Douglas's Workshop

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Workshop by Douglas posted 05-31-2011 12:37 AM 3746 reads 6 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

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Updated 06/24/2013

I realized my shop pictures were out of date. The current set of pictures show my shop configuration since January of this year, and it’s been pretty stable. I have a good workflow now, and since moving the planer to a short cart that rolls under the table saw, and adding a dedicated sanding station to the cart that hangs out long the garage door, I don’t find myself moving and setting things up very much, its already in place. THe only other important addition, after the Roubo bench, has been lots of task lighting. I need some more directly over the table saw/router wing, as well as for the sanding station.


Updated 11/26/2012

I updated the photos showing my shop with the table saw and planer cart rolled out to the side for “garage mode”. I still have to share the place with a car, but since we sold to full-size van, and replaced it with a little Honda Fit, there’s more room around the edges for tools and tables!

The pics show the improvements I’ve made since the summer: I finally ran dust collection over to the south wall, as well as electrical. Now my jointer, band saw, and drill press can go against that wall, without having to wheel them over to DC or electricity on the north side of the shop. It makes working on them much more efficient. With a dedicated place for my band saw, I find I use it more frequently in places where I would have set up for a table saw cut or a chop saw cut. I also added some more overhead lighting, and retractable arm work light over there as well.

Also, the pics show my wall hanging too cabinet, that I detailed in a project post. It’s also possible to see my as-of-yet unfinished dedicated sharpening cart (between the HF dust collector and my lame workbench).

It really feels like I’ve got good flow and ergonomics. I’m still frustrated by my workbench, but now I’ve finally got things set up to where I can get to that bench build project.


Updated 7/3/2012

Since I last updated this, about a year ago, I’ve made a lot of improvements. The biggest infrastructure types improvements were:

- I finished fully insulating all the walls and ceiling of the garage last summer. Lucky for me, the garage door was already insulated. After adding a 12k BTU combo heater/a.c window units, the shop is perfect temperature year round. Despite the mild winter, on those few cold days, the heater got the shop up to 60°+ in about 30 minutes.
- With the walls fully insulated, I was able to finish the electrical. I had a dedicated 50amp service panel run into the garage, and was able to run surface mounted circuits for everything, balanced per load, with plenty of room for expansion.
- was able to do dedicated 4” runs for my DC, and added an ambient air cleaner.

What a relief to have all that done. I was then able concentrate on getting the rest of my tools and such situated.

Over the last year, I’ve added a 14” Grizzly band saw, a generic Dayton 6” jointer, a modded HF 2HP dust collector with Wynn canister filter and separator, all built on a nice cart, and a WorkSharp 3000.

I also collected some hand planes, Stanleys #3, #4, #5, #6, & two #7s. I modded an old crappy Buck Brothers #4-ish into a scrub plane, and picked up a few others (a #92 rabbet, #71 router plane, etc).

Finally, after almost 2 years, I’ve gone from a 2×4 & CDX plywood table and circular saw/drill, to this. Setting up a shop is never ending, but for the last 4-6 months, I spend 95% of my shop time doing actual woodworking, rather than trying to figure out “how the hell am going to move everything around to make THAT cut…?”. The workflow is pretty good.

My future goals are:

- add a bench top mortiser, and find a place for it. My bench top drill press doesn’t have a good home either, and I’m thinking of building a combo flip top stand/cart for them both.
- build a REAL bench. The one in the pictures is my 2nd bench; a “weekend” bench from some plans on Fine Woodworking. It is 2 layers 3/4 MDF on a 4×4 frame with long threaded rods. It doesn’t cut it, especially after learning more about what I want/need, and reading all the good sources on workbenches. It’s a fine rough table: it just doesn’t hold work for squat. I’m going to make a split top Roubo out of pine, do a wagon vise and leg vise using the simple single screws (not getting benchcrafted’s awesome but $$$ stuff), and go all runs dog holes.
- refine how and where I store my stuff. I have nice ship cabinets I built, but they’re not used very efficiently or organized well. I had so much room after building them, i just threw everything in. Now I need to sort everything by type (sanding tools & parts, router stuff, etc), make some drawer liners/dividers for the little stuff, and get more efficient on that.

From my first shop post last year (2011):

Here’s pictures of my shop, a 20’x22’ garage. I share the garage with our van, so I need to keep things mobile to scoot out of the middle, but sides/edges are mine. I am in the process of insulating the walls, and eventually the ceiling, so I can keep working in the winter. The east wall still needs insulation, vapor barrier, and OSB. Cleaning up that wall will resulting in reorganizing and making room for a 14” band saw, and the new HF 2HP dust collector that is shipping. The 3/4 HP Rockler DC will be retired, or the motor will be repurposed in a DiY air cleaner. Right now my “air cleaner” is a box fan with a plywood frame that holds 2 1” filters. I also plan on running a little bit of 4” DC piping to reach the various tools: right now I’m just using 4” and 2.5” flex to connect as I go.

Thanks for viewing!

-- Douglas in Chicago -

17 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4361 days

#1 posted 05-31-2011 02:13 AM

Douglas, this is a nice looking shop. It looks as if you have plenty of room in there and the window is a plus in my book since it will let in quite a bit of natural light. Insulating the shop is another good idea that will help you expand your ability to use the shop. You appear to have added some nice benches and storage to your shop and have put together a nice tool collection to play with.

Thanks for the pictures. I enjoyed taking a look at your shop.

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

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 3641 days

#2 posted 05-31-2011 07:49 AM

Nicely organized, I like it….........

-- mike...............

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3405 days

#3 posted 05-31-2011 05:38 PM

DC, you seem to have a nice shop. My eye site is not as good as it use to be and your pictures are a little smaller than normal but it seems like you have a good organized shop.

Scratch that,. I just discovered that your pictures are links to larger pics. It’s a very nice shop with lots of good equipment. Congratulations.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Douglas's profile


424 posts in 3099 days

#4 posted 05-31-2011 05:48 PM

OK, I updated the pictures to use the built in gallery rather than external links. Much easier! That should help you helluvawreck.

-- Douglas in Chicago -

View Splinterman's profile


23074 posts in 3900 days

#5 posted 06-03-2011 10:36 AM

Hey Doug,
Sweet set-up and nice Incra addittion…good job.

View rsdowdy's profile


105 posts in 3735 days

#6 posted 06-09-2011 10:24 PM

Nice shop Doug! Thanks for sharing!


View Bertha's profile


13567 posts in 3232 days

#7 posted 06-09-2011 10:29 PM

Really nice shop. I’ve got INCRA envy.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View scarpenter002's profile


617 posts in 4444 days

#8 posted 06-09-2011 11:42 PM

Nice shop Doug. Looks to be coming along very nicely. Really like the miter saw bench/cabinets. Looks like lots of good storage.

-- Scott in Texas

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4212 days

#9 posted 06-10-2011 05:01 AM

Doug, thats a nice workshop.

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

4262 posts in 3100 days

#10 posted 06-10-2011 05:13 AM

You did an awesome job on the area that you had
Good job

-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View Ken90712's profile


17781 posts in 3728 days

#11 posted 12-29-2011 12:32 PM

Nice looking shop. Love the Incra system!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Bertha's profile


13567 posts in 3232 days

#12 posted 12-29-2011 03:12 PM

Nice shop! There’s a thread around here asking about the Incra system. Maybe you’ve posted in it already. I’m sure they’d like to hear your take on it. I know I would!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Schwieb's profile


1894 posts in 4000 days

#13 posted 12-29-2011 03:26 PM

Nice garage shop. Far better than the suburban /garage shop I used to have. I have eyed that Incra fence system for years and wondered if it was worth it. I wish I could test drive one somewhere

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View Douglas's profile


424 posts in 3099 days

#14 posted 12-29-2011 05:22 PM

I need to do a shop update, it’s been a little while and it’s got a few more toys. I’ll jump in that Incra TS thread tonight. In short—its the best single upgrade I’ve ever made.

-- Douglas in Chicago -

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3405 days

#15 posted 12-29-2011 05:30 PM

You really do have a nice clean shop with some fine equipment. I especially noticed your combination TS and router table setup with that Incra positioner setup since I’m thinking about doing this with my own TS. Congratulations. It would be a pleasure to me to be able to work in a shop like yours everyday.


-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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