Shop Upgrades #6: Shop Evolution: Shop Tour

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by bkseitz posted 01-03-2016 01:48 PM 1965 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Band Saw Assembly Part 2 Part 6 of Shop Upgrades series Part 7: Air Quality: Dust Collection and Air Filtration »

Here is a short history tour of the evolution of my workshop. Its still by no means complete and if others are correct it will always be an evolving project. I started out using a small portion of a steel barn which was mainly used as a storage building to be both auto-shop, farm workshop, and woodshop. As you can see it was/is a clutter magnet.

Over the past several years I’ve purchased several work benches and cabinets from Sears and Home Depot. This was for both storage and enable me to create dedicated workspaces for each type of work: Automotive, Plumbing & Electrical, Irrigation & Farm Tools, and Woodworking & Carpentry.

I’ve had to do this remodel in phases for several reasons: 1) I still needed to be able to do real projects while I was remodeling, 2) I don’t have a big budget so many things have to wait, and 3) I’m still in process of learning what I need my shop to be.

As part of phase one of the remodel, I’d been adding electric outlets, lighting, insulating the barn—It gets really cold in the winter here—and putting up chipboard to hang cabinets. I cam across the Husky TrackLoc system which has made hang storage faster.

Had I the time I might have build my own track walls. I had started out building French Cleats (see above cabinets) to hold part storage bins, but that was becoming too time consuming and a distraction from getting projects around the house done. While the electrical, insulation, chipboard walls, and track walls part of the remodel are incomplete—have a lot of stuff to move around to reach walls—I still have some level of functionality (propane barn heaters are good things :-)

The next major addition to the remodel was to build a traditional workbench (not shown). It was made out of 4”x4”, 2”x6” and MDF. The table looks like a tradition old timey workbench with slide, end vices, and bench dog holes. Soon discovered it wasn’t as useful for the projects I was doing so I build an 4’x8’ assembly table (pictured above) out of 3/4” ply, MDF, 4”x4”, and T-track from Rockler. This has turned out to be my main work area over the years. The T-Track hold jigs, fixtures, and tooling such as my Kreg Pocket Hole jig which I make heavy use of.

The next upgrade has been to build up my Craftsman Contractor Saw. This project has been continuing over the past several years; adding a sliding table, new fence (52”), overhead dust collection guard, new miter, Microjig splitter system, a cabinet (inspired by Laney Shaughnessy’s design) and a supersized out-feed table (with more storage)

The latest projects the past year—some still in progress—have been to:

1) Get my clamp collection —you can never have too many clamps?—under control.

2) Add overhead electrical and compressed air (bought a Husky 33 Gal Compressor and two RapidAire tubing kits)

3) More storage for my Ryobi One+ tools. Purchased a bunch of Rigid interlocking tool boxes. These make grabbing tools for projects outside the shop quick and easy. Though I’m going to have to rethink storing them in a cabinet—possibly shelves on trackwall.

4) Build Router Table (In progress, see Router Table project)

5) Upgrade Dust Collection System and get a starter? Band Saw (no Pictures yet) These will be listed as separate projects.

The DC under construction is going to be a modified version of a Harbor Freight 2HP with a Super Dust Deputy Cyclone and a Wynn Nano Filter. Not the typical Wynn HF Conversion, Dick Wynn and I cooked up another configuration that I’ll be testing out and reporting back to him on how it works.

The Band Saw is a Craftsman 14” I got on sale plus a discount coupon. Couldn’t pass up a deal like that—turned out cheaper than buying a 10” Rikon—after driving myself crazy about whether I needed one or could make do with my jig saw or if I should shell out ~$1k for a Laguna 14/12, Jet 14” Deluxe Pro, or Grizzly 14” Anniversary.

Well that’s my workshop remodeling project and shop tour so far. Thanks for reading

-- bkseitz, Washington "if everything is going well, you've obviously overlooked something"

4 comments so far

View WoodNSawdust's profile


1417 posts in 1785 days

#1 posted 01-03-2016 02:05 PM

Thanks for sharing. I always look at other peoples shop to see what ideas I can find to incorporate into my shop.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View bkseitz's profile


295 posts in 1919 days

#2 posted 01-03-2016 02:12 PM

@WoodNSawdust, always happy to share. The next few months I’ll be focused on building out my DC system. I’ll be posting and blogging on that in detail. I had promised one of the forums to do such along with giving Dick Wynn (Wynn Environmental) a report on how well the alternative design works out.

-- bkseitz, Washington "if everything is going well, you've obviously overlooked something"

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 2799 days

#3 posted 01-05-2016 12:18 AM

Your shop is coming along nicely.I seem to spend more time re-arranging my shop cause I’m not happy with any set up than I do woodworking.thanks for sharing.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View bkseitz's profile


295 posts in 1919 days

#4 posted 01-05-2016 12:59 AM

@whitebeast88 Thanks. Know the feeling, but have become comfortable with reorganizing all the time. Many of the woodworkers I follow on YouTube or here have been saying that a workshop is under constant evolution as you change your style of work and things you do as you develop your skills.

The projects I’m doing now and plan to do later are very much different than those of just a few years ago. In plan is to make raised panel doors for the china cabinet I built for my wife. The cabinet was something very different than the outdoor furniture and outbuildings I was doing before. So I bought a Kreg jig and build some book shelves for me as practice before building the china cabinet carcass.

The China Cabinet initially only required a table saw, Kreg Jig, and a work table large enough to hold the carcasses. As I started the project I realized I was going to need a mount doors. Thus my assembly table was modified with T-Tracks to hold the Kreg Jig as well as concealed hinge jigs. Then I realized to make the raised panel doors I’d need a better router table (in progress ). All the anticipated dust from a Router table created the need for: better dust collection system, additional electrical outlets, and insulating the barn so I could work in it during the winter. Working in a 35F barn is not fun.

I expect that over time the arrangement will likely be tweaked less and less as I gain more experience and standardize on how I do things. So I just accept it as part of the process and a challenge to find ways that work for me. This past week has been really cold so I haven’t done much on my re-org. I’ve a metal top table to move to my auto shop portion of workshop, but I have to move a refrigerator and corner shelf first, but to move those I have to move a lot of gardening equipment…it never seems to end, like one of those sliding puzzles.

Looking forward to this coming month—waiting on Wynn Filter—to start Dust Collector build. That promises to be a fun project, then it will be back onto Router table and ultimately China Cabinet whew! Russian Doll puzzle.

-- bkseitz, Washington "if everything is going well, you've obviously overlooked something"

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics