What is your most productive shop project?

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Forum topic by kooldecker posted 02-23-2014 04:04 PM 1104 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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59 posts in 964 days

02-23-2014 04:04 PM

Topic tags/keywords: shop projects game changer jigs fixtures

Hi guys, im a long time lurker and this is my first post. Im not new to woodworking by any stretch, but ive been trying to really step up my game. Im really making a stab at the hand tool thing too. With a wife and a little one, i dont see near the shop time i used to, or would like to, so like so many of us my time out there is precious. I just wanted to know what would you consider your most productive “shop project”. Let me clarify this a little. At the present time i am rehabbing a gent saw into a dovetail saw, and after that i think im going to make a shooting board, and then a crosscut sled for the table saw. I think these things will really change the way i do things, and more importantly i think they will greatly improve the quality of my work. So what would you say you made, that totally changed your shop , or how you did things, or greatly improved your work quality! So lay it on me , what were your game changers!!! Looking forward to hearing from you guys and hope you all have a great “dust/shaving-filled” day!

Thanks again,

-- " I dont understand......I cut that board AT LEAST 4 times and its STILL too short!"

17 replies so far

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2369 posts in 2317 days

#1 posted 02-23-2014 04:33 PM

I made a tapering sled for my table saw that I use to make tapered items like vases and wall hung stars. It also serves as a cross cut sled.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

View a1Jim's profile


115082 posts in 2973 days

#2 posted 02-23-2014 04:48 PM

I’m still waiting to find that one thing :) It seems like lots of lttle things help, Welcome to Ljs

-- Custom furniture

View Bluepine38's profile


3327 posts in 2481 days

#3 posted 02-23-2014 08:07 PM

Not being sarcastic, but the thing that helped me increase my shop productivity the most was my dust
collection systems.

-- As ever, Gus-the 77 yr young apprentice carpenter

View Bobsboxes's profile


1086 posts in 2059 days

#4 posted 02-23-2014 08:12 PM

I also agree, with Gus, my dust collection system. Also I would say, a dedicated area to work in, without having to put everything away, each time you are working on projects.

-- Bob in Montana. Kindness is the Language the blind can see and deaf can hear. - Mark Twain

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 1757 days

#5 posted 02-23-2014 08:52 PM

I never waste time speculating on how to be more productive. Each project determines if something else is needed.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View Don W's profile

Don W

17814 posts in 1963 days

#6 posted 02-23-2014 08:58 PM

does “finally building a real shop count?”

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View TheDane's profile (online now)


4916 posts in 3058 days

#7 posted 02-23-2014 09:00 PM

Anything that keeps me out of SWMBO’s way.

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

View DIYaholic's profile


19107 posts in 2070 days

#8 posted 02-23-2014 09:11 PM

For me I would say improving the shop lighting….
Now I can clearly see all of my mistakes!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View knotscott's profile


7122 posts in 2771 days

#9 posted 02-23-2014 09:27 PM

My shop is small and space is at a premium. Building the router table into my TS was a very good logical compromise for my circumstances. Within the same rationale, a flip top car for my planer and sander was another good move for me.

Other worthwhile shop upgrades were running 220v, sliding my TS rails to the right for more rip capacity, and adding an extension that increased my crosscut capacity.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View CharlesA's profile


2948 posts in 1193 days

#10 posted 02-23-2014 09:31 PM

Three that I made have been big for me: router table means is very convenient for me, my crosscut sled that allows me to make precise, repeatable cuts without having to mark the wood and line it up or sneak up on it on a miter saw, and probably the most helpful, my Christopher Schwarz inspired workbench with dog holes, front and tail vice.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View Texcaster's profile


1089 posts in 1069 days

#11 posted 02-23-2014 10:12 PM

My shed, maximum light and ventilation.

-- Bill... "You have to wear a hat if you want to be in the band." Steve Earl

View bondogaposis's profile


3934 posts in 1747 days

#12 posted 02-23-2014 10:33 PM

My Roubo workbench was a huge improvement from the rickety former bench that I had.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View shipwright's profile


7033 posts in 2193 days

#13 posted 02-23-2014 11:30 PM

In my case that’s a no-brainer.
There’s no doubt it is my chevalet(s).
Almost everything I’ve done since making them has involved them and centered on the work they can turn out.
Click on the image for the post.

“Chevy II” is here.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View kooldecker's profile


59 posts in 964 days

#14 posted 02-24-2014 12:43 AM

Ive done quite a few of the improvements that you guys have done already. The dust collection really does help. But unfortunately im still in a 10×16 shed that i still have to put everything away when not in use. Its a bit frustrating, because of the time it adds to projects, but hey what you gonna do? Lol i have plans for a roubo build in the future, but im going to make it a blog. I am currently gathering items for it, and the build will be entitled ” recycled roubo” or somthing like that, the premise being i will have scavenged, or recycled every part of it, the ultimate intention is to build it without spending a single dime! Ill keep you posted!

-- " I dont understand......I cut that board AT LEAST 4 times and its STILL too short!"

View kooldecker's profile


59 posts in 964 days

#15 posted 02-24-2014 12:45 AM

By the way , thanks for your responses ! Its the warm welcome i had come to expect here, you guys are really top notch and i hope to return the favor in the near future!!!

-- " I dont understand......I cut that board AT LEAST 4 times and its STILL too short!"

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