Shop Tour


I abhor clutter. I think that’s probably a funny thing to exclaim on a blog that features a shop with pictures of mostly clutter. When you get to a point where things have a place and your space is clean, you start to turn a corner. You start to feel proud of your space, what you’ve done.

I am pretty proud of how the shop has gotten to this point, so I took another video of the shop. This one was done in the evening, and went kind of fast. This is a companion to that video which serves as a bit of explanation to what you see.

We start in the right corner of the shop near the door. The drill press is located in this corner, and there is some plywood scrap around it, taking up a little of the odd space left by it being set off from both walls. The handles of the table saw fit around the column of the drill press, saving a bit more space. If I have to have the doors closed and get to that corner, it can be a bit of a pain, but otherwise I don’t know of a better way to have things set up. On the left side of the saw there is a Craftsman  2.25hp router that can be removed and used in a plunge base. I have a D-handle Craftsman that I typically use handheld.

On the wall next to the drill press is the secondary power area. This strip powers the LED overhead lights, the battery chargers, and the heater, when needed. The Ridgid vac (used with the bigger tools) is also plugged in here via a on/off switch. This strip gets plugged into the lower gauge extension cord. I don’t know if I would trip the breaker with the lights, batteries, heater and vac, so I switch the heater off for insurance. It doesn’t take a lot to bring the shop up to a decent temp, and usually if it is really cold I’ll turn the heater on an hour or so before I need to be out there. In fact, I can usually turn the heater off once the edge has been taken off. Also, while I’ve made great strides taking dust out of the air, I don’t really want to run the table saw or any other fine dust producers while the heater is on anyway. The heater is attached to the door, basically because I have no other good place to put it attached to this ‘circuit.’ Also on the door is all the safety gear, the saw blades, cord reels and on the other door some clamps, the fire extinguisher and tool belt/apron. The clamps tend to fall off if the door slams, unfortunately.

In the left front corner is the wall rack, parallel clamp storage, the hose reel, the air compressor and the jointer. I’d really like to replace the hose reel with one that self-retracts, and I think that will happen shortly. That one could go in the carport, and could be on standby to bring the compressor down or eventually go there permanently (the compressor) if I can upgrade (space is an issue). Under the wall rack is one of the primary power strips. This one powers the jointer, planer/sander and the miter saw, plus anything else I need quick access to. I frequently plug in the laptop here. The lights used to be plugged in here. Moving further down the wall are the miter saw and stand, which has a drawer for misc things like bit boxes and my manual drill. The socket set is also here, and currently a big drawer with some odd tools. Hoping to redo this storage space soon. Next to that is the planer/sander flip cart. On the wall above that is some storage for the lesser used circular saws, the small grinder (used for stuff like lawnmower blades, etc) and a few other odds and ends. These are on french cleats, allowing for some movement.

Hand tool corner is up next. The Holtzapffel is on the floor, and the underside is being used for some cutoff storage. On the wall is the hand tool storage, plus some squares and some odds and ends. In the Craftsman tool box is some wrenches (spanners), punches, tape measures, pencils and that sort of thing. The white small box is first aid – since I’m at home I don’t feel the need for a trauma kit or anything. If I’m that bad off, I’ll go bleed outside, thanks. The HCM is stowed under the right side of the bench with the trash can, and under the left side is a storage solution for my car detailing. I need to move it out, but since I have nothing else that will fit there, it isn’t a priority.

The big wall cabinet is a bit of a catch-all. I have glue, finishes (such as they are), supplies and other things that don’t really fit other places at this time. The always popular mosquito spray is handy here. Under the cabinet are gloves, paper towels, bulk drill bits, the good fan and my clock.The cabinet next to that is hardware bins, turning shields, sharpening supplies and yes, more odds and ends.

Under both cabinets is my temporary systainer storage (just stacked on the floor) and the offset router table. I’ll be talking about this table in a post shortly, involving near-future plans. I have a Lee Valley bag on it filled with shop-related stuff that I found in my car – a Ryobi tool bag, kits from Lowe’s Build and Grow yet to be built, and probably a wrench or two. You can also see my 1900 rail in the corner, waiting to find a permanent home.

Next up is the HF lathe, stacked fore and aft with scrap plywood and the old router table top. Still working on culling, and making the new lathe stand. Haven’t found a design I like yet.  I’ve got a router cubby mounted on the wall that I may do away with soon. The leaky window says hello. The bandsaw is next to the drill press, and the second primary power strip is behind both. Hooked up to this are the bandsaw, drill press, table saw, lathe (when safe to operate again) and the CT MIDI. Depending on what I need to work on, the main extension reel can be hooked up on either side of the entrance for the tools. Not as convenient as having everything on one, but the best I can do. That wraps up the perimeter.

In the ‘middle’ is the MFT/3. Under it is a bin of dust collection accessories that I will eliminate soon. Under here is also the MIDI and the Ridgid WD1450 vac. The Ridgid gets used for the big tools, the MIDI for the handhelds. The Thein separator is sitting next to the table saw. I’d like to come up with a flat top or something for it so it can be used better. We’ll see.

Up top are saw horses, the LED lighting, my ladder and a couple of other small things out of the way. That’s the shop as it stands today.




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