Here is a short history tour of the evolution of my workshop. Its still by no means complete and if others are correct it will always be an evolving project. I started out using a small portion of a steel barn which was mainly used as a storage building to be both auto-shop, farm workshop, and woodshop. As you can see it was/is a clutter magnet.
Over the past several years I’ve purchased several work benches and cabinets from Sears and Home Depot. This was for both storage and enable me to create dedicated workspaces for each type of work: Automotive, Plumbing & Electrical, Irrigation & Farm Tools, and Woodworking & Carpentry.
I’ve had to do this remodel in phases for several reasons: 1) I still needed to be able to do real projects while I was remodeling, 2) I don’t have a big budget so many things have to wait, and 3) I’m still in process of learning what I need my shop to be.
As part of phase one of the remodel, I’d been adding electric outlets, lighting, insulating the barn—It gets really cold in the winter here—and putting up chipboard to hang cabinets. I cam across the Husky TrackLoc system which has made hang storage faster.
Had I the time I might have build my own track walls. I had started out building French Cleats (see above cabinets) to hold part storage bins, but that was becoming too time consuming and a distraction from getting projects around the house done. While the electrical, insulation, chipboard walls, and track walls part of the remodel are incomplete—have a lot of stuff to move around to reach walls—I still have some level of functionality (propane barn heaters are good things :-)
The next major addition to the remodel was to build a traditional workbench (not shown). It was made out of 4”x4”, 2”x6” and MDF. The table looks like a tradition old timey workbench with slide, end vices, and bench dog holes. Soon discovered it wasn’t as useful for the projects I was doing so I build an 4’x8’ assembly table (pictured above) out of 3/4” ply, MDF, 4”x4”, and T-track from Rockler. This has turned out to be my main work area over the years. The T-Track hold jigs, fixtures, and tooling such as my Kreg Pocket Hole jig which I make heavy use of.
The next upgrade has been to build up my Craftsman Contractor Saw. This project has been continuing over the past several years; adding a sliding table, new fence (52”), overhead dust collection guard, new miter, Microjig splitter system, a cabinet (inspired by Laney Shaughnessy’s design) and a supersized out-feed table (with more storage)
The latest projects the past year—some still in progress—have been to:
1) Get my clamp collection —you can never have too many clamps?—under control.
2) Add overhead electrical and compressed air (bought a Husky 33 Gal Compressor and two RapidAire tubing kits)
3) More storage for my Ryobi One+ tools. Purchased a bunch of Rigid interlocking tool boxes. These make grabbing tools for projects outside the shop quick and easy. Though I’m going to have to rethink storing them in a cabinet—possibly shelves on trackwall.
4) Build Router Table (In progress, see Router Table project)
5) Upgrade Dust Collection System and get a starter? Band Saw (no Pictures yet) These will be listed as separate projects.
The DC under construction is going to be a modified version of a Harbor Freight 2HP with a Super Dust Deputy Cyclone and a Wynn Nano Filter. Not the typical Wynn HF Conversion, Dick Wynn and I cooked up another configuration that I’ll be testing out and reporting back to him on how it works.
The Band Saw is a Craftsman 14” I got on sale plus a discount coupon. Couldn’t pass up a deal like that—turned out cheaper than buying a 10” Rikon—after driving myself crazy about whether I needed one or could make do with my jig saw or if I should shell out ~$1k for a Laguna 14/12, Jet 14” Deluxe Pro, or Grizzly 14” Anniversary.
Well that’s my workshop remodeling project and shop tour so far. Thanks for reading
-- bkseitz, Washington "if everything is going well, you've obviously overlooked something"