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."
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. Next to the radial arm saw and in the corner is the floor drill press with accessory storage next to it for all drilling operations. Across from the radial arm saw is a separate workstation set up with a small portable table saw and router set-up with storage underneath for routers, bits and accessories.
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.
Learning from the ideas of other woodworkers, while avoiding their mistakes is an excellent way to design and set-up your own shop layout. Setting up a woodworking shop as a hobby place, or for a some one more serious, who even may venture off into some sort of woodworking business; is not as easy as it might sound. Knowing the correct steps to follow will save you time and money, but it will also save you a lot of stress down the road.
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.
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.
Each issue of Wood News , our online woodworking magazine, features a different home workshop, and we've compiled 10 of these features here. Browsing them is a great way to find new ideas on how to set up your own shop, or if you just want to see innovative ways other woodworkers have approached the various shop setup issues we all face. From space considerations and smart storage ideas to the various tool combinations and approaches to woodworking, you'll find something here that's really interesting. Click each image to take a look!
We cut the supports 16 in. long, but you can place the second shelf at whatever height you like. Screw the end supports to the walls at each end. Use drywall anchors if you can’t hit a stud. Then mark the position of the middle supports onto the top and bottom shelves with a square and drill 5/32-in. clearance holes through the shelves. Drive 1-5/8-in. screws through the shelf into the supports. You can apply this same concept to garage storage. See how to build double-decker garage storage shelves here.
Do you have DVDs scattered all over the room? We offer this handsome cabinet as one solution to the clutter. As shown, the cabinet is 42 in. wide and holds about 60 DVD cases. Go ahead and expand or shrink the width to better hold your collection or to fit a particular spot on the wall. The construction techniques will be the same no matter the width.