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Idea Shop 5

The challenge: Create a one-car-garage shop equipped with loads of tools and lots of smart storage at an affordable price.

When we designed the shop you see here, we wanted to create a full-featured shop in a compact space. We started with a third stall of a 3-car garage, a feature found in many newer homes. You may not have this type of garage at your house. That's okay. Wherever you place your shop, we know you'll find a whole world of great ideas in this one that you can easily put to use.

Tools and Projects


A) Air compressor, 1) Wall cleat system, B) Cyclone, 2) Workbench, C) Drill press, 3) Wall cabinet, D) Bandsaw, 4) Tool-storage board, E) Oscillating sander, 5) Clamp rack, F) Drum sander, 6) Mobile drawer cabinet, G) Lathe, 7) Sanding center, H) Floor sweep, 8) Lamp holder, I) Lumber rack, 9) Mitersaw station, J) Mitersaw, 10) Flip-top work center, K) Jointer, 11) Tablesaw/routing center, L) Dust collection duct, 12) Mobile base,  M) D.C. muffler/filter, N) Air filter on ceiling, O) Planer, P) Mortiser, Q) Tablesaw

Rearranging the wall components is just about effortless. We changed from the original configuration (top photo) to this one (below) in less than 20 minutes.


We walled off one 15x22' bay from the rest of the garage to create shop space, and then covered the drywall with a more durable, attractive surface: beadboard pine plywood.




You may have noticed that all of our shop fixtures share a similar look. Sure, that consistency makes for a great appearance, but the real reason for their resemblance lies in our goal to make them as easy and affordable as possible to build. The workbench bases, flip-top cabinets, and router-table base, for example are essentially identical in construction. Master building one, and you quickly can create them all. The same holds true for the wall cabinets-three sizes, one basic design.

We built almost everything from three materials: medium-density fiberboard (MDF), medium-density overlay (MDO) plywood, and soft maple. you'll find these durable, inexpensive, materials in home centers. Add simple hardware and an easy-to-renew clear finish, and you get a high function on a low budget.


Wall cleat system


Wall cleat system Our modular wall system starts with clever cleats that are beveled at 45° along their top edge. Mounted securely to the walls, these cleats form the backbone of a versatile cabinet and accessory storage system. All the components interlock with the cleat making them easy to hang and a cinch to reconfigure. The storage components include: three styles of cabinets that share a common design, clamp racks, and a super-easy tool-storage board. With this setup, you'll have no excuse for not having a completely organized shop. This project appeared in the November 2003 issue of WOOD magazine.

The November 2003 issue of WOOD can purchased now from the WOOD Store.



Workbench A top made of two layers of MDF banded with maple provides a generous workbench surface that can stand up to years of hard use. It's perched atop two basic cabinets (built with the leg option) that house loads of tools and shop supplies. This project appeared in the October 2003 issue of WOOD magazine.

The October 2003 issue of WOOD can purchased now from the WOOD Store.

Wall cabinet


Wall cabinet Adding new tools or supplies to your workshop is always a good thing. But sometimes, finding a place to set up a tool or store more supplies means juggling the existing layout of wall cabinets or tool racks. With its interlocking hanging cleats this system transforms a major hassle into a minor task accomplished in minutes. In this project article, you'll learn how to build racks for bar and pipe clamps, a perforated hardboard panel for hanging hand tools, and wall cabinets with either clear acrylic or hardboard doors for see-through or covered-up storage. Featured in three handy sizes—12"-deep for general storage, 8"-deep for hardware, and 7"-deep for tools—all the cabinets share identical construction details. This project appeared in the November 2003 issue of WOOD magazine.

The November 2003 issue of WOOD can purchased now from the WOOD Store.

Tool-storage board


Tool-storage board This perforated board-based project mounts securely on our 45° bevel wall-hung cleats. And, if you don't like where you've got it, simply slide it down the wall cleats, or move it to different wall altogether. This project appeared in the November 2003 issue of WOOD magazine.

The November 2003 issue of WOOD can purchased now from the WOOD Store.

Clamp rack


Clamp rack This clamp rack hangs on our 45° beveled wall-hung cleats. It's easily repositioned, so move it wherever you need to keep your clamps close at hand. And, we'll show you how to save time notching the horizontal member with a simple step-and repeat jig. This project appeared in the November 2003 issue of WOOD magazine.

The November 2003 issue of WOOD can purchased now from the WOOD Store.

Mobile drawer cabinet


Mobile drawer cabinet Inexpensive materials and basic joinery make for speedy construction of this hardworking shop cabinet. Even the drawers won't slow you down. With their special side/slide hardware, they practically build themselves. This project appeared in the November 2003 issue of WOOD magazine.

The November 2003 issue of WOOD can purchased now from the WOOD Store.

Sanding center


Sanding center Like all of the projects in Idea Shop 5, this one works to make maximum use of minimum space. It provides sturdy support for a couple of tools, offers ample storage, and rolls easily wherever you need it. Plus, this work center is easy to build. This project appeared in the November 2003 issue of WOOD magazine.

The November 2003 issue of WOOD can purchased now from the WOOD Store.

Lamp holder


Lamp holder The Idea Shop 5 wall cleat system works great for supporting more than large cabinets and tool racks. This easy-to-build light support fits and locks onto the same cleat, and can be located near any number of machine operations. This project will appear in the May 2004 issue of WOOD magazine.

Mitersaw station


Mitersaw station Our mitersaw station with its big, sturdy tables and built-in fence system is a superb setup for making dead-on cuts. The design makes it easy to custom-fit the station to most any mitersaw, while the wall-cleat system makes it easy to mount. This project appeared in the December 2003 issue of WOOD magazine.

The December 2003 issue of WOOD can purchased now from the WOOD Store.

Flip-top work center


Flip-top work center This cabinet forms the core of many Idea Shop 5 projects. Here, we've mounted two cabinets side by side and capped them with flip-tops to create a work surface one minute, a tool base the next. This project appeared in the October 2003 issue of WOOD magazine.

The October 2003 issue of WOOD can purchased now from the WOOD Store.

Tablesaw/routing center


Tablesaw/routing center This do-it-all work center combines a table-mounted router and a contractor's tablesaw in one package. Both bases feature built-in storage, as well as dust-collection. Plus, the whole setup rolls easily around the shop. Both the saw and router table sit on modified versions of our "basic cabinet" (described, shown). This project appeared in the October 2003 issue of WOOD magazine.

The October 2003 issue of WOOD can purchased now from the WOOD Store.

Mobile base


Mobile base This simple-to-build rolling platform offers sturdy support under any tool. We'll show you how to size and build one, no matter what size you need. This project appeared in the October 2003 issue of WOOD magazine.

The October 2003 issue of WOOD can purchased now from the WOOD Store.


Curious about which tools we chose for our latest shop, and why we selected them? Here's the inside scoop.

Put a dozen woodworkers in a room and, before long, they'll start talking about tools. Then, look out. The discussion can get pretty heated. Let's face it: We all have different preferences when it comes to price, features, and brand loyalty, not to mention the way the same tool feels in different people's hands.

That's why choosing the tools and accessories for Idea Shop 5 proved a challenge for the editors of WOOD® magazine. When the smoke cleared, though, we settled on an array of products that have proved themselves in our extensive tool tests through the years, and, in some cases, are innovative.

Of course, budget and space are always key concerns when outfitting any woodworking shop, and we kept a close eye on both. Wherever we could economize without significantly impacting performance, we opted for a benchtop tool instead of a stationary model.

That's not to say we didn't indulge ourselves occasionally. For example, Idea Shop 5 utilizes a cyclone dust collector, beefy ductwork, and blast gates that open and close automatically when you fire up a power tool. We believe dust collection is one key area in your shop where you shouldn't scrimp.

So, these are the power tools, hand tools, and accessories we chose. We've organized them into four categories, followed by a listing of phone numbers and Web sites for each supplier.

Tools List

STATIONARY AND BENCHTOP MACHINERY 14" bandsaw Laguna LT14 2x42" belt/8" disc sander Craftsman 21528 Benchtop oscillating drill press Shop Fox W1668 Compound mitersaw DeWalt DW703 Cyclone dust collector Penn State #TEMPESTCC Drum sander Performax 16-32 Plus 6" grinder Grizzly H4378 with G7120 stand 6" jointer Grizzly G1182HW Lathe Jet JWL-1442 Mortiser Jet JBM-5 Oscillating edge belt/spindle sander Ridgid EB4424 13" planer Ridgid TP-1300 Tablesaw Delta 36-480

PORTABLE POWER TOOLS 26-gallon air compressor Campbell-Hausfeld WL6111 3x21" belt sander Craftsman 26819 Biscuit joiner Porter-Cable 557 2" brad nailer DeWalt D51238K Corded drill DeWalt D21008K Cordless drill (14.4 volt) Makita 6337DWDE Detail sander Fein Multimaster MSXE 636-2 Jigsaw Freud FJ85 Random-orbit sander Porter-Cable Quicksand 333VS Routers Bosch 1619EVS plunge router, Makita RF1101 multi-base router kit, Porter-Cable 8529 plunge router with router-table kit 75301 Vacuums Craftsman 17923 16-gallon wet/dry vac, Fein 9-55-13 9-gallon tool-triggered vac

ACCESSORIES Clamps Bessey 8", 16", and 24" bar clamps Quick-Grip 12", 18", and 24" Quick Change bar clamps; 6", 12" mini bar clamps; spring clamps Jorgensen 24"and 48" bar clamps, 48" Deep-reach bar clamps (Adjustable Clamp Company) Drill bits MLCS 22-piece Forstner bit set #1707, 25-piece brad-point bit set #9154, 22-piece tapered bit set #9156, and 17-piece spade bit set #9500 Woodcraft Vix self-centering drill bits 16I41, 16I42, 16I43 Miter gauge Incra Miter3000 Mobile bases Shop Fox D2260 (jointer), HTC style J (bandsaw) Rapid-action vise Wilton 78A Router bits Freud 15-piece router bit set 90-100 CMT 15-piece router bit set 800.001.11 MLCS 15-piece router bit set #8377 Oldham 1-4", 3-8", and 1-2" round-over bits, 45° chamfer bit, and rabbeting bit set MR14 Woodline USA 15-piece router bit set WL-2022 Router-table fence Freud SH-5 adjustable fence system Router-table insert plate Rousseau RM3509 deluxe router baseplate Router-table switch Rousseau RM3506 switch with crash bar Safety equipment MSA Safety Works Sandpaper Mirka Gold 5" hook-and-loop discs; Supergrit belts, discs, and sheets (Red Hill Corp.) Saw blades CMT ITK rip blade 250.024.10 and crosscut blade 205.060.10 Forrest Woodworker II combination blade WW10407 Freud combination blade LU84RO11, crosscut blade LU85RO10, and 8" dado set SD508 Oldham combination blade 100W40 and mitersaw blade 100W80

HAND TOOLS AND MISCELLANEOUS Hand tools Woodcraft Caliper & divider set, no. 141597; center finder, no. 01M24; circle cutter, no. 15N31; cornering tool set, no. 03L51; dead-blow hammer, no. 15F17; doweling jig, no. 811564; Record No. 09-1/2 block plane, no. 02B20; Record No. 060-1/2 low-angle block plane, no. 01B11; Record spokeshave, no. 01H10; 22" hand saw, no. 17Z05; coping saw, no. 141403; crosscut razorsaw, no. 02P62; small Ryoba saw, no. 06Q11; straight backsaw, no. 17Z01; scrapers, no. 02Z10; scratch awl, no. 03H22; sliding bevel square, marking gauge, and square, no. 14C50; steel rules 6" and 12", nos. 129207 and 129208 Adhesives Titebond and Titebond II (Franklin International) Gorilla Glue polyurethane Automated blast gates Ecogate EG001 Complete Startup Set Dust-collection duct Penn State spiral duct Fluorescent lighting Lithonia Lighting Garage-floor coating EPOXYShield Gas-fired heater Reznor model V3 UDAS Lumber rack storage system Woodcraft part no. 131189 Wood paneling Georgia-Pacific Ply-Bead

Tool Suppliers

SUPPLIERS Adjustable Clamp Company 312/666-0640, Bessey 800/828-1004, Bosch 877/267-2499, Campbell-Hausfeld 888/247-6937, CMT 888/268-2487, Craftsman Visit your Sears store, Delta 800/438-2486, DeWalt 800/433-9258, Ecogate 888/326-4283, EPOXYShield 888/683-5667, Fein 800/441-9878, Forrest Manufacturing 800/733-7111, Franklin International 800/669-4583, Freud 800/334-4107, Georgia-Pacific 800/284-5347, Gorilla Glue 800/966-3458, Grizzly 800/523-4777, HTC 800/624-2027 Incra 972/242-9975, Jet 800/274-6848, Laguna 800/234-1976, Lee Valley 800/871-8158, Lithonia Lighting Makita 800/462-5482, MLCS 800/533-9298, MSA Safety Works 888/672-4692, Oldham 800/828-9000, Penn State Industries 800/377-7297, Performax 800/274-6848, Porter-Cable 800/487-8665, Quick-Grip 800/866-5740, Red Hill Corp. 800/822-4003, Reznor 800/695-1901, Ridgid 800/539-1710, Rousseau 800/635-3416, Shop Fox 800/840-8420, Wilton 800/274-6848, Woodcraft 800/225-1153, Woodline USA 800/472-6950,

Your Ideas

With Idea Shop 5, we've shown you how to create a wide variety of versatile shop fixtures using just a few modular, easy-to-build components. We know, of course, that you'll take the ideas from Idea Shop 5 and run with them, creating workshop wonders we haven't even imagined. When you do, we want to see them. Take a good-quality picture or two, write a short explanation of how and why you built the project as you did, and send them to:

WOOD Magazine Idea Shop 5 1716 Locust St., LS-253 Des Moines, IA 50309-3023

Or, you can send an e-mail, with your photos attached, to Who knows, you might even see your handiwork in a future issue of WOOD® magazine!


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