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It’s been five years since the Woodworking Shows has made an appearance in Chantilly. It was the inability to get into the Dulles Expo (for a myriad of reasons) that had us exhibiting in the general region with varying degrees of success. Though the opportunity to return came with very little notice, we all cancelled plans to get back to what had always been a very successful venue. And we’re glad we did! Read more



My weekend in Columbus began early on Thursday, January 28, with an on-time flight (a true rarity) landing a bit after 9AM.  The sun was shining, the weather clear and relatively warm. The precursor to a successful woodworking show. Read more



Occasionally, fate plays a role in the success of a Woodworking Show weekend. It was just two weeks ago that we were in Baltimore and two weeks from now, we’ll open a show in the Washington DC area. As far as weather goes, we’ve been very lucky. So far. The near snow-less forecast brought a very nice crowd of attendees to the Big E in West Springfield last weekend. Read more



I know that this is just the second show of the season but last week’s stop in Indianapolis was probably one of the most emotionally satisfying woodworking weekends that I’ve had in a while. Read more

Big Time in Baltimore

Happy New Year! And a happy start to the 2016 Woodworking Show season too! On January 8th, Baltimore opened its doors to a huge crowd that began lining up an hour before the noon start. The entire weekend saw large crowds of energized woodworkers eager to sit in on the seminars and purchase any number of tools and accessories at a venue that was filled from wall to wall.

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Idea Shop 6, Paycheck 4: Teach an Old Drill New Tricks

Idea Shop 6Jigs such as your straightline cutting guides and crosscutting jig help you work more accurately. With this check, you’ll add that kind of accuracy to your cordless drill, and outfit it to do a job you may not have thought about: Read more

Idea Shop 6, Paycheck 3: Get on Your High Horse

Idea Shop 6Working on the floor takes a toll on the knees and back. With this check, you build a pair of sawhorses to elevate your work. When the job is done, the sawhorses fold flat for storage.

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Idea Shop 6, Paycheck 2: Guidance is Needed

Idea Shop 6The straightedge guides made earlier work well for cutting sheet goods to size, but are far too bulky to cut stick lumber to length. To accomplish that, build this simple crosscut guide that provides dead-on accuracy.


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Idea Shop 6, Paycheck 1: Start Off on the Straight and Narrow

Idea Shop 6With your shop site assessed and basic tool kit gathered as described in the first post, the first payday has arrived and you have $150 ready to start building a shop. So without any woodworking-specific tools (yet), where do you start? Simple. Read more

Welcome to Idea Shop 6 – Built on a Budget

So the woodworking bug bit hard, and now you want a nice space to build more stuff. But setting up a fully outfitted shop can be expensive and confusing. Not any longer. As described in issue 238 [March 2016] of WOOD®, we will show you exactly how to set up a shop by working within a budget of $150 every two weeks over 26 pay periods. On that modest amount, you can take an empty space such as the one shown below, and transform it into a full-on woodworking shop, outfitted with quality tools, accessories, jigs, and fixtures. You’ll see immediate results, building things with your new tools right from the start.

Idea Shop 6 before:


 Idea Shop 6:



To coincide with each paycheck’s budgeted $150, we’ll provide in this blog, links to related articles, plans, and videos. To get an email reminder of that posting, sign up for our newsletter by clicking here: woodmagazine.com/newsletter.

The next four posts will outline what to do with your first four budgeted amounts. Because not all of the money gets spent each two weeks, bank the leftover cash for purchasing big-ticket items such as a tablesaw, planer, and jointer. We will recommend good-quality tools but, because this is a budget-based shop, they may not be class-leading. If you can afford more than the budget (or already own some of the items listed), put that extra money towards upgraded tools. Find tool evaluations to guide your choices on ReviewATool.com. At its core, Idea Shop 6 is less about the specific items in it, and more about how to create a workable shop, over time, without breaking the bank.

The first step to setting up a woodworking shop is evaluating your shop site for spaceelectrical needs and wiring, and comfort. As you address any needs in those areas, you can still get started with purchases for your shop. You should have on hand your basic tool kit, described below, or order any missing tools.

Ya Gotta Start Somewhere

You likely already own the tools shown below. If you don’t, acquiring them will cost only about $150, so just tack one more two-week period onto the year. You’ll need them mainly to assemble stationary tools, but the hearing and eye protection, tape measure, and extension cord will be needed from the get-go. Purchase any or all of these items in one fell swoop, and have them delivered to your door: woodmagazine.com/is6basickit.

The recommended basic tool kit includes: Wrench set (metric and imperial), pliers, hacksaw, hex-key set (metric and imperial), safety glasses, ratchet and socket set (metric and imperial), 12′ or 16′ tape measure, screwdrivers (Phillips and slotted), 12-gauge extension cord or power strip, hammer.

In the next post, with your first $150 in hand, you’ll start outfitting your shop.

Curious about Idea Shops 1–5?

Our previous Idea Shops are packed full of ideas including tool stands, innovative storage solutions, tool organizers and more. Here are the issues of WOOD in which each appeared. See highlights, including floorplans with tool placement, at woodmagazine.com/ideashops.

Idea Shop, 14×28′ shed, issue 54 (September 1992)


Idea Shop 2, 24×24′ two-car garage, issue 72 (September 1994)


Idea Shop 3, 12×16′ basement room, issue 100 (November 1997)


Idea Shop 2000, 12×20′ outbuilding, issue 119 (December 1999)


Idea Shop 5, 15×22′ garage stall, issue 151 (October 2003)



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