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’s been a solid year since moving into this house and starting my shop. Nearly everything in my shop is on casters for mobility. In my opinion the most important tool in any woodshop is the table saw so lets start there. My table saw is a SawStop PCS with 52” rip capacity. The attention to detail on this machine is phenomenal. I have the industrial mobile base for it which makes the single heaviest item in my shop one of the easiest to move. The base lifts the entire saw, including the extension wing, several inches with ease. It is actually in the up position in the following image. I also spray painted the location of the extension wing supports on the ground so I can easily locate a familiar position when setting up the saw. Because moving it around the shop on the mobile base is effortless I find myself moving it out of the way frequently when I know I’m not going to be using it for a while. I also keep a couple trash cans near the table saw.
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The table saw is always connected to my dust collector with a couple pieces of 4” flex hose and some 4” sewer and drain PVC pipe and a homemade blast gate. The port on the table saw is at the rear of the cabinet and this particular area of the shop sees the least amount of foot traffic so I have no problem just leaving the ducting on the floor. I also always have a few other cords on the floor here. I see this as the same principle as walking onto a porch. You know the steps are there so you pick up your feet. I know the pipe is there so I pick up my feet. Not a trip hazard in my opinion.
Woodworkers are a social bunch, and there are a few popular forums where people share thoughts on tools, discuss technique at length, and—of course—upload their plans. Some of the most active online woodworking communities include Lumberjocks, Woodworking Talk, Wood Magazine, WoodNet, Kreg, and Sawmill Creek. Search those to see if they have what you’re looking for (either with their built-in search tool or with Google’s site-specific search, e.g. site:lumberjocks.com side table).