Garage Workshop Transformation #2: The Ultimate Tool Stand

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Blog entry by John Steffen posted 07-19-2010 04:15 PM 11133 reads 8 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: A Loooong Way To Go Part 2 of Garage Workshop Transformation series no next part

As evidenced in my first post in this series, I have a severe lack of organization in my garage/shop. Two weekends ago I threw up some shelves with my ‘chop saw’ (that’s for you Don) so we could get my soon-to-be wife’s side of the garage organized. That was a quick and easy project, and we (mostly she) got that part of the garage in tiptop shape. Well last weekend she wanted me to start cleaning my side (two thirds) of the garage. We’re getting married in September in our back yard and we need the garage space for food and some of the guests in the after party.

Luckily all of my tools are already mobile, but my mobile bases are thrown together and take up a lot of space for their lack of utility. For example, the miter saw stand I made last year shortly after getting the saw. It’s basically a gigantic sawhorse that I made a box I could mount my saw to, and a moveable support. It’s footprint is 8’ by 30” so it takes up way too much space.

Ye Olde Mitersawhorse

So, with all of my overtime I’ve been working lately, I got the go-ahead to build my own Ultimate Tool Stand! Now, I have to give credit to this page for inspiration. I used the basic design, but modified the dimensions to better fit my needs. I wanted to make mine the full 8’ lenth of my MDF sheets… Partially because I didn’t want to manhandle and cut that stuff any more than needed, but mostly because I wanted more storage space.

Here’s the carcass after the first two days of work:




I decided to see what spraypaint would look like on the thing… I’ve never painted (or even worked with MDF before) so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Even using ‘primer’ spraypaint didn’t work so well.



I gave up on the spray paint idea and go a gallon of primer and a gallon of flat white exterior house paint. After a week of painting an hour at a time in the evenings (between getting home from work and going to bed) I finally had it looking pretty good. This weekend, I built the tops which are made of mdf and plywood. I put two coats of poly on the plywood with sanding in between. I put the mdf together with glue and screws, painted, and let them dry. I mounted the whole 2’ x 4’ plywood sheet to the MDF boxes with screws. I then ran the whole box through my tablesaw to get the channels perfectly straight. There was probably a better way to do that, but I couldn’t think of it.




I wouldn’t call it done, but it’s at a good spot where I can start using it for it’s intended purposes of being an organizational tool center, and a work bench. I still have to make the center table piece which will be a downdraft table on one side and another set of clamp slots on the other. I will also be building drawers for the small slots in the top and a couple for the section in the middle.

Now to clean the garage… =(

-- Big John's Woodshed - Farmington, IL

7 comments so far

View sedcokid's profile


2735 posts in 3838 days

#1 posted 07-19-2010 04:55 PM

Great job well DONE!!

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View IrishWoodworker's profile


159 posts in 4318 days

#2 posted 07-19-2010 05:37 PM

great work friend. Does it double as a planer in-feed and out-feed as well?

-- Dont just dream it, get up and live it!

View John Steffen's profile

John Steffen

218 posts in 3295 days

#3 posted 07-19-2010 05:43 PM

newplane: It does… Rather, it will. My one mistake in the whole project came early when I was making the box. I glued one of the dividers on the wrong side of a line making the center section 3/4” narrower than I intended. When the glue had set, and I realized what I had done I cussed for a good 45 minutes.

I decided to keep the top opening the same size as the middle box, despite being the wrong size for the planer. I will have to route out about 5/16” -3/8” from the inside of each of the tops to get the planer flaps to sit properly.

-- Big John's Woodshed - Farmington, IL

View stefang's profile (online now)


16219 posts in 3574 days

#4 posted 07-19-2010 06:40 PM

Looks great. I’m sure your excited about getting your shop up and running. Have fun!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View schloemoe's profile


709 posts in 3178 days

#5 posted 07-19-2010 06:48 PM

you know what I always say . If I’m not making mistakes then I must not be doing anything. It seems to have turned out great dispite a few setbacks.Good job….............................Schloemoe

-- schloemoe, Oregon , http://www.

View JimNEB's profile


239 posts in 3308 days

#6 posted 07-19-2010 08:42 PM

Very nice, after checking out the site you mentioned I see that this is a very versatile addition to a shop. I will add this to my favorites! Thanks…

-- Jim, Nebraska

View Gater's profile


29 posts in 3101 days

#7 posted 08-26-2010 03:32 AM

Sweet job John. Early on I was told a good carpenter isn’t one of perfection. We’re all human. A good carpenter knows how to fix the mistakes that do happen. I went 8 yrs. w/ two main boxes before settling on the one I’ve now had for 15 years. ( plywood & formica ) I listened to the other guys that traveled around talk about wishing I had this…....good point….....had that….....yea….....done this…......I see….. . I gathered tools during this time and finally took, what I thought were the best ideas and incorporated them into reality. You know…..let them practice trial and error. A sense of organization is a good thing to have and your well on your way. Good luck w/ the many tasks you’ll, no doubt, complete.

Stephen (Gator) Denham Springs LA.

-- Gator, Louisiana

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