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A Whole Other Level

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To make the most of the floor space in his 480-sq.-ft. garage shop, Timothy England went up. That started with a heavy-duty platform he built along the back wall that provides storage on top, and drop-down trays utilizing the space underneath. With the trays closed at the end of the day, he can tuck many of his tools underneath and still have room for two cars.

A series of French cleats lines one wall almost to the ceiling, holding dozens of custom racks and shelves for shop clamps and other accessories. Each rack can be removed as needed, and Timothy can rearrange the system as his storage needs change. 

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Casters under every tool base and the workbench make moving them easy. Timothy also saved space by doubling up tools whereever practical. For example, his portable air compressor shares a stand with his benchtop drill press. The compressor lowers the center of gravity of the stand, making it less prone to tipping. His shop-built router table nests in the wing of his tablesaw. Several tool bases sport flip tops, allowing them to house two tools rather than just one.   

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Decades of woodworking have taught Timothy how to use every scrap of plywood and hardwood to build fixtures for his shop. For example, he fashioned the top of his main workbench out of hardwood cutoffs from trees on his family farm. Drawers and a shelf maximize storage within the bench’s footprint. He’s concerned more about the function of those items than their looks.

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Lining one wall are rows of French cleats upon which hang custom storage racks. Timothy uses a step stool to access the highest bins.

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Timothy cut a pair of rabbeted openings in the benchtop and fitted each with an insert. Removing an insert allows him to slip the head of a clamp in place for additional options when assembling a project.

“The main thing is, I’ve got enough stuff to occupy a 2,000-sq.-ft. shop and it tucks away well enough for two cars to pull in. I kinda like it,” he says.

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Timothy England retired from the Kentucky National Guard after 37 years. He’s been woodworking most of his life and has built commercial restaurant and museum fixtures, as well as furniture for his home.

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