Reply by Craftsman on the lake

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Posted on Improving shop efficiency and organization

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Craftsman on the lake

3512 posts in 4316 days

#1 posted 01-15-2018 02:32 PM

I’ve redone my 24×24’ shop twice.

1. Everything on wheels. Good to move around to make a big space and to pull things out to clean.

2. Unless you’re a big hand tool user, a good assembly bench instead of a traditional woodworkers bench (just my preference.)

3. Everything in cabinets with doors. Dust settles on everything even with good dust collection. Anything out in the open will eventually look like it’s painted with dust. blowing it off doesn’t clean it. Still, some things will need to be left on tool walls etc. Just be ready for the dust to be permanent on those.

4. Limited drawers. They just become catchalls for stuff. Any drawers I have are in cabinets with doors.

5. Everything is assembly table height. If you go the assembly instead of the woodworkers bench route, make it, and other stuff the same height. The assembly table (on wheels) is an outfeed table for the table saw, It can be slid over to the miter saw for super long boards, It can be moved to the side of the table saw to support plywood. The router table can be rolled over to it when you are routing long pieces. etc.

6. No wall workbenches. With an outfeed/assembly table available, they just take up room. Tools on carts with wheels belong on the wall, ready to use or be rolled out to use.

7. Light, light, light. I purchase used 2×4 hung ceiling light fixtures with 4 florescent tubes in each. The are cheap (especially if you can find them on craigslist) bright, and are hum and flicker free. They often come with a crystal sheet to disperse the light. I screw them to the ceiling and build a band of wood around them using sanded plywood.

8. Unless the shop is your hobby, build it well, and functional, but for me there is no need to build a router table out of an exotic wood with the cabinetry look of something I’d put in my living room. Purchase some framing lumber and 3/4” plywood. Build stuff cleanly and to stay together. I figure, “why does my planer need to be on a bubinga stand with cabinet doors with antiqued hinges?” The same box made with a sheet of plywood from home depot, good wheels, and of course with the planer wings the same height as the outfeed table is what I’ve settled on.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

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