Once you get your shop organized, you’ll fully realize just how nice it is to be able to find and access things easily as well as have room to work! You'll soon find yourself actually putting tools back where they belong when you are done with them. Whether the shop is where you spend weekdays or weekends, you’ll really appreciate an organized shop.
When I built the cabinet that houses my marking and mea­suring tools, I wanted to make sure each tool had its own spot and would stay fixed. I cut the drawer bottoms and used contact cement to adhere ¼" cork sheet to one side. Using an X-acto knife, I cut around each tool, then peeled the cork off the plywood with a chisel. I made the handles with hand planes, cut them to length and glued them to the fronts using a rubbed hot hide glue joint.

It’s been a solid year since moving into this house and starting my shop. Nearly everything in my shop is on casters for mobility. In my opinion the most important tool in any woodshop is the table saw so lets start there. My table saw is a SawStop PCS with 52” rip capacity. The attention to detail on this machine is phenomenal. I have the industrial mobile base for it which makes the single heaviest item in my shop one of the easiest to move. The base lifts the entire saw, including the extension wing, several inches with ease. It is actually in the up position in the following image. I also spray painted the location of the extension wing supports on the ground so I can easily locate a familiar position when setting up the saw. Because moving it around the shop on the mobile base is effortless I find myself moving it out of the way frequently when I know I’m not going to be using it for a while. I also keep a couple trash cans near the table saw.


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To corral shelf-dwelling books or DVDs that like to wander, cut 3/4-in.-thick hardwood pieces into 6-in. x 6-in. squares. Use a band saw or jigsaw to cut a slot along one edge (with the grain) that’s a smidgen wider than the shelf thickness. Stop the notch 3/4 in. from the other edge. Finish the bookend and slide it on the shelf. Want to build the shelves, too? We’ve got complete plans for great-looking shelves here.
We cut the supports 16 in. long, but you can place the second shelf at whatever height you like. Screw the end supports to the walls at each end. Use drywall anchors if you can’t hit a stud. Then mark the position of the middle supports onto the top and bottom shelves with a square and drill 5/32-in. clearance holes through the shelves. Drive 1-5/8-in. screws through the shelf into the supports. You can apply this same concept to garage storage. See how to build double-decker garage storage shelves here.
The miter saw itself is a Ridgid 12” sliding miter saw. I spray painted the handle and motor housing black to match the rest of my tools but didn’t do anything with the insert plate. I plan on making a few down the road so I didn’t bother with painting it. The station has a passive dust collection box around the saw. There is a 4” port at the bottom of the box to create an air draft that pulls the dusty air into the box. The larger chips collect behind the saw wherever they land. My main objective here was to get rid of the dusty air. All of the larger dust can be pushed into the dust port once or twice a year after it builds up.

Another dead simple website that offers high-quality free woodworking plans for beginners. If you have worked on wood for a long time, the free plans offered on wood gears will be your cup of tea. Their plans are one of the most detailed we have seen yet. The only caveat is, if you want more complex designs, you will have to pay a small fee. But we think it is well worth it!

Working on wood based on wood plans is great fun. However, many times, the enthusiastic beginner is faced with so-called woodworker-block. On what to work, exactly? Indeed, it can be quite difficult to start a project without the proper guideline. We scoured the web in search of good websites that offer free woodworking plans for beginners. They are excellent guidelines to help you work on a project from start to finish.
This rack can be built from old unused wood pallets you can find around the house. So it is also a great way to recycle those old pallets. You can also find a step by step tutorial at instructables.com for which I have included the source link below. This tutorial helps you to make a wood wine rack from the scratch. So what are waiting for? Just grab the items you need and start building a cool wooden rack for those nice wine bottles of yours.
The next vertical tool is my 13” benchtop drill press. It’s a cheap Harbor Freight model that isn’t perfect but isn’t a bad buy either. It has several flaws that I would consider “areas for improvement” and not problems. I would purchase this again if I had to do it over. I have a larger drill pres table with integrated storage drawers for it but find it to be a little too big for where I currently have the drill press in the shop.
And this is the front side which is where I primarily stand when using the table. The top surface has 3/4” holes on 4” centers to allow clamping material pretty much anywhere on the table. It also features a hollow torsion box design for added stiffness to the top surface and empty space just below the work surface to place hand tools out of the way when working on something.

Though our shops never seem to be spacious enough, how you store what’s inside can make the difference between a neat, organized work space and a disaster zone. The first priority is to have a good look at what’s in your shop and decide how often you use it. Things that you never use have no place in a tight shop. Items that you use only rarely or are overstock should be stored on a top shelf or in another room – not on the prime, easy-access shelves. I have laid claim to a few bays of shelving in our storage room. I store all my overstock hardware in full-extension pull-outs so I can find it easily when needed. In the storage room, I also store my benchtop tools that I use less frequently. All are fairly heavy, so I make sure to store them at about waist height to make it easy on my back.

Below the top structure I mounted a long power outlet bar to have a convenient power location for whatever corded tool I am using at the table. Below that is the lower shelf which I built specifically to house my X-Carve CNC machine. This machine has 1000mm rails so making a dedicated cart for it would take up quite a bit of valuable floor space. The idea behind storing it on this shelf was so that I could easily slide it off and place it on the top work surface to use it. However, I haven’t actually removed it from it’s current location yet. I can use it where it is with no problems.


Spanning 14-1/2′ of the back wall is my miter saw station. Completing this has resulted in a huge increase in storage space, organization, and convenience when using the miter saw. It features 20 drawers and a pull out tray for storing my planer out of the way. Eight upper storage bins are for commonly used items such as my cordless tools as well as other items that don’t need to be stored away from dust. There is integrated dust collection for the miter saw and a stop block to the left of the saw with roughly 106” of capacity.
One thing I preach is to make use of the area above your head. In my shop, I’ve installed cabinets on the walls that start a few inches over my head and run up to the ceiling. That way they don’t restrict my movements but still provide a lot of extra storage. I’ve also mounted a power bar to the bottom of the cabinets, which makes it really accessible and it can never be blocked. If your cabinets don’t go all the way up to the ceiling, on top is a great place to store long material. For ease of acces­sibility, smaller items go on the lower shelves while taller items go on the higher shelves.
The final corner of my shop houses my Grizzly G0703P mobile dust collector. I upgraded to this unit shortly after setting up this shop as my last dust collector was setup to exhaust air outside. The separator I made for it wasn’t efficient enough to modify again for a canister filter for exhausting air inside the shop. I really didn’t want to deal with modifying my dust collector again so I got this. Above the dust collector is my retractable air hose reel that I mentioned earlier. I like having this here as the only times I use compressed air is to fill up the my vehicle tires or to spray a finish which I do outside.
Google is probably the first place where most people would start searching for woodworking plans, but often the top results can be a mix of articles and how-to pieces that just aren’t detailed enough. Sometimes they’ll link to the plans (like we try to here at Lifehacker), but other times, they’re just showing off a cool project. There are better, more precise ways of finding what you’re looking for.
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