If you are looking for ideas on woodworking shop layout, storage and organization, I’ll walk you through my shop to show you the tools, methods and workflows that work for me. I’ll provide links to tools as well as build plans and videos for many of the things in this walkthrough, so be sure to check those out too!
DID YOU KNOW: You can follow me on these social media platforms!
|Shop Projects in this Walkthrough (links)|
|Build My Miter Saw Station|
|Build My Dust Collection Cart|
|Build My Tool Wall|
|Build My Shop Locker|
|Router Table Storage Solution|
|The Ultimate Table Saw Fence|
|Build My Lathe Stand|
*I use affiliate links, please see details on my disclaimer.
I have more cabinet building resources listed below. If you want to know how to build base cabinets or how to hang cabinets onto concrete walls, I have full build videos, walkthroughs and plans available for download.
Cutting in a standing position is more comfortable and helps you be more accurate with your cuts too.
And the Centipede folds up easily and gets out of the way when your done with it. If you’d like to get one of these for yourself, check it out here: CENTIPEDE WORK HOLDER 4×8
My Woodworking Shop Layout
Every woodworker knows their shop is their personal space and that space is ever evolving. We are always looking to upgrade our layouts, workflow, storage, and tools. I wanted to give you a look at my shop so you can see what works for me, and what I consider the do’s and dont’s that make my shop the best it can be. Of course, even for me this is an ongoing process. My shop is far from “perfect” whatever that means!
Lets start with my shops layout. My shop occupies the third bay of my garage and goes back underneath my house about 53 feet. It’s divided into two rooms. The front of the shop is 16′ wide and 25′ deep, basically a large one car garage.
The front is where I break down sheet goods and lumber into parts as well as where I do all joinery and assembly. The tools that live here are my miter saw, table saw, router tables, drill press, and all my drills/driver, sanders and hand tools. I’ll go into detail on all that later.
The back of the shop is slightly smaller at 12′ wide and 28′ deep. It holds the rest of my large power tools such as my bandsaw, jointer, planer, lathe and CNC.
It’s also where my main dust collector lives as well as where I store all my lumber and offcuts. There’s also room to store lesser used tools like my drum sander and hydraulic press.
Breaking Down Plywood
Back in the front of the shop is where my workflow always begins, naturally! It has a garage door which makes it super convenient for bringing sheet goods and lumber right off my truck and into the shop. Speaking of sheet goods, my favorite way to break down plywood and MDF is using a Centipede work holder. Its easy to expand/collapse and gets out of the way easily.
When combined with a piece of foam insulation, it makes the perfect work surface for using my track saw to break large sheets into manageable chunks.
I’m 6’2″ and the working height is perfect for me. The centipede also allows me full access to all sides of the plywood so I can make any cut necessary. Once my sheet goods are cut into chunks I can more easily use my Festool MFT or table saw to cut them into final dimensions.
Woodworking Shop Layout – Mobile Tools
Another tool that lives in this part of the shop is my flip top tool cart. This was one of the first projects I made in my old 2 car garage shop when everything needed to be mobile and save space.
I use mine to hold my oscillating sander and disc sander. I’ve seen others put their lunchbox planer, Kreg Foreman, and even a downdraft sanding table on one of these. Super versatile!
Speaking of versatile, If you want to know how to turn a common shop-vac into a dust collecting machine, then you might want to check out my mobile dust collection cart. I use my cart to collect dust at my small power tools like these sanders, my pocket hole jig and my miter saw.
But I also use it to clean the shop after every project. It wheels around easily on casters and collects all that dust in the mini cyclone separator on top of the cart. Two stage dust collection like this is the best because it keeps all the dust and debris out of the main vacuum canister, which keeps the filters clean, which helps the vacuum run at peak performance much longer. And the handy bucket on top is easy to empty when the time comes.
The other nice thing is that it has a 2’x2′ footprint, so it takes up barely more room than the shop-vac itself and stores out of my way easily when I don’t need it. And it only takes about a half sheet of plywood to make, so have options the next project comes up and you have that other half-sheet of plywood laying around doing nothing HA!
Dust Collection Cart Plans
Turn your ordinary shop vac into a cyclone dust collection cart with less than a sheet of plywood! This is a great project for beginner woodworkers looking to build their shops or experienced woodworkers who want to control every bit of dust in their workspace!
Garage Door Upgrades
One big upgrade of made to my shop was to raise the rails of the garage door up nearly to the ceiling. There is enough room for the lights, but that’s it. I have over nine feet of clearance now, so standard sized lumber and sheet goods will fit below without colliding with the rails.
I also moved to a side-mount motor instead of the chain driven motor that hangs in the center of the ceiling (right in the way of your work).
You can see here, I have an eight foot strip of plywood which I can now move without any overhead obstructions getting in my way . That gives me back all this head space!
One final thing I keep up here in the front of the shop is a small bit of pegboard that I put my jigs on. Cross cut sleds, tapering sleds, router trammels and more live here and are easy to grab-and-go when I need them.
Woodworking Shop Layout – Miter Saw Station
The biggest upgrade I made to my shop last year was replacing my old mobile miter saw cart with this amazing new miter saw station. A whopping 14 feet of storage and organization
This wall was only used for wood storage and not much else was going on here, such a poor use of space. Now I have five base cabinets and four upper cabinets and a lot more storage space.
With eight feet of counter space to the left of the saw and four feet to the right, I can cut full length boards with full support.
I installed t-track and measuring tape along both sides of the saw.
And also made these custom stop blocks that are rock solid to help me make accurate and repeatable cuts at my new station.
These cabinets are full of new ways to organize my tools and supplies. I added pull out trays to maximize storage capacity and accessibility.
There is also added a slide out saw blade storage system to keep all my blades organized and in a very small footprint.
I even have all my bits, drivers and fasteners completely organized in these drawers so I can easily grab what I need take it to my project and return it when I’m done.
The upper cabinets are great for holding all my sanding supplies as well as all my finishes.
I added these plastic bins to hold other items so I can grab and go when I need to.
Another thing I badly needed was easier access to power in this part of the shop, so I added three outlets along the miter station to give me better access when I need it.
On the wall opposite the miter saw station is where I keep my clamps. I have small metal clamp racks for my smaller clamps as well as a larger rack for all my pipe and parallel clamps. I do all my assembly in this area of the shop, so having these clamps ready to grab-and-go is key to my efficiency.
Miter Saw Station
In this 40 page detailed plan I’ll show you how to build my miter saw station.
Clamp and Small Tool Storage
Next to the clamp rack is my tool chest. This is the oldest thing in my shop, I’ve had it for probably 15 years. I keep “non woodworking” tools in here. Things like hammers, screwdrivers, wrenches, etc that I use on projects all over my home.
And next to that I have my drill charging station. The perfect place to store my drills/drivers as well as all my batteries and chargers.
In the center of the shop is my most important and most used tool, my table saw. I have a 3hp Saw Stop cabinet saw with a large outfeed/assembly table on the other side. This tool gets used probably on every project I do at some point and so it really is literally and figuratively at the center of my work flow.
Woodworking Shop Layout – Table Saw
Just overhead is my shop air cleaner. This one is from Powermatic and it has two advantages over the old “box” style air cleaners. First is that “box” footprint. So big! This one has a much smaller footprint and doesn’t block as much of my overhead light.
Secondly, its QUIET. Like, really quite, When I have it on the highest setting I barely notice it’s on and you can’t hear it at all on camera when I record my videos. The air cleaner is an essential tool in my dust collection strategy. It takes all the super fine particles out of the air. The stuff that can really mess up your lungs. Even the best dust collectors can’t get everything when you use these big machines. You have to dust collection at multiple levels of your shop to protect you.
In the side of my table saw I have a homemade router table. Unfortunately I have no plans, this was built WAY before I made video content. But it served me well when I was in my 2 car garage shop and every square inch of space mattered.
Having this combined with my table saw not only saves space but also allows me to leverage the table saw surface to support very large work pieces, like this desk top when I want to cut a profile using a router bit.
When I moved from my two car garage to this new shop, I gained a lot of work space and I wanted to use that space by creating dedicated work stations so I added this Woodpecker router table and fence system. But one of my biggest pet peeves in the shop is having wasted space underneath my tools.
Woodworking Shop Layout – Router Station
This table came with a basic metal stand, but no storage at all. So I decided to turn this router table into a router station with enough storage to fit every router, accessory and bit that I owned.
Now I have everything related to routers in one place and it all fits into the same footprint as before but with no wasted space.
I have space for my all my router bits, accessories like feather boards and hold downs as well as wrenches and interts.
I also have a big deep drawer to hold all my routers and their accessories. Absolutely everything I own related to routers fits in here. If you want to see the video on how I did this, watch it HERE.
Woodworking Shop Layout – Tool Wall
Above the router table is my tool wall. On it I have a place to store my squares and measuring tools.
And right next to it is my hand tool cabinet. This was made based on plans from Fine woodworking magazine and it holds all my hand tools in one beautiful cabinet.
At the end of my miter saw station is my drill press. It sits on a cart that stores all my router bits and accessories.
Also, on this wall is a dust port that comes through the wall. This allows me to collect dust at my router table, drill press and table saw. It goes through the wall to the back room of the shop which is where we are headed next.
Shop Locker & CNC
In the back of the shop I have my shop locker. This tall cabinet holds all my PPE like glasses, ear protection and respirators. It also has my first aid kit, my work boots and aprons in it. Everything in one place and behind this door to keep it all dust free!
Right next to that is my CNC. This is very useful for engraving work pieces but also cutting furniture patterns or anything than needs a high degree of precision.
Woodworking Shop Layout – Bigger Tools
Across from that is my lathe stand. I have a midi lathe from Jet that has an optional bed extender. The lathe stand top is large enough to accommodate that and even some full sized lathes. It is stout (almost 300 lbs) and has plenty of storage for all my turning tools as well as chunks of wood for turning blanks.
Lathe Stand Plans
Are you interested in wood turning? Want some shop furniture that’s more than just functional? This lathe stand has a 60″ top and will fit a midi-lathe with bed extension OR some full sized lathes. There is ample storage for both tools and turning blanks.
Then we have my lineup of larger power tools, like my 14″ Laguna band saw and my drum sander.
And beyond that are my milling tools. My 15″ Grizzly planer and 8″ Grizzly jointer. These tools are essential for milling your own rough lumber, which is cheaper than surfaced lumber and easier to find. Not essential tools if you are just starting out in woodworking, but definitely something you should plan for because they pay for themselves.
Woodworking Shop Layout – Dust Collection
In the very back of the shop is my dust collector. I have a 3 hp Dust Gorilla cyclone. It has a 6 inch main trunk line that runs in a straight line and has all my big tools attached to it like the jointer, planer, band saw, router and table saw. You may not need a dust collector this large, but for my shop, which is very long and narrow, it was key to getting good dust collection. From the dust collector through the wall to my table saw is nearly 50 feet!
Woodworking Shop Layout – Lumber Storage
Also in this part of the shop is all my lumber storage. I have it organized in three ways. First is my lumber rack which has all my full sized pieces of lumber. Neatly organized on the wall, it stays out of the way until I need it.
Then I have my offcut cart, which holds larger offcuts that are too small for the wall rack. Everything here is neatly organized so I can easily search by size and species.
Finally I have my small offcut bins. Perfect for those smaller offcuts good for scrap wood projects like cutting boards. It’s also organized by species so I can easily locate what I need for my projects. And next to that is what little scraps of plywood I have.
That’s it, a full tour of my shop and all the things in it! I hope that it inspired some good ideas for work flow as well as organization and storage in your shop.