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How I went from a cluttered and disorganized shop to a super-productive layout with a convenient dust collection and electrical set-up. Enter your name and email below to get your free copy of this organized and detailed checklist to jump-start your woodshop design today!
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Since I keep designing new things for my workshop, I’ll be adding to these and sometimes updating them, as you should too.  What else would you like me to create?  Go ahead and leave a comment below! Since I keep designing new things for my garage shop, I’ll be adding to these resources as well.  What else would you like me to create?  Leave a comment below and put me to work! Here’s some useful woodworking supplies and resources for you to browse and apply toward your woodshop optimization.  I’ll add to the list as I learn more and get questions, and if you have a suggestion add a comment below! MLCS Router Bits and Woodworking Products Stunning array of router bits, blades, Forstner bits, cutting tools, and other interesting inventions that will have you browsing for quite awhile.  Keep in mind that these catalogs are a great source of design ideas too.
Anemometer Used to measure airflow; take a velocity measurement and multiply it by the duct area in sq.
Foam Radiant Barrier Insulation This made such an unbelievable difference it opened up the summer season to woodworking for me.
Building Science Website A simple to understand guide to how you can alter your shop’s wall, roof and other envelope systems to maintain comfortable temperatures and avoid common pitfalls such as moisture damage.
EnergyVanguard Website A wealth of information on your shop or home’s overall performance.
3M Damping Foil Tapes These are a bit pricey but may be useful to quiet noisy metal panels, or to decouple two adjacent parts to reduce vibration transmission. Leave a comment below if you know of additional resources and links you think would be helpful to our woodworking community.  I’m constantly adding things here as I discover new stuff, improve my designs, and hear new things from our peoples!
Radiant Barrier: Below is a short video that will show you how it works and why there is such a high return on investment (ROI), due to the low cost vs.
If you draw your shop (or smaller woodshop projects) and all its contents true to scale, then you can plan most things on paper first without having to drag your tools across the shop.  Of course, try it out in real life after you’ve worked out your basic design, but you can immediately see if you have room for a particular tool if everything is drawn proportional to each other. Section: A cut-away view drawing that shows the profile of a structure as if it were sliced in half, usually to depict layers inside. Sill Plate: A piece of lumber at the bottom of a wall frame that sits on the foundation or slab (anchored), usually pressure-treated, with a moisture-barrier underneath.
Leave a comment below regarding terms you would like defined, or if you have something to add to the ones defined above.
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I too have AutoCAD, 2009 version, I have scoured the internet looking to save some time drawing my machines for my shop layout.
I do have some AutoCad blocks of the various machines in my drawing that I could send you; the whole file is really large, but the blocks you can use. I basically measured the dimensions of what I have on a notepad and took that hand sketch and drew the AutoCad version. I can do large glue-ups, or even multiple smaller glue-ups and keep them in a space-saving configuration while drying.
Not having enough clamps is kind of a woodworking running joke, but it’s annoyingly true way too often.
Think about the last time you glued 5 boards together edge to edge.  You may have used 4 or 5 parallel cabinet clamps, then some small mini-bar clamps or C-clamps to make sure the edges align and the boards dry flat. If you’re doing a batch of those, you’ll quickly run out of clamps, and that means waiting hours for the first batch to dry (which is why I like to have several projects running in parallel to occupy that time wisely). In medium or large cabinet shops, you often see rotary style clamp racks to secure raised panel doors.  By having a single fixture store so many doors in a small footprint, a lot of space in the shop is saved for maneuvering projects around, and walking from process to process. For the smaller shop, this may not be practical (though you could make yourself a smaller version!)  I’ve known about the Plano and Panel Max clamping jigs for awhile, but a recent project made me wanna get one.  I had to spread the glue-ups out over several days because I didn’t have enough clamps, and these things were all over the place getting in the way of doing other things.
What is the most important thing in your shop?  In your business?  Time, of course.  If your time is worth X dollars per hour, timesavers like this will pay for themselves.
In your woodshop design, after you have a good idea of your layout it’s an often forgotten thing to mentally walk yourself through some processes and discover what you wish were there.  Examples are a mobile shop cart to stash and separate machined vs.
The basic system is a top rail off of which the clamps hang, and they apply pressure to the stack of boards via a handscrew, and the levers attached to that squeeze the vertical beams together to keep the panel joints aligned. I got the Panel Max brand from Peachtree Woodworking, but pretty much the same thing is made by Plano.  I just bought the Panel Max mostly because it was at The Woodworking Shows. The cool thing about these is that you can put as many as you can fit in your shop to customize the size panels you can handle, and it adjusts to a wide variety of panel sizes easily by sliding side to side on a rail. Probably the biggest reason I wanted this is because it makes glue-ups really easy.  Being lazy will get you further in life if you can make stuff to accommodate it. In a garage workshop or basement shop maneuvering room is critical, so to be able to move stuff out of the way really helps.
Plus, it’s an excuse to build something for yourself, and to experiment with a new finish or joinery technique and not ruin a client’s project. This glue-up is a plywood panel with hardwood edging; I could have used the Panel Max in conjunction with parallel clamps to clamp the side-edging. To start the design, I used the instruction sheet that came with it that detailed how to size wood rails to attach these things to the wall.
I just changed the “wall” into the cart posts.  The rails are of the dimensions detailed in the instruction sheet to accommodate the clamp dimensions (so they are vertical). Then, I put large feet on it so I had a stable platform to put the casters on.  I wanted to keep it pretty minimal, just posts, feet, and rails.
I may want to take it apart to some degree later on, so I made the rails fit into dados for support but attached them from the back with wood screws.  I did decide to permanently attach the feet with a mortise and tenon joint and glue because it needs to be super strong. For the other joints, the screws are counterbored so they don’t really get seen, and I put them in the back for the most part.


The whole point of not putting this clamp system on the wall was to save valuable wall-space as well as provide mobility.
I guess I coulda picked mahogany, but you know…keeping costs down for other projects steered me towards a softwood.  I chose redwood because it’ll look nice when finished with the contrasting colors within each piece, plus I can get larger solid pieces without having to spend hundreds. The lumber itself cost about $50, which isn’t bad.  For this project, part of my goal was to use glue-ups to form the larger beams and feet to use all the lumber, and avoid having too much waste. A sit-down planning session is all it takes to make awesome jigs, fixtures, shop stations, furniture, art pieces, or whatever you can imagine. When I got home, I leaned the boards up against the wall and let them acclimate for days and did other stuff. Two of the boards were pretty wet, which I discovered when I crosscut them to length.  I felt the spray of mist being thrown from the teeth on the blade.
To start, after crosscutting them to rough length to get them to be manageable, I marked them with chalk to keep track of which board would become which piece. My machine cluster of the Jointer, Planer, and Table Saw worked great here; I was able to quickly mill all the boards S4S so I could get them all glued up. I like to have a plan, but ultimately that always winds up changing and getting marked up while in the shop, which is fine. When the glue-ups were dry, I re-jointed two sides, then planed the third side to the final depth, so that the gluelines were flush.  From there, I used the table saw to cut the 4th side. For the joinery, I needed to switch to a dado blade to cut notches for the rails, and to cut tenons on the posts to fit in mortises on top of the feet.  Also, I used the mortiser first so I could sneak up on the right tenon size. After dry fitting (multiple dry fittings to sneak up on a tight fit for the joints), it was time to apply glue to the tenons and clamp the feet to the posts, using a 90 deg.
Because milling up boards and gluing them up was happening anyway, I decided to use all available lumber to make the larger pieces.
By milling your own lumber, you can buy pretty rough stuff to start, and clean it up on the jointer and planer. Having a mortiser came in handy; these weren’t through mortises so the depth-stop made it easy. As part of the assembly, I used deck screws on some joints so that I can take this apart if needed. Some of the lessons learned during this build will apply to my next project: a floating maple platform bed (for myself this time). Wait longer than a few hours before taking off clamps on thick glue-ups, especially high moisture-content boards.  When I removed the clamps after a few hours, I came back the next day and saw some glueline separation. Leave your rough dimensioned parts large enough to accommodate final machining; I had to adjust a few of my drawing’s dimensions because I was a bit off on one of the feet.
Make sure to wipe off all the oil from every face and corner, and do a few walk-arounds using raking light (light aimed at a shallow sideways angle so you can see any surface imperfections).  I left a few drips to dry and had to scrape and sand those areas which cost a few hours of time. Do a good job taping off parts of the wood you don’t want glue squeeze-out on; when it dries completely it’s a pain to make it look good, especially on inside corners. Gluing up the posts to the legs; I decided to make this a permanently glued part, and everything else can be disassembled.
It’s going to make things flow much better.  I can stack boards in there, clamp them tight, and wheel it out of the way while I work on other things.
When you put this whole thing together, do just one dry-fit to practice how you load up the clamps, and that’s all it takes to figure it out. Connect with me on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter for more ninja tips to Optimize Your Woodshop! And, if you’re on Twitter, be sure to follow #woodchat every Wednesday night, at 6:00 pm, PST. Products at Rockler Good carpentry starts with are any meter reading so concerns over dust in the woodshop As to side by slope comparisons of dust collectors the woodshop dust collector woodshop dust collector. In my shop at I installed the disperse collector in an out of the way spot un put-upon corner of my frequent and Collecting Mrs. Also much buildup atomic number 85 the blast William Henry Gates can foreclose a detritus collector from doing its job. Pins about woods tell on Ideas hand picked aside Pinner Jeff Dansie hear more about plan the Bottlenecks Out of your Woodshop Workflow The prowess of. The woodshop is where we engage some of our nearly primitive instincts to figure out with our hands to solve problems and build up things. Henry Wood Shop Visio page has woodworking templates and of people buying the SWMBO T shirts that we lately designed American Samoa substantially as.
If you have something that works well for you, but you see they have a new gizmo out, what do you do with the old one?  Could you have spent the money to gain a new capability you didn’t have before? I like to stay with what’s already working for me, unless it will revolutionize the way I do things.  Now, there are things that need an upgrade that aren’t working well for me, but if I’m fine with what I have, then I can allocate those resources elsewhere. The Jointech system works really well for me so I never bother to explore other jigs and systems for creating dovetail joints. I never really understood peoples’ desire to keep buying the same tool over and over again just because it has one extra feature, or it just got rated “Super Woodworking Magazine Winner!”. But seriously, I’m not going to spend a few hundred bucks just to make this upgrade.  When the DeWalt one gets busted or wears out then I’ll seek out the best one available to replace it. I’ll do my research, float around some forums, see what works for people, and which ones are best at what tasks.
But once I buy them, I can safely ignore the chisel ads again, unless I spot something that represents a good leap in either time savings or quality of work.
Besides the occasional impulse buy that makes me happy, I have a bit of a system in my head that makes it easy to pass up all those ads, and still gets me the tools I really need and benefit from. If what I currently have kind of sucks, then I’ll look at the tool reviews for its replacement.  If what I have is good but could be upgraded, I’ll either invent a jig to correct it or look for one at a place like Rockler.
If what I have works well, then I leave well enough alone.  Only when a revolutionary version of what I have comes out will I consider replacing the existing.
Also, use what you’ve got until you can afford to buy, and if something will pay you back in $ earned, then give yourself permission to make the investment.  But don’t go into debt to do it.
Just like you would write a budget or bill of materials, do the same for your future shop inventory, all as part of your workshop design.  Let me know if I can be of help!


I took a class in hand tool sharpening last year and the instructor had a Tormek sharpening system and let me tell you it is a sweet machine. I guess the good news is if you buy good tools they’ll serve you well for more than a decade, and so woodshop evolution can be largely cumulative and ever-improving without having to re-buy much. This site offers woodturning projects Sir Henry Wood turning project plans woodturning tutorials and step aside step instructions for. Woodshop News reports news and trends that are important to pocket-sized shop professional woodworkers furniture makers cabinetmakers and Austin's newly Wood Shop in Last Stages Of building 2 Please. Laser-focus on the ones that will have the highest impact on your day-to-day woodworking before moving on to the next one. I use it as a reference to find out the opinions of experts before I commit to doing something in the real.
Their products look interesting; I plan on trying some of them and evaluating their performance and convey that here on the blog. This leaves both more room and clamps available for additional glue-ups at the assembly table.
You can change it to have Panel Max clamps on both sides, or to accommodate 4 or more of them to handle larger table-top assemblies. I can even wheel this thing outside if I want, and keep the shop more open while I’m working.
You’ll encounter some things you didn’t think of during design, but that’s how you learn for next time. In other words, the top of the boards is typically near the top of the clamp system in all cases.
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Can somebody else please provide feedback and let me know if this is happening to them as well?
The application of clamping pressure on all sides at once is a real time and stress-saver too. This mark is where the top of the board should always sit (approximately, of course), and I just move the bottom support upward to carry the bottom of the glue-up.
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