Shared 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

Work surfaces are key to creating an efficient, functional workspace. Check out the tips below for work surface ideas and things you should consider when deciding what type of surface is best for your space.

SHOP TOUR:

ideas for work surfaces in Shared Spaces

With a shared space like a third garage stall, you have room to get really creative with your work surface solutions. In this video, Allen walks us through the different work surfaces he's added to his garage and how he's positioned them to match his workflow.

An ideal set-up is to have one primary assembly table plus smaller supplemental work surfaces that are designed for specific tasks like routing, sanding, or finishing. 

Allen recommends adding casters to all of your work surfaces to keep things flexible so you can optimize the layout of your workspace and your project workflow.

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

CHOOSING A WORK SURFACE FOR YOUR Shared SPACE

 TIP #1  

Mobile Surfaces Create Flexibility

Add casters so you can quickly rearrange your workspace to match your project workflow and maximize your space.

 tip #2  

Place Your Primary Surface In The Center

Position your primary work surface in the center of your space. This gives you access to all sides and allows you to quickly move back and forth between the central hub and task-specific tools and surfaces around the perimeter.

 tip #3  

Place secondary surfaces on the perimeter

Surround your primary work surface with smaller surfaces dedicated to specific tools and tasks like rolling miter saw stands and flip top tables. These allow you to focus on one task at a time without other tools and materials getting in the way.

 tip #4  

Leave Room To Access at least 3 sides

Having open access to at least 3 sides of a surface will help you reach all sides and angles of your project without constantly repositioning it. Mobile work surfaces can be moved around to give you access to any side as you work.

OUR TOP PICKS FOR Shared 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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saw horse work surface

  These lightweight saw horses are portable for quick set up, tear down and minimal storage. This set includes notches that hold 2 2x4 boards to give you a stable surface to cut down plywood, support larger projects, or set larger tools like a miter saw to elevate your work area.  

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Mobile Outfeed table

Multi-use for project assembly and outfeed. 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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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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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 miter saw stand

This miter saw stand has a minimal footprint with removable wings. It's casters make it easy to roll around your workspace and tuck out of the way when not in use.

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simple workbench

This small multipurpose workbench is great for many projects and hobbies. Its small footprint is a good match for small spaces, and it provides a good edge for clamping and assembly. 

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Storage & Organization

Although you have some space carved out for building, you're likely still sharing it with yard tools, sports equipment, bikes, and more. Maximize your space by adding smart storage that keeps things organized and easy to find.

SHOP TOUR:

ideas for Storage in shared spaces

Take a tour of the storage Allen has added to his workspace in his third garage stall. You'll see how he's built cabinets and tool storage that are customized to his needs.

Organizing Your Shared Space

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 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 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.
  • A portable tool bag (like Bucket Boss) is a great spot to store frequently-used tools, especially if you often find yourself carrying them into the house or to other locations. 
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. Take note of the weight capacity of your brackets so you don't overload them. 
  • A small 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.
  • Stackable hardware cases or a wall-mounted bin with drawers gives you a spot to organize small hardware and parts.
  • 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 shared SPACES

Wall Control kits

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


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bucket boss organizers

Use 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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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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garage storage and work center

This multipurpose storage area keeps things organized and easy to access.

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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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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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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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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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Simple tool storage center

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

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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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rolling work seat

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



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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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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, Allen shows you some simple things he's done to control the dust that go beyond the standard dust bags on his power tools. 

 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 

Use Dust Bags

Make sure you're using the dust bags that came with your power tools. They're great for quick work when you don't want to take the time to hook them up to your vacuum.

 tip #3  

Consider a DIY cart

A mobile cart makes it easy to move your vacuum around your space. Check out this DIY shop vac cart that includes storage for accessories.

OUR TOP PICKS FOR shared 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. Your space may not be as large as Mike's, but many of the ideas he shares can be implemented in spaces of any size.

 tip #1

Improve Your Lighting

  • Overhead LED shop lights help brighten up your entire shop. Look for lights that are 3000 to 5000 lumens and consider plug-in options that don't require electrical work.
  • Under-cabinet LED lights reduce shadows and create a well-lit area for detail work.
  • Battery-operated work lights come in many sizes and can be used to add lighting to your workspace and create task lighting for detail work.

 tip #2  

Add More Outlets

  • Mount a long power strip on the wall near your workbench to increase the number of outlets you have available.
  • Use multi-head extension cords to run power to temporary work surfaces set up in your driveway or the middle of your garage.

 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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