Much Needed Shop Updates

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Blog entry by knotscott posted 09-24-2012 07:29 PM 7518 reads 2 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

It’s been about 2 years since I built any furniture or did anything I’d consider real wwing…the house (front windows, kitchen\den\hall paint\wallpaper and hardwood floor update) and landscaping projects took 2 full summers, and during that time I used and neglected my shop pretty badly….to the point where it was just unpleasant to use whenever I needed to. Earlier in the summer I at least got a chance to rearrange some of the “furniture” ;-), and came up with a new layout. Over the past week or so, I’ve gotten around to few smaller items to help make the shop work better for me.

In 2008 I bought a Shop Fox cabinet saw that I “temporarily” placed on a mobile base that wasn’t rated for that much weight….a couple of weeks ago I finally got around to re-positioning the saw on a Rockler base rated at 600# that I supplied the hard maple struts for. I also resurfaced my workbench/outfeed table with some 1/8” tempered hardboard….I miss the maple color, but the hardboard makes the bench level with the TS, plus it covers the holes of my “downdraft workbench”....God I knows why I thought it would be a good idea to drill several dozen holes in my maple workbench surface! The smooth hardboard is much nicer to work on.

Last week I slapped together a flip top cart out of some old waterbed pine scraps so I could put the planer and sander on one set of wheels, and save some much needed space. It ain’t pretty, but it’s works, and suited my time constraints.

Next step was to rebuilt my router table cabinet to fit the new space better. I found an old vanity along the curb, and basically just modified to make it suit my needs. It not quite as slick as a custom cabinet made from the ground up, but it works fine. It’s basically a free standing unit that rolls out separately from the saw and router table top. I have bottom side dust collection that’s directly hooked to the router, and topside DC in the fence, so the cabinet isn’t part of the DC equation.

It may not seem like a big deal, but after two years of having the shop in total state of chaos, I’m psyched and ready to roll!

The layout:

The Shop:

The new workbench/outfeed surface:

The router cabinet:

The fliptop cart:

I also updated My Workshop pics in my profile if anyone wants to see more pics….

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

13 comments so far

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2249 days

#1 posted 09-24-2012 08:15 PM

I also cover my outfeed table/assembly table with hardboard. I am a sloppy gluer/finisher and make a mess of it. How did you attach it to the maple? I used a few 18 awg brads so I can rip it up and replace it periodically (which I have done twice).

I have been trying to reorganize my shop since May, but life keeps getting in the way. There are a lot of great ideas here. That central “hub” is nice for a lot of reasons (power and DC!). Also I love the router table idea. I think I am going to take mine out of the table saw and do something similar if I can work it around the LS -TS system


View NedB's profile


659 posts in 3566 days

#2 posted 09-24-2012 09:49 PM

Looks like a nice cozy shop from here! I’ve got a 12×20’ space, so I’m very familiar with the small shop shuffle.

-- Ned - 2B1ASK1

View knotscott's profile


8018 posts in 3376 days

#3 posted 09-24-2012 10:06 PM

The hard board is attached mostly with some spray glue, but there are a couple of screws new the RT. Having an unfunctional shop is got to be a little bit like owning a cool car that’s not running…frustrating….since I don’t own a cool car, I can only guess though! All I know is that it’s nice to have it back.

My shop space is about 11×21, but fortunately there is some operating space in the other half of the garage….if that was a wall behind the TS, I’d be in trouble!

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View ShaneA's profile


6929 posts in 2599 days

#4 posted 09-24-2012 10:47 PM

Shop progress always feels good. I let my space get too dirty too often, and it can make it more difficult to get things started or to work effeciently. So when the shop is clean, organized and ready to go…its a beautiful thing. Hope there is some quality shop time and projects in the near future for you.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3673 days

#5 posted 09-25-2012 12:05 AM

Nice shop!

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2971 days

#6 posted 09-25-2012 12:27 AM

That repurposed vanity-to-router table is a heck of a good idea.
I had designed a router table and was planning to build it soon, but the vanity table is almost exactly the same size as what I was going to build; and I happen to have one in storage somewhere. Now if I can just find it.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2691 days

#7 posted 09-25-2012 01:50 AM

That is a very clean and functional set up. It looks bigger than it is so ya done good organizing it. I’m heavily into clean and organized as it make for a fun place to play with all your toys. And you have a lot of nice toys in that small space!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Gshepherd's profile


1727 posts in 2202 days

#8 posted 09-25-2012 12:49 PM

Nice looking cozy shop…... Utilizing space very well…... I like your flip cart for your planer and sander.

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

View knotscott's profile


8018 posts in 3376 days

#9 posted 09-25-2012 05:53 PM

Today’s addition was a shop made router sled. I picked up the handles and the hold downs quite a while ago, and I had some 1/4” plexi from somewhere, so I had all the parts on hand. Those cross-members are some pieces of phenolic I had on hand, but in hindsight it was a poor choice of materials, and will likely need to be replaced….I’m afraid it’ll wreak havoc on my router bits. I’ll go with something softer like wood.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2805 days

#10 posted 09-26-2012 12:39 PM

Lookin good on the setup.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View mafe's profile


11725 posts in 3090 days

#11 posted 10-07-2012 07:25 PM

Wonderful update, and what a nice shop.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View RibsBrisket4me's profile


1554 posts in 2506 days

#12 posted 10-07-2012 08:19 PM

Scott. It’s always good to get the shop in order. You have a lot of stuff so that always makes things even tougher when the shop is in disaray because it’s just not fun to work like that.

Great job getting back in the game and thanks for sharing the pics!!

View Cameron Robertson's profile

Cameron Robertson

29 posts in 1763 days

#13 posted 07-29-2013 09:24 AM

Well, it is definitely quite a big deal indeed having managed to put together little bits and pieces here and there and achieved a very workable and practical multi storage cabinet piece. It must have been a great accomplishment for you after such a long time not having the opportunity to unlease your woodwork skills and being able to produce such a workable masterpiece.

-- Cameron Robertson, Manager of storage Dee Why -

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