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.
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.
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.
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.

This particular tray is made using reclaimed barn wood but the author of the project Beyond The Picket Fence surprised everyone with one fact: reclaimed barn wood has often some areas turned pink due to cow urine. If you check the project more closely, you’ll also notice some areas of the tray being almost bright pink. That’s something you don’t see every day!


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.
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.

The bandsaw has a 6-3/8” resaw capacity. I find this to be enough for my needs but after recently acquiring some larger chunks of a bradford pear tree that came down in a storm I realized it would be nice to have greater resaw capacity just for getting larger chunks into usable sizes. I don’t think that has justified an upgrade to a larger bandsaw or a riser block kit for me though.
Spanning 14-1/2′ of the back wall is my miter saw station. Completing this has resulted in a huge increase in storage space, organization, and convenience when using the miter saw. It features 20 drawers and a pull out tray for storing my planer out of the way. Eight upper storage bins are for commonly used items such as my cordless tools as well as other items that don’t need to be stored away from dust. There is integrated dust collection for the miter saw and a stop block to the left of the saw with roughly 106” of capacity.
I recently met  a man  known among local woodworkers for having a large workshop with a lot of tools. He offered to show me his workshop, and  take photographs of it. His workshop covers the entire basement of a large 1800 square foot bungalow. It's difficult to capture this workshop in just a few photos, so I figured I'd include a large number of photos.
To corral shelf-dwelling books or DVDs that like to wander, cut 3/4-in.-thick hardwood pieces into 6-in. x 6-in. squares. Use a band saw or jigsaw to cut a slot along one edge (with the grain) that’s a smidgen wider than the shelf thickness. Stop the notch 3/4 in. from the other edge. Finish the bookend and slide it on the shelf. Want to build the shelves, too? We’ve got complete plans for great-looking shelves here.
I love a good shop tour, but it’s super motivating to me to hear you say that you built it all in a few years on good old-fashioned hard work. About 8 years ago, I lost an office job and began working with my hands, first doing siding and windows, and now installing home media systems. It has completely changed my work ethic, and my motto now is, “If you ain’t sweating, you ain’t working.”
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!
Disclaimer: Although it is my intention to provide accurate plans and clear instructions, not all plans have been tried and tested. Using plans or information found on SawdustGirl.com indicates that you agree with the Terms of Use policy and will accept full responsibility for the process and outcome of any project you attempt. All plans are for private use only. Plans and information published on SawdustGirl.com may not be reproduced, republished or distributed in any manner without written permission from Sandra Powell, Sawdust Girl. Actual projects built using Sawdust Girl plans may be published on your own site without instructions or "tutorial" as long as you provide a link to my original post with full post title or "SawdustGirl.com" as link title.
To corral shelf-dwelling books or DVDs that like to wander, cut 3/4-in.-thick hardwood pieces into 6-in. x 6-in. squares. Use a band saw or jigsaw to cut a slot along one edge (with the grain) that’s a smidgen wider than the shelf thickness. Stop the notch 3/4 in. from the other edge. Finish the bookend and slide it on the shelf. Want to build the shelves, too? We’ve got complete plans for great-looking shelves here.

I am sharing here a link to the detailed tutorial written by Pete at diypete.com, who shares the step by step process for making a wonderful barrel coffee table from scratch. He also tells you what items you’ll need for this project and where to find them. For example, you can buy an old whiskey barrel online or from a local whiskey store for a few bucks, if you haven’t already got one.
You can also use Google image search to research a project. Unlike the PDF search, the image search provides a photo of what the project will look like, which is helpful in determining if you want to pursue building it. By doing an image search for how to build a step stool, you will have a ton of options that all lead to woodworking plans of various quality. (The how to part of these is important—otherwise you’ll just get pictures of step stools.)
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