Shop layout update

I’ve been having some designing issues (designer’s block?) trying to come to a final design. I also have to come to grips with my recent decision to embrace Festool as my budget allows. After all, those tools come with their own storage units, and those have to go somewhere. The biggest problem has been of course been the miter saw stand. What to do, how big should it be, where is it going…

I’m trying a different approach now. I’m trying to find a space for everything else first, then trying to fit in a cabinet that can live in that world. Small things can co-habitate with the miter saw, but large tools cannot.

I am building a flip-top cart for my planer and sander. There, the surprise is ruined. I attempted a flip-top before, but hopefully this time I will have better success. Details to come in another post about it. That gets the sander out of a cabinet and onto a cart, but it also displaces the hardware and sanding supplies. Not heartbroken, because that was fairly wasted space, but they do need to find a new home. Sandpaper is easy, hardware bins not quite so. I’ll set that problem aside for later, though. Also in that sander cabinet is my socket set, which I reach for frequently. That will also get set aside, as while I want to keep the drawer arrangement I have for it now I’m sure it will be incorporated into the new miter saw cabinet. Also here is a drawer for drilling and driving. Not really sure what is going to happen here. I use driving bits constantly. These need to find a handy home. Put aside like the rest for now.

That removes nearly a two foot wide cabinet from my floor, or at least allows me to repurpose it. Out the door for now, along with the stockpile of sheet scrap next to it – I addressed this in the previous post. If I have to everything will exit my shop to be stacked neatly outside and I will have to make a case for reintroducing it. In this space can go either the jointer or the lathe, and I am leaning jointer. Being near the door will be very helpful for long stock. Under the outfeed table will be the little enclosure for the compressor. I can wheel it out to check the oil level and drain the valve, but being in a little cubby will knock down a lot of the noise. If there is any room between the compressor box and the jointer table above, I will put the hose reel here. Still hoping for room to put in a auxiliary tank and filters.

The front few feet of that wall are spoken for, and I think the rest of that wall is going to be the miter saw cabinet in some form. On the back wall I think the bandsaw and drill press are going to stay put, with perhaps the flip cart going between if I have enough room. Not having to move stuff around constantly is a big goal here. I’m pretty happy with the workbench going to the back corner, at least for now while I don’t have a face vise. I am considering doing something more with my storage below. Right now it is scrap overrun, and I was considering a saw till, systainer storage or some other form of drawers. Whatever it ends up being, the holdfasts have to clear what is there.

The lathe will be getting a new cabinet with drawers, I think I discussed that previously. Lathe tools, the grinders and maybe a couple other drawer spaces. I do need to go ahead and sketch that out so I know exactly what fits. I’m not hopeful of much else. The new offset router table will have storage for hopefully everything router-wise. I don’t know if that will include the dovetail jig. Which, by the way, also could use an upgrade. If possible, I will allow for a better version to be stored in it.

The elephant in the room is my dust collection. I have several fanciful options including putting them into a lean-to, putting a true DC in a lean-to, and buying a Festool unit with an add-on separator. None of which are likely. So…options. I can once again incorporate them into my miter saw cabinet design, however with it now being probably a bit shorter means even less room for other storage. I could put the vac up on the wall in a cabinet and the separator below. That would mean either the back left corner or the front right corner. Back left means the separator under the MS extension, front right means possibly under the table saw extension – which in turn makes the router on that have to move. Both locations have merits and demerits. Back left means out of the way but less storage and a hose draped across floor for most things. Front right means possibly in way for turning but hoses closest to tools that need it most. Tough call if I have to go that route. Don’t believe vac could sit on joists above. I’m leaning front corner, will have to see how low it hangs from ceiling. I’ll measure today.

With those variables in place, assuming a standard jointer bed length of 4′, we have about six and a half feet of space to fit in a miter saw stand. For comparison, my current one is eight feet long. Four feet of under-cabinet storage right now is taken up by dust collection, so if both units can move to the opposite corner I can gain a lot of space. If they have to stay where they are and the vac goes up on the wall, then I gain a bit less space, but it’s a net positive. I’m not going to make a long post even longer by really drilling down what I want to do on the miter saw, that’s best reserved for its own post. Right now I need to go do some measuring.

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