Workshop rating system

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Forum topic by MostlyHarmless posted 07-03-2010 02:19 AM 1613 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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21 posts in 2922 days

07-03-2010 02:19 AM

It’d be great if we could vote / rate workshops so those with great setups could get more recognition and be easier to find for guys like me looking for workshop inspiration.

I just spent several hours browsing workshops and many don’t have pictures, or only a couple photos of tools and not the workshop itself. It’s kind of frustrating because I’m trying to plan my workshop and wanted to see what type of shop real experts use or would desire having.

Additionally, it could inspire other Lumber Jocks to improve and compete for ranking which could lead to some real innovation.

-- If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.

15 replies so far

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3103 days

#1 posted 07-03-2010 03:43 AM

Your idea is a good one, but I don’t know how it could be executed. Perhaps a designation could be added to the workshop data with a code to indicate if there are a comprehensive set of pictures and another code to indicate shop size. An actual ranking would be very subjective and problematic.

I invite you to check my workshop where I have 6 photos and, IMO, I have a good layout in about 400 square feet.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 2954 days

#2 posted 07-03-2010 05:07 AM

I have recently posted a few photos of mine as I was starting spring cleaning, will have more up with the new configuration and DC system once it is installed in the next week or so.

Mine is built in half of the loft of our old (1944) barn, so it comes with challenges.

Also a photo of the “elevator” I built to bring material up to the shop.

Would appreciate comments on it. Thanks.

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View MostlyHarmless's profile


21 posts in 2922 days

#3 posted 07-03-2010 01:09 PM

@richgreer – You’ve got a great workshop, close to the size I have to deal with and appreciate seeing your layout. I’m not sure how a ranking system would be best implemented, but I was thinking that the code for the contests here would likely be easily adapted to this purpose. I’d very much expect rankings to be subjective, but I don’t see much in the way of problematic.

@jusfine – I actually saw your workshop in the few hours I spent looking and well, I’m more than envious of the amount of room you have to work in. If I could simply take your keys and make it mine, I would certainly recommend you stay out of any dark alleyways!

-- If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 4156 days

#4 posted 07-03-2010 02:23 PM

Criteria – yours, mine theirs, ours, committee, jury, etc.
How do you judge diversity?

-- 温故知新

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3103 days

#5 posted 07-03-2010 02:33 PM

Thank you for the compliment. Let me babble a little bit more about what I think is important in a workshop.

You will see a relative large work surface/shelf behind my workbench. I think that is essential. It allows you to keep your workbench uncluttered. What you cannot see is that under that surface I built “pigeon holes” for all of my hand held power tools. That keeps them very convenient. Also, the underside of my workbench has a lot of storage. I see many workbenchs that don’t take full advantage of the space below for storage.

Finally, I will tell you that I have a 3’ x 4’ closet in a corner. I mention it because it does not show up in the pictures. That’s great for storing supplies and other things that I want to keep out of the dust.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3802 days

#6 posted 07-03-2010 04:25 PM

If you like looking at shops, go to If you care to look at my workshop it might give you some inspiration. I am mostly a cabinet/furniture builder. Enjoy!

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 2954 days

#7 posted 07-03-2010 05:42 PM

Tom, it was good to see a reference to Badger Pond again, for a lot of us it was the place to discuss woodworking for a long time.

My shop was on the Badger Pond original list, but in my switching providers, it likely wasn’t updated, and then dropped.

Thanks Harmless! Keys are in the white cabinet outside the walnut double doors… :)

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 3093 days

#8 posted 07-04-2010 03:06 PM

My shop has doubled in size, since I convinced my wife to use the otherside of the garage when it is not bad weather. I also made my equipment portable so when she needs the garage. Especially if she needs to move it herself if im in the hospital or something. i need to post new pics of it but haven’t yet. I probably will when I get my new BS. That makes it about 550 SF of space.

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

View 8iowa's profile


1580 posts in 3789 days

#9 posted 07-05-2010 10:00 PM

I think that it is incredible that my “Workshop in the Woods” has had 2352 “reads”;

A workshop is always in some type of transition. Since I’m 110 yards from the house, I’m now adding a small “half” bath, a 5’x5’ room that will have a toilet and a small laundry tub. I’ve also added some new tools and accessories and shelves to the point where I need to update my blog.

The old saying ” you can’t build it large enough” is not really true, unless you have future plans to add additional workers. In many ways, the “work triangle” concept for kitchens also makes sense for workshops, and helps to limit the number of steps that you have to take from one station to the next.

The eventual size of course is often dictated by the budget, local codes, and available land, causing compromises and a reality check on desires.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View Sailor's profile


543 posts in 3293 days

#10 posted 07-06-2010 05:42 PM

I like the idea. I think it would be great to have a workshop ranking system. I too have looked and looked at workshops for inspiration and had the same problem. Also, I think it would be nice to be able to search by location also to find LJ’s near you. You can go through the maps but that can take a while and you have to do it everytime you wanted to see if someone near yourself has signed up.

-- Dothan, Alabama Check out my woodworking blog! Also my Youtube Channel's Facebook page

View wrenchhead's profile


183 posts in 3192 days

#11 posted 07-06-2010 06:03 PM

I have noticed that the maps are not that accurate. I know of a coupple people who have shops listed on this site, but they don’t show up on a map.
I think rate my shop would be cool. I think that you shouold submit your shop to be rated. I don’t want to rate a shop that the owner does not want rated. This may make people not want to post their pics and I have seen great ideas in the worst looking shops.

-- I could quit if I wanted

View uffitze's profile


199 posts in 2983 days

#12 posted 07-06-2010 06:27 PM

While it might be fun to ogle other folks’ shops, unless you are building from the ground up, it is probably not terribly practical due to space and budget limitations. If you do happen to have a good sized empty space to fill up with tools, grizzly has a nice little web app that lets you lay out tools to see their footprint. (Just remember to account for workpiece movement … ie. clearances in front of and behind your TS, planer, jointer.) On the other hand if you don’t have a big space and/or your space is being shared by something like a vehicle, you’ll have to go the mobile base route and shoe horn your shop into your existing space.

And, to further complicate the situation, what you build has a huge impact on your shop space (and vice versa). For instance, I’ve seen perfectly functional shops that were little more than a 2’x4’ bench and a stool in a corner of a basement (violin maker), and of course, I’ve seen much bigger shops that can accomodate several guys working at once.

So, I guess what I’m saying is … different strokes for different folks … you might get some good ideas from looking at how other guys work, but when it comes down to it, the functionality of your shop will depend mostly on you and your creativity in filling it and using it.

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 2954 days

#13 posted 07-06-2010 07:33 PM

Every shop will be different (as was said), but I always see something that interests me in each one.

Varied use of space, jigs, storage ideas, we can all benefit.

I will put my shop out there for as much scrutiny, criticism or suggestions for improvement as you like.

I have big teflon-coated shoulders…

Will have my webpages restored with more photos on my site by the weekend of the 10th.

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View 8iowa's profile


1580 posts in 3789 days

#14 posted 07-07-2010 06:51 PM

In a way my “Workshop in the Woods” has been rated. I put a blog on HGTV’s “rate my space” under the garage category;

While there is no such thing as the perfect workshop for everyone, I appreciate everyone who posts pictures and descriptions of their workshops. this gives us a lot of great ideas and information on lighting, heat, tool storage, shelving, and wood storage – the basics that almost all shops must have.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View dbhost's profile


5726 posts in 3260 days

#15 posted 07-07-2010 07:17 PM

I love the shop pics and descriptions, the ones that leave those out drive me nuts. Or worse, post up pics of their projects where a workshop should go. I go to the projects pages for ideas about projects, and I go to the workshop pages to see workshops and get ideas from each. It would make it easier if folks put things in the right place…

I agree that a user rating system would be great!

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

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