No doubt many of us would love to have a huge, 2000 square foot building devoted to woodcraft, on a wooded acreage somewhere. But there is a reality that goes with a hobby shared by numerous ordinary people: very few really have the means to set up such palatial workshops. We have our lives to lead, and engaging in such a venture is out of the reach for most, myself included. This article is dedicated to workshops for "the rest of us."
Moving left is my vertical tool area. Most noticeably are the Detroit sports flags on the wall. I grew up just west of Detroit in Livonia Michigan until I was about 14 or 15 when I moved to Mississippi. I absolutely love where I live in Mississippi but you can’t take the sports fan out of a kid. Growing up watching the horrible 1990’s Lions teams really makes me appreciate the current roster.

Drawers are really useful in a wood shop – you can’t have enough. They keep out the dust and with dividers or compart­ments they can help organize as well. A drawer that is too deep ends up getting filled with anything that fits and becomes a junk drawer, so multiple shallow drawers are better than one deep drawer. However, drawer slides can be expensive so I make my own drawers with built-in drawer slides. In addition to saving costs, if I make multiple cabinets the same width, I can move drawers from one cabinet to another quickly and easily.
Manufacturers that produce woodworking tools and materials have got into the content creation game, too, and some will share woodworking plans online. Minwax and Ryobi, for example, provides their plans free of charge, and Rockler offers their woodworking plans for a fee. Seek them out along with the other blogs and you’ll have a handy list of resources you can turn to for any project.
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.
And while it would be ideal to limit our workshop to work­shop stuff only, we often find things like gardening tools and general household stuff encroaching on our shop space. If it can’t be helped, it’s best to dedicate a corner for non-shop stuff and limit it to that area. In my shop, I have an area cor­doned off with a salvaged bi-fold door which quarantines the garden tools.
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I think you can see from all of these choices, the best solution is the one that works for YOU and your home. Just make sure you create an environment that makes you feel creative and excited to work. And while there are amazing workshops online for inspiration, don’t go crazy thinking your work area needs to be a renovation in and of itself! Use bits and pieces of inspiration, then get going on your projects!
Start with ¾" plywood that is twice as wide as the depth of the cabinet and as long as one side and top/bottom. I crosscut the top and bottom off of one end and set it aside. Then, using a ½" dado stack in my table saw, I cut a series of ¼" deep dadoes across the sides. Make the spacing between them uniform so that the drawers are interchange­able. Finally, rip the sides and top/bottom in half to separate them and assemble the cabinet however you please. If you want to hang it on a wall, attach a French cleat to the back at the top and a batten of equal thickness at the bottom.
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The space behind a door is a storage spot that’s often overlooked. Build a set of shallow shelves and mount it to the wall behind your laundry room door. The materials are inexpensive. Measure the distance between the door hinge and the wall and subtract an inch. This is the maximum depth of the shelves. We used 1x4s for the sides, top and shelves. Screw the sides to the top. Then screw three 1×2 hanging strips to the sides: one top and bottom and one centered. Nail metal shelf standards to the sides. Complete the shelves by nailing a 1×2 trim piece to the sides and top. The 1×2 dresses up the shelf unit and keeps the shelves from falling off the shelf clips.


Likewise, I keep all the tools nearby that are required to make adjustments to my machinery. In the center of my machine shop, I keep metric and imperial wrenches and hex keys, a machinist’s square, a stepped height gauge and a multi-bit screwdriver. I try to store machine-specific accessories such as blades and wrenches within a step of the machine. My table-saw blades are stored on the wall to the left of my table-saw, but I prefer how editor Rob Brown stores his blades.
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Here, I am writing about another DIY project that involves the use of an old furniture piece. I think that the idea of reusing and recycling old furniture has got to me. Anyways, I am starting to love it. This project involves using an old door to build a beautiful multi picture frame, as you can see in the image below. This frame looks really wonderful and can be used to hold many pictures at a time.
Lumber and supplies are moved in and out of the shop through the front overhead door. To the left of the door are the lumber and plywood storage racks. Across from the lumber rack and to the right of the overhead door is the radial arm saw, miter saw and mortise utilizing a single fence system for all operations. Below and above these are cabinets and storage for misc. power hand tools. Next to the radial arm saw and in the corner is the floor drill press with accessory storage next to it for all drilling operations.  Across from the radial arm saw is a separate workstation set up with a small portable table saw and router set-up with storage underneath for routers, bits and accessories.
Woodworkers are a social bunch, and there are a few popular forums where people share thoughts on tools, discuss technique at length, and—of course—upload their plans. Some of the most active online woodworking communities include Lumberjocks, Woodworking Talk, Wood Magazine, WoodNet, Kreg, and Sawmill Creek. Search those to see if they have what you’re looking for (either with their built-in search tool or with Google’s site-specific search, e.g. site:lumberjocks.com side table).
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