How to setup a woodshop

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Blog entry by randyb posted 01-06-2010 01:26 AM 3332 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The book reads “how to setup a woodshop” I have to laugh when I read this. I have been working on my shop for at least 7 years and its still not done! As I look back over the years I have said I finally have a woodshop at least 10 times, I said it yesterday. As I walked out and look inside I realized that it has always been a wood shop, its just better now. I think sometimes I get caught up in the hype and over think things. My new year resolution is to spend more time enjoying what I have and not planning my next tool, “unless I happen to run across a sweet deal on a big planer” .

-- I was going for that distressed look

12 comments so far

View 559dustdesigns's profile


633 posts in 3163 days

#1 posted 01-06-2010 01:37 AM

I like this idea and see how much it will help me. Thanks for this post

-- Aaron - central California "If you haven't got the time to do it right, when will you find the time to do it over?"

View blyther's profile


66 posts in 3105 days

#2 posted 01-06-2010 01:57 AM

I’m a newbee woodworker and it seems all I do is look for tools or info on how to make a better shop or jig.
It dawned on me after reading you post, I got into this because I want to make things nice for friends, family and me! enough with the jigs (I may never use) and on with making stuff.
Thanks for your timely entry!

-- Paul, Winterset Iowa,

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3304 days

#3 posted 01-06-2010 02:37 AM

I started building my workshop about 2 years ago. My workshop is always a “work in Progress” and somehow I always find some way that I think I can improve it or reorganize it. Just this weekend I decided that I needed a storage cabinet to the right of my table saw so I could store all table saw related stuff and also extend the table top of my saw. I guess I have as much fun trying to improve my shop as I do building stuff in it. and besides I feel that I get more done with a better organized shop.

View randyb's profile


119 posts in 3323 days

#4 posted 01-06-2010 02:52 AM

I found this really cool gov card file cabinet to use for my hardware cabinet. inside it had 12 or more long trays that i removed to fit my containers. These big long bin sat in my way for two years, along with all of the odd crap that I needed to store.I spent about three days building a cabinet to hold this stuff. there was a rough drawing to go from and aside from that it was a free for all. I had a blast building that cabinet, my favorite project so far. everyone who sees it does a double take. first thought is thats hugh and then wow thats huge and very roomy. I look at it everytime I go in my shop, It brings back good memories.

-- I was going for that distressed look

View pete57's profile


134 posts in 3406 days

#5 posted 01-06-2010 03:35 AM

I have had 4 shops. I have lost more machines than some people will ever own, but I had to get through all that to get to where I am going. I started last year on a quest to build a 24X40 barn style shop with a 16’overhang for a place to plane lumber and wood storage. It is going to have 2 full bathrooms, a kitchen, a seating area and the upstairs is going to serve as a guess house with lots of insulation, painted walls and trim, central heating and AC.(in most of the shop)

I to have been down the Norm Abram wantabe dream shop full of tools like he has and I have had that, but the one thing I know is that in all these years I aquired lots of junk trying to make things better and faster so along with randyb I am going to be thankfull for what I have. I have mallets and chisels, planes, scorps, adze, spoke shaves, travisers, compasses, and turning tools that I use more than any of my other tools and machines. I am 52 now and I enjoy my time by myself in my garage in the quiet with the sun coming in the windows. I have everything I need to build period furniture and windsor chairs. It might be age or it might be that I don’t have to right all the time and have come to the conclusion that working with my hands and with nice wood actually does make me a better person. I have to admit that I am very happy these days and this new shop is a we thing here and my wife wants it as much as I do. Its going to cost a little bit of change, but I have the rest of my days to enjoy it. Photobucket

-- Humble Wood Servant

View wallkicker's profile


107 posts in 3149 days

#6 posted 01-06-2010 03:42 AM

Researching tools is a tricky thing . You can do a ton of research , make a reasonably intelligent decision and find out something else 1/5 of the price would have done just fine . You can also spend as much time researching (especially in these internet days ) as you will running the tool for a lifetime . The other side of the coin is buy something quick and end up buying better with a lot of frustration . I say make sawdust or chips , whatever your thing is . The rest will work itself out . Personally I like chips over dust is the only concrete thing I know !

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3572 days

#7 posted 01-06-2010 03:42 AM

Blasphemy The more tools the better LOL hey your right enjoy what you have.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View TurnTurnTurn's profile


613 posts in 3104 days

#8 posted 01-06-2010 03:46 AM

I began my basement workshop about 10 years ago, at which time I thought I was allowing myself plenty of floor space. So I sectioned off and finished the basement to include workshop space and rec room space. Now, 10 years later I am so short of workshop space that I have put most of my stationary tools mobile bases. So…..there are many tools that you have to have, plan room for growth. Remember, he who dies with the most tools wins!!!

-- TurnTurnTurn

View randyb's profile


119 posts in 3323 days

#9 posted 01-06-2010 03:58 AM

Man Pete you are an artist!!! those chairs are wonderful! I hope I can build stuff like that one day. awsome work.

-- I was going for that distressed look

View randyb's profile


119 posts in 3323 days

#10 posted 01-06-2010 04:05 AM

A1jim you have to work with me here, i am a recovering toolaholic I am trying to focus on what i have now and be happy with that. haha. Also, I don’t think you can ever have a big enough shop, eventually you could fill an aircraft hangar. I think amost all of my tools are on mobil bases, if they weren’t I could never use them. Plus thats how I got most of my tools from people who have died trying to get the most tools, thats what the classifieds are for.

-- I was going for that distressed look

View nordichomey's profile


100 posts in 3097 days

#11 posted 01-06-2010 04:30 AM

My wood shop started with a hand me down hammer and sawzall. Funny thing… in those days I had a huge shop with nothing to put in it. Today I have a small shop and I have to manage the space. However, my theory is that every new project requires a new tool… my wife knows better but she plays along anyways! So I am always improving the utilization of space so it never ends…. that is the fun part.

Pete that is a nice chair!

-- nordichomey

View randyb's profile


119 posts in 3323 days

#12 posted 01-06-2010 04:33 AM

nordichomey that goes witout saying there has to some sort of tangible payment for the hard work. I have to say a man can do amazing things with a hammer and a sawzall.

-- I was going for that distressed look

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