Progress Update on the Modular Shop

I thought I’d do an update on where I’m at on remaking my shop into a completely modular system.  The featured image is the latest concept of what my final design will be.  I’ve gone through several designs.

As of now I have 8 modular cabinets made.  I’ve been building drawers this week with the goal of filling every cabinet before building another.  I’m also trying to clear out my old system of shelves and boxes.

Garage Storage Shelves

This system worked well, but the modular system is far more efficient and easier to use.   This is where I’m at now in the modular process.  When everything is in a drawer and cabinet I’ll arrange the shop how I want it.

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Yes my drill press is tiny.  This part of my shop I pretty well done.  I need to decide what drawers I want here but the cabinets are in their final place.  Since I use my table saw and skill saws outside I mounted a board to the wall to hold my saw track, extension cord and table saw stuff.  Off screen (above) there is a shelf that holds my table saw jigs.

From Left-down I have an empty slot that will be my drill bits, my drill bits, drum sander attachments, dremil, and my skill saws.  On the right-down I’ve got tape, wrenches and pliers still waiting for their final home. I then have in drawers my sawzalls, air tools, plunge router, and in the plastic tub electrical tools waiting for a home.

I’ve labeled everything with computer mailing labels.  They are easy enough to remove if needed and cheap and quick.  I’m going for standardization so every box is labeled on the top left.

I’d like to take a moment to state that I am actually horrible at organization.  This shop started with cabinets that things got lost in, then shelves that just got cluttered.  Finally I started putting everything in boxes on the shelves and got things under control.  It was just stuff that I used together (like tape measures, pencils, and squares) thrown into a box.  Then thanks to Ron Paulk’s Tool Trailer Build I had the idea to standardize a drawer and a cabinet.  The drawers are just deep enough for the stuff I throw in them.  One day I might put in sub-dividers in the drawers, but don’t hold your breath.  So my secret of organization is drawers > boxes > shelves > cabinets.  I’m not sure where wall hanging tools is yet.

Here’s the rest of my shop, moving anti-clockwise.

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This bank of drawers and work table are going to be moved/removed but it’s here for now.  I’ll most likely put this box on casters and have my sander on it.  I’ll just move the drawers.  Top/down is a catch all for tape measures, squares, and small handtools, screws/bits, screws, screws, socket set, and hardware (bolts, knobs, hinges, etc).

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This is now my third bandsaw workstation.  I started with a free spool, then I put it on a night stand with casters.  Now it’s on a shortened modular cabinet with locking casters.  I’ve got my extra blades and adjustment tools, templates, sign making layout letters, and my sanding supplies.

To the left these stacked drawer banks are just waiting for me to get around to making my new work bench.  That’s part of the beauty of this system; while these two cabinets are basically in storage, they are fully functional.  I modified my kreg jig box to fit on the dados, but I plan on remaking my Kreg Jig tool box completely.   I’ve then got my work belt and safety stuff, two drawers of sign making stuff, and then a deep drawer with my biscuit jointer, jig saw, and multitool.

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This is my final cabinet, for now.  It highlights another function of this system.  I’ve got my bench grinder, and my bench vice mounted to a drawer base.  When I need these tools I just slide them out and clamp them to my workbench.  It’s not shown in this picture but I also mounted my benchtop sander to a drawer slide just in case I want to store it in a cabinet.

This is where I’m at for now.  I need another sheet of 1/2 ply for a few more drawers and to tear out the other side of my shop.  Who knows when that’ll happen.

2 thoughts on “Progress Update on the Modular Shop

  1. Ha! Don’t know if I could do anything in an “organized” shop! How would you actually “find” anything? Maybe . . . someday . . .

    Looking good, my friend!!

    jimmy

    • I recently moved all my safety stuff to a single drawer (blue gloves, work gloves, dust masks, safety glasses). I even labeled it! This weekend I was staining a wood sign and stripping the paint off an end-table for my mom. So I went through maybe ten pair of those blue gloves. I went to the wrong place in my shop almost every time to get them.

      My desk in my office is crazy cluttered, but I know where almost everything is.

      All this system is is glorified buckets that I throw similar things into. My sanding box is chaos, but it’s similar chaos all in this same spot. I haven’t got too advanced with organizing the drawers it’s easier, to me, to just toss the tool in the drawer versus find the one and only place it fits.

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