When Gary Bonifas and his wife moved into a large duplex townhouse, he started dreaming, designing, and developing his ideal shop space for the basement.

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Pegboard covers much of Gary's wall space. He says, "Every tool on it has a dedicated hanger. An empty hanger means a missing tool."

When Gary Bonifas and his wife moved into a large duplex townhouse, he started dreaming, designing, and developing his ideal shop space for the basement. The result: a 340-square-foot metalworking shop and an adjacent 470-square-foot woodshop.

In both shops, pegboard-covered walls, and shop-made carts and shelving, keep tools and supplies organized and within reach. Even the I-beam running the width of the woodshop holds jars of fasteners and other hardware, above.

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Wall bins made from scrap plywood dot the pegboard. Hooks epoxied into holes in the back secure the bins.

A highlight of the woodshop is his tricked-out bench, below. Sixteen outlets around three sides mean no cords draped across the shop floor. The solid-wood base and three-layered particleboard top make the bench rock-solid, and retractable casters make it mobile, when needed.

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The workbench features two Unistrut channels that extend 33 1⁄2" and support bolt-on accessories such as this workpiece support.
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An L-shaped plywood fixture hooks onto shop-made brackets on the jointer and router table to anchor these mobile tools to the bench during use.
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Below one end of the bench, a modified hitch receiver accepts vises and other tools on custom mounts. Threaded knobs secure the Unistrut and hitch fixtures.

As a life safety and security engineer, Gary designed the shop's electric service with safety in mind. Only the receptacles for the mini-fridge, dehumidifier, and lighting, which are tied to the house's main panel, are live at all times. All other shop power comes from a 24-circuit, 50-amp subpanel. "The main breaker of the subpanel is on only when I am in my shop," Gary says. "A fluorescent light above the shop entrance door reminds me if the shop power is on when I turn off the lights."

Gary didn't skimp on the lighting, either. Seventeen four-bulb fluorescent fixtures illuminate every square inch of the woodshop. Three separate switches control these lights. "I can turn on only one or the other pair of bulbs in each fixture or all four of them." A large, south-facing window provides natural light on sunny days.

Gary also designed and installed nine remote switches (the yellow boxes near the ceiling in the opening photo) for his dust collector, so he's never more than a few steps from a switch.