Shop master plan – revision (ongoing – part 2)

Here comes the hard part. The hard part being, in what orientation and how many of the cabinets do I make. The hard part also being, I have to figure out a home for pretty much everything, instead of leaving it up in the air. Most importantly, I want to build things the right way and not take shortcuts because I don’t have the time or energy. I want whatever comes out of this to be ‘final versions.’ No exposed ply edges, square, nice to look at…I’d like this phase to be the last shop furniture I build, aside from unforeseen circumstances like having to rebuild a larger shop or buying bigger tools.

The first part of this process was sitting down in the shop the other day and taking inventory – not of what I had, but what I was storing and where. The easiest thing I can do is start with a safety station: a small cabinet where I can store all my good glasses (the other ones can be shoved to the back of a drawer), respirator and primary headphones. It won’t be too big, hopefully. First aid, if I decide to store any, will be with this, and it will hopefully fit on one of the front walls. (stay with me, the rest of the post is going to be a running monologue)

The hardware bins are slated to go back in the planer cart. However if for some reason that doesn’t work out I will put three or four in a small enclosure and stow it absolutely anywhere I can. It’s small enough to go almost anywhere, which is why I’ll not worry about it too much.

I am planning to store drill bits under the drill press as a small cabinet with drawers, attached to the base of the press. 3-4 drawers should do it, and it could be removable if absolutely necessary. I’ve never had to drill anything that long before, so again – no worries.

Since I have two circular saws, I figured I should store them together. I’m thinking a large drawer with heavy duty slides, and I could store my recip saw, jigsaws and rotary saw all together. I will have to sort out exactly how tall and how wide this drawer will be. It could always be a shelf with doors.  Another drawer somewhere will be shallow and hold pencils, small measuring or setup items, and perhaps a notebook. This will be a very shallow drawer, possibly no deeper than an inch. Writing down ideas, finding them is another. I’ll have a wall cabinet for reading material, my backlog of magazines (especially the older ones). I’m thinking a Barrister-like bookcase (one section) up on the wall somewhere. If there’s no room on the wall, this could perhaps be part of the planer cabinet (a lot of things could go there, right?).

I like having a drawer for my air tools, but the current one is a bit too big. I might find myself with a die grinder at some point, or a framing nailer, but my air tools aren’t going to expand by much. I need a home for finishing supplies, namely the finishes. A shallow, but wide/thin cabinet would work, but so would a traditional deep one. I’d like to keep rags and brushes with it as well.

My hand saws, chisels, files and planes will be in a couple of cabinets on the wall, wherever I can fit them in. Since my chisel collection is fairly extensive, this will be interesting. Some serious planning is going to be needed to fit everything in and it not be the size of one of my walls. A spot for glue and blade cleaning would be really nice. The cleaning bin could fit on top of a deep cabinet, while the cleaner could stow with the finishes. I should try and make a spot on my bandsaw to store accessories (as such), and I’ll need a touch of room to store extra blades. I don’t plan on having many, but they need to be neatly taken care of.

I think I am going to get rid of my miter saw portable box. Having the miter saw mounted onto a sheet of plywood, I could make carrying slots in it very easily and it be just as portable. If I need to use a fence, I can use what I have in my shop. The dovetail jig needs to find a permanent mount, and it will take the form of going in one of the modular stations. It might be hung on the side of a cabinet or the wall for storage if necessary. In a drawer, I’d like to store my Dremel, MF tool, dremel accessories, perhaps the cordless lights. Basically the same as I have now, just better use of my storage. Perhaps lose the cases.

My cordless drills would like to find a home, even if it’s a ‘holster’ attached to the wall. They are something I use often, so I want them easily accessible. My radio and fans need a home. Don’t really care where the fans go, because they get put on a surface when I need them. The radio needs to be away from the chargers due to interference. The mortiser – where? Obviously the best solution would be for it to be integrated into the same cabinet as the miter saw and take advantage of the fence, and level top. Will it end up there?

I do need a spot or two for sharpening. Between the granite tile and the Worksharp, it needs a home. On a module would work pretty well. Not sure it could be hung with the granite. A bin for sandpaper is going to be needed as well, plus something for the belts and bits for the OSS, plus the sanding pads for the hand sanders. Plus, who says I won’t get some manual pads?

That’s my brainstorming for now. I haven’t even really delved into what the configuration is going to be. Stay tuned, this isn’t going to be a quick process.


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