No doubt many of us would love to have a huge, 2000 square foot building devoted to woodcraft, on a wooded acreage somewhere. But there is a reality that goes with a hobby shared by numerous ordinary people: very few really have the means to set up such palatial workshops. We have our lives to lead, and engaging in such a venture is out of the reach for most, myself included. This article is dedicated to workshops for "the rest of us."
There’s a lot of space above the shelf in most closets. Even though it’s a little hard to reach, it’s a great place to store seldom-used items. Make use of this wasted space by adding a second shelf above the existing one. Buy enough closet shelving material to match the length of the existing shelf plus enough for two end supports and middle supports over each bracket. Twelve-inch-wide shelving is available in various lengths and finishes at home centers and lumberyards.
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.
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!
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.
Tucked in the lower left corner of the miter saw station is my DeVilbiss 5hp 20 gallon air compressor. It’s an oil free compressor so it’s loud and obnoxious when running. I don’t use it enough to justify the trouble of making a sound deadening enclosure or putting it outside so for the mean time I’m quite happy with keeping it in here and out of the way. The white hose in the picture is an extra hose that I rarely use. I have the compressor hooked up to a retractable hose reel located just above my dust collector.
Who doesn’t want to have one awesome and handy wooden desk organizer that not only looks beautiful but can store all your mini office desk items properly? See the picture below. I am sure you will love this one. I have already built one myself as I just could not resist having one at my office. This thing easily stores all my office desk essentials, including pen, pencils, marker, small notebooks, etc. in the most organized way. You can see it yourself.

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.


As soon as I came across this tutorial, I didn’t wait any longer to start building one. Some of the items you need for this project are hardwood plywood, saw, glue, nails, drilling machine, etc. The video is very easy to follow for anyone with basic woodworking knowledge and experience. The first source link also includes a step by step procedure in plain English for those, who are not comfortable enough with the video tutorial.
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.
Day in and day out we all deal with electricity, but it seems to be some illusive concept that few woodworkers really understand. Electricity drives our tools, and drives our everyday life. Electricity has the versatility to replace many older forms of energy. Without it we would still be using lanterns for light, fires for heat, and oxen for work.
Hey, I want to build all of these (and I did read to the end), but my list of projects is so long that any one of these will have to wait ’til next year (and i don’t mean January). thanks for all these ideas. there is one more i read about in the Handy Family Man. It is an adaptation to your shop vac that puts the hose at your project so it sucks up the dust as it is produced. Wonderful, right? Maybe next year!
To the left of the cabinet hangs my table saw infeed support arms, my table saw spline jig, multifunction hold down jig, and a dry erase board I made several years ago for my wife. We never put it to use in the house so I put it in my shop. Below that is a rolling mechanics tool box. I store all of my wrenches, sockets, and tools of that nature in it.
French cleats are a simple way to hang things on walls while allowing easy repositioning. One bevelled cleat is fastened to the wall and the other is fastened to whatever you want to hang. One catches the other and gravity does the rest. French cleats are commonly cut at 45 degrees but I prefer to cut mine at around 30 degrees. This makes them easier to lift off the wall (especially way up high) without sacrificing security.
I really enjoyed this video. I don’t particularly enjoy watching videos every time someone changes the layout of their shop. But, yours is the exception. I know a lot of your fans have probably been asking for a while for you to do a tour of your shop. Glad you waited till it was all finished to do it. You must’ve shot this video before you got your festool 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.
Another dead simple website that offers high-quality free woodworking plans for beginners. If you have worked on wood for a long time, the free plans offered on wood gears will be your cup of tea. Their plans are one of the most detailed we have seen yet. The only caveat is, if you want more complex designs, you will have to pay a small fee. But we think it is well worth it!
To my right, I have my sharpening bench, drill press and charging station. The sharpening bench is equipped with a 6" metal vise and houses all my sharpening accessories. On the back of the bench is a fluorescent lamp with a magnify­ing lens that is shared with the drill press. All my drill bits are stored either in the drawer beneath the drill press table or in boxes hung on French cleats. To the right of the drill press, I have a shelf with a power bar that supplies power to my bat­tery chargers. I leave them all plugged in and instead use the power bar’s on/off rocker switch.

With a pencil and a protractor, divide the larger disc into 30-degree wedges to create 12 center lines for the bottle indents. Center and trace the smaller disc on top of the larger disc. Next, with a drill press, drill 3/8-in.-deep holes on the 12 center lines with the 1-7/8-in. Forstner bit, spacing them between the disc’s outer edge and the traced circle. Next, divide the smaller disc into 60-degree wedges and drill six more 3/8-in.-deep holes with the Forstner bit.
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.
Here’s a traditional Swedish farm accessory for gunk-laden soles. The dimensions are not critical, but be sure the edges of the slats are fairly sharp?they’re what makes the boot scraper work. Cut slats to length, then cut triangular openings on the side of a pair of 2x2s. A radial arm saw works well for this, but a table saw or band saw will also make the cut. Trim the 2x2s to length, predrill, and use galvanized screws to attach the slats from underneath. If you prefer a boot cleaner that has brushes, check out this clever project.

Who doesn’t want to have one awesome and handy wooden desk organizer that not only looks beautiful but can store all your mini office desk items properly? See the picture below. I am sure you will love this one. I have already built one myself as I just could not resist having one at my office. This thing easily stores all my office desk essentials, including pen, pencils, marker, small notebooks, etc. in the most organized way. You can see it yourself.
As your interest in woodworking grows, you’ll want to subscribe to a woodworking magazine. This will help feed your new found obsession with articles on tools, techniques, and woodworking plans. As a print magazine subscriber you’ll also gain access to their database of plans on their websites. Popular magazines include, Woodworkers Journal, Fine Woodworking, and Popular Woodworking.
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