This is not a guide to shop layout. That may, in fact come later, depending on how much time I devote to this web site. These are important issues that you must consider as you design your shop. My shop is in my garage. Even as we were picking out house designs I knew it would be in my garage. That means that there isn’t a time since we decided to build that I haven’t been considering these issues, and planning and changing plans. That is the nature of it. I knew what I would settle for as a minimum, and made sure it was expendable enough to ensure I could change my mind if I needed or wanted.


My dedicated shop space is about 8′ x 4′, the rest is a one car garage that needs to stay open for my wife’s car. I will sometimes set up some plywood and sawhorses in that space for assembly though. The section that is my dedicated shop has a floor made of 2″x6″ lumber stretched out over joists on top of dirt. It is an old floor filled with knot holes, cracked or broken boards (with temporary plywood screwed over them) and just generally uneven. If I cannot build a shed as my new workshop I will be looking at redoing the floor in my current space. Not sure how I would go about it though.
But, there’s nothing wrong with showing people what’s possible if they work their butts off. Too many people expect immediate success when they start an online woodworking channel or website. It truly has to be your passion in order for someone to be successful in it. If they’re only doing YouTube or online stuff expecting to get rich quick or even to earn a little bit of income, I believe they’re in it for the wrong reasons and will get burned out quickly.
My shop is about 425 square feet, roughly the size of a two-car garage. However, there is a wall running down the middle with a sliding glass door at one end that reduces the openness. It also increases my wall space. Plus, I have all my machinery on one side of the wall, so all the dust and noise stays out of the bench room. In this article, I want to share with you some of the things that make my shop such a nice place to practice my craft and give you ideas of how to make the most of the space you have.

The table saw is always connected to my dust collector with a couple pieces of 4” flex hose and some 4” sewer and drain PVC pipe and a homemade blast gate. The port on the table saw is at the rear of the cabinet and this particular area of the shop sees the least amount of foot traffic so I have no problem just leaving the ducting on the floor. I also always have a few other cords on the floor here. I see this as the same principle as walking onto a porch. You know the steps are there so you pick up your feet. I know the pipe is there so I pick up my feet. Not a trip hazard in my opinion.
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.
This is not a guide to shop layout. That may, in fact come later, depending on how much time I devote to this web site. These are important issues that you must consider as you design your shop. My shop is in my garage. Even as we were picking out house designs I knew it would be in my garage. That means that there isn’t a time since we decided to build that I haven’t been considering these issues, and planning and changing plans. That is the nature of it. I knew what I would settle for as a minimum, and made sure it was expendable enough to ensure I could change my mind if I needed or wanted.
Slice, dice and serve in style on this easy, attractive board. We’ll show you a simple way to dry-fit the parts, scribe the arc and then glue the whole thing together. We used a 4-ft. steel ruler to scribe the arcs, but a yardstick or any thin board would also work. Find complete how-to instructions on this woodworking crafts project here. Also, be sure to use water-resistant wood glue and keep your board out of the dishwasher or it might fall apart. And one more thing: Keep the boards as even as possible during glue-up to minimize sanding later. For great tips on gluing wood, check out this collection.
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The video explains the step by step process of making a nice wooden phone stand from scratch. My first wooden holder was not the best one, but it was good enough to motivate me to make more. I now possess 10 mobile wooden stands in different shapes and styles. And if I can make this, you too can make one yourself. Search the internet for more mobile holder ideas and start making one now.
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.
To the left of the cart on the wall is my universal clamp rack and finishing supply rack. They are both mounted to the wall with a french cleat. The clamp rack is a universal design I recently made to hold every one of my clamps without having to make specific profile holders for each style clamp. Having them all in one location is very convenient. My finishing supply rack was made in my previous shop and has served me well. I’ve currently outgrown it slightly but I really like the efficiency of storage for finishing supplies. It has a few short shelves for quart size cans and a few shelves for standard spray size cans. I might make a larger version of this in the future.
If you bought this superb polished table in a store, it would cost you a fortune, but our detailed instructions will help you make one for less than $100. And it looks like highly polished stone, but no-one would know it’s actually made from concrete with a wooden base. Also, you can embellish the top with leaf prints, like the table shown here, or personalize it with glass or mosaic tiles or imprints of seashells.
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Their free woodworking plans are well-illustrated, easy to follow and best of all – free. You can’t beat that! Their plans are directly available on their website for easy viewing and printing. You do not have to download any PDF files. It is an easy point and click, with several dozens of in-depth plans available for free, all for your viewing pleasure.

Begin by cutting off a 10-in. length of the board and setting it aside. Rip the remaining 38-in. board to 6 in. wide and cut five evenly spaced saw kerfs 5/8 in. deep along one face. Crosscut the slotted board into four 9-in. pieces and glue them into a block, being careful not to slop glue into the saw kerfs (you can clean them out with a knife before the glue dries). Saw a 15-degree angle on one end and screw the plywood piece under the angled end of the block.
Continuing along the left wall is my conduit lumber rack and a dresser I found in the trash several years ago. The dresser stores all of my smaller off-cuts of plywood or lumber that are too small to fit in the plywood cart or the lumber rack. If a piece belongs in these drawers but the drawers are full then it gets thrown away or put in my burn pile near my back yard fire pit.
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!
Cut the 6-1/2-in. x 3-in. lid from the leftover board, and slice the remaining piece into 1/4-in.-thick pieces for the sides and end of the box. Glue them around the plywood floor. Cut a rabbet on three sides of the lid so it fits snugly on the box and drill a 5/8-in. hole for a finger pull. Then just add a finish and you’ve got a beautiful, useful gift. If you don’t have time to make a gift this year, consider offering to do something for the person. You could offer to sharpen their knives! Here’s how.
Each issue of Wood News , our online woodworking magazine, features a different home workshop, and we've compiled 10 of these features here. Browsing them is a great way to find new ideas on how to set up your own shop, or if you just want to see innovative ways other woodworkers have approached the various shop setup issues we all face. From space considerations and smart storage ideas to the various tool combinations and approaches to woodworking, you'll find something here that's really interesting. Click each image to take a look!
Above my miter saw station along the entire length of the back wall minus the area needed to get into my attic are wasted space garage storage shelves. This is where I throw any household items that don’t have a place in the house and I don’t want taking up space in my shop. I also store empty boxes up there for future shipping purposes as needed. This project was a duplicate of what I made above the garage door shortly after moving into the house.
The lower, far left cabinet houses my planer on bottom. Every drawer slide in this miter saw station is a 24” full extension slide except these. To give just a little bit more room when removing the planer for use I opted for 26” full extension slides here. The planer is a DW735 DeWalt planer. When it was in it’s previous setup I gave more info and thoughts on it which can be found here.
It might not be the easiest project in this list, but if you already have some experience with wood cutting and joinery, it won’t be any hassle at all. Thanks to the extremely detailed instructions it shouldn’t really be a problem even if you’re not very familiar with woodworking. This could actually be a great project for refining your woodworking skills as a beginner!
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