Shop sharing

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A freelance project I’ve been working on recently has given me an inside peek at a lot of shops, and although the goal was to gain information for an article, I’ve ended up getting a lot of ideas for my own shop.

What I’m finding is that shop owners – both pro and hobbyist – spend a lot of time on what are generally called “shop projects.” Sure, anything made in the shop could be called that, but these are projects that are made for use IN the shop. And, while jigs and fixtures are often thought of as the most frequently made projects of this type, I’m finding that a lot of great tool-related shop furniture is also being turned out.

Shop owners love their miter saw stations, for example. In my own shop my miter saw is located on an old kitchen base cabinet that I’ve made mobile. Quick, simple and easy, I knocked it together in about an hour and it suits my needs well. But I’m seeing some fantastic saw stations with fold-down extensions, excellent dust control, and lots of storage to boot. Very impressive.

I’ve seen some great drill press stations, too, and lots of storage ideas. Some of you have come up with lighting tricks I never would have thought of, and I’ve seen some dust collection applications that are truly amazing. A dozen or more outfeed solutions for table saws, several great router table designs, and a host of workbench styles are on my list as well.

It’s incredible what some shop owners have come up with, and I’ve already managed to incorporate a couple into my own setup.

It’s been a while since I asked you to share on this blog, so it’s long past time we did it again. We can’t post pictures here easily, but how about verbally sharing your best shop project. Describe it, and tell us what it is and what problem it solved or solution it provided for the way you work. It doesn’t have to be a big project either. Some of the easiest shop solutions are the little ones.

Till next time,

A.J.

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