Page 1

Rail Bit

Ihls $ame BallBit allowsior Sttb& Exlandd Tenons

Stile Bit

For Stile Guts

Rail Bit

For Making Stub Tenon Guts on Rails

Raised Panel Bit

For Making Raised Panel Guts


Now you Gan Grcab Beatffitl, Gushnizcdllmrc wtUtSUottgJoints.

r" rrua'1


Imagine the Possibilities,,, Thanks to Freud'spatented innovation,you now have the abilityto make door joints with preciselyfit tenons of any length.Use the bits right out of the box for high qualitystub tenons,or by simply removingthe top of the Rail bit, createextendedtenons (for strongerjoints) at all four critical corners of your door. Combine with Freud's flawless Stile bit design, even add Freud's award winning Quadra CutrM Raised Panel Door bits, you can create unique interior doors with any design or wood species. These router bits come set up for 1-3/4"height(forentrydoors)and can easilybe adjustfor '1-3/8"height(for interiordoors).


\".'tL'J lnshrctional DUIIIncluded

Two Piece Bit Sets Available: . RoundoverProfile(#99-267) . Ogee Profile(#99-268) . Cove & Bead Profile(#99-269)

Bit Sets Available:

. RoundoverProfilewith Bevel RaisePanelBit (#98-300) . RoundoverProfilewith Cove RaisedPanelBit (#98-302)


Preciselythe best.

Better Homes and Gardenso

Best-Ever HomeShopldeas2A09 Editor-in-ChiefBILLKRIER ManagingEditor MARLENKEMMET Deputy Editor DAVECAMPBELL PublicationWriter CARLVOSS Techniques Editor BOBWILSON Tool & TechniquesEditor BOB HUNTER MultimediaEditor LUCASPETERS MultimediaEditor CRAIGRUEGSEGGER ProjectEditor LARRYIOHNSTON SeniorDesignEditor KEVIN BOYTE DesignEditor fEFFMERTZ Production/OfficeManager MARGARETCLOSNER AdministrativeAssistantSHERYLMUNYON Photographers MARTYBALDWIN,IASONDONNELLY, DEANSCHOEPPNER, IAYWTLDE ContributinglllustratorsTIM CAHILL LORNA|OHNSON, ROXANNELeMOINE Contributing Craftsman llM HEAVEY Contributing ProofreaderIRA LACHER Art Director KARLEHLERS ProjectArt Director fOHN GEARHEART AssociateArt Director GREGSELLERS AssistantArt Director CHERYLA. CIBUIA

After moving carsoutside,this homeownerrolls out cabinetsto form a worksurfacein his garage.To learnmore, seepage 22.

Frombkay'to'wow!' few months ago, I spent a good portion of a week watching the transformation of a ho-hum ZYz-car garageinto an incredible car buff's backyard escape. (For a closer look at the shop, seepage36.) What a difference five days made. And believe me, the "wow' factor doesn't fade: A revisit months later still took away my breath when the garage door rolled up. But who wouldn't be green with envy gazing at a sparkling epoxy floor? No oil stains would dare linger! That garageis a multitask spacedesigned and organized as many of us imagine our shops.Car-careproducts, previously shuffled around in cardboard boxes, are now neatly organized behind a pair of doors. The adjoining cabinet holds a season'sworth of yard and garden remedies. Paintbrushes and hand tools, neatly lined up like soldiers, beg to be picked up from smooth-rolling drawers. The recent visit to the shop gave me pause. No more excuses:I got the jolt to jump-start and overhaul my own shop. I referredto the planning articles in this issueto lead me every step along the way. How 'bout you? Just picking up this magazine affirms that there's a garage or shop redo on the horizon at your home. So get going! Break the work into bite-size tasks, and you'll be there quicker than you think.

m^l^fu Marlen Kemmet WOOD@MagazineManagingEditor

SUBSCRIBER SERVICE Co to woodmagazine,com/help or write to WOODmagazine,P.O.Box 37439, Boone,lA 50037-0439 PublisherMARK L. HAGEN ADVERTISING AND MARKETING CHICAGO:333 N. MichiganAve.,Suite1500, Chicago,lL 60601 MarketingManager AMANDA SALHOOT AdvertisingManager fACK CHRISTIANSEN Account ExecutiveRYANINTERLAND Direct Response AdvertisingRepresentative LISAGREENWOOD AssistantsGAYLECHEIN,NIA WILLIAMS ATLANTA:NavigateMedia DETROITRPMAssociates Business Manager IEFFSTILES AssociateConsumerMarketing Director DAN HOLLAND AssociateDirectorof Marketing-NewsstandTOM DEERINC ProductionManager SANDYWIILIAMS AdvertisingOperationsManager llM NELSON E-CommerceManager MATTSNYDER Vice President/CroupPublisherTOM DAVIS MEREDITH PUBLISHING GROUP PresidentfACKGRIFFIN ExecutiveVice PresidentDOUGOLSON Chief RevenueOfficer TOM HARTY Finance& AdministrationMIKERIGGS Manufacturing BRUCEHESTON ConsumerMarketing DAVIDBALL CorporateSalesMICHAELBROWNSTEIN Meredith3600 IACKBAMBERGER InteractiveMedia LAURENWIENER CorporateMarketing NANCYWEBER ResearchBRITTAWARE Chief TechnologyOfficer TINA STEIL New Media MarketingServicesANDYWILSON

.lUleredlth I conponlrror

Presidentand Chief ExecutiveOfficer STEPHEN M. LACY Chairmanof the Board WILLIAM T. KERR

In Memoriam -

E.T.Meredith lll (1933-2003)

@CopyrightMeredith Corporation 2008. All rights reserved.Printed in the U.S.A. RetailSalesRetailerscan order copiesof WOODfor resale by e-mailing


No Helper?No Problem Overcomethe challengesof accomplishing strenuoustaskswithout a helper.

To Buyor Not to Buy? Beforepurchasinga new tool, weigh your rentaloptions.

PIan Your Shop 12

It'sTimeto Act on Your DreamShop Timespentdesigningyour newwork room will pay huge dividends.


PackMoreWorkshop Into LessSpace Makethe most of everysquarefoot in your new shop.


FlooringOptions You'llfindplentyof choiceswhen you considerupgradesto your shop floor.


WorkshopCabinetry Feastyour eyeson all the options for storingtools behinddoors.


WallSystems lf you want efficiency,you'll plan for hangerspaceon your shopwalls.


GetWired A top-notch electricalplan allowsfor changesin shop layout.


Prepare Your Shop 36

BrightenYourShop Don't be left in the darkwhen reading project plansand setting up tools.


GarageMakeover Join usfor a journeyinto an upgraded garagethat! now a pleasureto work in.


EnergyEfficiencyfor YourShop

Tips& Toolsfor Applying an EpoxyFloor See how professionalsprepare a homeowner's .

How to reduceyour energy bill and reap

garage for an industrial-quality epoxy floor.

dividendsfor yearsto come.


42 KeepYourShopand LungsClean

How to UnstuffYourGarage in 2 Days

Beforeyou start building projects,be sureto includea systemto gather dust.

Learnhow one DlYerspent lessthan S1,000to injectorder into hisshop. Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas


Build Your Shop


Orbital-SanderRest Takethe swirl out of sanding.


One-DayWorkbench A solid bench becomesthe keyfeatureof your long-anticipated shop upgrade.

Savvyshopownerssqueezethe most into



ToolCarousel Reduceclutterin your shopafteryou build

everytool purchase.

Insteadof strainingyour back,work smarter when you carry sheet goods.


122 TheUltimateCheapGuy's Workshop

Equip Your Shop


SaveBigBuckson Tools Fourteentips will help you shopsmartlyfor your next tool purchases.

and mount this storageunit on the wall.

92 60

Bench-Tool System

Because fewof uscanaffordto buyallnew toolsat once,it makes sense to havea plan.

A versatiletower and cabinet-both on wheels-are idealfor benchtoptools.



Power-SawComparison Allsawscut,butchoosing thebestonefor thejob canbea challenge.


SuccessWith M itersaws & Accessories Mitersaws areperfectlydesigned for cutting moldinganda wholelot more.

RollingWorkshopStorage Savea lot of stepswhen you wheel a tower of materialsto your work area.


ShopCart In a weekend,you can build a convenient shop cart from one 4x8' sheetof plywood.


ToolCabinet A tidy wall-mountcabinetpacksa wallop with amazingswing-outspacefor tools.


Stool& ToolToteCombo Thisstraightforwardtool carrierdoublesas a convenientstoolfor DIYprojects.


Tablesaw Workbench Makethe most of a combination workbenchand outfeedtable.




100 Drills:Compared and Contrasted Besureyoureadthisarticleabouthand, battery-powered, floor,andtabletopdrills. 102 Random-OrbitSanders These toolssaveyouhoursof sanding by leaving scratch-free finishes. 104 Portable Tool Storage Carttoolsto yournextprojectin a bucket, box,or sturdyfabricroll.

lf you'verun out of spacesolutions,build this project for a quick fix.

106 Ready,Set, Roll yourtoolswithportable Corral cabinets and portable chests thatwilllasta lifetime.

Mobile Tool Cabinet Customizestoragefor tools, hardware,and finishingsuppliesin a smallfootprint.

108 AirTools and CompressorSystems You'llbeamazed at howpractical a compressor isforjobsaroundthehouse.


110 Lasersfor the Home Harness lasertechnology foryournext project. household 112 DigitalToolsUnder 5100 you'llfindanaffordable Intoday's market, arrayof digitaltools forhomeprojects. 114 Clampsfor the Home Besureyouhavetherightclampforthejob. 116 Understanding Tool Batteries Technology advances openthedoorfor quickly. lighterbatteries thatrecharge 118 Eking PrecisionFrom 3 Portable Power Tools jigsaws, Circular saws, anddrill/drivers jobs. arecapable of amazing

DrillComparisons 100

Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas





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A B l a c k& D e c k eW r orkmate m a n a g ecsl a m p i n g t a s k s( a b o v ea) n d p r o v e se q u a l l yh a n d ya sa w o r k p i e c es u p p o r t( r i g h t ) .




: : ; l:l l l i v i r l t t i t l . r l r i I iitc s c o n i r i n t o s h a r l r '.:,: f o c L t si r t r o t t l l t o t t t c t t o r l . s l r o p ,r r l r t ' r ' t 1\'t)Ll'll l t r o l r a l r l r s p t ' n r l r n o s t o l ' r ' o r r r t i t s l . i s i l r r i l I l r a rk - \ i l v r r ' .\ l . r r t r I t o n t c t i n r ci t l o n c (. ) r ' t t ' r ' o r r s t i tr lnl rt l l e n g c r v i l I ( ) \ \ ' n c r sg r t a g r i p o n [ ) l \ ' l t x rj t ' r ' t sr r i t l t l r t i r t r c n t i n g \ \ ' l l v so f ( r ( r ' ( ) n r p l i s l r i n , pq o r t a b l c t ' l a n r l r i n ! r r ' o r l , s t . r t i o n s L , r c l r ( . l . r n r p i n g\ \ ' ( i o r l r v o r l i i r rpr t ' o j c c t sc a n [ r t l l r i n l s l r r v o r r r s c l f\ .\ ' h c t l t r r r o r r r n l r i n I r s I i l . r c l .& l ) c c l i er ' ' s \ \ ' o l l i r r r . r t cr l l r r r l r ' . i l l l t ' \ i l \ l ) t ' r i r t i t t g t ' \ f r i ' f i 1 - ' 1 l r r t' ,' \ t ' l t i l r p t t 'l'hat's i n l t r r ' \ l r : r n t ' c ' l t . r n i c ts' ,. t r l i o - c o n t r o l l t t l \ i r r r ' l lt i l r c l, r n . r n r . r z i n r, .qr r i c t vo f r t - r o c l c l s , c l o l r a v c . r h el p c r . b c c l r r r s c\ ' o u ' r ' c r i r lro.rlr, r r r i o t l r l o t ' l . i n ! ,r ' t t t t ' l l o 1 t t , n t ' r ' c nt I r o s ct I r a t i n c ' o r ' 1 r o r ' ., r t rt v o - r l l t r c I c o n s t r r n t l rl i g l r t i r r t t l r c c l o c l . ,t r v i r r g t o t t t ' r r l t o n r i rn r ' u v c r i t r n t s t l t a t . tr c l t t , , t r , t l o l l v l o r l r a L r l i n ,t g o o l s , r n d n l r t c r i u l st o g c t c v c r v t h i n g ,a l i g n c r la r t r l l o c k r c lc l o r v n lrLrllso ' , r s i n r p l r r t ' r l r r i r t ' t l t t ' c( ro r n t o r c ) t l r t ' j o b s i t c . b c i o r c t l r c g l r r cg r a b s .l l u v v o L r r s c lsl 'o n r t ' l r r l p i n gh u n t l s .

I r t ' r ' r i r o r l . . s l t o pn t i r t l t r o l I i t t , n . l l l t ( ' I r . r :i r : o l i t l r v o r l ' l r r n c lrt r . i 1 l t .srt r r r r l rr i r t o r t t r t ) l ( ) \ r ' ( t l l c . t t t ' t t | L l t i c C t \' . t i s t 'l l ' t ' t ' : L r pb o t I r o l r o t r r l t a n c l ss o t l i a t \ ( ) L lc i t n n r c a \ u r r , n r . l r l . ,. r n r lc r r t r l i t l t o L r tc l u r s i n , q r o t u ' s t o c ' 1l l.l l o r t ' r 't l r t s l r r i p . I n . r r l c l i t i o r rr,o L r ' l l r r ' . r r r ty r l c n t r t ' l c l a n r p s t o s u p p l c n t c n t \ ( ) u r l r c r r tl t ' s I t o l c l i n gl ) ( ) \ \ ' rs' ,f r n r lf r i ru s s t r n l r l i r i p3 r o i t ' r ' t sS . t r l t t t , , li 1t 'J k r t l t e i r . t s i ti i n t ' r r 1, r l r ' l . r r r rtp\ ,l l t s l r sr v c l l, r s . r r l r l i t i o n i, 'lr l o r n t , r t i o na l r o t r tl r c r r c l vt i s t ' s . , r) r ' S i t t tl t o r s c s , r r l r c tl t t ' r ' l ) L ll { s l r o p - n t . t c l c ,i l r ' t ' i t S l ' c itl i t i t , , , ; i l l t \ 'l l t o r n cs l r o D . l r c r I t o l t l p l r r r l r i t l : i t t ' t ' t s 1 ' o r c L r t t i n g ( ) l ' s c l ' \ ' r ' i l \ t c n t l t o r ' ,r tr l t s s c n i l r l v t t r b l c s . l r o l c l i n g s u nl t o r s t , s , l i l i c t l r r o n r s s l r o n n . r t i i , 1 / l / ,r ' c r l r r i i t , r n i n i n u r I s t o r ' , r g sc l ) l l c c . . \ n o t l t r r f r a t r r l ct o c o n s i c l c r s l t c i g l t t a r l j r r s t . r b i l i t i. .\ s v o r r ' l l c l i s t ' ocr t ' ,t u i l o r i n g t l r r l r o r s t ' t o r o r r r s t . r t u f ci l n r i t l t t , woodmagazine.corn

To properly support long stock,build a mitersawstand t o r e s t o n t w o s a w h o r s e s .F o r t h e p r o j e c t p l a n , s e e . Or,for an off-the-shelf m i t e r s t a n d, s e e p a g e 9 9 .

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Dollies provide moving experiences

Whenyouswitchto a gluewith longeropen time,you'llgainclampandassembly time. extra assemblytime by choosing a glue that doesn't grab as fast as ordinary yellow carpenter's glue. Franklin makes a version called Extend Titebond II with a slower set time, making it ideal for complex assembliesor when you don't have an assistant. Another one-person strategy is use pocket-screw ioinery. As shown below, the jig guides your bit to bore an angled hole in one workpiece, and you then clamp the pieces to another, drill a matching hole, and securea strong joint with screws (no glue required). If you make a mistake, simply back out the screws and try again. You can craft a wide arruy of ioints, and even build entire face-framecabinetsand furniture projectswith this system.

Moving dollies are helpful additions to any shop for a wide range of tasks, whether you're wheeling a new tool into your shop,shuffling supplies,or rolling out a finished project. TWowheel dollies are good choices when you're moving a stack of boxes or a similar load that's taller than it is wide or deep.But reach for a four-wheel flat dolly for cumbersomeloads or when you want to keep a piecemobile for an extended period of time without lifting it repeatedly. But why choose?Some dollies, such as one manufactured by FastCapat right (seeMcFeely's at Whenmovingcabinetsaroundthe shopor house,it's,morph between hard to beat the convenienceof a dolly.This FastCap the two configurations simply SpeedDolliesupportsup to 250 pounds. by moving a handle. This parBefore you go to the lumberyard, ticular model won't negotiate stairs like a standard two-wheeler,but it does develop a cutting plan for each sheet simplify many moving tasks in your that will reduce the panel to several manageablepieces. Some lumberyards shop and home. and big-box stores will make several plywood cuts at no charge,then tack on Gain some leverage for heavy lifting only a nominal per-cut fee after that. Woodworking and carpentry involve A caution: The purpose of the lumbera lot of material-handling challenges. yard cuts is simply to make handling Full sheetsof plywood and other panels easier,not to obtain final sizes. Trying to control a long piece of lumcan be tough to lift, and even more unwieldy when you try to maneuver them ber or plywood at the tablesaw can be at a tablesaw.But here are a few ideas dangerous. An outfeed support is an inexpensivepurchasethat keepslumber that can help. from taking a dive. The outfeed support can also serveyou well at the drill press and other tools in your shop. A panel lifter is a big help in moving plywood, drywall, and other sheet goods. Most lifters fit under the panel, and you simply center the carrier in the length of the sheet, as shown opposite. A quick tip: Keep your arm straight to avoid fatigue. Another style of panel lifter squeezesthe top of the sheet,and you hold your hand at shoulder level. This design frees up your other hand and also providesbetter visibility while you're walking.

Helplng handr Tt,",



Pocketscrewseliminate complexclampingsetups. Yousimplyclampand drive screwsat eachstep.The screwshold so tightly that gluing is optional.

Whether you're installing crown molding or a bank of wall cabinets, one tough part of the iob is holding the long and bulky item in position while you drive fasteners.A strong and patient assistantisn't always available, so tool up for installation choreswith a couple of mechanical helpers. Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas



Thispanellifter from Stanleydoesa great job of helpingyou carrysheetgoodssuch as plywoodand drywall.

TheCraftsman Cabinet Supportallowsyouto usebothhandsto levelandsecure a cabinet to th ew al l .

For installing cabinets and other heavy chores, consider the Craftsman Cabinet Support from Sears ( quickly adjusts from 50" to 85", and holds up to 400 pounds. Plastic support pads at both ends help protect the floor and the item being installed. There's also a "shorty" version that works in the 17" lo 25" range; it's ideal for installing wall cabinets after the baseunits are in place. The Third Hand Tool, top rigltt, manufactured by FastCap, excels at lightweight holding tasks (up to 70 pounds), such asholding crown or cove molding at the ceiling line. Each pole has a series of ball detents (stops), allowing for fast adjustments in a range

from 5' to I2'. Once you get close, squeezethe handgrip to advancea Yz" steel rod topped with 3x3" swiveling p a d . The base al so has a textured rubber pad to resistslipping. For extra stability, upgrade to a 6x6" foot. See McFeely's( one source.

Keep small tools and paris within reach People constantly invent new ways to make good use of magnetism. One clever idea is the magnetic wristband that grabs onto nails, screws, and even small tools and keeps them-quite literally-close at hand. A variation straps around your bicep, and is appropriately named the Tool Band-it ( With a

TheThirdHandTool(aboutS45)solves the problemof needing threehandsandtwo l adders to i nstalmol l di ng. magnetic field strong enough to grip a carpenter'shammer, the bicep model enablesyou to shed your tool belt when working in confinedareassuchasa crawl space.Either version works when you're scootingunder a vehicle. A mechanic'smagnetic bowl provides another great way of keeping ferrous fastenersin an easilyaccessible location. If you're the truly frugal type, you can make your own container from a small steelkitchen mixing bowl, and a magnet salvagedfrom a stereospeaker.tF Written by: Robert f. Settich


ffi Tossa sheetof expandedpolystyrene insulationonto the floor,and you bypass the need to lift plywood onto sawhorses. Cut notchesinto the foam to accommodate clampsfor the cuttingguide.

Keepfastenersaswell astoolscloseat h a n dw i t h a m a g n e t i cb a n d . l t ' se s p e c i a l l y handywhen you'reworkingalonebeneath a vehicleor on a ladder.

Youprobablyhavea friendwho will seizeeventhe flimsiestexcuseasa justification

for buyinga newtool.Butsometimes, eventhe mosthard-bitten tooljunkiewill flinch whenfacedwith purchasing an expensive, productthatwill seelimiteduse. specialized At thesetimes,it paysto takea seriouslookat renting. wo top reasons to consider tool rental are limited necessity and storage issues. For example, you may use a stump grinder to pulverize an annoying stump, but then not need the tool for another decade or two. And a concretemixer may be useful 1 percent of the time, but during the remaining 99 percent of its life, it merely eats up floor spacein your garageor shed.

When buylng makes renJe Let's look at another rent vs. buy scenario: You're laying down a prefinished hardwood floor, and you have all of the tools except a special flooring nailer and'an air compressor.If you're doing only one room, buying the nailer probably doesn't make much sense. But perhaps buying the compressor does because it can help you with many other home and shop chores. 8

(For more about compressorsand airpowered tools, seepage 108). There are no absolute rules on the rent vs. buy calculus,but the 50-percent rule is a good guideline: If the rental fee is likely to be 50 percent or more of the purchaseprice, buying makes sense.

Check around for advice and pricet When you have a rental need on the horizon, check at severalstoresto compare prices as well as the quality of the equipment. If you seeoff-brand tools or poorly maintained equipment, go to another rental center.Most of the time, pricesamong the various'companieswill be similar, but you'll sometimes find a real bargain. Also askabout the rental periods available. There's often a minimum rental period-two hours, for example-that is

the base fee, even if you return the tool sooner. For longer rentals, you'll find weekly and even monthly rates. Sometimes, the day of the week or time of day makes a difference in the rental rate. Again, asking questions may land you a discount. If you can visit the rental store at a slow time, the employeesmay be willing to discussyour proiect with you and offer advice that could saveyou a lot of time, money, and work. For example, you may walk in thinking you need to rent a sandblaster, but a quality pressure washer could be an even better tool for the job.

Popular rental tools Most rental storesdo a brisk businessin carpet-cleaning machines, and it's no surprisethat there's a seasonalnature to the demand. For example, some families want to freshen their house before the Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas



as a result of overloading the garUnloadingand loadingthe equipment bage disltosal, potrrir-rg grease can also be a real tirne-wasterif you're d o w n t h e d r a i r - r , a n d h a v i n g a not organi zed. Get ram ps f or your housefull of people. pi ckup truck, i f necess ar y,or ar r ange Other tools corlmonly rented for scveral beefy buddies to help you include a prcssure washer for hoist the equiprnent. c l e a n i n g d e c k i l t g a n d s i c l i n g ,a i r Efficiently organizing your work is less paint spraycr, hardwood-floor another way to savetirne. Let'ssayyou're sander, pavernent breakcr, post- tiling a dining rooln and needa tile saw hole auger, and garden equipment to accuratelycut the border pieces. such as a tiller and aerator. Cotrtiruted on page10

Planning requirements


old phrase about the equation of time and lnoney takes on a sharp reality when you're renting tools ancl other equiprnent. -l'he clock ticks away relentlessly, ancl votrr rnoney lt'ill disappear qtricklv if you arcn't organized ancl prcparecl. I n d u s t r i a l - s t r e n grtehn t a le q u i p m e n ct u t sb i g j o b s down to size,savingyou time and effort. For starters, rlake sure you have a l l o f \ r o l l r s L l p p l i e sa n d a u x i l i a r y 1 ' h a n k s g i v i n g a n d C h r i s t r n a s s e a s o n s , tools on hancl ltefore picking up your so don't wait urrtil the last minutc ancl rental gear. If vou're rcnting a verti-cut risk a lack of availability. lawn seec'ler(cuts parallel grooves in the [ : r ' c n s e w e r s n a k e s h a v e s e a s o n a l soil), for example, buv your seed several n . r t l r r r s . I n t h i s c a s e , t h o u g h , h o r n e - days bcfore renting, and make sllre you o \ \ ' l t c l ' \ o l t t ' r ' r c l i s c o v c r t h a t t h e y n e e c l have spare gasolinc so yoll don't need to t h c r n a f t c r t l t t ' b i g h o l i d a y g a t h c r i n g s stop in the rniddle of vour project.

A tile wet sawis a must for smoothcutsin s t o n e ,p o r c e l a i na, n d m a n yf l o o r t i l e s .

Request fr FREE ca,ta,log Joday! world-workersh ardware.corn of call L -BOO-3S3-Ol3l0

For Your Shop:

Heary Dutl' Acljustable Shelf Standards & tsrackets KV87/r87 Ar-rocltronte or u,hitc

&t' 'tr--


KV82/182 IJluckor rvhitc


12" br:rckct ratccl fix' lO6Olbs. Ilnrckcts contc in 9 lcngtl"rs

I )i," ltrackct r:ttccl l i r r 3 ( X )l b s . Ilnrckcts conrc il'r ll lcr-rgths

Stanclarclsconrc in 7 lengths Kv0087 pg.3j4

St:tnclarclsc<tme in 7 lcngths

Kv0082 pq-.355

FastCap Chop Saw Hood Keeps vour rl,rlrk arca clean ancl ur<lre procluctivc. Portaltlc uncl easv to sct up. FCSAWHOOD page 519

We a.ko stock... . . . .

Decomtive knobs & pulls Hinges Drawer slides Kitchen cabinet accessofies

. Locks . Abrasives . Adhesives . and much. much mofe

Ve haae the harduafe e,rJd,

suppl,ics you needl

Do you need a permit? Don't make the costly mistake of renting equipment and then learning that a permit is required. Digging equipment demands advance preparation so you don't accidentally chew up buried utilities. Yearsago,you had to contact each utility company separatelyand wait for its worker to mark the location of lines on your property. But many areas now simplify this procedure with a onecall service( contractor comesto your property and locatesthe lines for all the utility companies with color-coded spray paint. The service is often free, but be sure to allow adequate lead time-48 hours in some locations. Local building inspectors are generally a helpful and friendly groupunlessyou tryto build without a permit. A coupleof hourswith a pavement breakercan demolisha weekend's worthof whalingaway And then, fasterthan you can say "stop Work Order," your project screechesto with a sledgehammer. a halt. And human nature being human, Continuedfrom page9 theseusually cooperativefolks will find Instead of renting the equipment for a dozen other things more pressing the entire duration of the iob, lay all the than getting your proiect restarted. full tiles you can in the room, and let the mortar set. Next, mark all the tiles that Know what you're doing need to be cut. Finally, rent the tile saw, Beforeyou leavetf,e rental store,bJsure and do all of your cutting at once. that you understand how to start, stop,

and operate a piece of equipment. Ask about any adiustments you may need to make such as setting the depth of cut. Somestoresinclude a printed "tip sheet" with frequently rented tools. There are many potential hazards when you're operating unfamiliar equipment, so make sureyou understand each safety rule for its operation. Also inquire about recommended safety gear. Most rental operations sell dust masks, hearing protection, and safety glasses. Some rental companies offer a damage waiver for additional charge at the time you rent. This means you won't be responsible for equipment savefor dam?gâ&#x201A;Ź, abuse, or theft. Your credit-card company may offer some protection when you use its card for the rental, but getting authoritative advice on the coverage may be challenging. Best tip: Check your homeowner'sinsurancepolicy. That may cover rental equipment, but it's best to call your agentbeforerenting to understand limitations and deductibles. One final word of advice: Clean the tool before returning it. This isn't merely a matter of courtesy-most shops will tack on a stiff penalty if you bring back dirty equipment. i Written by Robert f . Settlch

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it comes to location, f fhen ttlt there are three basic choices f f for your shop, and each one hasvirtues and vices. A freestanding outbuilding can be as small as a garden shed or as large asa barn. This opportunity is limited for city dwellersand most suburbanites,but could be an appealing possibility if you own a rural acreage.However,construction costscan be substantial,and you'll needto carefullyconsiderwhether you'll recover the investment when you sell your property. In addition, monthly operating expenses can be a genuine concern, especially if your part of the country requires a heating system for comfortableuse during winter months. A basement is often a great shop location, especially if it has a large ground-level entry. This permits you to easilymove in tools and materialsand just as easilyget finished projectsout of I


your workspace.Shops accessibleonly via a flight of stairs are slightly less attractive, but still may be your best option. Somebasementshave minimal lighting and poor air circulation, but these are fixable inconveniences, not deal-breakers. The proximity of electrical service and other utilities means that poweringup your shop and getting it comfortable is usually quite affordable. (Seethe article "Energy Efficiency for Your Shop" on page32.) A garage shop is often a good choice because of excellent accessibility and sturdy concretefloors to support heavy equipment. As a bonus, many garages havea high ceiling.This makesit easyto handle sheetsof plywood or long pieces of lumber. TWo potential drawbacks involve existing clutter and vehicles. Clutter-busting solutions including getting rid of unused items and renting a unit. The storage-unitoption self-storage

involves an ongoing expense,but it is sometimesthe only real alternative for an unrepentant pack rat. The vehicle situation is potentially a more serious issue,especiallyif your family includes people who are under the delusion that a three-car garageshould hold at least one vehicle. If your shop needsto coexist with a car, you'll need to employ a range of space-savingstrategies,such as flip-up work surfacesand mobile tool basesto exploit every cubic foot of storagespace.

It begins with a plan But even beforewe get to the plan, let's debunk the myth of the "ldeal Shop." Like the EasterBunny and one-size-fitsall clothing, it simply does not exist. The truth is that your shop will be a unique creation because its purpose satisfiesthe needsof one person: you. In addition, recognizethe fact that your Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas




Don't tossthe plan afteryou've moved into your shop. You'll no doubt refer to the drawing again to experiment with new arrangements without getting into any heavy lifting of machinery. However you complete your plan, don't scrimp on storage areas. Empty spaces fill up quickly with lumber and tool accessories.

shop will need to grow and adapt to meet your evolving needs. You may need to sharpen a mower blade on Saturday morning and build a shelf in

ping, and rotating them any'whereyou ISSUeS flfSt want. Youcan evenstackelements:put- Whenever possible, move everlthing ting abenchtopdritl pressonto a counter, out of your shop areaso you can easily for example.To accessthis freeplanning deal with infrastructure upgradessuch

the afternoon. tool, go to and click on as wiring, lighting, insulation, heating, Begin with a list that includes the " Interactive Workshop Planner." and so on. size of your workbench and storage units, as well as the primary power tools, such as tablesaw,drill press,air : bsouth'rP compressor,and so on. To help ensure Wo-rnsnoP Planngr that your shop will be large enough, hSqqr,r, make a list all of the major tools you're planning to buy in the foreseeCCD CgAJ @lt tdietli tml] iIn[J just the ones you able future-not Trblcbvrr currently own. lolntevr Next, draw a scalefloor plan of your Plmcf' space,and createtop views of the tools thrpcrt on little piecesof paper so that you can DuJt Collcctb|l 5rnd.r3 move them about to test various locaWood Eindr|urj tions. To help with the planning, you DrflPrtsrcr can download a free planning article at fl[k l/Lblf.$Gj Othr.firchln t A more high-tech approachis designing your shop layout on your computer. The Gizzly Industrial Web site, for example, allows you to quickly create a floor plan, add doors and windows, and then drag in a wide variety of elements. Theseinclude countertops, wall cabinets, 12 -A and tables.You can sizeeachone of them **F in L" increments. Now you can select A virtual shop layout on your computer allowsyou to drag and drop equipment with a mouse from virtually all of the major tools in insteadof strainingyour back.When you createyour plan, allow adequatepathsso that you the company's catalog, dragging, drop- don't need to bob and weavebetweenthe tools. Mobile baseshelp you stow idte tools.

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Good planningmadethe bestof this shop space.Windowsand banksof fluorescentlightsimprovedillumination.Mobilebasesare a must for a maximum versatilityof space,and the most-usedtools convenientlyhang abovethe generousexpanseof countertop.

If you don't have enough coveredarea to accommodate your shop's contents during construction, considerrenting a storagetrailer that a rental company can deliver to your driveway. Somebuilding centers act as agents for portable storagecontainersas well, so that's another option for temporary storage. If you're finishing the walls, use firerateddrywall if your localbuilding codes require it, or consider a special grade of impact-resistantdrywall. A wainscot of plywood or vinyl garage liner is another way to keep your workspace looking sharp and minimize maintenancechores. Painting the ceiling, walls, and floors is relatively inexpensive but makes a -hugeimpact on the appearanceand ease of maintenance. Renting an airless sprayer for the ceiling and walls can make this a quick job. Insteadof rushing to move equipment into your shop, exercise patience. You may tell yourself that you'll paint later,

A mobilecabinetdeliverstools and suppliesright whereyou need them-for auto detailingfor example.Simplyclosethe doorsat the end of the project,and rollthe cabinetagainstthe wall,where it's neatly tucked out of the way.

but the truth is that it would probably neverhappen becausethis task generally involves too much tool shuffling. This is especiallytrue of prepping and painting a floor or installing another type of floor system.Doing this job when the shop is empty adds only a couple of daysto your construction schedule, but it makes a huge difference in the appearance of your shop. For more information, see "Flooring Options,"page20. Using light tones also improves the efficiency of your shop'slighting.

Don't be a noise nuisance

There are a number of ways to minimize sound transmission. Soundattenuating fire blankets (SAFBs)install quickly into stud bays and between ioists, providing better sound control than fiberglassinsulation. You can also consider a sound-reduction board as the first layer that is then covered with drywall. Homasote 440 Sound Barrier Panel ( below is one brand. Or, gain further improvement in noise insulation by adding a second layer of drywall. For general information on insulation , seepage32. tl

If your shop is in a basementor attached garage,you also need to be sensitiveto issuesof noise and dust that you'll create when working in your shop. Locating your shop in a detached building doesn'tnecessarilysolvethe problem-it may simply mean that you'll be irritating your neighbors as well as your family. With some planning, though, you can minimize the nuisancefactor.


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products,suchasthe Sound-reduction Homasotepanelsshown here,can providean effectivebarrierto noisetransmission.


Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas


0f course sizematters. That's whywemake somany. gotoneinyoursize.. , and266othersiustin case. We've At GRK yourjobdeals wethinkeverybody is entitled to UberGradel' Whether withwood, metal,concrete orvinyl,GRK makes anUberGrade" fastener that youtogetthejobdone enables right... thefirsttimearound.


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PackMoreWorkshop lf clutterandcramped your floor spacedescribe fight back workshop, andwin with these ideas. space-saving

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obody plans to mess up the shop; it gets messyfor lack of a plan. If you're toiling in an unworkableworkshop,devisean organization strategy,and take action. Every woodworker's clutter cure is unique, so pick and choose the ideas shown here that suit your situation. Whichever solutionsyou go with, you'll first needto do three things: I Define the boundaries of your shop to determine how much space you actually have. Rememberto also think vertically-not just within your shop's width and length. I Decidewhat needsto be kept within the shop and what could be moved elsewhere.Then, list the tools you currently own, and envision locations for tools you'll own eventually. I Make the same space hold more or se r v e m ult iple pu rp o s e s . S e a rc h o u t areaswith untappedstoragepotential.


Bust up the clutter You can't organizeyour shop until you get rid of needlessstuff, so play "moving day."What would you keep or tossif you had to pack everything and move next week? Send everything that's not a keeperto the trashor to the secondhand store.Turn unusedtools and loosehardware into someone else's clutter by boxing them up for the next garagesale. Then, takenearlyempty cansof paint in forgotten colorsto your local hazardouswaste-disposal site. As you sort,distinguishbetweentools and suppliesfor home repairsand those for woodworking. Box up plumbing and electrical specialty tools and fixtures you'll seldomuse.Then, storethem on high shelvesor outsidethe shop. 16

Lay out spacefor flexibility When reorganizingyour workshop, plan for changing equipment or different woodworking interests such as woodturning. A singleareawithin your shop can serveexisting and future uses,but only if you designit with that flexibility. Here are 10 ways to make smarteruse of the spaceyou have:

!l !f

Adjustable adaptsto change shelving especially betterthanfixedshelving,

for storing lumber. The wire-mesh shelves used here provide ventilation for dimensional lumber and are readily available at most home centers. Run shelves all the way to the ceiling to use every cubic foot of space. Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas




Space^,_k ror nes,ec,ed space,, add !t storagc.A cabineton wheelscan be storedbeneatha tablesawextensionand

rolled out to doubleasan assemblytable. Also, store loose parts in stacking bins beneath jointer tables,between the legs of a lathe, or below a drill-presstable. G\ Add wall cleats for a more flexible l9lhyout. Wall cleats give you the freedom to add or rearrangewall cabinets as your needs change. They also make it easierto build or buy additional cabinetsgradually insteadof all at once. In addition to cabinets,cleatscan hold specializedstoragesuch as clamp racks and tool boards. 1|l Createspacewhere you can sit and \37 work. Between cabinets under a countertop,Ieavea knee spacewide and deep enough to store a mobile storage cabinet or scrapbin. If your countertop stands higher than your tablesawtop, build a rolling storage cabinet short enough to fit easilyinto the knee space but tall enough to double as an outfeed support for the saw or other maior tools around the shop. 1fi1Double-duty design uses half the \7 space.Instead of a separaterouter table that takes up floor space,drop a router tableinsert plate into the tablesaw extension. This arrangement lets you use the samefencefor two tools. j!\ Make a place for wood scraps.For l9f pieces too large for the trash but too small to store with your lumber, build a mobile scrapbin. That way, you create a source for small project parts, scrapsfor testing blade or bit settings,or just material for building jigs.

1fl1Plan for equipmentyou expectto add with what you already own. E/along That could mean leaving a corner empty until you can afford that bandsawyou've been eyeing. If you're creating a new shop, add 2ZO-voltoutlets to power stepup machinery without the hassle of extensioncords or rewiring.


= flexibility. Even if you

don't haveto accommodatevehicle Y parking in a garageshop,placetools and cabinets on castersand mobile bases. That lets you use the same floor space for more than one task, speedscleanup, and makesit easierto accommodatenew equipment as your shop expands.

1@l Fit tall tools into corners. Use gaps E/ between benches or cabinets and walls to storetall, narrow tools such as a drill press.Mobile basesmake it easyto move tools into thesetight spaces. !fil Replacesteel leg standswith mobile 1l9/ cabinets. This keeps accessories closeto the tools that usethem, createsa heftier tool basefor greaterstability, and relieves some of the storageburden on your other cabinetsand drawers. 17

@ffi Custom cabinets: Think inside the box up wall-cabinet capacity by !lBump !Ifitting them with clamshell doors. Use the inside cavity to hang tools, or fit it with adiustableshelvesto organize fasteners and loose hardware. Then, customize the outside of the door for hanging storage. dimension to storage space. 6LAdd \TPerforated hardboard provides easy-to-install storage, but alternative methods use space more efficiently. Instead,buy or build cabinetsthat hold more tools in lesswall space. 1lilAdd cabinets that create storage \Twithin storage to hang hand tools and organizeaccessories. The accordion cabinet (page70) usestwo interior doors with perforated hardboard for layers of hanging storage. drill and router /lReplace space-eating packageswith a storagecabinet ttbit that holds everything you need, including wrenches,collets, and accessories. AUse slide-out trays in basecabinets provide accessto the contents Vto with less bending or kneeling (and quicker tool retrieval). For a simpler alternative, fit cabinets with adjustable shelvesto keep tools and suppliesfrom being heapedonto each other. 18

drawer storage specifiAGustomize \7 cally for itemssuchasplanes,chisels, and saw blades.Allow spaceat the top of the drawer to hold a removabletray. fl\ Maketool- or task-specifictrays such 17 as this portable chisel tray. Create similar trays for turning or measuring tools that you can take to the machine.

6\ Usecabinetsinsteadof open shelves \7 to keep dust off tools and clutter out of sight. If a cabinet-and-countertop arrangement doesn't fit your workshop plans, add storagecabinets beneath your workbench for increasedweight and stability, and to keep tools close to where you'll usethem.

Roclcor roll? Mobilityonly goesso far in the shop;someitemsare bestleft with a solidfoundation. Usetheseguidelinesto decidewhat needsto be rocksolidor readyto roll.

Wo rk b e nches.P ut bencheson w heel s only as a lastresort.Workbenches are best plantedin one spot for greater stability.

Saws.On a mobilebase,a tablesawcan be swiveledor repositioned to rip large panelsand tuckedout of the way when not i n use.

Lathes.The vibrationof a lathemakesit a poor candidatefor mobile basesand casters.lf you need mobility,usewheels that retractcompletelyor low, removablerollingdollies.

Drill press.A mobile baseallowsyou to wheelthis tool into a cornerof the shop w hen not i n use. Routertables. Shapinglong stockis as easyaswheelingyour routertable into a wide-openwork area. can be f oi nters/pl aners. Joi nters mountedon baseswith retractable wheels.Planerscan be attachedto cabi netsw i th l ocki ngcasters. Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas


Space-stretching tips just for garageshops Nospacegoesto waste.Put that area A !7 above your garagedoor to work by suspendinga platform beneath the ceiling. It's a handy spot for lumber, tool cases,and household items you moved asideto make room for your shop. Just make certain you've firmly connected the framework to the ceiling joists. Needtemporary storagefor a coupleof long piecesof lumber? Restthem on the garagefloor centeredbetweenthe wheels of your car.Raisethe boardsoff the floor using scrapwood supports, and cover them to guard againstvehicleleaks. against wall. Sheet goods .the ellp \T leaning againsta wall wastespace and tend to warp. Solveboth problems with a simple bungee cord. Mount eye hooks into the wall studs more than 8' apart, center the panels between the hooks, and pull them tightly againstthe wall with a pair of bungeecordshooked at the middle. Most panelsare 4'wide or less,leaving plenty of room for shelves aboveyour sheetgoods.

1Ql Put high walls to work. Not all \7 storage needs to be within easy reach.Usethe high walls in your garage to add one additional layer of storagefor items you'll use infrequently. Mount cabinets in the space above your car hood. You'll add storagewithout sacrificing parking rpuce.cFWritten by Robert Wilson l l l u s t r a t i o n sB:r i a n f e n s e n

Useevery cubic foot of your shop E v e n l i t t l e c h a n g e sc a n a d d u p t o b i g spacesavings.Here are five more ways to stretchyour shop: I I n b a s e m e n st h o p s d , r i v en a i l so r p e g s into the overheadjoists to hang clamps convenientlycloseto your workbench. I lf you can't foreseewhen you'll have t i m e t o b u i l d s h o p c a b i n e t sd, o n ' t w a i t . Get startedwith inexpensive,ready-toa s s e m b l ec a b i n e t sf r o m a l o c a l h o m e center. Then, customize these basic boxes with add-ons such as routerb i t h o l d e r s ,t o o l r a c k s ,a n d a d d i t i o n a l a d j u s t a b l es h e l v e s . I Handle every incoming item only once.Forexample,don't leavethat new box of screwsyoujust bought restingon y o u r w o r k b e n c hs i m p l yb e c a u s ey o u ' r e in a hurry.Takethe extra 15 secondsto store it now, and you'll save yourself 15 minutes of clearing accumulated clutter later. I Don't stop with your shop. Add or improve storage throughout your house to create places for items that d o n ' t b e l o n gi n t h e w o r k s h o p . I C r e a t ea " l i m b o " b o x f o r a l l t h o s e interesting doodads you toss into your shop when you think they're too handy to pitch but haven't earned a permanent home. When the box f i l l s u p , i t ' sj u d g m e n t d a y :T i m e t o s o r t t h e t r a s hf r o m t h e t r e a s u r e s .



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Roll material t o r o l l i t o r r ta n c l j o i r ' \l e i l n r s( . t n o l t t i o t t . t l stclr). Iror a garil.qt n'itlt ltcrnt.utcnt o l r s t a c l c sl ,i l i c . r t v i t t c rI r c i t t t t '1, ' l o o rt l r i ti t t , o f l ) r c c \ i s t i n g b r r i l t - i nc . r b i n c t r r ,r o t t ' l l ncrclto trirn it to fit. \lost lrorttcorvncrs r r i l l l r i t v ct h c s l . . i l l tso i n s t i r l l . I ' r ' i c t ' calc c r i r c i i n gt o t l t i c l . l t c s sl,t . t t t c r t t , a n r l s i z c , r o l I c o v c r i n g s i t v c r ' . r g c$ I . 5 0 5 . 1 . 5 0 / s c lf.t . S t u r t c l l r r cnl ' i r l t h s i n c l t t c l c 7 \ t : i , 8 , . r r r c l( ). S o n r r n r . r n t r f a c t L l r c l ' s l ( ' ( { ) n t t } t t , t 1 t l( ) \ ( , 1 ' l i l | | i r t l \ r ' i t l l t \ .

Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas




Interlocking tlles Offering good cushioning, a variety of stylesand surfaces,and a large selection of colors and patterns, these tiles (right) provide the most pattern options. The tiles come in different types, including solid, perforated, and even drain tiles, and have embossedsurface patterns for good traction and durability. The most common tiles measureLZxIZ" and 24x24", with intermediate sizesalso available.So you may need to trim tiles around obstacles.Most systemsinclude beveled attachable outside pieces to improve the transition between tiled and non-tiled areas. One benefit of tiles that paints and roll materials don't have is breathability. The seamaround each tile allows a bit of air circulation, and perforated tiles offer even more air movement-a boon to garagefloors prone to dampness. Because they simply snap together, homeowners can design a three-color pattern and install the tiles with no experience. (Race Deck shows several options at there are a lot of cracksin a concretefloor-too many for epoxy or paint to hide-tiles make great alternatives. Tiles offer one additional benefit: Should you move to a new home, or simply want to try a new color pattern or tile arrangement, they can be unsnapped and rearranged, or easily removed altogether for installation elsewhere.Expectto pay $2.25-$5.50/sq.ft. for tile materials.

Byalternating tilepatterns, asin this DiamondTrax floor,youcancreatean unlimitedvarietyof floordesigns.

Theair-gapengineered intoDRlcore tileslifts the woodenportionoff the concrete, which creates an insulating layer.

1," thick so transition and reducing strips (available at home centers) are required on exposededges. The tiles come only one way-bare wood-but can be painted if desired. Or, you may choose to use the tiles as a subfloor for another flooring material

to be laid on top. You can find the tiles at many national home centers (one brand name is DRIcore; information at, where they sell for about $5 each, or about $1.25lsq. ft. Only paint is lessexpensive.I

Latex palnt

' Leastexpensive ' Wide varietyof colors ' Makescleaningshop easier ' No seam

Dry concretea must No cushioning Requirescleaningof concrete, removalof old paint Doesn'thide cracks,other blemishes Leastdurable

Epoxy palnt

' High durability ' Wide varietyof colors ' Makescleaningshop easier ' No seams

' Dry concretea must ' No cushioning ' Two-partversionscan be tricky to mix and apply ' Requiresextensivecleaningand etching of concretebeforeapplication ' Doesn'thide largecracks,other blemishes o Short "open" (application)time

Roll materlal

' Cood cushioning ' Cood traction ' Hidescracks,other blemishes ' Varietyof colors ' Removable

' Largerollscan be unwieldy ' Cutting necessary for perfectfit ' Somecolorsmay requirespecialorder

Interlocklng tiles

' ' ' . '

Cood cushioning Wide varietyof colors Good traction Breathable Hidescracks,other blemishes ' Easyto remove

' Cuttingmaybe necessary for perfectfit ' Desired materials/colors mayrequire special order ' Seams easyto spot ' Dust,dirt get trappedin open-pattern tiles

Air-gap tlles

' ' ' '

' ' ' '

Air-gap tiles Although not pretty, air-gap wooden tiles (above rtght) offer extreme breathability for concrete floors prone to dampness. The oriented strand board (OSB)tiles, measuring24x24", have patterned plastic undersides that actually lift the tiles off the floor. Not only does the created space allow the most air movement of any flooring option, but minimal amounts of running water can freely flow underneath. This solution is best for a basement shop or garagethat doesn't share spacewith an auto. You may have to cut tiles to clear obstacles, but the tongue-and-groove edgesmake for fast installation. If you'll be rolling heavy equipment around, you may want to add some of the edge tiles to the floor to prevent shifting. Shims are availablethat fit the patterned plastic on the under-sideto level the tiles on uneven floors. The tiles are nearly

Written by A.l. Hamler

Cood cushioning Cood traction Breathable Hidescracks,other blemishes ' Easyto remove ' Water barrier ' Inexpensive

Cutting may be necessary for perfectfit No coloroptions Lotsof joints Can't toleratethe weight of a car or truck


ff . " . - , , , , . . , . . ., - : . . , . i - ;


ffi ffir" ;,:-rr.':...

Ample,accessible storageis the key

Workshop Cabinetry or a lot of us, the farnily garage is first look at cabinetsolutions.(Seepcgc What cabinets work best in a garage the rnost available space to create a 20 for floor upgrades and poge 26 for workshop? Well, consider for a mornent workshop. Unfortunately, it's also wall storagesysterns.) the other most work-intensive area in the most available space for the averagehome:the kitchen. storing yard gear and other It's a place with arnple storage household iterns-and, occafor tools and supplies, an sionally, a car-creating a lnass interconnected system of of clutter not conducive to setexpansive worksurfaces, doors, ting up a shop. and shelves to keep everyBasic shelving can get stuff thing contained (and hidden) up and off the floor, but offers when not in use. Add to that few options for increased the fact that it's also a place workspace, and plain shelves where creativity is irnportant, in an unimproved garage are and it's no surprise that manreally just vertical clutter on a ufacturers have taken their dirty concrete floor. The cues from the kitchen to perfect solution would be a introduce cabinetry designed system of manageable storage and styled with the workshop cabinets, a way to hang all of in mind. your horne, shop, and yard As in the kitchen, garage tools, as well as a ntore comcabinetry comes in a huge fortable and attractive floor to range of sizesand styles to suit W i t h a p p r o p r i a t e l yd e s i g n e d c a b i n e t s ,l i k e t h e s e s t e e l b a s ea n d w a l l stand on and keep clean. Let's u n i t s f r o m B a l d h e a d ,c a r sa n d t o o l s c a n c o e x i s ti n a g a r a g e w o r k s h o p . any need, with some manu-



Bert-Ever Home Shop ldeas


facturers offerir-rg custorn design services. This isn't your grandrna's kitchen you relnember growing up, though. Surfaces are sturdy steel, stain-fighting larninates, and heavy-duty resin or plastic. Most garage cabinets sold today come in base and wall units that you can arrange to fit any size garage, with individual components geared to your storageand project needs.

Base units Base units can be simple or elaborate. Sorne are basic, srnall cubes with a set of drawers or doors. Others can be quite large and fully tricked out with doors and shelves, and available in several lengths and styles.Some manufacturers, especially those on the low end of the price scale, offer just a few options; on the upper end, some carry hundreds of configurations. As in the kitchen, rnany base units can be connected, while others are placed side-by-sideas needed. Most rest on the floor, but some manufacturers design their base cabinets to attach to wall brackets. These hanging base units leave open space underneath, an irnportant factor in garages and basements prone to damp floors.

Cabinets made from heavy-gauge steel are extremely durable and sturdy-unless they have wheels, they're meant to stay in one spot. (Wheeled base cabinets are a good idea for infrequently used tools such as mitersaws or drill presses; the entire unit can be rolled out of the way when not in use.) For versatility, simple cabinets of molded resin or plastic panels iigtrt





be reai_

T h r o u g h c a r e f u la t t e n t i o n t o l a y o u t ,w a l l s t o r a g ea n d c a b i n e t r y c a n be integrated for an attractive and efficient workshop solution.

ranged any time you want. They're also Most are sizedto match the baseunits easyto stackto createtallerunits.Between bel ow , and some can act ually be those two extremes are cabinets more attachedto baseunits and arrangedin sirnilarto typical kitchen setupsmade of modul ar groupi ngs. M at er ials and particleboard,MDF, or plywood. A lami- construction from each manufacturer natesurfaceimprovesboth durabilityand tend to match thoseof the baseunits. appearance, asshownbebw left.

Base units for garage systems can be complemented with wall units hung above them. Wall units can have doors or shelves, or a combination of both.

This 20"x20'workstation includes a backsplash for hanging frequently used tools. The table of the compound mitersaw is set flush with the worksurface, fully supporting long boards. This setup makes it easy to control long boards and cut accurately.


Wall units

Many base-unit worksurfaces are made of the same material as the rest of the cabinet, and may be unsuitable for tool use. Others have wood or MDF surfaces that stand up to sorle abuse.

Whatever cabinets you choose, you'll need a strong, reliable worksurface. Depending on the manufacturer, the options may include solid wood (as shown on the cabinets above), steel, MDF, particleboard, rubber, steel, pliable polyurethane, plywood, or molded plastic.


For more durability, choosebaseunits from a manufacturer that offers optional benchtops (or be prepared to make your own). Wood is a traditional favorite, but many homeowners prefer the low maintenanceof aluminum or plastic surfaces.

Cost Generally speaking, heavier cabinets are more expensive. Simple molded resin cabinetsgenerallycost $110or less. Laminated plywood, MDF, and particleboard cabinets range from $80 to $250

for off-the-shelfunits, with custom units pricier. Steel cabinets list from $100 to $450,with premium units going into the thousands. High-end, custom-designed cabinetsmay require professionalassembly and installation, which costs more.

Guide to Base and Wall Units for Your Garage

J Baldhead



Hff 5T


Powdercoat insix

colors; custom colors available BHNorth America MDF LPB MAXimum Garage

MDF Yes*

BH North America Ulti-MATE Garage


'$ udj'

for 52,000-$9,000 typical cabinets andinstallation

per Textured PVClaminate 559-5149 component


Combined setsavailable; optional worktopsof 11/2"

maple or12-ga. steelavailable Alledges radiused; optional 866-325-2339 1Yr" MDF benchtops available; wheeled base unitavailable


per Polyurethane-coated 579-5249 doors; textured PVC

BHNorthAmerica MDF LPB Ulti-MATEPro

CaliforniaClosets LPB








Alledges radiused; optional

866-325-2339 1%"MDF benchtops available;

laminate elsewhere

wheeled base unitavailable

Polyurethane-coated per 599-$399 doors; textured PVC component laminate elsewhere

Shelves are1";alledges radiused; optional 1%"MDF

Melamine; 10colors

for 5800-$1,500 system

Allcustom components

per $70-5198 component

Perforated hardboard hutch 800-523-3987 available; noworkbench available; metaledging ontop

available Coleman TD2


Plastic laminate


benchtops available; wheeled base unitavailable 800-274-6754

anddrawer sides forstrength; metaldrawer sides CooperCabinet Systems


Garage Storage Cabinets (cSC)


GarageTek Plastic





plastic PVC

GarageTek SignatureLine





Powdercoat available S10,000 installed Dealer-installed only; 866-664-2724 infourcolors garage modular foraverage components attach to specialized wall-plank system; worksurfaces 1%"-thick wood; steelshelves

Plastic laminate

for Formerly Mitchell Cabinets; 866-321-2525 51,500-$2,000 typical cabinets cabinets hangonsteel-rail coopercabi andinstallation support system; slatwall tool organizer overworksurface



Melamine inthree colors

Complete systems DIYinstallation, butprofes- 866-414-4844 from5675-51,800sional installation available; garagestora various cabinet depths available fortypical $8,000 cabinets and installation

Dealer-installed only;modular 866-664-2724 components attach to special- izedwall-plank system

Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas


Most availablecabinets are strictly do-ityourself, however, requiring little more than a basic knowledge of hanging cabinets. Further, if your needs change, the entire arrangement can often be altered or addedto with more cabinetry.

When it comesto keeping costsdown, there's one more option. Since garage cabinet design is based on the kitchen, don't overlook that source. Kitchen liquidators often discontinue cabinet lines and mark them down considerably.Also,

check with local kitchen contractorsafter a new installation, many offer the old cabinetsthey've removed for a song. A light sanding or coat of paint may be all they need to be transformed into a lowcost storagesolution. JF Written by A.f . Hamler


{, .ob Q-

/^.;$. T So





MDF Yes** Powdercoat

Welded: setsavailable; 866-342-4089 $150-5450 (ombined perunit. optional 1"solid-maple gladiatorga Unassembled: worksurface available perunit 598-5398










Plastic laminate

Workbench available; 888-897-9050 several wheeled cabinets available

About5150perlinear Cabinets raised 866-483-4272 to minimize cleaning and potential reduce forwater


damage; various cabinet depths available Redline





Garage Gear

fortypical 55,500 cabinets and installation

250cabinet styles/sizes 877-624-2332 available; allcabinets are redlinega ragegea professional wall-hung; installation only;optional worktops of 1V+" mapleor polyurethane 1" pliable








Baked enamel

p9 er 5119-537 c0mp0nent

Plastic laminate avail- 5999andupfor ableinfivecolors average installs

(ombined sets; clickontools, then garage & toolstorage


DIYinstallation, but 800-835-',I759 professional installation available; various cabinet depths available





A L & PL


Baked epoxy


Products Stanley


PL Suncast



MATERIAL KEY: (Al)Aluminum (LPB)Laminated particleboard (MDF)Medium-density fiberboard



M o l d eadl u m i n uamn d 580-5 1e0 polypropylene Plastic resin

(MPB)Melamine-coated particleboard (PL)Moldedplastic (PLY) Plywood (PP)Pliablepotyurethane

per 550-5110 c0mp0nent

Workbench andwheeled 800-323-9601 cabinet available Wall-mount base units; plastic sides; various

800-782-6539; search cabinet depths available garage cabinets Nobenchtop available;


removable drawers slide intomolded slots


(R)Rubbermat (SI) Steel (V)Variety of optionsincludewoodandLPB (w) sotidwood

(.) Batt-bearing, but%-extension on ready-to1**)Notfuil-extension assemble steeldrawers


ith cabinetsand worksurfaces in place, a lot of tools and shop paraphernalianow have homes.But a lot of typical garage"stuff" is too big or awkward to store in cabinets.Unfortunately, things like recreational gear, yard equipment, and garden tools end up leaning againstthe wall or in corners,consuming valuable floor space.The trick here is to keepthat stuff easily at hand, but up and out of the way. Baredrywall-or, in some cases,open framing-requires that anything hung there be anchored to a stud. However, the typical 16" spacing of studs gives only a limited number of vertical locations (and few, if any, horizontally) for mounting hooks and hangers. A number of wall solutions are available. Perforatedhardboard (commonly called Peg-Board,a trademarkedname) is a favorite for hanging hand tools. However,this doesn't provide a worthy solution for heaviertools storedin most of today'sgarages. 26

screwmounting hooksand brackets, or hang shelves wherever you like. As you update your tool inventory, alterationsare just as easy:Just unscrew mountings and move them to new positions. Bare plywood doesn't look that appealing, and changing the tool layout later leavesunsightly screw holes. Plywood is difficult to clean and is vulnerable to moisture from wet yard tools and dripping hoses. A couple of coats of paint Bracketsand hookscan be mountedanywhereon a slatwall helps, but that's more Gravityholds system,as in this examplefrom storeWALL. work. On the plus side,all the bracketsin place,so they can easilybe rearrangedat any time accordingto changingneeds. the materialsyou need are inexpensiveand right around the corner at your hardware store or home center. Plywood A quick-and-easyupgrade is to attach Betteryet, construction is simple.If your Vz"plywood to the walls, anchoring the budget is limited, and you don't mind a plywood solidly to the garage'sexisting bit of maintenance, this may be your framework.After fasteningthe plywood, best ticket. Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas


i'! i


Metal grldwork

At many of your favorite retail stores, you've undoubtedly seen wall panels using modified T-slotsthat acceptangled brackets. The brackets, which slip into the slots anywhere along their length and are held in place by their own weight, can be attached to a wide range of specialized hangers-they include simple hooks, hangers, and brackets designed for specific tools and yard implements; hook-on baskets and shelves;and light fixtures. Most, but not all, manufacturers produce interchangeable hangers. Slatwall has become the most popular upgrade for today's garages,and is generally availablein panelsin many colors. Composition is of melamine-coated MDF or rugged heavy-duty plastic. Panels range from large 4x8' sheets to individual strips from 6-15' wide. The panelscut easilywith a circular saw.TWo 8'-long panels are ideal acrossthe front of most two-car garages.

Metal grids are similar to slatted panels in the way they are anchored to wall studs, but offer attachment points over the entire wall surfacecovered by the grid. Hooks, hangers, shelves, and other accessoriessnap onto the gridwork, and are held in place by gravity. Grid panels come in severalsizes(2x4', at about $ 1 2 -$ 14 i s the most popular), but colors are currently limited to white, black,and silveror chrome. Hangers are priced similar to slatwall hangers.

Steel panels A third type of panel system consists of rigid steelwith regularly spaced Thesesteelpanelsfrom Wall Controlare solid,colorful perforatedhardboard.Although the company slots or a alternativesto the panels offers a wide variety of hooks and accessories, combination allow the useof any third-party magnet hooks or hangers. of slots and holes similar to perforated Shelves,baskets, small cabinets, and a hardboard. Plain panels variety of hangers and hooks snap into the vertical strips. come in brushed aluminum Rails, slotted strips, brackets, and or galvanized steel. You'll find steelpanels in a range hooks range from $2.50 to $12. Deof power-coatedcolors.Pan- pending on size, cabinets and shelving els sized at 8x32" or 16x32" units matched to the rails range from can be hung singly or com- $60 to $150..l bined to form larger arrays, Written byA.l. Hamter and mounting holes are a_-_ set at standard 16" intervals. )ources


A grid system,like these examplesfrom Schulte,supports heavytools and shelvesand is easyto adjust to meet changingneeds.The grid panelsare securedto wall studs.

Depending on the material and finish, slattedpanels aren't cheap (about $6 per squarefoot), whether sold individually or in packages.Hanger and accessory prices vary widely, depending on size and use. A package of six simple hooks goesfor lessthan $5, while a rack for 12 garden tools retails for about $25.

"uo"t ffi1"jlllfiff;LX?*,1i1'schurtestorase'co schuttewatt Grid:Boo-B2g-47s2,soo-66s-322s,

$13 to $23. Accessoriesthat hang in the slots include a variety of hooks, brackets, and shelves, plus larger pieces designed for specific uses such as tool holders, parts bins, even fluorescent-light mounts. Smaller accessories, such as hooks, sell in multipacks starting at about $4; larger accessoriessell for $7 to $24. storewal StoreWAL[ : 866-889-2502, Wall Control: 770-723-1251,

Rail systems A different type of wall storage uses rails rather than panels, but shares traits of the other panel types. This system uses a vertical rail mounted securely into wall studs, from which vertical slotted metal strips can be hung anywhere along the rail length.

A rail system,like this examplefrom Freedom Rail,offers shelves,cabinets,and hangers supported on heavy-dutyverticalmetal stripssecuredto the wall studs.


Ground-faultcircuit interrupteroutlet, . first in circuit

New220V60A breakerfor two 110Vshop circuitsand one 220V circuit 220V 604 feeder from serviceentrance breakerpanel 110V20A

shopcircuits 220V204 tablesawcircuit Sparecircuit

1lf hop wiring requirements can vary depending on the type of \widely, proiects you tackle. If your hobby J is building radio-controlled airplanes, you may need a single convenience outlet for a soldering iron. But if you're into woodworking, you'll need some seriousamperageto simultaneously run a tablesaw and dust-collection system. And if cars are your passion, you may have a large air compressorand welding rig that demand wiring on nearly an industrial scale. But no matter your requirements, one thing's for certain: You can't starve a power tool and expect it to last. When you don't provide a motor with enough power, it runs inefficiently, tempting you to push it harder to get the iob done. That further overheats the motor, and you're quickly way beyond the tool's designedoperating range. At that point, severalthings can happen, and none of them are good. If you blow a circuit breaker,that's a dead giveawaythat the circuit is trying to deliver more amperage than it can handle. By resetting the breaker, you continue 28

Sub panel Groundwire (requiredin some areas)

torturing the tool for a while, but it doesn't solvethe problem. In severe overheating conditions, you may burn the insulation off the motor's windings or fry another component. Either way, you'll have a dead tool. If things really go wrong, /ou could start a fire.

Flgure your power needs The unit of electricalpower is called the ampere, usually shortened to amp.To figure the sizerequired for a tool circuit, start by looking at the motor nameplate of your most power-hungry tool. For discussion purposes, let's say it's a tablesaw subpanelfor a homewood with a 14.2-ampmotor (at llo I 720 volts). Thiselectrical also shopidentifieseachtool'scircuit.There's Tools often draw a surge of power at roomto addmorecircuitslater. startup, sowe'll figure a 25 percentallowance for this by multiplying 14.2 times then add the requirements of the two 1.25. The result is 17.75,so a 20-amp tools. If the total exceeds 20 amps, though, you'll usually find that the circuit is a good choice for this one tool. most practical solution is to run each The math remains easy even if you'll run more than one tool simultaneously tool on a separatecircuit. Some large motors have dual-voltage on a circuit-say a router and dust collector. Look up the nameplate amperage capability: They can be wired to run on for each tool, figure its surge allowance, a"l,lOll20-volt circuit or on a 22Ol24O Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas


circuit. You or the motor won't notice a particular advantage either way. That's becausedoubling the voltage cuts the amperage in half. In the example of the tablesawmotor requiring 14.2 amps at 110 volts, wiring it for 22O power drops the amperageneededto 7.L. Other power requirements in your shop may be relatively minor, such as a radio or fan, but adding an appliance, like as a refrigeratoror spaceheater,can createa seriousdemand on a circuit. The circuit for the lighting should always be separate from the power receptacles.Otherwise, if a tool trips a circuit breaker,you'll be in the dark. For more details about shop wiring, i ri ng.

DIY or hire an electrlcian? If you're confident in your ability to plan and install circuits, you may want to take on the actual wiring yourself. But check first with the local governmental agency that issuespermits and conducts inspections. Many locations allow the homeowner to complete wiring chores; some require that you prove your knowledge by first passing a test. Others absolutely prohibit the homeowner from doing wiring unless it's completed by a licensed electrician. In almost all cases,electrical work requires that you obtain a permit and have the work inspected by a building official. If you proceed without a permit, you could have problems with your homeowner's insurance in the event that you need to submit a claim. If you have doubts about your wiring skills, hire an electrician. Skilled tradesmen don't work cheaply, but the peace of mind that comes from having a pro handle the iob is worth it.

Ground-fault protection Electrical codesmay require that your shop's outlets have protection called GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupter), particularly for installations in a basement or garage. GFCI is designed to sense dangerous conditions and shut off the power. This could prevent a serious or even fatal electrical shock. You can achieve GFCI protection with specially designed receptacles or breakers.Either way, carefully follow the manufacturer's installation instructions to ensure protection. Check the breaker or receptacle monthly by pushing the test button.

Extensloncord cautlons Short and fat may not describe the ideal body type, but it's a good rule of thumb for choosing an extension cord. "Short" means picking a cord that's no longer than necessary becauselong cords can causea loss of voltage. uEat" means wires with a large cross section, enabling the conA ground-faultcircuit interrupter (GFCI)duplex ductorto carrymore power. The gauge outlet can providevaluableprotectionagainst numbering systemfor electrical wires electricalshock. is counterintuitive: the smaller the number, the larger the wire. For example, 1O-gaugewire is substantially larger than l4-gauge. If you're doing projects outdoors, make certain that you plug your extension cord into an outlet with GFCI protection. Some outdoor cords include GFCI protection plus a multiple outlet block that allows you to have severaltools connected at once. Seethe extension cord chart below or refer to your tool's owner's manual for selection advice. Here are other cautions about extension cords: Buy high-qualityextensioncords,and protect them from abrasionto keep your tools running strong.This pigtail model includesa GFCI.

ExtensionCord Recommendations Up to 3 3-4

18 gauge



18 gauge 18 gauge

16 gauge 16 gauge

18 gauge 16 gauge

14 gauge


18 gauge ' 18 gauge

6-8 8-10

1 8g a u g e 18 gauge

10-12 12-14

16 gauge 14 gauge 14 gauge

1 6g a u g e 14 gauge 14 gauge 12 gauge


Never walk on a cord or roll wheeled obiects over it. That can stressor break the insulation or even the wire itself. Never use an extension cord that's tightty coiled on a storagereel because that can create an undesired electrical field. (Think of the motor you made in school by winding copper wire around a nail.) Instead, fully unwind the cord before use. I

12 gauge

14 gauge .12 gauge

12gauge 10 gauge

10gauge 10 gauge

A fluorescentlight on a retractablereel gives your home shop a professionallook and eliminatestangled extensioncords.


trr i


hen it comes to energyefficient lighting, it's tough to beat natural daylight. Of course, you rnay need to tnake an investrnent or two to get it into your shop, but after that, it's virtually all benefit. If you have a garage workshop, for exarnple, adding a window or two-or even rnore-will make a dramatic difference. If the walls in your garage have exposed frarning, putting in the headers and frarning the openings for new windows is a straightforward task, whether you tackle it yourself or delegate it to a contractor. If your garage is detached frorn the house, you needn't be finicky abottt rnatching its style of windows to yottr house. That opens up the cl-tcticesto include less-expensive stock windows frorn a home center. Or, if you're not in a big hurry to get your windows, contact the big-box stores and other window suppliers in your area, asking them to let you know when they have bargains available. These can include closeouts, "scratch-and-dent" 30

iterns, or custotn orders where the specifications got garbled. Retailers often slash prices dratnatically on these itetns, and you pocket the savings.

Task lighting is essential The level of overall illurnination in a shop is called "arnbient lighting," and it rnust provide sufficient brightness to enable you to rlove about safely and perfonn a range of tasks. But when it comes to close worktight-tolerance lneasuring and rnarking, for exarnple-you need to purnp up the arnount of light to give yourself a better view. This type is lighting is called "task lighting." You'll want to permanently irrstall task lights at some locations and also have portable sources,both for shop and on-location use. A workbench is one logical location for fixed task lighting. You can position a fluorescent or halogen-strip fixture above your bench for illuminating the entire area.Or install a canister fixture at a critical location: above a frequently 'frack used bench vise, for exatnple.

lights give you flexibility to tailor illumination alurost instantllz to tl-re chore excellent choice if your at hand-an shop handles a wide range of repair and construction chores. You'll want to position the track lights high enough so they aren't in the way, yet low enough to permit easy adjustment.

a m pi s a n i n e x p e n s i v e A n a r t i c u l a t e d - a r lm a n d h a n d yt a s k - l i g h t i n sgo u r c ef o r y o u r s h o p . Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas


Haloqen lamps solve biggEr problbms Halogen lamps provide powerful lighting within your shop as well as throughout your home during remodeling projects. You can purchase an individual lamp with an integral stand, or buy one or more lamps mounted on stands, as shown left. (Many include adjustabletripod bases.) Some lamps have dual-level lighting: Click once for 500 watts of power,and click again to boost to 1,000 watts.


fr il I *

i,tt aq &,-ry," '-



c& tlt

: !

l l G t




Paint makes a difference

Halogenwork lampson standsare versatile in your shopaswell at remodelingsites.

Dedicated and movable task-lighting choices Some workshop tools tend to block ambient light that providesa clearview of your work. So it makes senseto purchase accessorylighting fixtures and install them at the machine. A drill press and bandsaw are two popular tools that fit into this category. A grinder and scrollsawalso would benefit from this specialtreatment. Movable task lighting offers another solution. This can include a goosenecked desk lamp (from office-supply stores) that you can mount on your bench to drench sharpening chores with light or as "raking" light (grazing a project at a low angle) to inspect the surfacewhile you apply a finish. Another useful movable lighting choice is an articulated-arm fixture (opposite;think drafting-table lamp). This type, also readily available at office-supply stores,usually includes a clamp-on base. However, by drilling mounting holes in work surfaces throughout your shop,you make it easy to move the lamp wherever needed. Many of these fixtures use standardbase lightbulbs, making it simple to switch to a CFL (compact fluorescent lamps) and enioy energy savings. Some articulated lamps instead utilize circular fluorescent lamps and incorporate magnifying lenses that improve your view of tiny assemblies. If you're into detailed work, you'll find this combination a convenience.


Dark colors on walls' ceilings' compactfruorescent ramps(CFLs)save moneyin a and other surfacescan seem to varietyoffixturetypes. suck all of the light from your shop. You'll make your work area technology. As a result, the lamps stay brighter-and even seem larger-by cooler and consume only about onechoosing white or other light-reflective fourth the energy of incandescentsof tones whenever possible. It's best to the same light level. As an added beneavoid glossy finishes, though, because fit, the lamps last about 10 times longer, the glare can be distracting and cause slashingreplacementexpenseaswell as the annoyance of changing them. eyestrain. The new T8 style of fluorescent tube Brightening your floor with a durable coating is another way to maximize the has a smaller diameter than the T12, light in your shop, provided that you which will be phased out of production. stay with the lighter tones. Seepage20 The T8 fixture is also more energy effifor more information about choosing cient, so choosethis style if you're in the market for new tubular fluorescents. and applying a floor finish. CFLs,in the curlicue configuration or Energy-efficient lamps another shape, allow you to re-lamp Incandescentlamps have changedlittle existing fixtures and enioy considerable in the past 100 years,but the systemis energy and cost savings. If you have not efficient. (A considerableamount of recessedceiling canistersin your shop, energy is wasted as heat.) Fluorescent look for CFLs in a style that closely lamps utilize more energy-efficient resemblesstandardreflector lamps. cP

When your handsare full, groping for a light switch with your elbow is a definitenuisance.That'swhere a motion-sensorlight switch helps: lt "sees" your motion and turns on the lightsfor you. Evenbetter, when the sensorfails to detect motion for a time, it turns off the power. (You set the length of the time delayby adjustinga screwhidden under a panelon the switch.) This type of switch isn't recommendedas a control for the main lightingin your shop becauseit would be inconvenientand dangerousfor the lightsto go out while power tools are whirring. But it's perfect for stepsand hallwaysleadingto your shop, as well as storageclosets. A motion switchturns out Read the specificationsof the switch carefully the lights automatically,a beforeyou buy it. Many will handleboth fluorescent usefulfeaturewhen your lampsbut not compactfluorescents. handsarefull. and incandescent


EnergyEfficiency for YourShop

When installedover a concrete floor, a modular air-gapsystem createsa vapor barrier and insulatingair gap. The 2x2' DRlCorepanels slide together. The inset image aboveshows the air gaps.

aking a shop warm is a rela- vapor barrier and insulating air gap tively straightforward task, above the concrete surface.As an added and you have bushels of bonus, the new resilient floor reduces choices: from portable electric heatersto leg fatigue. As a result, you'll discover stoves that burn wood, biomass pellets, that your shop time is far lesstiring. or even corn. (No, it doesn't pop.) The 2x2' tongue-and-groove panels are But making a shop into the comforteasyto transport and simple to install. You able and inviting retreat that you want can cut and drill the panelswith power and requires more than raw Btus. To make hand tools. Place %" spacers along the your energy dollars more efficient, you'll perimeter of the room and around fixed want to make sure that your shop has obstructions, then tap the panel edges well-insulated sidewalls. And if your together using a hammer and block of shop is in a garageor freestandingbuild- wood. For maximum strengtfi stagger.the ing, be certain that the attic spaceabove .joints between rows in a brick-bond patit has adequate insulation. In addition, tem. At low spots,usethe company's plastic you'll also need to plan for air move- shims to level an uneven shop floor. ment within your shop. For shop use, you can leave the oriented-strand-board (OSB) surface as Transform concrete lnto a is, or apply a stain, sealer, or paint. If warm and reslllent surface you ever convert the spaceinto a living If standing on a cold concrete slab area, the system serves as an excellent keeps you out of your shop or garage,a subfloor for carpet, or "floating" installamodular air-gap system, such as DRI- tions such as laminate or engineered Core, above,quickly and easily createsa wood flooring. 32

The panels have an impressive load rating of 5,000 pounds per squarefoot, and have a low retail price of about $1.50 per square foot. For more details about air-gap flooring, seepage20.

Choosethe rloht tvre and amount of iniulatioh Whether you're building from scratch or want to upgrade the energy efficiency of your existing shop, you need to know the recommended levels of insulation for your part of the country. Energy Star is a joint program of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy.The prograrn goal is to help people save money and protect the environment through energy-efficient practices and products. Energy Star estimates that a knowledgeablehomeowner or contractor can saveup to 2Oo/oon annual heating and cooling costs while enjoying additional comfort as well as the savings. For more Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas


lnsulation Recommendationsfor Existing Wood-Frame Houses

|zo,.;r h-t"d."l

(such as the Gulf Coast),the paper faces outdoors. Check with your buildingregulation official for which orientation is appropriatefor your location. You'll also find expanded polystyrene (Styrofoam is one brand) in sheet thicknessesat your local home center. The material easily cuts with a handsaw. If you need to glue these panels in place, select an adhesive specifically approved for the application.

You'll be a fan of this ldea

Unlessyour shop has an air-circulation system, the area will probably suffer from hot and cold spots, air that settles into temperature layers, and moistureladen air that collects in corners and Wall Insulation: Whenever exterior siding is removed on an other dead areas.Stale air can produce uninsulated wood-frame wall: a musty smell or even bloom into a . Drill holes in the sheathing and blow insulationinto the empty wall cavity before Add Insulatl,on to Attlc serious mold infestation. Moving the i n s t a l l i n gt h e n e w s i d i n g . Uninsulated Existinq3-4 inches air helps solve those problems, and it o Zone Attic of iisulation Floor Zones 3-4: Add R5 insulativewall sheathing can also relieve a claustrophobic feeling beneath the new siding. R30to R49 1 R25to R30 Rl3 o Zones 5-8: Add R5 to R6 insulativewall 2 R30to R60 R25to R38 R'13to R19 in small shops. sheathing beneath the new siding. 3 R30to R60 R25to R38 Rl9 to R25 If your shop has a high ceiling, conInsulated wood-frame wall: 4 R38 R25to R30 R38to R60 r For Zones 4-8: Add R5 insulativewall sider a ceiling fan. Manufacturers'Web 5to8 R49to R60 R38to R49 R25to R30 sheathing beneath the new siding. sites will help match your shop's volume with the recommended number of details, visit the Energy Star Web site purpose sealing, but purchase the low- fans, their blade diameters, and mount( expansion formulation for improvements ing heights. In warm weather, you run Insulation amounts are specified by around the frames of doors and win- the fan so that it blows downward R-value, which is a measure of the dows. That's because the standard on you, creating a cooling evaporative insulation's ability to resist the move- formulation can expand too aggressively "wind chill" effect. Reverse the fan's ment of heat traveling though it. The in these applications, and could even rotation in cold weather to harvest larger the R-value, the greater the bow the iambs, making it difficult to warm air from the top of the room and insulating ability of the material. Refer operateyour windows and doors. guide it down the walls without creatto the USA map and chart above for Duct sealing is another important ing a draft. Both ways, you'll be more recommended R-valuesin your climate step. If your home's ductwork is accessi- comfortable. |F region of the country. ble (in an attic, basement,or crawl space, for example), seal the joints with a speStart by sealing air leahs cial duct sealer(also called duct mastic) Most air leaks are easyto find because to help eliminate the loss of heated or you'll feel them as cold drafts in the cooled air. Don't rely on ordinary duct wintertime. A stick of incenseis another tape becauseit simply doesn't have the way to help you find an air leak. You'll sealing ability to deliver the energysee the gentle smoke trail deflected by saving resultsyou want. even the tiniest air leak. Likely locations to begin your investigation include Fiberqlass and other windows and outside doors, as well as insuliting choices electrical switchplatesand sockets. Fiberglassoffers an affordableand widely Seal leaks around electrical devices available form of insulation. You'll find with inexpensive closed-cellfoam seal- it in 1-6"or 24" widths suitable for studs ers. (Shop in the weather-stripping aisle or ioists that are spacedon center. Some of your hardware store or home center.) batts come factory-cut for standard studAround doors, examine weather- bay lengths so that you don't need to stripping at the top and sides of the trim each batt; other fiberglassproducts This Hunterfan, designedto hang from a door. Don't neglect the seal and sweep come as a continuous roll. ceilingjoist, circulatesthe air in your shop at the bottom of the door. As a final consideration, choose without subtractingfloor space. For tight spaces,aerosolfoam sealant whether you want the fiberglassto have performs well. (Great Stuff and DAP a kraft paper facing. In most areasof the hurces DRlCore:; B66-976-6374 products are distributed nationwide.) United States,the paper facesthe living Energy Star: Use the ordinary variety for general- space.However,in some humid locations Hunter:; 888-830{ 326 ^ | Hawaii,Cuam, I C I PuertoRico,and I the Virginlslands I I


This N95 half maskrespiratorby AO Safetyweighs lessthan 5 ounces, hasdual exhalationvalves,and usesreplaceable filter elements.The soft rubber body sealswellwithout chafing.

Air YouBreathe

Keeplbur Shopand LungsClean Youprobably already knowthatdustcontrolis Inhaling animportanthealthissue: extremely problems. fineparticles canleadto respiratory

our dust-control strategy should ideally consistof severalelements: a central or portable dust collector, a portable shop vacuum or dust extractor, an exhaust, a ceilingmounted air-filtration unit, and a respirator. When you look at the price tagson dust-control equipment, you may be tempted to avoid these purchases and simply let the chips fall where they may. Don't be penny-wise and pound-foolish: You can't buy much health care for the price of effective dust control. Small dust particles carry more potential danger than large chunks. For example, somedust collectorscaptureparticles down to 30 microns in size.This sounds fairly impressivebecausea micron is onemillionth of a meter. But larger particles simply drop harmlessly to the floor, so the real health risksstart at the 3O-micron and smaller size. 34

The front llne of dust defense The best starting place for dust collection is at the source: at your tablesaw, router, sander, or other tool. Many of these already have dust ports, simplifying the connection to a dust collector or shop vacuum. Installing a central dust-collection system can be an excellent strategy that's convenient to use. But properly designing and sizing your system involves a host of variables:the range of tools you own, your shop's size and layout, and even the types of hoses and ductwork you'll use. We can't coverthat breadth in a couple of pages, but we can guide you to an excellent resource. Visit the WOOD@ magazine online searchable index (tt,ootlrtiaglrzinr,conr/irrcler), and enter the words "dust collection." You'll find a

A dust collector may use a cloth bag or canister filter. Many have heavy plasticbags for chip collection, simplifying disposal.


I listing of articles that walk you through the design process, provide product reviews of dust collectors, and open up additional resources.If you don't have a back-issue collection, /ou can easily download many of the articles for a nominal fee. Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas



Cleanair in the shop isn't a matter of being finicky-it's vitalto good health.A ceiling-mountedcleaner,likethis JDSmodel, can deliver excellentresults.

Dlsposeof alrborne dust In addition to a dust-collection system, invest in an air-filtration system that continually pulls those floating dust particles out of the air before they reach your lungs. A ceiling-mounted unit is a great solution if your shop has adequate headroom. The one pictured abovehas multiple filtration stagesto remove 99olo of dust particles down to 5 microns in size, and even 91oloof particles down to 1 micron. A number of manufacturers produce these air-filtrations systemsin a range of sizesto suit your shop'sneeds.One multitasking model from Delta incorporatesa work light into the bottom of the unit. Hanging it above a tablesaw,which is usually in the middle of a shop, enhances both sight and breathing. Instead of scrubbing and recirculating the air within your shop, |ou may want to simply export the problem outdoors by opening your garagedoors or adding an exhaust fan. (Forgetabout the kind of fan that's usually installed in bathrooms-it simply won't move enough air to be effective.)

Pop rivetssecurea fan framework made from standardaluminumextrusionsavailableat most hardwarestores.

For a simple, low-tech solution, secure a window or boxtype fan in an open window in your shop. (To purchase plans for the setup shown below left, /fa n.) If possible, choose a totally enclosed motor because it will survive well in a dusty location. An even better alternative-though substantially more expensive-is a motor that carries an explosion-proof rating. This type helps provide valuable insurance against accidental ignition due to dust and solvents.

A portable dust extractortames dust-collection problemsin your shop aswell as at job sites throughout your home.

Portable shop vacuum vs. dust extrictor

Choosea disposable respiratorwith the N95 designation for good protection againstairborne wood dust.

A single-strapnuisance maskprovideslittle protectionfrom airbornedust. r

If you want a disposable respirator, look for one that meets the NIOSH 95 standard (often abbreviatedas N95), for particlesdown to 0.3 microns. (Seephoto fop.) Most of these respiratorshave the shell style similar to a "nuisance dust mask," above,but the N95 is far more effective than the one-strap model. A respirator with an exhalation valve makesit easierto breathe.You'llalso find a pleated design that claims even easier breathing and improved visibility. A half-mask single- or dual-cartridge respirator (shown opposite)offers even more protection. A dual-cartridge model protects your lungs from the solventsand particles of sprayed finishes. Choose the proper pre-filters and cartridge elements to match the material you're using. Q

Hooking up a tool to an ordinary shop vacuum helps prevent a cloud of dust from filling up your shop. But attaching that sametool to a dust extractor can make a healthy difference. For example, the HEPA-rateddust extractor abovetraps particlesdown to 0.3 microns. Sourcer (HEPA means High Efficiency Particle AO -9878, Attenuation.) An extractor generally has Fein: 800-441 a smaller footprint than a shop vacuum. I DS: 800-480-726t Of course, performance like that f et : 800-274-6848, carries a price tag (about $350 retail) substantially higher than ordinary shop vacuums (about $125). If you're not quite ready to invest in a dust extractor, at least searchout a more effective afterlf metalworkingis part of your shop, market filter for your shop vacuum than you need to protectyourselffrom the one shipped as standard equipment. fine particlesgeneratedby sawing, grinding,and other operations. The The resplrator: Your '. produced fumes by welding add last lind of defense Some woodworking operations generanother levelof concerns.Check ate so much fine dust-machining with mail-ordersourcesor a local medium-density fiberboard (MDF) or safetysuppiierto ensurethat your sanding on the lathe, for example-that defensivestrategiesare appropriate it's nearly impossible to capture enough for the metalsyou work and the of it through standard collection methprocedures you use. ods. In those cases,wear a respirator over your nose and mouth.


fiarage Makeover Burgundy cabinets and organized walls transform an ordinary garage into an extension of a car guy't home, wereadistracting clutter, open shelves Theepoxy floorwaspeeling upinflakes, onefallingontothe to thewallto prevent another andgarden toolswerechained hisgarage. upgraded hood ofa car.Butthat's allinthepastafterthishomeowner Youbet! Does every toolhave itsplace? 36

here are garagesand then there are garages.If you baby everything from your car or pickup truck to your favorite 2r/2"-widePurdy paintbrush, there's good reason to invest in a garage upgrade. In fact, organizing a garage may be the last frontier in home-improvement projects for many households. Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas


lf you can see it, you can find it

These wall systems have also become popular with sportsDon't you hate it when you can't find a minded families desperatefor a shovel among your jumble of garden solution to a mountain of golf bags,tennis racquets,basketballs, tools? Or when that darned string trimmer falls off the wall and smashesonto and whateverelsegetspiled up in your car hood? an active family's garage. If that sounds like your garage,it's Before you begin hanging anytime to restore order with a wall sys- thing on the wall, Todd Walker, tem. (For a more complete look at wall owner of a garage and storage systems,seepage26.) store, suggests removing everyOne inexpensive option is a single thing from the garageand assessstrip of hooks and hangers that fits ing what you really value. He many garden tools. Although inexpen- provides a 24' trailer for customsive,this solution doesn'tmake the best ers to temporarily store garage contents while the garagefloor is use of space. Wall systems, like the storeWALL being prepared. This usually units shown at right, allow more flexi- means calling a family summit bility than a traditional linear strip of to claim all the tools and sports hangers provides. Most manufacturers equipment worth keeping. What offer just about any hook under the sun doesn't find a home in the "new" for odd-shaped equipment, including garageshould be donated to charEight-footlong sectionsof an interlockingtrack leaf blowers, string trimmers, wheel- ity or hauled away. system(abovelby storeWALLattach quickly to line barrows, and garden hose. Written by Carl Voss one wall of the garage.

Afterse(uing andlevelingthe top andbottom2'Lwidesteelrails,JoeM<Guirefits the notchedcabinetendpieceagainstthe wall(teft).Onceallthe framesareassembled,Jake Berhowbeginshangingthe doors(certer). Doubleball-bearing drawerslidesscrewintofactory-drilled holes(frght).

Cabinets: What you need to stash avlay

A new 6'-long workbench beneath a garage window provides It's ideal to placeyard and garden tools the homeowner with the spacehe on hooks acrossthe front or along the needs to spread out his proiects. side of a garage.However, lots of other He chose a bench surfacecoated garage items belong behind doors or with black urethane (the same in drawers. In this homeowner's case, tough material asa spray-ontruckhe selectedburgundy cabinets for his bed liner) that should withstand car-care products (below right), garden even the most powerful solvent in sprays, and do-it-yourself supplies. A his cleaning arsenal. two-man crew installed 16 lineal feet The homeowner loaded most of of cabinets and drawersin five hours. his auto-mechanic'stools into a The Redline Garage Gear cabinets mobile tool chest (see other ( are powder- examples on page 106) and found coated MDF and should provide years a home for home improvement of service.Becausethe basecabinets are tools in his new drawers beneath mounted on the wall and not resting on the workbench. the floor, homeowners can hose down The dovetailed drawers in this the garage floor and not worry about system are constructed from 9-ply damaging the cabinetry or contents. hardwood plywood, and travel (Many of the companies listed on pages smoothly on double ball-bearing 24-25 also offer wall-hanging cabinets.) full-extensiondrawerslides.i

Learn from these professional applicators as they share their secrets for putting down a high-quality epoxy floor. Stirring upa batchoftwo-partepoxy istheeasypartofapplying a newgarage-floor covering. partisavoiding Thehard thetemptation preparation totakeshortcuts intherecommended steps. Here aretipsfromprofessionals your thatwillkeep floorlooking asgood twodecades fromnowasit does onDay 0ne. 1f, ccording to Todd Walker, owner of Absolute Garage in Des Moines, Iowa, about 50 percent of his businessis applying epoxy floors to home garages. tl u l"Concrete wasn't made to be coated,"Todd explains. "So to get it right, you have to trick the concrete."That means properly preparing the concrete to bond with the epoxy. In the caseof this car buff's garage,his builder passedalong incorrect advice about new concrete not needing preparation before the first coat of epoxy. The homeowner's attempt to fix the.first application with two additional coats of epoxy compounded the problem; the epoxy began peeling off in chunks. That's when the homeowner threw in the towel and called in the pros. Removing the old epoxy proved to be a 32-man-houriob. The new floor?Just 10 man-hours. 38

No shortcuts A long-lasting epoxy floor requires proper preparation of the concrete surface.First, remove every bit of the three layers of epoxy previously applied by the homeowner. A power scraper above (available from rental storesat about $60 a duy), peels up the layersof epoxy. Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas


* :.,..,1



. 4r4


Establishing a good bond between the cpoxy and conctete requires opelting 'l'his the pores of the concrete. holds true even with new concrete (a step civerlookedby some homeowners). Etching with muriatic acid is an option w i t h n e w c o n c r e t e . I n t h i s c t a s ea , n B"diarneter grinder (available at rental storcs) rernoves any stubborn epoxy and prepares the concrete for proper adhesion. The shot blaster, a specialty rnachine, obot,e,pounds the surface with tiny pellets. The photos r1glrfshow two stagesof the shot-blasted floor preparation and the finished surface.



A h a m m e ra n d c h i s e rl e m o v et h e t o p l a y e ro f caulkA . r i g h t - a n g lg e r i n d e rr e m o v e st h e c a u l k down to about 72".(Grinderguard removed for clarity.) 'l'hc

, \ n ' e l l - p r c p a r c . de p o x y g a r a g e f l o o r i s a sight to behold. Unfortunatelv, sorre honreowners who apply epoxy themselves eithel receirre incornpletc ;rdvice or rusl-r through tl-rc. stcps tl-rat will e n s L r r ea l o n g - l a s t i n g f l o o r . If an epoxy floor seel.nsright for you, kcep in rnind that thcr'e are several grades of epoxy. (For rnore details, see ltogc20.) Top epoxy grades contain rrore solids-the good stuff you want on youl 'lbdd, floor. the applicator frorn Des M o i n e s , u s e si n d u s t r i a l - q u a l i t y p r o d u c t s whether he's working on a two-car garageor a sprawling airplanc hangar. The top products are kinder to the nctsc during curing, too. Regardless of your epox\/ buclgct, make the rnost of your invcstrncnt by following recomlnended prcltaration steps. A good tootl-r (boncl)-opening up the concrete pores so the cpoxy has sornething to grab on to-is what drivcs thorough preparation. Witl-rout a good tooth, you are apt to see the coating bubble up. This is especially evident if you drive a ctar with hot tires onto a poorly preppcd floor.

rnost colrtnon preparation is with rnuriatic acid (available at hornc centers ancl paint stores) or Quikrete (lleaner. You'll see the acid bubbling away on the concrete and srnell the effects of something sin-rilar to rotten cggs. Be strre to ventilate your basement or garage properly, and thoroughly water-rinse tl're acid. Wait at least 24 hours before applying epoxy to be sure the concrete is cornpletely dry. If you rnust rclnove old paint or epoxy before applying a new coat, follow the t i p s d e s c r i b e d o n t h e s e p a g e s .I f y o u ' r e doing this yourself, plan for two days of preparation for a two-car garage. Your floor will have a srnoother appearance if you take tirne to fill cracks and the concrete saw cuts, as shown at ri3lrt. Although solnc homeowners are satisfied with premiurn-quality caulk'lbdd ing, prefers a slurry of patching epoxy corrlpound. "The problern with caulk is that eventually it will crack during expansion and contraction. Then your eycs go right to the crackl If the garage is on stable ground, I'vc found t h a t e p o x y i s l e s sp r o n e t o c r a c k i n g . J u s t take your tirre, and do a good job."


,d f" '-t

-, -,.



tu 'i.\

I t 1

A slurryof patchingepoxy compound replaces c a u l k a n d h o l d s u p w e l l t o s e a s o n a le x p a n s i o n and contraction of the floor.


To establish a crisp edge of epoxy at the garage door, Todd rolls out Z"-wide painter's tape directly below the garage door. Then a second layer of tape goes on top of the first. To make sure the tape is sealed well, Todd suggestsrunning a putty knife or drywall tool over the tape; this will prevent the epoxy from creeping beneath the tape. To stand up against wear from at the garage door, Todd creates extra-deep trough of epoxy using a right-angle grinder and a diamond wheel, as shown at rigltt. With the floor back to Square One, the fun begins. And what could be more fun than a rose-colored floor? Cut in the edges of the floor with a brush (page 3B), then roll on the epoxy with a 3/a" nap cover. Professionals use an 18"-wide roller (twice the width of the standard roller). Most epoxy applications require two coats to cover. While the first coat of 2-part epoxy is still wet, Todd and his crew sprinkle a custom rose-colored quartz (sand) over the entire 500-square-foot floor to provide additional traction. (What quartz doesn't stick gets swept up and sprinkled later over the second coat of wet epoxy.) After the final epoxy coat cures, a coat of satin polyurethane tops off the project. al Writtenbv Carl Voss

To createadditionaldepth for the epoxy coat beneaththe overheaddoor),removeabout l/to"of concretewith a right-anglegrinderand a diamondwheel.Two layersof 2"-wideblue painter's tape createa crispedgeto the epoxy.

Joespreadsthe first coatof red epoxy with a 24"-widesqueegee.Whilethe epoxy is stillwet, he usesan 18"-wideroller(twicethe standardwidth)to eventhe coat.Strap-oncleats(similarto a golf shoepattern)makewalkingeasieron the wet epoxy.

Whilethe first coatof epoxy is still wet, After the first coatcuresovernight,Todd JoeMcGuireduststhe entiregaragefloor with Walkersweepsup the looserose-colored rose-colored quartz. quartzthat wasn'tembeddedin the epoxy. 40

Finally,Joe spreadsa thin coatof clear polyurethaneoverthe secondcoatof cured epoxy.The polyurethaneaddsluster. Best-EverHome Shop ldeas


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Howto Unstuffa in 2 Drys Garage Froma shambles to shipshape-weuseda modestbudgetanda boatloadof greatideas to restoreorderto a readertdisastrously garage unorganized shop.Adaptthesesame ideasin yourshopto createan orderlyspace with ampleroomto movearound.


he mission: Demonstrate that your dream workshop may be closer,and more affordable,than you think. To prove it's possible, we visited the shop of WOOD@magazine reader and Seattle woodworker Mark Lea.Upon first inspection, his one-car garageshop looked more like a storage locker (seethe photo aboverrsht)than a functioning workshop. But after a single weekend,and for lessthan $1,000, we transformed Mark's shop into a model of efficiency that even he barely recognized.To accomplish this feat, the five basic organizational principles (oppositepage)were used to put things in order. NoW equipped with the ideas found here, you can do the same. 42

Best-Ever Home Shoo ldeas



5 basic principles of workshop organization Mobillty-This makesa smallshop work like a largeone. To create mobility, mobile baseswere added to Mark'stablesaw 8" jointer, and 14" bandsaw.(The router,belt/discsander,and planer already had wheels.)When the countertops and mitersaw station along one wall were added, resulting recessesserved to house Mark's largejointer and roll-aroundcabinets.After two days,his shop had only three wheellesstools (the workbench, mitersawstation,and drill press). Flexibility-Needs change from project to project and with each new tool purchase. The "Versa-cab" (see page 46) offers the maximum in flexibility. Shelves and drawers can be quickly relocatedto meet changing storage needs.The Triton lumber-rack system (page 45) has movable arms. The large tool recessin the corner accommodateseither Mark'smobile jointer or his mobile tablesaw. Accessibility-Organization means little if you can't get to things easily.To createaccessibility, we opened up Mark'sfloor spaceby creatingsensiblehomes for all the largetools. (Seethe shop floor plan on page44.)The open floor spacedramaticallyimprovesworkflow, providing obstruction-freeaccessto all parts of Mark'sshop. Durability-There's no point to doing the work if it's not going to last. For the shop's worksurfaces,birch plywood was used with hardwood edge strips; for the cabinetty, 3/+"MDF with heavyduty hardware.Mobile bases,made of welded steelfor maximum strength and durability, made moving large, heavy tools easy. For protection of the bare wood surfaces of Mark's countertops and cabinets,he'll need to apply at least two coats of oil-based polyurethaneto ensurelastingmaterialstability. Affordability-ln addition to making sure that the shop components last, purchasingthem at a low or reasonableprice also proved important. (See"Where the money went" on page 49.) ln Mark'sshop,all the materialsfor the cabinetryand countertopcost lesstlran 5440for five cabinets,multiple drawersand shelving,and more than 32 squarefeet of countertop.Lessthan S40was spent on the plywood holder.

Fora grid and tooltemplatesto begin planningyour shop,see








slrst, &ffidlverviâ&#x201A;Źtry srf tfue sh*;* trverh;I#fi


To best show you the improvements to Mark's shop,her e' sa diagr a m o f th e fl o o r p l a n , p l u s phot os t hat s ay it a l l . U s e th e p ro j e c t d ra w ings shown throughout this article to build the key components.

.ftfi t*1 L-1





\w E


'!]N "|N {*::lQi

K Proiect 2l Mrr[ft$AWwonxsrArtrlr*r Project

l: vf;ftss-f&rt sv$T*ru*

This customizablecabinetsystem,dubbedthe "Versa-cab"(seepage46 for the plan), works as a wall or basecabinet. The cabinet's15%"deeptop servesas a shelf for tool cases.

More than 32 square feet of countertop, not including the mitersaw platform, were added to Mark's shop. As you can seefrom the photos, none of the space,either above or below the countertop, is wasted. Most mitersawsbenefit when they have permanent homes with plenty of work support on either side. Our mitersaw platform, supported by neighboring "Versa-cab" base cabinets, is deceptively simple to build, and effective in function. (Seepage47 for the plan.)




Mobile belUdisc sander li


Project 3: sm*.r.r ccs#s KA{K A long but shallow rack allows Mark to store full-size and partial sheet goods in spite of the shop's limited ceiling height of 7' 9". (See page 48 for the plan.) It includes a hinged containment stretcher for easy material removal. We even threw in extra storage for dowel rods that come in the form of two spaced sections of heavy-duty carpet tubing.



Mobile tool cabinet

Mitersaw station


Lumber rack Mobilerouter tableunder bench

Mobile bandsaw

Mobiletool cabinet underbench

,*/ ll/\

ry MOBILEBASES ThreeHTCmobilebasesaddedto the largerpowertools significantlyimprovedMark's workshopmobility.( or call 7'17-764-5000) 44



\ Drill

) /oress Overheaddoor

Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas



Project Two sirnple wall cabinets perchecl above the countertops rnake a htrge difference in tl-re sntall shop's a v a i l a b l e s t o r a g es p a c e . B e c a t r s es u r f a c c - r n o u n t e dc o n c l u i t preventecl us frorn r-r-rountingthe caltinets togcther, we u s e d t h e o p p o r t u n i t y t o a d c i a d j t r s t a b l es h e l v i n g b e t w e e r - r t h e t r v o . A s a f i n a l t o u c l - r ,s h o p b r u s l - r e s( n o t s e c . ni n t h i s plroto) find a hancly home on thc cabinet sicle'.(Seepo;gc19 f o r c o n s t r u c t i o n d e t a i l s .)



T ei*.'.**'F!

il I

-l i*







\ \




\ \.

L U M B E RR A C KT r i t o n ' ss t u r d y l u m b e r r a c k , m o u n t e d a b o v e t h e countertop, leavesMark plenty of room for "current project" m a t e r i a l ,a n d t h o s e s p e c i a lb o a r d s s e t a s i d e f o r a n h e i r l o o m t o come. (Visit or call 800-279-4441.\

Of all the features shown herc, Mark Lea was rnost appreciative of his new bench that incorporated a rnitersaw station. "lt was really nice to have a full-length bench along the wall. But overall, I can't tell you l-row it meant



L A R G EP O W E R - T O O L R E C E S SL e a v i n g s p a c e u n d e r n e a t h t h e countertops allowed us to store and protect Mark's 8" jointer. T h e s p a c ei s l a r g e e n o u g h t o a l t e r n a t ea s a t e m p o r a r y h o m e f o r the tablesawaswell.

to rne to have an organized shop. And I've kept it that wav!" Mark's shop also includes a 2-stage Delta dust collector on wheels that he rloves from machine to rnachine. Mark also has a pancake cotnpressor to run a varietv of nailers.

Mark recently moved into a new horre, with a Zl/z-cardetached garage that serves as his shop. All of the benches and fixtures shown on these pages moved to Mark's new space. 'l-he only rnaior upgrade in his new shop is a glearning epoxy floor.


I vrnsn-cAB

1/q"groove 7e" deep 3/q"trom back edge

s/q"rabbel Te"deep

41/2" 81/2"


t/a" dadoes th" deep

7+"dadoes Te"deep

Project I: "vERsA-cAB" TOO T . CA B I NE T SY ST E M This simple cabinet design (Drawing1) offers the ultimate in versatility; hence the name. It accommodates multiple drawers,shelves,or vertical dividersor a mix of all three. Placeit vertically as a basecabinet on the floor, or mount it vertically or horizontally on the wall. Becausethe dividers lay looselyin their slots,the layout of each cabinet can be quickly reconfigured to meet changing needs.The cabinet sizemakesoptimum use of a sheetof medium-density fiberboard (MDF). The spacingbetween the dividers proves ideal for medium-size drawers and many smaller tools, tool cases,and other items. Overall, the cabinet measures (when vertical) 15%" deep, 13LA'wide, and 381/+"high. At its most basic, it has three equal compartments of ll3/+x7I3Ax743/E" . The individua I spaces, with dividers installed, are 33/+"wide. When routing thre V+"wide, 3/a"deep


s/o'\ s/q" rabbel Ta" deep

1/q"groove 7e" deep


\ t/+" groove a/a"deep 3/q"trom back edge

grooves for the cabinet backs and drawer bottoms. make certain the L/+" hardboard fits somewhat loosely into 3/+u 153/q" 381/t" MDF A sides the grooves. If the fit is too tight, the remaining lip may split away from top andbottom 3/q" 153/c" "l2yz' MDF '121h" the MDF. As you assemblethe cabinet centerdividers 3/4" 143/+" MDF carcase and the drawer boxes, glue t/i' D back 121/2" 371/2" HB the r/+"hardboard into the grooves to t/q" '123/ro"143/l' HB partitions provide extra strength. drawerfront 3/4n 311/.t6" "l1s/e" MDF Fx We found that once all the parts are andback 3/l' 311/16" 14" cut and routed, and assumingyou have G* drawersides MDF a finish nailer, each cabinet, including Hx drawerbottoms 1/q' 107/e" 14' HB three drawer boxes, can be assembled * foronedrawer. Quantity in about an hour. Materials key:MDF-medium-density fiberboard,


2 2

6 2 2


Assemblethe Versa-cabby giuing and fitting the centerdividers (C)and the cabinet back(D)into the sides(A).Glueand nailthe dividersand cabinetends,squarethe cabinet,and then nail through the backinto the dividersto stiffen the cabinet. 46

For wall installation,add a horizontalcleat insidethe cabinetand to its back,securingit to the sides.Then drive screwsthrough the cleatand backand into the wall studs. To increise the versatilityof the partitions,add a dowel for storing circular-sawbladesof 10" or less. Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas


p nltrrERsAW woRKsrATtoN


# 8 x 1 t / 2 "F . H .wood

( \






#8 x 3" F.H. wood screw




6d finishnail

t 21/a"


6d finishnail



-{l 3/z'\--


Materials List frontedging

3/c" 21/au




3/+u 2Y4'




3/+u 2Y4'


mitersaw platform

3/+" 261A" 26"


Platform suppons

3/c" 31h" 26Y4'



platformedging 3/q" 21/q" 27y2"




l* J*

bottomcleats 1Y2" "l1A^ 153/+" P frontbasetrim 3/+" 1y2" "143/q" P



3/+" 11h"

endsupport crossrails



As basecabinetssupportingthe mitersawworkstation, the flexibleVersa-cabs accommodatemultipledrawers, shelves,and verticaldividers.The divisionof space within the cabinetsallowsfor storageof smaller toolsand other items.The spacebehindthe cabinets providesroom to run the dust-collectorhoseout of the way and to the jointer.


Project 2z MITERSAW WORKSTATION As with most workshops, the mitersaw serves as one of the busiest tools in Mark's shop, and it neededa permanent home. Mark needed additional work surfaceand storagecapacity.Theseneeds were met by installing a mitersaw workstation along the 18' right-hand wall (looking in from the garagedoorway). The mitersaw workstation was centered on the wall to allow maximum cutting length to the left or right. TWo Versa-cabs(Drawing1) installed as base cabinets support the countertops on either side of the mitersaw. Wall cleats(D) were screwedinto studs

to support the outside end of the left countertop and the countertop back. If you don't carry the countertop all the way to the corner, build the end support (Drawing2). Either solution will provide firm support. Mark's shop had an uneven and sloped concretefloor that required a little extra effort when setting the base cabinets. To solve the problem, the position of the base cabinets was located, and then measured up from the highest spot on the floor. The top of the wall cleat was positioned 41" from this high spot to allow the Versa-cabbase cabinets to fit


1Y2" 2"





3/+' 31h"










153/+" P

3/c" 3Y2" 3/q" 3Y2'




foronecabinet. Quantity

onmitersaw I3y4-4',depending tableheight, plywood, Materials key:BP-birch P-pine,P0-poplar.

underneath the countertop (Drawing 2). Next, a 4S"-long level line was drawn from this mark. We lengthened the level line acrossthe entire wall with a chalk line, and used the mark to install the wall cleats. Becauseof this floor variation, the height of the end supportswas adiusteduntil level with the line. 47

With the countertops installed but not attached to the base cabinets, the base cabinets were positioned and leveled to maintain 2712"between the sidesof the cabinets.This spacing left a 3/+"gap between the side of the base cabinet and the countertop side edging (C). The gap left spaceto maneuver the mitersaw platform supports (F) into the correct position. We then attached the countertops to the base cabinets through the top cleats(H). We placed a long straightedgeacross both countertops to act as a guide while leveling and plumbing the base cabinets. For Mark's shop, one of the bottom cleats (I) was shaved, and we added cedar shims where needed to even up cabinets. Nails were driven through the cabinet bottom to hold the shims and cleats in place. We secured the bottom of the cabinetsto the floor by applying concrete-compatible silicone to the trim parts (J, K) before nailing them in place. The end result: a perfectly level countertop.

To align the top surfaceof the mitersaw with the countertop,we useda combination squareand measureddown from Mark's mitersawtable. We then trimmed the width of the platform supports (F)to that measurement,less7+",to provide adjustabilityfor the platform positioning without sacrificingstrength.

Setthe depth of the front of the mitersaw platform first by slidingthe platform supports (F)behindthe countertopedging (C).Clamp the platform supportsto the neighboring cabinet sides.Setthe depth of the platform's back,and screwit in placeat that location. Returnto the front, recheckthe depth, and finish screwingthe platform in place.Add the mitersaw,and recheckthe height.

p snerr-GooDs RAcK

6" strap hinge

3 A ax 1 1 / z 'F . H .

boltsand nuts. #8 x 3" F.H.wood screws centeredover wall studs




#12 x s/e" F.H.screw

Door hook and eye screw The lower (containment)stretcher(B)of the sheet-goodsrack is held in placeby a 6" strap hinge bolted to the rack'sside and a hook and eye at the other end.

#8 x 1t/2"F

Project 3: sHEEr-GooDs RACK Every shop needs a place to store sheet goods, including sheet-good scraps. Mark's shop is no exception. However, the limited ceiling height (7' 9") of Mark's garageshop required some special considerations.To meet that need,' we built a rack for horizontal storage with enough spaceinside for 97"-long sheetsof MDF (Drawing3). Becausethe wall-mounted Versa-Cab above the rack prevents placing full sheets in the holder by lifting them over the lower containment stretcher, 48

Ss/a' 314

we designed a "swing-out" containment stretcher (B) that improves the accessibilityof the rack. The trough at the bottom of the rack contains the materials in a defined and generous space. The rear stretcher at the top allows you to firmly mount the rack to wall studs. For added versatility, we also mounted two short








3/q" 53/q" 97Y2"

48' 31h"

99" P

Materialkey: P-pine.

sections of heavy-duty cardboard carpet tubing (shown in the photo on page44 and at left) to the sidefor containing dowelsand other thin-strip material. Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas


Wallstud #8 x 3" F.H. wood screws

@ wnu cABINET

s/q"rabbet 7e"deep 1/q"groove 3/8"deep 3/q"from back edge

Roller-catch strike

Roller catches 30"

Roller-catch strike



/e" round-overalong outsideedges

223/e" 1/q"groove


s/e"deep 3/q"trom back edge Full-overlay hinge


Two wall cabinetswere mounted 18"above the countertop besidethe mitersawworkstation. The 18" spacebetweenthe cabinets allowsthem to supportadjustableshelving for added storage.


sides 12" top and bottom 3/+" '12"

Proicct 4: wnll cABlNEr



Most shops require at least some degree of protected storagewhere dust can't enter.This wall cabinet meetsthat need simply, affordably, and quickly. Cut the parts shown in Drawing4to size.If you're making a pair of cabinets that support shelving in between, first determine which cabinet sides will support the shelving. On these sides, drill the holes for the shelf pins all the way through, where shown. This



Where the money went All in all, the workover at Mark'sworkshop was limited to a budget of 51,000, makingthe changesaffordable.Therewasevencashleft over.Here'swhat had to be purchased to put thingsin order: Bandsawmobile base Jointermobile base Tablesawmobile base 32"medium-densityfiberboard(MDF)(5 sheets) 7+"hardboard (4 sheets) 3/q"birch plywood (3 sheets)

s106 106 80 142 47 108

7+"poplarand pine


Tritonlumber rack







23y4" MDF

231/a" 291h"

3/4" 1115/$tt 30"



shelf edging

3/+' 101/+" 223/e" MDF 3/q" 1y2" 223/a" PO




E* shelves



HB 2


221h" PO

2 1

- Optional quantity, shelf andshelf edging depending onneed. W*a MDF-med ium-density fiberboard, HB-hardboard, P0-poplar. way, the holes can house a shelf pin on either side.Next, drill /t" holes 7s"deep on the interior faces of the opposing cabinet sides. Assemble the cabinet carcase and dry-fit th'e Y+"back in place to ensure that it's not so tight as to risk splitting off the lip behind. Then, glue the 7e" backing into the /e" grooves, and glue and nail the sides, top, and bottom together. To ease assembly and hanging, align and predrill the hinge holes for the doors, but don't mount the doors until after hanging the cabinet. Install the cleat on the cabinet by using glue and nailing into the ends of the cleat and into the cabinet sides. Using 3" deck screws,we installed the cabinets to wall studs, where shown, checking for level. Il Written by Mike Satterwhlte Profectdesigns:Kevin Boyle lllustrations:Roxanne LeMoine; Lorna fohnson Photographs:Richard McNamee


cheap as dirt, solid as a rock 50

Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas


Corner or straight bench:

itt your choice youhowtomake This article shows thecorner bench shown (shown youprefer opposite.lf astraight bench atleft),follow the (A),twoends (C), same instructions, butmake tworightbases and (D). thelongtop(D). 0mitthebiscuit slots in Use thecutouts from (A)tomake (F).Fityour therightbases twolongbase shelves straight bench withoptional shelves ateachendbymaking thelong (H,l) andthelongandshortshelves (J,K)fromthe andshortcleats particleboard. extra Forthe itemsneededto build this project,see the MaterialsListand Cutting Diagramon poge 55.

Cut out the bench parts ! femporarily fasten 4-tong 2x4 I extensions to a pair of sawhorses, and lay a sheet of 3/+"particleboard across them. The extensions will support both the workbench parts and the cutoffs as you work. Referring to the Materials List, mark the width of the right base (A) on the sheet. Measure the distance from the ! -right edge of your circular saw's shoe to the right side of the blade. Lay a second sheet of particleboard ontothe first, offsetting it from the A marked width on Part A by the distance you measured on your circular saw. Clamp the second sheet to the first, and cut part A to width.

I Using the cutoff from the first part J A as a straightedge,clamp it to the other sheets(PhotoA), offsetting it your measured distance from the Darts' dimensions.Cut the rest of the puttt A, B, C, D, and E to size. out the end and center cutouts Afuy 'lon the right bases(A) and left bases (B) (Drawing1). Drill blade-start holes and jigsaw the cutouts, or seethe Shop Tip on page 55 for making inside cuts with your circular saw. up one edge of the four base (frue dcenter cutouts. Cut the upper and lower long base shelves (F) out of the cutouts from the right bases(A), and the upper and lower short base shelves(G) Usingthe edgeof a secondsheetto guideyour out of the cutouts from the left bases(B) saw,cut the first part A to width. Savethe cutoff (Drawing1). asa straightedgefor cuttingthe other parts.

Form interlocking

With the slot template (painted green for clarity in this photo) guiding the flush-trim bit's pilot bearing, rout the slot in the end (C).


I Vat<ethe slot template (Drawingt) I from leftover particleboard. To cut the slot as accurately as possible,use a iigsaw and straightedge.Mark the outside corner, where shown. f Retrieveone of the ends (C), and Sclamp the template to it, aligning the template's marked corner with one of the part's corners. Chuck a 72" flush-trim bit into your handheld router, and rout the l%o"-wide slot (Photo B). In the same manner, rout the other three slots (Drawing1), flipping the template as needed. I Using the slottedend (C) as a temrJplate, clamp it in turn to the other part C and the two left bases(B), and rout the slots into those parts, where dimensioned (Drawing1).

Rout, drill, slot, finish, and assemble Chuck a le' round-over bit into I your handheld router, and rout all edgesof parts A, B, C, R and G. On the long top (D) and short top (E), rout all the edges except where the two tops butt together, where indicated (Drawings1 and 2). S/sz"countersunk shank holes fnriU Sinto parts D, E, R and G (Drawing1). I nOlust your biscuit cutter to center J a slot in the thickness of the particleboard. Plunge mating slots into parts D and E, where shown. To keep the tops aligned, insert #20 biscuits without glue into the slots. protect the bench from Al" Tmoisture and grime, apply two coats of finish to all the parts before assembly.Apply a third coat to the top !


Iennrs vrEW



Note: Alledgeshave t/e"round-overs,except where indicatedon parts@ and @.

38" I 26',



END (2 needed)

L 6"

I StsAa' l-+1




















LONG BASE SHELF (2 needed)



i1 I-i

96 96"



shankhole,countersunk i\ 1.-t \ lll









L *lrt 8" | 8" | 8" l{15, :-l No round-over for30"1j

No round-overon this end



3" 8" 8" 8"

13/.16" 51s/ra"

-]t t r-f



l_ -+1

10" F-



Best-Ever llome Shop ldeas



flexeloDEDvrEW No round-overs

4-#20biscuitsfor tiign;erii (Donotglue.)


#8x2" F.H.wood screws






#8 x 11/2F " .H. wood screw

t/a"round-overs alongalledges

# 8 x 1 1 / q 'F . H . wood screw

#8 x 2" F.H. wood screws /e" round-oversalongall edges t/e"round-overson front edges only

after assembly.To keep the cost down, /ou can use any house paint or finish. (We used satin polyurethane.) the finish dry, enlist a helper and assemblethe bench (Draw(Witfr J ing 2) and in the four photos on page 54.Take care in handling the bases(A, B).The 6"-wide "rails" are somewhat fragile until the basesare interlocked and supported by the ends (C) and shelves(R G). Using the previously drilled shank holes in parts D, E, R and'G as guides,drill pilot holes into their mating parts, and drive in the screws.

Add the optional shelves fo add shetvesto the ends of your workbench (Drawing2 andPhoto I C), cut the long and short cleats(H, I) and shelves(J, K) to size. ya"round-overs onto the front edgesof the shelves.DrilI s/zz" lnout lcountersunk shank holes through the cleats.Locate the holes L" in from both ends of each cleat,then evenly spacetwo more holesbetween those. Apply two coatsof finish to the shelvesand cleats. I Using the shank holes in the cleatsas guides, drilt pilot holes into rf the bases(A, B), and screw the cleats in place. Position the long cleats so the long shelvesare flush with the bottom of the bases'end cutouts. Position the short cleats to accommodate the height of the items you plan to store. You may want to make more than one short shelf for each end. Lay the long shelvesonto the long cleats.Drill pilot and countersunk shank holes,and screwthe long shelvesto their cleats. Lay the short shelvesinto place. Jl I

After assembly, installoptionalshelvesto furtherexpandstoragespace.


I n t e r l o c kt h e s l o t s i n t h e l e f t b a s e s( B )w i t h t h e r i g h t b a s e s( A ) .

I n t e r l o c kt h e s l o t s i n t h e e n d s ( C )w i t h t h e b a s e s .A d d t h e l o w e r b a s e s h e l v e s( F ,G ) .

D r i l l p i l o t h o l e s ,a n d s c r e wt h e u p p e r b a s es h e l v e s( F ,G ) in place.

P o s i t i o nt h e l o n g a n d s h o r t t o p s ( D , E ) .D r i l l p i l o t h o l e s ,a n d s c r e w them in place.

Meet the designers

fa ,ffiffi

ru T*

ff 54


Chad Veach, far left, a professionalengineer, and Carneron Campbell, an architect teaching at Iowa StateUniversity,collaboratedon this entry for Best Original Workbench Design in WOOD@magazine's GreatAmericanWorkshopsContest. By replacinglegswith interlockingpanels,their design elirninated the problem of making rigid connections between the benchtop and legs. In the corner configuration, each section reinforces the other, which increasesworkbench stability. Chad and Carneron also included a continuous overhanging edge for clamping and shelvesdeep enough to storelargetools or shop materials. Usingonly a circularsaw,drill, and jigsaw(alternative to a router),they built the original bench in half a day.

Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas



Cutting Diagram

s/qx 48 x 96" Particleboard (2 needed)


3/+x 48 x 96" Particleboard


s/qx 48 x 96" Particleboard (2 needed)

s/qx 48 x 96" Particleboard

3/+x 48 x 96" Particleboard

Materials List

Making inside cuts with a circular saw To get arrow-straightedges when m ak ingins idec u ts ,l i k eth e o n e sn e e d e d to removethe cutoutsin the workbench bases,useyour circularsary a straightedge, and a t ec h n i q u ec a l l e dp l u n g e cutting.Here'show. Measurethe offset from the edge of your circularsaw'sshoe to the side of the blade.Clamp a straightedgeto the part, offsettingit that distancefrom the cutout'slayoutline.With the saw's depth adjustmentloose,raisethe blade abovethe part'ssurface.Startingat one ins idec or ner ,h o l d th e s h o e a g a i n s t the straightedge, and swivelthe blade guard out of the way. Switch on the

A rightbases


B leftbases


C ends


D longtop


E shorttop


F lonqbaseshelves 3/i' G shortbaseshelves 3/+'

saw, and lower the blade through the part, asshownin the photo above. Keepingthe saw'sshoe againstthe straightedge, continueyourcut,stopping at the next corner'sintersectinglayout line.Repeatwith the otherthreesidesof the cutout.Finishthe cutsat the corners with a handsaw.


30" 66', 25'



417/e" P

H longcleats


11/z" 231/+'


I shortcleats


11/2" 161/2"


J longshelves

3/+' 161/z' 23t/i'


K shortshelves





Material keyl P-particleboard. 5upplies:#8x1%" flathead woodscrews, #8x1h"flathead woodscrews, #8x2'flathead woodscrews, #20biscuits. Bits: %"flush-trim, %"round-over routerbits.




We packedall thesetoolsand bits-l35 piecestotal-into an instant-access storageunit that takesup just 2x2'ofwall yourshop! Thinkof how it will helporganize space.

Rlec ects Editor

"# f.

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# l d/ #t d$$#d

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,Jg g s t $ }uu1 4-l*









Spinthe entirecarouselto accesseach of its six tool-holdingwings ...


...and rotate eachwing to accessboth of its sidesand the centercolumn. Best-EverHome Shopldeas 2009

*'fr*"'\ I

flroe ANDBorroM

s/ez"shank hole.

181/2" 63/q

7sz"shankhole,countersunk on,topof @ and bottomof@

l IF 1il. l 'Til 16"

Locatibnof parts@

7se"shankholein parts@and@, redrill tzlo+"hole

in part@

# 8 x 1 1 / z 'F . H . wood screw

Forthe itemsneeded to build this project, seethe MaterialsList and Cutting Diagram on poges58 ond 59.


handy shop helper is the brainchild of reader Maw of Kleinburg, Ontario. His ingenious Jim I I design earned the prize for WOODo magazine's "Best Storage Solution or Organizer for Power Tool Accessories"in our Great American Workshops Contest. We liked Jim's organizer so much that we obtained the design rights from him, then built one ourselvesso we can presentthe plans here.

I cnnousEl -

#8 x 11/qR ' .H.




7/a+"pilol 1" deep

t/aq"pilol hole, centered



t/q" hole g/a"deep centered

on part@

# 8 x 1 1 / z 'F . H . wood screw

t/q" dowel z/a" long 1/q"flal washer

Start with the carousel fo make the top (A) and bottom (B), stick together two I Yzx76x787z" piecesof plywood with double-facedtape. Mark the top one "A" and the bottom one "B." Referringto Drawing1,lay out the hexagonalshapeand location of the holes on the top (A). Bandsawcloseto the line, then sand the top and bottom to shape. the six 7rz"holes around the perimeter,and the lOritt jfour 7sz"holes around the center through both parts. Countersink the center holes on the top surfaceof part A and the bottom surfaceof part B. Drill the 1" hole at the center.Make indexing marks acrossone edgeof the joined parts for later reference.Separatethe parts. Enlarge the perimeter holes in the bottom (B) to tzk+". Q Cut the core sides (C) to the size given on the MarJ terialsList. Glue and clamp the core together in the configuration shown on Drawing2. Make surethe ends are flush. Drill pilot and countersunk shank holes where shown, and drive in the screws.Removethe clamps. position the core between the top (A) and bottom Ato cut two 3/tx5lzx73Vz" spacers.Make the spacers "l1f;, from poplar. [You can rip them later to 5" wide for the brackets(G).1Clamp the corebetweenthe top and bottom (PhotoA). Using the countersunk shank holes in the top and bottom as guides,drill pilot holes into the ends of the core, and drive in the screws. I



7ez"shankhole, countersunkon bottomface

With the indexing markson the top (A) and bottom (B)facing upward, use spacers to positionthe core paralleltotwo sides. Measurein from the points,centering the core.


#B x3/q" F.H. wood screw ---\


T s z "s h a n k h o l e , c o u n t e r s u n k = - i


A t t a c ha n a u x i l i a r y extensionto your m i t e rg a u g e ,c l a m p on a stopblock,and cut the notchesinto the back(F),making severalpasses.

p exeloDED vrEW

# Bx 2 " F . H . wooo screw

Add rotating panels from 7+"tempered hardboard, cut the six panels (D) to I the size listed. the panel cleats (E) to the size listed. Mark, )Cut tbandsaw,and sand the r/2"radrr on their ends (Drawing2). For the six upper cleats, dtlll 7/o+"holes, centered on the length and the 72"thickness, where shown. For the six lower cleats, drill centeredT/q"holes 7a" deep. Cut six Vl" dowelsT/s" long, and glue them into the holes in the lower cleats. and clamp the cleats (E) to the panels (D), where QCtue rJshown. Set the panels aside.


7sz"shankhole, countersunk



'-tloa" pilot holei

jtl+" lag scre i 3%" long


Make the wall bracket Laminate two .t/+x51/qx22r/2" board.s for the back (F). I With the glue dry, joint one edge and rip and crosscut it to size. Install a 3/+"dado blade in your tablesaw, and form the notches for the brackets (G), where dimensioned on Drawing3, as shown in Photo B. the boards used earlier for spacers, and cut the fRetrieve (G) to the size listed. Mark the angled cuts, Sbrackets where dimensioned on Drawing3. Bandsaw, and sand to the penciled lines. the lower arm (H) and upper arm (l) to size. Using a QCut JForstner bit, drill the 1" hole 1/2"deep into the lower arm, and the 1" hole in the upper arm (Drawing3). The holes are centered on the widths of parts H and L lllCtue and clamp the brackets (G) to the back (F). Drill 'Tpilot and countersunk shank holes, and drive in the screws. Remove the clamps. In similar fashion, glue, clamp, and screw into place the lower arm (H) and upper arm (l).



Finish and mount the carousel Sand all the parts to 220 grit, easing I the edgeswith a sandingblock. Apply the finish of your choice.We brushed on two coatsof satin polyurethane, sanding lightly with Z2O-gritsandpaperbetween coats. You can also prime and paint to match existing cabinetry. r/+x3r/+x37/+" h ardboard blan ks ) Cut tw o jfor the washers(J).Marktheir centers, and draw 3"-diametercircles.Drill centered 1" holes,and bandsawthe washers to shape. QCut the cover plate (K) to size.Drill rJcountersunk shank holes at the four corners(Drawing3). !





1" hole 1/2"deeo # 8 x 1 1 / 2F " .H. wooo screw

z/J+'pilot ire ( s/q" deee

7/aq"pilol hole 7+" deep

) sAz"shankhole, #8 x 11/z'F.H.wood screw countersunk

Cutting Diagram

t/zx 24 x 48" Birchplywood

1/qx 24 x 48" Hardboard

3/qx 51/zx 96" Poolar






3 / q x 5 1 / zx 9 6 " P o p l a r


Best-Ever Home Shoo ldeas


the finish dry, drill 7+"holes lwitn 'tthrough the wall-bracket back (F). Transfer these locations to the wall at a stud location. Drill pilot holes into the stud. Now, fasten the wall bracket with V+"Iag screws3lz" Iong. a 773/+"-long piece of 1" dowel. (Cut JPlace the carouselbetweenthe upper and lower arms. Slidethe washers(J) into placebetween the carouseland the arms. Drop the dowel in from the top, seatingit into the hole in the lower arm (H). Center the cover plate (K) over the upper arm's dowel hole. Using the shank holes in the cover plate as guides, drill pilot holes, and drive in the screws. 1lArcange your tools on the panels, lfand make the holders. For the mounting methods we used, see the sidebar,right. the holders now attached to JWittr J the panels, slip washers over the bottom cleats' 7+" dowels, and tip the panels into place, seating the bottom cleat dowelsinto the holesin the carousel'sbottom (B). Slide a #8 flat washer between the top cleat and the carousel top (A), where shown on Drawing2. Securethe panels to the top (A) with flat washersand roundhead screws.Attach the tools and bits. .l Written by f an Svec with Chuck Hedlund Projectdesign:f im Maw; Kevin Boyle lllustrations:Roxanne LeMolne; Lorna fohnson

Materials List B bottom



C coresides


41/q" 15"

D panels


71/c' 147/d,

E panelcleats








G brackets



H lowerarm



F* back



I upper arm J* washers


K coverplate




12 LP


3"diam, 3"


*Parts initially cutoversize. Seetheinstructions. plywood, Materlals key: BP-birch P-poplar, H-tempered poplar. hardboard, LP-laminated (4),#8x1%" Supplies:#8x7i'flathead woodscrews flathead (32), (3),#8x'17c" woodscrews #8x2"flathead woodscrews (6),#8flatwashers (i2),'/i'flat roundhead woodscrews (6),1/t" washers lagscrews 3%"long(2),7a" dowel,1"dowel. Bladesand bits: Stack dadoset,1"Forstner bit.

Source Tool Holders:Lookforspring-clip toolholders andmagnetictoolholders atyourlocalhardware store, homecenter, orwoodworking specialty store.

Adding your tools and bits

Arrangeon the panelsthe bits or tools you wish to store in the carousel.Leave enough clearancebetween itemsto allow for easyhandling.

ow many of the hundred-plus small items that clog the drawersin your shop can you fit onto your carousel? To plan the arrangement of your tools and bits, place the panels (D/E) on your workbench, and position the items, as shown in PhotoC. You can store items on both sidesof each panel, and also on the core. Note: For the panels to rotate, there must be clearancebetween each panel and the core.No bit, tool, or tool holder may protrude beyondan imaginary 8'diametercylindeq centeredon the pqnel. Items storedon the coremust not interferewith thepanels' rotation. For tools that can hang from pegs, mark the locations, and drill holes through the panels. Insert machine screws,and thread on nuts, as shown on Drawing4. For drill bits and other tools that fit into round holes, measure the bit or tool center-to-center distances, and transfer these dimensions to blocks of wood. Drill holes slightly larger than the bit-shank or tool diameters. Clamp the holders to the panels.Drill pilot and countersunk shank holes from the opposite side, and drive in screws.(We didn't glue the holders in place, just in case we ever need to rearrangeour panel layout.)

After fasteningspring-cliptool holders to the panelwith machinescrewsand nuts, snapthe tools into place.

Toavoidhavingto makeintricate parts, holdersfor smallor odd-shaped mounta magnetic toolholderwitha machine screwandnut. If some of your tools have their own small casesor holders, you may wish to mount them to panels. To permanently attach the case, drill holes through it and the panel, and fasten with machine screwsand nuts. For removable attachment, adhere Velcro tape to the case and panel. Other easymounting methods are to use spring clips, as shown in PhotoD, and magnetic tool holders, as shown in



I I Overall dimensions: Toolcabinet,273/+u wide x 253/te" deep x 852e"high. Toolbase,2"17/s" widex 2213/te" deep x 367h"high. I Inexpensive materials areeasyon the wallet.One-stopshoppingfor most partsand simpleconstruction make thisa greatweekendprofect. I Benchtop toolsbolt to traysthatfit overthe top of the tool base.For storage,lift the tool andtrayoff the base,andslidethem intothe cabinet. I Rollthe cabinets out to work,awayfor storage.Dual-locking provide casters both mobilityandstability.SeeSource on page64.

Skill Builder I Makea simplejig to cut rabbetsfor half-lapjointsin multipleoversize parts at once.

3" rabbet s/+"deep


t/+"holes s/a"deep, centered

3/ro"groove 3/8"deep 3/a"trom outside face

TOOL-BASESTILE (Leftfront insideface shown)

Make the case sides Setect straight 2x4s with as few I knots aspossiblefor the tool-cabinet stiles (A), rails (B), and stretchers(C), and the tool-base stiles (M), rails (N), and stretchers (O). Clean up the 2x4 faceswith a random-orbit sander.Then, rip and ioint both edges to the 3" finished width. NoW cut the parts to the finished lengths (MaterialsLtst,page64). afuy out the stiles(A, M), rails 18,N;, Sand stretchers(C, O) in the arrangements shown (Drawings2 and 3). Then mark the locations of the rabbets, notches,and grooves(Drawings1, 2, 2a, and 3). Cut the rabbetsand notches. Set the stretchers aside. Now, making two passesover the tablesaw blade, cut 3/ra" Markholelocationson maskingtape appliedto grooves7a"deep in the stilesand rails for a perforatedhardboardstrip.Usingthe stripas a guide,drillthe holesinto the stiles(A). the panels (D, P). Note: We used%c"perforatedhardboardfor the panels (D, P). For /e" perforatedhardboard, cut the groovesin one pass with a dado blade. let wood screws I Cut the panels (D, P) to size. Drydo the clamplng J assemblethe sides(A/B/D and M/N/ P) to check the fit. Make any necessary Here'sa way to cut down on the adiustments. Then, glue and clamp the c l a m pi ng ti me and number . of sideswith the smooth face of the panels clampsneededto glue up the sides facing out. Check the sides for square. (Al Bl D and M/N /P ). A ftercl ampi ng To speed the side glue-up process, see up the first side and checkingfor the ShopTip at rtght. square,drill a screw hole centered the sides assembled, drill y+" in each half-lapjoint. Then, drive fWitn Tholes through the tool-cabinet screws, as shown at right, remove stiles (A), and /r" holes 7a" deep in the the clamps, and set the assembly inside faces of the tool-base stiles (M) aside.NoW your clampsand bench (Drawings1,2, and 3, PhotoA). The photo space are free for assemblingthe shows drilling the holes into the toolnext side. cabinet stiles. I

3" rabbet s/q"deep

3/ro"groove s/e"deep 3/q"tfom outside face

3" F-TOOL-CABINETSTILE (Leftfront insideface shown)



#8x3/c"F.H.woodscrew--1 b-

Countersunk shankhole -

3/ro"grooves 7e" deep 3/+"ffom outside face

the tops (E, Q) to size, and rout lCut 3le' round-overs along the edges z/q" deep (Drawings2 and 3). Then, clamp the tops to the cases,drill screw holes, and drive the screws.Align the tool-cabinet top (E) flush with the back stretcher(C), centered side-to-side and overhanging the front #8 x 11/z'F.H. I stretcher. Align the tool-base top (a) / wood screw t./ flush with the caseall around. I 1/e" the bottoms (F, R) to size. [Make Cut Q round-over rJthe necessaryadjustment for Ve"perforated hardboard panels (D, P).1 Draw the corner notches (Drawings2 and 3), and cut them out (PhotosC and D). Rout round-overs, where shown. Apply glue to the top edgesof the lower stretchers (C, O), and clamp the bottoms in place.Drill 1tl2"rabbets 3/4" deep screw holes, and drive the screws. Afuy the casesfacedown. Cut the caster (G, S) to size, and glue and Tblocks clamp them in place (Drawings2 and 3). the backs (H, T) to size. Center (Cut 3/ro"grooves rrthe backs side-to-sideon the cases, wood screw 2t/q"rabbels7+"deep 7e"deeP3/+"trom outsideface and clamp them in place. Then, drill 3/+ x 3"notch Assemble the cases screw holes and drive the screws. I Retrievethe stretchers(C) and tool- brace, see>rn/brace.) I basestretchers(O). Usingright-angle Then with the four cabinet stretchers Add trays, shelf, and door braces to align the stretchers, attached to the first side,add the second I for the tool cabinet, cut the tray glue and screwthem to one side (A/B/D side (PhotoB), and glue and screw it in I panels (I) to size, and for the tool and M/N/P) (Drawings2 and 3). (To place. The photo shows adding the base,cut the shelf panel (U) to size.Then, dbwnload a free plan for a right-angle second side to the tool cabinet. cut the short edging (J), long edging (K), 2t/q" rabbets


& t

@,@ Handsaw

t -* .*-/

Long cut made with a portable circularsaw

E With the stretchers (C)attached to the first side (AlBlDl, apply glue to the stretcher rabbets, and position the second side.




To makethe long cuts,adheresandpaperto a speedsquareto keepit from slipping.Thenuse it to guideyour portablecircularsaw.

E After makingthe long cutswith a portable circularsaw,finishcuttingthe notcheswith a fine-toothhandsaw. Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas




I #8 x 11/z'F.H. wood screw--\t 217/a"



#8 x3/c"F.H.wood screw t/e"round-over


cAsE ftrool-BAsE 2lq" rabbet s/+"deep

-1 # 8 x 1 1 / z 'F . H . wood screw


3/ro"grooves s/a"deep 3/+"tlom outsideface

1/2" rabbets7+"deep



I <-#8

2/c" rabbel s/q"deep

x 2" F.H.wood screw

) -3/q

!flrnnv suPPoRrs

and shelf edging (V) to size. (We ripped these parts from the edge of 2x stock. You also can cut them from %"-thick stock.) First, glue and clamp the short edging to the trays, flush at the top and ends, and then add the long edging fDrawing ). Now, glue and clamp the shelf edging to the shelf panel (Drawing 5). Rout ys" round-overs along the top edgesof the trays and shelf, and finishsand them. 3/+"-widestrips from a 2x4, and. ?ntp Scut the tray supports (L) to size. Then, drill a %0"hole at each end (Drawing 4a). Finish-sandthe supports. 2 my the tool-cabinet and tool-base rJcases on their backs.Then, position the casterplates Yq"from the caseedges, and using the holes in the plates as guides, drill screwholes. NoW screwthe castersin place. the tool base door (W) to size, fCut Tand rout %" round-overs along the front edges.Then, drill holes and attach

/ tt) 3" rabbet s/+"deep x 3" notch


the hinges and handle (Drawing5). Now, lay the tool base on its back, and fasten the door to the case(PhotoE).

Apply finish and assemble Removethe door from the tool base, I and the hinges and handle from the door. Removethe castersfrom both cases. Examine all the parts and assemblies, and finish-sand where needed. Then. I


't/q" carriage bolt 2r/2" long --"

r t

*l*asher t/+"wing nut

Position the door 27/a"lrom the stretcher (O) bottom edge and centered side-to-side. Screw the hinges to the stile (M).

ease any sharp edges with a sanding block. Now apply a clear finish. (We applied two coats of Minwax Antique Oil Finish, sanding lightly with 220-grit sandpaperbetween coats.) the castersand the hardlneinstall 3ware on the tool-base door (W).

Rehang the door. Now insert shelf supports into the tool-base-stile(M) holes, and install the shelf (U/V). ! ltace each benchtop tool on a tray, .Jgenerally centered side-to-side,and as close to the front edge as the tool allows. Then, using the bolt holes in the tool as guides, mark the hole locations on the tray. Remove the tool and drill the holes, countersinking them on the bottom face of the tray. Fastenthe tool with flathead bolts, washers,and nuts. Position the tray supports (L) in the / 'ftool cabinet, spaced vertically as needed, and fasten them with carriage bolts, washers,and wing nuts (Drawing 4). NoW slide the trays, with tools attached, onto the supports.I

Materials List

Written by fan Svec with f eff Mertz Projectdesign:Kevln Boyle lllustrations:RoxanneLeMolne; Lorna fohnson


Tray from tool cabinet

AssEMBLY Self-closingoverlayhinge Broor BAsE t/e"round-overalongoutsideedges









C stretchers


D panels

3hc' 183/+ 743/i'

E top



273/q' MDF


F bottom



251/e^ MDF


G caster block







3AC' 261/z' 80' 3/l' 221/q' 22W' MDF 4




11/2. 221A'





11/z' 233/4'









11/z' 3u





11h" 3" 217/a" 3/ti, 16s/a" 253/c, PH


O top

3/cn 217/s" 21t/e'







11/2" 3u



U shelfpanel

3/i'213/s" 31" 3/i' 183/c" 195/s' MDF



1t/2" 193/i'


193/c" 253/s" MDF


W door




31" P



217/s' MDF 1

4', 1


MDFPH-perforated hardboard, Materialskey:P-pine, fiberboard, H-tempered hardboard. medium-density #12x1" #8x1V2", #8x2"flathead woodscrews; Suppfies: #8x3/i', (12); (32); panhead nuts(12); %"flatwashers screws 7l''wing t/rx2l/t' (2);3" bohs(12); self-closing overlay hinges wire carriage (4). handle;%" supports shelf

3" wire handle -----[


stiles B rails


round-over router bit.%"and%C'drill bits. Bits:7a"


plate 4"dual-lockng swivel casters no.36992,510.49 Casters: ea.Hartville Tool. Call800-345-2396, orgoto

r/a"round-over #8x2" F.H.woodscrewJ #12 x 1" panheadscrew-


11/zx3Vz x 120"Pine(2x4x10')(4 needed) 1/zx3t/z x 120"Pine(2x4x10')(4 needed)

Pine (2x4x8')(2 needed)

s/tax 48 x 96" Perforatedhardboard


sAax 48 x 96" Hardboard

3/qx 48 x 96" Medium-densityfiberboard

e/qx48x48" Medium-density f iberboard Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas






Workshop Storage



unit was designedand built Arhis to bring order out of the chaos I in my workshop," explained I reader Bernard Monneau of Calgary, Alberta, in his letter to us. We liked his idea of mixing plastic tubs and shelves so much, we built one for the WOOD@ magazine shop, and invite you to construct one for your work area as well. The design revolves around plastic storage tubs of the type sold in home centers and large discount stores. Our unit houses Rubbermaid Roughneck StorageTote 3-gallon/11.3-litercontaihers.Adjust the project dimensionsaccordingly if you use a different-sizetub. The entire workshop project, minus the optional shelvesand cleats,is built out of two sheets of MDF G/q"birch

plywood would also work well). See the Cutting Diagrambelowright for optimal sheet-goodsusage. To build the project, cut the parts to the sizes noted in the drawing below. Rout a 7e" round-over along the one exposed edge of each lr/zxlr/2" cleat and along the top edge of each 3/tx3/+" cleat, where shown. (The round-overs on the interior cleat allow the tubs to slide easier.)Then, drill the countersunk mounting holes through all parts, where noted. Glue and screw the two dividers between the two sides. Next, attach the top, bottom, centerpartitions, and cleats. Mount the interior support cleats, allowing just an inch or two of clearance, top to bottom, between containers.Attach the casters.||

#8x2" F.H.woodscrew





7 1 / a "l l






1Vzx11/2x323/a" cleat


\-zt -T-1/ I


rrh' l l I


As an option, use l0Vzxl6" shelvesin placeof some or all of the tubs.

#8 x 2" F.H. wood screw


supportcleats (48 needed)

*Dimension willdepend uponthe size of your tubs.






#8 x 11/+'F.H. wood screw


# Bx 2 " F . H . wood screw

1 1 / 2 x 1 1 / 2 x 3 2 3 / a " e/+x 49 x 97" Medium-densityfiberboard cleat (MDF)(2 needed)

outside creats

. - * . r

1 t / z x 3 t / 2 x 7 2P " i n e( 4 b d .f t . ) lnsidecleats *261/+".

4" fixed caster



3 / q x 5 1 / zx 9 6 " P i n e ( 4 b d . f t . ) Inside cleats 3 / t x 3 1 / zx 9 6 " P i n e ( 2 . 7 b d . f t . )


s/e"deep #8 x 1Y4'F.H. 1" hole 1/2" -diam.self-adhesiverubberbumper wood screw 19Y2'

vrEW I exnloDED

R = 1 1 / 2 " 1"-diam.dowel


7az"shank hole, countersunk

13h" 3/qu

3/a" \-J

# 8 x 1 1 / q 'F . H . wood screw


3" swivelcaster

t/q"hole,Jyi countersunk +fr

l lq_20x 11/q, F.H. machine screw 3" rigid.".t..---f,| i l3:--'t/q" tlalwasher Note: Use holesin castersto locatehole centerpointson bottomof part @.

*rooir"uit---l"--,(l\fF":r^9,'?::r:#;#."0 2lz"(

DETAIL ftl cnsrERLocATtoN (Bottom view)


Overalldimensions: 21"wide x 383/q" long x 331/c" high. Forthe itemsneededto buildthis project,seepage69.

ior about $85 and from just one 4x8' Isheet of 3/+"plywood, you can build I this sturdy shop accessory.With biscuit-ioined side and end frames and simple rabbet-and-groove joinery, you can easily complete it in a weekend. We used birch plywood that cost less than $40 a sheet at a local home center. Surprisingly, that plywood came closeto the quality of pricier Baltic birch plywood, having the same number of plies (13) and few voids for smooth, finished edges. As a cost-saving option, you can make the cart from medium-density fiberboard (MDF), which runs about $20 a sheet.

(C), and end rails (D) for the frame assemblies,shown on Drawing1, to the sizeslisted in the MaterialsList.To ensure you'll get all of the cart parts from one 4x8' sheet,refer to the Cutting Diagram, page 69. mark centerlinesfor #10 biscuit arc lslots on the stiles and rails, where dimensioned on Drawing 2, page 68, Iay out on a flat surface two side stiles (A) and three siderails (B)in the arrangement shown. To position the center side rail in Start with the the frame where dimensioned, cut two side and end frames Ixl0lz" spacersfrom 3/+"sctap. Place the 3/+"plywood or MDR cut the spacersbetween the bottom and center from I I sidestiles(A), siderails (B), end stiles siderails, as shown in PhotoA.

With the centersiderail (B)positionedin the framewith spacers,markthe centerlinesfor biscuitslotson the sidestiles(A)and rails. Mark the biscuit-slot centerlines across the stile/rail joints, as shown. Also, identify the bottom rail to ensure correct frame orientation later. NoW repeat the





#10 biscuit-slot centerline

I 2%',



2e/q"for part@ 2t/q"tor part @ 1 0 /21 / l l






2,,t/z"torpa 14"forpart


Glue and clamp a side frame (A/B),end frame (C/D),and the bottom shelf (E) together, making sure you close the frame corner joint by drawing the end frame tightly into the rabbet in the sideframe.

marking processfor the remaining side stiles(A), siderails (B), end stiles(C), and end rails (D), keeping the parts for each frame together. I na;ust the fence on your biscuit to center the blade on the Jioiner plywood thickness. Then, with the parts clamped to your workbench for safety, plunge slotsfor #10 biscuitsinto the rails and stilesat the marked centerlines.Now, glue,biscuit,and clamp the partstogether to form the frames, again using the spacersto position the centerrail in each frame assembly. f fit your tablesaw with a dado blade -fthat matches your material thickness. Then, cut T+"-deepgrooves along the length of the sideand end frameson the inside face, where dimensioned on Drawing1. Keep the bottom edgesof the frames firmly against the fence when cutting the bottom and center grooves, and the top edgesagainst the fence when cutting the top groove. (Rttach an auxiliary fenceto your rip rf fence. Then, cut a 3/+"tabbetY+"deep along the outside edge of the side stiles (A) on the insideface,where shown.

Add the shelves and assemble the cart !

Cut the three shelves(E) to l8lzx3l". I To locate and drill the mounting

holes for 3" castersthrough the bottom Next, glue the top shelf in place. Now, shelf, where shown on Drawing1, posi- glue and clamp the remaining side tion a caster on the bottom face of the and end frames to the assembly. shelf,where dimensionedon Drawing1a. (We found the rigid and swivel casters p ennrs vrEW with brakesat a local home center.)Mark the centers of the mounting HANDLE SUPPORT holes. Repeatat each corner of (Outsidefaceshown) the shelf. Then, drill Yt" holes through the shelf at the marked s/e"deep on insideface 7a,,-_1" hole centerpoints, and countersink the holes on the top face so the heads of Vq-2ox|l+"flathead machine screws will sit flush with the shelf surface. the side !Sand jframes (A/B), end LONGAND SHORTLID PANELS frames (C/D), and 317/a" shelves (E) to 150 1/t\ -7r1.u j411^,, grit. Then, to assemble the cart, glue -and clamp a side After jigsawing3" hole, ii crosscutblank here to li frame, end frame, separatelid panels., ii r/z" blade and the bottom shelf \i start hole together, as shown in PhotoB. (To minimize the number of 191/2" clamps needed, we assembled the cart in four stages.)When the glue dries, glue and clamp the center shelf in position.


68 Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas


dimensioned on Drawing1. Then, glue and clamp a handle support to a top rail, aligning the support with the marked Iine. Drive the screws.Repeatto mount the remaining support,making sureyou capture the handle (H) between the supportsin the 1" counterbores. 1lCut a l9r/2x317/e"plywood blank to lfform the long and short lid panels (I, J). Draw a circle for a 3" hole (for finger access)on the blank, where dimensioned on Drawing3. Drill a r/2"blade start hole iust inside the circle. Then, iigsaw the 3" hole to shape and sand smooth. Next, position your tablesaw fence 7Y+ufrom the inside face of a' 7s"-kerfblade. Now crosscut the blank through the center, of the hole to separate the lid panels. mount four 27O" overlay hinges 7fo J for the lids, where shown on Drawing 1,position a hinge on a top end rail (D), tight againsta siderail (B),asshown in PhotoC. Mark the mounting holes on the inside face and top edge of the end rail. Using a 3" bit extender or magnetic With a 270'overlay hinge positioned on a top drive guide for chuck clearance,drill the e n d r a i l ( D ) ,t i g h t l y a g a i n s t a s i d e r a i l ( B ) ,d r i l l holes. Then, drive the screws supplied t h e m o u n t i n g h o l e s ,a n d d r i v e t h e s c r e w s . with the hinges. Repeat to mount the Mount the casters, and remaining hinges. complete the cart flPosition the long and short lid panto mount two 3" rigid casters (1,J) on the cart with the fingerand lJels 1 I two 3" swivel casterswith brakes to access hole straddling the top-shelf the bottom shelf (E), where shown divider (F). With the panels tight against on Drawing1, position the cart with an the hinges and the edgesflush with the end frame on the floor. Now, attach outside faces of the side rails (B), drill the casters using r/+-2ox7r/+" flathead mounting holes centered in the slots of machine screws, r/+" flat washers, and each hinge into the edges of the lids. Y+"lock nuts. Set the cart on the casters. (Note that the hinges offset each panel the top-shelf divider (F) to the Yra"towatd the center, leaving a Ya"gap )Cut jsize listed. Then, glue and clamp between the panels.) Drive the screws. the divider to the top shelf (E), where Then, open the lids and drill mounting dimensioned. holes centered in the hinge holes and Cut the handle (G) supports to size. slots into the bottom faces of the lids. I JOn the outsideface of the supports, Drive the remaining screws. mark centerpoints for four countersunk shank holes, where dimensioned on Drawing 3. Also, mark Yz" radii, where shown. Next, on the inside face of the supports, mark a centerpoint for a 1" hole, where dimensioned. Drill the countersunk shank holes. Then, using a Forstner bit in your drill press, bore the 1" hole 3/e"deep. NoW bandsaw and sand the radii to shape. a l"-diameter birch dowel 36" Itrcm 'tlong, cut a Zor/+"-longpiece for the handle (H). mount the handle supports (G), (fo rJdraw alignment lines on the top side rails (B) 1/+'from the top edge and extending 73/+"ftom the ends, where e/+x 48 x 96" Plywood

Finish up and get ready to roll Removethe casters,long and short lid I panels (I, J), and hinges. Sand any areasof the cart that need it to 150 grit, and remove the dust. anpply two coats of a clear finish. (We &used VarathaneDiamond Water-Based Polyurethane,sanding to 220-grit smoothnessbetween coats.) remount the castersand lid lFinally, rJpanels. Open the lid panels and install a pair of r/2"-diameterself-adhesive rubber bumpers on each top side rail (B), where shown on Drawing'1.Now, clear off your workbench, load the cart with your tools and supplies, and start motoring around the shop. I I

Written by Owen Duvall Prolectdesign:feff Mertz lllustrations:Roxanne LeMoine; Lorna fohnson


B side rails





D endrails

3hu 2V+' 291A' 3h' 23A', 14',



3hn 18Y2'





handlesupports 3Au 21/q'








J* shortlidpanel




3hn 191h,, 241/z' 3A', 191h"


*Parts initially cutoversize. 5eetheinstructions. Materlalskey:P-plywood, B-birch dowel. (24),3" (2),3" Suppller: #10biscuits rigidcasters swivelcasters (2), (16),1/l'flat withbrakes %-20xVc" flathead machine screws (16), washers (8), %"locknuts(16), #8x17c" flathead woodscrews (4). %'Ldiameter self-adhesive rubber bumpers Bladeand bits:Dado-blade se!l" Forstner bit,3" bitextender guide. ormagnetic drive

Source Hinges:270'overlay hinges pr.(2pr.). no.15455, 58.29 CallorclickRocflsy,gQQ{l i4441;






1"-diam. Birchdowel 36" long


Tool Cabinet shop-in-a-bo*

Keep tools, hardware, andsupplies organized inthisspace-saving 4-door cabinet. Though it occupies littlemore than7square feetofwallarea, it offers panels afull26square feetofstorage ontheperforated-hardboard alone!

bE ooking for an easy-to-buildproject that makes a really big impact on reducing shop clutter and improving work efficiency? Here it is. With identical caseand door construction using simple rabbet-and-groove joinery, you can makethis cabinet in a few evenings or a weekend.For materials,you need only a 4x8 sheet each of /+" perforated hardplywood, plus a quarter-sheet board and3/+" of V+"hardboard.

Becausethe thicknessof plywood varies, you may need to slightly adjust the sizes of some parts and the mating dadoes and rabbets. centerpoints for Y{ holes lVark 33/e' deep for shelf supports on the inside faces of the sides (A), where dimensioned on Drawing1. Drill the holes using a brad-point bit in your drill press. Adjust the depth stop for consistentdrilling depth. 2 ti, your tablesawwith an auxiliary Start with the case rJ fence and dado blade that matches 3/+"plywood, cut the sides (A) the thickness of your 3/r"plywood. Then, I from I and top and bottom (B) to the sizes cut a 7a"-deeprabbet across the inside listed in the Materials List.(We used Baltic faces of the sides (A) at each end, as birch plywood, which we found at a local shown in PhotoA. home center,and applied a clear finish. If lCut aY+"groove7r" deep in the sides you plan to paint the unit, you can use 'ttn) and top and bottom (B) to fit less-expensivetype AC or BC plywood.) your Yn"perforated hardboard for the 70

Though the case measuresju st'l2s/e"deep, it h o u s e sa l l f o u r d o o r s w h e n c l o s e d . Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas



CASESIDE (lnsideface of leftsideshown) s/a"rabbet e/s"deep

,11/2" 21/a'\ t 7-

t/r" hinge

clearance 321/z'

Locationof outer-door continuous hinge i

Inside K e e p i n ga s i d e ( A )t i g h t a g a i n s ta n a u x i l i a r y fence and miter-gauge extension, cut a rabbet acrosseach end on the insideface.

1/q"hole Te" deep

Locationof inner-door continuous hinge With the shelf (D) on 51/2"-tallspacersand t i g h t a g a i n s t t h e b a c k ( C ) ,d r i l l m o u n t i n g h o l e s through the sides (A) into the shelf.

/+" groove g/e"deep 3/+"'from back edge


back (C), where dimensioned on Drawings1 and 2. To do this,first switch to a standard ya"-kerfblade in your tablesaw. Position the fence 3/t"from the inside of the blade. Then, cut a groove along the back edgesof the sides,top, and bottom on the insidefaces.Now, reposition the fence, as needed,and cut the groovesto final width to snugly fit the hardboard. Sandthe parts smooth to 180 grit. r/a"perf.oratedhardboard, cut a (from {373/+"-square piece for the back (C). Then, dry-assemblethe sides(A), top and bottom (B), and back, and check that the parts fit together correctly. Make any needed adiustments. NoW glue and clamp the case together, measuring for equal diagonals to verify square. Drill mounting holes through the sides and into the top and bottom, where shown on Drawing2,and drive the screws. 3/+"birch plywood, cut the (nrom (D) to size. Then, from your lfshelf Yt"perforated-hardboardcutoffs, cut two 4x5/2" spacers.Position the shelf in the case on the S/2"-tall spacers,as shown in PhotoB. Drill the mounting holes, where dimensioned on Drawing1, and drive the screws. lnroms/+" plywood, cut the mounting J cleats (E) and spacer (F) to lVzx3l',. Bevel-rip one edge of each cleat at 45", leaving aVs" flat, where shown on Drawing2a. the case on your workflPosition tlfbench with the back (C) up. Then, glue and clamp a mounting cleat (E) in place on the back, tight against the top (B), in the orientation shown on Drawing 2a. From inside the case, drill holes (centeredin the holes in the perforatedhardboard back, into the mounting cleat, where shown on Drawing2, and drive the #8x%" flatheadwood screwsto

Location of part

'/a .


Tse"shank holes, countersunk on outside face Ta"rabbet=*i 7a"deep Note: Rightside@is a mirrorimage.

p cnse 1/q"groove /a" deep 3/+"Irom back edge s/q" rabbel3/8" deep

Locationsof continuous hinges

1/+"groove-3la"deep 3h" trom back edge

#8 x 3" F.H. wood screw driveninto wallstud

7o+"pilothole 17e"deep



#8 x 2" F.H. wood screw

+1 NI T'l



#8 x s/q"F.H. wood screw

i/ r/





s/c"rabbel 3/8"deep #8 xe/+"F.H. wood screw #8x3"

Magneticcatches wood screw driven into wall stud


< / t l

V+"groove7a"deep 3/q"trom back edge




Align the inner-door hinge with the marked l i n e s ,a n d p r e s st h e t a p e d h i n g e i n t o p l a c e . Then,drillthe mounting holes.

further stlengthen the attachment. In the sameway, glue and screwthe spacer(F) to the back, tight against the bottom (B). r/+"hardboard, cut a /2x31" strip Qfrom J for the bin stop (G). Glue and clamp the stop to the bottom (B), 4L/+'from the front edge,dimensioned on Drawing2.

Position a hinge on an inner-door side (J),with a /a" overhang. Measure from the back to the hinge to find the spacer width.

Clamp the spacer to the door, flush with the b a c k e d g e . W i t h t h e h i n g e t i g h t a g a i n s tt h e spacer,drill the mounting holes.

p ooon (Leftdoorshown,viewedfrom back) 1tl2"continuoushinge 307a"longfor outerdoor 241/2"long for inner door

7/aq"pilolhofe 17e" 0""\

7sz"shankhole. countersunk

I o i,llT#il#:"1 :il:ffilH1".'



Now, build the doors fo ensure that the outer and inner I doors fit into the casewith 7a"clear#8 x 2" F.H. ance at the top and bottom, where shown wood screw on Drawing 1, measure the openings between the top and bottom (B) for the outer doors and the top and shelf (D) for the inner doors. Then, from 3/+"plywood, cut the outer-door sides (I) and inner3OVc'for part door sides (J) to the sizes listed and 24t/2"for part lengths equal to your measuredopenings minus /+". (Out sides measured 303/n"for the outer doors and 24/2" for the inner doors.)Also, cut the tops and bottoms (K) fo-rthe outer and inner doors to size. /a"perforatedhardboard,cut the lfrom /+" grooves 3 outer- and inner-door panels (L, M) s/s"degp Locationof to the sizeslisted. plate a/q" rabbet a dado blade in your tablesaw, strike onpartc Q using 3/+" g/e"deep 3/e" rJcut a tabbet deep across the 51/e' ends of each outer- and inner-door side (I, J) on the insideface, where shown on t/n"groovess/e"deep Drawing3. crttVq"grooves%" deep in the door parte Ato rTsides (I, J) and tops and bottoms (K), where dimensioned on Drawing3a,switch (Sand the door sides(I, J), tops and botto a standard ys"-kerfblade. Position the rf toms (K), and panels (L, M) to 180 grit. DETATL f,fl DooRGRoovE fence llz" from the inside of the blade. Then, glue and clamp each door together, Then, cut a pair of grooves along the checking for square. Drill mounting holes 1/^t, insideface of each part, rotating the part through the sidesand into the tops and bot,t' /tvz ', end-to-end between cuts. Now, move the toms, where shown on Drawing3, and drive -l 3/a" 3/t' fence awayfrom the blade as needed,and the screws.For easein mounting the hinges cut the parts again to widen the grooves and installing the doors later, identify the and achieve a snug fit with your perfo- top (K) of each door and the side (I, J) that rated-hardboardpanels (L, M). you'll hinge-mount to the case. I


c o





Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas


!l erru


( 3/qu

D P o s i t i o nt h e r i g h t i n n e r d o o r i n t h e c a s e , a l i g n i n g t h e h i n g e w i t h t h e p r e v i o u s l yd r i l l e d mounting holes. Drive the screws.

Add the easy-to-make bins

from 3/+"plyiood, cut the fronts (N) I and backs (O) for the eight bins to the sizeslisted.Then, from r/+"hardboard, cut the sides(P) and bottoms (Q) to size. out the angled edge on a side afuy 3(P), where dimensioned on Drawing 4. Bandsaw or scrollsaw to the marked line, and sand smooth. Using this piece as a template, mark the angle on the remaining sidepieces,and cut and sand them to shape. I Sandthe fronts (N), backs(O), sides r, (P), and bottoms (Q) to 180 grit. Then, glue and clamp the parts together in the configuration shown. !

54nd, then apply the finish 1 ff needed, fill any voids in the plyI wood edgeswith a paintable wood putty, and sand smooth when dry. Then, sandany areasof the case,doors,shelves, and bins that need it to 180 grit, and easeany sharp edges.Removethe dust. two coats of a clear finish, a\ppty &sanding between coats.(We applied Varathane Diamond Water-BasedPolyurethane, satin finish, sanding to 32O grit between coats.)

Complete the assembly Vdasrrre the lengths of th6 outerI and inner-door sides (I, J). Then, from two lVzx48"continuous hinges for the outer doors and two llzx3o" hinges for the inner doors, hacksaw the pieces to the measured lengths. To maintain the correct orientation of the hinges during assembly, mark the manufactured (uncut) ends "top." position the hinges on the case afo Ssides (A), where dimensioned on Drawing1, placethe caseon the left side. Draw alignment lines on masking tape 1/e"from the top and bottom (B) for the I

Align the mounting flange of the magnetic catch with the marked centerline on the shelf (D). Mark the centers of the slots.

ATo mount the hinges onto the doors, t'Jwhere shown on Drawing5, place a hinge for an inner door along the outer-door hinge and r/s" from the top front edge of the side (J) identified for and shelf (D) for the inner-door hinge to hinge-mounting to the case. With the center the hinges top-to-bottom. Then, hinge leaves positioned at 90o, the top position the barrel of the inner-door of the hinge at the top of the door, and hinge ys" from the front of the shelf so the ends flush, align the hinge so that the door closesflush with the shelf. To the barrel overhangsthe edgeby t4". do this, adjust a combination square to Measurefrom the back of the door to the distance from the front edge of the the hinge for a spacer,as shown in Photo Then, f.rom Ve" side to the shelf, less 7s". (We set our D. (We measured 33/eu.) square to 4r/s".)NoW mark intersecting hardboard, cut a 2O"-longpiece to your lines using the square. measuredwidth. NoW clamp the spacer 2 fo mount the inner-door hinge, apply to the door, and mount the hinge, as J a few small pieces of cloth-backed shown in Photo E, driving all of the double-facedtape to the case-sidehinge screws.Repeatfor the other doors. leaf. With the hinge leavespositioned at the case on the right side (Position 90o,and the marked top end of the hinge r, (A), and screw-mountthe right inner correctly oriented, align the hinge with door, as shown in PhotoF.Raisethe door the marks, as shown in Photo C, and to the closed position. Then, mount the pressit into place. Using a self-centering right outer door. Using a helper, reposibit, drill the mounting holes.Then, drive tion the caseon the left side.Mount the the screws(suppliedwith the hinge) into remaining doors. the two top and bottom holes to prethread them for long easier mounting of 1tl2"continuoushinge 24-1/2" the cabinet door. Remove the screws, hinge, and tape. In the same way, mount the outer-door hinge, except position it so that the barrel overhangs the front edgeof the case by Ye".Use a combination square or a z/+"-widestrip of %" hardboard as an alignment aid to set the hinge overhang. NoW reposition the caseon the right side (A), and repeat the hinge-marking and Note: Rightouterdoor removedfor clarity. mounting process.



mount magnetic catchesto hold (t" tlfthe doors closed, where shown on Drawing2, position the strike plates on the back edgesof the inside door sides (I, J), where dimensioned on Drawing3, noting the different locations for the outer and inner doors. Drill the pilot holes, and drive the screws supplied with the catches. Next, mark the center of the shelf (D) on a piece of masking tape positioned behind the inner doors, as shown in PhotoG. Mate a catch to the strike plate on the left inner door. Holding the front of the door and shelf flush, align the catch with the centerline, as shown. Mark the centersof the mounting slots. Drill the holes, remove the tape, and screw-mount the catch. In the same way, mount the catch for the right inner door, tight against the left-door catch. Then, mark the center of the shelf (D) on the bottom face at the front edge. Now, mount the catches for the outer doors, aligning the catches with the centerline. mount the unit, hold the remain7to J ing mounting cleat (E) level on your wall, with the beveled edge positioned where shown on Drawings 2 and 2a. Drill countersunk mounting holes through

Lock hooks to perforated hardboard in d snap Here'sa simpleand inexpensive way to secure standard, nonlocking hooks to perforated hardboardsotheywon't comeout. Strapthem in placewith M-stylehook holders.Justcentera holderoverthe hookshank,and pressthe barbed endsinto an adjacentpairof holes,asshown.You easilycan releasethe holdersto repositionthe hooks. The holdersfit standard9-gauge and heavy-dutyS-gaugehooks used in Va"and 1/c" hardboardwith %0"or e/tz"holesspaced1" apart. A bag of 50 clips,no. 1169485, costs$11.89from McMasterCarr,404-346 -7000, the cleat into the wall studs, and fasten with #8xZVz" flathead wood screws. Using a helper, hang the unit. Then, from inside the cabinet, drill mounting holes,centeredin holes in the back (C), through the casemounting cleat (E) and spacer (F) into the studs to anchor the assemblyto the wall. (f Finally,install the shelves(H) where (Oyo.t wish, using %" shelf supports. Placethe bins in the cabinet behind the bin stop (G), where shown on Drawing 5. Tidy up your shop by filling the cabinet with tools, hardware, and supplies.

Written by Owen Duvall Projectdesign:feff Mertz l l l u s t r a t i o n sR: o x a n n e L e M o i n e ; L o r n a f o h n s o n




125/s' 32lz^ 3/i' 125/a' 313/i' yi' 3tth' 313h'





mounting cleats 3/i'









3vd' 307/t'


Cutting Diagram

3/qx 48 x 96" Baltic birch plywood

Hang shop items on the perforatedhardboard panels using suitable Vt' metal hooks, available at your local home center or hardware store. For a simple way to keep hooks securely in place,t.. ih. shopiip, above.*

1/qx24 x 48" Hardboard

too andbottom











outer-door sides


inner-door sides


4Va' 24lz'


topsand ooltoms




outer-door panels

1/q' 141/t'

M inner-door paners



14Yi' 30"


1/i' 14Vi 233/c',












Yi' 4Vc' 63/i'








Materlals key: BP-Baltic birchplywood,PH-perforated hardboard, H-hardboard.

l/qx 48 x 96" Perforatedhardboard


(6);#8x2"flathead Supplies: #8x%"flathead woodscrews (48);#8x21/2" (2);#8x3" woodscrews flathead woodscrews (4);cloth-backed flathead woodscrews double-faced tape; (2)andI %x30"continuous 11/2x48" continuous hinges hinges (2);paintable (4);7i'shelf woodputty;magnetic catches (8);7+'perforated-hardboard supports hooks. Blade and blt: Dado-blade set,%"brad-point bit.


Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas


; \ ' : , . 1 ' .. . . , '

" .. , -,.,. ,.. i',



,'. .. ,'!.. .: .



ii$,t.. :. .'r.,, .ir '''.r::' 1 I i.-


Stool& Tool-Tote Combo Thissimple carnerrsa stepup for odd jobs aroundthe home. tand it upright, and you've got a sturdy stool for reachingthe top of your lumber rack or doing household chores. Flip the stool over, fill it with tools, and you're ready to tackle a repair anywhere on your property. To cut the pieces to size and shape, use the dimensions on the drawing. Mitercut both ends of the legs at 15'. Use r/2" plywood for the top, sides, and ends. For the legs and handle, cut 2x4 stock to size. Cut a Vz" groove Vz" deep, centered along the inside face of each leg. Mark the slot, drill a blade-start hole, and cut the handle opening in the top to shape. Cut the arcs in the ends. Rout 7a" round-overs along the handle opening and on the remaining parts, where shown at right. Glue, clamp, and screw the project together in the configuration shown. Sand smooth, and add a finish. CF

'l t/2" slot St/q"long, centered

#B x2" F.H.woodscrew--\i 23/q"


Countersunk shankhole /8" round-overs

1/2"groove j/2" deep

# B x 1 1 / zF ' .H. wood screw

,:iiri!-iiji'i;.)ii,r-i " .: i

. . .: - . -



.,1 i-i':

15' miter

7a"roundOVETS 1V2"1



Project design: LynnLawrenz,Algoma,Wis,


4)7 15"


Countersunk shankhole

1" 7a"round-over


Try a "greeJr" version of the stool We designed this stool and tool-tote com bos oy ou c anb u i l di tfro m c o mmo n l y a v ailablem at er ia l sl .f y o u h a v ea c c e s sto constructiondebris,repurposethat waste by building the project from it. That's how the stool'sdesigner,Lynn Lawrenz, constructsthem. "The raw materialsare headedf or t he la n d fi l l u , n ti l I s n a gth e m for stools,"saysLawrenz."l've given away dozensof them, alwaysin pairs,because

p e o p l el i keto set a pl ankon top of the s to o lsw hen spreadapartfor pai nti ngand o th e rchores." ln his version(seephoto right),the end p a n el s/l egs are scrapsof 12" engi neered l -j o i s ts,the cross brace/handl ej oi ni ng them is a 2x2" cutoff,the top is discarded ro o f sheathi ng(typi cal l yori ented-strand b o a rd), and the si de panel sare cut to shapefrom sparel/2"cabinetplywood.


rable'#Tirdlflfr.?[tr' g

Attention, small-shop andgarage-shop woodworkers: Here's aproject designed'sacombination workbench andoutfeed table.Plus, for thespace-starved shop, it stores inthe same footprint asyour tablesaw.

Watcha FREE two-minutevideoof the Tablesaw Workbench in actionat:

Useit as an outfeed 't''table...

I Overaldil mensi ons:61Vz" widex 321/a" deepx 393/td" high (casters in the downposition). I Youcancustomize the workbench to fit anytypeof tablesaw. Theworkbenchshownat leftfits a contractor's modelwith a 30"fence. I Levelers letyouadjustthe benchto matchyourtablesaw heightfor useas an outfeedtable. I To renewtheworksurface, simplyflip or replace the3A"plywoodtop panel. I Forthe itemsneededto buildthis project,seeopposite poge.You'llfind the Suppliesat homecenters. For the casters, seeSource.

Skill Builder I Learnhowto formlargedadoes and rabbetsusingyourtablesaw fenceas a workpiece stop.


l\lote: To position the workbenchoveryour tablesaw,removethe bladeguard, rip fence, and miter gauge. The bench dimensions allow L" clearance at the top of the tablesaw and 1" clearanceat eachside. Thereis no front-to-back clearance.With thewo*bench positionedover the tablesaw,the back-fence rail touchesthe insideof the upper-backrail (F) [Drawing 4], and the back of the frontfencerail restsagainstthe front legs(C). Best Ever Home Shop ldeas


Measure your tablesaw


No matter the type of tablesawyou own, or how it's accessorized,you can customize this proiect to fit your needs. Length I Veasure your tablesaw [ ], and enter the (291h') I dimensions in the empty brackets. (Our tl sampletablesawdimensionsare shown in parentheses.)If by chanceyour saw dimensionsmatch those of the sample tablesaw,stop here. Simply Length: Measurefrom the back use the part dimensions for the sampletablesaw of the front-fencerailto the back edge of the backshown on the MaterialsListat bottom. fence rail. dimensions in brackets larger or smaller lfor jthan Height: Measurefrom the the ones in parentheses(Drawingt), floorto the top of the here'show to sizethe workbench to your tablesaw. saw table. (Don't let the following lengthy explanation Width: Measurethe maximum scareyou off. The processis really quite simple.) dimension, including the saw I Subtract the smaller lengthdimension from the table,wings,extensions, ! larger one. Enter the difference in the L column and 6ack-Tence rail. I under the CALCULATEheading on the Materials Note: Our tablesawdimensionsare shown in parentheses. List for parts A, D, E, H, J, and K, and in the W column for part N. Precedewith a plus symbol (+) for a length in brackets larger than the one in EXAMPLE' ]}.iI.J 3 O1 /2"_291/ a,'=11/4,, parentheses,and a minus symbol (-) for a length in bracketssmallerthan the one in parentheses. I Subtract the smaller heightdimension from the larger one. First, enter the difference in the L column under the CALCULATEheading for part C, and in the W column for part E. Precedewith a plus symbol for a height in bracketslarger than Step4 Step2 Step3 the one in parentheses,and a minus symbol for Crossout The length in 233/q"+11/t"=25" the obsolete bracketsis larger a height in brackets smaller than the one in dimension. than the lengthin parentheses. parentheses. I Subtract the smaller width dimension from the larger one. Enter the differencein the L column under the CALCULATEheading for parts F, G, I, and N. Precedewith a plus symbol for a width in bracketslargerthan the one in parentheses,and a minus symbol for a width in brackets smaller than the one in parentheses. I Divide the width dimension difference (determined in the previous step) by 4. Record the dividend in the L column under the CALCULATE heading for parts L and M. Precedewith a plus or minus symbol, as directed above. I For awidth dimension in bracketssmallerthan the one in parentheses,divide the dimension differenceby 2.Enter the dividend in the L column under the CALCULATEheading for part B. 3/i' 2Y2' 611/2" I front/ backtrim Precededwith a minus symbol. (Do not make part B longerthan the length listed for the sample tablesaw.) I Now add the numbers in the W and L columns under the CALCULATE headingto, or subtractthem from, the W and L dimensionsunder the SAMPLE *Parts TABLESAWheading. Enter the new dimensions in initially cutoversize, Seetheinstructions. the W and L columns under the YOURTABLESAW Materials key: LM-laminated pine,P-pine, maple, M-maple, LP-laminated BP-birchplywood. heading. Then, to avoid confusion, cross out the Supplies:#8x1th",#8x11/2",#8x2",#8x21/z"flatheadwoodscrews;%"levelerswithT-nuts(4);1/4x11/2" hexhead obsoleteSAMPLETABLESAW dimensions. (52); (2);Ts" bolts(6);7+x2"hexhead (6); bolts(24); %"washers 7i' locknuts(32);%x2" eyebolts washers 7sx%x36" steelbar;/rx36" NoW for example, let's say your tablesaw measchedule 40steelpipe(2). sures3OYzu long, and you've entered this number Bladecand bits: Stack dadoset;%"round-over and45"chamfer routerbits. on Drawing1 in the bracketsunder Length.In this Source case,completethe row in the MaterialsListasshown Catters:4"swivelcaster withbrakeno,36992, ea.(4).CallHartville Tool,800-345-2396, orgoto 51039 (Exampf e, right center).



7e"drill bit lR.


%" bolt insertedto -.keep thepipe-/



/ With 3%"of pipe protrudingfrom one end of the pivot block(A),drill holesthrough the blockand pipe at the markedhole centers.

With washers,a spacer,and the leverassemblyin place,markthe pipe lengthand leverattachmentbolt-holelocation.

Build the pivot assemblies for the pivot blocks (A), cut four3/t"I thick pieces of stock to the width and length listed. (We used maple. If you've adiustedthe length of part A, be sure to use the new length.) Then, making two passeswith a dado blade, cut centeredgroovesin eachpiece(Drawings 2 and 2a). Clamp the piecestogether in the arrangementshown, and verify that 72"schedule 40 steel pipe slips through the square hole. Now, glue and clamp the pieces,keeping the ends and edges flush. out the hole centerson the bot2tuy Itom face of each pivot block (A) (Drawing2a). (Use the caster plates to locate the caster-mountingholes.) Drill only the caster-mountingholes. (B) to size. Rout Q Cut two levers J stoppedround-oversalong the edges (Drawing2). Then, from a1/ex3/+x36" steel bar, cut four 9"-long pieces.Drill holes where shown. Now, position a bar on each lever, with the bar protruding 1" beyond the end of the lever. Using the holes in the bar as guides, mark hole positions on each lever. Also, mark the hole center at the opposite end of each lever. Drill the holes using your drill press.Bolt the bars to the levers. 1/2"schedule ;f StiOea 36"-longpieceof 'l+O steel pipe into each pivot block (A), letting the pipe protrude 37e"at one end. Then, drill the four 7a"holesthat go through both the pivot block and pipe, where previously marked (PhotoA). To keep the pipe from shifting in the pivot block, insert bolts into the holes as you drill them.

l/q x 2"




schedule 40 steel pipe 31tle"long

bott p ervorASSEMBLY

r/q" hole

l/q x 11/2"hexhead bolt


-- \ F 1/ax 3/qx 9" steel bar


tZ" stoppedround-overs

f[ervor BLocK

*Sizedto acceptt/z"schedule40 *7/a"groove z/ta" deep, centered on inside face

T3" I Use the holesin a casterplate to locatethe mountingholes.

E fo cut the pipes to finished length, rJ first cut a 3"-long spacer from 2x4 scrap. [The spacer representsthe thicknessof a leg (C).1Drill a centered7/e"hole through the 3" dimension. Then, slide two washersand the spaceronto the long protruding pipe end of one pivot block (A) assembly.Apply masking tape to the

pipe. With the lever (B) and pivot block aligned horizontally, mark the finished length and the bolt-hole location (Photo B). Repeatwith the other assembly.NoW mark the pipes and pivot blocks for reassembly, remove the pipes, and cut them to length. Using a V-block on your drill press,drill the bolt holes. Best Ever Home Shop ldeas


p eruoAssEMBLY


t"11;." #B x 11/z'F.H. wOOdSCrew

3" dado 1t/2"deep




#B x 21/2"F.H. wood screw



) a"/o"






S" rabbet s/q"deep


z/e"washer s/e"leveler


Assemble the endt for the legs (C), cut eight 2x4 I pieces Vz"Ionger than listed. Laminate them in pairs to form four 3x3Vz" blanks.Then, joint one edgesmooth, rip the opposite edgeto width, and crosscut the legs to length. To avoid problems when building proiects from construction lumber, seethe ShopTip, below. arc form 3"-widedadoesin the inside ifaces of the legs (C) (Drawing3), install a3/+"dado blade in your tablesaw, I

and adiust it to cut lVz" deep. To estab- four legs. Now, make repeat cuts to lish one edgeof the dadoes,position the remove the waste. fence 5" from the right side of the blade, 2fo form the 8"-wide rabbets at the and attach an extension to the miter rJtop and bottom of the back legs(C) gaugeto back the cuts. Then, using the (Drawings3 and 3a), leZrvethe tablesaw fence as a stop, cut a dado at both ends set up as in the previous step, but lower on the inside face of each leg. Next, to the blade to cut 3/+"deep.Then, making establish the other edge of the dadoes, sure you will have mirror-image parts, reposition the fence 8" from the /eff side cut dadoesat both ends of the back face of the blade. Again using the fence as a of the back legs.NoW make repeat cuts stop, cut a seconddado at each end of all to remove the waste from the dadoesto the ends of the legs. zs holes for the pivot assembly iloritt 'Tpipes at the bottom of each leg Hory to keep constructlon (Drawing3a). Then, drill a hole for the lumber straight leveler T-nut. Constructionlumber (2x4s,2x6s, etc.) the end rails (D) to size. Glue (Cut has a high moisture content. When { and clamp them into the leg (C) brought into a shop, the lumber dries dadoes,with the rail ends flush with the out, causing it to shrink and often front surface of the front legs and the twist. Of course,lour project will go rabbeted surfaceof the back legs (Drawtogether easierwith straight lumber. ing 3). Check the assembliesfor square. Her e' sa s im ples o l u ti o n . Then, drill holes, and drive the screws. First, select lumber that does not (For #8 screws in softwood, drill 7r2". include the center (pith) of the tree. shank holes and3/sz"pilot holes.) Cut the parts to rough length as soon return them to the bag until you are the end panels (E) to size. Glue (C"t as you bring the lumber home. Then, readyto assemblethem. After building lfand clamp the panels to the end placethe partsin a trashbag, asshown the project, the wood dries, but now rails (D), a with the top of each panel aI right, and close it with a twist tie. twisting of any one part is restrainedby flush with the top of the upper rail. Drill Removethe parts for machining,and the other parts. screwholes, and drive the screws.


Countersunk shankhole


t'T |8" J

t/q"hole 1" deep, drilled after assembly

Complete the base Cut the back rails (F)to size.DnllT/a" I holes for the pipe in the lower rail (Drawing4). Join the end assemblies (ClDlE) with the back rails (F),and glue and screw the rails in place (Drawing4 and PhotoC). tZ" washers l/q x 2" eyebolts Note: Locatethe screwholesin the back rails (F) so they don't interpre with the screwsthat fosten the end rails (D) to the Positionof @with the castersup kgs (C). To avoid interferingwith the leg #8 x2t/2" F.H. wood screw ;il;;&'' levelers,usea 7/2"-longscrewat the lower outsidecornersof the bottom backrail. a Apptya finish to the pivot blocks (A) the pipe holes, and bolt the pipes in tape to the upper back rail at the locajand levers(B). (For an easy-to-apply place(Drawing2). Now, slip a washerand tions of the lever ends when the casters and easy-to-repair finish, we appliedtwo a lever (B) assemblyonto each pipe, and are in the up position. Mark lines on the coats of Minwax Antique Oil Finish.) bolt the leversin place (Drawing4). tape lYz"from the endsof the rail. Rotate Attach the castersto the pivot blocks 1l Aanere masking tape to the lower the levers so the castersare in the up (Dra wing 2) . Tback rail (F) at the location of the position, and drill 1"-deepholesthrough ltace (B) the base upside down on the lever ends when the castersare in the the rail and into the legs(C). Q J floor, and slide the pipes through down position. Draw a line on the tape ( furn the baseright side up. Cut the the legs (C), washers, pivot-block (A) 73A"from the bottom edge of the rail. J rcIl stiffener (G) to size, and glue assemblies, and lower backrail (F) (Draw- Drill holes in the rail for the eyebolt and clamp it to the top edgeof the lower ing 3). Align the pivot-block holes with lever pins (Drawing4, Photo D). Apply backrail (F) (Drawing4). I

ffir'gwr*.*-'-'-&.-""g_.* .


Glueand clampthe backrails(F)into the end assemblyleg (C) rabbets.Checkfor square,drill screwholes,and drivethe screws.




Usingthe hole in the lever(B)as a guide,alignthe drill bit with the markedline,and drilla lever-pinholethrough the rail (F). Best Ever Home Shop ldeas


edge of the trim protruding 3/+"beyond the tops of the legs (Drawing 5). (Use a scrap of 3/q"plywood for a gauge.) Drill screw holes and drive the screws.(For #B screws in hardwood, drill 5/32"shank

Clearance notch,cut afterassembly

holesand7/e+" pilot holes.) the top supports (J), end lCut (K), outer Acleats cleats (L), and inner cleats (M) to size. #Bx 2" F.H. Yi Then, clamp the parts wooo screw in place,with the top I â&#x201A;Ź/ o-3/su r

s/o" chamfer routed after





edges below the top edges of the end trim (H) and front trim (l), and with the top

edges of the top supports flush with the top edge of the upperbackrail (F)(Drawing5). Now drill screwholesand drive the screws. Retrievethe back trim, and clamp it to the upper back rail. Drill screw holes, and drive the screws. (N) to size.Clamp it in Q Cut the top rJ place,resting on the upper back rail (F),top supports(J),and cleats(K, L, M). Drill screw holes, and drive the screws. Rout a %0"chamfer along the outer edges of the trirn (H, I). APosition the workbench over your Ttablesaw. On the inside face of the upper back rail (F),mark the location of any part of the tablesawthat protrudes beyondthe back-fencerail and interferes with the upper back rail. Then, transfer the marks to the outside face of the upper back rail. Now, lay out a notch, adding 1" of clearanceall around the obstruction.Jigsawand sandthe notch.

Apply finish and hardware tnspectthe bench, and finish-sand, I whereneeded.Easeany sharpedges with a sandingblock.Apply the finish.



L #8 x 11/qF " .H. wood screws


the T-nuts into the holes in the aTap Zbottoms o f t h e l e g s( C ) , a n d s c r e w i n the levelers. Insert eyebolts into the lever (B) end holes, and secure them with washers and lock nuts (Drawing ).

position the bench over your Af" 3tablesaw, first remove the blade guard, miter gauge, and rip fence from the tablesaw. Then, withdraw the eyebolts from the holes in the upper back rail (F). Rotate the levers (B) to the horiUsing the workbench zontal position (casters down), and to use the bench as a tablesaw insert the eyebolts into the holes in the 1 I outfeedsupport,rotatethe levers(B) lower back rail (F). Now, roll the bench to the verticalposition (castersup), and into place, and depress the caster locks insert the protruding ends of the eye- with your foot. .F

bolts into the holes in the upper back rail (F).Adjust the levelersso the bench height matchesyour tablesawheight.

Written by f an Svec with Chuck Hedlund Projectdesign: feff Norris, Delta, B.C. l l l u s t r a t i o n s :R o x a n n e L e M o i n e ;


3 / q x 5 1 / zx 9 6 " M a p l e ( 4 b d . f t . )

Cutting Diagram 3 / q x 5 1 / zx 9 6 " M a p l e ( 4 b d . f t . )

3 / qx 7 1 / qx 9 6 " M a p l e ( 5 . 3 b d . f t . )

1 1 / 2 x 3 1 / zx 1 2 0 " P i n e ( 2 x 4 ) ( 2 n e e d e d )

1 1 / 2 x 3 1 /xz 9 6 " P i n e ( 2 x 4 ) 1 1 / 2 x 3 1 /xz 1 2 0 " P i n e ( 2 x 4 )

s/qx 48 x 96" Birchplywood



. / #Bx2" \ / r.H.wood

Lorna fohnson

you never f ustaswith clamps, seemto haveenoughstorage. Thiseasilybuiltprojectwill serve yourstorageneedsin spades. Useit for lumberor asa catchall in the garageor basement. Plus, 1/2" using plywoodand 2x4sfor you'llfind this its construction, projectveryaffordable.

Note: Our unit measures 99" long and slight round-overs to break the sharp restson four castersfor mobility. Size edges along the top edges of the r/2" the unit to suit your needs,and omit the plywood shelves. castersif mobility is not a requirement. lCtue and screw the four uprights -f(D)

to what will be the bottom shelf

! Cut the 2x4, plywood,and perfo- assembly(A, B, C). Usea framing square I ratedhardboardparts A,B,C,D,E,Fto ensure squarenessand plumb of the to the sizeslisted in the MaterialsList. a flat surface,drill countersunk 2O" Amounting holes,and screwthe shelf supports (A, B) together to form four rectangular 2x4 frames. Note that the bottom frame uses four Bs, and the other framesuse just two. QCtue and screw the four plywood rJshelves (C) to the 2x4 frames. Check each for square. Sand or rout

uprights to the shelf assembly. the bottom four vertical (Scre* Jsupports (E) to the inside faces of the uprights(D). /Position the next shelf assemblyon tlftop of the vertical supports, as shown in PhotoA. /nepeat Steps5 and 6 to secureall f the supportsand shelf assemblies to the uprights. Before screwing the top




; rQuiqh-and-easy - -(f




v 82

Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas


#B x 1 1/2"F.H. wood screw

Note: Attach@to end supports@ w i t h# 1 2x 1 " panheadscrews. 207/e'

OptionaltZ" pedorated hardboardfor hangingtools

7 17/a'

#B x 3" F.H.woodscrew

1 / s z "p i l o t h o l e

#8 x 21/2"F.H.wood screw

time, glue and screwthe 2x4 verticalsupports(E)into position,and add a shelfassembly.Continuethe processto the top of the project.

four supports (E) in place, make sure Materials List the top of the top shelfsitsflush with the top endsof the uprights (D). If necessary, trim the top four vertical supports. A horiz.front& O Cut the perforated hardboard end backsupports 1Vz' 3Vi' 96', C (CDpanel(F)io fit betweentwo uprights B endsupports 11/2" 3yi' 207/a' C 10 (D) for additional storageon one or both 1/z' 237/s' 96' C shelves PL ends of the unit. Add hooks for hanging D uprights 11/2" 3yz* 717/ar C tools, accessories, or supplies. E vertical supporrs1yi' 3yi' l}yd' C 12 OLuy the unit on its side and attach Vi' 16Ue'71Ua" PH 1 t 4u heavy-duty swivel-lock casters F endpanel of pineorfir2x4,Pl-plywood, to the bottom, if desired. Paint the Materials key: C-choice PH-perforated hardboard. completedproject, if desired.rF Projectdesign: Chuck Hedlund lllustration:Roxanne LeMoine; Lorna fohnson

Supplies:%"lagscrews 17r'long(16),4" heavy-duty (4),#12x1 swivel-lock " panhead casters screws, #8x3" flathead woodscrews, #8x2%" flathead woodscrews, #8xl1l"flathead woodscrews.





vrEW fl ooon EXPLoDED (2doorsneeded)

s / + "r a b b e l s 6 " d e e o

#6xs/a" F.H. wood screw

# 5x % ' F . H . wood screw

# Bx 1 " F . H . wood screw

%0"pilot hole s/e"deep on back face

2" continuous hinge6 , 0 "l o n g

# 1 8 x s / q "b r a d s 1/2"dado 7e" deep 1/a'

1/4"carriage bolI11/a" long -1 t/2" rabbel Ta" deep

s/q" rabbel 7a" deep

4' caster

43/q" 3/a"

s/q"rabbel3/a" deep

4" caster withbrake c

Note: Foro turturol-woodlookand void-free edges,we usedBaltic birclt plywoodfor our cabinet, and applied a clear firtislt. Bttt, I Ctue and assemblea door's sides, as ct lessexpensive alternative,you alsocan Jtop, bottom, and shelves,as shown use typeAC or BC plywood,partictrlarlyif in PhotoA, using squaringbracesto keep youplan to paint the cabinet. the assemblysquare.With the glue dry, sandthe door frame'ssurfacesand edges Start with the doors to 22Ogrit. Repeatto assemblethe other frorn 3/+"plywood, cut the door sides door frame. ! t (A) and tops and bottoms (B) to the plywood,cut the backs(D) ffromr/2" -Tto sizes listecl in the Materials List. I.rom size.Sand thern to 220 grit, and Vz"plywood, cut the shelves (C) to size. rernovethe dust. Glue a back in the rabthe inside face pieces, of the side beted opening in each door frame, and ?O" r/2" dadoes 7a" deep to receive &rout clarnpit securelyall around the frame. the shelves, where dimensioned on ( From 1/2"plywood, cut the vertical Drawing 1. Then, rout3/+"rabbets %" deep Jspacers (E) and horizontal spacers (F) to size. Then, glue and nail the acrossthe ends of the sidesto accept the tops and bottoms. Now, rout a Vz"rabbet spacersinsideeachdoor to the back (D), 7a"deep along the back edge of the sides, whereshown on Drawing1.

Brush or spray the inside and out/ lfside of the doors with a finish of your choice. (We brushed on three coats of Minwax satin polyurethane, sanding to 220 grit between coats.) Cut the perforated hardboard panels f (G) to size. Screw them to each f door's spacers,where shown.

tops, and bottorns to receive the back (D). Note: To rout the /2" and 3/s"rabbets snd dadoes in this project, we used 3/8"and /2" straigltt bits, respectively,making two passes to size the joirtts exactly to fit the mating plywood parts.

Alote: Becauseactual plywood thicknesses vary from their nominal dimensions, measureall insidedimensionsof the tool cabinet.Cttt the spocers, and later the upper and lower shelves(L, M) and shelf edging (N), to the necessarylength for the bestfit.

With the edgesof the door-frame members f l u s h , c l a m p t h e a s s e m b l yt o g e t h e r w i t h s q u a r i n g b r a c e s .Y o u c a n m a k e s i m p l e b r a c e s from scrap 32" plywood.


@ * A d j u s t y o u r r o u t e r ' se d g e g u i d e t o c e n t e rt h e b i t w i t h i n t h e w i d t h o f a side (H),and rout a 3/c"groove from the bottom to the dado for the " epth. c e n t e r s h e l f ( l ) . M a k e t w o o r m o r e p a s s e st o r e a c h t h e 3 / a d

Build the center cabinet 3/+"plywood, cut the sides(H), I from I bottom and centershelf (I), top (J), and divider (K) to size. On the inside face of the sides, rout 3/+"rabbets 7a" deep to receive the bottom shelf and top and rout a 3/q"dado %" deep to accept the center shelf, where dimensionedon Drawing2. Rout a centered%" groove 7s"deep into the sidesto accept the divider, as shown in PhotoB. Using the same setup, rout the mating grooves for the divider in the bottom and center shelf. the parts to 220 grit, dry)Sand aassemble them, and verify they fit correctly. Then, glue and clamp the parts together, again using squaring braces to keep the assembly square. When the glue dries,apply the finish. I V.uture the openingsbetweenthe rJbottom and center shelf (I) and between the center shelf and top (J). (Our openings measwed 28V2"for the bottom and 29r/+"for the top.) From

When attaching doors with continuoushinges, such as for the tool cabinet, leaveal/'rc"gap between the membersto be hinged.The gap will prevent p o t e n t i a lh i n g e b i n d i n g d u e t o w o o d m o v e m e n t , which could keep the partsfrom closingtogether tightly.To establishthe gap, place %0"-thickwood spacersbetween the parts as needed,and then clamp the parts together.


C l a m p s c r a p 3 / t "p l y w o o d s p a c e r sf l u s h t o t h e e d g e s o f e a c h s i d e ( H ) . P o s i t i o nt h e s h e l f s t a n d a r d a g a i n s t t h e s p a c e r s ,a n d m a r k t h e s c r e w h o l e sw i t h a n a w ! .

3O"-longsteelshelf standards,hacksaw eight piecesto length to fit the bottom openingsand four piecesto length to fit the top opening. zl Position the four standardsfor the .ltop opening on the sides(H), and mark the mounting-screw hole locations, as shown in PhotoC. Then, drill Yte"pllot holes 7/rc"deep at the marked locations,and screwthe standardto the sides. Following the same process, mount the four outer standardsinto the bottom openings. Then, mount the four inner standardsto the sides,using the 3/+" spacersto position them parallel to the divider (K). (Position 4" casterson the bottoms J (8, I), where dimensioned on Drawing 3. Mark the centers of the casters'mounting-bolt holes, and drill /a" holes through the bottoms at the marked locations. Bolt the casters to the bottoms, as shown, making sure to locate the casters with brakes where shown.

How to install continuous hinges


Hinge the doors to the cabinet Using a hacksaw, cut two 2x72" I continuous hinges to a length of 60". Align the doors and the center cabinet on a flat surfacewith the back sidefacing up, and clamp them together. (Seethe ShopTip, belowleft.) I

the hinges along the door/ lCenter lcenter-cabinet joints. Drill lre" pilot holes 7s" deep into the centers of the hinge screwholes,and drive the screws. NoW set the tool cabinet upright on the casters.

Add the shelves

From t/+" plywood, cut the upper I shelves(L), lower shelves(M), and edging (N) to size. (Again, it's a good idea to measurethe inside width of the cabinet, both between the sides(H) for the edging and the shelf standardsfor the shelving, and cut the parts to the exact length for a snug fit.) and clam p t he )C tue -edging to the upper and lower shelves, where shown on Drawings2 and 4. Center the edging so it overhangs the shelves by l/eu at each end. When the glue has dried, sand the shelves to 22O grit, trim to length, and apply the finish. With the finish dty, clip the shelf supports in the standardsat the desired locations, and install the shelves on the supports. I

Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas




@ sneruNc DETATL


%o" pilot hole tAa" d e e p


%" rabbet 3/a"deeo


Steel shelf standard

s/s"F.H. \ -#5 x wooo screw

\ %a"pilot hole

%0"pilot hole 7a" deep on back face

7e"deep #6 x 7e"F.H. draw latch wood screw

4l7ru Ss/a'

# 4 x s / e "F . H . wood screw

, - { 1 1 - . .t'/8 , , , E N Dv l E W i''l-lll


il) 4\,/""1So"

2" continuous hinge,60" long


s/q" dado Te" deep



ll % groove









# 1 0x 1 " R.H. wood




s/q" rabbel Te" deep





DETATL f,ll cnrvr =

* Note: Location to wire pull and lock cam screws

Notch filed In cam


3/q"groove s/a"deep


1/4"carriage bolt 1t/q"long

4" caster with brake

1/q" hole


rocr rNsrALLATtoN (Viewed fromtop)

7 % +p" i l o t h o l e t/2" deep

Disctumbler cam lock Left door side

# 1 0x 1 " R . H . wood screw

t/q" flat washer


4" casterwithbrake t/a"lock nut




p cnsruRPLAcEMENT (Viewed fromthe bottom) 2 " . c o n t i n u o uhsi n g e 4" casters

4" caster with brake

c /4" carriagebolt 1tl+"longwith /4" washerand t/+"lock nut

4" casterswith brake

lnstall the locks and handles O" the front of each door, mark the centerpoint for a3/+"hole to 1 I receive a disc tumbler cam lock, where dimensioned on Drawings 1 and 5. (Note that the two lock installations are mirror images of one another.) a 3/+" Forstner bit, and a backer board to prevent lUsing 3tear-out, drill the lock holes through the doors. Remove the screw attaching the cam to the back of each lock, and then remove the cam. Install the locks in the holes as directed in the manufacturer's instructions. File a notch in each cam where dimensioned on Drawing 5a. Then, screw the cams to the locks. On the back of the center cabinet's front side (H), mark the 2 for #10x1" roundhead wood screws that engage Jcenterpoints with the locks' cams, where dimensioned on Drawings2 and 5. Drill 7/a+" pllot holes r/2"deep at the centerpoints. Then, drive in the #10x1" roundhead wood screws to the depth shown. the front of the doors and center cabinet, mark the screwAO" tfhole locations for attaching the wire pulls, where shown on Drawings 1 and 2. Drill %0"holes at the marked locations, and mount the pulls using the supplied screws.



rNsrALLATroN @ onnw LATCH


Tool-hanging and storage-bin options

': ii

Lockable draw latch

#6 xs/e" F.H.wood screw i r r\


@ Front

the doors snug against the center cabinet at the (Ctamp rffront. Engage the lockable draw latches in the mating clips, and position the pieceson top of the tool cabinet, where shown on Drawing6. While holding a latch and clip against the cabinet, carefully releasethe latch lever, and mark the mounting-screw hole locations in each piece. Repeatfor the other latch. Then, drill 7o+"pilot holes 7e"deep at the marked spots,and screwthe piecesto the top. NoW to mount your tools and organize hardware in the cabinet, seethe iidebut, at right, foi ideas.I Written by Owen Duvall Projectdesign:Burdette Heikens, Carefree, Arizona, with feff Mertz l l l u s t r a t i o n sL:o r n a f o h n s o n

Materials List sides



B toosandbottoms 3/l' 6'231/i'BB t/z' 5t/2" 23Vt' BB C shelves

D backs

t/z' 23Yi

7/' 172" 45" BB F horizontal sDacers1/zu 1Vz' 22Vz' BB

6 4

60" I

bottomand center shelf

J top K divider





23yi' BB

23yi' BB 3/l' 23yi' 2gyi' BB

M lowershelves

3/i' 10Yi 3/i, 41/a'

N edqinq

3/i' 11/a' 22Vi' BB

L uppershelves

221/s' BB 221/s' BB

unscrew to remove it.

I Storage Bins. To keepbulk hardwareitemsorganized, identified,and easilyaccessible, it's hard to beat storagebins. We placedbins,alsoavailable from McFeely's(Web address and telephoneabove),on the lower shelvesof the doors,as shown in the photo on page84. The binshook onto a support strip, as shown at right. Packs Thesupportstrip,which mounts of six bins,no. BINS-6000R to the cabinetbackwith #8x3/8" (red),BINS-6000Y (yellow),or panheadscrews,keepsthe binsfrom slidingaroundwhen (green),include BINS-6000G movingthe cabinet. the supportstrip.

Materials hey: BB-Balticbirch plywood, PH-perforated hardboa rd,

59Yi' BB

E vertical spacers

I llooks. To ensurethat your tools' hooksstaysecurelyin placeon the perforated hardboard,uselocking-type nylon hooksfor rock-solid attachment,as shown at right. The hookscome in a variety of shapes,so you can mount virtuallyany tool or accessory. We usedTalonperfboardhooks for our project,available from E a c hl o c k i n g h o o k h a s a d u a l McFeely's. Cal| 800-443-7937, purpose pin that you push in to l o c k t h e h o o k i n p l a c ea n d or go to

4 12

SuppIies: #18x3/c" br ads;#4xs/e", #5x5ls", and#8x1"flatheadwood screws; %" carriagebolts11/c" long (24);1/4'flatwashers(24);%" lock nuts(24);4"casterswith brake (4);4"casterswithoutbrakes(2); steelshelf standards 30"long(12); steeI shelf sup ports(24);2x72" continuous hinges(2);disctumbler camlocks(2);#10x1" roundhead (96mm)wire wood screws(2);33/+" pullswith#8-32x1" machinescrews (3);lockabledrawlatches(2)with #6x7s"flatheadwood screws.

tZx30x60" Balticbirchplywood

Bladesand bits:1/q"andl/2" straightrouterbits,3/"Forstnerbit.

1/qx 48 x 48" Perforatedhardboard

3/+x60x 60" Balticbirchplywood 88

1/zx60 x 60" Balticbirchplywood

g/qx 6Ox 60" Balticbirchplywood Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas


fiomtheeditors ofW00lTragazine


Benchtop RouterTable PlanDP-00151 $7.95

Go-Anywhere ToolGaddy PlanDP-00426 $6.95

ShopCail/Workbench PlanDP-00592a $4.95

Roll-Around ToolBase PlanDP-00061 $6.95

RollingWorkshop Storage PlanDP-00488a $2.95

Flip-TopWorkCenter PlanDP-00239 $5.95

MobileMitersawGenter PlanDP-00098 $7.95

Full-Service Workbench Plan,Part1,DP-00058 $8.95

FiveGreat Glamp 0rganizers PlanDP-00230 $6.95

BasicWorkbench and 6 Waysto Beefit Up PlanDP-00456 $7.95

Simple'N'Sturdy ToolStand PlanDP-00577 $4.95

Mobile Sawing & Routing Genter PlanDP-00271 $8.95

Full-Seruice Workbench Lift-UpRouter & ToolTable Plan,Paft2,DP-00059 $8.95

UniversalWall Cabinet PlanDP-00140 $8.95

Space-Saving WorkGenter PlanDP-00168 $6.95

Get'r-Done ShopGart PlanDP-00486a $4.95

LumberStorage Rack PlanDP-00135 $7.95

CycloneDustGollector PlanDP-00068 $10.95

Download plans anyofthese woodworking fortheprices listed, orviewa larger image, atwmdmagazine.COm/plans Tohavepaperplansmailed directly to you(add$3perplanS+H), cailtoll-free l -888-636-4478. Please haveyourcreditcardavailable.


0rbitalSander Rest Customize the basic designto support yoursander. or Chuck Hedlund, WOODo magazine's Master Craftsman, The optionalsupport time is always of the essence. atrightworks wellfor the vacuum hoseto Even the precious few seconds he rest on, preventing wastes holding a 5" random-orbital the sanderfrom sander until its pad quits spinning tipping over. add up. And even if you're not in a rush, isn't it a pain waiting for that pad to stop twirling around? To remedy this situation, Chuck designed and built this benchtop sander rest. After turning off his sander, he immediately places it in t/z"solid stock the rest. After much OPTIONALSUPPORT(Forvacuum-hosemodels) testing in the WOOD I magazine shop, Chuck Heightsutficientto Jsupportvacuum hose chamfered the bottom edgeof the hole in the top to trap the sander in the 7/u" pilot hole t/2"deep Diameterof hole centered, opening. Then, he added th" largerthan the diameter an upright to catch the of the sander base s/sz"shank hole sander's dust port and keep the sander from spinning. For sanders lc" chamter along bottom edge with a vacuum attachNote: Allstock t/2"plywood ment (seesmaller photo), (exceptsupport) s/sz" shank hole, 10" add the optional support. countersunk This holds up the vacuum on bottom faoe UPR!GHT hose while keeping the sander from tipping over. Use the L" hole in the 3" base to hang the rest when not in rie. ai \ Projectdesign:Chuck Hedlund lllustration: Roxanne LeMolne



nt x 1/2"F.H.woodscrew

Best-Ever llome Shop ldeas



Sheet Goods Mover/Lifter shop choresrival the awkwardF.* I ness of moving large sheet goods I by yourself.And it's nigh impossible to get them up onto sawhorses without help (or the horses skittering acrossthe floor). You'll neveragain have to cafolereluctant family membersinto helping if you use this system,designed by WOOD@ magazinereaderJim Forney. Build the dolly from 3/+"plywood or medium-density fiberboard (MDF), and solid stock,as shown in the drawings at right. Carefully position the castersso they run parallel to one anotherotherwise,the dolly can shimmy like a bad shoppingcart. E ac hs heetlif t er c o n s i s tso f a p a i r o f hi n ged 2x 4s . O ne a tta c h e ste m p o ra rily to the top of your sawhorse;the other guides the stock from vertical to hor iz ont al. To work the system, slide the angleiron of the dolly under the edge of the sheetyou want to move. (It works best if you storeyour sheetgoods standing on their long edge,raisedup on 2x stickers.)Grab the top of the sheet,and tip it toward you. This lifts the material off the stickers,and shifts its weight to the dolly. Now, wheel the sheetto your work area, steeringit by tilting and pivoting the dolly on one caster. To lay the sheet on sawhorses,roll it into position over the angle iron of the lifters, and tip the sheettoward the sawhorsesto free the dolly. (The sheetshould be resting only on the lifters.) Pull the dolly awaft and set it aside.Finally,raise the material by tilting the top toward the sawhorses-the lifters will drop down to the floor oncethe weight of the sheethas transl'erredto the hories.ll P r o j e c dt e s i g n :f i m F o r n e y l l l u s t r a t i o nR: o x a n n e L e M o i n e

7 e z "s h a n k h o l e , c o u n t e r s u n ko n b a c k

1 I l"


# 8 x 1 t / q 'F . H .


wood screw

x 11/z x 11/2" angleiron 24" long


z%+" pilothole 1t/q" deep

1t/z x 24" n o n - s l i pt a p e

''akt 1t/2" rabbei t/a" deep



1/a"F.H. machine screw 1" long

31/2"neavy-dutyhinge 2 x 4 , 1 "l o n g etrh a n ight of sawhorse

2 x 4 , 6 "l o n g e tr h a n sawhorsebase

# B x 1 1 / qF " .Hl

wood screw


angleiron 31/2"long

7 ,/-,,/, xi./,,, :@*^::;s'iotaoe 1t/2" dado t/a" deep

1/q"hole, countersunk

machine screw 1 7 + "l o n o



hen you have a hardworking and organized shop, routine repairs and special proiects becorne a pleasure, not a chore. The first step toward equipping a shop: Designate an area that you can call your own. It doesn't need to be a huge space, but it should be comfortable, well-lighted, and have adeqr.rate electrical service. Individual articles within this rnagazine give you the details on how to create a workspace that's inviting and efficient. You'll also find valuable advice on choosing individual tools. Next, set up a workbench. Make sure it's sturdy and free of clutter. If the benchtop is piled high with tools and supplics, it's only acting as a shelf, not a bench. Clear the deck, and keep it clcan. Add a vise or two, and yor,r'll ntake lnany of your projects consic'leraltlveasier by elirninating the effort of rnanually irnnrobilizing a workpiecc. Work orr your bench, but not itrto it. Stray holes in your workbench, as well as spilled paint and oil, quickly downgrade your shop's appearance.Protect or renew your benchtop with a replaceable layer of plywood or hardboard. 92

An efficient home shop has plcnty of storage area for tools and supplies, with the most-needed iterns always at arrn's reach. If you find that you're continually walking across your shop for an iter-n, relocate it closer to your workbench or other area where it's used. You'll need a variety of storage options: sturdy shelves for' tools and bulk supplies, drawers for precision tools, bins or snap-top containers for fasteners and srnall tools, hanging storage for everyday tools, and outof-the-way storage for items you need only occasionally. But even the best storage products won't do you any good unless you're rnethodical about putting away tools and supplies.

Mention "tools," and tnost people irnrnediately think

of power tools-the type that lequires an electric cord. But every well-equipped shop also has plenty of hand tools. These basic implements include wrenches, saws, files, chisels, striking tools, and rneasuring and rnarking tools.

W h e t h e ry o u b u i l d i t y o u r s e l o f r b u y a n da s s e m b l e , a sturdyworkbenchis one of the top necessities for s e t t i n gu p y o u r h o m es h o p . Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas


Precision layouttoolsenableyouto work Investin high-qualityhandtools,and they yourresults accurately, sodon'tshortchange will lasta lifetime.You'llusethem on many projectsaswell asfor machineryadjustments. by buyingcheaprulesandsquares.

A routerisa versatile additionto yourshop joineryaswellasshape thatcancutcabinet decorative edgeson a widerangeof products.

As you begin to build your tool collection, bewareof bargain bins. Thesetools often provide attractive price tags but little in the way of quality. In fact, you may discover that poorly designed or poorly made (or both) tools will frustrate your best efforts. High-quality products usually aren't cheap,but having good tools removes a significant barrier in your quest to produce firstrate results. Several brands of hand tools offer lifetime guarantees,such as Craftsman (Sears),Husky (The Home Depot), and Kobalt (Lowe's).The initial investment may be higher than brands that don't offer liberal replacement policies, but an active do-it-yourselferwill enjoy the

ing the year when you'll enioy substantial discounts-even 50 percent off-on selected hand or power tools. You can build or upgrade your tool collection more quickly when you watch for these deep discounts. Closeoutsand reconditioneditems are other money-saving opportunities, and these tools often carry full warranty protection. Storeswith rental operations often offer low prices on used tools that are top-quality and professional grade. In this case,though, you'll probably buy the tool "as is," without any warranty. It may work for 10 minutes or L0 years,but it's yours either way. Another opportunity is the "brownbag sale" that retailers sometimes

Unlessyou've recentlywon a lottery or a big poker tournament,you probably aren'tgoing to buy a shop full of tools on a single visit to the home center. The following categoriesrepresenta startinglistof basicshop toolsto tackle a wide range of home repair and improvement projects. They don't includeall the tools requiredof trades suchas painting,drywall,electrical, and s o on.

Primary shop 1 6- ounc ec law h a m m e r,a p a i r o f 1 2 " o ne- handedbar c l a mp s ,a 1 0 " p a i r o f locking-grippliers,6" and 10"adjustable wrenches,sawhorses,battery-powered drill-driver,a set of drill bits, shop fire extinguisher,safety glasses,hearing protection, respirator, drive-bit set (whichcanalsobe usedwith a magnetictip screwdriver),flexible and stiff 1/+"

benefit of never struggling with a damaged tool. The warranty covers a wide spectrum of hand tools, such as pliers, wrenchesand screwdrivers,but excludes power tools.

Don't spend more than ydu have to Retailers often provide generous discounts on lawn and garden gear in the spring, and even more dramatic markdowns at the end of the summer. when the equipment will otherwisebe returned to the warehouse. Other outdoor tools follow similar cycles: for example, you'll usually get the best deal on a snowblower when the weather begins to warm. The storeswill alsohave salesdur-

putty knives,a set of wood chisels,chalk line, line level,ball of nylon mason'sline, utility knife and spare blades,slip-joint pliers,tape measure, torpedoand 2' levels, combinationsquare,framingsquare,caulk gun, handsaw,sandpaperin a varietyof grits,smallpry bar,6'stepladder, compass, varietyof tapes(masking,duct, electrical), nailsets,scratchawl.

Secondary shop Cordedelectricdrill,setof spade-type drill bits, 25' extension cord (14-gauge is adequate;12-gaugepreferred),tool belt, hacksawwith spareblades,plumb bob, bevel gauge, coping saw, circular saw, jigsaw,set of Allen wrenches(hex keys), socket-wrench set in both SAEand metric sizes,mitersaw,sander,sharpeningstones and honing guide, block plane,crowbar, strap wrench, tongue-and-groovepliers (C h a n nel l ocki s one brand), stapl er,

3-pound dri l l i ng hammer , 8- pound sledgehammer,wood rasps, grinder, dead-blowmallet,4' level,needle-nose pliers,wire stripperand cutter, center punch, neon electricaltester,electrical continuity tester, cat's-paw nail puller, pipewrenches.

Advanced shop Shop vacuum, constructioncalculator, laserlevel,dialcalipers, micrometer, fullface shield, precision screwdriverset, router, high-speedrotary tool (RotoZip type), reciprocatingsaw,propanetorch, air compressorand pneumatictools, tablesaw,welding rig, tap-and-dieset, bandsaw, solderingiron,coldchisels, drill press,tin snips,electricalmultimeter(AC and DC volts,ammeter,ohms),heatgun, metal-cuttingchop saw, impact driver, central dust collector, overhead airfiltrationsystem.


Stoclcplle supplies

A 2' level,alongwitha torpedolevel,ispartof yourbasictool kit.A 4-footerprovides even betteraccuracy for big projects. conduct, offering a percentagediscount on all the items you can stuff into a brown paper (grocery)bag. This can be a good way to save on some hand tools, such as measuring and marking equipment, that are often not discounted.

Make a list, and check it twice

When you get into your proiects around the home, you'll save time and trips to the hardware store by stockpiling nonperishable supplies such as wire nuts, sandpaper, fasteners, and other products. But be cautious about buying giant bottles of glue and other products that have limited shelf lives. It's also wise to keep volatile liquids (fuels and solvents, for example) in limited quantities. Whenever possible, store combustible liquids in a shed or garage that's detached from your home. Of course, having supplies on hand is only part of the challenge-finding them when needed is the real key. Organize your fasteners in neatly labeled standardizedtransparent containers. (Seepage 105 for one option.)

Maintaln your tools When you spend your hard-earned money for tools, you'll be motivated to take care of them. Scrape soil off gardening tools before storage (see more details in the sidebar at right), and buy canvastool rolls so that your woodworking chisels don't bang each other on the cutting edges. Learn how to sharpen basic edges, such as plane irons and chisels, or sendyour tools to a sharpening service to keep them in prime condition. ll

The sidebar on page 93 lists primary, secondary, and advanced homeowner tools can serveas a generalguideline to prioritize your wish lists. But bear in mind, however, that building a workshop is a long-term proiect, not a onetime event. Equipmentarticleswritten by Robert f . Settlch It's easy to get carried away when buying tools, so set a budget to keep things under control. That way, you can add to your shop every month without undue strain on the finances. In general, you'll buy power tools as your projects iustify them, but you'll probably be pleasantly surprised how quickly they pay for themselves when compared with the fees charged by a contractor. For example, the installation price that you'd pay for an entry door will go a long way Buyinga tablesawis your passportto the world of toward buying the mitersaw precisionwoodworking.You'll build great projects you'll need for the trimwork. for insideyour home and outdoors. 94

Protect Your Tool Investment Buyingnew toolsfor your shopcan be an enjoyableexperience.But replacingstolen or neglected equipment can be both painfuland expensive.With a bit of care, though,you can minimizeyour risk. For starters,conduct an inventory of your shop.Thiswill be helpful if you ever need to file an insuranceclaim because your.toolswere stolenor suckedup into a tornado'sfunnel cloud. Recordthe tools' makes,models,serialnumbers,dates of acquisition, and purchase prices.Shooting photos or video is a quick way to prove ownershipof small tools that would be too tedious to list individually.Storethe inventory in your safe-depositbox or at anotheroff-sitelocation. Next, contact your insuranceagent to discusswhether itemsof substantialvalue shouldbe specifically mentionedin your coverage.You'll also want to find out whether your policy provides full replacementvalueor would pay only on a depreciated basis. Coverage at the depreciatedamount is lessexpensive,but it mayalsoprovideonly a smallfractionof the tab for retooling your shop. The differencewould comeout of your pocket. Ask for a quote on switching to full replacementcoverage,and you may find that it's quite affordablecomparedwith bearingthe riskyourself. It's also a good idea to keep valuable tools under lock and key.Make surethat your shop has a sturdy door with deadbolt, and even lock tools up again in a wall cabinetor mobilestorageunit. (See "Ready,Set,Roll" on page 106.) Securityis a specialissueif your shop is in an attached garage. Professional burglarsoften approachtargetsvirtually empty-handed,relyingon a quickkickto a weakdoor to get into the garage.From there, they often use the homeowner's own tools to gain entry to the house.

Keepyour toolr clean and dry Theft is a quick way of losingtools. Rust and corrosionwork more slowly,but can niake your tools just as useless.Scrape loosesoil from garden tools to keep rust and corrosion at bay. For off-season storage,blastthe toolscleanwith a garden hose, air-dry,and then give each one a spritz of oil. lf you have a tablesawor other equipment with cast-iron tops; protect them with coats of automotive paste wax. Catalogs for wood- and metalworkersalsooffer spraysand wipeon finishesthat banishrust and corrgsion from small tools. (BoeshieldT-9 is one product.) You can also invest in dehumidification blocksthat keepthe air dry insidea tool box.

Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas


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('l-t t, S ; 4 5 slllrnp t p le l t ' e nIOT h Latsaw necd for u8 l-r cqu uestlor i o n : " W/l-rat //ss do u t zas with co or l nec ) r lrny / SsLn o) p?! " lBut .)" 'sn rl-lS ml at n r)z ssi ir rnl rpll e qlLl(es' n SWCJ i /e r. IIr-r tere'sn o) (el a s:y a ns\ n fac l i es souncl S r ther sti :ior fzA CCt, ., sor sclTle: ooff tlhL. L' l r e plie i lsar w' lu rf e tr'ic / nL1r iight t ikk(ee tr l r'ic g ht. For own lle, ar j igs ghtLtblade, I S C SA Sstr; c k( q,-lurest: i o) n1iS; i nr tt hLeei flrto e Xx A arnl r ple, LISâ&#x201A;Ź S ra rigt b ttrt a 'dd t(O CCrr-rt rt ititt''ss Ih ar f i t, A r c i rctur l a r sa, t: wwi i t h a igght t ll i n St L+ tra ne : IWv l t a IsS Aa rrC d bli rde,but ou ( rnd bla< ,c tut< rI'l't l'l' t c lt'l't i t \,VOIul : C' LI ll Ir VCCl sS . ( - hlIroot(( )l ros:irl"ltn) (( t r :a S 'ilI I\^ tt)' s r r hh atve '/ pe( l c-l< ore e-'sn't v to b c i r i cdclle lclle; i t' s SsilTt rr npl plv i Ltter ; i1 v, aI lTlnLatt, ,S 'orl (t, r r o j â&#x201A;Ź r t ; t o off rlnaatc at , hh i nr tg) ' a to( atcl ) o l ' ; sstl r<n 8i l p i you t l r o i n t s I S h e p wi VA o u \ t y n C C rnt to tt tac ack k . l e . . l n r trh i : l ^ o: rq ', jii ie, e taake a rti rt i c lle, r , we v e 'lll 1 . 'ok r k a t tl tl h e c ii r c u l a r :S A.W, a q u i LcI \\. lt (oo g s;a' a ig IW, ttir: rgc^i Pr-r r froc nng SAW , recil $Sat , at L a rnrdl s aI W tarb bles v al ntrd S AN W,b l Scrc Yr t t ' lI a l sOo W C o l lsaw. l s a r . Yorr v a lnt tto o rree:fe f e r tor t th CeC,to C flTlnpaL n rior i cn t tt ri rn nn i nr g o n po5 (t,g( 9 8 . a rti rt i c ll re e of n t l r s aI W,: sb)eg l lttn ite L ' d




You'll find a wide range of choices within the circular-saw category, but A circular saw allows you to take n-rost of the tools fit into two basic s e r i o t r sc u t t i n g p o w e r t o t h e i o b , a n c l clesigns:the sidewinder and tl-re\ /onn t h e r e a r c p l e n t v o f t a s k s i t c a n h a n c l l c : clrive. Each saw style defines itself by crosscr,rttingsttrds for a roonr aclclitior-r, the position of the rnotor relative to c u t t i n g d e c k b o a r c l st o l e n g t h , n o t c h i n g the blade. tirnbers for a backyard play set, cutting l-he worrn-clrive design places the 4x8' sheet goods to sizc, and ntuch long axis of the lnotor parallel to more. Install an abrasive lnasonry the saw blade, as shown at ri,glrt. wheel, and you can score concrete The rnotor transfcrs the power to the blocks or paving stones for your patio blade tl-rrotrgh a serics of pir-rions (You'll need a cold chisel to finish the and gears. A worm-gear assernbly that gives the design its name turns the iob.) Substitute a rnetal-cutting wheel, and you'll power through conduit. rotary rnotion 90" at the saw arbor.

A c o r d e dc i r c u l a sr a w ,s u c ha st h i s S k i l s a w model above,providessteadypowerfor evenyour most ambitiousconstruction projects.The Skil77 worm drive has exceptionalpowerand a narrowprofile. 'l'his

setup gives the saw a narrow profile side to sidc, but stretches the body of the worrn-drive saw, adding reach that's often handy on long sar,vcuts. However, the real benefit of the wormdrive design is exceptional torque (rotational power). That rneans you will


rarely find a situation where you'll bog down the blade. On the negative side, the gearing and powerful motor translateto additional weight. With a sidewinder saq you mount the blade directly to the motor's shaft. With some saws,the blade is on the right (iudged from your operating position), but others place it on the left. Some manufacturers produce both models: bladeleft and blade-right. In theory, a righthander should find a blade-left saw more convenient because you don't need to look over the saw to see the blade. But if you're a righty already accustomedto ablade-rightsaw,switching to a blade-leftcan be a disorienting experience. With a little practice, you can follow a line freehand to make cuts straight enough for most proiects. For more accuracy,usea purchasedor shop-made clamp-on straightedgeguide with your circular saw.

Enter a recilr saw into the demolition derby If you do occasionalhome repairs,you probably own a tool belt. If you're a serious remodeler, you'll definitely own a reciprocating saw. Fans of this tool nickname it the recip saw, and after the first time you use one, you'll be a fan, too. With a recip saw, many operators actually look forward to the demolition phase of each proiect instead of dreading it. The saw getsits name from the backand-forth action of the blade. You rest the foot plate of the saw on the piece you're cutting, and squeezea variablespeed trigger with one hand while your other hand steadiesthe body of the saw. It's a tool built for speed and power, not pretty cuts. Cutting through old decking, lumber, and plywood is no problem, even if it's riddled with nails and screws. Need to slice through rebar or old pipes? No sweat-simply pop in a metal-cutting blade. The recip saw with a coarse blade lets you cut up downed tree limbs with nearly the speedof a chain saw,but with a lot less noise and zero fumes. Most corded recip saws have plenty of power to cut big iobs down to size. But if you're willing to sacrifice power for the advantage of going cordless, you'll find battery-powered saws that won't tether you to electrical outlets. 96

Next to a friendly bankerwith a low interestrate, a reciprocatingsaw is the remodeler'sbest friend. This model usesan 18Vrechargeablebattery.

figsaw: Cutting corners accurately While a reciprocating sawmoves a blade forward and back, a jigsaw moves it up and down. And unlike a recip saq a iigsaw is capable of accurate and intricate cuts. You can craft holiday yard decorations from plywood, cut through a laminate countertop to install a sink, or shape smooth curves in decorative deck brackets. Choosethe right metal-cutting blade, and you'll zip through sheet metal, steel, and copper pipe. With a fine plywood blade, you'll negotiate hairpin turns in 1/+"stock. With a medium- to coarse-woodblade,you'll sculpt smooth curves in outdoor projects such as %"thick fence pickets or |Yz"-thick cedar or redwood beams. You'll find that most iigsaws offer variable-speedcontrol, where your finger pressureon the switch has the same effect asyour foot on your car'saccelerator pedal. Many sawsalso allow you to control the orbiting action of the sawa motion that powers the blade forward and back while it's alsotraveling up and down. The greater the orbit, the more

A jigsaw cuts smooth curvesin a wide rangeof materials,from thin plywood to dimensionallumber.

aggressivethe cut, which also means a rougher-cut edge.Dial down the orbital action, and you'll get improved control and a smoother (but slower) cut. When shopping for a jigsaw, you'll notice that most have horizontal grips that parallel the motor housing. Others may have you grabbing the housing itself, a position that could uncomfortably warm your hand during an extended cutting session.Check how the saw fits your hand, and whether the grip is comfortable or seems strained when you pull the trigger.

Tablesaw: First choice for straight cutting With the saws we've discussedso far, the lumber is stationary and you move the tool to make the cut. A tablesaw reversesthe dynamics: It sits still while you advancethe material pastthe blade. When you're working on piecessmaller than full sheet goods, you'll find that this makes it easy to achieve accurate results. In addition, the blade-tilt feature enablesyou to cut bevels with or acrossthe grain. The miter gaugeand rip fence make it easy to crank out a stackof identical parts within minutes. If you'll cut only a few long boards,you may need to recruit a helper to assist you in balancing the lumber. But an outfeed stand is an inexpensive alternative that doesn't get impatient. Even with a helper and an outfeed stand or two, you'll find that manhandling a full sheet of plywood over a tablesawcan quickly turn into a wrestling match. Whenever possible, use a circular saw to break the sheet into manageable pieces before going to the tablesaw. How big a piece fits the definition of "manageable"depends somewhat on you and the size of your saw Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas



' i

more) horsepower, ZZo-volt motor. It's all about cast iron, with heavy-duty everything, including the price tag.

Bandsaw: Cuts curves and thiclc stock easily

A tablesaw caneasilytrumptheaccuracy of alltheotherhand-guided sawsin your arsenal of powertools. The smallest-and therefore most portable-tablesaws are often labeled as benchtop tools, though many have optional legsset to improve their versatility. Low price is the prime motivator behind these saw designs, so you'll typically find a stamped-steeltabletop, and a universal motor that directly drives the blade. Follow the setup instructions carefully, and you'll get decent results from this type of saw, but don't expect glass-smooth cuts or extreme precision. The next step up is a jobsite saw, which usually includes a folding stand that doublesas a dolly for easyportability. You'll seea significant boost in the price tag, but you'll receive substantial upgradesin the quality of materials as - well as improved precision and power. The next level is called a contractorstyle saw, but you'll see far more of these in home workshops than on construction sites.The contractor-stylesaw has a cast-iron top that's machined flat, and an induction motor rated about 1.5 horsepower. A V-belt connects the motor to the saw'sarbor. This category represents such a large share of the tablesaw market that there's an abundance of aftermarket accessories.So you can bolt on upgrades for accuracy and convenience. For example, you'll find beefed-uprip fences,superaccurate miter gauges,and a host of jigs. A carefully tuned saw is typically more than capableof furniture-quality cuts. Take one more step upward, and you're looking a at cabinet-style saw, a true industrial machine with a 3-(or

Add a bandsaw to your shop, and you'll open new possibilities that are difficult to achieve with any other tool. You can make straight or curved cuts in thick wood with accuracy.Compound cutswhere you slice through two adiacent facesof the stock-are not merely possible but downright fun to do. This tool also excelsat resawing lumber, which means slicing it on-edge. This allows you to open up a piece of wood to create a book-matched panel for a stunning cabinet door. Even benchtop bandsawsoffer decent resawing capability, and a mid-priced saw with a riser block can resawthrough 12" slabsof hardwood.

The defining dimension of bandsaw capacity is the distance from the blade to the column. Some benchtop units utilize a third wheel to improve the capacity of the saw without trpscaling the major components. However, most sawsfeature a two-wheel design. Although the vast majority of bandsawsare intended for cutting wood, you can also purchasemodels that cut metal. In this case, though, the pulleys are sized to slow down the cutting speedto a rate that's more appropriate for metalcutting blades.

A scrollsawhandlesa wide range of precision and creative cutting tasks in wood and metal.

Scrollsaw: the one-tool habit-forming hobby Scrollsaws should have some sort of warning label attached, becauseusing one can definitely become an addictive experience. Some users start out innocently enough, crafting nameplates and simple plaques.But then, they find themselveshooked on complex designs and other advancedtechniques. Most scrollsaws have variable-speed controls that allow you to tailor the cutting approach to the material you're crafting, whether it's wood or metal. Equipped with the appropriate ieweler's blade, the scrollsaw can craft exquisite detail in a variety of metals. The up-and-down motion of a scrollsaw reminds some woodworkers of a sewing machine. One key tlp: changeto a new scrollsaw blade whenever you notice the cutting action slowing.A new blade helps you finish sooner,and increases the life of the saw by reducingstrainon the motor.i'

Sources A bandsawis simpleenoughforthe beginnerbut capableenoughfor the advancedwoodworker.

Bosch: 8772672499, Craftsman: 800-549-4505, DeWalt : 800-433-9258, Hltachl : 800-829-47 52, f et : 800-274-6848, M Ifwau keez262-7 81-3600, Skllz877-754-5999,


With Success Mitersaws & Accessories post Whetheryou need a4x4deck or tochop forajewelry slice adelicate molding box, a mitersaw isthetoolofchoice. Togetthemost fromthistool,though, thinkabout thescale of workand These thematerialyou're cutting. youchoose considerations willhelp both the job.lfinstalling saw andtheblades forthe you'll molding isyour firstgoal, need awayto measure too. andcutmiterangles, 98

I I ost mitersaws on the market today are the comI!1fI I U I pound style, which means the blade can bevel and miter simultaneously. This enables you to cut crown molding flat on the saw's deck. Most compound mitersaws bevel in only one direction, but a few can bevel both ways-a feature that's occasionally handy but not necessaryfor most DIY iobs. In today's market, saws have either a 10" or L2" blade, though you'll find a few sawsthat usesmaller or larger blades. A larger blade

diameter, of course, translates into greater cutting capacity. A sliding mechanism is another way to boost the tool's effective cutting range.Saw manufacturersgenerallylist the maximum thickness and width of cut at two positions: the zero-degreecross'cut and at a 45" miter. Make sure that the saw you choose will handle the largest stock you need to cut. There's always the initial burning temptation to buy the biggest saw in the store, but looking at the price tag often cools that passion. Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas



Chose your blade Matching the blade to the iob is a critical part of cutting success.For decking and other'framing chores, a 10" blade with 24 carbide teeth will produce fast cuts and eject chips efficiently. For smooth cuts in moldings, choose a quality blade with 60 or more carbide teeth. If you'll cut plastic molding, you'll need to search out a company that makesspecialtybladeswhich minimize melting. (ForrestManufacturing is one source.)

Working all the angles One of the key steps toward virtually seamlessmolding joints is knowing the precise angle you need to cut. You'll get the best results by using a protractor with legs long enough to span the humps typical of outside drywall corners. An 18" plastic protractor from Quint Industries is an affordable and accuratetool. If you don't mind parting with more money, you'll find digital protractors that will calculate the bevel and miter anglesfor you, as t ,L\. shown below.

ffir qTA digitalangle '\ â&#x201A;Ź finder eliminates \ guesswork when you're installingcrown molding.

Capture the crown Wrapping a room with crown molding motivates many people to purchase a compound mitersaw, but the instructions included with the saw often fall short of even basic training. For more help, consult a book such as Crown Molding and TTim: InstaII It Like a Pro from Quint Industries. The book is available at many home centers,or you can order online ( For a handy video of cutting molding, seewoodmagazine.corn/rnold ingvideo.

It's time to take a stand A mitersaw can be extremely handy in the shop, but making the tool easily portable multiplies its usefulness.That way, yori can take it to the backyard to

hold long piecesof lumber or molding. Typically, you use a built-in screwclamp to match the support's height to the saw'sdeck. Some supports even include a provision for a stopblock setup, a real plus when you need to cut a batch of parts to identicat length. lF

When choosinga stand,look for stability as well asthe ability to support long workpieces.Thisdolly-type standfrom Hitachilets you transport the saw and its support systemin a singletrip. install a new deck rail or near the living room to install crown molding, a chair rail, or both.

You can put the saw onto a piece of plywood between sawhorses,or set up a portable workstation such as Black & Decker'sWorkmate. If you choose either of these alternatives, it's a great idea to clamp the saw firmly to the stand so it won't slide when you're making the cut. For real convenience, though, take a look at a dedicated mitersaw stand. (Somecan even double as a platform for a planer or other tool.) You'llfind a variety of designs among manufacturers. There are two categories:a stand that travels independently of the saw and a stand with wheels (above),serving as a dolly to transport itself and the saw at the sametime. The independent stand is the more plentiful and generally the lower-priced of the two types. On the downside, though, you'll always make at least two trips with this variety: one for the stand and another for the saw. The dolly-type stand is a sweetheart because it cuts your commute in half, and it also eliminates the strain of carrying the saw. Typically, the stand even includes a gas-charged cylinder that helps you overcome gravity during setup. If you'll move the saw up and down stairs, look for large-diameter wheels. If you'll travel over soft ground, wide wheels will keep you on a roll. Somestandsrequire the sawto be bolted on, while others have a quick-release mechanism.Detaching the tool is a plus if you need to load the stand and saw into a truck. Most dolly stands store on end, reducing their footprint. Both types of stands usually incorporate outrigger work supports that help

lf metalworkingis a part of your shop activities, you'll appreciate a bigcapacitychop saw. Despitetheir size, thesesawsare surprisinglyaffordable and can cut a wide varietyof ferrous and nonferrousmaterials.By using a specialcarbide blade, the model pictured below can cut significantly fasterthan either a mitersawwith an abrasivewheelor a portablebandsaw. The bladeproducesvirtuallyburr-free cuts,reducingthe needfor grinding. A quick-acting viseholdsthe material firmly, and a 45" fencepositionsstock for accurateand repeatable results.*

There'splenty to like in a metalcutting saw: huge capacity, high power,and uncomplicated operation.


2499,boschtoo Bosch: 877-267 Craftsman: 800-549-4505; craftsma DeWalt: 800-433-9258, Forrest:800-733-71 11, Hitachi : 800-829-4752, Quint Industrles:866-544-2016,






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, ou have three potential power sources for a drill: battery pack, electrical cord, :,:r:' and compressed air. Batteries give your drill the most portability, an advantage :;r' that's important when your potential household work sites range from the roof to a cramped crawl space. Dragging along a cord adds a degree of difficulty to many of these iobs, and it seems that the plug always pops loose just when you're ready to pull the trigger. But corded drills definitely have their advantages.When you're faced with heavy-duty tasks-drilling large-diameter holes in wood, for example, or simply boring a lot of holes-you'll benefit frorn the dependable power that flows through the cord. You can work all day without the bother of swapping power packs or waiting fbr a recharge. If your shop has a compressor rated at rnore than 4 SCFM, consider a pneumatic (airpowered) drill. It's not a good choice as your only drill, of course, becauseyou're tethered by an air hose. But the simple no-motor construction of an air tool gives it light weight, excellent dependability, and low maintenance. Many pneumatic drills lack the refinetnents of corded and battery drill-drivers: no clutch settings and no variable speeds.Some units even lack reversing features. (For more about air tools, seeprl.ge108.) 100

A n a n g l ed r i l lp e r f o r m sw e l l i n t i g h t spaces.A cordedversionletsyou q u i c k l yd r i l l h o l e st h r o u g hs t u d st o r u n w i r i n go r p l u m b i n g .

Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas



Cordlessdrill-drivers Battery power gives your drill-driver a highly portable and dependable power source.No wonder it's one of the most popular of home-shoptools. A drill-driver with a power sourceof 10.8 to 14.4 volts is usually plenty for routine drilling of pilot holes and driving screws.But if you need additional power for more demanding tasks, such as spinning spade bits, look for more voltage. However, the high-voltage batteries also impose substantialpenalties in both price and weight. When you're shopping for a drill, don't merely look at price tags. Instead,check the tool's balance (with the battery in place,of course).Also, learn whether you can easily reach and operate all of the switches-such as the reversing control-without straining or fumbling. To understand more about batteries and chargers-including the new lithium-ion technologycheck out page116.

results at either end of the sizespectrum. Most drill presses have slower speeds that match up well for drilling metal.

T h ed r i l l p r e s s , l i k e this benchtopmodel, is a must-havetool for precisionwork. lt can alsospin a wire wheelfor removing rust,or a buff for polishingboth wood and metal.

The hammer drill and rotary hammer

The hammer drill combines rotation with a forward-and-backhammer action that the drill generates mechanically. The combination of these two forceswhen teamed with specially hardened drill bits-quickly pulverizes concrete, brick, and stone. In addition to RPM (revolutions per minute) ratings, hammer drills also have BPM (beats per minute) specifications. Severalman ufacturers offer A similar tool, the rotary hammer, (shown 14.4-voltdrill-drivers derives its percussive power with an with a rechargeablelight). on-board hydraulic mechanism. This system delivers more energy to the bit than a rotary drill. It's iust the kind of tool you need if you're drilling a lot of holes in concrete; for anchors or a termite treatment, for example. But it's also quite pricey, so you may want to consider renting instead of buying if The drill press your need is short term. (Seethe article The operationalprinciple of a drill press on buying vs. renting on page8.) is extremely simple:The tool that bores Hammer drills and rotary hammers truly vertical holes to a precisedepthusually let you select among three something that's difficult to do with a modes: rotation only, hammer only, or handheld drill. For precision work in hammer plus rotation. both metal and wood, a drill pressrates as a virtual necessityfor your shop. The size rating of a drill press can be confusing becauseit representsthe maximum diameter of a workpiece in which you can drill a center. For example, you could drill the axle hole in a 16V2"-diameter wood wheel with a L6y2' drill press. Manufacturers like using this size system becauseit makes the tool seem twice as big as describing its chuck-centerpoint-to-post dimension as 8V+". The other size consideration in drill A rotary hammer will saveyou a lot of presses is whether you prefer a floor time and effort when drilling holesin model or can utilize a benchtop unit. In concreteor stone. terms of precision, you can get excellent

The impact driver Impact drivers have long been common pneumatic tools: You've heard their distinctive wails in pit rows and the neighborhood tire shop. Corded impact drivers have also been relatively common. Until recently,though, impact drivers were virtually unknown in a battery-poweredformat. But several manufacturers now produce compact versions of the impact driver. They are promoting the tool as a real problem-solver for tough construction and renovation tasks'around your home. If you're finishing a basement,for example, you can use an impact driver to drill holes in concrete and then drive TapconrMor similar fasteners.If you're building a deck, an impact driver will drill pilot holes and then spin in lag screwswith a powerful hammering action. |l A new generationof battery-poweredimpact driversprovidesthe muscle that takesthe hard work out of tough fasteningjobs.

The sizeof a drill is usuallyrated by the maximum diameterof bit shank that will fit into its chuck.The most common size for both corded and battery drills is 3/e".Heavy-dutydrills feature72"chucks. A clutch is a handy featureon a drill-driverbecauseit allowsyou to set the maximum torque you want to apply to a fastener.This helps prevent overdrivingscrewsor strippi ng thei r heads. Somedrill-drivershavedual speed range switchesthat help you tailor the tool to the task.ln the low range, the bit spins more slowly, but you have additionaltorque and control. In the high range,you trade torque for greater rotational speed-great' for fastdrillingresults.


-2499, Bosch : 877-267 boschtool s,com Delta: 800-438-2486, DeWalt: 800-433-9258, Gri zzlyz800-523-4777, Porter-(able : 800-487-8665, deltaporterca Ryobi: 800-5252579,



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[veryone thefeelandappearan(e enjoys 0fa random-orbit sander excels. It's also a good choice for general finish preparasilky-smooth butnobody t0 surface, wants tion (sandinga bookshelf,for example). spend hours sanding t0getthatsmoothness. You want to pull the dust away from Arandom-orbit sander minimizes thatchore, the surfaceso that you're constantly cutmaking it avaluable addition shop. ting fresh wood, not merely rearranging toyour

likethis (520 An inexpensiveaccessory or less)activatesyour shopvacuumwhen you switch on your sander.Turn off the sander,and the vacuumrunsfor three more secondsto clearout the hose.

the dust on the board. Most randomorbit sandershave on-board dust collection or the even better alternative of you to use either five- or eight-hole disks A random-orbit sander combines the easyattachment to a shop vacuum. The on the pad. Some people may say that rotary motion of a disk sander accessoryshown sboveright provides an it's not the ideal situation, but it works. with the orbital action of a finishing easy way to turn on the shop vacuum #me- and tw*-hnnd versf,*ms sander. As a result, it cuts quickly, and sandersimultaneously. like a belt or disk sander,but with the If you typically use a random-orbit seftdpftpe$"f control and cross-graincapability of a k**$*r",y sander for extended periods of time, finishing sander.This means that you Some sandershave five dust-collection you'll probably find the two-hand-grip can move the tool in many different holesin the pad while othershave eight. version less fatiguing because you're directions-even at right angles to the Although it may initially seem strange splitting the effort among more muscle grain direction-without producing an to pay good money for sandpaperthat groups.For accessinto tight areasor for objectionablescratchpattern. looks like Swisscheese,it makes a great working on small pieces,though, you As a result, you can quickly level sensefrom a dust-collectionstandpoint. may find a single-handmodel easierto slightlymisalignedwoodworkingjoints. Some five-hole pads also incorporate maneuveracrossprojects. Cabinet face frames and rail-and-frame slotsextending from eachhole, asshown Whichevertype you choose,resiststhe doors are two examples where the opposite.This clever arrangement allows urgeto pressdown on the sanderto speed

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Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas


Ir How to ge.t a on your sanolng cnotces

The Boschsander(left) requiresa two-handed grip, while the Porter-Cable(right) leaves one hand free to repositionthe stockas you work. Both sandershavevariablelpeeds.

the smoothing process.In fact, it usually has the opposite effect; plus, you make the job much harder on yourself.

they find that PSAstarts to lose its grip after a few times on and off the sander. If you have a pneumatic random-orbit sander-it's often called "dual-action" Keep sandpaper attached when powered by air-you may find H&L is shorthand for hook-and-loop, that PSA is your best choice. That's the generic term for the temporary because these sanders often operate at fastening system known by the brand very high rotational speeds:10,000 RPM name Velcro. PSA stands for pressure- is common. Friction at that speed can sensitiveadhesive,another way to hold melt the plastics used in the hook-andabrasivedisks to a random-orbit sander. loop system,so it's not a practical choice. Most woodworkers prefer the hookand-loop system becauseit provides a A quiclc course in sanding fast and easy way to swap grits, even Here are the basicson how to get sanding before the disc is worn out. By contrast, over as quickly as possible.The grits recommended are a suggestionthat you'll need to adapt, depending on the aggressiveness of your sander and personal preferencesin surface quality. Another variableis the smoothnessof your proiect before you begin sanding. For example, furniture-quality hardwood plywood arrivesin the lumberracksalreadysanded to 180 grit or finer. Begin sanding dimensional hardwood with a coarse abrasive (80 grit). After sanding, inspect the surface to make When the sanderbasehas slots (left),you can sure that you've removed all the stock needed.From that point forward, it then useeither five- or eight-holepaper. becomessimply a matter of each successively finer grit removing the scratches of the one before it. Use a vacuum, cloth, or benchdusting brush to remove the 8O-grit particles and dust, and move to 100, l2O, and 150 grit. Between each grit, brush or wipe to ensure that you're starting with a clean surface. With wood, sanding much beyond 150 grit usually isn't necessary,and it can even cause problems, especially if you're applying a stain. That's becausefiner grits can burnish the wood's surface, preventing it from absorbing stain. The SanderSittereliminatesthe nuisanceof Don't skip grits-leapfrogging conwaiting for the sanderto coastto a full stop before you can set it on your workbench. sumes more time and leave scratches.


As with many tools, you'll find that random-orbit sanders cover a wide price spectrum, with the more expensive models ($165) easily costing twice as much as low-price leaders($70). So what do you get as you invest more of your hard-earneddollars? Sanders that are more expensive usually have more robust internal components, such as metal instead of plastic gears, improved bearings and electronic refinements, including dustproof switchesand speed controls. The way the sander fits in your hand is another consideration. Test-grip a number of sandersat the home center or hardware store before making your final choice.I


Bosch : 877 -267-2499, Porter Cabf e : 800-487-8665, Sander Sltter and switched outlet a v a i l a b l ei n m a n y w o o d w o r k i n g c a t a l o g ss u c ha s Rockler.comand

Other sander options A belt sander aggressively removes stock,but its linearscratchpattern means you can only use it with the grain of wood. Cross-grainscratches(at mitered or butt corners,for example)are asvisible as beaconsand difficult to remove. A finish sander overcomes this problem by moving a pad in a tight circularmotion so you can sand with or across the grain. The small scratches usually aren't conspicuous, and the sander is easy to control. On the downside, though, it's a slow worker. Most finish sanders have square pads that usequartersheetsof sandpaper,but you'll also find rectangular half-sheet versions. You may see these sanders categorized with orbital models, but a squareor rectangularpad meansthat it's not random orbit. Pneumatic (airpowered) sanders with orbital motion are often called "jitterbugs." Disk sanders have big appetites,and they aren'tpickyeaters.In the blink of an eye, the rim of the spinning disk can easilytake a nastybite out of your project. And unfortunately, it's difficult to teach good table mannersto a disksander. Of course,many of thesesandersspray dust everywhere, making the sanding chore more unpleasant and even hazardousto your health.(See"KeepYour Shop and LungsClean" on page 34.)


Tbol Portable Stqrage You can take it with you-

aybe installing a new dimmer switch in the dining room isn't exactly like an astronaut's repair of a solar panel on the International SpaceStation. But in both cases, the repairman needs a way to get tools and suppliesto the worksite. Fortunately, you can get all the tools you need to the site of your earthbound chores with readily available portable tool storage that falls into five generalcategories: Toolboxes: Thesecan rangefrom palmsized soft-sidedbags to metal monsters big enough to dislocate your shoulder even beforeyou load any tools. Mobile storage: Essentially,toolboxes with wheels, though some of these units pack multiple functions. Wearable rtorage: This includes aprons, tool belts, and related accessories.Your tools and suppliesgo wherever you do. Organizers: These storage units keep fasteners, drill bits, and other small parts neatly corralled. 104

On-site storage: This burgeoning categoryincludes a wide range-from plastic file cratesto toolboxesfor your pickup truck.

Put your MP3 playerin the zippered compartment,then plug the CraftsmanTunes and ToolsBag into any outlet at your jobsite. The built-inamplifierand speakerslet you do more than whistlewhile you work. Almost forgot-it also carriestools.

Buckets and boxes full of tools Sure, you can still find rectangular metal toolboxes, but they are only the start of your portable storage options. You'll also find cloth and plastic carriers, and each material has its advantages and drawbacks. Plastic boxes generally cost less than metal carriers, are lightweight, and dent-resistent, but scuff easily and may become brittle and crack in cold weather. Metal does a great iob of shielding valuable tools and has traditional appeal. Aluminum boxes weigh less than steel and don't rust. On the downside, they dent more readily. Newer surfaces, such as diamond treadplate,give a modern look.

One of the advantages of a 5-gallon bucketstorage systemis you canquickly locatethe toolyou need-no needto rattle around in the bottom of a bulky box. This version is from CustomLeathercraft.You can organizeanother bucketwith drop-in plastic compartmentsfor bulk fasteners. Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas


This 14"-fabric bag from Huskyopens wide for easyaccessto tools.

Fabric bags are tough and versatile carrlers You'll find severaldesignsfor cloth carrying bags,with battery-poweredcombo kits and individual tools such ascircular saws. You can also purchase bags to serve as totes for specific tools or as a general carrier (above).The tough fabric can't dent, of course,and you can squish the bag to reduceits volume. That feat is impossible with rigid materials such as metal and plastic. A number of manufacturers produce cloth organizers for S-gallon buckets (opposite).Pocketsboth inside and out provide high-visibility storage that makes it easy to find and grab the tool you need. Snap strapslassorolls of tape, and you can use the volume inside the bucket to transport suppliesto the iobsite. To avoid the hassleof continuallv putting away tools, simply place the loaded organizer right on your bench. That way, you can grab and go on a moment's notice.

Thismobile work station from Stanley features 7" wheelsfor easy rolling,even over unevenground. The cavernouslower bin holds largetools,and parts bins organize fastenersand tool accessories. A generous toolbox at top holds even more tools.

Make storage . a moving eiperience Putting wheels under a toolbox is a great idea, especially if you need to transport items that are heavy, bulky, or both. When you're shopping for one of these units, make sure that it will accommodate the stuff you need to move. If you'll be hauling large tools,

for example, measure carefully to ensure that they will fit. Another consideration is ease of retrieval. A big bin may offer generous volume, but if you fill it with small items, you may need to completely unpack it to find the one tool you need. Also consider whether a mobile toolbox includes storage for fasteners and other small items that you'll need at the worksite, like the model below. Of course, you can always opt for separatesmall-item storage,but that means one more thing to carry. Look for a telescoping handle that stores out of the way but extends to give you a leverage advantage when you're on a roll. Large wheels are better than small ones on uneven terrain; wide wheels help resistsinking into soft surfaces.

involves maneuvering around in a crawl space.Also check that the fastenerpouch doesn't have exposed rivets with edges that can dive under your fingernail as you reach for a fastener.

A traditionaltool belt (thismodel is from Duluth Trading)is set up for generalcarpentry.

Everything in its place The walking workshop

Every hardware store and big-box home A well-stocked tool belt surrounds you center will offer a good selection of with your most-needed tools and sup- small-part organizers. But don't stop plies, while a shop apron trades away there. Also look at tackle organizers at most of the tool-toting ability to keep the sporting-goodsstore as well as storyou clean. The general guideline is that age accessoriesat the local crafts store. Most organizers include dividers that an apron is for shop use, but you wear a let you split up the space to suit your tool belt on the jobsite. There are two general approaches needs. Some include a set of modular toward tool belts. The first is purchasing insert cups so you remove the fasteners a one-piecerig that has a hammer loop, you need and snap the lid on the rest, as a seriesof pockets, a tape-measurewell, shown below. and assortedtool slots(aboveright).lt's a If you have a significant volume of good solution for carpentry and fastenersor supplies,look at the compartgeneral-purpose tasks, but mented plastic storage units that stack some models have draw- inside a S-gallon bucket. Adding a padbacks. A left-hander will ded lid to the bucket helps prevent spills immediately notice that the ham- and also gives you a place to sit. al mer hook is usually located opposite his dominant hand, requiring double-handling each time the hammer's drawn or returned. In addition, there will be times where a job requiresonly a few tools instead of the full capacity of the tool belt. That's Laythis why many people prefer the modular Stanley approach: a leather or web belt to which organizerflat, you can easilyadd or subtract accessories open the lid, and lift such as a fastener pouch, drill holster, out one of the storagecups-there are three different sizes-for easyaccessto utility-knife sheath, and so on. That the fastenersor parts you need.The extraway, you can customize your tool rig to wide handleopening providesa . the iob. suregrip, even if you're wearing bulky You'll find modular and one-piece gloves.They stackon the shelf,too. tool belts in both leather and fabric. But no matter which approach you take, carefully examine each item before you Sources (raftsman : 800-549-4505, buy it to ensurethat it meetsyour needs. Custom Leather(raft : For example, an open tape measurewell Duluth Trading : might do okay most of the time, but Husky: look for a strap to secureit if your work Stanley: 105

MobileCabinets & Carts

Readry, Set,Roll rF

here are two types of home-shop enthusiasts: those who already own a mobile tool cabinet I I and those who want one. Even if you're part of the first group, read on becauseyou'll discoveruseful accessoriesthat boost the storage capacity of your cabinet, both inside and out. You'll also learn about a smart way to createcustom drawer labels so you can instantly put your hand on the right tool. In addition, you'll seehow a mobile shop cart can help you get the most enjoyment and productivity from your time in the shop.

Think inside the drawer When you start looking at mobile tool cabinets,you'll seean incrediblevariety of drawer configurations: shallow or deep, narrow or wide, and even doors on some units. The setup that will work best for you depends on the type of work you do becausethat in turn determines the size of your tools. If you're a machinist, for example, you'll probably want a chest that has mostly shallow drawersto organizedrills, taps,and cutters. If you thrive on engine work, you'll need shallow drawers for wrenches and screwdrivers, but also some deeper drawersfor larger tools and accessories. Doors open wide to accommodate bulky items. But if a shelf is near the floor, you may need to get down onto your kneesto retrievetools and supplies. You'll make the space more accessible by installing a pull-out shelf. You can make one yourself or find one in the kitchen-organization section of your local home center. 106

Havinga great tool collectiondoesn't do you much good if you can't find the one you need.Thiscabinetfrom Kobaltfeaturesa flip-top lid and an add-on shelf.

Try before you buy Even with your eyes closed, you'd be able to distinguish between a homeowner-gradecabinet and a professional model. The entry-level version won't have individual drawer latches, and you'll feel and hear metal-to-metal contact as the drawer scrapes-rather than slides-open. When you close the drawer,you'll need to make certain that it doesn't bounce back or stop short. As you move up the price ladder,you'll find doors with individual lift latches. This is a great feature becauseit ensures positive closing and also keepsthe drawers from sailing open when you move your cabinet. With non-locking drawers,you'll need to put the entire cabinet in lock-down mode before moving it. Better chests also use ball-bearing drawer slides. These operate smoothly and quietly, and also help boost the

YK Divideand conquerwasa winning strategyfor Romanlegions,and it's a good way to organizeyour tool cabinet,too. Dividersand trays(thesearefrom WaterlooIndustries)are a good start,but you'll also want to recruitspecializedorganizersfor sockets and other tools. drawer's weight rating. Inexpensive slides can complain loudly as you load the drawer, but ball-bearing slides seem to thrive on the work by operating more smoothly under an increased load. Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas


Plug into your tool chest

With the introduction of the CraftsmanAXS system,Searslaunchedmobiletool storage into the electronicsage.Somepeoplemay considera few featuresgimmicky,but this cabinetwill still be the coolestplaceyou ever parkeda wrench.

A power strip on your tool chest can be something that you pop on with a few minutes' work or a factory-supplied accessory.Either way, it will add convenience and reduce your dependenceon long extensioncords. You can buy an intermediate chest (sitsatop the rolling cabinet) from Sears. It's wired as a charging station for your battery-operated tools aswell aspersonal devicessuch as your mobile phone and MP3 player. The CraftsmanAXS systemfrom Sears takes electronic convenience (and a few gadgets)to the next level.Your tool chest can have under-frame downlighting, two slide-out LED task lights, backlit nameplates,a 12-volt power outlet (automotive style), six-outlet power strip, and even a USBport. A built-in messagecenter delivers data on duy, date, time, indoor and outside temperature (via remote sensor),timer, and alarm functions. The matching portable tool box (seepage 104) includes a dock for your MP3 player,and amplified speakers.

Go ahead: Pick a color, any color (almost)

Years ago, a brown-wrinkle finish was virtually the only color choice for tool Casters,lochs, and cables chests,and some old-schoolmachinists Castersput the motion into your mobile still adhere to that tradition. But now, tool cabinet,so they deservesomeatten- you havea wide paletteof color choices, tion. The usual setupfeaturestwo casters and can even order drawer fronts that swivel and two with fixed axlesemblazoned with bright graphics in similar to the setupyour automobile.As themes ranging from NASCARto NFL a result, positioning a cabinet against a to patriotic. At least one maker prowall is similar to parallelparking, requir- duces cabinets in a forest camouflage ing additional space at each end to pattern that pleasessome people but permit maneuvering.If you want to push leavesothers scratchingtheir heads. a cabinetstraightbackinto a fitted space, You can also buy a cabinet in stainfour swivel castersare a better option. lesssteel,and it can look very sharp if Although castersare a real blessingin you're willing to invest the time in moving a fully loadedcabinet,they also polishing it and avoiding fingerprints. enablethievesto make your cabinet dis- Also be aware that stainlessis softer appear.To help keep your tool collection than regular steel, so it could dent secure,invest in a heavy-duty security more easilyif the manufacturerdoesn't cable that tethers your cabinet to an compensateby using a thicker gauge. anchor point solidly imbedded in the floor or wall. Label the contents Forthe lockson the cabinetitself,look Some manufacturers produce drawer for pick-resistanttubular keys. If the labels so you don't have to remember cabinet you buy doesn't have this type, whether the crow's-foot wrenches are in simply remove the stock lock and take it the fourth or fifth drawer. But the a local locksmith. The shop will be able printed labels (some are magnetized to provide a more securereplacementat sets)can't anticipate all of your needs, a price lower than replacing even one so you may need to resort to handquality tool. A locksmith can also help scrawlingon masking tape. you if your upper and lower cabinets are Avoid both those alternatives with keyed differently. a hand-held labeling machine. Most

labelsmakeit easyto Craftsman magnetized findyourtools. models let you choosefrom severaltype stylesand sizes.Unlike the old-fashioned embossingmachines,thesenew models producecrisp type.

Put a shop cart into your shopping cart l o l

Once you start using a shop cart, you'll wonder how you survived without it. Many models have generous drawer volume to keep your most-used tools instantly available. Use the top to stack parts as you move them among various workstations or to hold supplies.dF

Solvethe problem of a clutteredworkbench by purchasinga rollingtool cartand offloadingthe basicnecessities into the drawers.The top of this Grizzlycart provides a surfaceon which to placecomponentsof a ' work in progress.

Sources Craftsman: 800-549-4505; -4752, Grizzlyz800-829 Kobaft Tools: 262-7 81-3600, Waterf oo I ndustries : 714-522-8088; waterlooind




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but snrall cnouglt to nlo\,'c r,r,ithrtut u n c l u cs t r a i n . 'lir . \ f t c r v o u k r o k L r l tt h c ; r i r r c c l L r i r c r r . r c n t s f a n r i l i a r i z c v o u r , r , i t ht h c f c a t r r r e s o 1 t l r c t < l o l sv o l r o \ \ ' n o r \ \ , a n t t o a c c l r r i r . t , , o f c o r n p r c s s o r s ,l c t ' s f i r s t l c t o k i t t n c r , r , r o L r ' r cl . r p c c t t h a t c h o o s i n g t l r c c o l n l ) r c s - t c c l ' t n o l o g i c s f o r g c t t i n g a i r 1 t o r , r ' ctrc t 'l'hcn, s o r n , o l r l c l r c r c l a t i v c l l ' c a s r ' ., \ n c ' la s l o n g thc job. n , c ' l l c l i s c r - r sl st r t r t a l r l c a s t h c n r a c l ' r i n ci s s t r i c t l v a s h o l t c o l l c o n r p r c s s o r st h a t r ' r ' i l l h a n c ' l l c a n ' i c l c l ) f c s s o r , i t i s : l i u v t l - r c n " t c t s tl t o n , c r f t r l r a n g c o f j o b s i n r ' o u r s h c t l ta n c l a r o u n c j a n c l b i g r r c s tu r r i t v o u c a n a f f i t r c l . tltc holtsc. l:inallr,, r.r'c'll covcr tl-rc l l L r t i f \ ' o u \ \ ' an t l t r t r t u l t il i t r ' , t h i n g s aclvantitgcs of fcrcd lrv l'rr.'c u r-rits. 'l'hat's start to gct a littlc contplicatccl. c s p c c i a l l vt r u c i f t l t c l t o r t u l t l cL r n i tn , i l l 'l'licrc a l s o s c r v c A S\ , o r l r i n - s l t i t l t c o n t l ) r c s s o f . a r c s c v c r a ls t r a t c g - i ctso c l i r n i n a t c Y o L rr , r , A ntth c c o n t l ) r c s s o rl t i g c n o L r g l tt o a c o n r l ) r c s s o (r o r a t l e a s t l c a v c i t i r t v o r r r f c c c l v o L r l r n o s t a i r - l t u n g r v s l r o l t t o o l s s h o p ) r ' r ' h i l cv o r r h a n c l l cj o b s i t ec h o r c s . Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas


You'll also find nailers that get their power by igniting gas from an onboard fuel cell. This system eliminates the necessityof a compressorand air hoses, as shown bottom left.

Big jobs for station ary compressors From the standpoints of dependability and performance, bigger really is better when it comes to air comDon'tletthe smallsizeof theJacPac refillable pressors. For starters, a large motor has (sometimes requiring Z{o-volt power powerto shoot500fasteners. Includingthe for the serious DIYer or auto mechregulator, it weighsaboutfivepounds. anic) squeezes the air to a higher One simple method involves adding an pressure.A two-stage compressor,for air regulator to a portable tank. Simply example, typically achieves a maxifill the tank with air at a gasstation, then mum pressureof 175 PSI compared use that compressedair. It's a good alter- with 125 PSI for a small native to lugging a portable compressor compressor.That's signifiup to a second-floor room to install a few cant, because it means piecesof baseboard. that a comparably-sized One recent innovation in the air- tank holds 40 percent powered arenais a high-pressurecarbon- more air at 175 PSI than dioxide cylinder teamedwith a regulator. at I25 PSI. A 30-gallon The combination mounts on your belt, tank, for example, acts as if and therefore needs only a short hose it had a 4Z-gallon capacity. to connect the tool, as shown above. A large tank helps ensure The carbon dioxide is stored in a liq- that you'll never deplete the uid state, but quickly converts to a gas pressure below the tool's when it passesthrough the regulator. working requirement, even The cylinder maintains pressureas you when you run it wide open for use up the carbon dioxide, so you get an extended period. Second, full power down to the last fastener. a big tank means that your You can have a cylinder recharged compressor will power on at any paintball supply company for less often, extending the about $5, and that should be enough to life of the motor and the shoot about 500 fasteners.You can also compressor's components. do a cylinder exchange at stores that Virtually all compressors sell the system. are rated at a maximum service rate of 50 percent, which means that the motor should run no more frequently than half the time.

Small compressors are hard workers

Cordless(and hose-free)nailersreducesetup time for projects.Choosefrom a framing nailer,suchasthis model,or a rangeof finish nailersand driversfor bradsand staples.

Mid- to small-size compressors with 4- to 6-gallon tanks lack some of the meatier specificationsof their big brothers, but they make up for it by being tough competitors. If you match. the compressorto the tool, you'llnever outwork it. Many of the contractor-style compressors have twin quick-connect hose outlets becausethey have enough muscle to keep two workers busy. Even a small compressor,such as a 150-PSIunit with a 5-ga11onpancake-shapedtank, has enough capability to keep a carpenter with nail guns working hard. To achievebig performance in a small and portable package, manufacturers

have developed some ingenious solutions. For example, product engineers shed the weight of a cast-iron compressor block, and substitute steel sleeves inside an aluminum block. Many also abandon the oil-filled crankcase and substitute Teflon piston rings and a cooling fan. In fact, an oil-free compressor requires less maintenance than the oil version.

Choose from a wide range of air tools You'll use a compressor for much more than simply filling tires and inflating pool toys. An impact wrench (what auto shops use to remove lug nuts) takes the hard work out of many vehicle maintenance chores.A word of caution: Be sure to invest in a set of impact sockets.An ordinary socket could shatter when subiected to an impact tool. But impact-rated sockets (usually black in color) have beefier walls to stand up to the strain. You can use standard sockets, though, with an air ratchet. For wood construction, you can drive a rangeof air-powered fasteners,from framing nails to finishing nails, brads, and staples.-lF

This 28-galloncompressordeliversthe power to run a wide rangeof pneumatictools for jobs in woodworking, metalworking,and auto mechanics.

(Standard SCFM CubicFeetperMinute) required at90Psl* Finish nailer, bradnailer






Drill6mall) Airhammer




Straightline sander


(medium) Sandblaster



*Manyof thesetoolsdon'tactuallyrequirean operating pressure that high,but tool manufacturers convertto that pressure to makecomparisons easy.Valueslisted arerepresentative of the categoryandmayvaryamong manufacturers.

Sources Campbell-Hausfeld: 800-543-6400, DeWalt : 800-433-9258, supplierpipel f acPac: 800-567-0864, Parfode : 847-634-7 048,


Lasers for the Home The straightstory on straightlines ffi1

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;ilkryt#itool, shownaboveprojectinghorizontal andverticallines,isa realmultitasker. Other functions includeelectronicstud sensor,sonicdistancemeasureand a continuous-read featurethat lettyeu measureas you walk. lt retailsfor about 570.


he first time many of us saw the power of a laser was when archvillain Auric Goldfingeradvanced the high-energy beam toward a captive JamesBond. When that film debutedin 7964, few people could have imagined that lasers would eventually become practicaltools in home workshops. There are three main uses for laser productsthat you'll find helpful: I a beam indicateslayout lines for a project (tile installation, for example), . a lasershowsthe spot or line where a tool will cut (a drill pressis one use),and . a laserservesas a referencepoint to show where a measuringfunction is occurring (aswith an ultrasonic measuringtool).

its 2- to S0-foot range, and is useful in calculatingmaterialsfor a number of projectsthroughout your home. Peoplewho do appraisalsor other real estate work find a laser/ultrasonic tool especially handy. More-expensive measuring devices have built-in calculators. The devicesusuallytoggleeasilybetween the inch/foot systemand metric. Stanley has a line of Tru-Lasertools that utilize the laser beam itself for linear measurement,a technology that the company says offers superioraccuracycompared with ultrasonic. Linear measurementsare easy, of course, but team laser deviceswith an inchfoot calculator (seepage112 for the Construction Master 5) and you can quickly estimate areas for flooring, Laseruthat point drywall, paint, wallpaper, Some ultrasonic measuring tools and more. These two tools display distancewith iust the push also speedily figure perimeof a button. A model from Calcuters, as when you're buying lated Industries, right, projects a crown molding or other laserbeam to indicate the target, millwork. Or, calculate the Thislaserfrom eliminating guesswork.It claims Calculatedlndustries volume of rooms, a key piece a 99 percentaccuracyrating over readsdistances. of information when you're 110

sizing the capacity of an air-conditioner or humidifier. Another example in this categoryis a no-contact infrared thermometer that includes a laser for targeting of surfaces that can be out of reach or dangerously hot. You can usean infrared thermometer to find hot spotsin electricalpanels,moving parts, or in automotive applications.

Lasersthat show the path Tool companies often refer to this category as "laser-guided"tools, although the laser doesn't actually take over the steering or positioning of the tool. It's more correct to say that these are tools with laser guides, showing you where the blade will cut or the hole will be drilled. These guides can slash tedious setup time, promote better work habits, and provide more-accurateresults. One example is the drill pressopposite that utilizes twin criss-crossing laser beams to pinpoint exactly where the bit will enter your stock. You find this feature on somenew drill presses.Or, retrofit your existing tool-benchtop or floor model-with an easy-to-install aftermarket unit. For the best results, be patient when you adjust the aim of the Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas


Onegreatadvantage of thisDeWalt laser systemisthatyoucanswitchon the laser whilethebladeisstationary. Thissimplifies setupsandproduces more-accurate results.

Equipyourmitersawwith anaftermarket laserfromlrwin,andyou'llincrease your accuracy. Thebeamswitches on whenthe bladespins.

Somecircular sawshavea laser(thismodel hastwo)that projectsa beamontoyour workpiece. Matchthe lightto the marked cutlinefor results thatarerighton thebeam.

beams so that the cross mark exactly matchesthe drill's centerpoint. It's also a good idea to periodically verify the setup, especially if your drill is on a mobile base,becausethe vibration and shocksof repeatedmoving may compromise accuracy. You also can equip your mitersaw with a laserto indicate exactly where the blade will cut, as shown above.There are two basicways of doing this. Somesawshave factory-installed systems that indicate the cutlines, and the beam can be switchedon even with the blade stationary. The other technology involves a

laser-equipped saw-blade washer that replaced the factory-supplied washer, as shown above.When you switch on the blade, the centrifugal force caused by the rotation closes the electrical contactsinside the housing, turning on the laser.This affordableretroflt^adapts to a wide range of saw makes and models. Bearin mind though that both of these systemsusually show only one side of a saw's kerf, so you'll need to consistentlyposition your stock so that the wastesideof the line is to your right (asyou face the saw). You'll also find circular saws that proiect a laser line ahead of the UtaOe like the model aboveright. I Simply match the laser projection with your marked cutline and keep them aligned while you cut. This also trains you to aim the saw by looking at where it will go instead of focusing on where the blade is currently cutting.

Securemounting is one of the keys for successin using a laser.With lightweight units, usespecialadhesivestripsto temporarily secureit to the wall or floor and then remove the device without leaving any residue. Larger units offer different mounting options such as a tripod, as shown below,or a specialbasethat permits temporary attachment to a stud or that even clips on to a suspendedceiling grid. In addition to the ceramic floors and suspendedceiling proiectsalreadymentioned, you can use a laser for layout lines for a wide range of other projects. These include hardwood and laminate floors, vinyl floor tiles, ceramic tile on walls, wallpaper,embossedceiling panels, hanging pictures, installing shelves, nailing on outlet and switchboxes,installing cabinets or a chair rail, and many more proiectsaround the home. lF

Lasers that find level Lasersexcel at establishing layout lines because the line is dependably straight and you don't need to fuss with erasing preliminary marks. In addition, you won't cover up your layout lines as the work progresses.For example, the old-fashioned way of marking out a start line for a ceramic flooring installation has you place the marks directly on the backer board, where they're quickly lost under the first application of thinset mortar. With a laser layout though, fou simply Twin lasersgeneratea crosshairtarget that showsthe centerof your bit, promoting fasterand more-accurate turn on the beam whenever you results.Newgl drill pressesbuild in this technology,but want to inspect your progress,as it's alsoavailableasan add-on for someolder models. shown opposite.

Acculine'smanualrotary-headlaser(lessthan S100)quicklyfinds horizontaland vertical. planes-ideal for tasksfrom buildingwalls and installingcabinetsto hangingwallpaper.

Sources Acculine: 262-242-1161; CalculatedIndustries:800-854-8075; Craftsman: 800-549-4505; DeWalt: 800-433-9258, lrwin: Skil: Ryobi: 800-525-2579;


DigitalToolsUnder$100 Value-packed racy devices deliveraccu

igital technology touches nearly every aspectof modern life: telephones, TVs, and computers,of course.But digital is alsosteadilybecoming a part of home workshops. Some shop tools, such as tablesawsand drill presses,are beginning to sprout digital readouts.But in this article we're focusing on tools under $100.

The dlgital imclinom*t**" two-step The built-in blade-bevelscaleof a tablesawwill usually get you into the general neighborhood of an angle. But to bring real accuracy home, try a digital inclinometer (or tilt box)-a cleverlittle tool that quickly comparesthe angular differencebetween two surfaces(above,the sawtable and the blade). To calibrate the tool, first stick it onto your tablesaw'stop with the rare-earth 112

magnets built into the bottom of the case.Push a button to zero out the setting. Next, use the magnetson the side of the case to adhere it onto the saw blade. (It works with saws that tilt the blade either right or left.) Now you can crank the blade to the exact angle you need. The digital readout displays in increments of 0.05 degrees, but the statedaccuracyis 0.2 degrees.

A calculated way to irnprove ac{uraty Most fifth-graders are proficient at working with fractions. But it's often tough to find a fifth-grader when you're in the middle of a project. In that case, you'll find it helpful to buy a calculator that works in feet, inches, lf you want to quicklybreezethroughestimating and fractions. and project-planning chores,get yourselfa math The Construction Master 5 Calcula- wizardsuchasthe ConstructionMaster5 from tor, shown at right, can easily add, CalculatedIndustries. Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas


subtract, multiplt and divide all of those dimensions and metric values, too. You can easily toggle between English metric systemsor even include both systemswithin a string of calculations. But those capabilitiesmerely hint at the full power of this handheld math whiz. You can calculate squareyards of carpet, cubic feet of room volume for sizing a dehumidifier, cubic yards of concrete for a driveway repair, figure rafter lengths for a new shedor riser and tread sizesfor a set of deck stairs,evenly spacebalusterson a balcony or pictures along a wall, and much more. The calculator is intuitive to use: You merely push the keys in the same sequenceas speaking the math operation. But don't worry if you get into a tough situation such as figuring the length of edging for a circular planting bed around a tree.The calculator includes onboard storage for its pocket reference guide, so you can quickly look up the exact procedure you need.

their rigid storagecaseafter use to avoid damagefrom abrasionand impact.

Laser and digital tape measurements

Digital calipers(about 540) remove uncertaintyfrom precisionmeasuring chores.lf you're a left-hander,look for a model with a reversedconfiguration.

Measurinq without the French acient

Some tools work hard, but others are multitasking overachievers. The BullsEye laser level (boftom) from Black & Decker combines an auto-leveling laser (with three lines) and a digital tape measure. The self-leveling feature is a real timesaver because vou don't need to fiddle with tedious alignment adiustments. New devices,such as the ScaleMaster from Calculated Industries at right speeds the translation of plans and Faps drawn to scale. rF

Calipers and many other measuring instruments have long had a supplemental scale that was developed by Pierre The ScaleMaster Vernier in 1631. (Interestingly, Vernier's from Calculated lndustries name wasn't widely associatedwith the measuresscales scale until the early 19th century.) The in drawings Doing your level best Vernier scaleis easyto understand and and maps. Sources Reading the vials of an standard level use, but it involves the ability to clearly Black & Decker: can be a dispiriting task. The result seesmall markings. 800-733-71 11, depends on how you hold Digital calipers overcome that your head, and getting any coming with a bold readout (above)that CalculatedIndustries: 800-854-8075; accuracyat all in cramped or can displayin fractions,decimal inches, Craftsman: 800-549-4505, dimly lit areas is a tough or the metric system. A 6" measuring assignment. But the technol- range should handle most home-shop Grizzly : 800-523-4777, ogy built into digital levels chores.Calipers have the Wixey: removes any uncertainty. ability to take inside and The bright display is easy to outside measurementsas read (Ieft),but there's also an well as depth and step audible beep at O, 45, and 90 measurements. You can degrees, so you could even combine inside and outoperate the tool with your side measurement capaeyes closed. If the surface bilities to directly read you're measuring isn't per- the difference between fectly level or plumb, you can two components such as read the angle to an accuracy a shaft and a hole. If your of an amazing one-tenth of calipers' manual doesn't a degree. cover all of these proceThe inclinometer function dures, spend a few mincan also switch to read a slope utes on the Internet, and percentage or a pitch. This you'll discover plenty of is useful for surfaces that helpful advice. require an elevation change And although the tool to drain properly. You'll find is easy to use, it's not it handy when you're build- idiotproof. So it's worth ing a deck, installing gutters, developing good work or setting up forms to pour a habits such as holding it patio or sidewalk. squareto the object you're measuring. Even a slight ThisCraftsman24"digital levelincludesa A digitaltape measurein Black& Decker'sBullsEyelaser angledefeatsthe accuracy level laserreferencebeam.You'llalsofind this tool brings your DIYprojectsinto the 21stcentury.The built into the tool. Be sure built-in auto-levelinglaserprojectsverticaland horizontal in a torpedo versionthat easilyfits into your toolbox, or in a 48" size. to return the calipers to lines,so you finish projectsfasterand more accurately.


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Clampsfor the Home Get a grip on your work and budget IFhere's an old saying that you can't have too many clamps. And I I while that's accurate,it's only half the truth, because it's not simply the number of clamps; you also must have the right type. - We'll take a quick look at a wide range of clamps that will make your time in the shop easier,safer,and more productive.

Work-holding clamps At the drill press,/ou can use ordinary C-clamps to attach a plywood basethat keeps you from drilling into the metal table and prevents chipout when the bit breaksthrough the wood. A fence-also held in place with a C-clamp-helps immobilize the edge of your stock so that the bit can't grab and spin it. (This is a common source of shop injuries.) Alternatively, you can use a drill-press hold-down that fits into one of the slots milled through the drill-press table.


Five Favorlte Clamps for DlYers

One-handed bar clamp

S l i d i n g - b acrl a m p


Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas


ThisVarioClippixby Besseyis a clever variationon the standardspringclampwith infinitely adjustablejaws up to 4".

Assembly and disasseniUly clamps

Another type of bar clamp uses fixed lengths of steel, aluminum, or composite material. In similar lengths, these types generally weigh less than a pipe clamp. However,you can't combine two clamps to make one that's longer. Sliding-bar clamps are a long-time favorite in the shop. The one-handed bar clamp has becomepopular in recent years becauseit's fast and easy to use, and keepsone hand free to adjust project parts (not an easytask using sliding-bar clamps). As an added feature for onehanded clamps,you can reversethe jaws to use it as spreader.This is handy in disassemblyoperations (taking apart a chair, for example)or in caseswhere you need to apply outward pressure. At the top end of the bar clamp category are those with large parallel jaws and impressive clamping force. Although a number of manufacturers now produce a similar design,the Bessey K-Body and Jet clamps are often considered the premier examplesof this type.

There'sa wide arsenalof clamp typesthat can help when you're assembling proiects.Spring clamps are among the least expensive and easiestto use, but each size has a fairLylimited clamping range and only a single pressuresetting. And when you use them to hold glued parts, they sometimesmake the parts slide out of position. A new style of ratcheting spring clamp (the BesseyVarioClippix, above,is one example) overcomesmany of theseshortcomingsby allowing you to adiust the opening, the clamping angle, and the amount of clamp force. If you get into repairing and reassembling furniture, you'll need some largescaleclamps.Pipe clamps are one of the leastexpensivealternativesand also one of the mostversatile.The length of clamp you can make is limited only by the length of pipe you have. If all of your pipe sectionsare threaded at both ends, you can expand clamping capacity by A four-wayclamp providessteadypressure ioining them with pipe couplers.By the and cornersthat help squarethe project. lt's way, we recommend the fixtures that use idealfor assemblingboxesand frames. t/+"pipe becausethe Vz"version doesn't have enough muscle for big iobs. More a$sembly clamps For smaller-scaleassemblies such as picture framesand boxes, try a clamping system such as the Veritas 4-Way Speed Clamp, shown above.One handy feature is the quick-releasenut that can slide along the threaded rod until it's nearly in position. You then engageit on the rod and tighten. Another handy assembly clamp securely holds corners or T-assemblies square to each other, even when their thicknesses are different. This clamp considerably simplifies and speeds the construction process, whether you're Barclampspullthe boardstogetheredgeto edgewhile the springsclampskeepthe board assembling drawers or a large cabinet. The Jorgensen"Pony" 90"-angle clamp, facesflush.To balanceclampingpressure, Alternatebar clampsoverand undera panel. top right, is one example.

With this clampand one hand,you can snug up miters,butt joints, and evenT-joints.The clamp self-adjuststo piecesof differentwidths.

Clamps for round and irregirlar shapes When you need to apply pressure all around a circular form, a nylon band clamp may be iust the solution you need. To use it, Iassothe parts you're ioining, pull the clamp snug, then tighten the ratchet mechanism with a wrench. The small version of this clamp is 15' long and usually includes four metal corner brackets so that you can conveniently use it when assemblingpicture frames. In a pinch, /ou can also use a ratcheting tie-down strapasa band clamp. You'll find that these are quite inexpensive at hardware storesand the home centers. If you get into a really big proiect, make a supersizedband clamp using a trucker's tie-down strap. Don't get too carried away with the pressure,though, or you could crush your project. ll

Sources Bessey:800-828-1 004, f orgensen: 312-666-0640, -8158, Veritas:800-871 Woodcraft: 800-225-1153.

A band clamp works great on rectangular projects,but reallyshowsits value on odd jobs: multi-sided,circular,and other toughies.The largetrigger on this modelfrom Woodcraft tightensthe straplikea one-handedbar clamp.


Understanding TbolBatteries

hen woodworkers talked about battery-powered tools a few years ago, the discussion was almost always about drills. But toolmakers have now hitched batteries to a wide afiay of power tools, including reciprocating saws, impact drivers, flashlights, angle grinders, sanders,iigsaws,staplers,hedge trimmers, jobsite radios with amplified speakersfor your MP3 player, and many more. A number of tool manufacturersbundle severalof the most popular tools along with a charger and two batteries to keep you working strong all day.

batteriesand chargers.In addition, these two technologieshave been around longer than Li-ion, so their characteristics are well established. NiCd batteries, which debuted in 1946, charge rapidly and efficiently, and don't require critical control of charging conditions. (That means they're more tolerant of heat and cold than other chemistries.)They produce a steady voltage when discharging (while powering your tools), and the system has lower internal resistance than NiMH. This means the NiCd batteries achieve a higher maximum discharge rate. On the negative side, The battles of NiCd batteries are the heaviest of the battery technology three systems, a disadvantage if you're A battery-powered tool will likely have using the tool for long periods, or overone of three battery chemical systems: head. And, cadmium is a heavy metal, nickel-cadmium (NiCd), lithium-ion which is dangerousto discard. (Li-ion), or nickel-metal-hydride(NiMH). NiMH batteries store more charge At present,Li-ion grabsmost of the head- (think of them as larger fuel tanks), and lines becauseit's the relative newcomer. that translates into longer run times But iust becauseLi-ion has a better press than NiCd. The unit that describesthe agent doesn't mean that the other tech- amount of storedchargeis the amp-hour nologies are going to quickly or quietly (abbreviatedAh). NiCd batteries offer a disappear. After all, millions of home maximum of 2.4 Ah, but NiMH maxes shops have tools with NiCd and NiMH out at 3.5 Ah. As another plus, NiMH 116

chemistry uses no heavy metal, unlike NiCd. TWo drawbacks: NiMH batteries cost 35oloto 4oo/omore than NiCd, and they typically exhibit drops in voltage as the battery discharges. You'll often notice this as a distinct loss of power while you're using the tool.

It takes 15 cells,each rated at 1.2volts,to producethe long run times of this 18-volt nickel-metal-hydridebattery pack. Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas


Enter Lithium-ion !

iT I

Although some accounts would have you believe that Li-ion is a brand-new technology, it's really only new to power tools. Li-ion is the battery chemistry found in portable electronic devices such as cell phones, personal digital assistants, and laptop computers. It's also the technology that makes cardiac pacemakerspossible,and it remains the power source of choice for implantable medical devices.To understand why Liion batteries are causing such a stir, you need to know a little about the internal construction of a tool's battery pack. If you took the housing off a pack, you'd discover that it's composed of a seriesof individual cells, as shown previouspage bottom.With NiCd and NiMH chemistry, each cell produces 1.2 volts. The manufacturer then wires a number of cells together in series to produce the desiredvoltage. (By connecting 10 cells, the manufacturer produces a l2-volt battery.) So it's easy to seehow increasing a battery pack's voltage quickly makes it larger and heavier. On the other hand, each Li-ion cell produces 3.6 volts, so it requires only three cellsto make 10.8volts. The effect on tool size is dramatic: Bosch's 10.8volt Litheon drill-driver weighs only 4 ouncesmore than just the battery from a competitor's l2-volt NiMH drill. If you're lugging around a drill all day, the weight savings makes a big difference.

Li-ionpowerdoesn'tfade,sothere'sno warningof a lowcharge.MostLi-iontools havefuelgaugeson thetoolor battery.

A chargerwith a built-in fan, like this Ridgid model, coolsthe battery before and during charging,which prolongs battery life.

Another advantageof Li-ion is that it holds its charge better than NiCd in storage: a distinct advantage to people who enioy working with tools but don't do it every day, or even every week (for example, DIYers). Of course, tool manufacturers are utilizing Li-ion technology to produce batteries comparable in size and weight to the traditional units, but with voltages higher than practical only a few years ago. So, there's a growing number of 24- and even 36-volt tools on the market. With these muscular battery packs, a whole new range of tools has become practical. Now, you can have a rotary hammer with legitimate power. And a circular sawwith a 36-volt battery pack is an unmistakably serioustool.

Batteries and chargers are getting smartel Old-style chargers reenergized depleted batteries, but they sometimes also helped the battery to an early grave. That's becausethey couldn't recognize conditions that produced problems during the charging process.If you put an overheatedbattery onto the charger,for example, the unit would try to force the battery to take a charge that it was in no condition to accept.Some chargersnow include refinements such asbuilt-in fans to dissipate damaging heat. (Seephoto top rrght.) Now, an intelligent battery pack (commonly availableon Li-ion units) includes a computer chip that helps regulate the incoming charging current as well as the work-producing output. The chip tracks charge and discharge patterns, and recordsthe first date of use for warranty purposes.Somebattery packseven have easy-to-read"fuel gauges"that tell you how much of the charge remains i. ,eserrr..(Seephoto top te1t.".ll

Sources Ryobi: 800-525)579, Rldgid:homedepot,com Milwaukee : 262-7 81-3600,

Somemanufacturersnow selltools, batteries, and ir la carte.You can add to the systemlater-and savemoney-by purchasing additionaltools without a battery or charger.

Even the best rechargeable battery has a limited lifespan,and after a while will refuseto accepta wor,kablecharge.Instead of trashing your old battery, take it to' a retailer that servesas a collection point ' for the RechargeableBattery Recycling Corporation(RBRC).Some of the betterknown retailersincludeThe Home Depot, Best Buy, Target, Circuit City, and others. To find the drop-off location nearestto you, contact RBRCby calling 800-822-8837 or visitingits Web



*o*u*ol-ffom 3 POftablg POWef TOOIS l ru'v,"u,o,,"e

see the tools above as the rough-work trio, not to be mentioned in the same breath with the word "precision." Typically, woodworkers rough-size wood materials with a circ saw and finish-cut them on a tablesaw; or they rely on their bandsaw to cut curved parts, fearing they'd hack up workpieces with a jigsaw;or they view their cordlessdrill asa convenience-not nearly as preciseas a drill press.

Crosscutting,ripcutting, and bevel-cutting along a straight line sum up the circ saw's role. To ensure s u c c e s se, q u i p t h e t o o l w i t h a q u a l i t y b l a d e ,m a t c h i n g i t with the material and type of cut (see right), and adjusting the blade depth 'lzs" below the work.


Discover shop-proven strategies to elevateyourcircsaw, jigsaw,and portabledrill to the stratosphere of performance. But what if you don't own a tablesaw,bandsaw,or drill press?What if you don't have the extra jack to buy these stationary power tools? Can you perform high-quality woodworking with the much-maligned trio? The answer: Absolutely! With the right accessories,bits, blades,and a shop-made helper or two, improved-if not flawlessprecision is well within your grasp. Here's how to turn these "go-away" tools into "go-to" superstars.

Carbide saw-blade savvy fO ff youlre cutting softwood, softwood plywood, and MDF or ripcutting hardwood, a standardor thinkerf 24-tooth,7l+" combination blade will deliver a respectablecut. It hasqn aggressive20o tooth hook and costsabout $tS. g For a fine-finishing blade to cut hardwood and hardwood veneer plywood, pay a few bucks more for a 40-tooth, hard-body thin-kef-blade. Costing around $30, its 12" tooth angle cuts lessaggressively,leaving few splinters. Q)A standard-kerf4O-tooth blade, with its 20" tooth hook, deliversthe cleanestcut, only at a slowerrate. Price:about $45. Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas


Troubleshaating prohlerns Alignment woes. Do a two-step to tune up your saw for spot-on accuracy.First, squarethe saw'sbaseplate to the blade. With the tool upside down (and unplugged), loosen the blade-depth lock. Lower the blade, and lock it into place. Then, retract the blade guard. Fit a squaresnugly againstthe blade body and baseplatesole (PhotoA).Adjust and lock the baseplate to square. Also, using an adjustablesquare,check whether the baseplateedgeis parallel to the blade (PhotoB). If you detect a difference from the front to back, adjust the baseplate.If you can't adjustthe baseplate,add a shopmade zero-clearancesubbasediscussedunder Splinteringandtear-outbelow. Finally, using a drafting triangle, check the calibrations on the blade-anglescaleat 30" and 45". If your scale is off, incise these intersections with a sharp blade or nail for speedyreferencelater.

Measureat front back of blade, from Fdge of baseplate.

t /",

Kickback and wavering cuts. It's scarywhen a circ saw iumps back during a cut. You fear injury and chewing up the workpiece.Many factorslead to kickback:a lack of stocksupport,which causesthe material surrounding the saw to bind the blade; a forced feed rate; or a hung-up cord. As shown (PhotoC),it pays to equally support material on both sidesof the cutline and-if needed-clamp the workpiece down to prevent it from moving when sawing. Using sawhorses and sacrificial 2x2s under the workpiece provide a cheap solution. Also, don't force the saw; you'll know when the motor slows.Drape the cord over your shoulder so it doesn'tcatchand yank the sawoff course. To correct wavering or binding freehand cuts, make a straightedgeguide customizedto your saw,like the one at rigltt. Another option: Buy a clamp-on tool guide with a circ saw subbase,as shown previottspage, top left. Such systems prevent the tool from straying from the cutline. (Seeother helpful shop guides from WOODt magazineat rr,oorl rrr;r,q; rz i nt'.t'<lrrr / toolg tridrs.) Splintering and tear-out. Unlike a tablesawblade, the teeth of a circ-sawblade cut from the bottom up, so it's the top face of a workpiece where splintering typically occurs.For this reason,placethe good faceof your workpiecedown. Tear-outoccurswhen the blade exits the edgeof the workpiece,creatinglargesplinters. Severalstrategiescan eliminate theseproblems (photo D).Beyondadding a sharpblade,they include pressing masking tape over the cutline; securinga scrapbacker block where the saw blade exits the work; and attaching a zero-clearance,Z+"-thickhardboard subbaseto the saw'ssole,ensuring that the subbaseedgesparallel the blade. When sizing the subbase,make it the samelength as your tool's sole,but make the width betweenthe blade and subbaseedge a whole number, such as 6',, and. you'll savetime setting up for a cut by not having to deal with fractions. Once you've cut the subbase, secureit with countersunk screws,washers,and nuts, or cloth-backeddouble-facedtape. Another strategy: Scorethe cutline with a knife (photoE).


maskin!lape on both filrgs a\

and end


Backer block clamped to edge


Guide roller

N:r,ryt Controlguide You can't make a good cut with a cheap, down-and-dirty jigsaw, regardlessof blade style or quality. A good tool features guide rollers behind the blade to provide support and keep it from deflecting. Some Bosch jigsaws (see above) also include precision control guides that contain the blade along both sides.A lock-on button, sawdust blower, variable speed, and straight/orbital cutting options also help deliver a quality cut when matched with the workpiece thickness and material.(The lessorbital cutting action, the cleanerthe cut.) Still one more feature is an anti-splinterinsert in the baseplate,servingas a zero-clearance subbase.

When selectingblades,chooseone basedon the material you intend to cut, its thickness, and the type of cut. The teeth per inch (tpi) of a wood or plywood jigsaw blade rangesfrom 6 tpi (coarse)to 20 tpi (fine), with 6-tpi bladesbeing fast and aggressive.Ground, close-set teeth yield clean, precision cuts, while narrow blades excel at turning sharp corners. As the name implies, rely on plunge-tip (and not tapered-tip blades)for plunge cuts. Also, expect to find two stylesof upper-bladeends: T-shank and Ushank. This describesthe part that inserts into the tool. Of these,the T-shankbladeshold more securely in iigsawsthat acceptthem.

T-shank U-shank


Bestblade choices

(| o tpi for fast,coarsecuts;@ t0 tpifor straight,fine cuts;i s\to tpi reverse-tooth for straight,splinter-freecuts on the surfacewhere the blade exits the workpiece;t4,) glogressive-toothwith graduatingtpifor fqs-t,cleancuts in thick and thin material;-( S)tZ tpi for narrow,curved cuts in woods;( A) ZOtpi for fine, narrow curved cuts in fr'oodsand plastics.

Trou bleshooting problems


Blade deflection and saw marks. Deflection occurswhen the blade bends to the right or left of the cutline [Photo Al, leaving an unsquare edgeand, in severecases,ruining the workpiece. Saw marks leave rough edges. Choosing the right tool and blade are part of the solution, as well as using a straightedgeto guide the sawalong for straight cuts. When cutting curves, stayYte"outside the cutline. Clean up curved cuts with a drill-press-mountedsandingdrum (concave cuts) or with a disc sander (convex cuts). Or, make a hardboard template of the cut edgeand use it, along with a router and flush-trim bit, to true the edge. Splintering and tear-out. Cure these with the same techniques described on the previouspage used to reduce splintering and tear-out with a circ saw.Scoreand/or tape cutlines, employ backing materials,and use a zero-clearance subbaseor anti-splinter insert. Kickback. Culprits here: binding due to a lack of stock support, wrong blade speed and feed rate, a bent blade, or a hung-up cord. Make practice cuts in scrap to determine the ideal blade speedand feed rate.Then, use the circ saw tips on the previouspage. Rough field cuts. Simple solutions apply when you cut out an opening in the middle of a workpiece. For fast plunge cuts, insert a plunge-tip blade into the iigsaw, turn on the tool, and slowly tilt the blade into the waste side of the workpiece (PhotoB). For more precision, drill blade-startholes at the opening corners to accommodate the jigsaw blade. Next, clamp a straightedge into place, insert the blade into a hole, and begin cutting (PhotoC).


Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas


For project building, a lightweight, cordless12- or 14.4-volt variable-speed drill with a keylesschuck provides all the torque and freedom you'll need. Having two is better, allowing you to drill pilot holes with one and drive screwswith the other without the fuss of changing bits. Although twist bits win the popularity contest in most shops,you can achieve splinter-free results, greater accuracy, and more versatility with the four choices shown at right. Note, too, that to maximize control, the larger the bit, the slower the speed.

vary, McFeely's,


Troubleshooting problems Unintentionally angled holes. To err is human, and nothing proves the point more than when trying to drill a hole at a right angle into a workpiece with a handheld drill. You can, however, reach perfection with a handheld drill using these two strategies.The simple shop-made iig (PhotoA) offers a clear view of the hole location while guiding the bit through the vertical hole in the iig's center. (You may need a drill press to drill the 90" guide hole through the jig.) Or, buy an inexpensive adiustable drill guide (photo B)(no. DG-3637, about $53 at McFeely's).Attached to the chuck, it lets you drill 90o or angled holes and, stopped holes, as well as centeredholes in dowels and board edges(PhotosA and C).Just be sure to have a firm grip on the guide's handle before aligning the bit and drilling holes. Break-out. There's not a single good thing you can say about splinters. They're a thorn in a woodworker's...let's not go there. Speaking of backsides, backing a planned drill hole proves an effective deterrent here. To stop break-out both where the bit enters and exits, make a sandwich using scrap (photoD). Inconristent hole depthr, Many people use masking tape to achieve repeatable-depth holes in wood. And although this puts you in the ballpark, it doesn't knock it out of the park if your goal is dead-on accuracy.Unfortunately, masking tape slips. Your best bet: no-mar stop collars (PhotoE). (Order 908-298, set of 6,Ye"-V2", about $22 Woodworker'sSupply,800-6459292, or secureto the bit using an Allen wrench. A polymer boot at the base of the stainless-steelcollar prevents burning or burnishing the wood. Bit clogglng, Drilling deep holes often causessawdust to iam the channels in a brad-point or twist bit. Carefully dig the dust iam out with a nail tip to avoid burning and polishing the hole sides, which makes them less than ideal for gluing plugs or dowels. I Written by flm Harrold with Kevln Boyle and feff Mertz



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"Cheap" woodworker s m i l e sw h i l e dreaming up more money-saving schemes.

Inexpensive plastickitchen containers hold screws and hardware.

Wallet remains securely in pocket.

Shop vacuum provides low-buck d u s tp i c k u p .


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Properly stored l u m b e r p r o v e s e a s yt o l o c a t ew h e n y o u n e e d it thanks to labelingof s p e c i e s ,d i m e n s i o n s , and board footage on one edge of each board. Inexpensive brackets /^\\ p r o v r c l es e c u r e lumber storage.

Sanding drum kit gets double duty from drillpress.

Portableplaner shaves d o w n l u m b e r c o s t sb y allowing you to buy more economical

Benchtopdrill pressoffers enough capacity for most jobs.

rough-sawn stock a n ds u r f a c e it yourself.

Low-cost scrapwood stand supports the planer.

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Portablebench offers versatile workspace. Two 24"-wide,30"tall wall cabinets placed back to back create a tool base with storage.


s .t . t r l t t v i t vl t ' o t t i t t l i r , t i r r r c s t . r l ' c r r l r r r c ' 1 .S Iorr'-rnclIrrnclrtop \a\\'s (1trit'ccl l'()ltt . r l r o r r tS 1 0 0 t o 5 2 ( X ) ) . i l t c r ' o t f c l l i t t l c t o l r r r r r v h c n s t ' t t i n g r r p s l r o l t .i l c r t ' s o t t r g a c l g ; c t s; t n c l s l t o l r 1 ' t t t . t t i s l t r n gt so ',llt'lt t i r l \ ro l r p r i o r i t r z i i r g\ o L l r [' ) u r c ' l r . t s cIsl t. c gct grtltt ltstrlts/ IItinl' it!:r l ) o \ \ ' c ro r ' p r c c is i o n . . \ t r i r i r i i n r L r r ltttr, r r ' , ltt , t s i tc' t t n t r . t t ' t o t . sl ti 'r l i s t i n c l r r t l t ss t , r t i o n l i r vr n r t c l r i n c sl,t o t ' .ln \ ' () L l n r i l k c s i l , r l t c l r o i c t ' s , r ' s i l \ \ ' o r ' . r i r i g l r - c t t c ll t c n c l t t O i t t t l O c l t l i O t ' r , q t ' t . t . r l r l rt o o l s , . r r r t lo t l r t ' r c s s r r r t i . t l st \. \ ' t " l l otttlit r ottt'sltolt on .t sltot's ' ., i t t l t t ' t t . l \ \ L Il l r c \ o u i rI r t ' , t t l vl r . t v ct ' o r t 'nt t o t t t r t o l s S-l(X)to 5700. I'lrtr ofl'c't'rt.tsoltill)lcl)o\\'(-'r' I l t e s c c t ' t ' t :l l L r r , , r ' l l t I r r ) r s r r c l ra s r t c o r r l l c s sr l r i l l , . t i i g s i t t r i,t t i c l, t lrnci ,tccttnic'r, .tntl .lcccl)titc'ctssorics. v o L t t t c c r l i t , , t n r l r l o n t \ l ) r ' l l ( rr n ( ) n ( ' \ ( ) l t I r p t l r t ' a n t c t o . rr x r n t l S 1, 0 ( X) , i tn t l s l r o p v l t c r - l L l n) t . illltccessitrr' lttrttt'its. I,tkt',t lool' .tt li \ o L l ' r c i t r C i t l t i n c t - s . t tcr 0 t t t l l r r ' , ( ) l ) l ) o . \ i l ( r r i I r o L r l t n t n ' o o r l r v o r l i i n g s l r o p i)l'o's A n c h o r y o u r s h o p w i t h a t a b l e s a w . I o 1 t .( ) r , l i r r t l r a t \ i l l n t n t o l l c \ , g c t i t ploof. l lrcrt', cvcf v tool to cirln its 'l c r ; n t r i t c t o r ' s' sa \ \ t r l i r i p p t ' t lr l i t l t . t 1 . 5 - l t 1 l , l r i s r c r s . t i i l ct o o l s i l s i t t t l t t ' l t t ' . t t t o t lt'cp. l{t'ari on to st't' lrorr r otr ('al'r nrill\r' r l t n r o t o r ' , u n c l i l . ) r ( r "l . t ' t t t t ' . \ ' ( ) i l f s d o t l t c s a n l r , i t n c l I r o r r t o s r l r r t ' t ' z t ' n r o s ts l r o p s I. t r i p sa n r l c r o s s c r r Itsl ;, t r l o t s , l 2 O / 2 - 1 0 - o tltt r r r o s t i r o r t t c v r r ' \ t t ' r t t r r i t I r o L r t r i r l r l r c t s ,c r r t s t r n o n s , . tn t l t l o t ' s t t t L t c l t . \ s . r r rr r r c i t l r c r o l ' t l r c s cc ' i t t c g o r i t t' tst . i r l t c n l ( ) r ' ( ' .l i t ' r ' i t t t s tt l t i : i : \ ( ) L l r L ( ) l ' r 't o o l , t l t t ' o n l v o n t ' i ' o t t ' l I t r t t ' l r t t r . s c r i r n p i n , qo n t l L r , ti lt t . o t t v i i t t c c lt l t . t t r o t t I r . t r t ' t o s p t ' l t i l lrig lrttci.s on


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Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas


of these in the 12'-24' range. As your budget allows, pick up more clamps to fill your set.

Tablesawbargains aboundat severalprice levels.Asan example, lessthan 51,000buys this GrizzlyGl0235L, a sawwe've tested and hasa 240-volt,3-hpmotor, an accuratefence,and cast-ironwings.

An accurate rip fence is worth its weight in gold, so make sure you get a good one. When you set your saw budget, allow at least$50 for a high-quality 40- to 60tooth combination blade. Doing this means you won't sacrificewood to chipout and burns. After you get that saw, sink a routertable insert into its extension table. By doing this, you eliminate the cost of a separatestand, and savefloor space.You can even get double duty from your tablesawrip fence by building a slip-on router-tablefence.


into smooth sanding. If you can only have one sanderin your shop, make it a random-orbit model, right. Fit it with coarsepaper

to removestockury.11,_ Youcantacklemostlayoutchoreswitha tape measure, combination square,6" steelrule, pencil.Tohandle compass, anda mechanical toughertasks,adda slidingbevelgauge, protractor, caliper, anda 45otriangle. quality measuring and marking tools. Many elaborate gadgetsexist, but skip them. The few basics,above,will suffice.

out for layout tools. You can only cut as accurately as you mark, so devote a few dollars to good-

5175to 5250buysa full-featuredrouterwith multiple bases(fixed,plunge,and, in some kits,a D-handlebase).Table-mountone base, and usethe othersfor freehandwork.Add a bargainbit set-this 66-piecepackcostsless than S200-and you'rereadyto rout.


The pad on a random-orbit sanderrotatesand movesin an orbital motion to blend the scratchesinto a hardto-see pattern.


a worksurface. Now that you can transform lumber into project parts, you need a place to work with them. A full-blown cabinetmaker's bench would be ideal, but you can do a lot with a folding work station; a solid-core door thrown on sawhorses; y'ult-base routers play many roles. or a simple shop-built bench, such as The router is one of the most versatile the one shown below. shop tools. And today, you get more router for your money than ever, as shown below. A router is uselessalone,of course,but you can buy bits in batches to save money. If you use a bargain-price bit enough to wear it out, replace it with a higher-dollar version that will yield longer service. y'euy

sively,and with fine-grit paper to leavesmooth, scratch-freefinishes. You can pick one up for as little as $35.

pressGomesnext. l/ndrill Modern hand drills are wonders of power and versatility, but for ultimate accuracy and control, you need a drill press.For 90 percentof proiects,a benchtop model will do, which can save$100or more over buying a floor model. Devote those savings to a set of twist bits, imported Forstner-style bits, and a sanding drum kit. You can even get a mortising attachment that bolts on when you need it.

y'next pointer, get a jointer. You may think you need a jointer, below, only if you purchase rough stock. Or you might be tempted to buy one of those gadgets that's supposed to joint edgesusing your router. But a jointer is no luxury item. With one you can remove saw-blade burn marks, dress edgesfor perfect glue-ups,and, on many models, cut rabbets. Most important, A workbench mustbeflat,sturdy,andstable. though, a jointer is the only tool that can Tomakeyoursmoreuseful,incorporate a reliably flatten the faceof a board. viseandbench-dog holesthateaseholding plansforthiseasy-to-build Purchase chores. benchat Evenif youdon'ttakefull advantage of a jointer'sabilities, you'llappreciate how y'e"ta grip on good clamps. quicklyit prepares boardsfor perfectripping A woodworker can never have enough andgap-free glue-ups. clamps, but just a few will get you started. Bar or pipe clamps still rule for versatility, and are the favorite for gluing panels.Build an inexpensivebut expandableset by getting a half dozen pipe-clamp heads, plus some 24" sections of pipe and pipe couplers. That way, you can arrange the clamps' lengths to suit your needs. One-handed clamps are handy, too, so augment your collection with a few

Still ready to spend? Now consider these'contenders

with all of these tools and machineson With the tools on the previous pages, hand, you'll be set for Obviously,many more toolsand accessories existto makeyour woodworkingeasier, faster,and more refined.After plus your jigsaw and drill, you have all most tasks. Now, you you need to build most projects.Eventu- can add specialized securingthe toolscoveredin this article,buy thesenext: ally, though, you'll want two additional tools as your budget Hand tools: Stationary tools: power tools. permits and projects Dustcollectorand air filter Benchchisels require. Read "The B l o c kp l a n e Compoundmitersaw y'nunfor a ptaner. next wavei' right, to see Belt/discsander Dead-blowmallet A planer, below,savesmoney on lumber what you may want to O s c i l l a t i nsgp i n d l es a n d e r Japanese-style Scrollsaw handsaw becauseyou can buy rough-sawnboards, purchasenext. Lathe Cabinetscraper then mill them to finished dimension. Plus, owning one allows you to work Time to get Accessories: Portable power tools: with lumber thicknessesunavailable at Organized joiner Mobiletool bases' Biscuit your home center. Getting the most from Rollerstand/outfeedsupport B e l ts a n d e r Be aware that a planer will create a any workshop requires jig Pocket-hole Handheldcircularsaw huge messof flying chips. Some newer keeping it clean by Secondrouter Dovetailjig models offer built-in chip collectors creating placesto stash M a r k i n gg a u g e that will saveyou the expenseof invest- all your stuff. But don't ing in a dust collector until your shop assumethat storagehas budget allows for it. These short stacks prove easy to sort to be fancy or costly to be effective. Try through when you need a board, espethesepointers. cially if you mark the stacks(page122).

A portableplaneroffersamplepowerand (u s u a l l1y2 -1 3 " )to enoughwidt hc apac i ty handleallofyourlumber-surfacing needs. Thism odelc ollecits tso w nc h i p si n a b a g . â&#x201A;ŹNo*, bring on a bandsaw. Not all woodworking involves making straight cuts. A handheld jigsaw can ' negotiatemany curves,but, eventually, you'll want a bandsaw, below.In our opinion, a 74" model offers the most bang for your buck to handle homeshop needs.

y'srrornge up some cabinets. You can create great storage without spending a dime if you keep your eyes open for discarded kitchen cabinets. Neighbors, friends, and contractors working on a remodeling project are often happy to get rid of them. Once you get the cabinets in the shop, use them creatively. The drill press in the photo on page 722, for example, sits on two wall cabinets. They position the drill pressat working height and provide about 8 cubic feet of enclosed,dust-freestorage.Kitchen base cabinets servewell as workbench basesin the shop. Make the cabinetsmore functional for shop use by building in cubbiesor extra shelving, or adding perforated hardboard to the insidesof the doors. Throw on a coat of glosspaint to lend a finished appearanceto tattered or mismatchedcabinets.

l/f..pyour lumber in line. Lumber leanedagainstwalls or stacked underfoot quickly becomes disorganized or falls victim to damage.Store thoseboardsright by mounting simple metal shelf brackets,as shown on page 122.(We purchasedours at a hardware storefor a meager75 cents each.)Each shelf will easily support six to eight boards. Use four or five metal brackets-screwed into the wall studs-for eachshelf,and spacethe shelvesabout A bandsawshinesat cutting curves,and can alsorip, resarycut circles,and evenmill short, 8" apart. Finally, lay, particleboard small-diameter logs into lumber. over the brackets. 124

lVloreways to squef;zeths nr$$t frem yonr budget â&#x201A;Źsuue some coin on clamps. Want to reduceyour need for clamps? Try securing glued-up assemblieswith a few air-nailedbrads,below. You can get a compressor and brad nailer kit for under $200,the price of just a few decent-qualitybar clamps. If you already have a compressor,the investment for a nailer may be aslittle as $40.


t A pneumaticair nailerdrivesa brad into joints without splittingthe wood, and holds the assemblywhile the glue sets.


y'naa lumber purchasingpower. Buying lumber doesn't qualify, strictly speaking, as part of shop setup. But building anything in a shop proves pretty tough without boards. Why not make them lessexpensiveby purchasing in lots of 100, 25O, or even 500 board feet?Pros do it, and so can you, by getting a group of friends or club members together.You may be ableto mix species and still earn Written by David Stone Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas


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Download anyofthese woodwolking plans fortheprices listed, orviewa targer image, aturuoffrnagnzlna.iln/dant Tohavepaper prans maired direcfly royou(add$3perptans+tt;,cattlur[fioo togg&o-{a7s Please haveyourcreditcardavailable. BEHSIOg




Youdon't needto be rich to outfit a smartshop-you iust needto shopsmart.Hereare 14money-saving strategies to help you getthe most bang (and whirr, and hummm, and buzzz)for your tool-buyingbuck. Recognize good deals a Do your researchbefore you buy. I Watch Sunday newspaper ads, study tool catalogs,and make mental notes as you peruse tool stores and home centersso you can identify a real bargain when it comes along. Don't be fooled by comparisons to "list prices," which are sometimesas much as twice the normal selling price. And have patience: Today's gotta-have gadget 126

may be a why-bother tool next year. You also may find that the price of a newly introduced tool drops after the newness has worn off or when the manufacturer replacesit with an updated model. for mul ti functi on tool s or AOp t &bonus accessories. A drill pressthat comes with a mortising attachment, for example,will saveyou from buying a dedicated mortiser, at least for a

while; likewise, a tablesawthat comes with a high-quality blade. A hammer drill can be used for ordinary drilling, too, and doesn't cost much more than a non-hammer drill. Somewisebuy tools do more than one job equally well. For instance, Shop Fox (shopfox. biz) sells a benchtop drill press that doubles as an oscillating spindle sander;Ridgid's( edge-belt/ spindle sander works equally well on both flat and curved edges. Best-Ever Home Shop ldeas


? Q Checkmail-order sources.Becausethey lack a disJtributor network, manufacturers that sell directly to consumersusually can offer tools at lower prices.But make sure you're dealing with a reputablefirm. Some companies,such as Grizzly (,will provide you with customerreferencesupon request.


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the best you can atford, and cheapest you can find. You'll only cry once when you buy a top-grade tool. On the other hand, a cheaplybuilt tool may not cut or hold its accuracy well, and your ioy over the initial savings may give way to tearsof frustration each time you use it. ABuy ttthe

But be realistic-you don't always need to buy the best. If you think a pneumatic brad nailer will come in handy, purchasea$2O model, and useit up. Even if it lasts for only a handful of projects, you can buy five inexpensive brad nailers before you outspend a $100nailer.

( Replacethe tool, not iust the batJtery. The first thing to fail on most cordlesstools is the battery, but a pair of new batteriescan set you back almost as much asa new tool. And that new model may have more featuresor higher voltage,so it's like a low-cost upgrade. That strategydoesn't apply to cordless kits with severaltools sharing one or two battery packs; but you can economize here as well. Beforeyou buy such a kit, considerthe voltageand style that fits all the cordless tools you may eventuallv want to buv.

Must you buy new? reconditioned tools with a full tVuy lfwarranty. Manufacturers can't sell returned tools as nery even if they're unused but lacking their original packaging. So,if necessary,they replaceany bad or broken parts with new ones, repackagethe tool, and then resell it as "reconditioned." You risk little because manufacturerstypically honor the full factory warranty on these tools, and unlike new-in-the-boxtools, reconsget a complete and thorough test at the servicecenter before they're repackaged and resold. a demo. An exhibitor at a lfind f woodworking show will sometimes sell a stationary tool off the show floor, rather than pay to ship it back. Ask whether you can take it off his or her hands for a discounted price when the QBuy f rom a private owner. your local show is over. You may get a good deal , {Onewspaper classifiedadvertisingsecon a tool that's already assembled,and , tion is a good source for used tools. saveshipping costs.Also, watch for spe- , Besidesscanning the "Tools" classificacial scratch-and-dent and tent sales i tion, pore over the garagesalesand aucfrom some manufacturers. In many : tion notices. Often, sellersdon't know cases,the damageis cosmetic,and you ; (or don't care) what they have and can pick up a perfectly functioning tool , underestimate its value. Beware of at a deep discount. , buying used power tools from pawn

shops, though: Sometimes these tool's are overpriced for their quality and condition. Don't overlook searchmethods of finding online used toolsclassifieds, such as those at WOOD (r,r, i rrc.ctI rn / c Iassi t iecls), Online@ Craig's List (, and virtual shop-tool auctions such as eBay ( 127

Better Homes and Gardenso

Best-Ever HomeShopldeas2009 Editor-in-ChiefBILLKRTER ManagingEditor MARIEN KEMMET Deputy Editor DAVECAMPBELL PublicationWriter CARLVOSS Techniques Editor BOBWTLSON Tool & TechniquesEditor BOB HUNTER Multimedia Editor LUCASPETERS MultimediaEditor CRA|GRUEGSEGGER ProjectEditor LARRYIOHNSTON SeniorDesignEditor KEVINBOYLE DesignEditor fEFFMERTZ Production/OfficeManager MARGARETCLOSNER AdministrativeAssistantSHERYLMUNYON Photographers MARTYBALDW|N,fASONDONNEtty, DEANSCHOEPPNER, IAYWTLDE ContributinglllustratorsTtM CAHtLI-LORNAfOHNSON, ROXANNELeMOINE Contributing Crafuman llM HEAVEY Contributing ProofreaderlRA LACHER ArtDirector rnnlrnlF ProjectArt Director IOHN GEARHEART AssociateArt Director GREGSETLERS AssistantArt Director CHERYLA. CTBULA SUBSCRIBER SERVICE Go to or write to WOODmagazine,P.O.Box 37439, Boone,lA 50037-0439

After moving carsoutside,this homeownerrolls out cabinetsto form a worksurfacein his garage.To learnmore, seepage 22.


From'okry' to'wow!' 1f,

CHICACO:333 N. MichiganAve.,Suite1500, Chicago,lL 60501 MarketingManager AMANDA SALHOOT AdvertisingManager fACK CHRISTTANSEN Account ExecutiveRYANINTERLAND Direct Response AdvertisingRepresentative LISAGREENWOOD AssistantsGAYLECHEfN, NtA WTLUAMS ATLANTA:NavigateMedia DETROIT: RPMAssociates

few months ago,I spent a good portion of a week


2Yz-cat garageinto an incredible car buff,s backyard escape. (For a closer look at the shop, seepage36.) What a difference five days made. And believe me, the 'wow'factor doesn't fade: A revisit months later still took away my breath when the garage door rolled ,rp. But who wouldn't be green with envy gazing at a sparkling epoxy floor? No oil stains would dare linger! That garageiS a multitask spacedesigned and organized as many of us imagine our shops. Car-care products, previ-ously shuffled around in cardboard boxes, are now neatly organized behind a pair of doors. The adioining cabinet holds a season'sworth of yard and garden remedies. paintbrushes and hand tools, neatly lined up like soldiers, beg to be picked up from smooth-rolling drawers. The recent visit to the shop gave me pause. No more excuses:I got the iolt to iump-start and overhaul my own shop. I referredto the planning articles in this issueto lead me every step along the way. 'bout you? Just picking up this magazine affirms , How that there's a garage or shop redo on the horizon at your home. So get going! Break the work into bite-size tasks, and you'll be there quicker than you think.

fn^X^fu Marlen Kemmet WOOD@MagazineManagingEditor

Business Manager fEFFSTILES AssociateConsumerMarketing Director DAN HOIIAND AssociateDirectorof Marketing-NewsstandTOM DEERING ProductionManager SANDYWtLL|AMS AdvertisingOperationsManager llM NELSON E-CommerceManager MATTSNYDER VicePrerident/Crorffi MEREDITH PUBLISHINGffi PresidentfACKcRlFFlN ExecutiveVice PresidentDOUGOTSON Chief RevenueOfficer TOM HARTY Finance& AdministrationM|KERIGGS Manufacturing BRUCEHESTON ConsumerMarketing DAVIDBALI CorporateSalesMICHAELBROWNSTETN Meredith 360" fACK BAMBERGER lnteractiveMedia LAURENWTENER CorporateMarketing NANCYWEBER ResearchBRITTAWARE Chief TechnologyOfficer T|NA STETL New Media MarketingServicesANDYWILSON

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Presidentand Chief ExecutiveOfficer STEPHEN M. LACY Chuir.un of th" ln n4"-or @Copyright V"r U.S.n. RetailSales Retailers canordercopiesof WOOD for resale bye-mailing llttrr -t -'t



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thefirst I n 2007,we published ! issueof HomeShopldeas,and Ifrom yourletters ande-mails, it appears youlovedit.You're holdingissue 2. NoWwe'dliketo knowhowyouusedourideas, or yourown,to create yourownhomeshop.We'reon or upgrade thelookout for alltypesof shops: basements, garages, outbuildings, smallspaces, andevengarden-shed shops. Besides searching for great-looking shops, we'realsolookingfor projects, organizers, storage cabinets, or workbenches you'vecreated foryourshop. lf you'dlikeyourshop,or a friend's, to beconsidered for national exposurein oneof ourmagazines, sendussomephotosanda shortwrite-up of whatyoudidto makeyourshoplookbetterandworkharder. lf you've got some"before"and"after"photos,thosewouldbeexcellent, too! Sendyoursubmissions to: Home Shopldeas WOODoMagozine l7l6 Locust Street, LS-221 DesMoinellA 50309-3023

Or e-mailyoursubmissions to Thedeadline isJune1, 2009.Submissions cannotbe returned. Please include yourdaytime telephone number, mailingaddress, and e-mailaddress, if youhaveone.



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Pinnacle@ DrillPressTable 148369

pointofdevelopment latestofferingof orachievement.The Pinnacleisdefined asthe highest byWebster's namehavecerlainly livedup thatbearthePinnacle@ drillpresstablesystems anda varietyof accessories withonethingin mind:to provide toolswasengineered tothisdefinition. EverydetailofthesePinnacle@ withtoolsthatempower them. Pinnacle@ toolsareavailable exclusively atWoodcraft. woodworkers

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Wood home shop idea  

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