TechRedneck's Workshop

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Workshop by TechRedneck posted 08-02-2010 03:26 AM 4966 reads 4 times favorited 28 comments Add to Favorites Watch

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My shop is in my garage/basement which is 48’ x 34’. I have to park my wife’s car, my car and my truck (with snow plow) in the garage during the winter. In summer I park the old Chevy 1500 outside.

I used the computer to draw a scale model of the space and measured each tool and the work area that was needed around it. I was able to drag each item around virtually to find the best placement and shortest runs for the DC piping. This is what I came up with.

Here you can see the Hybrid Table saw with a home made down-draft table as an out feed table. The down draft table is used to clean the air in the shop and is also used as a sanding station. The used furnace fan pulls around 1200 – 1300 CFM through two sets of filters. It has a timer and electrical hookup for sanders. The DC system is piped overhead and down the back side of the saw. The downdraft table is on lifter legs to adjust hight.

I also built a torsion box assembly table which is 4’x4’ and houses a 12 gal compressor and 35’ hose reel. The assembly table serves as an out-feed table for the 6” jointer and light duty 12” planer. Since the planer has a fixed base and movable cutter head it was perfect here. Between the bench and the jointer is a floor sweep. All the DC ducting and blast gates are conveniently located in one area here. Between the router/jointer is the drum sander.

The DC system is hard piped using 4” S&D with blast gates and a primary separator. I opted for the WoodCraft remote control switch which is excellent when you are at the tool, ready to go and need DC. I just clip it to my belt loop and tuck it into my pocket.

In the middle of the shop is a Milwaukee 12” dual bevel sliding compound miter mounted on a Skill stand which has extensions for longer boards and trim. Next to it is the router table housing a Triton 3.5 HP router and is set at the same height as the miter saw and extension arms allowing me to run long boards. The nice open space under the miter saw allows for easy scrap storage an cleanup.

The house and shop are heated with Anthracite Coal using a Hitzer 55 Coal/Wood furnace with gas backup.

The back wall houses a home made cyclone unit using a large Shop VAC and a 25gal garbage can. This high velocity system is separate from the primary DC system and is used to collect the fine dust coming from the router, Scroll saw, spindle sander, belt sander and floor standing band saw. All tools pull out for easy access.

I store most of my lumber in home made racks hung off of the floor joists along the edges of the garage and built a mobile sheet goods rack that tucks in against the wall below some of the overhead racks.

I would like to thank Marc Spagnuolo and the good people here at LJ for a lot of ideas and inspiration in designing this workspace.

-- Mike.... West Virginia. "Man is a tool using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.". T Carlyle

28 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118252 posts in 4817 days

#1 posted 08-02-2010 04:00 AM

Nice work shop and a good variety of tools


View TechRedneck's profile


770 posts in 4097 days

#2 posted 08-02-2010 04:11 AM

Thanks Jim. There’s a lot of Craftsman stuff but out here in the hills the nearest Lowes is an hour away, there is a small Sears in town that I can order from the Internet and pickup. I like the fact that I can get parts and the manuals on the Craftsman stuff are good.

-- Mike.... West Virginia. "Man is a tool using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.". T Carlyle

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 5062 days

#3 posted 08-02-2010 04:19 AM

TechRedneck, this is a nice shop that you have. It certainly appears as if you have plenty of room in there and you have organized your shop well. You have some nice tools to play with as well and I would love to have the room for a downdraft table like the one that you have built. That is a nice addition to your shop that serves several functions.

Thanks for the pictures. I enjoyed touring your shop.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Splinterman's profile


23074 posts in 4602 days

#4 posted 08-02-2010 07:56 AM

Hey TRN,
Oh yeah…lots of sweet toys to play with in there….well done.

View lanwater's profile


3113 posts in 4174 days

#5 posted 08-03-2010 12:18 AM

This is a great setup that is well thought. Great organization.

You mention 2 filters. What kind of filter does the draft table has? My readind suggest a sub 1 micron filter to really clean the air.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View TechRedneck's profile


770 posts in 4097 days

#6 posted 08-03-2010 03:44 AM

Yes there are two filters side by side for a total of four. Since I built the cabinet, I sized the filters the same as my house HVAC system. The first set are standard filters to catch most of the larger particles, the second set are good HIPA filters. I don’t know if they get down to 1 micron but they are close. Sometimes I rotate the furnace filters to the downdraft table before I toss them. This way I get dual use out of them. When the box stores have a sale on them I buy several.

-- Mike.... West Virginia. "Man is a tool using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.". T Carlyle

View ND2ELK's profile


13494 posts in 5014 days

#7 posted 08-23-2010 05:21 AM

Nice organized shop. Love to see a neat shop. Thanks for posting.

God bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View slimt's profile


111 posts in 4178 days

#8 posted 10-04-2010 03:51 AM

Nice shop TRN I have the same table saw whats your feelings about the fence . What are your thoughts ?

View TechRedneck's profile


770 posts in 4097 days

#9 posted 10-05-2010 03:16 AM

Hey Slimt, just looked at your shop. Basement dweller like me!

The fence is a huge improvement over the one on my old contractors saw. Some reviews I went through before I decided on this model were “on the fence” about the fence. For a non pro like me it is absolutely fine. I’ve used saws that were three times the cost and did not notice that much difference. There is some deflection if you really push against it but you should not do that anyhow. The splitter is pure crap, I removed it after the first few cuts and never put it back.

I used a One Way gauge to measure the runout on the arbor, was pretty true out of the box, within .002 using a brand new Freud combo blade. The fence needed a little adjustment to make it run out about .005 to keep it from binding. The deflection will take it well over that but under normal use I can get very accurate repeatable cuts. The blade makes a real difference. I fired up the saw with the stock blade and it made a loud ringing sound and wobbled a bit much for my taste. I gave it to the guy that bought my old saw.

The micro adjust is a joke, I never use it. I adjusted the fence to the new blade using a pinnacle ruler/straight edge. For most general cuts I don’t bother manually measuring and get very accurate cuts using the rulers on the fence. I only double check on cuts that need to be dead on, most times they are.

I haven’t used the miter setup yet. looks ok but my go to tool for angled cuts is the 12” sliding miter saw.

-- Mike.... West Virginia. "Man is a tool using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.". T Carlyle

View DocK16's profile


1199 posts in 5327 days

#10 posted 10-12-2010 03:50 AM

Nice Shop That DC system must work great I don’t see any sawdust on the floor. Go Mountaineers.

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 4414 days

#11 posted 10-12-2010 03:55 AM

Verrrry nice setup. Nice tool assortment.

Excellent job on that outfeed/downdraft/filtration table. Slick !

I see you’re a big fan of Craftsman for their WW tools. How’s your luck been ? Is it a case of … I liked the first one so much that I bought others, or … I bought ‘em all at once, and would (or wouldn’t) buy more ?

IIRC, I bought their router table, but … it had one of those annoying Craftsman/Ryobi features … something like … it would only work with THEIR router. For that, I wound up returning it. Is that the case with yours ?

Very nice shop, though. Thanks for sharing !

-- -- Neil

View TechRedneck's profile


770 posts in 4097 days

#12 posted 10-13-2010 01:32 AM


Hey fellow WV woodworker. Just saw your post on the Forest Festival. The wife was in the parade but the weather was too nice and I had to stay home and install the chimney for my new Hitzer coal/wood stove. I was tired to paying for the LP gas and having to use electric heaters in the shop during the winter. Thought I would solve both problems, heat the shop and house. Good way to dispose of all the cutoffs and get a little heat from them.

I probably walked past your booth many times at the FF over the years. We’ll have to get together next year.

Both DC systems work great. I am so glad I spent the time and $ to install them.

-- Mike.... West Virginia. "Man is a tool using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.". T Carlyle

View Tracey615's profile


19 posts in 4039 days

#13 posted 10-13-2010 01:43 AM

Hey Redneck, Trace the Bald here. Also in West (by God) Virginia. I am actually a native of Indiana, retired here. We are located in Elkview. Your shop is great, neatly kept and well designed. Mine looks like an explosion in a rummage sale, but works for me. If you are coming to Charleston on 79 give me a holler.

-- Trace the Bald

View TechRedneck's profile


770 posts in 4097 days

#14 posted 10-13-2010 02:05 AM


Thanks for the comment. The downdraft table was the first part of the total DC system I built. I saw a number of them on the Internet (probably here on LJ’s before I signed on). A lot of people use the overhead filter units but I thought I could get more use from a table for sanding, routing, out-feed and air cleaning. Drilling all those holes was a pain tho.

And.. Yes there is a lot of Craftsman stuff but I always check the reviews first and compare. The nearest WoodCraft is hours away so shipping the heavy stuff to a local sears and picking it up myself saves money. Actually I really like the table saw and the Jointer works just fine. I replaced the stock belt with a link belt and that made a difference. I don’t run the hell out of it like a pro would so suits me just fine. In fact if you watch for sales you can get a good machine at a fair price. Parts are easy to get over the web. It has the long solid in-feed/out-feed I wanted and tunes up nice and tight to within .003” using feeler gauges and a long machined straight edge.

I have 50 yr old Craftsman drill press that was sitting in a basement of a friend of my daughter. The professional planer/molder I purchased with my father in law 15 years ago. He is no longer using it so now it’s in the shop. The light duty Craftsman 12” planer was on one of those super sales and I could not pass it up. It snipes a little but it just might be me. DC handles the chips fine and I don’t hog the thing.

My kids gave me the router table as a gift. It was fine using the Ryobi but it is now souped up with a 3.25HP Triton. I’ll post some pics later. When I pulled the nice new Triton out of the box and wiped the drool off of it I found to my horror that the mounting holes did not match. After a little thought I just mounted it on the base plate, turned it upside down, marked and drilled holes in the plate to match the ones on the table and bolted it up. The Triton’s fine adjust is well within reach (no need for the handle on top) and changing the bits is a snap. DC works great, fence is fine for me.

I was tempted to go for the Sears 12” dual bevel sliding miter but went on ebay and found my Milwaukee 12” slider and it is the best tool in the shop. Saved about $275 to boot.

-- Mike.... West Virginia. "Man is a tool using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.". T Carlyle

View TechRedneck's profile


770 posts in 4097 days

#15 posted 10-13-2010 02:24 AM


I am seeing the West Virginian LJ’s coming out of the woodwork!

I am originally from Pittsburgh, moved to Reston VA, then to NJ and had enough of the rat race. I get to Charleston every once in a while for a conference or meeting. You would like the Wood Technology Center in Elkins, was there today to talk to some friends. There are 21 woodworkers in the co-op who can use some nice tools like a 36” belt sander, 24” planer with spiral cutter head, glue wheel, panel saw, large lathe, two industrial jointers, laser guided straight line saw, spray booth, dry kiln and so much more.

My Business is on the Beverly 5 lane. The Wood Tech Center is in the industrial park.

-- Mike.... West Virginia. "Man is a tool using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.". T Carlyle

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