Modest but mighty
There's not a lot of space and not a lot of money invested in tools, but Keith Schwartztrauber's Las Vegas shop features innovative fixtures that pack a lot of woodworking punch into a small area.
Bigger isn't always better
When planning a new shop, a lot of woodworkers figure that bigger is better. But Keith Schwartztrauber found the small, third stall of his Las Vegas garage was perfect for his needs. "Neither car would fit there," he says of the space intended for a golf cart. "I don't have a lot of room, but with almost every square foot of wall space used for something, I can still rip a full 8' sheet of plywood in my shop."
Garage supports two hobbies
Situated on a golf course, Keith's home includes a golf cart bay in his garage that works perfectly for his shop needs.
Room for expansion
Although Keith's shop occupies the smallest bay in his garage, he can use the rest of the space whenever the cars aren't there.
TYPE: Single bay of an attached three-vehicle garage.
SIZE: 11x16' (176 sq ft), with additional space available on vehicle side of garage.
CONSTRUCTION: 2x4 framing with painted drywall covering.
FLOOR: Epoxy-coated concrete.
HEATING & COOLING: No heating necessary due to desert location. Air conditioning a future option.
ELECTRICAL: 110-volt, 15-amp circuit is part of main house wiring.
LIGHTING: Two reflective floodlight fixtures, two fluorescent fixtures.
DUST COLLECTION: Shop vacuum used at point of collection for main tools.
Cars out, projects in
It's no problem for Keith to appropriate additional work space for larger projects just by moving the cars into the driveway. When bringing the cars back inside, however, everything rolls into a tight space and out of the way for parking.
Keith's aversion to clutter
In spite of its small size, Keith's shop is rarely crowded or cluttered. All tools, accessories, and supplies are stored in drawers or behind doors. Machinery is either benchtop-sized or on wheels, so it can all be moved as necessary to accommodate a project.
Keith corner's in on workspace
Keith's first order of business when setting up his shop was to construct the L-shaped corner workbench that houses most of his smaller tools and accessories, maximizing floor space. His larger machines, like the tablesaw and mitersaw, are mounted on wheels so he can easily reconfigure the shop layout to accommodate his project-building needs.
Good lighting is essential
In addition to four overhead light fixtures, wall- and tool-mounted task lighting makes everything easy to see.
Inexpensive tools do the job
"I don't have any really expensive shop tools," Keith says. A benchtop drill press and bandsaw join a 10" mitersaw and his father's restored 1956 Craftsman 7 1/4" tablesaw as his main tools.
Upgrade from a radio
His satellite radio had poor reception in the shop, so Keith moved an old computer in so he could listen online. He quickly realized the PC had a lot more uses: He can easily jump onto the Internet to look for parts, answer e-mail, or use his design software. A top-mounted replaceable filter and front fold-down cover made from a window blind to protect the computer from shop dust.
A dust-free computer center
Whenever he needs to use the PC, Keith just lifts the protective front cover and slides out the keyboard/mouse shelf. He frequently uses Google SketchUp, a 3-D drawing program, when he's designing projects.