Building the Ultimate Wood Shop
By Matt Smolsky
, last updated September 28, 2011
Building the ultimate wood shop means having the right amount of space for the work you plan to do. Some woodworkers are lucky enough to have enough space for an entirely separate wood shop. However, most of us need to make do with the space we have. Let's take a look at building a wood shop in your garage. The concepts here can be applied to any space, large or confined.
First, plan on having mobile bases that can be moved out of the way quickly and easily. You can have an entire tool bench shoved up against one wall when you're not using it, and then pull it out when you're ready to work. And all of your heavy equipment (drill presses, table saws, etc.) should be on mobile bases. Even if you have a lot of space, being able to move these items around at your convenience makes your shop much more functional and practical.
Wall Cabinets and Storage
Cabinets are another important element of any wood shop. Multiple sets of 12-inch deep wall cabinets provide handy storage for tools and supplies, while helping to keep your work area neat and tidy. Storing stock can be accomplished with wheeled shuttles that make it easy to move large pieces of lumber or plywood. Clamp racks and tool boards can be installed on the wall to be completely out of the way. The same goes for drill bits. Place these in a cabinet on the wall for easy access and storage.
As far as equipment for your ultimate wood shop goes, you'll want a contractor's saw, a scroll saw, belt and disc sanders, a drill press, planer, band saw, circular saw, plunge router, cordless jig saw, wet/dry vacuum, air compressor, speedmatic router for your router table, a variable speed belt sander, an orbit sander, router table, a table saw, scroll saw, a spray gun and protective masks, and various jigs to make your woodworking easier and better. The type of equipment you buy will depend on your budget and what you already own. If you're starting from scratch, try getting a couple items at a time to keep costs down.
With the right equipment arranged in the right way, you can expect to get years of enjoyment from your wood shop.