Don't let the date fool you. The great ideas in this shop are timeless.

When Better Homes & Gardens magazine editors built their Blueprint 2000 model home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, they wanted a woodworking shop to go with it. And WOOD magazine was glad to help out. IDEA SHOP 2000 occupies a 12 x 20' building connected to the garage by a portico. The shop's 9' ceiling has three powered, venting skylights, each operated electronically. Those, plus four windows, French doors, and a pastel color scheme add natural light and a sense of spaciousness in what might otherwise feel like tight quarters. Here are the projects we included in that shop.

Floor plan


Tablesaw dust-collector hood

This tablesaw dust-collector hood is effective as convenient. The acrylic window lets you see your cut at all times, and nether the hood nor its support will impede your sawing. And the shop-made holddowns keep stock under control.


Mobile mitersaw center

This sturdy plywood unit rolls around and locks in place where needed. Fold-down extensions let you manage long pieces for crosscutting. And there's more, including built-in waste disposal for cutoffs and sawdust, and a unique leveling system for parking the unit on an uneven floor.


Full Service Workbench

At the heart of any good shop lies a great workbench. With that in mind, we went all out to design a full service workbench.


Flip-up benchtop tool stand and router table

To the full-service workbench, add a pair of cabinets; one with a lift-up router table and another with a flip-over top that accommodates a scrollsaw or other medium-sized benchtop power tool. To access the scrollsaw table, simply open the cabinet door, tap the foot pedal, pull up the table, swivel it 180° and then lock it in place.


Swivel-Topped Tool Cabinet

Now, you can store two benchtop tools in one handy mobile unit. By just unlocking and flipping the top, you can switch from the portable planer to the stationary belt/disc sander. Or, mount whatever tools you commonly use in your shop.


A sturdy, dependable workbench belongs at the center of every hardworking home workshop. This heavy-duty, versatile model features a pair of vises that provide a variety of ways to hold workpieces. You'll also like the knock-down construction, allowing you to easily move the bench. In addition, you can choose from two tops; an indestructible laminated one, and a simpler plywood version.


More ideas from Idea Shop 2000

The shop's south wall contains a mobile, swivel-topped cabinet housing a small planer and belt/disc sander. Next to it, there's a lift-up scrollsaw stand and cabinet. The wall cabinets, featuring a hanging system of mating beveled strips, easily relocate if needed. Flexible hose connects the sander and/or the planer to the main dust-collection system.


This corner of the shop is the home of the dust collector and the electronic blast-gate control (the green box in the photo); a fold-up finishing center with exhaust; and the bandsaw, with the heat/air-conditioning pump above it. The mitersaw can be used tucked against the wall as shown. Or, it can be wheeled outdoors and the extensions raised to crosscut long stock.


A drill press, complete with a shop-built dust-collection collar and auxillary table (Issue #86, February 1996) stands in the corner. A cabinet holding bits and other accessories hangs nearby. Close by, too, is a hanging clamp rack, one of several in varying sizes throughout the shop. The jointer, on its mobile base, stands ready for use. Above it, a particulate filter removes fine dust from the air.