Michael’s Garage Wood Shop

My shop consists of one stall of a 3 car garage plus an addition at the back end of the stall. The addition is 12×15 and the stall is approximately 20x 0 for a total of about 380 square feet. I do have to store kids’ toys, yard equipment and the like in the stall, so I am at present only using about 11×10 of the stall space. I do plan to work into the storage space in the future.

I started this hobby back in 2006/07. I found Marc’s site back when he was just getting it going. I really enjoyed it then and even more now. Love the site and the community that has developed here.

I got frustrated with the old combo saw/jointer I had back then, so I ended up doing very little. I’ve decided to give it a go again and am in the process of setting up shop again. I recently added an 8″ jointer, a dust collector, in addition to a new sub-panel with 240 v lines and added better lighting. I want to create an environment in the shop that I like to be in and want confidence that the equipment will be more accurate than I am. The last piece of equipment I need is a new table saw. Hopefully, that will be coming soon.

I am very much a newbie to the hobby. I am really looking forward to learning and growing as a woodworker. I am trying to get my two sons excited about it as well. I hope the shop becomes a place where we can hang out over the next few years.

Any feedback on the shop is appreciated…and thanks Marc for a great site!!!


  1. John Fitz December 7, 2012

    That’s a nice space, thanks for sharing. I think that big open area on the back wall (above the planer) is just begging for some sort of shelving or storage – maybe you can get a lot of the toys and yard equipment which aren’ used a lot tucked away there to open up more floor space.

  2. doug faist December 7, 2012

    I’m sorry, but it physically impossible to have a shop that clean; this is obviously computer generated!

    Otherwise, you’ve got the basics of a great shop. I agree with your decision to upgrade your table saw. You’ll enjoy working with more than your existing saw and you’ll no doubt get better results.

    Now, get that vice mounted and go make sawdust!

  3. TennesseeYankee December 7, 2012

    That is one “old school” table saw. Awesome.
    How many hp is the motor?
    I really like the lighting. Makes for good work.

  4. Jjcaseyx December 7, 2012

    Hey mike
    Nice shop how do you like the jet dust collector

  5. Michael December 7, 2012

    Thanks guys!

    The saw still runs great – and I did finally figure out how to make it cut more accurately, but took a lot of set-up for each cut. The motor is a 1 h.p. and weighs a ton.

    I like the Jet DC. It is an older molder so not their new cyclone model. Given the short distances in my shop, it seems to have plenty of suction with the 4″ lines. Once I know where machines will be permanently, I may run bigger lines/pipes.

    I have a new saw now and love it – here is a link to it (not sure if this will work): https://www.dropbox.com/s/sn27q557qmp5kom/2012-12-07%2017.15.08.jpg

    • Jason December 7, 2012

      The link works – nice saw! Is it a Saw Stop? That will make life easier. And you’re right, when you don’t have to fight with your equipment you are both more accurate, and more confident and successful. Now, just pick a basic project, and do it. Don’t be disappointed if it takes 6 months, woodworking as a hobby is about enjoying the journey as well as the end products. One last thought – read Chris Schwarz.

    • Greg Powers December 18, 2012

      That is a huge change in your table saw. Kind of like going forma stone wheel to a modern rubber tire. Congrads on the SawStop. I like the Conduit dust collection over the blade.

  6. Indigogyre December 7, 2012

    Hey, that’s a nice open shop. I love the placement of the bench and how it doubles as a lumber rack.

  7. Don December 7, 2012

    Wow nice shop and I like your new saw.

  8. Michael Baron December 7, 2012

    Great saw choice, especially if your kids do get into woodworking. I am looking for a dust collector and have a similar set up. What hp are you running? Great space and thanks for sharing.

  9. John Fitz December 8, 2012

    Nice saw! Is that the 1.75HP or 3HP? I actually chuckled when I opened the pic……your old saw and new saw could not be more different! I bet you don’t have nearly as much set up effort to make an accurate cut ;)

  10. Michael December 8, 2012

    Michael B – the DC is a Jet 1100 – I think it’s a 1.75 hp, but not really sure.

    John F., the saw is the 3.0 HP. Yeah – it is a huge improvement over the old saw. So far, I really like it – not much fiddling to make a cut now. Wanting to have the kids in the shop with me was the main reason for going right to this level of saw.

    Also, I want to give credit to a couple of guys for the dust control arm. It was not my design.

    Paul-Marcel at Half-Inch Shy: http://www.halfinchshy.com/

    and Andrew on LumberJocks – http://lumberjocks.com/secutanudu

    They both provided all of the info needed to make the dust control arm. Andrew was very patient in answering all of my questions and even took specific pictures for me.

    Paul-Marcel provides a very detailed build blog on the DC arm at his website. Also want to thank him for his input on choosing the saw in the first place. He was very willing to share with me his specific experiences with the saw. Thanks Andrew and Paul-Marcel!!

  11. Adam (http://adam@milrr.com) December 8, 2012

    I’m new to this site, but really liking it. I wouldn’t have though of using a miter saw stand for my planer. Or was that built for planers?

  12. Brian December 8, 2012

    Looks like you are starting to get into it deep. I am interested what you think of the Sawstop. I’ve got two at work and they do not compare to my Powermatic 66. I didn’t know if it was the saw overall or the abuse that it receives from my coworkers.

  13. Joel December 8, 2012


  14. Dave December 8, 2012

    I have a 2 1/2 car garage (that is actually used for cars) with my “shop” occupying the 1/2. I too have to store some none shop items in this space. I have found when you have shared space putting tools on rolling stands can be a big help in managing the space. That and really good dust collection (something I am still working on).

  15. Jonathan December 8, 2012

    Looks like you maximized the workflow for a small space. Did you place the saw stop on a mobile base?

  16. Michael December 8, 2012

    Adam – that stand is for a miter saw, but I used the brackets for the saw and attached them to a piece of plywood. At the time, I used the stand as it took up so much room. It works great and the out-feed supports on each side work perfect and help eliminate snipe. The only negative is that it’s a little higher than I would like.

    I have it off the stand now and have used the stand from the old saw as it is at a lower height and I had to do something with it. My goal is to build a set of rolling cabinets on the wall with the planer that can be used as assembly tables (on wheels) with a flip top stand in the middle to house the planer and the sander or maybe the miter saw. There would be a total of 3 rolling carts (maybe more) on that wall with two of them being infeed/outfeed for the planer/mitersaw.

    Brian, don’t have anything to compare the saw against other than the old tilting delta in the last picture. The little I have used it has been awesome. Very excited to start making various jigs and fixtures for it.

    Jonathan, I did put the Sawstop on the integrated mobile base. The jointer and bandsaw are also on rolling bases. My goal is to move things around a little to see what works best. The limiting factors are that my 220v power is only in the addition at the back. The bench will also limit what I can do – it’s 10 feet long and ways a lot – makes it hard to move….

    Thanks for the feedback – appreciate any other suggestions you have for shop layout, etc…I appreciate the interest!

  17. matthew rakowski December 8, 2012

    looks like a pretty decent shop

  18. Dave Stanton December 8, 2012

    Here is a link for workbench wheels. http://www.rockler.com/product.....aign=V2254
    I like your space and your attitude to dust!

    • Richard Whitson December 8, 2012

      You stole my thunder! That was exactly what I was going to suggest.

      I have them on my bench and they work great.

  19. bigred December 8, 2012

    Nice shop.
    it looks like you have a good place to really get in to make some good projects.
    And I like the tall ceiling, I only an 8′ ceiling in my shop?

  20. Thomas G. Kaiser December 8, 2012

    very nice, I like the lighting and it looks like you keep things clean. It looks like you have the same set up as I do for the dust collection.

  21. Thomas G. Kaiser December 8, 2012

    by the way, do you move the jointer out to use it???

  22. james December 8, 2012

    That is one fine bench Michael.. Where did you get the maple top?


  23. Patrick Schupbach December 9, 2012

    Very nice space….Thanks for sharing your pics!!!

  24. Michael December 9, 2012

    Thans Dave and Richard – those casters look like an ideal solution. It would be really nice to be able to move the bench around without needing help…

    The ceiling height has saved me a few times (forgetting about it and swinging stuff up and around…usually don’t have to worry about hitting anything.

    Thomas – I think I have moved the jointer away from the wall (off the outfeed side) maybe 6″ from the picture. That gives me plenty of room to joint boards long enough for what I usually need. Have not had to move it since…I do end up moving the bandsaw fairly regularly – usually just swing it out away from the wall a little. I have a little slack in the dc hose so I don’t have to disconnect it…

    James – found the bench on Craigslist – Got the bench and the record vise together. Was a great find…I have to flatten the top though, gonna try the router technique Marc showed in one of his videos. Want to get a little more confident in my skills before I try it though. Me and the router don’t seem to work well together :)

    Thanks for the interest and comments!

  25. Jeff Merrill December 9, 2012

    Nice shop Michael, how do you like that Grizzly jointer. I’ve been thinking about buying one but haven’t heard to much about them.

  26. Eric R December 9, 2012

    Nice shop Mike !
    I bet you’ll wish you had more room in no time ! lol
    Have fun in there !

  27. Michael December 10, 2012

    Jeff –

    I got the jointer off of Craigslist too. It’s there 8″ model with spiral head. I like it – does a vey nice job. My only complaint would be it spews a lot of dust and chips up above the cutter-head and onto the tables. Not sure why – I have not seen this o other jointers I have seen in use or used myself…I have checked the dust chute and there does not appear to be any blockages anywhere…

    If anyone has any ideas on how to improve this, please let me know.

    • Michael, thanks for sharing your shop.

      I’d agree that the pictured miter saw stand for the planer seemed too high when I first looked at the pix and before I even saw comments. I have mine (same model) on a rolling cart at nice work height. Cabinet under the cart has tools/supplies for the jointer and planer. Those two guys seem to go together more times than not.

      re: jointer spews
      mine does that when chips/dust hangs up right near the blades. Soft/wet/weird lumber seems more prone to hanging up. Not too often, but often enough to recognize it. In my case I don’t have DC connected to the jointer, so it is easy to use a stick to poke up into the case (with power off, of course) to get chips flowing. Suction from DC should keep that from happening, but “should” is not “will.”

      I’d be nervous of the hand planes positioned on the lumber rack. My entropy sensors say that those planes want to fall to a more stable (but not healthy) state.

  28. yuval December 11, 2012

    wow.. nice bench!

  29. Nick J December 12, 2012

    I wish my shop was clean and tidy like that? Doesn’t look like you use it. :)
    Great looking shop.

  30. Dotty December 14, 2012

    Can I come over and play? You have a very nice little shop. Mine’s a mess that I sometimes don’t want to play in there.

    By the way, where did you get that Ryobi work table that has your planer? That looks very handy.

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