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  • My Shop -- Clean, Refurb, Enhance, etc.

    Workshop -- 12 x 16 addition to the side of my detached 2 door garage -- had become REALLY "cluttered" over the past couple of years (See Photo #1 below for some of the detritus {garage was even worse, but more on that some other time} -- alas the attached pic is an "AFTER" shot regarding the first few steps below -- didn't take a "BEFORE" picture, probably because I was too danged ashamed of just how cluttered it had gotten -- in fact, looking at it now, I honestly don't know HOW in the world I had actually been able to complete any projects in the past year or two; even though I know I did) ... so...
    1. Welp nothing for it just gotta start with Step #1: clean & organize; throw out junk that is really "junk" (or literally "garbage" as in WTF am I keeping THIS for ).
    2. Part of that is (of course) Step #2: Where can I store some of this crap (whether it's "new" crap or old crap I want to keep or can't bring myself to throw)... means I need to "create" some extra storage space.
    3. Well, lookee here I have about a dozen of those nice sturdy white STEEL shelf brackets, and some old shelving... Oh yeah, I remember now; I bought those brackets YEARS ago (on sale? who cares!) with the intent to put more shelves OVER the windows!!! I just didn't buy the "Round Tuit" components. (See Pic #1 again... TADA... quick install making certain they are nicely level & inline with top of wall cabinets {which are on a DIY wood "French Cleat" system} so that stuff can slide or cross from shelf to cabinet, etc. )
    4. Also... dangnabitall! the "shoe-rack" cabinet is (was) sagging at the bottom ... to the point that crap stored in it (and most of it was crap funny thing that) was starting to "slide/fall" out... So remove the JUNK from that, lift it from the cleats, and BRACE it up! With what you say? Hmmmm.... How about a 2x4 (or is that a 2x3)on edge? Yeah, that'll work. (See stained board below the middle cabinet in Pic #1).
    5. Plus, I can like put hooks and stuff on it to keep things the like Speed Square handy... How about even drill some holes to shove PENCILS into; that way pencils (several of them, OK at least a couple of them) can be handy AND I can "hang" things from the pencils too! WOOHOO!
    6. Then there is Batteries & of course charging & recharging & recharging... got one of the new Lime Green ( Eww why did they pick THAT color) "super smart" multi-charger thingees with some new Lithium batteries a year ago (SALE!!!), but the thing needs to be wall mounted... where? Well NEAR THE DOOR is best (See Pic #2 below!!! YAAAAY!)




    Next "thrilling" episode?

    See that stuff off to the right of the battery charger... yeah that's a "new" (to me) Craftsman Scroll Saw (I think it's actually a Ryobi with a "Craftsman" tag -- regardless, it was $20 used with metal stand & MDF flat top -- good deal, but SHITTY stand though, it's weak, wobbles, has no storage, doesn't "fit" my shop's system, and well, to be blunt, the stand is a piece of JUNK and it has GOTTA GO... bye bye)

    But that ScrollSaw (in good shape, runs, has manual, even blades!!! not bad for $20) has gotta go somewhere... guess it's time to BUILD yet another... -- I believe this will be #6 (or I guess #7 if I count the "bigger" one out in the garage under the sandblast box) -- of my patented (not really) "Mobile Tool Base Cabinet" designs. (See linked/attached {I think} pair of PDF files for 3D model: MTBC_3D_iso-only.pdf and a dimensioned plan & cutting guide: Mobile_Tool_Cab_Dim_Drawing.pdf ).
    Attached Files
    Overall Shop photo... Egads what a mess! (Worse, this pic is with it already partially "cleaned") LIME GREEN?  Why??? Doesn't fit the decor of the "old" Ryobi Red, White & Blue (OR the Black & Gold).  Oh well, I guess it stands out.
    Last edited by WLee; 06-29-2018, 12:06 AM.

  • #2
    Episode #2 -- Scroll Saw needs a new "home"

    USED (new to me) Scroll Saw with (crappy) standYeah that just ain't gonna work. Crappy metal frame wobbles, doesn't have any wheels, is the wrong size for the tool, and just... well, BLECH!Goodbye sweet prince (not!)

    Worse, because of all of those failings, it's become a "junk collection node"-- floor space in my little 12' x 16' workshop (addition to side of garage) is just too precious to waste, so... that's how the "box of crap" ended up underneath the metal stand, and of course since (as everyone knows), "boxes of crap" are inherently magnetic in terms of having a strange affinity & strong "attraction force" for still OTHER crap, various other junk/garbage has ended up clustering around it.

    Time for metal stand to go BYE BYE! Consigned to the pile of other crap out by the garden shed (awaiting either "bulk collection" day or else being placed roadside with a "FREE, Take Me!" sign attached to it).

    Saved the MDF of course (already been repurposed!)

    OK time to get cracking and make another (6th? 7th? who knows) of my "patented" (see previous post for plans, etc) Mobile Tool Base Cabinets. Two 2'x4' "handi-panel" sheets of 3/4 plywood (or of course a 4'x4' or a "half sheet" -- one 4'x8' full sheet makes TWO of these cabinets -- oh, and CDX is fine, whatever, the grade doesn't matter since it's all gonna be painted, just don't skimp on the thickness... 1/2" or 3/8" ply will 'bow out" with the weight of just about ANY tool). Plus a single 8 ft long 1"x4" piece of pine (again grade/quality doesn't really matter, knots are fine) ... all material already have on hand. (Oh, and screws, biscuits, two 2" straight {non-rotating} caster wheels, and 1/2" high "rubber baby buggy bumper" things for front "feet" -- also all "on hand" things -- meaning no need to go shopping, no new "money" required. YAAAY!!!)

    See the build progression photos below -- these things go together REALLY fast! -- biscuits, glue, clamp & brad-nail the parts together, and VOILA! It actually takes more time to paint (mostly watching/waiting for it to dry) than it does to build, especially when you're on iteration #6 (or is it #7? 8? 10? who cares). Wheels & bumper feet can be attached anytime.
    Raw wood cut & assembled (these things go together QUICK)Primer/Sealer (Kilz)Painted & Finished, with Scroll Saw installed
    Tool gets installed onto the top via drilled holes and bolts (usually 5/16") into the captive pound-in "Tee" nuts.

    Then the top (with tool) gets secured to base with 2 screws from each of the side panels -- top already has built-in "handle" -- via drilled/cut slot that's been rounded over with trim router and 1/2" round-over bit.

    (I typically do a round-over on essentially ALL of the corners/edges of the piece before priming). Generally I finish it with brushed or rolled-on "Rust Oleum" enamel, makes a nice fairly hard, smooth & glossy surface for both the top and sides (easy to clean, sawdust is visible, but wipes or vacuums right off).



    And now the Scroll Saw fits in the "lineup" like it belongs...Drill Press & Mortiser live on the other wall.
    Yay! Part of the "Family" now.
    Bonus pic at right... the rest of the "Family" -- Drill Press and Motiser -- are off on the other side of the shop. (But of course the whole point of the Mobile Base is that I can shift these things around -- just pick/lift on the front and -- if needed -- slide the tool out from it's home; or else shuffle it around in place of some other piece).

    The design of the base cabinet was originally intended to be able to do some "stack" cabinet thing -- that is be able to swap a tool & top onto different cabinet base as needed -- hence the cabinets are all the same exact size, etc -- KEWL IDEA, RIGHT?... Yeah, butin practice, well my personal opinion/experience (having tried that) is that power tools mounted to cabinet tops are just TOO heavy and unwieldy to be doing that on any regular basis. Even the Mortiser -- which I rarely use -- is better off having its OWN base.

    And yes, you see those nice RED DRAWERS on the Router Table Cabinet?

    Yeah, all of the other cabinets were (still are) intended to someday -- "Someday... over the rainbow, pigs will fly..." -- have various drawers (and/or doors) as well -- I even have a couple dozen drawer-slides just waiting... but I'm missing the critical component: a ROUND TUIT. Just haven't been able to buy any of those (at least not in regards to the drawers), so if'n any of y'all see somebody having a SALE on those, please alert me ASAP.

    Besides the bottoms of the cabinets work almost as well just as "open" storage. That may change in time (someday I'll probably go on a "drawer making binge" and do them all one after another, mass production style) but for now, well other matters are more pressing; like...


    Episode #3: Mini-Cyclone Triggers (finally) Hard-Piped "Dust Collection" system...
    But -- critically -- with ZERO "blast gates"

    Say what? No Blast gates? How?
    You'll just have to stay tuned... same Bat-Time, same Bat-Channel)


    EDIT/UPDATE: Started "New Topic" for Episode #3 (gonna be a "multi-parter" on it's own) CLICK here to jump...
    Last edited by WLee; 07-12-2018, 06:18 AM.

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    • #3
      Good solution to a common problem. I see most of these done as flip top stands. This works too! I've either got to cut down the column on my floor model drill press, or sell it and buy one of those WEN 12" benchtop jobs. I missed out on the 12" Ryobi and have been kicking myself ever since...

      I like your build as the cabinets are less bulky than flip top stands, and you don't have the setup hassles of swapping tools on the stands...
      Please like and subscribe to my YouTube channel. Please check out and subscribe to my Workshop Blog.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by dbhost View Post
        Good solution to a common problem. I see most of these done as flip top stands. This works too! I've either got to cut down the column on my floor model drill press, or sell it and buy one of those WEN 12" benchtop jobs. I missed out on the 12" Ryobi and have been kicking myself ever since...

        I like your build as the cabinets are less bulky than flip top stands, and you don't have the setup hassles of swapping tools on the stands...
        Thanks for the reply... was wondering if anyone was even here anymore much less interested enough to read & comment (and whether I should even bother posting anything else).

        About the "flip top" stuff... yeah, as I noted, originally I designed these cabinets with the idea & intent of (possibly) doing the "swap the top & stack the tools in a cabinet" thing.

        But while the "swap top" (and "flip top") things are "cool" ideas... my personal experience & opinion (I tried it) is that they're just not all that practical in "real life" -- not even in a smallish workshop (lets face it, 12'x16' ain't LARGE, especially given the array of stuff I have packed in) -- any "benchtop" tool that's not out & readily available... (or accessible with at most a minute or so of minimal effort even less so if its use then somehow makes another tool "not available") well that tool then just isn't likely to be used, instead, as you noted the "setup hassles" rather than creating "convenience" actually just make it more of an impediment, less likely we'll use the tool (in which case why have it?), and more likely and we'll try to do the task "some other way."


        The cabinets themselves are sort of a happy medium "compromise" -- they're not TOO big, but also not too SMALL; not too heavy (you have to pick HALF the tool weight via the handle, but you don't have to lift it much, and so fairly easy to move around, especially in & out for quick access/use when it can't be used "in place")... but at the same time they're also not too "lightweight" (i.e. they DO have enough mass to be nicely "stable"; not "flimsy" or anything at all like that {you can stand on the things if you want, no "wobble"}).

        Oh, and I find that the dual straight wheels on the back in combination with the "bumper/glider feet" on the front are actually a LOT more convenient than having "locking" caster wheels. (Only thing I have on caster wheels is the BT3100 Table Saw, and -- thanks to this forum -- I bought & installed a Ridgid "Herc-U-Lift" thing, stomp & move... love THAT, couldn't live without it).

        Click image for larger version

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ID:	833746But nonetheless, I'm pretty happy with the design and how it works in my shop (obviously, otherwise I wouldn't keep making them the EXACT same way)...

        Keep in mind, the main purpose of the design & especially the base being "semi mobile" (but NOT on four casters) is to allow me to easily shift the tools around (and originally -- see pic at left-- because the shop itself, along with insulating & finishing the garage it's attached to, was a "work in progress" that took a couple of years to finish {after hours, weekends, winter vacation, etc}; and the tools HAD to be both accessible and yet easily moved, for example when I was doing the "dri-core" flooring they all lived in the garage for about a month, same thing a few years later when I decided to paint the dri-core with a gray floor enamel, which took a couple days to properly dry).

        Since then I haven't rearranged it all THAT often, but compare the pics to the left & right with the one in the previous post; the arrangement of tools & locations is significantly different (and the shop has been through a bunch of different arrangements in between, then returned to close to the original way, etc).

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        Also, another sort of cool thing about the design -- partly serendipitous -- is that the height is "perfect" relative to the BT3100 table saw...

        Literally, the things make the tool tops of the Band Saw AND the Router Table (and even the "normal" position of the Drill Press) -- just "naturally" -- exactly LEVEL with the Table Saw.


        As to the drill press; yeah there have been a few times when I wished I had a larger floor model, but to be blunt -- much like the little 9" Ryobi bandsaw, the BT3100, etc -- well the kinds of (mostly "hobby") projects I generally work on, that little drill press handles 99% of what I need it to do (really if I were to wish for anything, it would be for a more recent models with the lasers, but I'm not really used to that, so I generally don't miss it, just do it "old school" like everyone did years ago).


        Back to the cabinet, the really NICE aspect is that they're so danged easy (and pretty cheap) to build. Sort of "no muss no fuss" in terms of the materials OR construction, quick & simple to put together, and SOLID.

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        • #5
          For what it's worth, I am in a 16x20 garage workshop, that is shared space with a deep freezer, bicycles, camping gear, and lawn and garden tools and supplies. I would LOVE to have a 12x16 dedicated space!

          My tools are a bit different from yours, and I did make some mistakes. #1. The long rail kit on my BT3100 is just too big. I am planning on removing it. HOWEVER, I DO love the router table built into the right side of the saw. I had a stand alone router table, Wasn't working well for me...


          My band saw is a full size 14" plus riser block. A benchtop really won't do all I want a bandsaw to do....

          I need to take a peek at my own blog page to get the image link, but somehow my company is now filtering my page as adult material (?!) so apparently they misunderstood the wood I was talking about there! Anyway I have a wall mounted veritcal stacker system like you were talking about with a cabinet. It's a great space saver, but is a problem with my bad back to actually use...

          So yes, I have lots of reorganizing and redisign to do as well...
          Please like and subscribe to my YouTube channel. Please check out and subscribe to my Workshop Blog.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by dbhost View Post
            For what it's worth, I am in a 16x20 garage workshop, that is shared space with a deep freezer, bicycles, camping gear, and lawn and garden tools and supplies. I would LOVE to have a 12x16 dedicated space!
            Oh, don't get me wrong, I truly LOVE and quite appreciate the fact that I am sort of "privileged" to (finally, after almost two decades of renting w/o even a garage or ANY "shop" area!) have been able to build and have the "dedicated" workshop area (technically 12 x 16, but I have a 5' wide opening to the two car garage {20 x 24}, so if/when I do any BIG projects, I just have to pull/keep one or more of the vehicles out)... And of course it's not just "dedicated" but separate from the house (and on a DETACHED garage -- which is also now fully insulated, & heated -- Hot Dawg 45k BTU propane ceiling mounted -- that thing is soooo sweet) so no car or painting/varnishing related odors & fumes OR any sawdust in my food, or floating into my house, bedroom etc. YAAAY!

            But it's also that I live in a rural area where a lot of guys have separate "pole barn" (40 x 100, etc) workshops, so to them, my workshop is TINY (they call it my "toy" workshop, with my "toy" tools, etc -- which they're not entirely wrong about, I mean it is just my "hobby" I'm not doing commercial cabinetry or anything).

            Plus conversely, I guess you gotta realize I grew up around a lot of small "makeshift" workshops, including my dad's being in our (low ceiling dank, dark, cramped) basement space (the far corner from the narrow stairs too!) -- it was deuced difficult to get equipment or even any sizable wood down into the shop area, much less finished projects back out of it -- not to mention perennially tracking sawdust back upstairs, & smelling everything etc. That experience made me decide that I definitely wanted a "dedicated" workshop... high ceilings/walls and stuff too... plus wanted it to be BRIGHT (white upper walls, ceiling, lots of light, natural & artificial, etc)...

            EDIT: Also, I have a separate 10x10 "garden shed" -- actually built that FIRST (IIRC, summer right after I bought the house, just did one of those "kit" things, though I "upgraded" the flooring and subroof with real lumber {boards not "OSB" and 17+ years later I'm glad I did that}) -- needed to get the garden tractor & snowblower & assorted other crap OUT of the garage, else I couldn't even put two vehicles in there (also I REALLY don't like having/storing gasoline cans in the garage).


            My tools are a bit different from yours, and I did make some mistakes. #1. The long rail kit on my BT3100 is just too big. I am planning on removing it. HOWEVER, I DO love the router table built into the right side of the saw. I had a stand alone router table, Wasn't working well for me...

            My band saw is a full size 14" plus riser block. A benchtop really won't do all I want a bandsaw to do....

            I need to take a peek at my own blog page to get the image link, but somehow my company is now filtering my page as adult material (?!) so apparently they misunderstood the wood I was talking about there! Anyway I have a wall mounted veritcal stacker system like you were talking about with a cabinet. It's a great space saver, but is a problem with my bad back to actually use...

            So yes, I have lots of reorganizing and redisign to do as well...
            Well, workshops are (IMO supposed to be) "never completed" things... The day someone truly "finishes" their workshop -- with no "mistakes" left to be fixed, no more changes, or new equipment to install/swap around, etc -- is pretty much the day that they STOP using it.

            Such things are not "workshops" but instead are called "tool collections/museums."


            How do you like the "vertical stacker" thing? When I tried it, well given the tools I had & wanted on the mobile base cabinets, well you've seen the lineup, most of them are just too AWKWARD, TALL & HEAVY (bandsaw, drill press, mortiser) for me to really "save space" (they'd be stacked so high I'd need a ladder to fetch any of them down) -- only tools I had that I was able to try "swapping/flipping" were the router table & disc/belt sander (didn't have the scroll saw back then, and I still don't have a planer {don't really need one, kind of stuff I do}); and so it ended up being more trouble than it was worth (Q: is a vertical tool cabinet that only has ONE tool in it any different than just having another floor cabinet??? A: nope.)

            And then yeah, there's the whole "ow, my aching back" thing... I saw my dad struggling with several things like that (tools in "under cabinet storage, etc) as he got older. Figured I may as well design mine for my "decrepit" years right from the getgo. (Time passes faster than one thinks... hard to believe I've been in this house for 18 years now, and that it's like 14 almost 15 years already since I "added" the workshop {slab & rough framed} to the side of the garage.)


            EDIT: Also kind of ironic on the whole BT3100 "attached router table" -- that was actually one of the MAIN things that appealed to me about the BT3100, I even bought the "accessory kit" and stuff... ended up NEVER actually using the built-in router table; see I didn't have a router, and when the Ryobi stand-alone router table WITH router came on sale (same price as router alone), well I just never bothered with the one on the BT3100 (probably still have all the accessory things in a box somewhere). TBH I don't use the router table that much, tend to actually use the little 18V "trim" router more than anything else (roundovers, etc).
            Last edited by WLee; 07-09-2018, 05:20 PM.

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            • #7
              You've done a few things the same way I did: a portable cabinet/box for each "bench top" tool. Mine are on locking casters though - 4 casters too, not a 2 fixed + 2 castering setup. Sometimes they want to steer in random directions but I can spin the cabinets in-place which is worth the random directions hassle. I use the double-locking casters so both the wheel and caster axis are locked... just locking 2 of the 4 is enough to make things quite solid. For a long time my cabinets were simple 5-sided boxes with a hinged door and one movable shelf plus the bottom shelf. A year or so ago I went on the "drawer building binge" after making one new cabinet with drawers for a specific purpose and found I much preferred the drawers... so several existing cabinets got converted. The old doors (=plywood panels) became the drawer fronts. Like your cabinets, mine are simple 3/4" plywood boxes held together with glue and screws... though I use the more expensive baltic birch ply as I use spray-on or brush-on poly as the finish. So my shop has a lot of light brown boxes. Mine are in two sizes: the main box is a roughly square top & bottom... the other is half as deep but the same width. So two of those back-to-back "fit" in the same row as the larger square boxes. There are a couple oddballs though - like the long (and low) cabinet underneath the lathe + extension bed. And my giant "A" shaped clamp rack. It's on beefy casters too but, loaded up, I can barely push it. And I can't steer it at all. It goes where it wants to....

              I decided on dedicated boxes for each tool rather than flip-top cabinets as those may store two tools in one footprint but all of the accessory pieces still need homes... so you wind up with two cabinets anyways. From a space point of view the vertical stacking setup looks quite efficient but, when I sketched one out, I found I could only put a few tools on such shelves... I'm kinda short and I don't want to be reaching above my head for a moderately heavy thing. Nor do I want to frequently stand on a step stool while holding something in both hands.

              The other thing I've done in my shop that looks similar to yours is I put the electrical outlets up high. Mine are higher than my roll-around cabinets, maybe half a foot higher than the BT3's tabletop. I had it wired when I moved in... each outlet is on its own 20amp circuit so I don't have to worry about overloading stuff when I use multiple tools (e.g. saw plus dust collector). I've lined two full walls with plain wall cabinets too as most of my "bench top" tools fit/park underneath them easily; these hold magazines/books, safety gear (push sticks, ear muffs, masks, etc), my Ridgid and Ryobi cordless tools, and one is hardware+glue stuff.

              edit: router table and extension rails... Until recently, I had a full set of extension rails on my BT3 with a router table on the end. After getting a new dust collector though I couldn't get it, the BT3, and some roll-around cabinets to fit logically in the shop... unless I (illogically) faced the dust collector's control panel into the corner and made the dust drum hard to get to as well. Eventually I gave up and cut off about a third of a rail on the BT3 extensions. Wow, best change I've made to the shop in quite some time! It turns out I don't miss the extended cut capacity at all as I use a sawboard for full plywood sheets these days. That change made it much easier to park stuff along that wall, orient the dust collector properly, AND I have more room to spin the BT3 90 degrees when I need to handle extra-long pieces. My folding infeed & outfeed tables still work fine for big pieces too.

              Tools that came with their own splayed-leg metal stands - including the BT3 itself - aren't on those stands. Those stands don't offer anywhere near as much storage space as a true shelf/drawer cabinet while gobbling up just as much floor space. With my setup, the cabinet for each tool pretty much has everything associated with that tool. E.g. my Ridgid EB4424 belt/spindle sander box supports the sander while my spare belts & drums are stored inside, my regular sandpaper lives in there, my ROS lives in that box... pretty much everything sanding related is in the "sanding cabinet." All drilling stuff lives in the drill press cabinet: bits, corded drill, drill press table accessories, etc. The one tool still on its stand is the drum sander as it doesn't have much "stuff" to store with it... just a couple packs of spare belts. I have the pieces needed for put it on one of my cabinets... one of these days.

              Like you, my shop is a separate detached building. The prior owners of this outside-corner-lot house liked their toys: a dune buggy on a trailer and a speedboat on a trailer. So they added a 2-car wide but much deeper than normal "storage building" in the back yard, supplementing the regular 2-car garage attached to the front of the house. It's why I bought this house when it came on the market. The front half is still garage for me, the back half is the shop. The walls are insulated and covered in normal wallboard... but there is no ceiling - it's open to the uninsulated rafters and roof so it still gets doggone hot out there sometimes. I haven't figured out a good way to insulate and finish the ceiling... I don't want to put a normal wallboard ceiling on the 2x4s that cross the room as I use those for some lumber storage... and I don't want the ceiling (and lights) to be that low anyway. Right now I'm leaning towards a sort-of vaulted ceiling where the center section is a few feet higher than the cross-beams and would attach to the existing secondary cross-beams of the roof trusses. I'd let the outer portions slope with the bottom of the roof. We'll see. I want to put A/C out there soon. While I'm at it, I want to win the lottery too...

              mpc

              p.s. It's pretty satisfying to get organized, isn't it?
              Last edited by mpc; 07-10-2018, 04:26 AM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by mpc View Post
                I decided on dedicated boxes for each tool rather than flip-top cabinets as those may store two tools in one footprint but all of the accessory pieces still need homes... so you wind up with two cabinets anyways. From a space point of view the vertical stacking setup looks quite efficient but, when I sketched one out, I found I could only put a few tools on such shelves... I'm kinda short and I don't want to be reaching above my head for a moderately heavy thing. Nor do I want to frequently stand on a step stool while holding something in both hands.
                Exactly the same conclusion that I reached regarding the "space saving" of either the "flip tool" or the vertical stack/cabinet ideas -- I'm sure they DO function and "save space" for SOME guys' shops (depending on what array of machines/tools they have & how they use them) -- but it just didn't "fit" the tools I have, the way I work, or with my overall shop layout. Oh and yes I had the same intent with the drawers/storage underneath, idea was to keep all of the relevant "special tools" buts & pieces with the tool (router stuff with router table, sanding stuff with sander, etc) -- pretty much STILL what I intend to do, just need to get that "round tuit" and go on a drawer building binge (unfortunately other things are higher priorities at the moment: chiefly rearranging to make room for several large tools I've inherited }but not yet put in place} from my father: wood lathe, metal lathe, and big-ass vertical milling machine).

                The other thing I've done in my shop that looks similar to yours is I put the electrical outlets up high. Mine are higher than my roll-around cabinets, maybe half a foot higher than the BT3's tabletop. I had it wired when I moved in... each outlet is on its own 20amp circuit so I don't have to worry about overloading stuff when I use multiple tools (e.g. saw plus dust collector).
                Yes, I intentionally (purposefully & specifically PLANNED) my outlets & circuits... workshop has three different 20 amp outet/tool circuits (A, B, C -- easily distinguished by different color cover plates) and then a fourth for lighting, The circuits are "intermixed" throughout the shop: "C" is on the little "shorty" walls & the overhead (retractable) drop cord, "A" & "B" circuits are every other outlet (A, B, A, B, A, B, A, B, etc) along the two main/long walls, and spaced at 2 ft intervals -- overkill ? maybe, but I wanted power to be readily accessible regardless of where/how I rearranged the tools (besides the wire runs the length of the wall, so the extra cost is trivial just a few extra boxes & outlets -- they're NOT going to overload the circuit because they're NOT all actively pulling juice at the same time).
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                Also, yes I did put the outlets "up high" -- mid wall actually -- and the reasons for that can be best seen on the pics to the left and right.

                That gray board running around the middle is actually a separate board, screwed in and removable -- basically all my shop wiring is behind that and it serves as a sort of "raceway" (commercial electricians would balk at my use of Romex, and insist that conduit would have been better, but I didn't want conduit ON the walls {don't want that **** sticking out}, and running conduit INSIDE the walls would have been a royal pain... for my skillset anyway).

                But also, my shop walls are 10 ft high (which is sweet!), problem is that most wall paneling -- and I intended from the start to use plywood (yup ALL the walls are plywood -- NO sheetrock/drywall -- the upper half is just painted white), so rather than buy expensive 10 ft sheets, I just bought 4x8 I split them (actually I had the lumberyard cut the panels down to 4x4 for me, in part because at the time I didn't have a truck, just an SUV, and it couldn't haul full 4x8 sheets), the two "gray" boards at mid & top plus the two 4 ft panels = my ~10 ft wall height.

                It also meant that I didn't have to worry about "hitting" any wiring with any screws or nails (or whatever) on either the lower OR the upper walls. The gray boards act like the "red line" painted on my BT3100 -- they're a "don't go there" kind of thing. Sets me free (especially with plywood instead of sheetrock) to hang or mount whatever I want WHEREVER I want in the shop -- cabinets, whatever -- I can readily screw into the panels, no need to try to find the studs or be limited by them (now for certain HEAVY things, like lumber racking, I DO locate & use the studs but I probably wouldn't have to).


                I've lined two full walls with plain wall cabinets too as most of my "bench top" tools fit/park underneath them easily; these hold magazines/books, safety gear (push sticks, ear muffs, masks, etc), my Ridgid and Ryobi cordless tools, and one is hardware+glue stuff.
                Yup, same here... the combination of the tools on mobile base cabinets, and the wall cabinets (all on French Cleats) allow me to maximize storage/use, and yet rearrange things over time -- shift them around however I might want.


                Like you, my shop is a separate detached building. The prior owners of this outside-corner-lot house liked their toys: a dune buggy on a trailer and a speedboat on a trailer. So they added a 2-car wide but much deeper than normal "storage building" in the back yard, supplementing the regular 2-car garage attached to the front of the house. It's why I bought this house when it came on the market. The front half is still garage for me, the back half is the shop. The walls are insulated and covered in normal wallboard... but there is no ceiling - it's open to the uninsulated rafters and roof so it still gets doggone hot out there sometimes. I haven't figured out a good way to insulate and finish the ceiling... I don't want to put a normal wallboard ceiling on the 2x4s that cross the room as I use those for some lumber storage... and I don't want the ceiling (and lights) to be that low anyway. Right now I'm leaning towards a sort-of vaulted ceiling where the center section is a few feet higher than the cross-beams and would attach to the existing secondary cross-beams of the roof trusses. I'd let the outer portions slope with the bottom of the roof. We'll see. I want to put A/C out there soon. While I'm at itClick image for larger version  Name:	100_0102.JPG Views:	1 Size:	106.8 KB ID:	833764, I want to win the lottery too...
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                Ah, here maybe my experience & choices might (possibly?) be of some help... or maybe not, maybe just "food for thought."

                Pic at left shows the garage-side of the shop addition -- including BTW the 5 ft wide opening into the garage (originally intended to close off with bi-fold doors to reduce dust travel, but "round tuit" again) -- anyway, you can see that I did the "cathedral" ceiling approach, just rafters and two collar ties 4 ft apart and 4 ft from the end walls (12 ft deep) -- they LOOK like "big beams" but they're just 2x8's that have been boxed out to be "faux" beams (worked out really well in that it gave me convenience way to install overhead lights, AND overhead outlets/retractable power, etc).

                For the ceiling I decided to go with ceiling panel things, and used the CeilingLink stuff (http://www.ceilinglink.com/).

                Which worked well enough, certainly a LOT easier to do "single handed" than trying to sheetrock the ceiling (especially in the workshop with the off angles, tight quarters, beams, etc)


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                Also used the same system in the garage (see pic at left) -- but opted there to use furring strips & run panels perpendicular, rather than attach directly to trusses. (there IS still "storage" in garage attic -- accessed via a pull down stair at the "workbench" end of the garage -- not sure if that's referred to as the "front" or the "back" of the garage -- opposite end from the garage door anyway).

                CHIEF goal at the time was that, since having had the "Hot Dawg" heater installed (see pic at right, gray ceiling mounted box in middle of picture) -- I wanted, NO, scratch that... I ABSOLUTELY NEEDED, to get the ceilings insulated ASAP -- not only to stop heat loss (and also by insulating keep the whole place a LOT cooler in summer), but to prevent the heated roof from melting the snow off and creating "ice dams" on the roof overhangs (that ****'ll destroy your roof really fast); and yet I hated the idea of just having fiberglass insulation (even with the backing) as ceiling (white ceiling also BRIGHTENED up garage & shop tremendously).

                Plus, again, I needed to do all of this single handed and "bit by bit" (evenings, weekends, etc) so going with the "ceiling panel" just worked really well with that, also allowed me to shift all the CRAP in the garage/shop around instead of having to move it all out (plus of course no taping or mudding, no priming or painting needed, etc -- ceiling panel stuff is pretty much "no muss, no fuss"). Also, if any of the panels get damaged, they're easily replaced. Plus when you have no truck well much easier to pickup boxes that are 2ft x 4ft, rather than 4x8 sheetrock. (But of course, to add some irony... shortly after I finished all of the above, I bought... a pickup truck. LOL, go figure).


                p.s. It's pretty satisfying to get organized, isn't it?
                Absolutely... trick is to KEEP things "clean & organized" (maybe not quite to "Rod Kirby" level, but towards that ideal) -- and not let the clutter build up to the extent that I did.

                In my (rationalizing "excuse" making) defense, I was VERY busy with a whole host of other things during the past decade, and the shop & woodworking (other than some trivial things) took a backseat... but now, with current & future planned projects (maybe I'll reveal more on that soon here), well I not only need to make the space for the "new" (to me) equipment I'm inheriting from dad, like the lathes & milling machine, but I also need the whole shop & garage to be well-organized, clean & "professional."

                Plus, yes indeed it is SATISFYING even sort of "nourishing" to the soul to both "clean house" (get rid of 18+ years of detritus -- amazing the GARBAGE you accumulate!) and to "put everything in order" -- a place for everything and everything in it's place.


                BTW I'm far from done, got the dust collection in place -- something I've wanted to do for a LONG time (need to write up & post the pics for the "Episode #3" on that as I think I have some things that will be both "unique" or at least of some interest to other guys on that {i.e. "Look ma, NO blast gates!" etc}) -- but I also need to install the "hard line" air system (bought a RapidAir kit probably about 8 years ago, just never installed it!... the kit was missing the "round tuit" you see).

                CHEERS!

                P.S. Thanks for the long & thoughtful reply -- that's what I came here and started posting again for -- this isn't (or at least not just/only) about "ego stroking/humble bragging" (me with my "toy" workshop) rather it's to give back to the community and ideally to get some feedback in return. (Which of course is only evident if people actually comment/reply.) So again, and sincerely: THANKS!

                EDIT: Added link to tour of Rod Kirby's shop (i.e. https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/sa...by-s-shop-tour) -- just in case there are people here who haven't seen that "Taj Mahal" of small(ish) workshops.
                Last edited by WLee; 07-10-2018, 04:24 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by WLee View Post

                  Oh, don't get me wrong, I truly LOVE and quite appreciate the fact that I am sort of "privileged" to (finally, after almost two decades of renting w/o even a garage or ANY "shop" area!) have been able to build and have the "dedicated" workshop area (technically 12 x 16, but I have a 5' wide opening to the two car garage {20 x 24}, so if/when I do any BIG projects, I just have to pull/keep one or more of the vehicles out)... And of course it's not just "dedicated" but separate from the house (and on a DETACHED garage -- which is also now fully insulated, & heated -- Hot Dawg 45k BTU propane ceiling mounted -- that thing is soooo sweet) so no car or painting/varnishing related odors & fumes OR any sawdust in my food, or floating into my house, bedroom etc. YAAAY!

                  But it's also that I live in a rural area where a lot of guys have separate "pole barn" (40 x 100, etc) workshops, so to them, my workshop is TINY (they call it my "toy" workshop, with my "toy" tools, etc -- which they're not entirely wrong about, I mean it is just my "hobby" I'm not doing commercial cabinetry or anything).
                  That makes all the difference in the world for sure. I am in the 'burbs where my HOA limits outbuildings to 10x12 with a roof height no taller than 9' which won't work well for me. I have been doing LOTS of research and they have waived this plenty of my neighbors. THere are TONS of screen enclosures over pools etc.. that are 20x30 with peak heights of about 18'. I have enough info to show precedent and most likely get a waiver. However I don't have a huge back yard. 12x16 gambrel roof barn with a 16' peak would be more than enough for me. And I think I can get away with it!

                  Plus conversely, I guess you gotta realize I grew up around a lot of small "makeshift" workshops, including my dad's being in our (low ceiling dank, dark, cramped) basement space (the far corner from the narrow stairs too!) -- it was deuced difficult to get equipment or even any sizable wood down into the shop area, much less finished projects back out of it -- not to mention perennially tracking sawdust back upstairs, & smelling everything etc. That experience made me decide that I definitely wanted a "dedicated" workshop... high ceilings/walls and stuff too... plus wanted it to be BRIGHT (white upper walls, ceiling, lots of light, natural & artificial, etc)...

                  EDIT: Also, I have a separate 10x10 "garden shed" -- actually built that FIRST (IIRC, summer right after I bought the house, just did one of those "kit" things, though I "upgraded" the flooring and subroof with real lumber {boards not "OSB" and 17+ years later I'm glad I did that}) -- needed to get the garden tractor & snowblower & assorted other crap OUT of the garage, else I couldn't even put two vehicles in there (also I REALLY don't like having/storing gasoline cans in the garage).
                  My Dads workshop was in our basement as well. He didn't have nearly the setup I do, just an old Craftsman table saw, a Craftsman tube lathe, a Rockwell drill press and that was about it. A mess of hand tools, He flattened and squared up his stock with a hand plane, Nobody in his generation gave dust collection a single thought, and assembly was done on the other side of the stair case in the rec room.


                  ...
                  How do you like the "vertical stacker" thing?
                  It's not working for me the way I wanted it to. I've been diagnosed with an arthritic shoulder at a fairly early age, and I have known back issues. Injections and physical therapy can only do so much. The fact is the bench top tools are still pretty heavy, and the vertical stacker, while space efficient, is very difficult for me to use effectively..

                  I had started out with rolling stands, sort of in the same vein as yours, but basically a 2x4 framed box that was enclosed with 3/4" plywood. Massive, and overkill.

                  For my needs I am giving serious thought into the individual rolling cabinets like yours. I need to sell off, or modify some tools though. Specifically the drill press as I want a good throw benchtop press, and there are few of those on the market. I can either cut down the column on my floor model, which I may do. My brother in law has a body shop and the know how to do it. Or I may sell it and grab a new Wen 12" press.... I like the idea of a new drill press, but my old Northern Tool DP has been a champ, and I bought it for next to nothing...

                  I would need cabinets for the following benchtop, or benchtop converted tools.

                  Drill Press
                  HF Mortiser
                  Scroll saw
                  Rigid Oscillating spindle / belt sander
                  6" Benchtop jointer.
                  13" Lunchbox planer
                  8" Bench Grinder and sharpening station.

                  I had and am still debating building flip top stands to save floor space. I would probably pair them thusly.

                  Drill Press / Mortiser
                  Jointer / Planer
                  Scroll Saw / Sander

                  That would leave the grinder / sharpening station solo, which is okay. I can use the lower part for lathe tools....

                  And yes, how hard they are to use on the back and shoulder MUST be taken into consideration. I am NOT getting any younger that's for sure.

                  Individual stands like you did, have the advantage of being set, and ready to go when you are, and you can build them to put the tool exactly at the height you want to work at. You are not dependent upon the other tool on the flip top. Plus you can use the under cabinet area to store the accessories for that machine. So say the drill press can have the drill bits and hand held drills, pocket hole jig etc... stashed in maybe drawers underneath the drill press. sander could have spare belts, hand sanders, sanding sheets etc... Light stuff kept low and high, heavy stuff kept waist high if possible... But at the sacrifice of floor space. Again this is a problem in a small shop....


                  EDIT: Also kind of ironic on the whole BT3100 "attached router table" -- that was actually one of the MAIN things that appealed to me about the BT3100, I even bought the "accessory kit" and stuff... ended up NEVER actually using the built-in router table; see I didn't have a router, and when the Ryobi stand-alone router table WITH router came on sale (same price as router alone), well I just never bothered with the one on the BT3100 (probably still have all the accessory things in a box somewhere). TBH I don't use the router table that much, tend to actually use the little 18V "trim" router more than anything else (roundovers, etc).
                  I used the OEM router table accessory and didn't care for it. I like a shop built with a full plate instead. Just my preferences.... But I also don't use a Ryobi router. So to get my Hitachi KM12VC to work, I have to mod the mounting plate, a LOT and the collar hole in the Ryobi plate is too small for the big bits my Hitachi can spin....

                  I have been considering a smaller Ryobi or maybe a Bosch hand held router for smaller jobs though. Something easier to manage....

                  Another area in my shop I am really unhappy with space usage is the 12" Sliding compound miter saw. The rear slide arrangement is VERY inefficient space wise. While it is more than I can spring for at this time, My long term goal is to replace my large saw with a forward slide arranged Hitachi C12RSH2 15-Amp 12-Inch Dual Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw. At the very least, I want to move it off of the big space sucker bench I built for it, and get it onto something a bit less space consuming.
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                  • #10
                    I have that Hitachi saw and love it. But I'm not sure what's different, and want to make sure you understand how it works. There are double slides, and when left unlocked, it tends to slide rearward first, then the front part slides. You can lock the rear part and slide only the front, but then friction goes way up. I can measure my space usage if you'd like.

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                    • #11
                      I love how everyone has the miter saw station that has the bottom storage filled up with cutofffs that we just canít bear to throw out!

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                      • #12
                        Hah, I'm constantly finding uses for them. Softwood as cauls, drill backing, fillers, whatever. Hardwoods for jigs, small projects, trim on projects, and tests. MDF for jigs, backers, etc. If it starts to get tall, it becomes that winter's campfire starters (except the toxic stuff of course). That lamp project I just posted used a number of "junk" thin cutoffs from that bin.

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                        • #13
                          Ugh, so it doesn't quite work the way it looks online... Too bad noody local carries them...
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                          • #14
                            Maybe. This sort of thing is so hard to describe. I can get a video later if you want.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by dbhost View Post
                              Individual stands like you did, have the advantage of being set, and ready to go when you are, and you can build them to put the tool exactly at the height you want to work at. You are not dependent upon the other tool on the flip top. Plus you can use the under cabinet area to store the accessories for that machine. So say the drill press can have the drill bits and hand held drills, pocket hole jig etc... stashed in maybe drawers underneath the drill press. sander could have spare belts, hand sanders, sanding sheets etc... Light stuff kept low and high, heavy stuff kept waist high if possible... But at the sacrifice of floor space. Again this is a problem in a small shop....
                              Yes those are pretty much the advantages of the "simple" mobile cabinet (at least assuming you actually do the "drawer build binge" instead of {like me}, having a collection of yet unused drawer slides, LOL)...
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                              Though I'd add a couple more; like that my cabinets tend to be a pretty NARROW (just 16" wide) which allows them to be packed in pretty tightly in a lineup (see the "lineup pic" in previous comment above) and then -- if necessary (assuming it can't be used "in place" within the lineup, which they often CAN be) -- the cabinet can be pulled/rolled OUT from the lineup (sort of like pulling out a drawer) -- and of course I can easily have dedicated dust collection (no need to swap hoses) and the machines can all be plugged in for ready access/immediate use. (Not having any little "urchins" about that I need fear cutting their fingers off, I can leave everything plugged in, etc.)

                              EDIT: Also in terms of "storage"; for a while I tended to keep: my hand held drills as well as big "drill bit packs" in the cabinet under the drill press; the circular & recip saws under the band saw, the various handheld sanders under the disc/belt sander, and the trim routers under the router table (the drawers of which DO exist and actually have router bits & tools, etc in them); but they were more or less just crammed into the under too cabinet space, not really well organized. But, I actually no longer do that, not because it was necessarily a bad system, but rather because I bought & plopped one of those cheapie Harbor Freight workbenches {pic at right} into the middle of my shop -- and yeah, I know, I know... it's not a REAL "Scandinavian" workbench, etc, but f'in h*ll, it was also only $125, instead of a grand, and it does what I need it to... anyway, virtually all of my most commonly used handheld tools (battery or corded) now live on the shelf below that workbench... just much more readily accessible there.

                              But as for the "flip top" things...
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                              Well, by contrast to my design, what I normally see for "flip top" style cabinets, they tend to be LESS compact; often they NEED to be wider in one dimension because one or the other of the tools is invariably bigger than the other, and then with a bit of "extra" width to make certain there is clearance for the "flipping" (like the photo at left). Generally they get built wider (or I guess you could say "longer/deeper") in order to lend more stability to the unit (particularly when trying to "flip" heavy beast tools that aren't necessarily well-balanced or matched with the paired tool). IN many cases the sides get "beefed up" (like the one in the pic at right) in order to not only regain storage space, but to help with the solidity/stability (I'd bet the one at left is a bit "dubious"in regards to just how firm/stable that top was with only the "finger" sides sticking up, hence the reason he added the 1x4 verticals on the edges {which LOOKS like it doesn't take more space, but it actually HAS made the unit about 6" to 7" wider than it would have needed to be to simply accommodate the tools themselves); of course YMMV on that.
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                              In some cases (like the 3 tool "flipper" in the pic at the immediate left), well it not only has to be flipped -- AND notably have clearance front & back for the tools that then stick out (presumably it's normal "compact" orientation is with the drill press UP) -- but it also has to be a 4 caster "spinner" because the 3rd tool has to be used from the BACK)... which means you need to have clearance area TO "spin" the thing (worse yet trying to "spin" it in the configuration shown). Seems like it ends up being probably LESS efficient use of space than it initially appears to.

                              I'd also be rather concerned about how well "balanced" any/all of these things are; you can just as easily put your back out or wrench a shoulder, etc just when trying to "flip" or "spin" such beasts (cabinet carrying 2x or 3x the total tool weight to boot), especially if they're NOT "well balanced" and/or start to "get away from you" and you do quick attempt to "catch" the thing (from falling, from back-flipping, or flipping too far, etc).

                              Then of course ALL of those "flipper" tool cabinets are entirely LACKING any really usable "storage space -- even the one on the right, for all it's extra size to add storage/stability, well seems pretty INefficient for storage, unless it's MAIN job is to be an out-feed table for the cabinet saw next to it (but it doesn't appear to be the right height for that, and it's use as a "workbench" if/when the planer is lowered would seem dubious as well) -- and of course dust collection hookup (or indeed even power cord storage/hookup) for all of these are probably a bit of a PITA.

                              I mean again, I "get" the need for compactness (trust me, I really do, my whole life & work has been in rather "tight" quarters -- relatively speaking -- and I'm nearly always trying to pack 10lbs in a 5lbs sack so to speak {usually succeed too!})... It's just that sometimes I think we get carried away with, ad even overly attached to the "ingenuity" aspect of a certain design IDEA, even when it ends up not being very practical -- and then of course there is the "sunk cost" side: bit of "humble pie" that is tough to swallow having put in the effort & time & resources to build such a thing, and then admit that... well, maybe it really ISN'T as convenient or as much of a "space saver" as we intended (or hoped).

                              Basically I think any/all tool cabinet designs are compromises" in one way or another, with the various contending issues/priorities: space, convenience, stability, accessibility, storage, etc -- you invariably have to trade-off or sacrifice (or at least decrement) one or the other of those in order to accommodate/increase the others -- so which design you end up with really depends on how you define your priorities.

                              CHEERS!


                              Click image for larger version  Name:	104037737.jpg Views:	1 Size:	94.9 KB ID:	833791P.S. Arguably I guess I do still have one "flip" tool -- one I tend to forget about because it IS "hidden" and since I have the BT3100, I just don't use much anymore -- in the Ryobi CMS that (along with small circ saw, speed saw, recip saw, drill, flashlight & three batteries) came inside the gray plastic wheeled box (with collapse handle, ala "wheelie suitcase") as part of the "Six Pack" SPC18 setup (see pic example at left) when Ryobi first introduced the 18V+ battery powered tool line -- I suppose technically that was my first "Ryobi" branded * tool purchase, circa summer of 2002 (and mainly bought & used to build the workshop). I guess those are pretty "rare"; and the 18V CMS isn't necessarily all that great, but it did the job I needed it to at the time (and the whole "all in one box" cart was handy on a couple of other occasions as well; I really DID use it in the "portable" sense it was designed for, just not more than a half dozen times).

                              * Arguably I already owned a couple of other Ryobi tools before that (the old mini-biscuit cutter, and an orbital handheld, corded sander), but those were both bought as "Craftsman" labeled things (though I knew they were actually made by Ryobi when I bought them, Sears just had a better deal, and there weren't as many Home Depot stores near me back then, which was circa mid 1990's).
                              Last edited by WLee; 07-11-2018, 07:10 PM.

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