool wall where I’ll keep most of my tools.

I have been wanting to get a ‘real’ dust collector instead of using my shop vac for a while now. I’m most likely going to grab a Harbor Freight 2hp DC and add a canister filter. The new DC will sit underneath a new shelving unit that will hold lumber and misc items. Here’s an elevation of the new storage wall:

As a caveat to this whole plan, I’m going to the Woodworking Show in Indianapolis this weekend, so I might come back with different ideas about how I want to store my stuff or arrange my shop. We’ll see.

Thanks for looking!

-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

9 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile


8645 posts in 4653 days

#1 posted 01-20-2010 10:52 PM

that looks like a great plan Cory, and those cabinets are the easiest fastest way to get things started. I have the upper cabinets for that set in my garage if you ever need it :)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Dave Owen's profile

Dave Owen

254 posts in 4079 days

#2 posted 01-20-2010 11:23 PM

About the only thing I feel I ‘shorted’ my shop on is cabinets. The drawers I used are great, but drawers can’t substitute for cabinets. I think you’ll really enjoy having all that cabinet space. For visible and convenient wall storage, I like white pegboard. It seems that woodworkers either love or hate pegboard. I happen to love it, and used a ton of it in my shop. The white type really helps with light reflection, and if you really want to go fancy, you could use the white plastic ones sold by Lowe’s. Your ceiling height is nice too.

-- Dave O.

View rhett's profile


743 posts in 4672 days

#3 posted 01-21-2010 01:14 AM

Step one is always have a plan, and it looks like you have a good one.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View Cory's profile


760 posts in 4424 days

#4 posted 01-21-2010 04:51 PM

PurpLev…..if I was closer I’d head over right now!

Dave: i’ve got quite a bit of pegboard in the shop now and it’s incredibly functional. I’m just not a huge fan of the look. A french cleat tool board just seems like it’s a little more classy to me. And I’m nothing if not classy!

-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

View PurpLev's profile


8645 posts in 4653 days

#5 posted 01-21-2010 05:03 PM

I’m also not a fan of peg boards even though they are the easiest to use. I like to keep things enclosed in cabinets, which helps in many ways. mainly it protects against dust and moisture, and when closed it has a more organized look with less things in plain view – which is another plus.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1624 posts in 4570 days

#6 posted 01-22-2010 01:39 AM

Always nice to get free cabinets! They look to be in good condition and will be a nice addition to your shop.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View pommy's profile


1697 posts in 4696 days

#7 posted 01-22-2010 01:47 AM

Nice Cory like the set up you have going on

-- cut it saw it scrap it SKPE: ANDREW.CARTER69

View JimNEB's profile


239 posts in 4073 days

#8 posted 02-02-2010 05:45 PM

AutoCAD or sketch-up really help to get a handle on where things go and how they will fit there. I’m working on a new 20’ X 20 shop and I’ve thought a lot about work flow. What machines will be used, what order they will be used in, how often they will be used, etc. I like your planning!

-- Jim, Nebraska

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4582 days

#9 posted 02-07-2010 04:00 AM

It’s amazing how well you planned this build Cory. Very well done.


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