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.”
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.
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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.
Cut the 6-1/2-in. x 3-in. lid from the leftover board, and slice the remaining piece into 1/4-in.-thick pieces for the sides and end of the box. Glue them around the plywood floor. Cut a rabbet on three sides of the lid so it fits snugly on the box and drill a 5/8-in. hole for a finger pull. Then just add a finish and you’ve got a beautiful, useful gift. If you don’t have time to make a gift this year, consider offering to do something for the person. You could offer to sharpen their knives! Here’s how.
There’s nine more drawers that I didn’t take interior pictures of because it’s just generic stuff. But I will go through the contents for you. Top to bottom in the left column is a drawer for manuals, a drawer for every letter that I have received from all of you out there, and a drawer for my electrical tools and supplies. Top to bottom in the center column is a drawer for miscellaneous hand tools that are more general household and carpentry related such as pry bars, putty knives, and drywall tools, a drawer for hammers, mallets and squares, and a drawer for all of my hand held cutting tools like handsaws, knives, and chisels. Top to bottom in the third column is a drawer for all types of brushes, a drawer for all of my sanding tools and supplies, and a drawer for all of my router bits and attachments.

Hey, I want to build all of these (and I did read to the end), but my list of projects is so long that any one of these will have to wait ’til next year (and i don’t mean January). thanks for all these ideas. there is one more i read about in the Handy Family Man. It is an adaptation to your shop vac that puts the hose at your project so it sucks up the dust as it is produced. Wonderful, right? Maybe next year!


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.
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.
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