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With all the shop tours posted recently I thought I'd post mine as well. Some of the pics are grainy because of the compression I had to use to keep them less than the max allowed. My shop isn't nearly as large (or nice) as many of the shops I've seen here but its all mine and over time its getting better! Finishing is generally handled in SWMBOs craft room on the other side of the basement so I don't have to worry about dust as much when applying a finish.
Looking in the shop from the double doors. The shop is 20x12 with 9.5’ ceilings. There is (to the right) a 6’ deep extension to the room that follows the basement steps contour so it’s an angled wall. I left the floor concrete but SWMBO loved this blue so she painted it for me. It’s not complete by any means I have several changes that I’ll explain during the course of the tour.
The whole shop is plumbed with 6” metal pipe for the DC. I have two main drops (6” to two 4” blast gates) and one utility drop (6”) that I have various interchangeable fittings for (floor sweep, downdraft table, belt/disc sander, etc). The DC unit is a Jet 1100 that sits under the steps (along with a 15 gallon compressor) and comes into the shop through a wall (as does the air hose).
I put in a 220 circuit (used for the jointer and table saw) with two receptacles hanging from the ceiling (you can see one in the pic near the light) and an outlet near the bench. Also added two 110 circuits (one for lights and DC, air filtration – the other for tools) – outlets are all over the place. I also have a 35’ (10 wire) cord hanging from the ceiling.
Lights are the best 2x2 8’ fluorescents HD sold – I couldn’t tell you the name or anything else other than they are quiet and they are bright (and very energy efficient they said). I also have a 4’ (same) over the bench.
The Delta Unisaw in the back does much rolling around – it’s the 5HP variety with the 50” Beisemeyer fence. I just added the Excaliber over-arm blade guard yesterday (love the yellow and black). Still need a 4” wye to get the DC working (hanging black pipe). The Incra miter-5000 is sitting on the saw now – If I’m not ripping I’m using the sled.
The Grizzly jointer is a new addition (Sept 11 can you believe it – that morning!) to the shop replacing a craftsman 6” benchtop model that I bought when I started out. It’s the 8” model and weighs about 450 lbs.
Everything is on a mobile base or castors except the drill press and bench. The jointer and tablesaw move the most but getting the boards prepared and ripped allows me to configure the shop so I can be pretty efficient just takes a little planning.
Looking to left you can see a new cabinet (cabinet in a cabinet actually - idea came from CJ Hebert on the Oak). I just hung it today and haven’t yet decided how to finish the door but the inside is finish with a simple mix of BLO and spar varnish. The cabinet is made of pine and birch plywood. The top is used to store planes, scrapers, forstner bits, machinist square, etc. The bottom is holds hand power tools (two drills, jig saw, brad gun, etc. The cabinet hangs on a French cleat (just wanted to do it that way).
Below the cabinet is my primary work table (yes I covered it in acrylic) that almost always has stuff on it and is somewhere in the main shop area. It’s 42x42 and stands about 26” high. I used several materials to build it (poplar, maple, birch ply) and it has storage on three sides – it’s basically a big box on wheels with two cabinet doors and 5 drawers of storage. This is also the cart I use for the portable planer, downdraft table(top), assembly, etc.
Above the cabinet is an 18” wide wood storage rack about 7.5’ long. It’s made of 4 24” lengths of ¾” pipe – all are recessed (at a slight angle) into the studs 4 ½” then supported with a length of 2x4 bolted to the wall (and into the studs) – this provides 6” of support – more than enough. The yellow marks on the boards indicate species – this rack is holding about 150 bdft of material.
Behind the drill press is a sheet storage area that holds Baltic birch, laminate, acrylic, pegboard and various other “special” materials. BTW, hanging from the cabinet (right hand) is my rip-sled. The DP is a delta 16 ½” variety – nice drill. I built a slightly bigger table with a simple fence – works great. The wall is cedar T&G 5/8 thick.
Continuing down the wall past the drill press is a workmate table (POS) and a temporary bench that I got from work when we moved our offices. Basically this whole area will be changed. The bench I build/buy will be smaller with cabinet/drawers underneath (two vices, etc.) it will also be mobile allowing me to turn 90 degrees to the window.
To the right is a temporary shorts storage bin and above that is a series of shelves – the bottom 3 will be replaced by a new cabinet (similar to the new one). A little further down is a closet I built around the electrical panel but it also has the network hubs, cable termination, phone, etc – basically all of the home wiring starts there.
Past the closet to the right is some additional shorts storage shelves which are support by 5/8s threaded rods bolted through a board attached to the I-beams on one side and ledger boards on the other. Below the rack is an old microwave cart that I’ll be replacing as well.
This is my larger sheet storage rack – it is 9’ long with 8” of storage between the wedge shaped pieces of plywood. Don’t ya love the colors? It’s the bottom part of the wood rack system which I got the idea from one of the workshop books.
This whole wedge is hinged to the rack at the left and pivots out (70 degrees) on heavy-duty castors from the right. The area behind the wedges stores wood (up to 4’ long, 22” wide and 3” thick) as well – I use bungee cords to keep them from falling out when I open the wedge.
This is the main wood rack that takes up to rear of the shop. ¾” pipe is what I used. It is through the studs at an angle and bolted on the other side.
Continuing past the wood rack is a wall of doors that allows access to the stud cavities for additional storage. The rear is covered with about 6’ of plywood with one full size door and another half door. Above that is a few shelves that hold various supplies. Behind the bandsaw are actually two doors that swing out, they have a 3 ½” thick frame allowing storage in the doors themselves.
Some jigs hang from the top on eye hooks. These doors will be replaced with real cabinets that will act as doors (instead of doors acting as cabinets).
With the doors open you can see the wood stored in the studs. In order to accommodate the weight of things in the door frame they actually lift up onto the “RED” kickplate. 8 kinds of wood in there, can you name ‘em (I couldn’t)?
This is the corner that follows the basment step contour. The rear left has my bigger clamps outside the stud cavities with the smaller bar and c-clamps in the stud cavities. The left is another door with wood behind it and quick-clamp storage. The DC and air comes into the shop in the back, the DC utility drop is at the bottom right.
Above the pegboard is storage for dowels, t-track, uhmv, etc. Above that I have large cans of finishing materials – that shelf hangs from the ceiling using threaded rods and a ledger board as well. BTW, the big metal thingy hanging from the shelf is my home-made floor sweep that I use from the utility drop - man this thing is great!
A view to the front from the back. The sanding cart has all of the sanding supplies I use, including several hand sanders (belt, finishing, ROS, etc.) and tons of various sizes/shapes of sand paper.
Looking to the right from the back and completing the circle. My router table straight ahead and a better (slightly) utility cart to the right of that.
Hope you enjoyed the tour! -:) Any comments welcome.
Originally posted 26 October, 2001
wb 26 October, 2001