Workshop Plans
My approximate shop layout (subject to almost continuous change.) My shop measures 15’x15′ and I do a lot of work outside.

I hate organizing.  I’m bad at it.  That’s probably why I don’t like it.  It seems that no matter how much I try I’m never happy with the result.

Thanks to Pinterest I’ve been cataloging storage and organization tips for a while.  Using Open Office Draw I played with layouts for my 15×15 Shop and have settled on what I think will work.  Or at least, “good enough.”   When I started my Shop a single bench that went across the entire back wall (the top edge of the picture).  Now, if my shop were bigger having an entire 15′ work bench may be nice, but in a small shop the consensus seems to be mobility and purpose built tool stations.  And this seems to have worked well for me.

In the bottom right in orange you’ll see my Drill Press and Grinder station.  It’s not perfect but it works for me.  I’ve got a small 8″ drill press. It sits on a narrow bench in a corner that I couldn’t do much else with.  I mounted an old VCR Tape Holder underneath that makes good storage for my small collection of drill bits.  I left the underneath open because I don’t like cabinets in my shop.  I store a few boxes of tiles from left over from a project and Starbuck’s food bin.  Above this bench I made a Small lumber storage rack that I still need to cull down.  I’m learning not to make any workstation bigger or deeper than necessary.  That’s where I failed with my new shelving unit.

Current Shelving System

As we move clockwise around the shop, you’ll see “Shelves” in a yellow.  I made these much to deep and have too much space between shelves.  Part of the depth was to make sure my paint storage went to the window (Bottom-left-silver) and so Starbuck could have a “den” to sleep in.  Notice the brown box behind the orange tool box.  That is a milk-box that I got from the local grocery store.  These hold 6 gallons of milk, are sturdy and a good size.  I’ve started building out these boxes to do certain jobs, I have a box just for drywall tools, a box just for sanding, a box for just my nail guns.  It has really helped get a hold on things, and if I ever need to go do a job elsewhere it’s easy to load up the supplies I need.  I label the boxes and am organizing them based on use.  For example, I rarely do any pluming work so those tools and supplies are the hardest to get to, and I even have a box on the end labeled “every

Previous Adjustable System
Previous Adjustable System

day tools” that I can access as soon as I walk into the shop.  I’m going to eventually make the second shelf narrower and lower, just so these milk boxes fit, I’ll then add a third and possibly forth shelf.  Before I had a adjustable shelf system but It just wasn’t deep enough to hold my tools.

IMG_20140322_135619_271My paint center is my biggest accomplishment over the weekend.  I had a lot more paint than I thought.  I’ll probably have to change how I have this set up as I get more stuff.  I have everything organized and labeled.  Spray Paints, Wood Stains and Finishes, and Quarts and samples go on the top, Brushes, Rollers, and Chemicals, etc go on the second, and gallons take up the last to rows,  I’ve got 16 gallons of paint…  The lower part I’ve got on of my milk boxes with drywall tools.

I guess the only thing left to show is my back wall.  It contains my router stand (that I still need to put casters on), bandsaw station, cleat system, and in the corner I have an old IMG_20140322_163930_790banquet table that I turned into a work bench. Eventually I will extend the cleat system across the back wall.  I’m also going to build a rolling cart that will roll under my work bench.  I’ve also seen modular workstations where you can switch between a scroll saw and a bench-top sander etc. I setup my table saw outside and built a stand just for it.  Since I build most of my stuff out of reclaimed lumber I have an outdoor lumber rack, it also hasn’t rained since Thanksgiving.  I’ve basically designated part of my backyard as a workshop.  I’ve used several wooden shipping crates to make some outdoor work benches and I just started making an outdoor sink.

This is my second shop make over.  I do most of this by trail and error, and take good ideas from fellow bloggers.  I’ve found that laying out a sketch of some kind (digital or on paper) helps you get a feel of a layout.  Another tip is just build it.  No one has built or organized the perfect shop.  The only way to figure out what works for you is to build your “best bet” then tear it apart once your done because you’ve found something better.

Use screws so everything comes apart easier!  

Also I welcome any advice or tips that you are willing to share! Leave a comment