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.”
Working with reclaimed wood is a savvy use of resources, and the material's country appeal is undeniable. With just a saw and a small drill, you can reuse old fencing to make these simple woodworking projects: picket-inspired picture frames. Finish them off by hot-gluing clothespins or bulldog clips to hang your prints. Here’s a step-by-step guide.
The next vertical tool is my 13” benchtop drill press. It’s a cheap Harbor Freight model that isn’t perfect but isn’t a bad buy either. It has several flaws that I would consider “areas for improvement” and not problems. I would purchase this again if I had to do it over. I have a larger drill pres table with integrated storage drawers for it but find it to be a little too big for where I currently have the drill press in the shop.
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.
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.
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.
So that takes care of the center of my shop. I’ll work my way around the perimeter starting at the right wall and moving left. The first item is my rolling plywood cart. I built this a few weeks ago to replace my unsuccessful stationary plywood rack. It’s an 8′ plywood cart that stores full sheets of plywood on one side and off-cuts on the other side. Because it’s on casters I can easily push it outside next to my truck to load it up and also push the entire cart behind the table saw to reduce the distance I need to carry full sheets to be cut down. It’s the design in issue 205 of Wood Magazine.
As you can see in the image, this shelf goes on both sides of the corner wall. It looks beautiful and can be used to organize books, trophies, pictures frames and many other things. The strength and design of the shelf depends on how properly you build it. First time workers definitely need some guidance to help them with the process. Therefore, I am including this basic video that I found on YouTube that demonstrates the process of making corner wall wooden shelves.
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.
One thing I preach is to make use of the area above your head. In my shop, I’ve installed cabinets on the walls that start a few inches over my head and run up to the ceiling. That way they don’t restrict my movements but still provide a lot of extra storage. I’ve also mounted a power bar to the bottom of the cabinets, which makes it really accessible and it can never be blocked. If your cabinets don’t go all the way up to the ceiling, on top is a great place to store long material. For ease of accessibility, smaller items go on the lower shelves while taller items go on the higher shelves.
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.