Advice for a small shop
  Re: (...)
I just posted on another thread about the challenges of a small shop. Winter is woodworking season for me and I am trying to get the shop ready for some projects the wife has. In doing so, I am constantly challenged and frustrated. I would love to have the knowledge I have now when I started this hobby 10 years ago. This is some of the stuff I learned and I would sure welcome sage wisdom from others.

First, you cannot be a tool collector in a small shop. It this modern time of quick delivery, buy only what you need for the project you're working on.

Don't think you're a cabinet shop. You may not need a 15" planer, shaper, 19" bandsaw, 8" jointer and a 53" fence on your tablesaw. Yes, I have all those.

Gear your projects to the room you have. Maybe you can have as much fun building a side table as you might building a Highboy.

Once your shop is complete, do not bring in another tool unless one is leaving.

If you plan on using sheetgoods, don't buy them until you are ready to start the project and have a cut diagram. then break them down right away. They take up so much room

Accept that you may have to sacrifice and use work arounds.

If I had it all to do again, I would have a quality 14" bandsaw, a good drill press, a good table saw, router table, DW 735 planer, work bench and the rest would be hand planes and festool.
  Re: Advice for a small shop by Mike77 (I just posted on ano...)
Great advice!

And I would add:

"Find a way to optimize your tool storage for when they are not in use. Every tool does not need to be front-and-center. Tuck them away, pull them out only when you need them, and put them away when you are done. This holds true as much for big machines as it does for small hand tools."
Czarcastic (Steven)

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
  Re: Advice for a small shop by Mike77 (I just posted on ano...)
On Cabinets

Take care building cabinets. Base cabinets take up floor space and don't move. Make sure they are not too deep or better yet, consider carts. Organize your tools and decide how you want to store them. Build only the carts and cabinets you need.
  Re: Re: Advice for a small shop by Mike77 (On Cabinets[br][br]T...)
Mike, I'm in the middle of divesting many tools for an anticipated relocation. Funny, but I'll end up with just about the list you mentioned.

I'm lucky enough that I could indulge myself in all sorts of tools, to the point that the shop was so crowded each time I needed to use one tool---I'd be moving around all sort of other tools. I think between watching Norm and other similar shows, plus the helping hands of Wood Net members, it's easy to become tool constipated in your shop.

In woodworking,, there are many ways to get a task done. Indeed, frequently, I find it faster to dig out a hand tool for a task rather than go through set-up time for a power tool. It doesn't take a fully-loaded shop to have fun.
  Re: Advice for a small shop by Mike77 (I just posted on ano...)
Hi Mike,
I have a small shop, not lucky enough to work in it at winter time yet, but I do have a lot of tools and I have just about everything on wheels so I can move around, put out of the way when not needed. I hope by next winter I can be out in the shop again. Great time to be woodworking.

Professional at making sawdust!!!!
  Re: Advice for a small shop by Mike77 (I just posted on ano...)
+1 on your list, except that I kept my lathe and decided to work without a TS. I built a workbench to replace the one I built in 1961. It shows that I have learned a lot since then. Yes, everything but the lathe and workbench are on wheels.

I'm learning new ways to do many tasks that became almost second nature with the TS. A circular saw is more accurate than I once thought. Also, my shooting board is now a necessity for almost every crosscut -- 1 or 2 passes at least.

  Re: Re: Advice for a small shop by Doug_H (Mike,[br]+1 on your ...)
Doug, I think we may have had a discussion before about losing the table saw. I have seriously considered it. I have the big bandsaw, a Festool rail saw and MFT, and some nice hand planes. I thought about selling the tablesaw and getting a Kapex. I thought with that, I should be able do what I need to do without a tablesaw. We'll see, maybe someday.

I know there are others whose shop and workflow all center around the tablesaw. Don't hate me. Just thinking out loud.
  Re: Re: Advice for a small shop by mickanick1 (Hi Mike, [br]I have ...)
mickanick1 said:

...and I have just about everything on wheels....

Another advocate of wheels. I'm fortunate to have enough space that everything is ~95% usable in place, but there's always a time when I need just a little more infeed length, etc. etc.

Also, wheels allow me to rearrange easily when I want to try an idea for a better layout. Because in a small shop, there's always a better layout....
  Re: Advice for a small shop by Mike77 (I just posted on ano...)
I guess my advice on my small shops over the years would probably make most heads explode since I have a ton in such a small space.

I guess one main piece would be organization. Everything should have its place. If it doesn't have a place, it needs one or you don't need it.

Once Favre hangs it up though, it years of cellar dwelling for the Pack. (Geoff 12-18-07)  

  Re: Advice for a small shop by Mike77 (I just posted on ano...)
Finish the current project before starting the next project.
They told me anybody could do it, but I showed them.

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