Workshop Tour

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It seems that workshop postings have slowed down considerably since Steve posted his. I can’t compete with his, but I’ll show (parts of) our workshop anyway.

The main portion of our shop is on the lower level. I chose to utilize the space beneath the stairway for lumber storage. It’s sorted (more-or-less) by length. I’ve made markings on the wall at the back end of the stairs for the length of each shelf so I don’t attempt to place a piece and then find it won’t fit.

The wall has never been closed in on the stairway so it makes a good location for clamp storage. There are also pipe clamps attached to the open joists, and spring clamps and other small clamps attached to the edge of metal storage shelves.

On the opposite side of this wall is additional lumber storage. You can tell that I have a really hard time throwing anything away!

A 5 HP Grizzly right tilt table saw is the center of the shop space, with an outfeed and storage table next to it.

The outfeed storage table was made from recycled lab cabinets with drawers and doors on both sides. I saw an idea for storing the miter gauge in a piece of PVC attached to the side of a cabinet. I thought there was no reason to buy a piece of PVC since I didn’t have one the correct dimension so I just made a piece out of scrap oak and added it to the table.

A 12” planer is mounted to a moveable cart (also made from recycled lab cabinets) which occupies the area in the center of the shop.

I removed the doors from these lab cabinets and made drawers to store all the sandpaper and a couple of the small sanders. It also has a place on the side for the miter gauge.

The Porter Cable 7518 is mounted in this make-shift table which I plan to replace with a cabinet with drawer storage and better dust collection. Above it is storage for small hand tools, etc.

I also have plans for building a drill press cabinet to store drills and bits beneath the press.

At the end of the shop, numerous jigs hang from the last joist.

The opposite wall is made up of recycled lab cabinets that store numerous tools, etc. One of my favorite features of this work area is the outlets every two feet.

The center portion of this work area holds the miter saw.

The miter saw can be removed and replaced by the horizontal router table (which I built at no cost from scraps). It shares the same PC but has a second base so that I only remove the motor.

All the cabinet doors are outfitted inside with pull-out trays which I made.

Small plywood cutoffs are stored in the corner next to the utility room. Full sheets of plywood are stored in another garage.

This is what occupies the utility room along with furnace, well pump, electrical service, water heater, and utility sink!

This 33-drawer cabinet stores small tools, (lightweight) hardware, and miscellaneous items.

The 25×2 drum sander is placed in front of the 33-drawer cabinet and can be easily moved if sanding longer pieces. The sandpaper rolls store in the box beneath the sander.

The band saw is placed across from the dust collector. I’m considering a mobile base since it can be difficult to maneuver large pieces in the confined area.

Also in this area is a Ryobi BT3000 tablesaw (no photo). I stripped the gears to raise and lower the blade and bought the parts needed to repair it from another woodworker whose motor quit. That happened just before I bought the used Grizzly so I haven’t made it a priority to fix it. (I always have to bother my husband to lift the parts for me since I’m a weakling.) I still use the router table in the end of the tablesaw for small projects but the area is too confined to route long pieces.

There are open steel shelving units (no photos) with cans of finishing supplies and boxes of miscellaneous hardware which I hope to some day replace with cabinets with doors. I really hate all the sawdust that collects on the open shelves.

Below is another project that needs completing. It is a Woodmaster 4-in-1 that needs work done on it. It was not well maintained by the original owner so I have never used it.

The previous owner used it mainly to gang-rip pine and it was very badly caked with sawdust and pitch which I chiseled off. It needs a roller replaced, more cleaning, and a good tune-up, but it (supposedly) works. My plan was to use it mainly for moldings and planing.

There is also lumber storage in the garage portion of the shop. Here’s some that needs to have the stickers removed and then be restacked in the other garage.
Then we can move this in:

We would really prefer to purchase our lumber where the quality is unmatched, but we don’t like to drive so far to get it.

The shop garage is also home to a spindle sander, scroll saw, mortiser, and sliding miter. The lathe (which my husband uses) is in the other garage.

We use the upstairs of the shop for upholstery projects and wood finishing as well as canning garden produce and butchering wild game. My husband uses whatever space I’m not cluttering to do his carvings . . . often the shop kitchen.

Thanks for taking a look at our work space.


-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin


Thanks for taking my shop tour. I’m certain you’ll achieve a far nicer shop some day soon. (Photos don’t always tell the truth . . . especially today with Gimp or Photoshop! LOL And I did try to keep the lens pointed away from the worst.)


-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin

I DREAM of having a shop like yours someday! Completely well organized and clean- a pleasure to work in! I just can’t think straight when everything is a mess and cluttered- I don’t know how some folks work in that kind of atmosphere. Since I am new to woodworking (almost 3 years now), I am slowly collecting tools with only a vision for my shop, but I am determined to make it happen! Thank you for sharing your great space! And the canned goods, too!

-- Amor Vincit Omnia

Mike and Jack, I’m learning how to take pictures from the angle that shows the least clutter! . . . and I didn’t show some parts because it would be too much of an embarrassment.

I think that no matter how large our shops are, it is easy to have them so full of equipment that we have no room for the project. We had our kitchen cabinets made by another cabinet maker because there isn’t enough room in our shop to make more than a couple at a time and we didn’t want to wait years to get it done.

Brian, Verizon sold our area to Frontier a number of years ago. While many in our area have cell phones, we don’t get a signal in the spot where we are. Looking at a coverage map, you would think we would be well covered, but all the towers are several miles from us and the maps actually just show the overlap edges where occasionally a signal can be obtained. Other family members in much more rural areas have had DSL coverage (from different carriers) for years. We’ve considered satellite, but the service is both unreliable and high-priced, and we don’t want to cut down what remains of our forest to get a signal.

And, don’t worry, Brian, I won’t ever print my address because I enjoy eating that food too much! LOL My husband is the gardener and keeps us quite busy with all the canning. He does more than his share of canning, too.


-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin

First, that is quite an impressive shop. Loaded with lumber too. Looks like a great place to work.

Second, never print your address or you may find all your canned garden edibles missing. ;-)

Lastly, Verizon has a program for wireless phone and internet that runs off the cell phone network. My parents went from rickty copper phone and dial up to this and it works great. There is really no other alternative. It’s pretty rural. They will never run new wire again in rural places and they seem to be pushing this service lately so they can abandon copper altogether, which they have effectively done in cities already, although they are running fibre in denser areas. It’s worth looking into.

-- Losing fingers since 1969

To say I’m impressed L/W would be an understatement. This looks like a place where almost anything could be made, and probably is, judging from your extensive lumber stash and more than well organized shop. It looks like a wonderful place to pursue woodworking in just about any direction desired!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway

Abbas, I’m not holding my breath for Google Fiber! About ten years ago I asked our phone company (at the time it was Verizon) when we might expect high speed. The man took one look at me and said, “Not in your lifetime, lady.” While I’m well past middle age, I’m not THAT old; my parents are still both alive at 97 and 96 so I’m not looking for high speed anytime before the Rapture! LOL


-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin

Dutch elm disease, tent caterpillars in the cherry, apple, plum, etc., emerald ash borer, and gypsy moths in the oaks and aspens — we pretty much have it all! I’m not aware of any disease in walnut yet, but it’s probably just because I’m uninformed.


-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin

It’s sad to hear about the trees dying…
First I heard about the ash borer that decimated entire regions now oak wilt.
I am sure there are many other that I have not heard about.

I am glad you can use some of it.
Who knows maybe google fiber will make it to your area soon:)

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

We have leaf wilt too I think. All the leaves fall off the red oaks and then the tree dies.Looking to saw them up as well.

-- steve66

Thanks for your comments guys.

Steve, yes, it has taken us many years to make that much mess! This shop was built about 20 years ago.

Ianwater, we’ve gone through a couple of stacks like that. I don’t post a lot because of dial-up, but we’ve made several large projects that have used a considerable amount of wood. The reason for all the lumber is two-fold: we have oak wilt in the area so our forest is dying. We burn the bad stuff and mill the not-quite-so-bad stuff. Also, we had a major windstorm in 2011 which took down many of our trees that didn’t have oak wilt so we sawed up the better ones of those as well.

Jeff, the downstairs shop is just 18′ × 40′ and that includes what is taken up by the utility room (about 7′ × 12′) and the stairway. It’s only about 600 square feet downstairs. The area between the stairway and utility room gets pretty narrow (less than 8’). We thought we were building enough space but it is shared with too many other activities.

-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin

Oh my thats an awesome shop to. Just like steves very well thought out. The thing is ive never had much room to work in and when i got my 20 × 20 ithought it was huge. If i was able to get room like yours or steves id think i was in a stadium. Lol thank you for sharing very cool.

-- Jeff Vandenberg aka "Woodsconsin"

Great shop L/W.
You have a lot of lumber. It’s everywhere… What do you build with all that lumber?
Your setup is easy to navigate and has a lot of storage and work areas.
Dust collection seem well thought and electrical every 2 feet, oh my!

It’s has been a pleasure looking at your shop.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

L/W you got me blushing :-) Awesome shop, you two have obviously spent years creating your woodshop! I really like the miter box/router table workbench.Beautiful wooden storage cabinets and thumbs up on your table
saw! Big stacks wood, you definitely have a great shop!

-- steve66

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