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Idea Shop 1: The free-standing shop

Discover how we outfitted a 14x28' bare-bones room into a sensational, feature-filled woodworking center.

Idea Shop 1 is packed with some pretty nifty features, such as a concealed dust-collector system with drops, plenty of natural and fluorescent lightning, adaptable storage projects you can build, and lots, lots more.

Floor Plan

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Universal wall cabinet

We used wall-hung cabinets like this one to organize drill bits, hand tools, safety equipment, lathe tools, power tool accessories, and just about everything in between. The cabinets went together quickly, and didn't cost an arm and a leg. The acrylic door panels in the doors allow us to spot our well-organized tools in a jiffy, and keep the dust away from them too. The slotted backs enable us to build custom holders for our tools and position them exactly where we want.

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Lumber storage rack

Space savin' and wall huggin' pretty much sum it up for this project. Our rack features adjustable supports that attach to vertical 2x4s for holding loads of boards. The unique sheet-goods bin lets you easily sort through heavy sheets and slide out the one you want. There's even between-the-studs storage for short stock and dowels.

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Chisel rack

Simple but sturdy, this free-standing holder proudly displays our chisels and protects their finely honed ends. We also designed it so you can leave the feet off and screw it to the wall, or add a mounting strip and include it in one of the universal cabinets. 

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Drill-press dust collector

Wood chips and sawdust don't stay around long when we hook up this clamp-down collector to our shop vacuum or dust collector. 

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Workbench

For this simple-to-build and superstrong workbench, we relied on lumberyard stock and rugged mortise-and-tenon joinery. The 30x60" benchtop of laminated maple will handle a lifetime of workshop activity. We added benchdogs and a bench vise to expand the usefulness of our workbench, making it a fitting centerpiece in our shop.

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Clamp rack

We solved our clamp-storage problems once and for all with this fine collection of wall-hung helpers. Not only do they keep all our clamps at arm's reach, they look darn good doing it. 

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Cutoff catchall

Designed to hold cutoffs and other short pieces upright, this handy organizer allows us to see at a glance what stock we have available. And, its wall-hugging profile takes good advantage of limited shop space. 

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Sanding-supply center

Wanting to keep all our sanding supplies in one location, we came up with this smooth solution. It includes holders for belts, sanding discs and accessories, stick sanders and strips, hand sanders, and rolls of adhesive-backed sandpaper. 

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More ideas you can put to use

The compound mitersaw station sees a lot of action, so we built blade and jig storage above for it and for the tablesaw too. We also added a cabinet-length table extension and fence, and made a handy pullout scrap bin beneath the saw.

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Tired of searching for clamps? In our IDEA SHOP, we keep a full line at the ready on one wall, with a specialized holder for each type. The bandsaw, drill press, and scrollsaw are also right at home parked next to the wall. Note the universal cabinet to the right of the drill press. We've customized it with holders to hold all our bits.

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Continuing the workstation concept, cabinets near the lathe hold turning tools and protective equipment such as a face shield and respirator. Note the portable dust pickup behind the lathe and the mobile base that the lathe sits on.

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