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So, when I first got my ½ of the garage we built some stuff to make it a useful place. There were two workbenches and an A-frame wood storage rack. Then I built a 3rd workbench. At the time I had a Jet midi-lathe (10×14) and it was comfortable for me up on the bench.

The original plan was to have a dehumidifier kiln under that workbench as well.

Well, time passes and things change. Never did get the kiln built and picked up a Steel City 10×22 lathe. That lathe wasn’t comfortable on the bench as the centerline of the shaft is much higher than the Jet lathe. That triggered the first of the changes.

I built a standalone “bench” for the Steel City lathe.

Lathe and Stand

Lathe and Stand

It includes a shelf for putting on some weight, a t-slot on the back for (currently) a couple of LED lights from Ikea, and some magnetic knife racks for the turning tools. Not entirely convinced yet that that is a good thing but so far it’s not been too bad. There’s also a shelf on the left side for centers and rests. When I first put this lathe on the bench I thought I’d made a mistake as it moved – a lot. Now that it’s on it’s own little bench of 2×4 and 2×6 construction, 150 lbs of weight, and an epoxy composite work surface it doesn’t move at all.

Next, I determined that the work bench was just too wide. It was difficult to reach anything on the wall behind it and ‘stuff’ could accumulate on the back of the bench, never more to be seen. So I rebuilt this one. And made a mistake while doing it.

I made it narrower and intended it for the chop saw. My intent was to set the saw down between the ‘stringers’ of the bench. I didn’t measure quite good enough and missed all the stuff that hangs out behind the saw. So, instead, I put the saw on that surface and built up surfaces on either side to match the bed of the saw.

Chop saw bench

Chop saw bench

Since I had that extra space I decided to put drawers in there. The drawer on the left side is completed (except for handles) and you can see the space I’m filling on the right. In addition I’m adding storage to this bench. You can see the shelves with tubs on the left. The same will go on the right, just don’t have that part done yet.

The A-frame wood storage rack had to come down. It was made to be portable but once you get all that wood on it moving is a much less pleasant option – it’s just too heavy. So I dismantled it and built a log storage rack out in the shed (picture to be added later.) Most of the wood from the A-frame went to that effort. I then picked up some 4x4s, drilled a few holes, mounted them to the wall, and that’s where the flat stock went.

Flat storage

Flat storage

There are some bins underneath for the short flat stuff. Those are all table saw sleds/jigs sitting on the floor in front of the rack as I’m not sure where I’m putting those yet.

The other issue that I’ve had is just a general lack of space. Mind you, I know I have it better than a lot of folks but it can get a bit cramped. To resolve that I’ve built some platforms for some of the tools – and put them on wheels.

Tools on Wheels

Tools on Wheels

The tool cabinet (a Christmas present) is closest to the wood rack. Then there’s the table saw, the planer, a small set of rolling cabinets, and the band saw. Next to that is a router table that’s in progress, but it’s not (yet) on wheels. Since I took this picture I’ve now built a stand (similar to the one for the planer) for the drum sander. I will be building a platform for the jointer and a stand for the Rigid sander once I pick up some additional 2x4s.

Once the A-frame wood rack was gone I moved the 2nd workbench to take its place. I had originally intended to rebuild this one as well to make it narrower but now that it’s sitting between my side and the garage side I can get to both sides if I need to so I’ll just leave this one as it is. I’ll use the area underneath for tool storage. My vacuum system is sitting on top of the bench.

2nd workbench

2nd workbench

The 3rd ‘type’ of wood that needed to be stored is actual cut turning blanks or wood related to turning. There’s a metal shelf that I had some stuff stacked on that used to be over where the flat storage rack is now and a plastic rack that came out of the shed when the log storage was built. These are now sitting at the end of the 2nd workbench and completes the separation of the shop area from the garage area.

Turning wood storage

Turning wood storage

There are two more workbenches. One sits up against the garage wall and is the same size as the 2nd workbench. That one has tool storage under it and a TV, microwave, and toaster oven on top. The latter two are for minor wood drying and curing stabilized blanks. The last workbench is one I bought from HF. This is sitting at the end of the turning wood storage and helps define that end of the workspace. It needs to be turned around so that the drawers aren’t blocked. The Rigid sander on top will be getting its own mobile stand. In front of the stand you can also see my dust collection stand. There’s a shop vac on the bottom and the cyclone separator up top.

HF Bench and dust collection

HF Bench and dust collection

Here’s a shot of the shop from up next to the lathe to the far corner. I like all the open space in the center.

The whole shop

The whole shop

Not in the picture is another metal workbench (that was already existing) at the end of the garage and I have another bench top router table attached to that.

Still a few things to do but I think it’s looking pretty good.