Try this one easy trick to gain more shop space!

You’ll never believe what Marcy did…


You know how it goes by now, those obvious spam posts on Facebook, ads on websites desperate for cash, etc. People claiming about how to do amazing things exceedingly easy. Nothing is easy. Nothing is given, everything is earned. At least that is how it is in my shop. 

Such is the crusade for more space in my shop. Life isn’t like Sketchup, where you can defy the laws of physics and have objects occupy the same planes. I keep searching for solutions where there may not be one.

Saturday in the shop, a humdinger of an idea sprang from the abyss: what about putting the miter saw in the corner? A crazy idea on the surface, certainly. So many downsides to that idea if it isn’t explained. The explanation follows.

The size of my planer is tough. It is wide, which is to be expected. What I didn’t expect was the problems I encounter with the depth. The base is pretty wide, but worse is the fence control lever. It sticks out a good foot behind the fence if not more, deeper than the base of the unit. I could make a new base, but it would never solve the lever. With the design, I don’t think modifying it would work either.

With the width of my shop and the door opening, I can’t really position the jointer parallel to the door in the corner – it sticks out too far and wastes space. If it was caddy-corner though, that could work. I could simply pull the indeed side out and it be roughly in position to feed out the door. The front wall is roughly 38″ wide, and that same distance along the side wall would be enough to encapsulate the footprint of the jointer, minis how much the base sticks out.

Now, the question became how it would help. I don’t gain really any room minus a couple of inches if I have things next to it along the side wall. In fact, I love storage for the compressor. The planer going there wasn’t an option in any form: too heavy to lift there, mobile base doesn’t work, and the wall limits use otherwise.

So…what could I do? I could put the HCM or sander above (and it’s a superb idea that I will revisit), but what occurred to me was the miter saw.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, you’re thinking. Doesn’t that have a lot of the same drawbacks that the planer does? Yes. However, it doesn’t require a lot of outfeed (right side of saw for a righty) if you don’t do a lot of mid-board cutting. The thing I was thinking about, though, as the party piece, was a triangular base that pivoted off of the front wall and was on casters.

It is, clearly, an insane idea. Pivoting the miter saw out would require moving the jointer. I could cut normally, because the saw fence would clear the door. Because of that, though, it would need to stick out over the triangular front I had envisioned. More like a five-sided diamond. The support was going to be tough enough, but that adds another wrinkle. The saw would also be fairly elevated.

Putting the jointer in the corner may still be a viable idea, but unless I’m plenty brave I don’t think it would involve the miter saw. It is a shame, because it seems so brilliant. Perhaps it is a problem best explored in Sketchup, where I can suspend physics and contemplate any additional real world challenges. Perhaps that corner could simply be a stacked storage solution, and I would see benefit. But then, I move the wall rack.

Such is the life of a small shop. One step forward, one step back.

After discussing it with another woodworker, I have been emboldened to go for it. I’m thinking it wouldn’t cost that much in materials, and it may not cause that much disruption. I would have to move the shelves down, but I might not even have to do that at first.

Game on.

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