dedicATED Workspace guidE

miter saw cutting board

Build Better. Build More.

There are a variety of improvements you can make to your workspace that will improve your building efficiency and create a more enjoyable space to work.

WHICH TOPIC DO YOU WANT TO EXPLORE FIRST?

Work Surfaces

Storage & Organization

Dust Control

Work Environment

Work Surfaces

Whether you are working in the driveway or have a dedicated space to build wood projects, every workspace benefits from a good work surface. Check out the tips below for tips and ideas for adding a work surface to your space no matter its size.

SHOP TOUR:

ideas for work surfaces in dedicated spaces

Project workflow and flexibility are two factors that will improve your workspace. In this video, Mike will show you his shop layout and talk through each of his work surfaces.

While every shop is different, touring Mike's shop may give you some new ideas for how to set up work surfaces in your own space.

When selecting a work surface, always ensure it is flat, sturdy, level, and you can easily clamp to it.

Setting Up the layout of your dedicated space

Tip #1  

store material near the door

Locate material space near the entrance so it's easy to unload and store material when you bring it home.

 TIP #2  

do rough cuts or knock downs near material storage

Place a miter saw near your material storage so you can cut boards down to size. This is also a good spot to set up work supports for knocking down plywood with a circular or track saw.

 tip #3  

place your primary surface in the center

Locate your primary work surface in the center of your space. This gives you access to all sides for assembling, cutting angles and shapes, sanding parts, and prepping for assembly.

miter saw cutting board

OUR TOP PICKS FOR Dedicated SpaceS

casters

Mobile work surfaces can be pushed against the wall and rolled around while working. This also makes your shop layout more flexible. Check out our collection of medium duty and heavy duty casters perfect for whatever you want to roll around. 

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mobile project center + traCk horse

Sometimes you just need a large work surface for cutting down sheets of plywood, or building larger projects and this set up fits the bill. Combine with a project panel or this Support Cutting Grid.

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2 mobile project centers

Mobile Project Centers fold flat and work well when you need an extra work surface. Combine two Mobile Project Centers with a project panel for a larger surface that can be used for cutting down plywood sheets and building larger projects.


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Mobile Outfeed table

Casters provide mobility to optimize your workflow and move to the driveway or within the garage. This large work surface offers plenty of space for clamping and assembly.
 

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miter saw Station

This creates a dedicated station for cutting down material near the entrance to your workspace.



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Flip top bench

Save space with two work stations in one footprint. Add casters so you can quickly move it around your shop.



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Rolling workbench

This multipurpose workbench is on wheels so you can quickly rearrange and optimize your workflow. It's also handy for rolling out to the driveway and offers plenty of room for clamping and assembly. 

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Storage & Organization

With a space dedicated to building, there's plenty of opportunity to create customized storage to organize all of your tools, lumber, and supplies.

SHOP TOUR:

ideas for work surfaces in dedicated spaces

Workflow is an important factor to consider when setting up storage solutions throughout your shop. Locate tools near where they'll be used. Keep things mobile so you can adjust your shop layout as your workflow changes and evolves. A French cleat system makes wall-mounted storage units easy to move and reposition.

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN organizing your workspace

miter saw cutting board

 tip #1

TOOL storage 

  • Mobile tool cabinets with a mix of drawer sizes provide storage space for smaller power tools and hand tools.
  • DIY cabinets can be built with adjustable shelves or drawers and customized to fit your storage needs. Add casters if you want mobility, and doors if you want to conceal the clutter and prevent dust.
  • Wall-mounted shelving and upper cabinets with adjustable shelves and doors utilize your vertical space and give you room to organize smaller tools.
  • Wall-mounted DIY organizers like drill storage stations, charging stations, and clamp racks provide custom storage and free up space on your work surfaces.
  • Drawers of varying sizes accommodate power tools, hand tools, hardware, and accessories.
miter saw cutting board

 tip #2 

Lumber STorage

  • Wall-mounted racks free up floor space and allow you to store lumber flat so it doesn't warp. Look for heavy-duty brackets with a high weight capacity.
  • A plywood bin with a couple dividers creates a spot to organize short boards and materials. Make it mobile with casters. 
  • A mobile or wall-mounted plywood storage rack gives you a spot to organize large sheet goods.
miter saw cutting board

 tip #3  

Hardware & Supply Storage

  • Store clamps on a DIY clamp rack. This can be mounted to a wall or underneath your workbench.
  • Cabinet drawers with dividers help organize screws and hardware. Add labels to quickly find the length and size you need.
  • Stackable hardware cases or a wall-mounted bin with drawers gives you a spot to organize small hardware and parts.
  • Finishes should always be stored in a climate-controlled space.
  • Pegboard keeps things easy to find and access (we like Wall Control pegboard). Add open bins to store loose hardware and use hooks to hang small supplies you use frequently.

OUR TOP PICKS FOR dedicated SPACES

Wall Control kits

Place near your work for quick access to your most used tools.


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bucket boss organizers

For portable, easy access to your tools and hardware.


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casters

Keep those storage carts mobile and accessible with our collection of medium duty and heavy duty casters.

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clamp rack

Organize your clamps with this wall-mounted clamp rack. Place it near your assembly area so they're easy to reach.


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Organizer shelf

Dedicated storage for hardware and small parts can save a lot of time and headaches finding what you need, when you need it. 

 

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drill charging station

Keep wires out of the way and your batteries charged with a dedicated place for your cordless drill and tools. 

 

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lumber cart

Piles of unorganized lumber can drive a person crazy and be a safety hazard. Keep it mobile and dedicate a cart to keep you building, not digging. 
 

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Cabinet

Build one or build enough to fill a whole wall! Having doors to hide away the clutter always helps spaces look more organized.


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storage cabinets

Find a home for all of your tools and supplies with this large storage cabinet.



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rolling tool cart

Mobility and small footprint make this a great addition to a small or shared space to keep you tools near your work.


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Simple tool storage center

Easy access with minimal space.
Pegboards provide flexible organization anywhere in the workspace. 
 

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rolling work seat

A small, mobile storage seat handy for small projects in the garage.



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garage storage and work center

Multi-use storage area for easy access and small projects.

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garage sports equipment storage

Not having to move stuff every time you build makes it much more enjoyable.  Give it a home near the door where it gets used.

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Dust Collection

Want to spend more time building and less time cleaning up? Maximize your efficiency by controlling saw dust as you make it rather than spending time cleaning it up at the end. No matter your work space set up, dust collection doesn’t need to take over your shop.

SHOP TOUR:

dust collection tips

It's easy to let dust pile up in your workspace. In this video, Mike shows you the variety of methods he uses to control dust in his shop.

 tip #1

Vacuums Can Do it all (almost)

  • Upgrading to a quality shop vac with some simple accessories can make it a workhorse in your shop.
  • Adding accessories like a longer, more flexible hose, different size connections to fit a variety of tools, and a quality reusable filter are simple ways to make a vacuum more versatile.
  • A dust separator attachment and a 5 gallon bucket can even help handle some tools that kick out a high volume of dust or chips.

 tip #2 

Central Collection System

  • For larger tools, a central dust collector might be in order. The larger motor creates higher suction so longer hose lengths are possible.
  • Flex hose or rigid pipe are two great options for larger units. 4"-6" hose diameter is common.
  • Don't forget the gates. With multiple tools, it's possible to run one hose from the collector to a tool. However, you must move it each time you use a different tool. A more efficient method is to incorporate blast gates and hose for each tool. Opening just one tool at a time concentrates all the suction in one place.
  • Switch activated or tool triggered outlet plugs are a great add-on for any dust collection system. This eliminates the need to walk over and switch the dust collection on first.

 tip #3  

Air Filtration Unit

  • Add a ceiling mount central air filtration unit for the fine particles your vacuums or dust collectors miss.

OUR TOP PICKS FOR dedicated SPACES

Shop Vacs

Wet/dry vacs are handy for all sorts of cleanups in addition to wood projects and dust collection.  Check out our selection.

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Shop Vac remote Switch

Conveniently turn on/off the shop vac when and where you're using it.


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Dust Separator

Add this lid + bucket to your vac setup to remove the dust and keep your vac filter clean.

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Shop Vac cart w/Storage

Keep the vac near the action with this DIY cart on casters. Easily modified to include a dust separator system.


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DIY AIr filtration

Open air isn't always a given.  This DIY air filtration is a great way to keep the dust down.

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casters

Use with DIY carts to keep the vacs near the action.



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Work Environment

Power, lighting, climate and air all have an impact on your workspace. Not only is a good work environment more comfortable and enjoyable to work in, but can also affect your materials and the quality of your projects.

SHOP TOUR:

TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR WORK ENVIRONMENT

No matter the size of your workspace, there are improvements you can make to improve your projects and work environment.

Mike will walk you through the variety of lighting, climate, and air circulation solutions he added to his shop. 

 tip #1

Improve Your Lighting

  • Overhead LED shop lights help brighten up your entire shop. Look for lights that are 3000 to 5000 lumens.
  •  Smaller task lights at work stations like your band saw or spindle sander to give you more light for detail work.

 tip #2  

Consider Climate Control

  • Controlling the temperature is important in dedicated spaces where you work as well as store material and finishes.
  • Lumber expands and contracts with changes in temperature and humidity. This can affect the integrity of your project.
  • Store finishes and paints where the temperature is between 50°F and 70°F. Also avoid areas where the temperature may exceed 100°F. Exceeding these temperature ranges can breakdown the chemical compounds in the finishes and make them unusable.

 tip #3

Circulate The Air

  • Air circulation is a simple way to help control the temperature without installing a heating or cooling unit.
  • Concrete floors are naturally cooler than the ambient air temperature, even in the summer. Use a powerful floor fan to circulate that cooler air from the floor around your workspace.
  • Since hot air rises, use a ceiling fan in the winter to push warm air downward into your workspace.

Safety equipment

As always, keep your eyes, hands, and lungs SAFE with our select shop supplies.

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