125 - Shop Evolution Update

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Blog entry by thewoodwhisperer posted 08-19-2010 11:14 PM 8118 reads 2 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

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In the past, I’ve discussed how shop improvements are never done. As our needs and tool preferences change, the shop has to be able to adjust accordingly. If not, you will likely be faced with an inefficient and potentially unsafe work environment. If you can believe it, its already been over a year since Nicole and I moved into our new house. And for those that don’t know, we are indeed still carrying two mortgages. So the “dream shop” must wait. But until then I will continue to improve this space and make it as comfortable and efficient as possible. This video shows some of the areas I am frustrated with and what I plan to do to improve them.

I also mentioned the Wood Whisperer Guild in the video. If you are interested in joining, you can check out the details here. And don’t forget to visit the new Wood Talk Online Forum!

Here are some links from the past that involve the evolution of my shop:

Article - Evolution of a Workshop
Article - My Humble Beginnings
Video - October 2009 Shop Tour
Video - A Moving Experience
Video - Updated Shop Tour
Video - The King and His Castle

-- For free video tutorials and other cool woodworking stuff, check out

26 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3670 days

#1 posted 08-19-2010 11:19 PM

2 mortgages?!? DAMN. we can’t even get 1… :(

but improvements are always a blessing. hope you can clear out of the 1st mortg. soon so you can go ahead with dream shop.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View schloemoe's profile


709 posts in 2960 days

#2 posted 08-19-2010 11:51 PM

I feel you’re pain dog I started on my shop 3 years ago it’s 20×22 not very big but big enough for me . My problem is I’ll have this stroke of genius and build something thats suppose to solve all my problems and in a week I want to tear it out because it does’nt work. Do you ever have to deal with that?.........................Schloemoe

-- schloemoe, Oregon , http://www.

View rando1's profile


163 posts in 2946 days

#3 posted 08-19-2010 11:52 PM

Hey listen man, we can help “store” some of those annoying items for you. I love your shop. However, I also greatly feel your pain on frustration of room and clutter.
Keep up the good work, you are a real inspiration and encouragement.

-- Randon Riegsecker,

View David's profile


172 posts in 2864 days

#4 posted 08-20-2010 12:22 AM

Marc, to solve your miter saw dilemma think about this, a dedicated miter station, but here’s the kicker, a dual saw setup. Simply put them nearly side by side on a bench with long supports and fence…and put the station in the space of the crappy cabinets that just collect stuff. Both problems solved.

-- “Don’t tell me what can’t be done, tell me what you want done then shut up and get out of my way and let me do it!”

View thewoodwhisperer's profile


604 posts in 4206 days

#5 posted 08-20-2010 12:23 AM

Hmm, not a bad idea. Dueling saws! I like it. :)

-- For free video tutorials and other cool woodworking stuff, check out

View davidroberts's profile


1027 posts in 3508 days

#6 posted 08-20-2010 12:35 AM

It sounds like you have come to some logical conclusions. Dealing with the emotional part is the killer. The space you had before was a dream shop in my opinion and I know you must miss it. You are dealing with only in a “temporary” workspace that on for several more months or even years. Plan for the worst, hope for the best. But you already know this much. I vote for the shed. You can build a 8’x12’ lean-to shed for under $1000 and run electricity (extension cord) out to it. Use recycled lumber and you may can get by for around $500. That’s enough room for your lathe and belt sander and probably another tool or two, or tool cabinet. A corrugated fiberglass or polycarbonate roof will give you extra light. Use 2×6 joists, plywood floor, Hardi panel siding and you’ve got just a weekend project. This will clear the clutter in your shop and your mind, plus you can access those “once a year tools” when you need to. Then draw a scaled diagram of your current workspace and fiddle with the tool placement. I’ve determined there are only so many ways to arrange a space efficiently. The new shop layout with essential tools will fall into place. It’s a permenant fix to a temporary problem. Not that you needed my advice but hey it’s free. Good luck.

-- Better woodworking through old hand tools.

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5621 posts in 3734 days

#7 posted 08-20-2010 12:39 AM

Thanks for the video and the revisit to the previous videos. Hope you get the other place sold soon.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4121 days

#8 posted 08-20-2010 05:02 AM

Well, I might be willing to come down and help build the shop but you will have to organize the existing space on your own.

Good luck, hopefully things break for you soon!

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Delta356's profile


463 posts in 2876 days

#9 posted 08-20-2010 05:11 AM

I feel your pain, The more woodworking machinery I get the more space is wasted because of some dumm big machine, or I get a knew machine and the other collects dust, in my case the scroll saw. Man I just wish my shop was half as big as yours. Good luck, and knowing you, you will get done…. I would fill as much wall space as you can.

Thanks, Michael Frey
Portland OR


View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3695 days

#10 posted 08-20-2010 05:58 AM

Great shop tour.

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1117 posts in 3082 days

#11 posted 08-20-2010 05:59 AM

I was about say the same thing like David Robert said.
Wood storage and unused tools.

View nmkidd's profile


758 posts in 3195 days

#12 posted 08-20-2010 06:41 AM

I vote for the attached leanto/shed… offers numerous solutions… for your least used tools and… for your larger sheet goods and lumber…........want some cabinets that are really good…..cost is similar to big box junk….but are well constructed!!!

try: they offer many types of cabs suitable for about anything you would need…..........
David (aka Patron) showed me these…well worth a look see.

-- Doug, New Mexico.......the only stupid question is one that is never asked!........don't fix it, if it ain't broke!

View DenverDave's profile


41 posts in 2872 days

#13 posted 08-20-2010 07:02 AM

How about a giant carousel to put your machinery on? Okay, dumb idea. :)

View Eric_S's profile


1565 posts in 3217 days

#14 posted 08-20-2010 06:44 PM

Marc, I have the same issue with my giant tool box similar to yours but includes a bottom part too. I’d love to get rid of it, but my father-in-law gave it to me when we bought our house. It was his dad’s, so i’d feel really bad getting rid of it, but at the same time, I hardly get any of the tools from there. Hmmmmmm.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View TheOldTimer's profile


226 posts in 3108 days

#15 posted 08-20-2010 08:11 PM


My shop here in Chandler is about the same size as yours and every year I change things around to make more room. This fall going to do the same thing. Do not woodwork during the summer months as it is just too hot in the shop. Will be watching to see what changes you make for some ideas here. Retired so A/C is not a option due to expense. I do have a thru the wall A/C unit but it is not large enough for this 109 heat.

Good Luck

-- TheOldTimer,Chandler Arizona

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