The Editors Mailbox

The Editors Mailbox

Building the Perfect Workshop

comments (8) January 31st, 2011 in blogs

Ed_Pirnik Ed Pirnik, Senior Web Producer
thumbs up 12 users recommend


While strolling through the recent entries to our online shop gallery, I spotted some pretty novel designs as well as a couple of fun videos worth taking a look at. From brilliant solutions for tight spaces, to novel repurposing of department store display racks, there were plenty of interesting elements to the eight shops listed in my February round-up. By the way, if you've already seen our art director's video tour of his redesigned garage shop (Mike's Garage Shop), you can go ahead and skip it. If not however, it's really worth a look!

Enjoy the sawdust-laden eye candy!

18th Century Shop
This beautiful shop at Colonial Williamsburg is the benchmark for old world romance. For hand tool lovers only!
Mike's Garage Shop
Who could forget FW art director Michael Pekovich's complete garage-shop transformation?
Plane Old Workshop
Take a video tour of a garage shop makeover for an entire family of woodworkers.
My Slice of Heaven
Nearly 800 square feet of clean, modern workspace--and one heck of a nice bandsaw if I do say so myself!
A Modest Shop
Here's proof that you don't need a lot of space to enjoy hand tool heaven on a modest budget.
Katrina Shop
This post-Hurricane Katrina story is enough to warm the hearts of even the most cranky of woodworkers.
A Different Shop
Why build your own shop furniture when you can salvage it all from a department store?
Urban Shop
Organization is the key to this shop, relegated to a small urban foot print in a New Orleans woodworker's backyard.


Beautiful Bench for a Beautiful Shop
Of course, if you're going to build a sweet shop, you're going to have to outfit it with an equally sweet bench. This afternoon I stumbled upon a UK bench-maker by the name of Richard Maguire. Built of kild-dried ash, Maguire's benches are then finished with an oil and wax combination and feature twin screw vises which, while really interesting, might not be a perfect fit for everyone. While you can use these vises to apply more accurately distribute clamping pressure on different-sized stock, I could certainly see it becoming a wee bit of a pain when clamping stock that comes in contact with the entire length of the vise's face. Having to equally screw in each side might frustrate some woodworkers. Still, these benches are a blast to look at. 

 



posted in: blogs, workshop, woodshop, building a workshop, workshop ideas, wood shop


Comments (8)

Fitzwould Fitzwould writes: Hi, I have looked through pictures of the shop books. What I am interested in finding is a book with layout design options. I am ready to build a new shop for myself and want to put dust and electrical under the slab. Best layout designs would help me to figure out how to layout a shop that is aprox. 28'x 36'. Is there a book that has this type of information.

Thank you,
Chuck
Posted: 11:19 am on February 6th

trashpicker trashpicker writes: as the name implies--I have no qualms about using castoffs, trash or clearanced items in my shop--I have a 3and one half car garage that I can't get a vehicle in(even tho I like to change my own oil, etc.) because I have so many interests like woodworking, metalworking, plastics, machining, machine building, carpentry, etc. we have to store our kids furniture somewhere, as well as some of our own... You involve a welder, 2 tablesaws, bandsaw, planer, lathe, drillpress, benches and benchtop tools--not to mention storage of materials and I've got a collosal mess that I may never get straightened out!!!--Did I mention room for the woodburning stove I heat it with??? I am always appreciative of these "dream shops" I see in FineWoodworking"
Posted: 8:55 pm on February 4th

1stwoodstone_man 1stwoodstone_man writes: I have a basement shop with a walk out and a seperate entrace to my shop.I have approx. 5oo sq feet to work in there, there is natural light that comes in with a graet view of the lake that we live on.I have started to dress up my shop after making such beautiful furnisher for other people it started with a bench witch is 11 ft, long and plenty of stoarage space under the bench , the low storage aera of the bench is made from black walnut and the bench top is oak with bubinga trim. Saw cabient is white oak ,miter saw cabient is walnut ,american chestnut ,cherry and maple. Now the joint cabient looks out of place so I will be making a better looking cabient for the 6in. jointer. I had made a plant self to start plants along the widows but took it out and put a bench top there so it looks as a big window sill but I use it for a place to set tools as I am working on the bench also I have put walnut around the widows and painted the walls.There is a 10in. powermatic table saw,powermatic drill press fl.modle,rockler 6in. jionter, mekeita compond saw,delta 14in band saw, I have two planers and a table mount router in my bench top ,also there is an old american lath witch I have in stoage and a sears jig saw.
I love the space that I have to do my work .
Posted: 11:55 pm on February 2nd

tahoe tahoe writes: I have to agree with these folks....I have a two car garage/workshop that needs to double for ski waxing, bicycle storage and house repairs. I have a Hybrid Table saw, 6" jointer, 13" planer, a shopsmith that serves as drill press, lathe and band saw, dust collector, two work benches...and everything has been designed to roll away, under, above something else...I can set up and tear down in about ten minutes, because at the end of the day, I always have to park two cars in the garage. Always great to look at the great dream workshops, but thought that they should do an article on guys like us, that have to fit several hobbies into one spot. I seem to spend a lot of time planning, and re planning the garage space to try and fit the next tool. I dream about the day I will get a place that I can dedicate to my tools, but until then, I just buy things with wheels.
Posted: 11:48 am on February 2nd

borderdogs borderdogs writes: There seems to be two things I like looking at and they are work benches & work shops. I too use my work shop for several other activities. I currently have a basement shop with a walk out entry, which is roughly 340 square feet and shaped like a flat s and has less than 8' ceiling height. In that shop I have an old Unisaw w/50"fence, 8" jointer, 15" planer, 10" sliding compound saw, 14" bandsaw and various & assorted power & hand tools. Also in the same space I have a small closet, dog grooming tub, & a space where a bathroom was roughed out. It is far from finished space and I have plans to put up a ship lapped paneled walls and fix up the closet for tool storage. I also plan on putting a cyclone in the bathroom space along with a tolet. I can work in the space as it is pretty well but the studded walls, insulation, & dust make the space somewhat uninviting.

So as I try to work out what the next step is to finish the space I love to look and see what others have done so anytime there is a review of a shop or a tour I want to see it. Thanks for the posts on shops & that one about the bench.
Rob Drummond
Hillsboro, NH

Posted: 10:17 am on February 1st

Ed_Pirnik Ed_Pirnik writes: pkorman1: You're not alone. I could also use a space not just dedicated to woodworking, but perhaps for building R/C planes for my nephew (love that), a separate space for my wife's oil painting hobby. . . . the list goes on and on. It's tough being a fan so many different hobbies.
Posted: 10:00 am on February 1st

TMitchell TMitchell writes: I'm in the same boat. In Florida, we don't have basements, so my dedicated portion of the garage is 10' x 12'. In that space I have very neatly packed: 8' bench, Cabinet saw with 50" fence, 18" bandsaw, Dust collector, Joint, Planer, Drill press, Compound miter saw and a medium-sized hanging tool cabinet that holds all my nielsen stuff. I find myself moving my stool several times an hour just to work... Can't wait to move into a new house some day!

For those in a similar situation... in order to make this jigsaw puzzle work, I cut out scale miniatures of every tool and played with them in a scale drawing of my available space unti they all fit. Also cut out a scale piece of 4'x8' plywood to be sure I could get it in front of the saw blade.


Posted: 8:47 am on February 1st

Pkorman1 Pkorman1 writes: I look at these workshops and wonder if I'm the only woodworker that has other hobbies that require shop space. My one car garage serves for woodworking, motorcycle storage and maintenance and home repairs. I have a floor standing drill press, Band Saw, 10" cabinet saw, lathe, 6" jointer, 3 tier tool chest(automotive tools only) 4' workbench, mortiser on a pedistal, grinder on a 16" square storage cabinet, and a roll around 40"x22" cabinet that hold my miter saw, portable thickness planer and other storage. Luckily I have an attached shed where I can keep my dust collector and compressor and have them plumbed into the shop. Right now my snow blower also resides in the shop where otherwise my 450cc KTM off road motorcycle would. I need to step outside in order to change my mind so please stop teasing me with these to die for shops. Paul
Posted: 8:10 am on February 1st

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