Workshop Upgrades #1: Organizing the shop

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Blog entry by jcwalleye posted 10-25-2010 03:47 AM 12120 reads 2 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Workshop Upgrades series Part 2: Ridgid 4511 table saw fence upgrade »

Shop Upgrades

It’s been a month and a half since moving into the new shop and I’ve had a little time to complete a few upgrades. First is a mitre saw station. There’s 6’ on the left and unlimited room on the right if you want to go out the door. It’s made from three cabinets with four drawers in each cabinet all made with ¾” shop grade maple plywood. It’s trimmed with hard maple and the drawer fronts are poplar. Some of the plywood in the carcass had nice birdseye so it’s finished with two coats of Watco natural stain and several coats of poly. The rest is painted with leftover paint.

The drawers have full extension slides that I got on closeout for about $4/pair. The downside to that good deal is that no pairs were the same as any other. At lease it seemed that way. A couple smaller projects down the road are to add a fence with stops. And a shroud to control the dust and a small chute to direct it to a box below.

The next project was a couple of boxes to fill a space created by the door to the new shop. The main use for this cabinet is to set plans and other stuff on. It also makes for good storage for batteries and chargers. A power strip helps keep the jumble of cords out of sight any way. I’ll have to watch and see if it gets too warm. So far so good. There’s a little bit of walnut, maple, and poplar, mostly so I could experiment with different stains and finishes.

The last project came about from a need for a place to keep saw blades. Putting them back into their original packaging after changing them just wasn’t happening. I needed somewhere that would be easy and secure. Came across a plan in “The Complete Small Shop” magazine that filled the bill and then some. It’s made from 2 X douglas fir strips lap jointed, covered with ¼” pegboard. There’s a lot more storage on it than I was expecting, but that will get used. I made the mistake of not jointing adjacent faces of the 2X and wrestled with it the whole way through. The plan called for 1 ½” x 1 ½” pieces and I wouldn’t end up with that if I had jointed the face. In hindsight, I should have wrestled with the plan instead. All in all a fun project though.

-- Trees, a wonderful gift --Joe--

8 comments so far

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3172 days

#1 posted 10-25-2010 03:49 AM


I’ve just added you to the list of people whose shop jigs and shop furniture look better than the HOME furniture that I build ;-)

Great stuff. Elegant, functional, and clean-looking !

-- -- Neil

View Abbott's profile


2570 posts in 3302 days

#2 posted 10-25-2010 03:50 AM

Oh wow, good stuff!

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 3105 days

#3 posted 10-25-2010 04:05 AM

As soon as you finish yours, you can come down here. lol Those cabinets look better than my kitchen cabinets.
Great job. Looking forward to the completed shop with all the toys in place. Rand

View jcwalleye's profile


306 posts in 3071 days

#4 posted 10-25-2010 04:06 AM

Not really Neil, but thanks anyway. I just take pictures from angles and leave drawers open so my screwups don’t stand out so much.

-- Trees, a wonderful gift --Joe--

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3772 days

#5 posted 10-25-2010 10:44 AM

Your shop is looking great. I love to see a neat, clean and orgainzed shop. Very nicely done. Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 3063 days

#6 posted 10-25-2010 10:56 AM

Nice job. I really like the mitersaw table.

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View helluvawreck's profile


31082 posts in 2865 days

#7 posted 10-25-2010 11:16 AM

Those shop cabinets and fixtures are great. You have done much to organize your shop and it will pay off in many dividends of time saved. Congratulations!.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3332 days

#8 posted 10-25-2010 05:35 PM

Your cabinets and set up look real good. It is amazing how much work we have to do to get our miter saws into a useful and convenient configuration. I like to use an auxiliary fence on mine for zero clearance cuts. Those cuts are usually on shorter pieces, but I’ve been trying to figure out ways to raise and lower the MS table so that the cabinets on either side will still support long pieces while using the auxiliary fence.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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