My first woodworking “shop” was in the living room and kitchen of a run-down house trailer (2008-ish). Nothing pretty at all but it was functional. At that time I was living on my own with a job paying just over minimum wage. The engine in my truck blew a head gasket and the only option for me to rebuild the engine without going into debt was to sell off my woodshop. I sold everything but my miter saw. It was a hard lesson learned on being prepared with an emergency fund and I’ll never put myself in that kind of situation again.


The shop you see in the layout is my current setup and has evolved over many years to accommodate most importantly the acquisition of newer equipment but also better work flow. It is a free standing two story traditional barn style with office and storage space on the second level. 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.

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.


Aside from the privacy it offers, a latticework porch trellis is a perfect way to add major curb appeal to your home for $100 or less. The trellis shown here is made of cedar, but any decay-resistant wood like redwood, cypress or treated pine would also be a good option. Constructed with lap joints for a flat surface and an oval cutout for elegance, it’s a far upgrade from traditional premade garden lattice. As long as you have experience working a router, this project’s complexity lies mostly in the time it takes to cut and assemble. Get the instructions complete with detailed illustrations here.

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Fast forward two and a half years since the start of shop #2. My wife finished college and my online business was at a sustainable point for me to leave my day job which lead us to house shopping. We ended up getting our first house together on July 2nd 2014. The house we found fit literally every one of our criteria including the most important for me which was a two car garage. With an empty garage to start my current shop I gave the walls a fresh coat of white paint and ran new electrical wires for the shop inside a long box along the bottom of the left and rear walls.
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.
Directly behind my table saw is my 4′ x 8′ modified Paulk workbench that I consider my assembly table as well as an outfeed table. Here’s a shot of the back side of it. I currently have a bunch of 2×10 material on it for an upcoming project and really didn’t want to unload it just for the picture. You can see completed pictures of the project with all of my modifications and changes here.

Aside from the privacy it offers, a latticework porch trellis is a perfect way to add major curb appeal to your home for $100 or less. The trellis shown here is made of cedar, but any decay-resistant wood like redwood, cypress or treated pine would also be a good option. Constructed with lap joints for a flat surface and an oval cutout for elegance, it’s a far upgrade from traditional premade garden lattice. As long as you have experience working a router, this project’s complexity lies mostly in the time it takes to cut and assemble. Get the instructions complete with detailed illustrations here.


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.
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