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Practice-makes-perfect Shop


After nine moves through six states in less than 20 years, Chris Finnerty has become an expert at outfitting a new shop space. This one combines everything he’s learned. 

Chris designed his 900-square-foot casita (Spanish for “small house”) to work as a shop, but also to convert easily to a guesthouse for easier resale if he decides to move.

One trick that’s proven especially handy through the years is utilizing beveled cleats for hanging cabinets and tool-storage boards. The cleats work well for fine-tuning a shop setup or reorganizing without much effort. As a bonus, “If I move, I can just take the items off the cleats, unscrew the cleats from the wall, and have a clean wall for better resale,” Chris says. 

“It’s really distracting to work at this drafting table,” Chris says jokingly. “I’ve got a view right up into the Arizona foothills. If this was a home, this bump-out would be a perfect spot for a kitchen table.”

Chris lifted six cabinets from hanging cleats in his old basement shop and relocated them to his current shop—this time using a different arrangement.

Although it’s a fully functional woodworking shop, Chris also considers it his man cave: “It’s not unusual for me to spend the entire evening in the shop. I’ve got a TV, a stereo, and a bathroom. There’s not much I don’t have.” 

Rolling up the 9×10' overhead door reveals Chris’ shop garage. Here, he can cut down sheet goods for his woodworking projects or work on other hobbies, including his ’63 Corvette and ’07 Harley-Davidson Street Glide.



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