It feels SO good to finally be able to say this after a LONG week of re-arranging, sweeping, lifting heavy tools, and building shop furniture…
OUR SHOP IS FINALLY DONE!!
As much as we wished we could just spend an entire month getting every single detail of this space EXACTLY the way we want it…we kind of had to knock it out as quickly as possible – and here’s why:
Every week the shop isn’t finished and we’re not building….we’re not making money!! We quit our full time jobs for this and took part time ones…so we kind of had to get a move on. If you want to watch how exactly we made decisions on tool purchases, overall layout, and storage in our new space, check out our video below (psst…I think there’s an opportunity for some free plans in this video)!!
So let’s start with our overall shop layout. What were our limiting factors for tool placement?
- Where to place dust collection
Since we had the most amount of tools near the back of our shop, the dust collector in the back left corner was the only option that would require the least amount of PVC pipe and hose to connect everything.
- Miter saw station
Since the miter saw station takes up almost an entire wall, we really only had 3 options on where to put it and one was already taken by the dust collector and all the PVC pipe we had to run. Wall #2 has our water softener on it, so that option was out as well (it’s like we also have to live in this house or something). So that left us putting the miter saw station on the left wall with the CNC router next to it. But that ended up working out well because then we had completely empty wall space above the miter saw for wood storage racks!
New Tools and Other Purchases
So like I said at the beginning, we would have loved to spend weeks setting up this shop and making it our ideal space – but we really didn’t have time for that since we had to go out and start finding new clients. This means that a lot of things we would have liked to build, we just had to buy, like:
- A new tool cabinet
- Wood storage racks
- Shelves for all of our finishing supplies
- Kreg router lift (click the link to check out the one we purchased!)
As for the new tools, these were tools we either sold at our last shop because we didn’t have the space to move them down here, or we just wanted them to make our builds higher quality and more efficient. Here’s the wonderful list! If you’re interested in checking out some of the exact ones we purchased, click the links below and it’ll take ya right to them!
- Rikon 14″ 10-324 bandsaw
- Mirka orbital sander
- Festool domino tool/dominoes/dust extraction
- Ridgid trim router
- Harbor Freight 2HP dust collector/Powertec air filter bag
So far we’ve really enjoyed all of these tools and can’t wait to start using them in our builds!
When it came to shop furniture and storage, we pretty much knew that we would have to build some of the basics since they would need to be scaled to the size of our garage. Some things just needed to fit into very specific spots – so we figured we’d just build them to their exact dimensions. Do we want to continue to do this once we get into commercial space and eventually start scaling? Probably not. We want repeatable, purchasable items that can be bought and replaced quickly from many locations. BUT – since we’re still in our home shop, we had to play by its dimensions and work around them.
So what all did we end up building?
- Router table
- Air filter cart
- Bandsaw base (funny story about this one, actually….keep reading lol)
- CNC table
Before we dive into what we built, you can get the plans to the workbench, router table, CNC table, and bandsaw base for FREE by clicking here!! This will give you a free .pdf to download…so enjoy!!
Okay, now onto the good stuff…I mean…”free plans” is kind of the good stuff…onto other good stuff…
We built the workbench to be sort of a Paulk-style table. We didn’t use the plans, but we used the same concept. We cut large oval holes on the front and back of the table to provide quick, easy, and convenient storage for things like clamps when while we were building on the table top (ya know, for those times when you could use a third hand and your clamp fell on the floor…ya, we wanted to avoid those situations).
The router table was just a simple box design with two cabinet doors on the front with the area for the router lift carved out of the top. We do plan on eventually building a box around the router itself so that not as much dust falls into the cabinet space (since we want to use that area for other shop storage)…but that will come later.
For the air filter cart we used the plans Jay Bates created for his air filter cart! They worked really, really well!! We use an old blower motor from a heater as the power source for our filter and place filters on 3 sides of the box. We made sure to put in on casters so it can go wherever we go in the garage. On top of it we put our planer – we figured that’s not a tool that absolutely must stay put in one spot. It frees up a lot of wall space since we don’t have to build it its own cart/table.
Soooooo the band saw base….originally we weren’t going to build one of these since the Rikon bandsaw came with one…butttttt the welds on one of the corners broke as we were lifting it up over the lip in our garage floor and setting it down. It came down at a bit of an angle and pretty much broke immediately. So we decided to build something more sturdy at the exact height WE wanted the bandsaw to be (since we will use it for mostly resawing).
The CNC table was a pretty simple concept – we just needed a large area for our 1,000mm X-carve to sit on top of while holding our laptop and all of the router bits’ storage compartments. We also put it on casters since the location of the X-carve isn’t really that important – just so long as it’s got an outlet to get plugged into.
All in all we are VERY happy with how the shop turned out. There are a lot of things about it that are more convenient and efficient than our last shop, and that makes us really happy because this whole journey is about learning what works best so that one day we can streamline and scale the entire process!
Now it’s time to start reaching out to potential clients and to FINALLY get back to building!! We just want to say thank you so much to everyone that’s supported us and given us words of encouragement throughout this adventure. We have gotten so many messages and comments with well-wishes and motivation…so thank you SO much. You guys are awesome.
Annnnddddd…….we also made a few fun Tik Tok videos throughout the process too!!
This post may contain affiliate links for products we used to create this project! If you’d like to check them out, we do get a small percentage of the sale and they are of no extra cost to you! It all goes towards supporting the content creation of Jennie and Davis. BUT – we do not take tool sponsorships and there were no tool endorsements. Just our honest opinions!