Time for Shop Reflection

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Blog entry by Shawn Sealer posted 02-13-2011 07:00 AM 1379 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

Well now that the major projects for the holiday season are out of the way. It’s time for a little Shop reflection. Doing a lot of projects for the holiday season really lets you know what does and doesn’t work in your shop. Especially, if you have a small shop. Everything in a small shop needs to be carefully thought out to serve a purpose and use as little space as possible. Plus, there are the things that have been bothering me for a long time. It’s a good time to look at all of the issues I have with my shop, and figure out what can be addressed now and what needs to wait.

One thing that is in immediate need is my lumber storage. My lumber storage consists of two shelf brackets attached to the wall. Now, this worked well for the first year. When I didn’t have hardly any lumber in my shop. As more lumber, mainly cutoffs, appeared in my shop the shelf bracket became less and less effective. I started separating the wood into two piles, nicer pieces went up on the shelf brackets and plywood and MDF went behind the table saw. I would like to keep all this wood in one area. For my short scrap pieces I keep them in a storage bin with a lid under the one end of my bench. This works for me I don’t think I have a need to change that right now. What I decided to do is buy a store bought storage solution. Now, I am the kind of guy that would rather build something for the shop then buy it. But, after considering the cost to build, the space I had and the fact that shelves were reasonably priced, it seemed like a no brainier. One of the things I have noticed is that when working in the beginning stages of a project I have no real storage for long boards. This is something that needs to be addressed. I am thinking of taking the shelf brackets that I am using as the current wood storage and placing them in line with the top shelf of my new wood area. I can store longer boards above my band saw and drill press.

Another area needing attention is power and lighting. The power in the shop is one 15-amp circuit that is not dedicated to the shop. It is shared with the basement lights as well as the outdoor outlets. If I forget to turn the heat off in the shop or bog down the saw I pop the breaker. I would like to run two 30 amp circuits to the shop one circuit to power the tools and another 30 amp circuit for the dust collector and air filter which still need to be added to my shop. Also, lighting is an issue with one incandescent light fixture. The shop is on the dark side. I split the lights using a Y splitter to add another bulb but this only helps a little. I would like to add four banks of florescent lights, which will bring much needed light to the shop, helping with eyestrain and safety.

The last thing I think I need is to do is insulate the garage door to the shop. The thing acts like a big heat sink sucking out the heat in the winter and doing the reverse in the summer. Getting some sort of insulation on that door will help greatly. So, I am left to figure out what is feasible to do now and what can wait. I would like to make a podcast about these upgrades so keep a look out for them. I like and recommend setting up shop as simple as possible and reevaluating when you have a good understanding what works for you and what doesn’t. Here are some pictures of how my shop looks now.

-- -Shawn

1 comment so far

View clieb91's profile


3520 posts in 3959 days

#1 posted 02-14-2011 04:11 AM

Shawn, Looks like a good place to be building your shop out. The shelf brackets sound exactly like my first wood rack. They are actually still holding some wood that never migrated to my new rack. Cut offs are always an issue. Power is is certainly an issue in the garage.
Good luck with your changes and additions, I’ll look forward to seeing some of your solutions.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

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