Workshop re-organisation - phase 1

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Established Member
20 Feb 2004
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In the eternally wet North
Having consolidated the contents of two properties down into one plus storing a new kitchen, there was no room to swing the cat. One newly installed kitchen later plus multiple visits to charity shops and the tip, I can now reclaim my workshop.

Phase 1 is complete but I've a long way to go. My main weakness is that given a horizontal surface I can guarantee to fill it. Which means forever moving bits and pieces about before I can actually do any work. Phase 2 is more storage!

It's still pretty scruffy but at least I can use the machines!

I have one overwhelming question and that relates to siting the lathe but that comes a bit later...

After messing about with little bits of graph paper I came to the conclusion that with all the current kit plus the wood in stick I could not find a workable permanent layout. So with the exception of the grinder and lathe, all power tools are mobile.

You will also notice a complete apparent absence of any hand tools. They are all currently in the boxes seen in various pictures. I plan to build some wall cabinets and to use some new techniques in the making.


doesn't really show up the huge footprint that the spindle moulder takes up especially with the sliding table. I try to keep its' immediate area clear as my preferred method of cutting panels is still on the floor on top of a sacrificial board and using the Festool. I move the moulder out of the way and then drop the sheets down onto the floor. You can see the panel stock against the wall. What you can't see is that behind the panels are the remnants of the kitchen rebuild, and long lengths of softwood timber from an aborted project.


shows the wood in stick (it's two boards deep) and boxes of stored hand tools, screws, bits and bobs that all need a home. On the floor is the lathe that needs to be sited somewhere.

It's a CT150 planer although I'm tempted to get a larger one seeing as how the other kit has gone up a size. The drawback would be manouvreing a planer with longer infeed/outfeed tables.


is a modified Festool MultiFunction Table (MFT). There's a Triton router underneath plus three angle irons to keep the top flat. It's a Twin Linear router fence from Incra but the MFT top isn't really large enough to allow the full range on the Incra. I can remove the Incra and refit the MFT guide rails for use with the TS55. A DeWalt 621 router is also compatible with the Festool router guide and MFT guide rails and so I can use that for squaring, trimming panels or cutting housings. The three storage drawers came from a Wrighton kitchen that I ripped out from a flat in London. Waste not, want not !


shows the workbench and two walls crying out for some cabinets to house the hand tools. The walls could also be used to bolt the bench to as it does rack a bit.

But here's the rub. Originally I'd planned putting the lathe where the spindle moulder is. Reckoning that I needed a wall behind to store the tools and chucks etc. But then, reading Rowley's book he recommends natural light and so one place to site the lathe would be where the bench is (west facing window). I can make the lathe bench from wood and tie it to the wall to give some extra stability. But then where does the bench go? And the hand tool cabinets?


next to the workbench is the Woodrat. The table saw can roll underneath it if necessary to gain some floor space. In the background is the mitre bench that I just finished. There's a better picture here.


I built it round a 1000mm pan drawer unit surplus to kitchen requirements and still thinking how best to use the two cupboards currently open. The bench has a removeable fence that has a scale fitted to it. Register pins keep it located accurately with respect to the mitre saw and I use the Axminster Perfect Stop to cut timber to consistent and repeatable lengths. Once removed the bench top serves as a glue up bench although I would have like it to be deeper (currently 600mm deep x 2m long).

The rather strange looking drill at the left is from Triton and has a built-in stand that helps guarantee holes are drilled vertically. I've tried several different systems and this one seems the best. One day I will write a compare and contrast of the various systems I've used and try and get some quantitative measurements as to 'verticality'. Another TUIT.


is a larger picture of the router MFT table. It's probably in its' best position and likely to remain fixed there..simply because the wood pile gives a 'hole' to tuck the very long Incra fence in.


shows the machine cluster...being moveable they tend to end up in all sorts of position depending on current requirements. In front is the DeWalt DW746 table saw. It's missing it's very large side and rear extension tables..simply because until I can find a permanent position for it then I can't fit them. Mind you, given my preference for floor based panel cutting it's a bit moot whether I'll ever use these tables. The mobile base of the saw is a joy to use and being solid cast iron, it's very reassuring when you sling on huge slabs of ash or oak that the table saw just sits there.

In the foreground you can see the Mini-Cyclone from Clearvue. Like everything else, it's moveable.

A better view of the machines can be seen here

It's a Delta thicknesser in the foreground. Little and large in the background are the small Axminster AWSBS bandsaw and Scheppach Basato 5. All moveable.

Which leaves this space possibly for the lathe

Upside is lots of light (South facing). Downside is not being able to easily tie the bench back to anything nor any simple wall mounted storage options. One thought is to build the bench out of concrete blocks with a storage cabinet in the middle. It's what Trevtheturner did. But if I do that then I need to be damn sure that that will be its' final site. What do the turners among you think?

Lastly in the bay next door are the remaining planks that I've not yet managed to trim off the wormy wood.

All comments very welcome :D
Hi Roger

All that space and you cant lay out your machine. see your spoilt for choice thats what it is :lol:

Sorry cant help you with your lathe location still if you site it where you hope to I guess you get a nice view of the car (a Honda S2000 I believe)

surprised no one else has commented on all your nice toys, sorry tools :wink:


I'm surprised no more comments after all that effort with the photos.
obviously don't want to talk about woodwork. anyway back to the car, yours?
my wife has one and loves it to bits.


I guess the reason I hadn't really anything to add was you seem to A) have oodles of space and B) everything is already on wheels.

Only obvious thing is you could get huge amounts of stuff out of the way if you built some good sturdy shelves, high up and out of the way on the walls.

Hi Roger,

Workshop is looking good, Wish I had the views you have. Not sure about the lathe in front of the full length window, especially when my work keeps coming out the lathe :cry: .

Was good to meet you the other night, Mortiser is going to be used in the next few weeks on the next home project.

andys wood shed":3pngbsge said:
anyway back to the car, yours?
my wife has one and loves it to bits.



My wife also tends to drive it more than me...more's the pity! It's a car I always fancied but never seen, never driven..then when my wife had her little contretemps in the Nissan 200SX with an immoveable wall of water...and I had the opportunity from the insurance money...I saw it in a garage in Reading ..the rest is history. V reg..even now only done 13000 miles..second's going to be a keeper :lol:
Well Roger a very nice workshop. Only thing I can add although I am not sure how much you have is to make cupboards under every available workstation. I even have cupboards under the ones on wheels to maximise my space which seems to deminish daily.
Just a thought - If you turn the mitre saw table 90deg so that your back is to the window, you could put a table for the lathe on the other side. As you don't need as much depth on the lathe table you could use it for the extra depth you wanted on the glueing up /mitre saw bench.

I spotted this as a good space saver. Hope the above is understandable. ... tentId=405
Shultzy":jzc7y7jy said:
Just a thought - If you turn the mitre saw table 90deg so that your back is to the window, you could put a table for the lathe on the other side

Wouldn't that eat into space towards the middle of the workshop? Or maybe I'm not quite following you.

Nice link :D
Roger - I see from one of the pics that the bench is placed under a window which on the face of it does seem a natural place to put it. I tried this in my first 'shop and found there was too much light falling on the surface so that on a really bright day the reflected glare meant I simply couldn't see what I was doing. My bench is now against a bare wall with a 4' tube over it and a couple of clip-on 60w spots for extra illumination when needed. This also means that you've got far more space directly over the bench to rack out all your favourite hand tools for easy access - Rob
i completely agre with having the bench away from the window if its in front you are always in shadow on the marked surface! tool storage is also much better and less distractions to work.!!
looks good roger,
how about sticking the wood off the floor now to give yourself more space??? barry has the triton storage system, and it looks good.

my feeling is that we never get it all right all the time. :oops: :cry:

as for the lathe, suggest you look at the various "daylight" lights, rather than "natural light". ottlites are very good although expensive, but also you could think about a magnifying glass with daylight lights.

paul :wink:
Nice shop Roger, plenty of potential. I've been on phase 1 for about 5 yrs now (or should I say phase 1, release 9.2...). Hope to go phase 2 in 07 if I get the house finished..
Roger i have found trying to plan where to put things doesn't work as you need to move them when you do a different kind of job / project .
You mention a second bay :D Knock a door through and have your workbench and build area there 8-[ Dont tell yer missus and we wont :-$ .
I just fell in love with the view from the window in pic 4....Sorry, but all else seems to become less important after seeing that. :)

sliver":2115b9gs said:
I just fell in love with the view from the window in pic 4....Sorry, but all else seems to become less important after seeing that. :)


Thanks, Sliver. We like it too :)

Many thanks for all the suggestions. I've decided to build a wooden bench for the lathe based on the design in Rowley's book. I'll locate it along the wall and not the window for the reasons given. Plus the windows are damn expensive and I don't like the idea of low-flying lathe projectiles. So the spindle moulder will go against the window, lathe against the wall and that should still leave me with room to store the flat stock against the wall ...ready for cutting on the floor.

Having taken delivery of many sheets of 22mm MDF, storing them against the wall and cutting on the floor has worked out very well. Al the weight is taken by the floor. So to pick a sheet to work on, I keep the sacrifical board outermost and temporarily move it aside. Then simply pull down the boards onto the floor until I find the thickness I want, laydown the sacrificial board then lay my wanted sheet on top. Then cut. At no time do I have to seriously manhandle large 8x4 sheets since they pivot on their edge.

Having the machines on mobile bases is, in retrospect, such a no-brainer. Provided I remember to religiously tidy up each mains cable when not needed, then moving the machines to where I want them is a doddle.
They are from Axminster. They are also on the Rutlands site but more expesnive.

The two wheels at one end flip up as you kick a lever and the base rests then on two posts. They do rack very slightly but nothing to worry about. The bases also flex but for some machines I insert a thick bit of MDF and that helps.