Making of the Workshop - Behind the Scene #4: Adding Philosophy to the Workshop.

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Blog entry by Thuan posted 04-14-2008 04:40 AM 1965 reads 1 time favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I pushed that orange cart down the main race way of the local Home Depot heading toward the tool coral. There’s nothing I really need there, it’s just part of the routine I supposed. I bumped into Don who works at the appliance section.

“What are you building now? “ He asked as he peered into the cart.

A hedge clipper and a garden hose repair kit was all that’s in.

“Stupid garden, really cuts into valuable woodshop time.” I replied.

He laughed. I continued pushing the cart as if I was doing time.

My wood shop is evolving slower than I wanted since I discovered the weekend task of yard work along with this new place. But there will be progress as I slowly moved my frequently used hand tools to the wall. I figured I should be able to measure, layout, mark, cut, chop and shave without having to do more than 3 steps. It’s part of my philosophy for my new workshop. I should be able to make simple box within an hour at any time. After all , most of what I do is joining small boxes to make big boxes.
workbench as of April 07

Since I store most of my chisels in the tool chest out of harms’ way, I needed a chisel holder in front of the bench that would hold different chisels for the different project of the moment. This took a while to figure out as I had a general idea what it need to look like, then I had to substitute the maple push broom head, leather and steal with things I do have laying around, a bunch of card board boxes and left over base boards.

Chisel Holder

I also started working on storage solutions under the bench. I called it the sidekick as it is mobile and serves as extra storage, and a tool caddy when I am working in the shop or installing baseboard in the house. The back of the cart has storage for my CO2 regulator and my nail guns. Learning from the construction industry, brads and wood glue is the best joint ever*.

Side kick cart

  • Disclaimer – By best joint ever, I mean for trim carpentry and cabinet installation in comparison to cost and time efficiency, and NOT for heirloom quality furniture, where wood joinery is the standard.

-- Thuan

14 comments so far

View fredf's profile


495 posts in 4824 days

#1 posted 04-14-2008 04:54 AM

How much do you get out of that little tank?

Ive always heard that co2 damages tools forms acid with water. any problems or how to avoid problems??

looks like a good start on your bench, good luck on the outdoor projects too

-- Fred, Springfield, Ma

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 5103 days

#2 posted 04-14-2008 05:38 AM

Yea, the pleasures of yard work! I hate it. Eats up too much time.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Betsy's profile


3394 posts in 5010 days

#3 posted 04-14-2008 05:59 AM

I personnally would like to concrete over my grass, paint it green and call it a day. I detest yard work. Takes to much time away from the fun stuff.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 4936 days

#4 posted 04-14-2008 11:20 AM

Hi Thuan,

Your shop is coming along nicely and you are organizing it well. I had forgotten that you posted a review on the CO2 regulator. I have been meaning to get one of these. It just makes so much more sense as opposed to dragging a hose around, especially working from a ladder.

Yard work does take it toll with respect to available shop time but it is one of those necessary tasks that we have to do along with landscape management, if you have a yard. But since mowing is an activity with which you can put your mind on auto-pilot just use it as to mentally plan your next project.

Thanks for the post. Happy mowing. :)

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

View bfd's profile


502 posts in 4921 days

#5 posted 04-14-2008 05:27 PM

Hi Thuan,

Your shop is progressing very nicely. You have a great set up there. It always takes longer then you think doesn’t it? I cannot say enough about your resourcefulness it is impressive! You have some great hand tools there. I am getting ready to build a bench and you have motivated me to A.) look at what I have and can utilize vs. buying new. B.) you have also motivated me to take a serious look at how I store my hand tools. I think having them above the bench in arms reach really makes sense. I currently have everything neatly stored in rolling craftsman tool chests. I can’t wait to see more progress and the projects that you create in your new shop.

View MichaelW's profile


30 posts in 4862 days

#6 posted 04-14-2008 09:42 PM

Enjoy reading your post and following your progress. Thanks for sharing your organizational ideas and pictures. Looks great, hope I can return the favor once I get mine together.

-- Michael, Seattle, WA

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 4859 days

#7 posted 04-14-2008 11:38 PM

Nicely done, Thuan. Your shop is looking good. Keep us posted.

View Ad Marketing Guy - Bill's profile

Ad Marketing Guy - Bill

314 posts in 4913 days

#8 posted 04-15-2008 02:39 AM

Excellent progress, I really like your collection of japanese saws….the mobile cart concept and how you plan to utilize them is a great idea.

Question is one of your racks made out of bamboo? It looks really neat

-- Bill - - Ad-Marketing Guy, Ramsey NJ

View RobS's profile


1334 posts in 5421 days

#9 posted 04-15-2008 03:48 AM

Tsk, tsk… Don’t know if it’s just the picture angle but the safety glasses appear to be one of the farthest away tools….would like to see those more in the forefront… or perhaps that is the spare pair..? ha..

Keep on going, it is looking good and you have some great ideas.

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

View Thuan's profile


203 posts in 4932 days

#10 posted 04-15-2008 04:13 PM

Fredf, I did a review on the CO2 regulator on this site, here is a link on it.
Recently, I found a paint ball gun store that fills the 20 0z tank for $5. This makes it very affordable. I haven’t heard of any tool damage. As the paintball guys use the same technology. There are Lumberjock members who use scuba tanks filled with co2 to power their guns. Maybe the extra cold exhaust make the rubber gasket brittle?

Yes, as BFD puts it, I repurpose an old Bamboo Ladder as a clamp rack


Guilty – :(

-- Thuan

View Ad Marketing Guy - Bill's profile

Ad Marketing Guy - Bill

314 posts in 4913 days

#11 posted 04-15-2008 06:11 PM

Thuan the bamboo ladder is a GREAT idea for clamps! I think if you add a stabile base with casters it could even a little more useful by being mobile – I need to search ebay now for a bamboo ladder.

-- Bill - - Ad-Marketing Guy, Ramsey NJ

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 5111 days

#12 posted 04-16-2008 07:13 AM

Thuan – your shop and tool storage is really taking shape – looking good!

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 4913 days

#13 posted 04-16-2008 04:20 PM

really a great shop..

-- making sawdust....

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 4989 days

#14 posted 04-18-2008 03:13 AM


From your very first post I knew that you would be an interesting woodworker to follow, and I get such a kick out of your posts. You have an incredibly unique sense of style and such a simple/efficient way of thinking and doing things in this day and age of need-every-gadget woodworking.

I love your shop, and it is evolving nicely. It is neat to see your progress, and I’m glad you post it. I feel like I have finally come to the end of my “building my shop” period after about three years, although a woodshop is always evolving. It does take a while to get everything just where you like it, and a considerable amount of trial and error.

It’s an exciting process as each improvement gets you that much closer to the perfect space. Tiny conveniences mean everything, and achieving that “just right” shop is achieving the freedom to build whatever you want or need.

Happy woodworking.

-- Happy woodworking!

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