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post #1 of 20 Old 03-11-2014, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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Garage shop set-up = first build project

Hi everyone, i'm new to the site and looking for some advice on getting started with woodworking.
When some guys turn 40 they buy a red sports car, rent the secretary at work or find some other mid-life cause to go insane for a while...I decided to take up woodworking. (I imagine some of you are thinking i may want to consider the secretary still)
I will start with what i have for space, what i am looking to build and the equipment i have to start with. Also a little background on skills or in my case the lack of woodworking skills.
To the degree that i consider someone a "woodworker" i have not really ever done anything with wood. I have made a large vanity mirror and some other "throw together projects" to fill a need around the house, but i have never been shown how to do these things. With that said, working with wood has come easy for me. It seems pretty straight forward and i donít think, if shown, that there are many things that would intimidate me to make. I do however lack the vocabulary of the craft. Hopefully this site will help with that.
I have some tools, most of them recently acquired for my upcoming mid-life crisis.
What I have so far:
3 month old, portable 10" Kobalt table saw. (Kobalt 15-Amp 10-in Table Saw Model #: KT1015)
3 month old Kobalt 10-in 15 Amp Slide Compound Laser Miter Saw Model #: SM2507LW
SKIL jig saw
Masterforce 2HP plunge router w/bits (1 day old, never used)
3 month old brad nailer
pancake air compresser
SKIL saw
hand held belt sander
Orbital hand held sander
Cordless hammer and regular drills
Plug in drill
Various levels/angles/straight edges
Various Bits/blades
Some C clamps
several small rotary tools with accesories
"regular" hand tools: screw drivers, sockets, pliers, etc...
* Small Kreg Jig set.



The shop area i have is a 2 car garage which needs to be able to have 1 car still fit. It is Approx 18X18 perhaps 18X20(deep). There is a door on all 4 sides. 3 with house doors and one with a garage door that reaches all the way from one end to the other. I have space to build this work area down one side that has a about 18 feet of full wall to work with, then the back wall which is split in the middle with a door. So an 18 foot section and then 2 6-7 foot sections. i can go out about 7 feet off the wall and still park the car in the other space.
The ceiling is very low, so overhead storage area is not an option. I think the walls are 8 foot high, with 2 small vent areas that make it 7.5 feet high. (the garage is under 2 bedrooms and a bathroom)
So you know what i have for tools, and what i have for space....Now for the items i wish to build; EVERYTHING. lol
Seriously i dont have a plan to build any specific things with the exception of doing the cabinets/drawers/kitchen/bathroom for the 20x8 ice house we built this last winter.
My first real project to build is the garage shop. benches/router table/saw table/ etc. I was thinking i would want the tables and benches on wheels. I like the idea of doing a full bench with under/over storage down the long wall, with sections that pull out to the open garage space or drive way.
Oh, my walls are all concrete block :( and i rent this house.
So, where do i start? what are the suggestions? anyone have links to detailed plans for the wall/roll-out style bench/tables. Router table on wheels?
My goal is to keep the price to a minimum for now, as i just purchased most of the tools i have and would like to get to building some things before i invest much more money.
if possible my only other purchases for now will be building materials and some clamps and the material to build a rack for the clamps.
Should i keep the portable saw as it is, or should i build a table for it?
Work bench first?
Router table first?
neither?
Thanks for the advice and any pointers you may have. I'm sure many before me have asked similar questions, so links to their threads would help too.

Last edited by sirlips; 03-11-2014 at 03:55 PM.
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post #2 of 20 Old 03-11-2014, 05:45 PM
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I know this might sound funny, but try modeling it out in Sketchup first. I am nearly complete with my shop build that I laid out in Sketchup, I have roughly the same space as you with no housing a car requirement, and can fudge a bit more for bigger stuff like a large extension / table saw, plumbed dust collection etc... However. my design is such that if I HAD to I could scoot the table saw, and workbench over, and pull the car in... My big problem right now is non shop storage. There is a LOT of lawn and garden junk in there that needs a new home...

I have a lot of space saving ideas in my shop that might do you well, take a look at my blog at daves-workshop.blogspot.com and let me know if you have any questions about any of my setup.

You might want to actually take a tape measure to your space. My ceiling slopes from a minimum height of 8', to a maximum of 8' I think 5 or 6". I have an overhead air filter, ladders, extension poles etc... hung from the ceiling. Mind you, ceiling hung ladders makes getting them down interesting, but that is a story for another day...

Renting is a bit of a challenge. You will need to configure your space to be, well free standing almost. So on the wall storage is out of the question. Ugh... That would kill me...

On your questions... Portable table saw folds up nice and small, a table / cabinet for it won't fold, creating a storage problem. I would be concerned about the ability of that saw accept a dado stack, but you can cut dadoes with a router, I personally just prefer the table saw is all... To each their own.

I am trying to find where I saw it, but somebody had made a router table insert that was nothing more than a lamination of boards sized so that it fit snugly into the space of their jobsite saw with the extension open, and clamped down somehow, it was made to clear the fence, and drilled to mount the router and allow the bit to pass through, and then the router fence which is a LOT different than a table saw clamped to the table saw fence the way mine does. If you did that, you could set it up, have a fully functioning router table, and when you take it down, all you have to store is the fence, and a piece of plywood... Pretty simple.

Interested in my woodworking, workshop and whatnot? See http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com, want to see my other interests such as hunting, fishing, off roading, and camping? See http://wildersport-outdoors.blogspot.com
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post #3 of 20 Old 03-11-2014, 05:56 PM
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i have a similar space ... a 2 car garage that needs to store one car, and similar tools as well. i did not want to put in a dedicated dust collection system, so i put my major dust makers (router table, table saw, and miter saw) near the garage door on rollers, and i put the door up and a couple fans blowing out of the garage when i need make alot of sawdust with those tools.

as to how i organized things ... i went through like 10 iterations, but finally have something that works pretty well for me. my wife thinks i'm crazy because it has taken me like 4 years, but no matter.

i have some shelves on the back wall for wood storage. and i have a wall organization system on the long side wall, and two long tables along that same wall. they have drawers and shelves to store stuff like hand tools and jigs and other things.

the tables leave about 6' on that wall, which is taken up by the lawnmower and the big dustmakers (router table, miter table and table saw), which are all on rollers.

i also have a big mother of a workbench in the center. it is a "newfangled" workbench. i have found that in practice, i don't use it as much as i thought i would, simply because top is not perfectly flat, and the other tables are perfectly flat and melamine covered, which makes them good for glueups.

i can post pics of it all later if you want. let me know.

Last edited by Chris Curl; 03-11-2014 at 06:00 PM.
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post #4 of 20 Old 03-12-2014, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
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So i pulled the tape out last night.

I have a better description of the area i have to work with.
Wall 1= Garage door. no usable space.
Wall 2= The door that goes into the house is in this wall and i will use this space for non-wood working items.
Wall 3= "the back wall". It also has a door in the middle of it, leading to the back yard. The left side will be Non wood working items.
Wall 4= "the shop wall". This is where i will get most of my wood area set up.

So basically i have Wall 3, right side. and all of wall 4.

The right side of wall 3 gives me 7+ feet of usable wall. Wall 4 has a door also, but it is at the opposite end of the wall as wall 3, so i have 18 feet of wall for wall 4.

Think of it as an L that is 7+ x 18. This is wall space. I have a 7+ x 18 BOX area to actually work with.

The walls are concrete block and we rent, but we can still hang things from the walls, they are covered with cheap pantry/closet/bathroom type shelves now. I point this out simply to reinforce the idea that i am not going to sheet the walls or install perminent lighting, etc. What i make needs to be removable for the most part.

I purchased a Solid Core Maple door from menards last night. 36" X 84". Its heavy. But i thought the price was right, as i paid $5.00 for it and it has no dents/dings. I see alot of people use them for the base on the top of the work benches they build. (It was a special order that was never picked up, so it was in bargain area)

When i lay out the shop, i want to keep some work area OFF the wall, so i can walk all the way around it. Do you guys think its best to put the bench floating in the middle, the table saw, some other thing, both? I dont think i will have room for the Bench and the Table saw, unless i put them end to end, which isnt really a bad thing i guess. I would have to feed the short way, but there will never be a vehicle in the garage when im working.

The Work Bench. Would you guys laminate the top of the bench? I have the Maple door. Is that the finished bench top, or do i put something on top of that? I was thinking about using 1/4 MDF to top it, but i dont know the pro's cons to any material for the top.
More on this door. It is simply vaneered with maple, correct? i cant imagine the door is solid maple. What type of wood do they generally "core" them in? But then again, maybe they do...its heavy.


Thanks for the input. i look forward to the comments and suggestions.
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post #5 of 20 Old 03-12-2014, 04:59 PM
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that sounds alot like my space ... there are a few differences though ...

- mine is 24' from front to back.
- we own the house

but it is uncovered cinderblock. for the wall system, the only actual modifications to the walls was to attach 8' long 2x3 cleats to the cinderblock. the entire system is hung on those cleats.

if your bench is 7' long and 3' wide (the solid core door), then that leaves about 2 feet on either side of the bench, and 11' front to back.

here is the sketchup i did for my garage setup. for reference, the tiles on the floor are 2'x2'. and the table saw and the table that has the miter saw on it are on rollers. in real life, the miter table is also a router table (i just move the miter saw if i am going to use the router table), and it is a little smaller than the sketchup shows it.

also, the real car in the garage is not a 1964 thunderbolt, it's a 1967 fairlane convertible :)
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post #6 of 20 Old 03-12-2014, 05:14 PM
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re the door ... it is certainly particle board with a thin veneer, like the stuff most everything from Ikea is made from. covering it with a 1/4" piece of hardboard is pretty common. that way, glue doesn't stick to it very easily, and should it get dinged up, you can just re-cover it.
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post #7 of 20 Old 03-12-2014, 09:56 PM
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re the wall organization system, I went with this approach, but my implementation is a little different from his, because of the bare cinderblock, and i didn't want to finish it.

http://americanwoodworker.com/blogs/...your-shop.aspx
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post #8 of 20 Old 03-13-2014, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
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Chris, i appreciate the advice and input. thank you, it helps alot.

The last few days have been a jumble. I tend to be a bit cumpulsive when i have a new "toy"/ "hobby" etc... So this "woodshop" has monopolized most of my waking life for the last week or two.

I am not sure why i never heard of it before, or realized what it was if I had, but i have found "sketch-up". Oh, Ive found it... I printed out the 450 page "sketch up for dummies" yesterday afternoon and have made it through the first 125 pages. I can read about it at work, but have to wait to get home to try things out. After a run that lasted 2.5 hour to menards (long story...lots of frustrations, short story...remember when stores had employees that knew something about what they sold? Grr) i finally got home, unloaded the supplies I purchased and went straight to the computer to practice what i had read about. Sketch up is pretty amazing. I watched some online tutorials and finally had to get some sleep.

My next issue is what to build/do/work on first. I have purchased the hardware to make a lift devise for my new plunge router. So that needs to get done. I have the Door and material to make the work bench. I dont have the space to dedicate to building anything (unless the car stays outside, which the wife hates, as it happened too often this winter) until i get the shop layed out and organized, which will be easier when i have a bench and the router set up. What comes first the chicken or the egg? Build a bench to build everything else on, organize everything and build racks/cabinets, so i have room to build the bench/tables, etc..?

I really like the idea of the slats on the walls and then hanging holders on the slats. Being able to slat the tables and benches to use hangers from the wall.

Also, these slats could be attached to the rented homes garage and easilly removed if/when we move. I'm going to talk to the landlord about painting the walls white, to brighten up the work area. I have seen him 1 time in the last 2 1/2 years, so i doubt he will have a concern. I would want to do this before i slat the walls. Sooo many projects, soooo little time.

regardless, the weather is starting to look warmer so the possibility of being able to use the driveway to temporarely set things for a day of work is looking up. Im in Minnesota, and untill this weekend we have had 2+ feet of snow on the ground and freezing temps for 3 months.

Heres what i think i'm going to do:
1) move as much stuff out of the work area as possible, temporarely, while working on layout and using Scetch Up.
2) find a home for the stuff being simply stored in the garage. (we have a small 10x10 shed that needs to be used better)
3) Find a large dark hole for the HUGE and broken snowblower and use a catapult to heave it into that dark pit of shame.
4) CLEAN the garage floor and organise all wood/tools into workable piles, bins, boxes. Paint walls, install hanging shop lights.

5) Build the work bench. (wheels or no wheels, IM REALLY DEBATING THIS) I understand the need for a solid structure, but being able to move it in and out away from the wall would be a big advantage when other items need to have space in the garage.
6) Put storage system on walls. At this point the slat system is my best option.
7) As part of the storage and organizing project, also build rolling wood storage cart
8) build router table and lift system
9-1,000) work on projects first of which is to complete the cabinet work for our Ice House.
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post #9 of 20 Old 03-13-2014, 05:51 PM
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No problem at all. The reason why I have so much to say here is because you sound so much like me. About 3 years ago, we became empty nesters, which is when my machinations out in the garage started.

And like you, I tend to become preoccupied with new projects, and that becomes my obsession. My wife thinks I'm crazy because I am always saying that I am working on getting things organized out there, but for years, I didn't make any headway. I am still not happy with the volume of stuff out there, but I have made alot of progress. I wish I had a 10x10 shed where I could throw a bunch of the stuff being stored out there, but the wife is totally against it. And yet she still grabs stuff like furniture and yard items "for the kids when they are in their own place", and of course, that goes in the garage. #frustratingstuffthewifedoes

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post #10 of 20 Old 03-17-2014, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
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I got some work done on the garage this weekend. I made an overhanging wood storage area for long boards. (my ceiling is lower than i originally thought. It is 6'6" where the metal framing beams are and 7'7" on the sheetrocked ceiling.)

I also took the "bench by the horns" and my 15 year old and i built a prety solid bench. I used the maple solid core door and just started putting things together. I used 2 2x4's for the corners and used 2x4 and 1x6's to make the remainder of the frame. It wont quite be a tortion box, but am using that idea. I am sheeting in the short ends of the box and then will sheet the long sides but will be cutting out areas for drawers and shelves. Even without the sheeting i think i could drive a truck on this thing and it looks pretty clean. I mounted 3" locking swivle casters on the 4 corners.

I made the base 6" narrower and 1' 9" shorter than the door. I mounted it centered with a 3" overhang on each side, to be able to use clamps on the edges, and then flush on one end, with the entire 1' 9" overhang on one end. (possibly mounting a router in the end)

I used the 1x6 ripped to the windth of the table and put a trim piece around the edge of the table. This gives me a lip on the flush end to still clmp if needed. I then routed a decorative outside edge on the trim, just for looks.

I am concerned about my garage floor not being even. i can roll the table around, to find an even spot for all 4 casters, but its a pain. Is there a caster that could be used that levels up and down? I could always shim the corner, when i am using the table in an uneven spot, but that seems a bit inconvient.

I also wish i had made it a bit shorter. Like i said, i didnt plan it out to well, we just started building. It works fine for me, as im 6'3" but i think its a bit tall for others. Oh well, i didnt make a $1,000 bench and i'm sure it will be only the first of many in the future as my skills and needs grow.

Next i am going to get to work on the router lift. I am posting a new thread on this subject. but i think i know how i am going to do it.

I got much of the garage cleaned out, but ended up piling alot back up, so we could fit the car in...as the doors to the shed are blocked with ice from the weather warming and then freezing at night. I didnt feel like trying to chip away 1 9" of solid ice across a 10 foot shed front, wide enough to swing the doors out/open.

Have a good week, happy St.patricks day. Any new/updated advice is appreciated.

Last edited by sirlips; 03-17-2014 at 10:00 AM.
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post #11 of 20 Old 03-30-2014, 01:39 AM Thread Starter
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Little update...

I have completed the workbench. Nothing special but it's flat, sturdy and has locking casters. One end is flush with the base the other extends about 18 or so and is for the router.

I installed the router and a home made base plate into the bench. I used one inch hard board and a 1/8 inch piece of hard plastic. Glued and screwed the plastic to board, routed out a lip and hole and it fits perfect. Counter sunk the router into the plate 3/4 of an inch so that I don't loose too much depth for the bits. I'm happy with it.

I also have 2 runners mounted on the wall and have made 5 tool holders so far for them. I really like the system.

Purchased two bench vises. Picked a spot to mount one, shimmed it... Started boring the holes.. Hit a screw. Need to rethink this a bit before I mess up more of the bench.

Wish I had a week to just set everything up and get started on some real projects.

If a pretty picture of an eagle or a skydiver and a witty quote is all it takes to motivate you, you probably have an easy job....the kind robots will be doing soon.
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post #12 of 20 Old 03-30-2014, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbhost View Post
.....Mind you, ceiling hung ladders makes getting them down interesting, but that is a story for another day...
Hanging ladders from the ceiling is not a problem. Make a bracket with two verticals thicker than the ladder, and two horizontals. One to mount it to the ceiling and the lower one to support the ladder. If two of the brackets can support the ladder, just locate them to support one end first and then lift the other end and slide it into the second bracket. This assumes that the ladder can be lifted up over your head with or without help. I wish I had a picture of this. My ceiling is too tall for this method.

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post #13 of 20 Old 03-30-2014, 08:00 PM
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Jon. No worries. I have the ladder issue sorted out.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk

Interested in my woodworking, workshop and whatnot? See http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com, want to see my other interests such as hunting, fishing, off roading, and camping? See http://wildersport-outdoors.blogspot.com
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post #14 of 20 Old 03-31-2014, 08:52 AM
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If you get rust, make room for a defrosting dehumidifier and plug it in to a temperature-controlled outlet (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000E7NYY8/?tag=googhydr-20&hvadid=36241087958&hvpos=1t1&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=28141799360221494&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=b&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_7ncy8ilcjr_b). When my shop was in a Michigan garage my dehumid defrosted itself down to 40F, and I set the outlet to cut out below 45F. Brainless and effective, whether the damp weather is hot or cold.

If it jams, force it. If it breaks, it needed replacing anyway!
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post #15 of 20 Old 04-05-2014, 08:39 PM
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Too late

Sounds like I am too late, but I always loved this bench. If I had a long wall, I would totally steal ideas from here
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post #16 of 20 Old 04-06-2014, 10:49 AM
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French cleat instead of hook and slat maybe

Instead of the hook and slat system for hanging stuff, you can also use a similar system of french cleats. Same basic idea, but I thinks its a bit easier to whip out a bunch of cleats, since you simply rip a 3 or 4" board down the middle with a 35 or 45 degree angle and then just trim the lengths to suit what ever you want to hang.

I sent you a PM as well.
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post #17 of 20 Old 04-06-2014, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirlips View Post
Little update...

I have completed the workbench. Nothing special but it's flat, sturdy and has locking casters. One end is flush with the base the other extends about 18 or so and is for the router.

I installed the router and a home made base plate into the bench. I used one inch hard board and a 1/8 inch piece of hard plastic. Glued and screwed the plastic to board, routed out a lip and hole and it fits perfect. Counter sunk the router into the plate 3/4 of an inch so that I don't loose too much depth for the bits. I'm happy with it.

I also have 2 runners mounted on the wall and have made 5 tool holders so far for them. I really like the system.

Purchased two bench vises. Picked a spot to mount one, shimmed it... Started boring the holes.. Hit a screw. Need to rethink this a bit before I mess up more of the bench.

Wish I had a week to just set everything up and get started on some real projects.
If you can modify your workbench, you could always put hinges on it so you can let it hang against the wall when you don't need it.
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post #18 of 20 Old 04-06-2014, 11:35 PM Thread Starter
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Mr. L
I thought about that but I want to be able to use it to walk all the way around it if I need to work on all sides of a project, so I went with wheels. Thanks for the suggestion though.

I have a temporary set up done so that I can get started on some of the projects. But I'm going to look at some of the magazine articles coming my way and other items and plan out the shop based on what I learn and like/don't like about the current set up after using it for a few months.

If a pretty picture of an eagle or a skydiver and a witty quote is all it takes to motivate you, you probably have an easy job....the kind robots will be doing soon.
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post #19 of 20 Old 07-09-2014, 03:52 PM
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New to this forum, found your thread here, and have the same basic woodworking project you had, of where to put everything in a two car garage, and still have enough space to woodwork! What was the result of your layout plan? Hope it was positive! Could you share any ideas of tool storage? Thanx in advance for your help.
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post #20 of 20 Old 07-13-2014, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jcahill4 View Post
Sounds like I am too late, but I always loved this bench. If I had a long wall, I would totally steal ideas from here
I have a 3rd car garage that I am confined to. It has the long wall, garage door, back wall with outside door, and the 4th wall is a little 7 foot extension seperating the main garage. I made this bench and it is great. I modified it to fit my length and did not build the table saw cart. The swing out table extension is very handy but also very annoying accessing under it. The middle part for adding a miter or chop saw is good but ive found I have to move the saw all the way forward for the dust collection hose and then push back it back when not in use. Those are reall the only issues I have with it. And the good part was with the scrap I was able to make a decent router table with fence.

1 issue I quickly ran into with my garage shop was what to do with my scrap so on the half wall I made the lumber storage bench here

http://www.familyhandyman.com/video/...e#.U8Ks3OEo7bU

I drew it up in sketchup and took off the big part of the front so I could access the shelves. I also added bolts with wooden rollers to the bottom ofthe plywood storage so they slide in and out like butter
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Garage Door Project debdaz Design & Plans 3 09-04-2011 09:15 AM
The garage shop - before and after JohnWP General Woodworking Discussion 19 02-16-2011 11:37 PM
Looking to build a new garage door RJAngel Design & Plans 2 03-31-2008 09:42 PM

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