There are big problems, and small problems. Likewise, there are big solutions, and small solutions. While I am tackling the overall layout issues my shop is continuously plagued with, I have smaller improvements I can make concurrently. These small things, when fixed, can make a huge difference.

My secondary outlet strip is too far away from the door, making me set my secondary power reel on the cabinet. It also means I can’t use my primary power reel with it. I think my solution will be to move it closer to the door, considering the things farthest away from it also have the longest cords. Moving the strip to the door should also allow me to run the lights along the ceiling joists, in case I want to have a more open ceiling for storage (ladder, possibly sheet goods).

My drawers are awful. The ones in the shop. They are too close together and have no handles. Trimming them, installing them properly and adding the handles I already have is an easy and free way to make life out there easier. I have been meaning to do it for a few weeks, but other projects or weather have gotten in the way. Knowing what I need to get to the most and seeing things easier will also help in the redesign.

My hoses and the PVC keep popping off my separator. I need to use the PVC glue to fix the latter, and look at a more permanent solution for the former, like hose clamps. My Ridgid hose just slips inside the PVC, so some brainstorming is due. For a permanent solution, I’m not sure what I want to do. Obviously having a metal cylinder that I can’t stack anything or mount anything on or over is a problem in my shop. But I also need fairly regular access to it to either clean, or move hoses around. One of the more challenging things about the remodel.

I still have too much scrap, or more properly, I don’t have room to keep it. The sheet goods are the problem here. Perhaps if I can get the ceiling down some storage up there could be used. It is taking up valuable space, like where I want the compressor to go and under my workbench. It also is preventing me from getting this damn jointer out of my way – I have to move it to do anything.

The place still has too much junk. I have a tool bag that I like, but is filled with junk. Not the throw out kind of junk, but stuff that needs to find a better home. Some of this can be fixed by better use of storage, like drawers and perhaps systainers. I need a smaller home for cut offs that I wish to keep. I need a small shelf or cubby instead of the old router table, as that is taking up valuable room now. The old scrap bin is still taking up space under the miter saw cabinet. If I can dump those two things, I could theoretically put the separator back under the cabinet at least temporarily.

My saw still needs help, and the decision to keep the stand is one that constitutes a major problem/solution category. I’m more referencing smaller things. The router table is too low on the right side, however bringing it up to level then brings the rails too close together to use the saw fence. The solution? I need to get my butt to a big box for some longer bolts, more washers and some nuts. That will fix that problem going forward, no matter what I do.

I also need to fix my dust collection. At the rear of the saw the connection isn’t quite secure. The tubes to the blade guard are also probably a bit too big. The connection at the guard and the chute holder often comes apart due to the rotating motion of the guard when it lifts to pass stock through. I think it can be redesigned with smaller diameter PVC and with a more flexible connection at the guard. That should be a fairly inexpensive fix, should I find the right combination of couplers to connect the small PVC to the 2.5″ hoses and connections down the line. Another area to research.

The saw is also too far out into the doorway. I like my lathe where it is, at least for now, but it merits exploration. I like having a 36″ right blade capacity, but must confess I can’t remember the last time I needed more than 30″. Buying a track saw would eliminate anything over about 30″ altogether. Something to consider.

My chisels really do need to get into their new home soon. As do my planes, as the newest one will not fit in the plane cabinet. Build those two things, and the supply of cherry and walnut on my workbench also finds a new home. Much win. I think I may use some crap scrap as mock ups for both, allowing me to test a design and measurements on things I’d throw away anyway. Even better.

As far as how the big things are coming in the workshop, I’ll be working on updating that as soon as this entry posts. No wholesale changes, but perhaps a slightly different philosophy with my approach. I also have to find a place for those future Festools and systainers, right?

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