What shop upgrades are you planning?


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After I finish my next project, I'm going to change a couple of things in my shop. As I'm writing out my wish list, I couldn't help but wonder what some of you are planning. I'm going to:

1. Take out a closet so I have more wall space for big power tools :D

2. Remove my never used radial arm saw and move my miter saw down so I can add a longer fence with stop block.

3. Build a cabinet base for my contractor table saw and add dust collection to the router that's mounted in the wing.

That's it for the major stuff. What are YOU going to change?

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  • Rewire basement (lights and outlets)
  • Build table to mount lathe (which i am buying very soon)
  • Build walls to enclose the furnace + water heater to keep the dust out (I have a basement shop)
  • Fur out the concrete walls so that I can begin to utilize the wall surface of the basement
  • Build tables to integrate the table saw and Miter saw with storage and workspace

But before I do any of that, the #1 job is to get through this recession so I can afford to do these things.

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Items on the short list:

- build shelving, bins in back of the van for tablesaw, routers, layout tools, compressor, pneumatic and power tools, etc. (my shop is mostly portable)

- add router table mod to my Rousseau folding table saw stand (got to save as much floor space as I can!)

- hang shelving and cleats for clamps, planes, lathe tools, etc

After that:

- build foldaway glue up/assembly table for garage (right now I mill everything outside then bring it in to the basement for assembly)

- hook up treadmill motor and controller (variable speed!) to lathe

- build trash can dust separator for me shop vac

- build air drying rack behind garage (mill your own!)

Items recently completed:

- mounted sharpening jigs for slow speed grinder

- built hinged sheet goods rack

- hung shelves for extra stock

- garden tool shed (I think this counts because it freed up a lot of shop space!)

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Electrical sub-panel. Right now my shop and the kitchen are on the same 15 amp breaker and when my wife makes coffee while the dust collector is running the breaker pops (not a good situation - she loves her coffee more than my dust collector). A previous owner of the house did bad things to the wiring.

Redo the shelving. I recently bought some new tools and need to reorg the storage area to hold new supplies.

Build a new workbench

Build a new chop saw station

Reduce the amount of lumber on the lumber racks by finishing the 101 other projects I want to do...

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For right now I'm just going to start doing some kind of woodworking projects. See my blog on my shop tour, since I have all my tools out of storage its time to play a little. Next years list will be items I need to do to finish out the shop.

1. Insulate the shop

2. Put up walls and ceiling in the shop

3. Put in the duct work for dust collection

4. Run air lines

After that I will then know what I will want to upgrade next after having worked in the shop for a while.

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I've got to finish the process of making my garage a shop.

1. Wire 220v circuits to the three walls. Maybe just run wire for now and install the circuits later, but the wall needs to be ready to close up.

2. Run wiring and junction boxes for more lighting and re-position the current fixtures.

3. Insulate walls and cover them with paneling of some variety.

4. Sheetrock and insulate the ceiling.

5. Get a mini split AC installed and enjoy being able to use my shop at any time of day.

6. Hang french cleats along the walls.

7. Build a lumber rack.

8. Mobile cabinet for the table saw.

9. Counterspace with storage underneath for the benchtop tools.

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Ahh the nevr eding project. I need to make a different system for holding my smaller clamps (like spring, band, and faceframe clamps)I have them mounted on the side of my bech but when I sit to do dovetails my knees keep hitting them.

A new parts organizer. I have a 4'x4'x6" pigeon hole organizer that I built a long time ago but want pull out drawers so I can grab what I need and take it to the bench.

A new bench.

By the time I get this done I will have a new list :D


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I've got central HVAC for the shop, but want to leave the furnace as back up and install a ductless heatpump. We put them in the house two years ago and love them. Big savings over my gas(LP) units.

I'm also starting the design of my assembly/outfeed/bending/router table. I need to buy my veneer press and bags first to determine storage needs.

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I'm not sure if I want to see how long the list is if I take out of my head, but I put on the shades and type it out:


  1. Move out old equipment and rearrange the keepers.
  2. Dust extraction, right now I rely on brooms and breathing masks.
  3. Put bearings to guide the blade in the band saw, I got smoldering dust heaps the other day. :blink:
  4. Build a table for the router out of the old worthless table saw.
  5. Get a real table saw.
  6. Maybe put in some sort of heating for winter time.
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Just finished my upgrades for this year:

Totally gutted and cleaned the place front to back. That was the big one.

New 1.5 dust collector, moved the smaller 1 HP collector to be a dedicated unit for my table saw.

Built a router table into the TS, got rid of my full-sized table which was taking up too much room for the little I use it.

Added a Kreg fence to my bandsaw.

Now, to find the time to actually build stuff in there. My family is leaving Sunday for a week in Michigan and I'm staying behind. Apart from a couple of days at work I'll have as much uninterrupted shop time as I want. Huzzah!

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Totally reorganization of the workshop by: building Mark's lumber rack for storage, the selling of my RAS and 10" Sliding mitersaw for a 12" sliding mitersaw, organizing small odds and ends of lumber for burning or use, and building a french-cleat system and several tool cabinets to again organize!!

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But before I do any of that, the #1 job is to get through this recession so I can afford to do these things.


Moving in a few days. Going from limited space in a basement shop to no shop, so the priorities are... in process. The current plan includes changing the storage shed into a storage place for tools, and pulling out saw horses to work on. Next is to figure out where to put things while the glue is setting up. This is all going to be on one extension cord, so this is also in the planning.

Oh, and put in applications at dozens of places so I can afford to repair the car to get back and forth to work, not to mention put wood in the shed, food on the table, and help cover the roof over our heads.

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going to see if i can get a better dust collection system installed in the classroom. something simple as we dont run any industrial equipment but i want to hook it up to the shop vac plastic hoses already installed. and im going to set it up on the power strips so that if we turn on a machine it will turn on the dust collector.

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I'm actually finally building a 'shop' are instead of just taking up a corner of the basement. We moved the water heater that was sorta in the way, which will let me put up a wall and a nice long bench. Some steel shelving units are going to go on wheels, new electrical runs instead of extension cords, and I might run ducting for my DC so I can tuck the DC itself in behind some other items. I'm in the middle of planning the tool layout and figuring out what mobile stands I need to get/make.

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I might run ducting for my DC so I can tuck the DC itself in behind some other items.

Careful. I started to do this very thing in my current location, and realized that not only did I hide the DC behind two immovable benches, I also put the filter and chip collectors in the most inaccessible location there. If you do plan on putting the DC behind equipment/benches, as I started to, make sure you can disconnect the DC from the wall to get it out enough to empty the bag, filter, and chip separator (if you go that route. I was trying to turn a Harbor Freight special into a 2 stage with the Woodcraft cyclone lid... Fortunately never got the DC as I realized the space was not going to work out.)

If you are just using the DC as it comes out of the box (after "some assembly required," if necessary), I'd recommend creating at least enough space to get a trash can in for the chip bag. (Might mean reorienting the DC "backwards" to provide access.) If you modify the DC into a two stage, (as some here have done), or have a two stage, the whole DC unit should be on castors, and not shoehorned in. I learned this the hard way. I might even be able to retrieve the trash can I got for the cyclone stage from my current location... but most of the ducting is not salvageable. (I hate flooding basements.)

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