Looking for help focusing on next step in shop setup

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    Joey Goodwin

    This topic/question will in itself show why I need help. I have reached the point in my life where I am looking for a hobby to take me through to retirement. I stumbled upon Paul’s videos about a year ago and ever since have been trying to set up a hobby room dedicated to old tool restoration and small woodworking projects. I’m all over the place trying to get things set up the way I want. I built a quasi wooden workbench based on Paul’s method. (I used the plans for the top but took liberties with the legs and have two shelves beneath). I have a larger workbench on the other side of the room I’m going to top with 5/4 roughsawn Red oak I got from a downed tree. I’ve let it dry/acclimate for over a year now and the moisture content is less than 9% so It’s ready once I get a fore plane to help with the joinery.

    Currently I’m in the stage of collecting enough proper tools to do the end work and start making my own wooden planes. I’ve picked up several old Disston saws, a type 13, 16 and 19 No 4 Stanley, a type 15 Stanley 5C and a friend gave me a Stanley no 78 (missing fence unfortunately). I’ve used Paul’s suggested buying guides and have also picking up several of the other ‘essential’ tools he recommends. I have a decent benchtop band saw and drill press. I know I need a fore plane, router, bullnose and shoulder plane. I’d like to make my own but I’m like a dog chasing it’s tail here. You need them to make them, so to speak.

    The shop items I need help with are these: Dust collection for an 11×11 room. Spindle sander? I’d like to get a benchtop version for help shaping. Flooring: I pulled up the old carpet and need to figure out flooring. right now I have a rug over the plywood sub floor. Keep in mind this is inside the home, a spare unused bedroom I’m turning into my woodworking/tool restoration man cave. 🙂 And lastly lighting. I’d like some sort of adjustable track lighting maybe, that I could hang without too much additional electrical work.

    I know this is a really unspecific post but I feel overwhelmed at this point and just need a bit of help focusing on my next step.

    Thanks to you all. God bless.

    Joey Goodwin.

    David Alvarez

    If you happen to live near a large city you might try googling “maker spaces”. I am in a similar situation to you but the thing about a makerspace is that they generally have everything already set up. It is a regular trend in the US; they are popping up all over, fueled by people’s desire to build something by hand and funded, at least in part, by the high paying, though immensely frustrating, IT positions that people find themselves landing in all too often. In the Atlanta area, google Freesideatlanta.org, or a number of other makerspaces in central Georgia, but avoid (if at all possible) the ‘for profit’ knock offs of the volunteer-organized maker spaces, at least I would, and do. That is, unless you have the income to do so, which I for one do not. Good luck.

    Roberto Fischer

    Get on to building stuff, improvise what’s needed, note what doesn’t work, accept what is good enough but not optimal, and don’t overthink the process.

    Joey Goodwin

    Thanks for the replies. I got my wife involved (she’s really good at home layout/organization) and we decided to just eat the elephant one bite at a time. She got me some new shades for the windows and we started by painting the walls. We’re half way done with that. Once the walls are done we’re going to stain the small workbench and put up the rest of the shelving to organize things.

    It’s a small step but I’m moving forward. Now if only I could find a good used Saw Set like Paul recommends. You’d think such a basic and essential tool would be easier to find.

    Thanks all. Once I’m not embarrassed by the mess I’ll post some pictures to show our progress.


    Dave Ring

    For flooring, I’d recommend buying cheap sheet vinyl (“linoleum “). Tack it down lightly around the edges so you can replace it easily. (It’s going to get ruined with spilled glue, paint etc.) Then in front of the workbenches lay down rubber interlocking tiles. These will save wear and tear on both your feet and dropped tools.

    For lighting, I’d hang a 3 or 4 foot LED shoplight ($15-$20 each) over each bench. An articulated arm magnifying lamp such as this one….:


    ….can be very handy, especially when sharpening saws.


    Joey Goodwin

    Yes I’m definitely going to have to address the lighting. Right now its a center room ceiling fan, totally inadequate even with two full windows of natural light. We finished the painting this weekend and it turned out really well. We just used an un-tinted white base. It really lightened up the room. (the old paint was a medium pastel blue!!!)

    I have a couple of small articulated LED lights to clamp to the work bench but shop lighting overhead would be much better.

    Really the last thing I need to decide is what to do with the empty wall. I’ve been looking at videos for small shop organization. I like the “Idea” of French cleats but maybe not necessarily going all out. I have several 1/8 inch thick Aluminum 90 degree bends I can adapt for a faux cleat approach. Useful for hanging clamps and other odds and end tools that I don’t want to have to drag out of the tool box or just have laying around on the bench all the time. We shall see.

    Thanks again for the replies. Once I get things squared away I’ll post before and after pictures.


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