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Blog entry by stefang posted 05-25-2014 04:54 PM 2219 reads 0 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: ADDING A WATER SUPPLY TO MY SHOP Part 8 of SHOP IMPROVEMENTS series no next part

The problem
When I decided to build a Chevalet for marquetry work I honestly didn’t think I would be able to find a place for it in my shop. It already felt quite crowded in there. Whenever I sweep the floor every storage cabinet, and machine tool has to be moved to get the job done. That’s why all of my tools and cabinets are on wheels, even my drill press. I decided to go ahead and build a Chevalet anyway hoping that I could dream up a solution in order to create a place for it.

My shop is 7ft. wide and about 32ft. long and shaped like an ‘L’. The long part of the ‘L’ is about 22ft. long and the short part 10 ft. long. In other words about 224sq. ft. altogether. It is kind of like a wide hallway. It’s not too bad, but it has one big disadvantage, and that is, that it is not possible to have anything in the shop that you can walk around. Every machine tool cabinet or whatever is against a wall.

The goals
I’ve rearranged my shop many times during the last 13 years since I built it, usually to accommodate new and larger machine tools, so I’m used to doing that, but this time thinking up a solution wasn’t good enough. I had to draw up a floor plan sketch to scale and I also measured and drew up each tool/cabinet based on the floor space each required. Then I cut them out and placed them on the floor plan sketch to see how they could best be arranged. The priorities for placement where:

1. Operator safety and comfort.

2.The tools could be used to their full capacity (long boards could be processed, etc.).

3. The top of some tools or cabinets could double as out feed tables to the machine next to it.

4. Ample space between everything to allow for unimpeded movement for myself.

5. The dust makers, like my table saw combo machine, router, bandsaw and disk sander could hookup easily to my shop vacuum.

6. A more or less dedicated area for my marquetry work including placement of my marquetry bench, Chevalet and scroll saw (yes, I still love my scroll saw).

The solution
Luckily I found a way to accommodate the Chevy and at the same time meet my other goals much better than expected. It was all based on getting rid of a ‘junk’ corner which was about 1/2sq. yard where I had been accumulating metal parts like threaded rods, steel plating, aluminum profiles, etc. I cleaned out that little corner by storing that stuff in the loft and then everything else fell into place. My Chevy is now permanently parked in the short part of the ‘L’ with my marquetry bench and my scroll saw. I only had to move my marquetry bench, my Tormek sharpening center and drill press to new locations to get the job done. Here are the photos. The first shot shows where the marquetry bench was located before moving it to the end wall.



As you can see, the stool for the marquetry bench is also adjacent to my scroll saw and right next to the Chevy. the other shot shows the drill press in a better location where longer boards can now be drilled. In that same photo you can also see the new location under the window for my Sharpening station which is now located next to my bench grinder. Unseen to the left of the sharpening station is my hand power tool storage cart.

This solution actually resulted in a lot more improvements than I could have wished for. I hope those of you who have shop space problems of your own might find some inspiration here for improving your own situation. Thanks for looking in!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

19 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118253 posts in 4818 days

#1 posted 05-25-2014 05:01 PM

Good thinking Mike, looks like you fought the square footage problem and you won .


View hunter71's profile


3558 posts in 4428 days

#2 posted 05-25-2014 05:07 PM

Build a bigger shop, I always say. LOL

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View Brit's profile


8442 posts in 4084 days

#3 posted 05-25-2014 06:54 PM

Looking good Mike. Can’t wait to see what you turn out on that Chevy.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 3248 days

#4 posted 05-25-2014 07:13 PM

I just GOTTA STOP complaining to the wife about how much smaller this new shop I’m setting up is compared to the one I had to leave behind when we left 10aSEE.

Good use of what you have there Mike!

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Dutchy's profile


4190 posts in 3410 days

#5 posted 05-25-2014 07:26 PM


Thank you for sharring.

I.m almost retired and do more and more woodworking on 20 m3. Perhaps in the future I want to make a belt sander. But the same as you I don,t know were to put it. Al my machines are also on wheels, also the drill press. I know that what I,m writting don,t help you to get more space. But the meaning is to make you happy with your 67 m3. ;)


View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4575 days

#6 posted 05-25-2014 07:57 PM

Thanks Jim, Hunter, Brit, Joe and Dutchy.

Dutchy I actually have only about 20m3 too. Check out the link here

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Rob Drown's profile

Rob Drown

839 posts in 5074 days

#7 posted 05-25-2014 08:18 PM

nice Job. Well thought out!!

-- The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools. Confucius, 经过艰苦的努力的梦想可以成真

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4575 days

#8 posted 05-25-2014 08:48 PM

Thanks Rob, the changes have taken a load off my mind. I hope you’re not having drought there in Roseville. I read that Folsom lake/reservoir was almost completely dried up.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Dutchy's profile


4190 posts in 3410 days

#9 posted 05-25-2014 09:19 PM

Sorry Mike I did a wrong conversion. But I really hope you are still glad with your shop.


View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4575 days

#10 posted 05-25-2014 09:24 PM

No problem Dutchy, I just wanted to prevent you from ordering anything based on the faulty conversion as you might have wound up with more than 3 times as much as you wanted! I usually just divide the square feet by 9 which gets me fairly close.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4045 days

#11 posted 05-26-2014 12:18 AM

Looks like a good solution Mike.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1984 posts in 3210 days

#12 posted 05-26-2014 12:44 AM

Mike you have a shop I dream about. Looks very nicely set up

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View Rob Drown's profile

Rob Drown

839 posts in 5074 days

#13 posted 05-26-2014 05:30 AM

We had some late rains that made a big difference, now it is the driest year in like twenty years. Back in January it was lookin like it was going to be the driest year in 50 years.

Very cool shop !!!!

-- The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools. Confucius, 经过艰苦的努力的梦想可以成真

View shipwright's profile (online now)


8751 posts in 4039 days

#14 posted 05-26-2014 05:38 AM

Nice reorganization Mike. I just turfed out my shop for the first time since I built it ten years ago. If it hadn’t been used in the last five it left the building…........ that was a lot of junk. The re-vamp is ongoing. I’ve even installed the window and door casings and baseboards that I never got around to originally. That’s my big shop here of course. My little shop in Az. wishes it had as much room as you do. :-)

Now stop procrastinating and cut something amazing.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4575 days

#15 posted 05-26-2014 08:59 AM

Thanks Roger, Kaleb, Rob and Paul.

Paul I’m having a WOW experience before doing any marquetry. That’s ‘Waiting On Weather’, bad weather that is. I will probably be doing something amazingly simple before graduating to more difficult work. I hope you will post your shop when you get it the way you want it.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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