Making the most of a small space takes some planning.
SHOP OWNER: Gregory St. Laurent
LOCATION: Chicopee, MA
First off, I'm a father of two boys, and I live with my wife in Massachusetts. I've been interested in woodworking since I was eight years old and haven't let up since. I'm interested in all forms of woodworking from carving to furniture.
My shop has taken many forms over the years. These pictures show its present state. I may not have all the best tools; but I pride myself on taking a mediocre tool, modifying and tuning it to perform like a champ. There's not much more I can cram into this 256-sq.-ft. area and still be able to move! Most of the projects I do are smaller in size. I have managed some larger pieces including a bathroom vanity, some cabinets and furniture.
Because it's in my basement and on the small side, I've tried to utilize as much of the space as I can by considering feeds and project movement. One particular sore in my side is the center support column. I keep my tablesaw on a slight angle to clear it as much as I can.
Some of the smaller benchtop tools, like the wet/dry grinders and my surface planer, are kept stored until I need them. When needed, I place them on the small two-foot-square rolling bench I keep in back of the table saw which doubles as an outfeed support.
All of my power hand tools are stored in the tall red cabinet by the dust collector. That keeps them free of dust when not in use. Speaking of dust, the dust collector is a 1-hp Delta two-stage collector, which I've had for about 15 years and still works great. I also built my own air scrubber from an old furnace blower and a couple of washable 25-micron filters. It also works great!
A new addition is my bench. It has a 30 x 60 inch solid maple top supported by a pair of Veritas cast iron bench legs. I added a large Veritas front vise. The bench weighs in at close to 300 pounds. In the future I plan to add some bench dogs, but I hate the thought of drilling into that beautiful top.
Another new addition are some upgrades to my 40 year old tablesaw that belonged to my father. I build an upgraded outfeed and side table out of Melamine and oak. I designed and built my own precision fence using square aluminum tubing and angle stock, and it includes removable MDF faces. I also added a lexan blade guard and a splitter.. . . Gregory St. Laurent
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