slooper's Workshop

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Workshop by slooper posted 11-17-2008 01:32 AM 1861 reads 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

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37 posts in 4564 days

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My shop is in this 12’x24’ portable building. “Portable” being the operable word as I don’t think it is very mobile now that I’ve finished the inside and added a couple decks. My office is 8’x8’ and is carved out of the corner (left door in pic.) I’m on a steep slope where the side of the building pictured appears quite elevated, hence the need for the decks. The rear deck does not yet have a railing as I have found it nicely doubles as an outdoor workbench. :)

Inside I have my table saw situated so that I can saw 4×8 sheets of plywood end to end… barely! I can also joint long boards assuming I don’t have stuff piled on my jointer. Everything else revolves around the table saw.

One thing in the works is my massive north wall project. It will not only provide a designated space for my compound miter saw, benchtop tools, custom tool chest, storage cabinet, and a multi-purpose table,but also a lot of books. This will be a project of it’s own as it is quite unique and is the answer to a huge challenge in space utilization.

Many of my tools are Ridgid and Ryobi chiefly because of price and availability, plus they rate pretty good.

Tablesaw: Ridgid. I would not make this same purchase knowing what I know now. I would require a riving knife over a splitter. And the arbor bolt is too short as I can’t stack enough datto blades to cut a 3/4” datto; I have to make two passes.

Jointer: Ridgid. No complaints. It does what it’s designed to do. If I had more space and cash to burn, I’d go wider and longer on the infeet/outfeed tables.

Planer: Ridgid. Again, no complaints, other than it’s noisy. Is there such a thing as a quiet planer?

Compound Miter Saw: Craftsman 10”. This was a wedding gift from my college buddies. It was the only expensive, guy-only item in our registry, so from my perspective, it was the best gift. :) With a production shop I would think you’d want a couple of these designated for specific miters. For my shop, though, I’d get a 12” sliding compound miter saw for the shop and designate the current one for the job site.

Bandsaw: Ryobi. If only I had space for a floor model I wouldn’t bother with a benchtop. :( It’s just simply something no shop can go without, so I’m happy to have it.

Drill Press: Ryobi. My first and only referbished tool. I had trouble with the belt system. It was under warranty, but the gas I’d have spent on the two trips, one to drop it off and one to pick it up, would have been only slightly less than one trip to buy a new one. I decided to go ahead and void the warranty. A hammer and a punch did the trick for free. This made me realize how worthless a warranty is on tools worth less than $200.

Oscillating spindle/belt sander: Ridgid. This was a must have. The belt/spindle combo seems to me to be the right combo. I fail to see the value of a belt/disc combo. I mean, what does a disc do that a belt can’t? And a disc sands unevenly as the furthest from center travels much faster than near center. Anyway, despite its misfit appearance, this sander has been a very, very welcome addition to my shop.

Dust Collection: Ridgid vacuum with dust collection kit. It’s far better than not having dust collection at all. I’m happy with it for now.

Router table: The router itself is a Porter Cable combo kit. The table is perhaps the ugliest thing in my shop. But that’s because I built it entirely out of scrap wood in an afternoon’s time. I’ve used the table top alone for years, so it just needed the base. And being that it was scrap wood, I decided to make it a stain sampling display case. Every board has a different stain and the inside different stain than the outside. I don’t have to look for samples, anyway.

6 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 4907 days

#1 posted 11-17-2008 03:05 AM

It looks like you have a good organizational plan for your shop. I will enjoy seeing pictures of the inside layout when you have the time to get them posted.

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

View Bob42's profile


457 posts in 4875 days

#2 posted 12-06-2008 02:32 PM

I feel your pain!!

I am working in a one car garage 12×20. Over this winter I am going to renovate it with infa red heat panels,and relocate my tools. I am waiting for my dust collector to arrive. I am having trouble designing it on sketch up but was going to use a similar layout as yours such as the cabinets under the saws.

Good luck with it and can’t wait to see the finished product. Please post.

-- Bob K. East Northport, NY

View cabinetmaster's profile


10873 posts in 4643 days

#3 posted 12-06-2008 02:43 PM

This is exactly what I have for my workshop. 12 X 24. Just added an 8 X 10 to the back for additional storage and a place for my dust collector. Sure makes it quite in the shop when the dust collector is running. I’ll try and get some pics of my shop online soon.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View sillac's profile


644 posts in 3849 days

#4 posted 11-18-2010 04:56 AM

Slooper: Portable building…take a look at mine, building it on the frame of an old mobile home, yes it still has the wheels under it. Looks like your making the best out of the space you have. Steve in Oregon

-- Steve in Oregon,

View sillac's profile


644 posts in 3849 days

#5 posted 11-18-2010 11:01 PM

In photos 3 and 4 there is what looks like a small heat pump on the wall, am I right? What can you tell me about it? Whats the size, brand name, where did you get it, what did it cost, how does it work? Also in pics 5 and 6 beside the router table on the floor is some sort of case or something, what can you tell us about it? Even at 62 I have a curious mind, and this curious mind need to know these kinds of things. Thanks for sharing, Steve in Oregon

-- Steve in Oregon,

View slooper's profile


37 posts in 4564 days

#6 posted 11-19-2010 12:35 AM

Hey Steve,

That is indeed a “heat pump” in pics 3 & 4. It’s an Amana PTAC unit (9000BTU) which has AC/Heat pump/Elec heat. You generally see this kind of unit in hotel rooms. I ordered it online somewhere and installed it myself. It’s not the optimal placement, but it was the only space I had left that was big enough. It works well enough, however. I have to vacuum out the sawdust from time to time, particularly right before it’s time to turn on the heat.

And that “case” in pics 5&6 is actually an IQAir air cleaner; It has pre, gas, and hepa filters (.1 micron). Can you really overkill on filtration? I think not. :)

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