Building the Ultimate Garage Woodshop #3: "Before" Photos

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Blog entry by Blake posted 12-18-2013 09:56 PM 2220 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Gears Slowly Turning Part 3 of Building the Ultimate Garage Woodshop series Part 4: Sketchup Plans »

As promised here are some “before” photos of my messy garage.

Notice the open ceiling joists with hundreds of nails sticking out… this is because I have already ripped the crappy sheetrock down to start work on it.

Here it is a little less messy:

And here is the “before” photo of the loft space above the garage. This is the reason that the shop project is so slow to get off the ground… there is a TON of storage potential up there and I am taking the time to do it right. I have been reinforcing the ceiling so it will take the load of storage.

Here is my new baby from a few weeks ago… she is just waiting for some love:

And the exciting news is I just picked up one of these!


I’ve always been a Radial Arm Saw type of guy. I just love those tools. BUT they do have their limitations. They are difficult to keep tuned and true, and they are difficult to change angles accurately.

I’ve done a lot of thinking about my new shop setup. I have even thought about building my cross-cutting bench with a chop saw for compound angles, and my old RAS friend for longer straight cross cuts as well as dados and tenons.

But ultimately I just don’t have the space for that. So I decided if I had to only choose ONE I would have to make a compromise. A 12” sliding compound miter would have to do. It will have the power, capacity, ease of use, ease of changing miter/bevel angles, and enough accuracy to do the job.

You can still cut dados and tenons on a slider, although its not as accurate as a RAS. I will just have to clean them up with a router plane or make my tenons on the table saw instead. Oh well.

As far as choosing the DeWalt, I really did a lot of research. I almost went for the Bosch, with its ability to fit closer to the shop wall:

But even though this saw was about $200 more, I found it to be far LESS ACCURATE especially with regard to the dado stop. It would actually bounce almost 1/4” down/up after hitting the stop. Overall it had a lot more plastic parts than the DeWalt (and more moving parts too) and was just not built as well all around. The DeWalt is pretty solid.

The hinged mechanism on the Bosch is pretty ingenious technology. But it is just not perfected yet. Too bad.

So anyway, next I will be daydreaming about the bench I will build as a home for the new slider.


On a totally UNRELATED note…

My wife and I started a photography business from my [other] hobby. I tried making my furniture building into a business in the past. But that failed miserably as soon as I realized that (a) the economy sucks for selling furniture and (b) I would be making about a penny an hour after all the time I spend on each piece.

But the photography business was actually her idea. She encouraged me and said that she was willing to support me 100% and do whatever she could to make it work. Well she was right. It makes a lot more sense because the overhead is extremely low (we shoot on location, no studio) and the time commitment is also very low (photo sessions are usually under 2 hours).

In about 6 months it has already become profitable, and its been a lot of fun. I am the photographer on my days off from my other job. But she pretty much runs the business, books the clients, handles the blog, social media, photo editing, etc. The income from the photography was good enough that she was even able to quit her other job!

So if you care to spend a few minutes clicking around on our website, we would really appreciate it since it helps increase our SEO (google ranking). And feel free to let us know what you think!

It also really helps us if you LIKE us on facebook:


-- Happy woodworking!

7 comments so far

View SPalm's profile


5174 posts in 2920 days

#1 posted 12-18-2013 10:27 PM

Yay Blake. A garage all for yourself. Yowser.
Good choice on the rebuild decisions. That upper area will be great to have.
And good choice on the saw(s). You will have a colorful shop now, and nice stuff to boot. Hard to decide, you done well.

Interesting about making money with photography. That is great that you guys can make a go of it.

Keep us informed,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View shipwright's profile


6185 posts in 1836 days

#2 posted 12-19-2013 12:14 AM

It’s good to see you back on LJ. I’ve wondered what you were up to.
Good luck on the new shop and it doesn’t look like you need any good luck with the photography business.
I’m looking forward to seeing some of your fine work back in these pages soon …... not too soon, I can wait.
Take your time and do that new shop up right.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees.

View NormG's profile


4994 posts in 2042 days

#3 posted 12-19-2013 12:29 AM

Someplace to make saw dust

-- Norman

View lightweightladylefty's profile


2956 posts in 2751 days

#4 posted 12-19-2013 03:29 AM


With a profitable photography business, you can afford to build all kinds of (tax deductible) props! Have fun!


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View stefang's profile


14706 posts in 2372 days

#5 posted 12-19-2013 09:43 AM

Glad to hear that the photo business is going so well Blake. Now you will be able to take more pleasure in your woodworking. Looking forward to seeing some of your work again.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Jake's profile


812 posts in 669 days

#6 posted 12-19-2013 01:21 PM

I love this blog hehe. I especially liked the first post where you said that the garage came with a house. That is so lucky! Just made my day reading that, because similarly to you I bought a small workshop, and as luck would have it I also had an apartement above it where I could move my lovely fiancee to live in. I say move her in, because I spend most of my waking hours in the workshop. :D

-- Measure twice, cut once, cut again for good measure.

View mafe's profile


10515 posts in 2127 days

#7 posted 12-26-2013 09:50 PM

Think I have to look for a house now…
Look forward to see how it all turns out.
Happy new year,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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