Red's Shop #2: Deckin' it Out, Makin' it Mine.

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Blog entry by BigRedKnothead posted 12-13-2013 01:52 AM 2077 reads 4 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: How My Slice of Heaven Came To Be. Part 2 of Red's Shop series no next part

I sure appreciate all the feedback from my first shop blog. It does my heart well that some of you are encouraged or inspired by my shop and my work.

It got me thinking about this past year on Lumberjocks. Like a lot of folks, I starting surfing this place because there are some awesome craftsman on here who had answers to my questions. But something else happened. I couldn’t help but notice that there are a lot of novice woodworkers whom I related to as well. LJs if full of newbies are trying to overcome the obstacles of time, budget, and skill levels. I can totally relate. I was and still am. I think that’s why some of my shepherding instincts have kicked in. I find myself spending a lot of time encouraging and nudging others along. It’s true, I’m nobody special. If I did it….you can too!

Enough sap, let’s go back to my shop. Last summer I had just finished up my lumber rack. A few LJs thought I was crazy for using oak. Lo siento, it’s very reasonable where I live. So, just to rub it in, I was about to “waste” a lot more white oak and walnut in my shop (snicker).

Where were we…... I had a big empty wall in the back of my shop. I sorta missed the ugly old 2×4 bench I had moved into the shed. I was all set to build a joinery bench for that space back yonder.


Then, fate struck. I was contacted about the opportunity to purchase a bunch of 2nd hand Lie-Nielsen tools for a great price. Ya, it was too good to pass up. I spent all my furniture sales money and then some. But…well….

Aint they purdy. I was glad I had the cash at the time to make the deal, but I had to put the joinery bench on hold until I sold some more furniture.

No dinero for a joinery bench. Hmmmm…where am I gonna put all these stinkin’ tools?
One thing’s for certain in life… change. I wanted to my shop to have some flexibility with the new layout. LJ’s gets the credit for showing me the “french cleat”. I knew this was the solution for the back wall of my shop. Of course, I had to put my own twist on it.
Click for details
I built the cleat board first, then slowly added tills for months afterward. It still cracks me up that my french cleat board was far and away the biggest response to any project I posted on LJs. It was so much quicker and easier than any of my furniture projects. Ya, wood workers just love checking out each others shops…..and drooling on their tools;-)

Then, I needed a place for my large hand planes. When I played with the dimensions, I realized I didn’t want this big of a till on the french cleat board. So I found another place on the wall.
The obvious downside to my french cleat and tills is the exposure to dust. I thought about enclosed cabinets hanging on my cleats. But access to the tools is more important to me. I don’t want to be messing with doors while I’m working. So, I just keep my tools oiled and waxed. Then I blow them off with compressed air from time to time.

Click for details

At this time I had a few furniture orders lining up. I still needed another work surface on the back wall. And I was paranoid about a my tools mounted on the french cleat board with nothing but cement below. So I tallied up what 8/4 white oak I had and decided I could at least make the shell (legs and top) to a joinery bench. So I went at it. I haven’t posted it as a project because I’m waiting to build the cabinets below.

And, with some fantasy baseball winnings, I bought the benchcrafted moxon vise hardware. That turned out really nice.

Last change. I never liked the birch plywood panels on my shop cabinets. They looked like crap after I put danish oil on them years back. I kicked around options for some time. Then I saw these 9×11” stanley hand tool prints on feebay. Did some measuring and figured I could use them on the panels. Worked great. I just took the thin plexiglass out of some cheap poster frames and used a pin nailer.


That’s about it folks. You’re all caught up. I’m building a blanket chest right now that should fund the lower cabinets on my joinery bench. That’s really the only plans I have left for my shop. Can’t wait to get crackin’ on ‘em. That bench looks cluttered below, and I love me some orginization.

Thanks for reading or even givin’ a rip. I’ll leave ya with a couple pics of how “Taller de Rojo” looks tonight.

Looks a little different than a year ago ehh;-)

-- Red -- "That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." W. Whitman

23 comments so far

View AnthonyReed's profile


4853 posts in 1130 days

#1 posted 12-13-2013 02:12 AM

Beautiful space you have crafted there BRK. I appreciate all the knowledge and discussion you bring to LJ’s. Thank you for sharing with us.

-- ~Tony

View CL810's profile


2130 posts in 1678 days

#2 posted 12-13-2013 02:14 AM

Nice story and pics. Seeing your daughter reminded me that you married well. ;-)

-- "It's amazing how much can go wrong when you think you know what you're doing."

View lysdexic's profile


4884 posts in 1313 days

#3 posted 12-13-2013 02:29 AM


A shop refurb is brewing in my mind. Many aspects of your shop layout will be stolen.

-- It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe. - Muhammad Ali

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


14874 posts in 2366 days

#4 posted 12-13-2013 03:14 AM

Lookin’ good. A standard to be met ;-)

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View lysdexic's profile


4884 posts in 1313 days

#5 posted 12-13-2013 03:25 AM

No miter saw?

-- It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe. - Muhammad Ali

View BigRedKnothead's profile


5327 posts in 672 days

#6 posted 12-13-2013 03:38 AM

Steal away brother. It’s workin well for me.

No miter saw. I probably would if I had more room. I would only use it to break down longer stock. I use a cross-cut sled for most everything. Well, I’m using hand saws more and more. Gotta keep my pipes lookin’ good.

-- Red -- "That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." W. Whitman

View woodcox's profile


653 posts in 702 days

#7 posted 12-13-2013 04:13 AM

Good posts Red. You have made that a great space to work. I do hope the quote of a proper bench will stimulate the space around it applies to me. I need some inspiration on how to be more efficient and clutter free. Your shop and progress are great models to follow.

-- "My god has more wood than your god" ... G. Carlin.

View lightcs1776's profile (online now)


3718 posts in 344 days

#8 posted 12-13-2013 04:21 AM

Looks like a well organized space. I love the plane tills. Great detail in the creation of your space. Thanks for sharing.

-- Chris ** If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. — Tom Paine **

View CFrye's profile


3372 posts in 530 days

#9 posted 12-13-2013 05:33 AM

Your shop is an inspiration Red. I appreciate your willingness to share.

-- God bless, Candy

View jehu's profile


10 posts in 364 days

#10 posted 12-13-2013 01:55 PM

Wow, keep it coming Rojo.

-- jehu

View helluvawreck's profile


15960 posts in 1557 days

#11 posted 12-13-2013 02:19 PM

Red, your shop and tools are beautiful. Well done.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View waho6o9's profile


5092 posts in 1267 days

#12 posted 12-13-2013 02:53 PM

Thank you Mr. Rojo!

View terryR's profile


3221 posts in 998 days

#13 posted 12-13-2013 03:23 PM

Awesome, Red! I could stay in your shop all day and night. Love to hear how each upgrade was decided!

In the middle of re-doing lots of my shop, and building shop tables, so I’m most jealous of yours. :)

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View terryR's profile


3221 posts in 998 days

#14 posted 12-13-2013 03:37 PM

Bid Rojo, one question…

Just noticed your BC moxon is flush with the joinery bench top…that’s why it looks so great! How do you like the performance? Any reason you’d lift it higher if done over? I assume your friggin bench top is 50” off the floor anyway. LOL

...curious since I just bought the BC hardware last night…and I love the way yours looks…

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View BigRedKnothead's profile


5327 posts in 672 days

#15 posted 12-13-2013 04:05 PM

Thank you all. Your welcome any time.

Terry- I’ve got no beefs with this setup Terry. As you say, the bench is pretty tall already. When I’m practicing dovetails, I pull the piece out of the moxon, and lean against it while I chisel on the benchtop. If there were a lip or drop-off…it would be a pain.
When I mounted it, I made sure it was a bit proud. Then I just planed it down.

Not sure about your setup. I could see a small advantage in putting it on the end of a bench like Tolpin did. Then you could saw over the end. Seen here.

Hope it helps Bro.

-- Red -- "That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." W. Whitman

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