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."
I am sharing here a link to the detailed tutorial written by Pete at diypete.com, who shares the step by step process for making a wonderful barrel coffee table from scratch. He also tells you what items you’ll need for this project and where to find them. For example, you can buy an old whiskey barrel online or from a local whiskey store for a few bucks, if you haven’t already got one.
To the left of the cart on the wall is my universal clamp rack and finishing supply rack. They are both mounted to the wall with a french cleat. The clamp rack is a universal design I recently made to hold every one of my clamps without having to make specific profile holders for each style clamp. Having them all in one location is very convenient. My finishing supply rack was made in my previous shop and has served me well. I’ve currently outgrown it slightly but I really like the efficiency of storage for finishing supplies. It has a few short shelves for quart size cans and a few shelves for standard spray size cans. I might make a larger version of this in the future.
My second shop (2012) is where I started this whole YouTube and website venture. I was maintenance at an apartment complex which allowed me the opportunity to clean out a junk apartment that was previously used for storage and use it as a shop. At that time the only woodworking tool I had was a Kobalt 10” sliding miter saw from my previous shop. I used it to build my wife’s grandmother a 2×4 sitting bench and the positive feedback from friends and family fueled the fire to get back into woodworking. I took an initial $200 investment from my household income to batch out a bunch of them to sell. That investment and a lot of sweat was the beginning of a snowball that has become my shop.
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!

When I built the cabinet that houses my marking and mea­suring tools, I wanted to make sure each tool had its own spot and would stay fixed. I cut the drawer bottoms and used contact cement to adhere ¼" cork sheet to one side. Using an X-acto knife, I cut around each tool, then peeled the cork off the plywood with a chisel. I made the handles with hand planes, cut them to length and glued them to the fronts using a rubbed hot hide glue joint.
The space behind a door is a storage spot that’s often overlooked. Build a set of shallow shelves and mount it to the wall behind your laundry room door. The materials are inexpensive. Measure the distance between the door hinge and the wall and subtract an inch. This is the maximum depth of the shelves. We used 1x4s for the sides, top and shelves. Screw the sides to the top. Then screw three 1×2 hanging strips to the sides: one top and bottom and one centered. Nail metal shelf standards to the sides. Complete the shelves by nailing a 1×2 trim piece to the sides and top. The 1×2 dresses up the shelf unit and keeps the shelves from falling off the shelf clips.
Another awesome thing about this coffee table is that it is also has a storage unit. So you can store drinks, and other stuff in the half barrel of your table and then close or open it whenever you need. Pete has also constructed a video for this tutorial for which you can find the link below. It illustrates the same process in a video guide that shows you the exact process to be followed while building this whiskey barrel coffee table.
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.
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.
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.
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