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Idea Shop 1

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Need help planning a new workshop? Or maybe you've got the urge to reorganize the one you have now. Either way, you've come to the right place. In IDEA SHOP 1 you'll discover how we took a 14x28' bare-bones room and remodeled and outfitted it into the se

1 Welcome

Click an item from the Shop Views on the right to take a tour and discover how we took a 14x28' bare-bones room and outfitted it into the sensational, feature-filled woodworking center shown here. At the end of each description, we've noted the issue that particular project was featured in.

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.

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2 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. See the Forstner bit holders for just one of our many storage solutions. (Featured in the September 1992 issue.) Also can be found in the Best-Ever Workshops magazine.

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Forstner bit holders
We customized the cabinet nearest the drill press for all our drilling and boring accessories. Here's the handy holders we use to keep our Forstner bits close at hand. (Featured in the September 1992 issue.)

Click below to review this detailed woodworking plan and download it now or have it mailed directly to you.

3 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. (Featured in the November 1993 issue.)

For information on downloading these plans, click below.

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4 Finishing center

When we designed the IDEA SHOP, floor space was at a premium. That's why we decided to go with the wall-hung cabinet shown here. It features a fold-down worktable that rotates on a lazy Susan bearing, allowing you to apply an even coat of finish on all sides of your project with repositioning it. And, a support arm attached to the cabinet door lets you do the same with small projects or parts. When we're done for the day, we just lift up on the worktable, stash it back in the cabinet, and close the door. (Featured in the February 1994 issue.)

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5 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. (Featured in the October 1992 issue.)

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6 Swing-arm support

Here's a handy hangout for our motorized rotary tool. The motor end of our rotary tool stays up and out of the way and the flexible-shaft and business end are close at hand with this convenient swing-arm support. We centered ours over our next-to-the-wall workbench where we do lots of carving. (Featured in the December 1992 issue.)

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7 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. (Featured in the February 1993 issue.)

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8 Bandsaw blade holder

To protect and store our bandsaw blades in as small as space as possible yet keep them close at hand, we added this plywood organizer to the base of our bandsaw. If your base is different, simply mount the holder to the wall or the side of a cabinet. (Featured in the April 1993 issue.)

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9 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. (Featured in the September 1992 issue.)

For information on downloading these plans, click below.

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10 Shop stool

If you're one of those woodworkers who spends every spare minute working in your shop, you're going to love this stool. We've found the padded seat a joy to sit on (and after an hour or two of sitting on it, we're darn glad we padded it). With the special height-adjustment system designed into it, we can raise or lower the seat to suit the height and the surface we're working at. (Featured in the September 1992 issue.)

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11 Air filtration cabinet

Even with the best of dust collection systems, you can reduce airborne dust in your shop only so much. And, if you're in a small shop like IDEA SHOP 1 or one with poor ventilation, it doesn't take much sanding to raise a cloud of fine, harmful sawdust. To help such lung-clogging dust capture particles, we designed and built this air-filtration cabinet. We made the cabinet so the top is just slightly below the top surface of our IDEA SHOP tablesaw. The cabinet top adjusts up or down if needed, enabling it to double as a handy outfeed table. (Featured in the October 1992 issue.)

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12 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. (Featured in the September 1993 issue.)

Click below to review this detailed woodworking plan and download it now or have it mailed directly to you.

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13 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. (Featured in the December 1993 issue.)

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14 Pipe-clamp storage

This simple-to-build project has proven to be the heavyweight champ of pipe-clamp racks. We built it out of 2x4 stock and some 1/2" steel rod. We angled the steel rod at 5° to prevent the clamps from sliding off the fronts of the rods. (Featured in the June 1995 issue.)

Click below to review this project now, and print the plan for free.

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15 Coat rack

What do we do when it's time to hang up the shop coat or apron at the end of the day? We hang them in style on this C-clamp coat rack that's right at home in our woodworking shop. (Featured in the October 1992 issue.)

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16 Workshop clock

Though a good woodworking project makes us forget about time, no shop should be without an appropriate clock­pfor telling when the glue's dry or supper's ready. This tool-topped timepiece begs to be noticed and has served as a conversation piece among our woodworking friends. (Featured in the September 1992 issue.)

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17 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. (Featured in the November 1992 issue of WOOD.)

For information on downloading these plans, click below.

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18 Additional Views

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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