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Craig Ruegsegger

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)



Freud to unveil new 90-tooth saw blade

In August at the IWF show in Atlanta, Freud will introduce a 90-tooth saw blade with a new tooth grind that will produce almost glass-smooth crosscuts. I got to see the blade and look it over at the end of a tour of Freud’s carbide production and blade manufacturing facilities in Udine (OO-din-ay) in northeast Italy, where the company was founded. More about the plants in a moment, but first here’s the scoop on the new blade.

Designed for smooth, clean cuts in trimwork and sheetgoods, the blade debuts Freud’s alternate shear face grind. In a nutshell, Read more

Building a home for a World Trade Center artifact

When the towers fell on 9/11, we all wished there was something we could do: to help the victims and their families, to find those responsible, to make sure we never forgot. In a very small way, I feel as if I’ve finally been able to do something to ensure the latter.  My neighbor, Pete, volunteers for the Pleasant Hill (Iowa) fire department. In July he told me that the department had acquired a remnant of the World Trade Center and they were discussing ways to display it. He said all the items they looked at weren’t quite fitting for the artifact, so he asked if I’d be interested in building something. Feeling this was a unique opportunity to create something of real value for the community, I drafted this design in Sketchup and presented it to the department. Read more

DeWalt launches hand tools, new 20V Max platform

DeWalt’s yellow power tools have long been prominent on most any job site and in the shops of serious DIYers. They’re now looking to move even deeper into tradesmen’s tool belts with a broad line of new hand tools, and a new battery platform for cordless tools. I had an opportunity to sample the wares during a recent trip to Stanley-Black & Decker University in Towson, Maryland, just outside Baltimore. (DeWalt is a division of  Stanley-Black & Decker.) Let’s talk hand tools first. Read more

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Kreg hits the deck

Kreg has introduced a new method of securing deck boards to the framing without unsightly screw heads poking up from every board. The method works similar to Kreg’s pocket hole jig. The deck jig has three holes to guide the drill bit and driver: the two outside holes sit  45 degrees to the center hole.

Kreg Deck Jig

Kreg Deck Jig

To use the jig, first place a couple of spacers (the red items in the photo below) between the deck boards to get the proper spacing. Read more

Finding a link between woodworking and motorcycles

During my vacation last week I had a chance to visit the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in Birmingham, AL. So what does that have to do with woodworking? Glad you asked.

Advanced materials used in today’s motorcycles, such as carbon fiber, titanium, and sophisticated metal alloys, weren’t known in the early days of motorcycling. So many times parts were made of wood. Like this wheel rim:

Wood rim

Wood rim

What does it take to make a perfectly round rim like that? Read more

25 Interesting Facts about Multimedia Editor Craig Ruegsegger

In honor of WOOD Magazine’s 25th Anniversary, we posted 25 Interesting Facts about each of the folks who put out your favorite woodworking magazine. Here’s my list:

Craig Ruegsegger, Multimedia Editor

Craig Ruegsegger, Multimedia Editor

1.    My first woodworking project was a shoe-shine box for 4-H. It was built mostly by my dad.
2.    I have intersecting scars on my scalp from two separate childhood incidents; one on a toboggan, the other on a bike. Read more

The coffee timer finds a purpose!

You may remember this post where I showed how I recycled a coffee timer for use in the shop, and the subsequent post where I described its shortcoming: shutting off after 2 hours. Well, it finally dawned on me this weekend how to make that shortcoming a positive. I plugged the batttery charger for my cordless tools into the timer! After charging the battery, it shuts off automatically after 2 hours, preventing overcharging, and eliminating some of my vampire electric consumption.


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