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Forum topic by SalvageCraft posted 09-15-2011 04:27 PM 2714 views 1 time favorited 30 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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SalvageCraft

274 posts in 1281 days


09-15-2011 04:27 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tip trick resource jig

Hey Folks,

I have a small shop and am constantly in search of ways to maximize space and workflow efficiency. I know I’m not the only one in this boat, and so I’d like to get a conversation going to share ideas on how to maximize these little spaces.

Here’s my workshop, and descriptions of some of the ideas I’ve come up with:
http://lumberjocks.com/SalvageCraft/workshop

One thought I’ve had is to make portable shelves for things like router bits, planes, saw blades etc. The shelves would actually be hinged at the center and close up into cases so that I can simply take them off of the wall, close them up and bring them to a jobsite. Alternatively, I could store the cases all together on a rack, and just bring out the ones I need and hang them above the bench within arms reach ony when they are needed.

Another piece might build is a mobile base for my mitersaw and benchtop jointer. Right now these just get picked up off the floor when needed, though I don’t find myself needing them too often. I mainly use the mitersaw for trim jobs outside the shop. The jointer is mainly for squaring up chunks of firewood for small projects!

-- Jesse --


30 replies so far

View miles125's profile

miles125

2179 posts in 2761 days


#1 posted 09-15-2011 04:53 PM

Use lightweight plywood to build storage and tables out of and put wheels on everything.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3997 posts in 2418 days


#2 posted 09-15-2011 05:09 PM

Multi-use shop cabinets on wheels are a life saver.

In my shop, there is rolling cabinet that has my drill press and router on top, 4 drawers for storage of drill bits, router bits, and pocket screws. It also has a full-width shelf about 4 inches under the top for more tool storage, and a ‘garage’ that is home for my PC690, Kreg Jig, reciprocating saw, and some odds and ends.

Another rolling cabinet has my lathe mounted on it, and hosts my slow-speed grinder, my drum sander, spindle sander, and disc/belt sander.

My workbench is on wheels, has a 6-drawer cabinet for hand tools, and a garage for my Bostitch compressor.

My shop is proof that you can put two ton of fertilizer in a one tone truck.

—Gerry

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1913 days


#3 posted 09-15-2011 05:19 PM

For mobility, I’d consider storing things like router bits and drill bits in thin Plano tackle boxes and then build cubbyhole/slot storage for the Plano boxes. Keeping the boxes a uniform size makes for a neat system. I will be doing a hardware storage version of this idea eventually, but I can really see how handy it could be if I needed to take my bits on the road. I like it because you can customize the boxes for whatever you decide to store.

Alternatively, french cleats are nice. Any “case” you might build could just be cleated to hang on the wall…better if you can do it in such a way that it still opens while on the wall.

Another thing to consider is an small outbuilding for wood storage. Wood takes up too much room in a small shop.

I would also try to utilize outdoor spaces by putting machines with infeed/outfeed tables close to doors. You’d just open the door if you need to cut a long board.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View SalvageCraft's profile

SalvageCraft

274 posts in 1281 days


#4 posted 09-15-2011 05:51 PM

The wheeling of the everything is in progress. I’d like to put a mobile base under the tablesaw/router table stand, but am still working on a design that will keep it at a decent height AND let the base rest directly on the floor so the casters don’t swivel/move during a cut AND so the wheels/base dont stick out any further than the legs of the table or impede foot space while standing at the table… I’m picky, huh?

One issue I’m trying to avoid is having too many mobile bases. This is why the mitersaw and jointer just get tucked out of the way. I use them so little in the shop that having another object to roll out of the way is not worth it. I’ll probably end up hanging these on the wall soon, as the vapors coming up through the concrete can not be a good thing for them.

Cosmicsniper – The idea with the cases is exactly what you say. When hanging on the wall (on cleats), they will be open and function just like shelves. It’s a huge time kill to have to open up a box any time I need something.

I keep the tablesaw/router table outfeed pointed towards the door for long rips or routing trim. I can mill 12’ pieces of molding only poking out the door about 6’ by the end of the cut, and longer pieces if I turn the table at an angle. Same with the mitersaw and jointer. They just get plopped on top of the router top. I have a couple roller stands and outfeed supports that make this no problem as well.

I also like to position all the tools so that I am facing, or at least mostly facing the door of the shop while I am at them. This is a safety concern as much as an outfeed concern, as I do not want to be startled by someone unexpectedly entering the shop while I’m in the middle of a cut. This way I can see anyone approaching and have time to stop the saw or whatever tool I’m using in case either of us might be in the line of fire from kickback or exploding lathe turnings!

-- Jesse --

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SalvageCraft

274 posts in 1281 days


#5 posted 09-15-2011 05:59 PM

Mads built this case, very similar to what I am thinking: http://lumberjocks.com/projects/33506
When I first saw it I thought it had cleats on the back to double as a wall unit as well.

-- Jesse --

View Gregn's profile

Gregn

1642 posts in 1738 days


#6 posted 09-15-2011 06:06 PM

Hauling tools in and out all the time sucks. One of the things I did when I was a handyman was to get a mobile tool chest bottom that was all drawers. I kept all my small stuff like files, drill bits etc. in it that way I could roll it out of the van and into the shop and back to the van again. It allowed me to find what I needed wherever I was. On top of the chest sat the miter saw.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View higtron's profile

higtron

200 posts in 1432 days


#7 posted 09-15-2011 06:27 PM

Arron over at WTO built a workbench with retractable wheels as I remember it the wheels where mounted on a sub base hooked to the main base at a hinge point there was a foot lever that raised and lowered the the wheeled base. Can’t remember what he used for a catch I was looking for his blog entry and couldn’t find it so PM him he’s very helpfull and as I remember it it was pretty slick way to go from rock solid stable to mobile with very little BS.

-- If I cut it too short I can scab a piece on, but if it's too long what do I do?

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3997 posts in 2418 days


#8 posted 09-15-2011 07:49 PM

I have steel mobile bases under my workbench, tablesaw, and bandsaw. My Grizzly G0452 jointer has a built in mobile base, and I have my planer on a Larin scissor-left hydraulic table that gets parked under a bench that is built into the back end of the shop area.

The other tools (miter saw, mortiser, scroll saw, grinder, etc.) are stored on a shelf under the built-in workbench. Each of them is mounted on 3/4” plywood with a front cleat so they can be clamped to the bench top or table with a single F-clamp.

—Gerry

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Hermando's profile

Hermando

75 posts in 1552 days


#9 posted 09-15-2011 08:52 PM

I had a chance to see the workshop set up for a small shop from your photos and the article that you shared. I think its a pretty good set up for any small shop. I can vouch for the drop in tables with T-Sqaure type fences. This does give you a contractor size set up with being able to break down easily if needed for transport or storage.
I did post a review here under Makita 2703 it was bought from Craiglist for $50 with the Skil drop in table. (Similar to the Rousseau). I did build a mobile base, actually a contraption of sort but when the wheels locked it would still slide across the floor. I then built a mobile cabinet using the top from of the Skil table and that has become more stable and a cabinet saw flair. I now use a similar set up like your Dewalt and Rousseau, but mine is the older Makita 2708.
I sold the Makita 2703 and bought a Ridgid 1400 bandsaw for $150 and then needed alot upgrades. The reviews are true for this saw, but for the price and upgrades its turned out much better but not great. The bandsaw needs a mobile base which I am going to purchase from harbor freight for $35 plus the 20% discount coupon. It seems ok and should serve the purpose and cost half the amount of a named brand or even building one with off the shelf casters.I did purchase the harbor frieght link belt to replace the Ridgid bandsaw and its been great. Again half the price.
At times I think a small shop is an advantage because you can keep everything in close and forces you to keep tools and material organized and clean. Its great if you can have a real full size shop, but I think in most cases its a luxury for some when a space is multi-use or just limited. I do like having my tools mobile, but I come to find having them modular is just as good. Modular in having a custom table/bench where you can set up a tool used and put away such as the table saw and rousseau drop in. To many rolling cabinets tends to take up lots of storage space. Thanks for allowing my opinion of the subject.
Herman

View mtenterprises's profile

mtenterprises

839 posts in 1448 days


#10 posted 09-16-2011 04:17 PM

Like TheDane said mount bench tools on boards and take them out when in need. This is a shot of my in the house, spare bedroom shop. The lathe and scroll saw are mounted on plywood and fit into the B&D Workmate. And everything but the Workmate are on casters to move easily. Out in the garage my jointer and reciently aquired bandsaw mount the same way right on my tablesaw wing. If all your bases are the same size I have seen guys rack mount these tools on the wall one over the other, looks sharp and only takes up slightly more than the tool base in floor footprint.

-- See pictures on Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/44216106@N07/ And visit my Facebook page - facebook.com/MTEnterprises

View higtron's profile

higtron

200 posts in 1432 days


#11 posted 09-16-2011 04:36 PM

Ah hah! I found the post from Aaron’s blog scroll down to workbench floating bases http://woodtalkonline.com/blog/74-garage-shop/page__st__10

-- If I cut it too short I can scab a piece on, but if it's too long what do I do?

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1870 days


#12 posted 09-16-2011 04:54 PM

this a very interresting blog
but as a newbie with a tiny thing barely called a shop myself looking for a good concept
to build the shop so its looks good and at the same is cheap ,easy to build
and not always translate your explanations to a picture very well I wuold like if
people show some of the solutions they talk about :-)

thank you in advance

Dennis

View SalvageCraft's profile

SalvageCraft

274 posts in 1281 days


#13 posted 09-16-2011 06:44 PM

Higtron – this is perfect! I have seen some designs similar to this but Aaron’s is by far the simplest and sturdiest. He’s hit the nail on the head.
BTW – the link you posted was the entire blog; for those who didn’t find it, the specific entry is here: http://woodtalkonline.com/blog/74/entry-792-workbench-floating-bases/

Gregn – I would do something similar to the tool chest if I had more space in the shop for another roll around. For now I’m thinking that the tool case/shelves will be integrated with a racking system I’m designing for the van.

mtenterprises and TheDane – I like it. I may do this with the miter saw and jointer, as I use these less than most of the others and the extra setup time will not exceed what it already is for them.

Dennis – There are several pictures on my workshop page here: http://lumberjocks.com/SalvageCraft/workshop
I will try to add some more detailed pics later this evening.

Thanks everyone for all the helpful responses!

-- Jesse --

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1870 days


#14 posted 09-16-2011 08:01 PM

yep your space is cluutered up with tools :-)

take a look in the toolbox book …author Jim Tolpin
on page 186 and forward they show a toolbox for the road = minivan :-)
there is some very clever Idea´s for storing tools and access to them on the jobsite
as well as in the shop ... one of them is using a stepstools as a tooltotes

but all the pages in the book can inspire you :-)

Dennis

View Pimzedd's profile

Pimzedd

467 posts in 2559 days


#15 posted 09-16-2011 09:03 PM

You might take a look at http://lumberjocks.com/projects/43562. The base has room for tool storage and it folds out into a good work surface. I can be built to be an outfeed table for a table saws. And it is on wheels.

-- Bill - Mesquite, TX --- "Everything with a power cord eventually winds up in the trash.” John Sarge , timber framer and blacksmith instructor at Tillers International school

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