Dan Smith’s dream shop and tool chestA look into the beautiful shop and tool chest Dan Smith uses to build furniture and wooden boats
On an island off the coast of Maine, Dan Smith has set up his dream shop. Overlooking the ocean and with a sea breeze coming in through the multitude of windows, the timber-frame building houses a full workshop with enough room to store the wooden boats he and his sons have made. Yet one of the most talked about aspects of Smith’s shop is his innovative hanging tool cabinet, which houses many of his favorite tools on a vertical tray that slides out of the sides.
- More of a city dweller? Check out these amazing communal shop spaces in four big cities—New York, Los Angeles, Edinburgh, and Beijing—and the woodworkers who organized these spaces.
- Have you always wanted to make a tool cabinet and didn’t know where to get started? Mike Pekovich’s Video Workshop will get you on the right track!
- Christian Becksvoort shows you how every shop has specific needs, but the strategies for storing hand tools are universal.
- If you’re interested in the inner workings of Dan Smith’s tool chest check out the Designer’s Notebook from this years Tools and Shops issue.
Good job Ben and Cari! Where's all the sawdust?
Same question here and
There is no observable dust collection
Methinks it’s a museum
Who sweeps the floor?
Michael in BX
Beautiful. Are there plans available for the tool chest?
There will be more information in the Tools and Shops issue coming out next week.
Gorgeous. I am so jealous!
That shop is inspiring! Great lighting ... and just has a great feel about it. I love it.
Absolutely beautiful! Amazing tool chest, shop and boats! And to my surprise well away in the corner a wood lathe with a guard. Not often I see those. Also nice video production!
one word ok two WOW, WOW!
A dream come to life I'd imagine.
Beyond the call of duty!
What is the machine make/ model (Radial arm Saw ?) near the featured tool cabinet.
I couldn't help but imagine this is what it's like to wake up in heaven. Complete with music. Great Shop, great job on the video.
Very nice tool cabinet! Hope it turns into an article
What do you do (or did) for a living $?
Nice building, shop and geographic area!
Maybe too nice to work in...?
I hope you have so much fun your tools get dirty.
Easily in the top 5 shops I've seen for ambience. Very well done!
Can't view the video...
What does the shop look like during a project. This a beautiful shop and high end craftsmanship. How do you support this or is it a hobby. In other words, does the shop earn its keep?
A little detective work via Google reveals:
Dan Smith is an orthopedic surgeon in St. Joseph, Mo., who specializes in reconstructive surgery, including knee, shoulder, and hip replacements. But woodworking has always competed fiercely with medicine for his attention: His subscription to FWW dates to issue #19, when he was a third year medical student, and he admits he would read it before reading his medical journals. Over the years, in addition to making clocks, built-ins, and many pieces of furniture for his family’s house in Missouri and for a summer place in Maine, Smith has also built four boats.
The radial arm saw is a Sears Craftsman circa 1973, identical to the one I received when I graduated from high school and that I still use in Missouri. Found it on Craigslist for $75, but it took some work to restore it to its current state! The lack of sawdust is because we hosted my younger son's wedding in the shop and just restored it to its rightful use before the shoot.
I bought a old used dewalt commercial radial arm for 75.00 and spent over $100 for the best blade
Are the plans going to be available to download?
Sorry. We don't have plans for any um... plans of this cabinet.
Ben, great answer! I’m looking for inspiration for a cabinet, and this ranks at the top of the list, but I believe it’s best to begin by selecting and laying out one’s own tools and designing based on contents, frequency of tool use for access, and personal design taste. Mine will reflect my voice as a craftsman.
What a legacy you are going to leave behind for your sons one day.
I know ,I have been privileged to have had my foundation laid by my father .An excellent hoby to compliment surgical skills.
Gert du toit ,gastrointestinal surgeon.
Very nicely produced video. Great job Ben!
This right here is why I love woodworking. Just amazing!
It's not just the design of the tool cabinet which is exquisite, but rather the execution of all of the individual components, from the hand made tools to the whole set up of the shop; each part is phenomenal. The folding knifes with beautiful inlays in the handles are totally astounding The boats illustrate the abundant skill and perfection that's put forth in their creation. Very impressive indeed.
What do you use for dust control? Your shop is too clean!
Nice job. I like the squares, did you make them?
He hasn’t recessed those butt hinges☺️☺️☺️
Not a bad workshop!
Very nice of course. But looks too much like a museum, I'd be afraid to use that shop, I might get dust on the floor or put a tool in the wrong place (gasp!). I prefer my dusty, slightly disorganized and but highly used shop with my well worn tools and shavings on the floor.
Great shop, so clean! Great boat too!
This video makes the place very peaceful, especially with this music; what's that piano piece playing in the background ? I'd love to play it in my own shop. Shazam just can't find it...
You are a gifted woodworker with great attention to the details and the dovetails. I also admired the cabinet for the drills, sanders and other power cord items with the full glass panel door; this serves well to see, open and acquire the tool you need for the next task. Great job and thank you for the inspiration............Best regards.
Oh my. I think I just peed myself.
(Great video Ben)
OUTSTANDING in every way!!! to the commenters critical of the shop cleanliness and order gee do ya think maybe he straightened everything up with Fine Woodworking showing up to film?
When you're are fledgling woodworker with a Rigid tablesaw in a two car townhouse garage as a shop, and see this video, you wonder if you're even in the same sport! Inspiring....Thx.
Ben’s shop is amazing; a place for everything and everything in its place. And, I have no quarrel at all with Ben’s craftsmanship; the tool cabinet proves that.
What I would like to say to FWW though is this. Unless you own a business, very rarely does anyone have this kind of space to work in. I would love to be able to walk around my table saw or jointer or planer or workbench or miter saw or router table or HC mortise or the myriad of other tools and raw wood hanging on my walls. Try fitting all this in 300 square feet without spending half your time moving tools, getting tools out, putting tools away, and just generally creating enough space to perform whatever step you are currently working on.
So, congratulations to Ben; his shop is a dream shop every woodworker would love work in.
Wow. I could only dream of a shop like this. Dan, great workmanship, you can operate on my knee anytime. Also beautiful production.
Is your stationary equipment connected to a central dust collector? Can't see any overhead ductwork for the collector. Under the floor?
Posted this video a few times in the past 6 years and I doubt there has been any sawdust made there in the interim. It's not a shop. It is a big display area.
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