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Thread: Shop Fixtures and Furniture

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Tucson, AZ
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    Shop Fixtures and Furniture

    My shop fixtures and furniture are all, how can I say this other than, "crap". When we moved to Tucson and the current house there were so many things needed in the house that setting up the shop while needed was way down the list. Because of that everything in the shop is either old fiberboard kitchen cabinets pulled out of the kitchen during the redo or thrown together sheet goods with pocket screws holding it together. I've finally reached the point where when I looked around the house the other day to see if anything needed to be built or even if there were room to add anything and I came up with nothing needed or room for it if built.

    Long way around to: Time to work on the shop and make some better fixtures and furniture for it. While I can design, I'm not much for re-inventing the wheel, most of the time the ways of doing things that have stood the test of time are better than unproven ways. What I would like to see is how you address tool storage or shop fixtures and furniture you have seen that looks functional. Any photos would be appreciated.

    ken

  2. #2
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    Sep 2013
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    Wayland, MA
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    I'm a big fan of drawers. This bank of cabinets allowed me to organize many shelves worth of piled up and unfindable "treasures" in a form that makes life much easier. I bought plastic small parts bins that fit the drawers to allow me to sort all of my accumulated screws, nuts, bolts, washers etc. They are fairly ordinary kitchen cabinet style cabinets made from prefinished maple plywood for the cases with BB drawers with heavy duty Blum undermount glides (a couple drawers have upward of 100 lbs of stuff in them.)

    IMG_1556 (1).jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
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    Tucson, Aridzona
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    154
    I agree, I like drawers. My plan was drawers with bins, and the hand power tools being stored on shallow, full extension, drawers. Other than that, I can't really offer anything to look at. I'm still gutting the building that will become the shop, but because of that the subject is near and dear to me too. The previous owner had used a lot of peg board, I really have scoffed that for years, but I actually like the ease of movable wall mounted items. So I'll probably run French cleats around to allow for flexibility on most walls starting at about 4'.

  4. #4
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    Feb 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by roger wiegand View Post
    I'm a big fan of drawers. This bank of cabinets allowed me to organize many shelves worth of piled up and unfindable "treasures" in a form that makes life much easier. I bought plastic small parts bins that fit the drawers to allow me to sort all of my accumulated screws, nuts, bolts, washers etc. They are fairly ordinary kitchen cabinet style cabinets made from prefinished maple plywood for the cases with BB drawers with heavy duty Blum undermount glides (a couple drawers have upward of 100 lbs of stuff in them.)
    Roger,

    We are kinda on the same page, with standard kitchen height base units where I have room for them.

    ken

  5. #5
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    Feb 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike stenson View Post
    I agree, I like drawers. My plan was drawers with bins, and the hand power tools being stored on shallow, full extension, drawers. Other than that, I can't really offer anything to look at. I'm still gutting the building that will become the shop, but because of that the subject is near and dear to me too. The previous owner had used a lot of peg board, I really have scoffed that for years, but I actually like the ease of movable wall mounted items. So I'll probably run French cleats around to allow for flexibility on most walls starting at about 4'.

    Mike,

    I'm a fan of French cleats. peg board not so much . My thinking is lower base units like Roger's and wall cabinets hung on french cleats for most of the tools. Where I run into a mental block is the design of the tool holding in the wall cabinets.

    ken

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
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    Tucson, Aridzona
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken hatch View Post
    Mike,

    I'm a fan of French cleats. peg board not so much . My thinking is lower base units like Roger's and wall cabinets hung on french cleats for most of the tools. Where I run into a mental block is the design of the tool holding in the wall cabinets.

    ken
    Ken,

    Yes, I'm not a fan of the pegboard. Also not a fan of the black widows that keep crawling out of the holes (there are downsides to snuggling the Catalinas)

    I agree with the tool holding design problems. In my last shop I used 3/4" BB ply (scraps really) to build the cases, then ran 1/2" and 1/8" grooves that allowed me to separate with ply. That worked well enough, but I'm not sure how I want to deal with it this time. The one thing I'm pretty sure of is that I don't want to do what I did last time, and just build as needed. It just ends up like bad urban planning, but in your shop.

    I do like the kitchen cab base idea, they're fast and easy and it's a great solution.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    SoCal
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    19,829
    A cleat wall was the dawn of a new era for me. I have been using one in one way or another for over a decade. The new build will have them also.

    ST-2018 (9).jpg .

    Don't sell pegboard short. The products available today are not those that we all remember. It allows for quick adjustments when we change our mind and adapts to this years Christmas gifts. I tend to stick panels on the ends of other fixtures. This takes advantage of unused space as opposed to eating up valuable wall space. It allows me to keep certain items handy where I use them and I can pick them off the pegs one-handed.

    Ends of the bench:
    ST-2018 (34).jpg

    End of the outfeed table and side of the router table:
    ST-2018 (33).jpg

    Making custom holder for tools and mounting to pegboard or more permanently to plywood is a great way to personalize.

    Hand tool org.jpg . Plane Till (53).jpgPlane Till (47).jpgPlane Till (35).jpgPlane Till (60).jpg
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 01-10-2020 at 11:51 AM.
    ďFalsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it,Ē
    -Jonathan Swift

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    Perth, Australia
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    6,907
    Ken

    I have a double garage, but space is needed for one car (mine! ... which gets backed out when the shop is in use). The garage is longer than average - I planned for the extra bench space when we built the house. There are the usual large machines on the one half, which leaves precious little extra room. What is left needs to be used carefully. To this end, there is storage space reserved for specific tools in specific cabinets. I know where everything is, and it goes back when it is no longer needed (theoretically! ).

    Cabinets for tools, both hand and power ...




    There are lots of drawers below, but I am not a big fan of drawers. Drawers are a recipe for losing items (out of sight is out of mind), or becoming frustrated as the item you want is at the rear. I prefer to keep commonly used things in plain sight.

    The wall behind the work bench is storage for marking and measuring tools. This is important - they are where I can see them, and where they are easy to grab when needed.
    What I do not need to see are power tools, such as routers. They are tucked away behind these cabinet doors. As are woodies, such as hollows and rounds, as moulding planes, which need to be kept moisture-safe ...






    Regards from Munich


    Derek

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Carlsbad, CA
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    1,549
    Ken, thanks for this thread, good opportunity to see ideas about how people organize their shop/tools which is something I always find interesting.

    Like most of us Iím guessing, Iíve had many shop spaces over the years and based on trial and error have some preferences. For context I should say my current shop is roughly equivalent of a single car garage size and only stationary power tools I need to accommodate are a bandsaw and drill press.

    Guiding principles for me our flexibility and keep tools as visible as possible. for those reasons Iím not a fan of kitchen style cabinets with doors or drawers Ė two easy to forget whatís in there. I have lots of white pegboard on the walls (good for visibility) with layout tools and open tills for planes and saws prominently featured. I also have tall, sample shaker style bookshelves for glue, finishings, power drills etc. things that donít get used as often.

    For a small tools that can be organizing drawers like chisels, carving tools etc. I have a rolling tool cabinet ( shelves on top and three banks of drawers on the bottomď, frankly doesnít really get moved that often but when needed easy to bring drawer with chisels to bench.

    My most recent tool storage option is a Chris Swarz ďAnarchist tool chestĒ on rollers. I was lukewarm at first but now I really like it - not so much for day-to-day storage of frequently used tools, as I said I like tills/wall hangings for those,. The chest easy to move around, can use the top as a storage surface for work in process and Big sliding trays where you can keep joinery planes with lots of blades/accessories, like routers, plow planes etc. and keep all the components in one contained space.

    Iíll try and post some pictures when I get a chance and look forward to seeing how other meanders organize tools storage in their shots. Ken thanks for the thread. Good luck with shop renovation.

    Cheers, Mike
    Last edited by Mike Allen1010; 01-10-2020 at 5:03 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    SE Michigan
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    Like some, I like everything that I use regularly out in sight. Iíve made custom holders and stuck them to peg board. Itís easy to change as use of some tools change or expand (like MORE chisels!). If I find Iím constantly pulling out some tool not on the wall, I make a space and holder for it.

    Below the peg board is a row of cabinets with an MDF top that I inherited from the previous owner. At some point that will be completely torn out and replaced with lower drawer units, and custom drawer organizers. I hate the cabinet door with drawers inside...can be a pain to have to open the cabinet to pull out the drawer. I also find with drawers that you often donít need the depth...many items can fit into shallow drawers and would made organization a bit easier, so Iíll be looking to get or make a bank of shallow drawers.

    Specialty tools and non-everyday stuff are kept out of sight in drawers. Drawers do get a bit disorganized and, frankly, a complete jumble of mess, but Iíve come to know what is in each drawer and with a little digging around can usually find what I need.

    I tend to procrastinate less when reorganizing small areas rather than a complete shop redo. Just need to have some sense of order for everything in mind to keep from redoing things that were just redone (btdt).

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    twomiles from the "peak of Ohio
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    A few years back, I built a large, five drawer Chest of Drawers for the shop.....and then set a metal ( Craftsman) tool chest on top of it.....

    Build a couple, maybe out of Pine, to get a bit of practice in for building "Fine Furniture" sort of things.
    finished.JPG
    Build as plain or fancy as you wish...

  12. #12
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    Ken, thanks for this thread, good opportunity to see ideas about how people organize their shop/tools which is something I always find interesting.
    +1 on that!

    My shop is more like an organized mess at times. Some folks have mentioned a dislike for drawers. To me drawers are a good way to keep similar things in one place. My shop storage started with a couple of book shelves made before we moved here over a decade ago. The tall spaces for books left some unused space that seemed perfect to add in some drawers:

    Drawers Added to Sheves.jpg

    From left to right the drawers hold spare block plane blades and a few other blades. Next is a drawer with various gimlets. The center drawer holds a #93 shoulder plane. Next is a bunch of measuring items like 6" rules, an angle gauge, a screw size gauge and a 12" & 24" four fold ruler. The last drawer holds various compasses and dividers.

    Below that is a drawer to hold files and keep them from banging together. My shop could use about a half dozen more like this.

    Two shelves were mounted with a space between them that was going to hold a plane till. Instead some shelves were added between the two shelves:

    Shelves With Planes.jpg

    This is where most of my bench planes reside. One of these days my round tuit will come and a more space efficient plane till will be built.

    My brace storage has given me some ideas on another way to store these with less unusable space:

    Brace Storage.jpg

    There are a few planes and other things here taking space. Even the cabinet with the plastic drawers has a lot of little parts and plane blades. The not so good thing about them is if one of the drawers breaks.

    One of my future plans is to make a large cabinet to hold fasteners and other hardware.

    It is always something.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  13. #13
    My only shop furniture other than a work mate is a multi function stool. It can also serve a a support for long pieces I'm ripping on my TS. A support for my large crosscut sled. A place to contemplate design improvements or how to fix errors. A grandkid booster so they can reach the work bench for projects.

    As you can see, the center section can be height adjusted to make it more versatile than a regular stool.
    IMG_8709.jpg
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  14. #14
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Cohen View Post
    Ken

    I have a double garage, but space is needed for one car (mine! ... which gets backed out when the shop is in use). The garage is longer than average - I planned for the extra bench space when we built the house. There are the usual large machines on the one half, which leaves precious little extra room. What is left needs to be used carefully. To this end, there is storage space reserved for specific tools in specific cabinets. I know where everything is, and it goes back when it is no longer needed (theoretically! ).

    Cabinets for tools, both hand and power ...




    There are lots of drawers below, but I am not a big fan of drawers. Drawers are a recipe for losing items (out of sight is out of mind), or becoming frustrated as the item you want is at the rear. I prefer to keep commonly used things in plain sight.

    The wall behind the work bench is storage for marking and measuring tools. This is important - they are where I can see them, and where they are easy to grab when needed.
    What I do not need to see are power tools, such as routers. They are tucked away behind these cabinet doors. As are woodies, such as hollows and rounds, as moulding planes, which need to be kept moisture-safe ...






    Regards from Munich


    Derek
    Thanks Derek,

    I expect I will make wall cabinets to hold similar that are on french cleats, or at least that is my thinking now. I like the idea of glass doors.

    ken

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    +1 on that!

    My shop is more like an organized mess at times. ...
    jtk
    Jim

    That describes my shop if you added dis to the organized

    ken

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