From garage to workshop #2: Planning and cleaning

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Blog entry by JSOvens posted 03-01-2014 08:22 AM 1525 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: A preliminary survey Part 2 of From garage to workshop series no next part

Well, here it is, a general idea of what I hope to do with my workshop space:

For clarity, I left the walls invisible, although their outlines are still there. There are a few constants with the arrangement. The rear wall is reserved for household storage, this is not really optional, and the location of the deep freezer is pretty much set as well, since their really isn’t a better place for it. Other than that, I left the workbenches and table saw about where they are now, since this looks like the optimal layout for me. The table saw is on a mobile base, and I may add castors to the central workbench as some commenters suggested. This will allow me to park the car outside and spread out on longer woodworking days; my wife has requested that the parking space remains, so I will need to move everything back when I’m done.

Some changes I wish to make are to add the french cleat storage. The first time I ever saw this method, I knew it had to be present in my shop. I will have them in front of the large bench, and also occupying the space to the left. On the right, I will put a couple shelves for storing the large pieces of lumber. The rest of my immediate plans are probably self explanatory from the drawing. One detail that isn’t present is my plan to add a large curtain to go across the household storage, which I hope will cut down on the dust in that region.

I know many people paint their workshop in order to brighten it up, but I feel like their is quite a bit of light already (although maybe not ideal from a photography standpoint). Furthermore I am not sure how long we will be living here, so I didn’t want to get into that level of finishing work.

With the planning accomplished, I got started. Here are a couple tips for those who are in a similar position to myself and want to create a more organized workshop environment:

1. Be zealous when deciding what to throw away! Do you really need another 5” long 2×4 offcut? What is that featherboard packaging really going to be used for in the future? The more you can chuck, the less you have to deal with.

2. Return any borrowed tools/supplies. Are you even still using it?

3. Return all those pop bottles/cans, buy yourself something nice!

Well, maybe these just apply to me, but they were what stuck out the most while I was cleaning this stuff up. I’m sorry I don’t really have many pictures, I didn’t think you needed to see more of the mess in my garage. In my next post, I will start going through my progress in actually setting up the workshop, so stay tuned!

Thanks for reading,


-- Jeffrey S. Ovens, Canada

3 comments so far

View Bogeyguy's profile


548 posts in 2213 days

#1 posted 03-01-2014 01:23 PM

Why not move the deep freezer to the back wall along side the storage? Then that entire wall would be household “stuff”. Curtain the entire area off to protect from dust and forget about it. Use the abandoned freezer space as shop area. Just my opinion.

-- Art, Pittsburgh.

View sikrap's profile


1121 posts in 3504 days

#2 posted 03-01-2014 01:38 PM

I would also move the freezer over to where the cutoff box is and then use the corner where the freezer currently is for a dust collector. That would allow you to build a small closet for the dust collector which will mitigate the noise from it and it would be an easy run up and across the ceiling for ductwork to the TS.

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View JSOvens's profile


78 posts in 1801 days

#3 posted 03-01-2014 07:14 PM

I realize now that my drawing may have been a bit confusing. The white boxes against the back wall are more household items (some boxes and other things), not cutoffs storage. The label refers to the empty area in between, where I plan to build (eventually) cutoff bins. Thus, the entire back wall is already taken. This is after I have reduced things as much as possible, since I used to have a bunch of household boxes against the left wall as well.

Dave’s idea of a DC closet is actually quite nice, but my time and funding at the moment (still finishing school) will probably delay such a plan for quite a while. The other major issue is I don’t know where I will be once I finish my studies, so I am cautiously moving forward with these things at the moment, but I will know in a few months.

-- Jeffrey S. Ovens, Canada

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