When I decided to build a Chevalet for marquetry work I honestly didn’t think I would be able to find a place for it in my shop. It already felt quite crowded in there. Whenever I sweep the floor every storage cabinet, and machine tool has to be moved to get the job done. That’s why all of my tools and cabinets are on wheels, even my drill press. I decided to go ahead and build a Chevalet anyway hoping that I could dream up a solution in order to create a place for it.
My shop is 7ft. wide and about 32ft. long and shaped like an ‘L’. The long part of the ‘L’ is about 22ft. long and the short part 10 ft. long. In other words about 224sq. ft. altogether. It is kind of like a wide hallway. It’s not too bad, but it has one big disadvantage, and that is, that it is not possible to have anything in the shop that you can walk around. Every machine tool cabinet or whatever is against a wall.
I’ve rearranged my shop many times during the last 13 years since I built it, usually to accommodate new and larger machine tools, so I’m used to doing that, but this time thinking up a solution wasn’t good enough. I had to draw up a floor plan sketch to scale and I also measured and drew up each tool/cabinet based on the floor space each required. Then I cut them out and placed them on the floor plan sketch to see how they could best be arranged. The priorities for placement where:
1. Operator safety and comfort.
2.The tools could be used to their full capacity (long boards could be processed, etc.).
3. The top of some tools or cabinets could double as out feed tables to the machine next to it.
4. Ample space between everything to allow for unimpeded movement for myself.
5. The dust makers, like my table saw combo machine, router, bandsaw and disk sander could hookup easily to my shop vacuum.
6. A more or less dedicated area for my marquetry work including placement of my marquetry bench, Chevalet and scroll saw (yes, I still love my scroll saw).
Luckily I found a way to accommodate the Chevy and at the same time meet my other goals much better than expected. It was all based on getting rid of a ‘junk’ corner which was about 1/2sq. yard where I had been accumulating metal parts like threaded rods, steel plating, aluminum profiles, etc. I cleaned out that little corner by storing that stuff in the loft and then everything else fell into place. My Chevy is now permanently parked in the short part of the ‘L’ with my marquetry bench and my scroll saw. I only had to move my marquetry bench, my Tormek sharpening center and drill press to new locations to get the job done. Here are the photos. The first shot shows where the marquetry bench was located before moving it to the end wall.
As you can see, the stool for the marquetry bench is also adjacent to my scroll saw and right next to the Chevy. the other shot shows the drill press in a better location where longer boards can now be drilled. In that same photo you can also see the new location under the window for my Sharpening station which is now located next to my bench grinder. Unseen to the left of the sharpening station is my hand power tool storage cart.
This solution actually resulted in a lot more improvements than I could have wished for. I hope those of you who have shop space problems of your own might find some inspiration here for improving your own situation. Thanks for looking in!
-- Mike, an American living in Norway.