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.
I got this idea from a Pinterest post. The final product looks so beautiful that I just couldn’t wait to make one for myself. This was somewhat a different experience from my other regular DIY projects as it doesn’t involve making something from scratch, but turning an existing wood piece into another one. Nonetheless, I enjoyed it very much and the final product was very satisfying. The tutorial I used is linked below.
Start with ¾" plywood that is twice as wide as the depth of the cabinet and as long as one side and top/bottom. I crosscut the top and bottom off of one end and set it aside. Then, using a ½" dado stack in my table saw, I cut a series of ¼" deep dadoes across the sides. Make the spacing between them uniform so that the drawers are interchangeable. Finally, rip the sides and top/bottom in half to separate them and assemble the cabinet however you please. If you want to hang it on a wall, attach a French cleat to the back at the top and a batten of equal thickness at the bottom.
Working on wood based on wood plans is great fun. However, many times, the enthusiastic beginner is faced with so-called woodworker-block. On what to work, exactly? Indeed, it can be quite difficult to start a project without the proper guideline. We scoured the web in search of good websites that offer free woodworking plans for beginners. They are excellent guidelines to help you work on a project from start to finish.
And while it would be ideal to limit our workshop to workshop stuff only, we often find things like gardening tools and general household stuff encroaching on our shop space. If it can’t be helped, it’s best to dedicate a corner for non-shop stuff and limit it to that area. In my shop, I have an area cordoned off with a salvaged bi-fold door which quarantines the garden tools.
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.
Yes, another website with a simple design. However, they are high in content and offer great woodworking plans for a whole range of interesting and easy to do projects. iBuiltIt.ca has been around for a while, and is a well-respected online real-estate, mostly because of their quality plans. Their plans are ideal for both beginners and experts alike.
Manufacturers that produce woodworking tools and materials have got into the content creation game, too, and some will share woodworking plans online. Minwax and Ryobi, for example, provides their plans free of charge, and Rockler offers their woodworking plans for a fee. Seek them out along with the other blogs and you’ll have a handy list of resources you can turn to for any project.