Season of shop upgrades #1: Shop Improvements

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Blog entry by PJ72 posted 02-16-2014 10:24 AM 5820 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Season of shop upgrades series Part 2: Table Saw Outfeed »

This past year I have occupied my shop time in efforts to organize the shop and spent the time to build several shop tools and accessories. Having a garage shop that is primarily used for parking cars; it has been a constant challenge to optimize the space as a part time woodworking shop. This year I removed everything from the garage to thoroughly clean and re-organize the shop. I painted the walls and added 8 banks of overhead fluorescent lights to brighten up the space.

Free up Space
A 4’x16’ storage shelf in the unused space above the garage door was added to store all the seasonal items to free up prime real-estate for woodworking tools.

Keep it Clean
A dust collection system was added to help keep the shop clean. The system uses a primary 4” hose that is connected to either the table saw or planer on the east side of the shop and a 2” line split off from the main line that feeds 4 blast gates along the west wall for the router table, chop saw, drill press, band saw or whatever tool I choose to set up along that wall for that day.

Add Power
Another upgrade that is also seen in the picture below is the addition of multiple electrical outlets along the west wall. An additional dedicated line was added for the dust collector and a 220v line was added on the east wall.

Added storage for expandable 2” dust hose

Added blast gate and ergonomic handle to table saw to minimize flow losses when I want dust collection in the 2” line that feeds the other tools.

“Dust Collection Review”

Wood Storage
Next I added a sheet goods lumber rack along the east wall. I based this design on one of the wood whisperer designs, and have since added wood storage up the wall above the sheet goods rack.

Get Organized
I am fortunate to have a recess at the rear of the garage that I use as a small tool crib.

I took the time re-organize the space adding a storage rack for my small collection of hand planes, chisels, and clamps; I left space for a couple more planes that I have had my eye on.

I added some additional organization for miscellaneous hardware and battery chargers.

For sandpaper storage, I found that a hanging file folder box helps keep the paper organized in a small space and the hanging files keep the grits separated and marked for efficiency.

Future Upgrades
After getting the shop cleaned, lit up, and better organized I set out to add a few shop accessories that I have had on my to-do list for some time. These included a table saw out feed table, zero clearance inserts, end boring jig, a table saw cross cut sled, a planer sled, and box joint jig, drill press organization, router table insert. I will post additional blogs on the results of these tasks.

Longer Range Goals
Build Better work bench. A good solid work bench is on my list of things I would like to build, but it will need to be mobile to allow me to move it out to the main work area when I set up shop.

Thanks for viewing

-- PJ

3 comments so far

View GrandpaLen's profile


1650 posts in 2322 days

#1 posted 02-16-2014 12:03 PM

Very thoughtful use of space and well organized and that promotes safety and productivity.

Work Safely and have Fun. – Grandpa Len

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View rhybeka's profile


4099 posts in 3171 days

#2 posted 02-22-2014 01:30 PM

awesome PJ! I second Grandpa Len’s response :) If I was being allowed to stay in the garage I’d ask you some more questions about those overhead storage shelves. :) Well done!

-- Beka/Becky - aspiring jill of all trades, still learning to not read the directions.

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1248 posts in 1763 days

#3 posted 02-22-2014 04:28 PM

Impressive shop! To me it says “Come and work and get inspired”

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

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