Is Your Shop Too Small? Gloversville NY
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Fort Plain, NY
Is Your Shop Too Small?
Is Your Shop Too Small?
In a recent poll of woodworkers, the most common complaint, by far, wasthat their shops were too small. Even one guy with 5,000 square feetthought he was cramped! In spite of that, most of us would like to beable to turn out dining room tables, kitchen cabinets and other bigprojects. Well, if your shop and tools are small, but your dreams aregigantic, here are some ideas that will help.
A Nest of Crickets
Call them low boys, stools or crickets—whatever you call them, thesestands are amazingly useful. And because they nest, they're perfect fora cramped shop. You can make four of them out of one sheet of 3⁄4-in.plywood. The 16-in. height is just right for large work that might notfit on normal sawhorses. For working around the house, that extraheight makes it easy to reach the ceiling. If that's not reason enough,when your buddies come over to give you “helpful” shop advice, you'vegot plenty of seating.
see the layout
Use a Router for Crosscuts
Ever tried to trim the ends on an 8-ft. dining table in a shop that'sonly 9-ft. wide? The trick is to use a router instead of your tablesaw.Rough-cut the top with a circular saw or jig saw first, using a fineblade to avoid splintering. Then use a simple T-square jig and a routerwith a straight bit to trim the work to length. Note that one leg ofthe T-square has already been trimmed by the router, so you can simplyline up that end with your cutting line. Hang on to the jig and use itonly with that router and bit. I once made a bunch of cabinets withoutusing a tablesaw at all. I simply rough-cut the pieces with a circularsaw, then trimmed them to final size with a router.
Cut Dadoes with a Router
Here's the scene: You're building an entertainment center and thesides are 7-ft. high and almost 3-ft. deep (big enough for thatbig-screen TV you've always wanted). But the sides have to be dadoedfor shelves. Forget trying to use a dado head on the tablesaw, unlessyou happen to have 8-ft. rails on your saw! Instead, use a router andthis easily made jig: Make the jig from a straight board and a piece of1⁄8- or 1⁄4-in. plywood or hardboard wide enough to extend 4 in. oneither side of the board. Glue and screw together, then trim the bottomboard using your router and a straight bit. The diameter of the bitshould be whatever size you plan to use for the dado. I trim one sidewith a 1⁄2-in. bit and the other side with a 3⁄4-in. bit. To cut thedado, simply line up the edge of the jig with wherever you want thedado.
To eke out every cubic inch of storage in a basement shop, trythese boxes that hang between your ceiling joists. When a drawer isdown, you have easy access to its contents.