My $200 wood shop

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Pete_Jud posted 03-24-2008 06:29 AM 5653 reads 0 times favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have debated posting this for a while, but the response from “My $2.00 router table” sent me to typing. Maybe I can inspire some other woodworkers to get off their buts and start butchering wood.

Last summer I needed a wood shop in a hurry, I went to the local pole building builders and found that they where over booked, and that the permits were taking 6-10 months, and the permit cost alone was going to be over $3400.00.

So call me a cheap SOB again, and necessity is the mother of invention, I found a 40 ft. fifth wheel travel trailer with a slide out for $200.00. The interior was in rough shape, as someone had lived in it for a few years, But Hey; I was planning to gut it anyway. So I moved it onto my property (as it’s on wheels and is a travel trailer, no permits required). Gutted it for the most part, and started to build my shop. In gutting It, I was able to sell the water tank, propane heater, 12V converter, ect. On Craig’s list for more that I spent on the trailer. I live in the country with the nearest niebor a 3rd of a mile away, so looks don’t mater that much. Now it did cost me around $250.00 to run 100 amp 240V power to the trailer, and I have added a wood stove (the wood stove was free, but the smoke stack set me back around $350), as well as lighting (some used, some new).

It’s been a fun project, and is working very well for me. I can mill 8ft material and sheet goods with very little movement of equipment. The shop is always full of sawdust, as it gets used 8-12 hrs a day; I even built a rack tonight to hold all the different grades of sanding belts, and mounted it above the miter saw.

Enjoy the pics.
Shop looking back from the wood stove.
My $5.00 lathe, but it took me 6 months to find the $2.00 motor.
$25.00 Craigs list jointer
Sanding area.
Xcut area
Rear to front
Router station
Central heat, and wood storage.


-- Life is to short to own an ugly boat.

27 comments so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4074 days

#1 posted 03-24-2008 06:45 AM

That’s a very interesting way to go about it. Great in fact!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 3885 days

#2 posted 03-24-2008 11:32 AM

Great wood shop.. and a great use of an old trailer. I will refrain from my trailer park jokes.

-- making sawdust....

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4246 days

#3 posted 03-24-2008 12:03 PM

well isn’t that brilliant!!
A great space you have.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3908 days

#4 posted 03-24-2008 12:45 PM

Hi Pete,

That is a wonderful way to create a wood shop without spending big bucks for the space and tools.

Great job.

Thanks for sharing.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4048 days

#5 posted 03-24-2008 01:13 PM

That’s a dandy and the price is right.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Josh's profile


119 posts in 4024 days

#6 posted 03-24-2008 01:47 PM

that is pretty cool.

View Grant Davis's profile

Grant Davis

772 posts in 3994 days

#7 posted 03-24-2008 02:09 PM

Form and function, what more do you need?

-- Grant...."GO BUCKEYES"

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3830 days

#8 posted 03-24-2008 02:15 PM

Necessity is the mother of invention. You know of course, Jeff Foxworthy would have a field day with this.
“You might be a redneck…....”

View Pretzel's profile


93 posts in 3831 days

#9 posted 03-24-2008 03:57 PM

Actually this is a great idea!! I spend alot of time on mission trips, will have to explore this more.

-- Pretzel L8agn

View HallTree's profile


5664 posts in 3853 days

#10 posted 03-24-2008 06:03 PM

I love this story. A great shop with little start-up cost. I notice that the ceiling is sagging, I hope it don’t leak.

-- "Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life" Solomon

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 3971 days

#11 posted 03-24-2008 06:04 PM

Great post and idea!!! I just wish you had posted this a year ago… we could put the truck and the van in our garage. ;-)

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View DocK16's profile


1184 posts in 4173 days

#12 posted 03-24-2008 06:21 PM

Necessity is the mother of invention.
I’m curious, what kind of permit cost $3400

-- Common sense is so rare anymore when you do see it, it looks like pure genius.

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4400 days

#13 posted 03-24-2008 06:42 PM

...and when you really start makin some money you can up grade to an Airstream! I’ve got a freind who has his shop in a 8X16 cargo trailer that he takes to job sites.

View Karson's profile


35128 posts in 4486 days

#14 posted 03-24-2008 06:54 PM

Great shop. and a cool way to get it going.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Pete_Jud's profile


424 posts in 3839 days

#15 posted 03-24-2008 07:14 PM

I had to paint the top of the roof with 2 gallons of silver seal to stop the leaks, will redo the inside of the roof as time allows.

And thanks for none of the Jeff Foxworthy jokes.

-- Life is to short to own an ugly boat.

showing 1 through 15 of 27 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics