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.
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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.
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.
The source above is not exactly a tutorial, but it gives you a basic idea of how the author built a Quirky Pallet Art to enhance the look of their old house. You can also find another tutorial at the link below. It shares a step by step procedure for making a wooden pallet sign. The final product is not exactly the same as the one above, but the basic idea is the same.
Their plans are delivered in a PDF format as part of a vlog series. They have regular episodes in the form of “seasons” and “episodes”. Your head will spin with the sheer number of “episodes” on the website. At the time of writing, it is at season 9, episode 933. A small caveat, though, is that you have to subscribe to their newsletter to download the free plans. No biggie. It’s just something to keep in mind.
My second shop (2012) is where I started this whole YouTube and website venture. I was maintenance at an apartment complex which allowed me the opportunity to clean out a junk apartment that was previously used for storage and use it as a shop. At that time the only woodworking tool I had was a Kobalt 10” sliding miter saw from my previous shop. I used it to build my wife’s grandmother a 2×4 sitting bench and the positive feedback from friends and family fueled the fire to get back into woodworking. I took an initial $200 investment from my household income to batch out a bunch of them to sell. That investment and a lot of sweat was the beginning of a snowball that has become my shop.
The cost of being disorganized is time. It takes me ten times as long to work on a project when I am scouring the room looking for a drill bit, the right screws, or trying to remember where I last used one of my 10 tape measures. Workshop organization is an ongoing project. As you acquire more tools, you have to rearrange your shop to work in storage for those new items. So mobile and modular storage, wherever possible will save you time down the road. Here are some amazing Workshop Organization Ideas that I hope will inspire you!
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.
A lot of woodworkers share their projects through their own blogs or YouTube channels. In fact, we’ve shared many of them here before, including, Woodworking for Mere Mortals, The Wood Whisperer, Matthias Wandel, April Wilkerson, Sawdust Girl, House of Wood, FixThisBuildThat, Pneumatic Addict, Build-Basic, Rogue Engineer, Her Tool Belt, and Ana White. The best YouTube woodworkers create great videos, but also provide a complete blog post with a cut list, tools, materials, and instructions. Find your favorites and save them for when you’re doing your searches.