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.
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.
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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