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Veteran Member
Join Date: May 2004
2020-10-29, 14:45

OK, so, I may have mentioned in the build your own house thread, that I did a pretty extensive first floor renovation to our old house, largely on my own, but with some help for the electrical and plumbing bits. There was a lot of long-term borrowing of tools associated with that, mainly a mitre saw, table saw, compressor and nailers. Various hand power tools like sanders, circular saws, drills, I already own or inherited along with some woodworking tools like planes, scrapers, chisels, etc... In retrospect I split my time evenly between working and searching for tools strewn about everywhere.

I'd say I have better than average fabrication skills. I'm not a carpenter, but I can generally look at a structure or an assembly, do a little research and work out a sound way of building/modifying it so it stands up and looks good. And I'm a little obsessive, so the quality of my finishing is professional level - only it takes me so long that I could never make a living at it. And, I like it more than I like most things. And... there's a good bet I'll be working from home until spring 2021 at the earliest, so this seems like a good time.

So, I'm thinking to build myself a wood-shop/fabrication/maker space out of the garage, something that hides discretely out of the way and allows two cars to be parked in a somewhat tight (17' wide by 19.5-23' deep irregular back wall) double car when not in use. Needs space for the aforementioned table saw - will probably go with a decent quality jobsite saw, and build a slightly larger fence and infeed/outfeed support by nesting it into a rolling work table, with a mitre station and router station, and places to store some jigs and sleds. I think I can put all this onto a rolling bench with a vise or two and some strategically placed dogs for quickly converting to different uses. Some day down the line I might add a planer, but I can surface most real wood at the sizes I'm likely to use with some jigs, router, table saw, sander, and hand planes. Which reminds me, I have a collection of AC and DC motors, pulleys, shafts, bearings and mounts for sanding discs and wood turning that are all currently disassembled, but could be refashioned for some fairly heavy duty wood turning...

The other bit is to make a nice joiner's/assemble area for assembling face frames, boxes, do-dads, and long enough for breaking down plywood or other wood with a track saw, repeat certain cuts, and not have to work on the floor. I'll embed some T-track around the perimeter and give it some MFT spaced dog holes for various accessories. One large sheet of moisture resistant MDF should suffice, with a strong ladder frame supporting it.

The tricky part. It all has to hide away, not only to park cars, but sometimes to allow the space to be used for photos. The workbench will be easy enough to roll to the back, but the assembly table is harder to figure out. Where to put it?

I had a few thoughts. One option is to build a second bench/cart that can roll out and then drop assembly table between them like a bridge. Just hang the thing on the wall when not in use, but it would be heavy, so some sort of cleat and retaining system is needed to stop it accidentally dropping on someone.

Right now I'm thinking to make two 48" by 30" benches, one of them essentially a Router and table saw combined into one. The other more of joiners bench with a vise, but that would often have a mitre saw on it, and then a table to span them, or hang on the wall, or sit on a couple horses as needed.