You are here

Dream it, do it!

As a college student in Arizona trying to make extra money, Dave Estopinal set up shop in a rented 10x10' storage shed with one lightbulb, no windows, and no fan. Look what he has now!

  • California classic

    Dave Estopinal chased a dream for 32 years. Now, at age 50, he's living it in his recently finished 30x60' workshop 75 miles east of Los Angeles.

  • Multi-use tablesaw

    The tablesaw, router table, and outfeed table are positioned near the shop's center, offering easy access to multiple workstations along one wall. The doors at the back of the shop lead to the finish room and tool/storage room.

  • A shop with a view

    The 30x60' shop includes a loading dock and two roll-up doors, which greatly ease unloading lumber and sheet goods or removing finished projects.


    TYPE: Victorian-trimmed outbuilding 150' from Victorian-style home; shell erected in 2003, interior completed in late 2005

    SIZE: 30x60' including office, tool/storage and finish rooms; working space is 30x50'

    CONSTRUCTION: Stick-built on concrete pad, with 2x4 stud walls; fiberglass insulation in ceiling and walls; 10' sidewalls with 14fi ' vaulted ceiling

    HEATING: Antique woodstove; propane heater as backup

    COOLING: Three ceiling fans; three roll-up doors

    ELECTRICAL: 110- and 220-volt outlets

    LIGHTING: Three 2x4' skylights; three fluorescent 60-watt bulbs on each ceiling fan; floodlights in 12 fixtures around walls

    DUST COLLECTION: 3-hp Powermatic double-bag collector; ceiling-hung three-speed ambient air cleaner

    AIR COMPRESSOR: 6-hp, 60-gallon vertical Coleman Black Max

  • Clamps and collectibles

    Clamps are organized in a wall-hung cabinet above a workbench at the end of the shop. A corrugated sheet-metal shelf supports more of Dave's collectibles and also acts as a firewall for the antique woodburning stove, which is Dave's heat source on chilly winter days.

  • One long workstation

    Opposite the workstation wall is this 20"x20' workbench, with mitersaw. Drawers store nails for nail guns, brads, and sandpaper. The backsplash holds a variety of Dave's most frequently used tools. Air hose fittings are included at each end, along with 1 1/2" PVC pipe under the counter for broom storage.

  • Dave's benchtop tools

    Benchtop tools along this wall are within easy reach of the worktable. Metal stands and mobile bases allow the benchtops to be moved where needed or for cleaning. Each workstation includes a 4" in-floor dust-collection port. On the wall above, Dave positioned compressed-air recoil lines, plus an on/off dust-collector switch, an overhead light switch, and 110- and 220-volt switches for the electrical sockets.

  • The floor plan

    "When I designed my shop, I tried to incorporate all of the timesaving and efficiency ideas I could think of," Dave says. Although his shop is long and narrow, he minimized walking distance by placing ancillary spaces-office/restroom, tool/storage room, and finish room-all at one end, reducing the shop's working space to 30x50'.

  • Lever-action assembly table

    This 3x6' movable assembly/sanding/finishing table has a removable top of 3/4" medium-density fiberboard (MDF).

  • Floor jack lift

    Dave mounted a 2-ton floor jack into the frame below. "It's big-time overkill, I know, but I had it," Dave says with a chuckle.

  • Ready-to-go tools

    The 5x9' work/tool bench positioned behind the tablesaw helps support long stock and sheet goods and provides convenient tool storage. A power strip mounted along the edge allows tools to remain plugged in and ready for service.

  • Tilt-out tool storage

    Five tilt-out bins keep the pneumatic and electrical tools out of sight but easily accessible.

  • Mitersaw dust-collection hood

    The countertop on this 20"x20' workbench is covered with galvanized steel. Dave took the measurements and then had four separate pieces cut and molded to fit four separate workbenches. Total cost: $247.

  • Shop-built mitersaw stand

    The hood for the dust collector made for the mitersaw also has a separate small vacuum hose. A pair of rods open and close the ports.

  • How many tools does a guy need?

    More than 50 electrical and pneumatic tools are displayed on the wall in the 10'6''x10' tool/storage room. Dave covered the unfinished wall with slot wall that he acquired from a record store that was closing. The wall offers nearly limitless options for positioning hangers, making it easy to store oddly shaped tools.

  • Salvaged storage space

    Also located in the tool/storage room are multiple shelves, cabinets, and bins that make it easy to keep small items organized. The shelf on the right (acquired from the same record store as the slot wall) holds glues, fasteners, and small tools. Additional tools and general woodworking and construction supplies are stored here.

  • An unobstructed view

    A roll-up door provides convenient access to Dave's shop and a pleasing view of the mountains without the clutter of overhead tracks and springs. To the right is the metalworking area, where Dave does much of the restoration of antique pedal cars, soda pop machines, and gas pumps. His tool inventory includes a metal chopsaw, a variety of grinders, a buffer, a tig welder, and a cutting torch.

  • Dust-free enclosed office

    At one end of the shop is Dave's enclosed 8x10' office. Magazines, manuals, and catalogs for both his wood projects and restoration hobby are all within easy reach. Made by Dave's brother-in-law, wooden weapons that are used in medieval war games decorate the upper walls. Manuals and reference materials are accessible in the bookshelf and desk.

Read more about

Tip of the Day

Precision pusher adjusts with a twist, not a nudge

To nudge my tablesaw’s rip fence just a hair, I used to softly bump... read more